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YOU’VE HEARD OF THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT? They invented that in Philadelphia a couple of centuries ago. The compact ‘trinity houses’ of the late 18th and 19th centuries are now much-coveted for their coziness, charm, and economy. And a dollhouse can be quite livable for 1 or 2, once you get used to the stairs.
This c.1830 trinity, set off the street behind a larger row house, is new to market and very well-priced. It’s in Queen Village, one of the city’s quietest and most attractive neighborhoods. I happen to own a building just around the corner from this one, so I know the area well.
There are actually four floors of usable space: kitchen/dining on the basement level; a living room with fireplace on the ground level; a hall, ‘dressing room,’ and full bath (with fireplace!) on the 2nd floor; and a large open bedroom with a sloping ceiling at the top of the house, for a grand total of about 600 square feet.
HERE’S A NEW YEAR’S GOODIE. Yep, with the turn of the calendar, it’s time to start thinking about…summer houses! The listing says this sweet and unpretentious 3BR, 2 bath (bigger than it looks at from the outside) dates from 1847, and that seems about right. The symmetry, porch columns, pilasters on either side of the front door and six-over-six windows, all say Greek Revival to me. At the same time, the front porch and picket fence say farmhouse (they’re not mutually exclusive). It’s in the village of Greenport,on Long Island’s North Fork, where nearly all the houses are of similar vintage (see more of Greenport’s architectural charms here).
The price has just been reduced by 30K. The still-upwards-of-400K ask reflects the tip-top condition of the house, the optimism of the sellers, and the market being pretty strong.
Except for the dated kitchen, the house appears immaculate — renovated perhaps to a fault (recessed lights in old houses are a particular peeve of mine).
Check out the listing, with lots more photos, here.
Anyone local have insight to share about the Main Street location?
THIS LISTING FOR A 1950s BUNGALOW in the Maidstone Park section of Springs (East Hampton), N.Y., surprised me. I thought I knew every house in the area, not just because of my real estate interests, but from my frequent walks down to the bay.
This one had completely escaped my notice. And yet it’s a house that, were I now in the market for a starter home in the area, I might give serious consideration. It’s the kind of fixer upper that gets my juices flowing. It’s small and manageable, it’s got an interesting shape, it’s one of a kind, and it’s set back on a bit of a rise, off a quiet street.
Couple of red flags: possible mold and/or mildew issues. I walked in (the back door was open) and it had the dank feel of a house that had been closed up for a while. Also, while the neighbors on either side and across the street seemed OK, the house on the other side of the back fence seemed to have a bit of a hillbilly vibe, with junk in the yard. But that’s how it goes in the “real” Hamptons.
As an asking price in this neighborhood, a short walk to Gardiner’s Bay and to a lovely marina, 356K is not a terrible place to start. The listing, with a dozen photos, is here.
Am I nuts, or does anyone else see potential here?
EVEN I CONCEDE: this one is a tear-down. Oldish, by the looks of things, and enormous, but moldy and just hopeless-looking, even to someone who can see potential in almost anything.
What’s good is the location and the size of the lot — near East Hampton Village and on 1-1/2 acres.
It’s a wooded flag lot, set back from the road, with a secluded feel. And who knows? (A structural engineer might.) Maybe something could be salvaged. The listing is here.
IT CAME TO MY FULL ATTENTION ONLY RECENTLY that I am living a brushstroke away from a significant cultural landmark: the bar where artist Jackson Pollock, this area’s most illustrious resident, frequently got soused with friends like Willem de Kooning and got into famously violent fights. It’s well-documented that Pollock spent almost every evening here in the late ’40s and early ’50s, biking over from his farmhouse down the road (now the Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Study Center), sometimes not making it all the way home but falling asleep in the woods by the side of the road.
The place was then called Jungle Pete’s and famous even up-island (that is, in parts of Long Island not the Hamptons) — a baymen’s gathering spot which gradually (especially after World War II, when the creative and working classes served together) accepted the artists as hard-drinking fellow locals. Jungle Pete’s is now known as Wolfie’s Tavern and it’s still a dive bar, noisy on Saturday nights with motorcycles roaring in and out. It’s got paneled walls, neon beer signs, and a pool table, but no cultural cachet or apparent awareness of its heritage.
Jungle Pete’s features largely in Seek My Face, a John Updike novel I happened to listen to recently on my commute between Brooklyn and East Hampton. I’m a rabid Updike fan but this 2001 novel had somehow escaped my notice. Its main character is an elderly woman who reveals the story of her life to a young interviewer, a life which included a long hard marriage to a character clearly and closely modeled on Jackson Pollock. It slowly dawned on me that ‘The Flats’ in Updike’s novel is a stand-in for The Springs (we’ve since dropped the ‘The’) and ‘The Lemon Tree,’ the character’s favorite watering hole, is Jungle Pete’s.
Updike evokes an era when this area was more rural. I became intrigued and began to Google (not intrigued enough to go have a beer in Wolfie’s, though; I’ve peered in but have yet to actually sidle up to the bar). Here’s a description by Dan Rattiner, a longtime local journalist/publisher, from 1962:
“I made a left on Fort Pond Boulevard and began to look for a tavern named Jungle Pete’s, which I had read somewhere was one of Pollock’s hangouts. The road here was straight but very narrow, with small fishermen’s homes on either side, set in the heavy foliage that marked that area. About a half mile down, I came to it. It was the only commercial establishment on the street. Set in, well, the Jungle.”
A 2004 article in the East Hampton Star, describes how Jungle Pete’s burned down sometime in the ’40s but was rebuilt. It eventually became Jungle Johnnies, Vinnie’s Place, the Boatswain, the Frigate, the Birches, Harry’s Hideaway, and finally, Wolfie’s, in 1988.
A friend who has lived nearby since 1979 remembers the Frigate as a place with holes punched in the walls, and the Birches as an attempt to do something more upscale, with white birch trees in place of the now-asphalt parking lot (I mourn the loss of those trees). I told her I thought someone should buy it and turn it into a bar/cafe called Pollock’s, with Abstract Impressionist wallcovering. She said that sounded like “a city idea.”
In fact, Wolfie’s is presently on the market for 299K. <- Click for the listing, which is just for the business and not for the land or building (I’d be interested if it were!) I hope someone buys it. It doesn’t even have to have a Jackson Pollock theme — just good food.
What do you think? Does it deserve a plaque, at least?