IMG_0017

MY 2008 Honda Fit has nearly 100,000 miles on it and keeps on chugging. Its the best city car I’ve ever had. (You should see me wedge its 108″ into a 109″ parking space.) Occasionally it needs maintenance, however, and recently I brought it into the shop for new struts and springs.

Walking home, I took a route new to me, at least as a pedestrian. I’d driven along Clinton Avenue before and knew there were outstanding houses there, but there’s nothing like being on foot for really observing your surroundings.

There are probably more freestanding Victorian mansions here than anywhere else in Brooklyn — remnants of the robber-baron days when wealthy industrialists chose this area, near the East River and the ferries to Manhattan, to built their family homes.

Along a several-block stretch of Clinton Avenue from Fulton Street almost to the river, there are more-elegant-than-usual brownstones, detached Greek Revival houses with porches and lawns, and smaller freestanding houses in a variety of architectural styles, some quite playful.

The neighborhood is called Clinton Hill, and along with Columbia Street in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope’s “Gold Coast” (Prospect Park West), it’s one of the best places to see how the 1% lived in 19th century Brooklyn.

IMG_0001IMG_0002IMG_0003IMG_0004IMG_0005IMG_0006IMG_0007IMG_0008IMG_0009IMG_0010IMG_0011IMG_0012IMG_0013IMG_0014IMG_0015IMG_0016.

THIS MAY DAY in Brooklyn is a drizzly one. Still, Brooklyn’s brownstone streets are exquisite in spring. Don’t tell anyone… they may decide to move here in droves.

Dogwoods have been in their prime these past couple of weeks, lighting up the fronts of dark-hued row houses with blossoms of pink and white.

P.S. It’s not just dogwoods. See below.

 

IMG_0005

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!

IMG_0011IMG_0010IMG_0009IMG_0008IMG_0007IMG_0006IMG_0001IMG_0002IMG_0003IMG_0004

IMG_0001

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.

IMG_0003IMG_0004IMG_0005IMG_0006IMG_0008

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

south-slope-brooklyn-townhouse-renovation-barker-freeman-12.jpg

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

williamsburg-brooklyn-new-construction-townhouse-cwb-architects-07.jpg

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

park-slope-brooklyn-townhouse-renovation-ensemble-architecture-04.jpg

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

fort-greene-brooklyn-row-house-renovation-bigprototype-05.jpg

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

park-slope-brooklyn-brownstone-interior-design-ensemble-architecture-07.jpg

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

sunset-park-brooklyn-parlor-floor-renovation-alexandra-barker-03.jpg

 

 

 

 

Enter your email address below (no spam, promise)

Join 496 other followers

CATEGORIES

ARCHIVES

Blog Stats

  • 1,027,745 views
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 496 other followers

%d bloggers like this: