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HERE’S A BRAND NEW-TO-MARKET foreclosure, looking mighty cute — a classic Victorian farmhouse with a front porch and gabled attic. Makes me want to run right out to the East End of Long Island and take a look. It’s at the very end of a road, heavily wooded, a block from Long Island Sound.
Would somebody who knows the area well please let us know what’s wrong with it;-)?
There’s a coffered ceiling in the living room, right, a mantel if not a working fireplace, wood floors, French doors. Nothing wrong with any of that. In another photo, however (the room with red walls, below), there are recessed lights in the ceiling, a symptom of misguided reno somewhere along the line. Making me wonder why there’s no kitchen shot. With luck, the kitchen is “unimproved” since at least the 1930s!
The dining room, below, shows nice high ceilings and more of the dreaded recessed lights.
An overhead of the property on the listing sites reveals a bunch of random outbuildings that might be demolished for more vegetable-gardening space.
See how fantasies begin? Doesn’t take much for this old-house addict in springtime.
THAT CUTE HOUSE, above, is an 1810 Greek Revival jewel built by a sea captain in Greenport, Long Island. It now belongs to Adrienne Grande, who bought it recently and has been fixing it up for the past year. It looks mighty spiffy with the wreath on its freshly painted picket fence.
At Christmastime, Adrienne brings out her mom’s collection of vintage tree ornaments from the 1940s and ’50s. The peach, above, brought back a sudden memory of being invited to help decorate our next-door neighbors’ tree in Queens. I could swear they had that same peach, as well as a plum, a banana, and other fruit. I was about 5 at the time, but the delight I took in those ornaments persists to this day.
So bring on the family heirlooms, the nostalgic music (I just heard Aaron Neville’s exquisite Holy Night on WBGO), and have yourselves a joyful and very vintage Christmas.
EVERY DAY’S A FLEA MARKET AT MARIKA’S, a mad jumble of used furniture on Rt. 114, the main artery through serene and pretty Shelter Island, tucked between Long Island’s North and South Forks.
Truth to tell, I have never bought anything at Marika’s, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I check it out every time I pass through the island — most recently yesterday, when my quest was for a set of six matching dining chairs to go around my new 1940s X-legged table. I didn’t find what I wanted, but I totally enjoyed the browse.
There are a couple of outbuildings and several tents next to an ordinary split-level, spilling over with used furniture, kitchenware, framed pictures, and kitschy lamps, much of it in rough condition. Outdoor furniture is a specialty.
Marika’s is one of those places where you can’t help but think, there’s so much, surely there must be something…I may not yet have found anything at Marika’s, but that doesn’t dim my hopes for next time.
NOW THERE’S YOUR PROPER JUNE BORDER, above. A little ahead of time, as is everything in this accelerated spring. Peonies; irises; columbine; foxgloves and phlox on their way. In front of a very proper old house, below, on Long Island’s North Fork, where I was on Saturday.
It’s all happening now: the farmstands, the wineries, the traffic. There are lots of greenhouses, large and small, selling vegetable starters and annuals and overflowing, ready-made hanging baskets.
I was there to visit my cousin Susan and check the progress of her garden beds, which we planted, I think, three years ago. Two years ago this month, the full-sun beds at the end of her driveway looked like this:
The evergreen shrubs and day lilies were already there. We put in dianthus, lamb’s ear, ladies mantel, catmint, and yarrow.
This past weekend, the same bed, from a different angle (pre-weeding), looked like this:
And the one on the other side of the driveway like this:
Catmint is the best. So is June.
The one that got away, above
A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, I started this blog with a post moaning about the “perfect cottage” that got away. Someone went to contract on it, for 275K, as I was driving out to South Jamesport, Long Island, to take a look. I was bummed about it for months.
It was very special, part of a circle of late 19th century gingerbread-style summer cottages once used for revival meetings, similar to those found in Ocean Grove, N.J., and Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. I hadn’t known any such thing existed on Long Island until I saw this group. I’ve revisited it a couple of times since. “My” house has been painted and fixed up, but not TOO fixed up. The beauty of this particular cottage, for me, is that it was completely un-renovated, with old-fashioned bathrooms and kitchens, just the way I like my old houses.
The one you can have
Well, guess what? The cottage next door is now on the market, and has been for about a month. Yesterday I swung by to see for myself. From the outside, it’s a charmer, unlike a couple of houses in the circle that have been more or less ruined. It’s set back a little for a nice, tucked-away feeling, and it’s bigger than the other, with a separate garage and shed. Looks to be in fine condition; it’s even winterized and has central air.
The kitchen, however, to judge from the listing pics, looks like a bit of a modern horror show, and though the house has some period detail, including windows edged with colored glass, it could take some doing to restore the original feel.
Campground Circle is a five-minute bike ride from a good Peconic Bay beach, and I think the asking price is fair.
Someone go buy it, and hurry. Click here for the listing, in case you missed it the first time;-)
Other buildings on Campground Circle, above