Monthly Archives: October 2008

Real Estate + Recession = Weird Deals

A few blogs reported on this last week, now the Times has picked up on it, the ‘Obama clause’.   It’s time to brace ourselves for the effect of plummeting real estate prices in New York.  For those who surmise that they’ll be able to afford that huge loft space that was always out of read, you’re in for a rude awakening.  But the really sad news is that developers, desperate to make a deal, are willing to inject such gimmickry into their prospectus.  Let’s all pray that times get better real fast or pretty soon we’ll be seeing the sales pitches taking on a decidedly less sophistocated air:

‘The McCain-Romney clause’ – between now and Nov. 4, buyers will know if they will be able to back out of their contract, dependent upon the McCain’s campaign decision to keep or drop Palin at the last minute (Palin stays, the contract is binding/Palin goes, buyers are released from obligation).

‘The Santa clause’ – as long as every family buying into the new development in question is able to celebrate Christmas (or their winter holiday of choice), shareholders are released from their obligations to inhabit the units for 2 years or get stuck with a flip-tax.

‘The Britney-Madonna clause’ – buyers signing an agreement to allow famous people to live in the building are given a break on their common charges (unspecified).


NY Times Article on ‘Street Lit’

Street Lit is easily dismissed by those with a more refined taste as
crude and facile dramas that do little towards proposing solutions to
societies ills(and often seem to celebrate them). On the other hand,
readers want stories that they can relate to, so for those who literacy
advocates in the inner city, this kind of fiction is a godsend.

[NY Times] ‘From the Streets to Libraries’

Ad-wrapped Subways


Whenever I go to the Transit museum I’m always impressed at how the NYC Subways have managed to become their own brand.  How the design of signage, maps, stations and cars have become an art-form and a source of pride for New York City and the people that work in the subways.  Now that brand is lending itself to other brands.  Gothamist displays that the 42nd St. Shuttle will have an ad-wrapped subway pushing the History Channel. Advertising is ubiquitous on the subways, but lately, the MTA has helped advertisers develop ads that simply will not allow riders to avert their eyes.  First it was cars that were taken over with one, sometimes clever ad that  continues throughout the car.  Now we will be walking in and sitting on the advertising, unable to take our eyes off of it.

An ad-wrapped car just feels different from regular old advertising.  Maybe it’s simply the novelty of the experience, which would admittedly be very cool, but I doubt very much that riders will appreciate the same kind of in-your-face style when being sold shampoo or storage space.  We’ll see, I guess.

Man, that’s cold

U.S. writers are ‘too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture,’ dragging down the quality of their work.”

[Link] NowPublic — “Head of Nobel Literature Committee Says American Writers Too Ignorant for Serious Consideration”