Sunday, October 28, 2007
After a few years of renovating old homes, I have to say that the garden floor of our Halsey Street brownstone is the hardest job I've ever done. Why was it so hard? Because I basically started with a raw space.
Starting with a raw space can have some pluses: you have the option of making additions, like adding bedrooms. Of course I tried to turn the garden into a two bedroom apartment, but after consulting with Mrs. Renovation, some relatives and my contractors, we decided that it looked too tight as a two bedroom.
We also figured that a potential tenant would enjoy a more open one-bedroom instead of a tight two-bedroom.
So, we got our mason R., on the job. Two and a half months later, we had a nice, sparkly, spacious one bedroom that was rented two weeks after we began showing it.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The stats also show that most of the foreclosures are in the heavily Black and Latino communities of Brooklyn: Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, East New York and Flatbush lead the city in foreclosures.
Data provided by Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, "shows a disturbing trend among victims of the housing crisis in New York. Many of them are elderly or disabled, and the majority are African American or Latino."
According to the report, "these newly vulnerable areas have traditionally been the backbone of New York’s middle class minority communities. But for decades they have been underserved by traditional banking institutions, which opened the door to independent brokers and loan sharks."
Will this crisis erode the thriving middle class of Brooklyn in these areas? Some experts would argue that without a middle class, these communities may not be able to survive the onslaught of gentrification. Time will tell.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Come support Sterling Street at the last stoop sale of the year. Drinks will be served.
Now in its 29th year, the Brownstoners will once again showcase a collection of the community’s finest brownstones and limestones. The self-guided tour will begin at the historic “Old Boys” High School, located at 832 Marcy Avenue, near the corner of Putnam Avenue, from 11 A.M.-4P.M., rain or shine.
Contacts: Ava Barnett, Vice President of Planning, The Brownstoners of Bedford Stuyvesant, Inc., Tel: 347 661 5026; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
For us the hardest part was leveling the backyard. Initially the flagstone walkway was buried under dirt and weeds. Finding it was pure accident; we mistakenly dug to far down on one side and discover that there was flagstone about 2 feet below ground. So we excavated the walkway area which forced us to shuffle most of the dirt to the center and back of the yard. We had to throw away at least ten bags of dirt.
In this case we are using the mulch as a form of weed control. After leveling the yard, we added a fiber membrane on top of the soil to keep weeds from growing through the mulch.
• Protects the soil from erosion
• Reduces compaction from the impact of heavy rains
• Conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering
• Maintains a more even soil temperature
• Prevents weed growth
• Keeps fruits and vegetables clean
• Keeps feet clean, allowing access to garden even when damp
• Provides a "finished" look to the garden
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
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