Still Here

FOR THE RECORD, I’m still here. Bouncing back and forth between East Hampton and Brooklyn, and heading for a record low number of casaCARA posts this month. Reasons why:

  • Work. I’m starting a second weekly column on Brownstoner.com, the behemoth Brooklyn real estate website — a garden series called The Outsider, and it will debut on Sunday, April 22 (the first time the 7-year-old site has had any weekend content, I believe). Between that and The Insider, my Thursday interior design/reno column for Brownstoner, I’ve been following up leads, uploading photos, doing phone interviews, and trying to keep designers and projects straight in my mind.

  • Celebrations. My birthday was in Brooklyn this year, on a Sunday with the Prospect Heights garden, below, in full bloom. Then there was Passover with back-to-back seders, a couple of dinners out to catch up with old friends, and a bit of big-city shopping and cultural activity (Dr. John at BAM and Death of a Salesman — first time in years I haven’t been disappointed in a Broadway play).

  • Bummers. The deal I was hoping to make this spring, on a 1962 modernist house in East Hampton, below, seems to be dead in the water (near the water, rather: Gardiner’s Bay). The owner, still ambivalent about selling, strung me along yet again and told me I should look for another house. Which I have been, though interesting properties out here are few and far between; I’m more conscious of bad architecture, bottom, than good. I threw the Viking runes and they counseled patience, always good advice for a rash Aries like me. I figure if I’m meant to have that place eventually, I will. If not, well, maybe I’ll end up with something that suits me even better.

  • Renovation. Prepped the basement in my Boerum Hill building for a new concrete floor and masonry repair this week, which entailed going through years worth of stored tools and other items to see if there was anything worth salvaging. It was hard, dusty work. The house is very old, c.1830, and has had its original dirt floor since we bought it 33 years ago. This job is long overdue.
  • Gardening. Meanwhile, I’m proceeding in Springs (East Hampton, N.Y.), below, as if I’m not going anywhere. Planted two dogwoods (a kousa and a Florida) and three red-twig dogwood shrubs. Today I’m putting in a small red Japanese maple and some lilac bushes given me by a friend. It is beautiful here, and I do love it.

  • New prospects. I’m turning my attention to three-family houses in Brooklyn for rental/investment (Bed-Stuy is in my price range, and I’m planning to explore Bushwick). My real-estate soul is restless!

Too bad to be believed: typical Hamptons “architecture,” above. Yard sale wasn’t bad, though.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
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4 Responses to Still Here

  1. Harriet says:

    Good to hear from you, Cara. That’s a lot going on! Let me know when you’re in Brooklyn and we’ll try to get together. xoh

  2. GAP says:

    Well, it’s about time! I can’t believe the difference in your yard in Springs compared to your first posts when you started working on it. The Bummer House does look a) really down at the heels and b) very interesting. Something will come along. The last house reminds me of the lake area where I spent so many years. People bought those bungalows and added and added and added…dreadful. Someone would say they were thinking of moving because they needed more space, and everyone would immediately respond, Why don’t you just put on an addition and stay put? And that’s what happened. No one even thought to consult an architect back then.

  3. pattihinkle says:

    Wow! you have been busy. Happy Birthday fellow Aries. I understand all about impatience. Don’t give up on that 1962 modern–those folks might get in the mood and call you out of the blue in 9 months. It happens. Finally, your garden looks great and what did you pick up at the yard sale?

  4. cara says:

    hi Patti, fellow Aries. No wonder we have an affinity;-) Thank for the encouragement on the modernist place. You’re quite right, it could still come to pass. Stranger things have happened. I’m not holding my breath, though. I was tempted by that pair of Adirondack chairs in the yard-sale photo at the bottom of the post ($100 for the pair, not old). But I passed on them. At another sale, I got a colorful woven wool throw for $20 and a sugar/creamer, Majolica-style, marked ‘Royal Art, Made in England’… for FIFTY CENTS!

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