Brooklyn Life

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Close followers of the site may have noticed earlier this week the appearance of a new feature which we’re calling “My Brownstone”. The idea is to create a place for brownstone owners to build homepages for their houses. Through words and pictures, we want you to tell stories about your house, to point out details that you love, processes you went through, etc. We were able to talk a couple of guineau pigs into throwing something together before we went live, but the whole thing is a bit of work-in-progress. More than anything, we hope as many people will participate as possible. In the true blogger spirit, don’t overthink it, just jump in and get your hands dirty. Your page can be a work in progress, edited, supplemented, etc. whenever you want. Have fun.
New Feature: My Brownstone [Brownstoner]

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We’re happy to welcome new blog Eating for Brooklyn on to the scene. Written by Pete Hassler (cool last name, no?), the blogspot-hosted site promises to explore “the bounty of Brooklyn,” including restaurants, farmer’s markets, and other “hidden gems.” We’re down–we think the borough’s non-Smith Street establishments could use a lot more coverage. We hope he’ll supplement his verbiage with some photos going forward and alert us to new openings on the horizon.
Homepage [Eating for Brooklyn]

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Well, we finally got our act together and, like any good Brooklyn-based company, have made ourselves a t-shirt. With the help of our friend Matt’s Fort Greene-based company Pigeon Extraordinary, we cranked out an initial batch of 40 or so shirts (roughly 10 per size), including some for the tiny tots in your life. We have no idea what the demand will be, but, like Doritos, if you keep crunchin’, we’ll make more. We’ve only got one color selection at this point–green and brown print on light blue background. Hit the link below to go to the store that Matt’s also running for us. Full outsourcing–we love it! BTW, you’ll need a paypal account to get get your hands on one of these babies.
Brownstoner T-Shirts for Sale [Brownstoner Store]

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July 21, 2005, Wall Street Journal — Typically, mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures result from an unexpected financial crisis a job loss or medical illness that leaves homeowners unable to pay the bills. But now experts are warning that homeowners who thanks to low rates have taken on more debt than they should have, face a growing risk of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. Indeed, the first signs of it are starting to emerge. The number of homeowners seeking loan workouts reached 89,741 in the first quarter of 2005, compared with 155,495 for all of 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last month, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in New York said the risk of defaults is growing on certain adjustable-rate mortgages. These loans initially can lower monthly mortgage payments, allowing some buyers to purchase homes they otherwise couldn’t afford. Some borrowers may face increases in their monthly payments of 50% to 90% when the low-rate period ends, S&P warned, and homeowners who haven’t planned carefully, or whose income proves insufficient, may default. “With some of the very unique and potentially risky loan products out there now, and the very high rate at which they’re being used, it could turn into the full employment act for loan workout specialists,” says Laurie Maggiano, deputy director of the office of single family asset management at HUD.
Workouts to Prevent Foreclosures [Wall Street Journal]

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We know some of you can’t stand it when we go into star-fucking mode, so we’ll apologize in advance. Sorry. Now to the two snippets of Brooklyn celebrity real estate. Adrian Grenier (top), the HBO star who’s buying a place not far from us in Clinton Hill, gives us a glimpse of his renovation plans in this week’s NY Magazine and it ain’t pretty:

I just bought a place in Clinton Hill…My summer plan is to fix up my house. I have a bed already. I’d buy some Föm pillows ($75 at Brookstone) and an above-ground pool for the backyard ($140 at Sports Authority). The rest of the furniture, I’ll find on the street.

There goes the neighborhood. And in more tenuous news, the NY Observer is reporting that actress Rachel Wiesz (bottom) and director fiance Darren Aronofsky may be ditching their recently acquired $3.5 million East Village townhouse for a place in Brooklyn.
Star of Entourage Buying in CH [Brownstoner]
How Would Adrian Grenier Spend $9,000 [NY Magazine]
Manhattan Transfers – 2nd Item [NY Observer]
215 East 11th Street [Corcoran]