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.