Yesterday, Benjamin James Real Estates’ informational website Neighborhood NYC posted a blog about stopping the spread of bedbugs. The article was picked up by The Real Deal, a major source of real estate news in New York City.

We were shocked to see Neighborhood NYC mentioned alongside articles by the New York Times and the New York Post, so we want to thank The Real Deal for noticing Neighborhood NYC. We put a lot of hard work into the website, and we appreciate the recognition.

To see our shout-out, go to http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/foreclosures-drop-but-delinquencies-rise-and-more, and check out Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com!

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The summer of 2010 has been a hot summer for New Yorkers, and for those who don’t have air conditioning, it has been downright miserable. Even Central Park was a sweltering 103 degrees. This week, Rented Spaces’ Apartment Guru gives advice to Cold Cold Heart, Hot Hot Apartment who is broke and has a broken air conditioner. Apartment Guru suggests a number of solutions including spicy foods, cold soups, bags of frozen vegetables, and nudity.

To read the full column, go to http://www.rentedspaces.com/2010/08/18/air-conditioning-alternatives-that-help-you-chill/, and give us your best suggestions for staying cool in the New York summer heat!

Yesterday, the New York Times reported on an ethically sticky practice by many prominent art and history museums in New York City. Museum presidents and directors are not only getting sizable salaries but are oftentimes given tax-free apartments worth millions of dollars, making some question if this is an abuse of tax law.

The American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art are a few of the museums in New York City that house their presidents and directors in posh apartments. They get away with their tax-free status by claiming that the heads of museums spend a lot of time entertaining donors in their home, so their apartment is also their workplace.

What do you think? Should directors of museums get large salaries in addition to tax-free apartments worth millions of dollars, or is this an abuse of tax law? Comment below and let us know what you think!

Religion and Roommates

August 9, 2010

For some folks in New York, religion means going to church on Easter and Christmas Eve. For others, however, faith is so much a part of their life that they have to factor it in when searching for roommates or a new apartment.

Faith can affect a living situation in a major way from making certain that a kitchen is kosher to making certain that a roommate will be okay with Islamic prayers five times a day. In a big city like New York, it is not as difficult to find a roommate or a community with similar beliefs. Last week, the New York Times did a wonderful piece called “Sharing the Faith, Splitting the Rent” that looked at individuals seeking roommates with similar values as well as larger faith communities like Radical Living.

To read the original article, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/realestate/08cov.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1281384018-/mScoi8hKcM/K5MhI7hs3A and leave a comment below. Does faith factor into your living situation? Would you care if a roommate practiced their religious beliefs in your apartment? Let us know what you think!

Check out apartments from all over Manhattan at our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

We previously reported that Pop-Tarts would be opening a store and café in Times Square, and now we can report a few of the items on their menu!

According to the New York Times, the menu will include:

  • Make-Your-Own Pop-Tarts: Customers pick out their favorite frosting, drizzle, and extras like sprinkles or coconut
  • Fluffer Butter: Sandwich made of two frosted fudge Pop Tarts and marshmallow fluff
  • Sticky Cinna Munchies: Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting and bits of cinnamon roll Pop-Tarts
  • Ants on a Log: Celery with peanut butter and bits of Wild Grape Pop-Tarts
  • Pop-Tarts Sushi: Three types of minced Pop-Tarts mixed together and wrapped in a fruit roll-up.

Will Pop-Tarts succeed like the Times Square M&M’s store, or will the novelty wear out too quickly? Comment below and let us know what you think!

Check out Benjamin James Real Estates’ informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Dylan McDermott, best recognized for his starring role on TV’s The Practice, has purchased a one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea.

The $701,000 apartment comes with a large kitchen, living room with fireplace, and a balcony. Location-wise, McDermott will be a few blocks from the popular Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, and Benjamin James Real Estate’s main Chelsea location.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Dylan! We love Chelsea, and we know that you will too!

To view residential buildings in the Chelsea area, go to http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com/category/chelsea, and to view buildings in other neighborhoods, check out our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Yesterday, New York Times writer Christine Haughney referenced Neighborhood NYC in her article “The Appraisal – Where Longtime Friends Make the Best Neighbors.” She included a link to our review of 50 West 72nd Street, also known as Ruxton Towers. You can view our review of the building here or by going to http://neighborhoodnyc.com/1501-3000/50-west-72nd-street-upper-west-side-ruxton-towers/.

To read the New York Times article, click here or go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/nyregion/27appraisal.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion, and to read more articles by Christine Haughney, click here or go to http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/christine_haughney/index.html?inline=nyt-per

When the iPhone 4 was released June 24th, a lot of people lost their minds. All three of the official Apple Stores in Manhattan had lines around the block from their Midtown East location at 767 Fifth Avenue to their Chelsea location at 401 West 14th Street and their Upper West Side location at 1981 Broadway.

Problems with the iPhone emboldened competitors like the Google Nexus One, the HTC Evo 4G, the Blackberry Bold 9700, and the HTC Droid Eris, and everything from special phone covers to duct tape has offered a solution to the antenna problem.

One product that has been selling particularly well has been the Antenna-aid produced by Brooklyn designers Szymon Weglarski and Jon Dorfman. A six-pack sells for $4.99 from their website http://antenn-aid.com/. Their tongue-in-cheek ad claims that the Antenna-aid is “colorful,” “works like magic,” and is so revolutionary that “Ben Franklin would approve.”

To find out more about the Antenna-aid, click here or go to http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/a-joke-iphone-sticker-turns-into-a-business/?src=mv.

Check out Benjamin James Real Estate’s informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

In the holiday romantic comedy The Holiday, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap apartments for Christmas. In the New York Times Real Estate section’s most recent Q and A column, Jay Romano answers the question if New Yorkers can swap apartments for an extended vacation.

To read the column, click here or go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/realestate/18Q-A.html?_r=1&ref=realestate.

The Benjamin James Real Estate blog usually provides links to practical advice and tips for apartment hunters, but this story from the New York Times was so intriguing that it seemed a shame not to share it.

The story of Joyce Cheney and apartment 9B is part Clue, part The Maury Show with a splash of Hollywood detective story thrown in. For years, Joyce Cheney battled with her daughter Diane over the pre-war 3-bedroom, 4 bath apartment, and this chilling tale includes attempted murder, a sex change operation, and a battle over the elderly Joyce Cheney’s will.

Click here to read the full story or go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/nyregion/18nineb.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss. Do you think Diane tried to kill her own mother to get her hands on the apartment? Comment below and let us know what you think.