A Real Estate of Mind


Chelsea Lately

Its funny how a neighborhood’s boundaries are so fungible. I was having a conversation with my co-worker the other day, who recollected lofts on 24th between 6th and 7th that he used to try to rent out. It was among the hardest things to get people over there, as, in the Early 2000’s, Chelsea was strictly defined between 14th and 23rd street. Anything above that was No-mans land. Even trying to get people to go one block would have them scoff. With the addition of the highrises of Chelsea, especially along sixth avenue, the borders have been re-defined, and now some people even stretch the boundaries up to 34th Street. And all the way to the River (before my time apparently past 7th or 8th was a no no). There are various factors which have caused a redefinition of the area; the new construction itself, and the shops, restaurants, bars, grocery stores and general traffic that they have brought. I suspect that rising rents (we can get into a debate if the rising rents drove demand or vice versa), and cleaning up of the area also had a lot to do with it as well. Most recently the extension of the Highline, and the anticipated (hint: delayed) spring opening of its second leg will also have a positive impact on the real estate prices “upper west chelsea,” though the increased traffic pay piss off some of the neighbors of the quieter Chelsea West-of-Eighth-Avenue.

What do I consider Chelsea? I think “Prime” is From 6 to 8th Ave, 14th street to 23rd Street. But I would probably consider 5th to the Hudson and 14th to 34th as being a part of the Neighborhood.


Gut Renovated Prewar Townhouse Studio – 47 E 30th Street

Please don’t mind the mess! The contractors are hard at work.

I’ve  got a new exclusive listing coming up that hasnt been available for the last 50+ years. LARGE Studio apartment one flight of stairs up in a townhouse on 30th street. Soaring ceilings from being located on the Parlor Floor. Tons of Architectural details – exposed brick, original mouldings, decorative fireplace. Two large south facing windows overlooking 30th street. Brand new floors, kitchen and bathroom. This place literally has been gutted down to the studs but still retains its original charm.

Price 1850 – and ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED! That means Heat, Hot Water, Electricity, and even Cable. Between Park and Madison so 2 blocks from the 6 train / 4 from the NQR, walking to Union Square, Madison Square, and Grand Central.

Ready mid to late Feb, For an April 1 lease start date. Low Fee.  Let me know if you know someone.

An Office With A View or Thank You New York(Jersey)

There are many great places to work in New York. On Central Park West/South/Fifth Avenue(Central Park East for Tourists), views of Parks/River/Statue of Liberty. But I think I have one of the best views in the city.

It over looks a park (Triangle Park, among the smallest in the city), a tree with yearround christmas lights, New Times Square (Current Billboards for Andrew Marc, T-Mobile, and The Beatles by Apple), and, most importantly the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

The tunnel, with one of its entrances on Watts street, is able to crowd the entirety of Broome, at least to Broadway, if not further East, most nights. While the tail lights can actually be soothing and create a very urban ambiance, this effect is mitigated by the noise their drivers create. All lanes are full of happy Bridge and Tunnel (B+T) drivers making their way to the Garden State, who take out their frustations on fellow drivers, and by attrition on the residents and workers of SoHo. The thing that really gets me is that these drivers seem to know that their honking wont do anything due to the sheer volume of cars, but still insist on honking. They also tend to block the boxes, which makes it nearly impossible to cross Broome street. While its a perpetual issue, it peaks between 4 and 7 PM on Weeknights, especially Thursdays and Fridays.

So this is a shout out to all my Jersey People driving home at night. Please Stop Honking. It won’t get you home any faster.


Broken:Broome and Broadway

Carnage on Broome and Broadway. Someone had a bad day.

A Return to Hoard Mentality

Thanksgiving Thursday to Superbowl Sunday is usally among the slowest time for Manhattan Sales. From the Holidays to Bankers waiting for their bonuses, we usually see a somewhat dramatic cool down in sales. The cold weather in Manhattan, especially this year, doesnt help either. Many brokers take their listings off the market, to sell anew in the spring (and also not add too many days to the time on market counter). But this Sunday, while helping a sale client check out properties, we were startled by the turnout. And the cold did not deter would be home buyers (and curious neighbors perhaps).

From Williamsburg to Chelsea, we were met with crowds of people. At two locations, 133 W 17th Street and 111 W 28th Street, there were at least seven groups (15/20 people) looking at the same time we were. Granted it was the first open house for both properties, but even at others which had been on the market for weeks and months, there was a very good turnout, even just for the 15 or so minutes we were at each property.

Perhaps we are just getting a lot more Bankers with Bonuses or people starting to look, but from my end it looks like the market is really starting to pick up.


Welcome to Apartmentality, a blog which will hopefully have some value-added for NYC Real Estate, those looking to buy or rent an apartment, as well as those with a general interest in New York, food especially (I like to Eat).

I am a 26 year old Real Estate Agent by Day, Foodie by Night (and day sometimes), as well as an Italian Archaeologist by Summer (more on that later). Working for the past 3 years at Custom Brokers, a mid sized real estate firm in SoHo has shown me the downs (and starting to ups) of the New York Real Estate Market. Basically, I entered this career at one of the worst times to be in Real Estate, and had to survive off the kindness (ie desperation) of buildings giving away Brokers Fees, as well as that of friends and strangers who sent their friends (and friends of friends’ cousin’s mom’s brother’s ex-wife) to find an apartment in Manhattan through me.

Working during such a trying time for the City, and the US in general, I believe, has shaped the way I work. Instead of being molded in the bubble of the Early to Mid 2000’s I had to actually work for my commission, cut fees, and put in a lot of legwork, usually through snow, rain and, more often than I would have hoped for, dog crap. I’ve met a lot of awesome, insane, gorgeous, fat, loving, neurotic, optimistic, creative, depressing people along the way – and could tell you some amazing stories, and probably will.

But what I have mostly gained, from the experience, as well as the teaching of the two Jedi Masters of my Company (yes, I am a closet SciFi Nerd), each with decades of years in the business, is a  fondness for the long lost art of the deal, a sense and tradition of learning how to treat people like people, and most importantly how to tell your boss that she is wrong. I am really really lucky that Eunice (my co-worker) and Suzanne (my Broker) are both so open with their wisdom and both extremely helpful; I owe a lot to each of them. Eunice is patient, calculated and efficient. Suzanne is Suzanne. Learning from Suzanne is like wrestling with a bear. You never want to do it, but you are better for the wear when you come out alive (though maybe missing a limb). I am lucky that she is understanding, and hasn’t fired me for the arguments that we get into – perhaps, I am more lucky that she has a hard time using a computer and would have trouble if I were not around. Either way, we learn from our disagreements, arguments, word-wars, and varied perspective.

So hopefully I haven’t lost you with this initial banter – the next few months should be full of stories and advice (and hopefully not shit), so and please keep an eye or iota out for my updates as try to share with you my Real Estate of Mind, and hopefully exude some Apartmentality.