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IF THIS HOUSE HAD COME UP when I was in the market a few years back, I would have seriously considered it, even though Sotheby’s is advertising it as a teardown. (The address is 110 Old Stone Highway, East Hampton, NY. You can Google it.)

The house needs work. So what else is new?

But what an upside this property could have: it’s a 1950s cedar-shingled cottage with great interior spaces (as seen in my through-the-window shots, below), on a flat, sunny .6 acre that would be terrific for gardening.

There are two outbuildings: a freestanding summerhouse (screened porch) that looks to be in good condition, and a guest house that reeks powerfully of mildew and needs to be gutted ASAP. That’s the one potential deal-breaker, as far as I can tell from my trespassing, if the house itself smells the same (only the guest house was unlocked).

It’s located on the historic Springs-Amagansett Turnpike, AKA Old Stone Highway, where a number of avid gardeners and high-profile people make their homes.

See the full listing here, with a photo of the pool in season.

It won’t last long. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

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I’VE STARTED SPENDING TIME “OUT EAST” AGAIN. Though I can’t stay in my own un-winterized bungalow just yet, I’ve been able to bunk nearby and do a bit of garden clean-up on my half-acre property, and begin to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since last fall.

This past week was mostly sunny, but there was one all-day deluge. One evening I found myself in the back streets of Sag Harbor after the rains had let up, with a little time to spend before meeting a friend at the bar at Baron’s Cove, a new and very pleasant hang-out I’ve discovered (fireplace, great cocktails, nice happy hour menu).

Here’s some of what I saw in a 15-minute stroll: the delightful cottage, top, landscaped almost entirely with hinoki cypress; a Victorian farmhouse backlit by the clearing sky; cloud-reflecting puddles; and vistas of low-key properties that don’t scream Hamptons, but merely whisper spring in the country.

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BROWNSTONER.COM, the behemoth Brooklyn-based real estate website for which I write a weekly interior design/renovation column, The Insider, has a new look.

The redesign brings larger images and easier-to-read typography, along with real-time discussions and other improvements, detailed here.

So I thought this would be a good time to catch up with a few of my favorite Insiders from weeks past. Click on any of the titles below to see the full posts in their new, wowie-kazowie incarnation.

The Insider: Narrow South Slope House Gets New Staircase, Extension and Lots of Light

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The Insider: This Light, Bright Williamsburg Row House Was Rebuilt From the Ground Up

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The Insider: Park Slope Brownstone Has Room for Bold Accents and Quirky Detail

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The Insider: Modest Fort Greene Reno Becomes a Total Gut, With Happy Results

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The Insider: Spare Modern Décor Enhances This Park Slope Limestone Beauty

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The Insider: Revamping a Sunset Park Row House for a Clean, Modern Look

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THIS LISTING COMES DIRECT TO YOU from a longtime blog reader of mine, Lillian DeMauro, who is selling her late 18th century house outside Andes, New York, in Delaware County’s Catskill Mountains, under three hours from NYC.andes_ny

Looks and sounds good to me. For more specifics, read on:

Built c.1790 as a tavern along the Esopus Turnpike, the house has served as a community meeting house, a link on the Underground Railroad and, more recently, a farmhouse.

The house was featured in the 2013 book A Simpler Way Of Life, Old Farmhouses of New York & New England.

There are five fireplaces, two with bake ovens, several pine-sheathed rooms, original chestnut / pine flooring throughout, plaster walls throughout. The house retains “original surfacing at a rare level,” writes Lillian, including sheathing, plaster, flooring, staircases, paneling and paint.

Rooms include 4-5 bedrooms, 1 bath, library, dining room, living room. “Rooms can be used flexibly; you decide,” Lillian writes.

Much work has been done since 2000, including new cedar shingle siding, new hot air heating system, new hot water heater, plumbing, wiring and new basement.

The house sits on two-thirds of an acre, surrounded by state-owned or leased land, planted gardens, lawn and trees.

In Lillian words, it’s “near 21st century cultural and social amenities, with the natural world at your back door.”Among the nearby diversions: hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, tennis, golf, world-class trout fishing, theatre and opera.

For more info: Paul or Lillian, 607-746-7199 or  lilliandem@gmail.com

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AS IF TO MAKE SURE I would leave San Miguel de Allende thoroughly in love with the place — as if to hammer home the point that it is spectacularly deserving of its perennial spot among the top few on Conde Nast Traveler‘s annual Best Cities award (#1 in 2013) — the sunset on my final night was a breath-taker.

As my friend and I rounded the corner where Calle Relox opens up to the Jardín on our way to my last SMA dinner, we both suddenly gasped and groped for our cameras.

The day had been balmy, and the cloud patterns produced the most dramatic sunset of my two-week stay. And they do know how to light those monuments.

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I had spent my last full day, finally restored to gastro-intestinal health, wandering the streets with no essential purpose but to absorb the atmosphere, have a last cup of coffee at Zenteno, a pleasant café where American boomers while away many an hour, grab a few final photos (such as that of David Kestenbaum’s brass bull in front of the cultural center known as Bellas Artes, below, which had become as much a symbol to me of SMA as the Parroquia) and pick up a few more gifts and souvenirs.

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A woman in Zenteno’s happened to mention an exhibition of antique Mexican blankets at Bellas Artes, below, so off we trotted to see it. It was illuminating to compare the geometric designs of the locally woven blankets one sees in the markets with their more intricate antecedents.

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Adios, San Miguel, but not forever.

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