Harbingers: Tall Cranes, Redman, and Whole Foods

After wasting lazy days on a porch in the Berkshires, drinking gin and reading the North Adams Transcript, it’s time

After wasting lazy days on a porch in the Berkshires, drinking gin and reading the North Adams Transcript, it’s time to catch up on how our colleagues spent this last weekend in August.

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Of course, summer’s almost over and ambitious Ivy Leaguers ditch their resume-building internships for collegiate life. So it’s fitting that the New York Times reports on the prestigious doorman internship (aka “superintendent’s assistant”) at tony 1088 Park Avenue. Amongst many thankless tasks, you sweep sidewalks, stay up for a couple days at a time, and are insulted by wealthy residents. For that you get $14 an hour and a headstart on writing your own Barbara Ehrenreich-style class conscious memoir. Calling Lewis Lapham!

Apparently, you can actually entice a New Yorker to voluntarily give up a rent-stabilized apartment. It usually involves a large cash buyout. Surprise, surprise.

These are good days for those young, upwardly mobile types who love organic cooking (but never cook), and enjoy hitting on health-obsessed strangers while pouring a generous helping of chickpeas. Now looking to conquer Houston Street, Whole Foods plans to expand its dining section in the massive 76,000-square-foot store coming to the Avalon Christie. Just to point out, that’s over 25,000-square-feet bigger than the Union Square location.

If you’ve been in Williamsburg lately, you couldn’t miss a menacing crane high above the main drag, or as a New York Times headline writer dubbed it, “a harbinger of tallness.” What’s really scary is that the crane is only being used for a 14-story mixed-use building. Just wait until those sure-to-be lovely 40-story structures tower over the artist (and trustfunder) enclave. Yikes.

The Daily News offers a bit of comparison shopping between the Duke Semans mansion ($50 million) and a single-family home in Staten Island ($164,900). One has a sweeping staircase, while the other lets you live near Redman. Obviously, in the housing boom, cash rules everything around me.

In other celebrity news, Eddie Murphy just cut the asking price of his New Jersey mansion down to $27 million, following a previous price reduction for his upstate farmhouse.

Lastly, in an article about the court case involving starchitect David Childs and the allegedly stolen Freedom Tower design, the author makes this unpleasant statement: “For once, an accusation of architectural plagiarism had taken on a life beyond cocktail party chatter and snippy blogs.”

Life beyond?

-Michael Calderone

Harbingers: Tall Cranes, Redman, and Whole Foods