The most recent New York mag cover story is a fascinating and seemingly overdue look at the flood of foreign money into the New York real estate market, and in particular at "stash pads," which are, despite their prime locations, little more than apartment-shaped financial contrivances. It's got it all! High-rise towers in which the majority of tenants are simply presumed foreign, since their identities are masked by shell corporations; whispers of international crime syndicates; blind money men sending buyer-tourists to make all-cash deals that squeeze even affluent city-dwellers out of the market; a subtext (possibly the PRETEXT for the piece, also?), of course, about the loss, under the [...]
"We fancied ourselves renegades, rejecting the path well trodden by the herd, but we were never above accepting the lucre therein. Against a backdrop of buzz words and obscenely expensive launch parties and former IT guys partying like rock stars, we were alternately envious and disgusted, egocentric and self-loathing. We knew lots of people who would get rich for reasons as stupid as registering the right domain name, and people who would go broke for reasons as stupid as getting hired by the wrong company at the wrong time. We stayed late at the office and savored the excitement and tried to feel grateful and [...]
Everybody's spending his Facebook IPO money before it's converted to cash! The Bay Area is going to hell in an Hermes handbasket! Real estate agent Jeff Appenrodt said a client of his recently was among 51 bidders on a three-bedroom, one-bath Edwardian-style home built in 1903 that was showing its age. The client, a tech entrepreneur, made an all-cash offer 50% over the $849,000 asking price — and got thumped. The house sold for $1.4 million to a rival bidder.
Here's your other damning quote, from a real-estate-broker-to-the-rich: "Everyone feels confident again." Muh ha ha, you know what that means. (Comeuppance.)
First in a series of two essays today on Louis C.K. Next: Super-Stud in Divorceland.
Let me start with a couple of stipulations:
(1) Identifying bubbles in real-time is notoriously difficult, and;
(2) I really, truly love Louis C.K. I’ve tried (and failed) on multiple occasions to see him live; I’ve watched all of his specials, including some of his weird, almost unrecognizable early appearances in Boston clubs; I’ve even, despite knowing full-well that one should never, ever do this, recounted his routines, through snorts of my own laughter, to my politely smiling friends.
Nonetheless: I’m ready to declare that we are, right now, in [...]
You know what the police in Howell, New Jersey were thinking July 12th, when they got the APB about $500 worth of scrap metal being stolen from an auto repair shop on Route 9: Bubbles is using again. But lo, further details emerged."Police say they are on the lookout for suspects in a theft of about $500 worth of scrap metal from a Route 9 auto repair business," reports the Asbury Park Press. "They may have been driving a pickup truck with a number of distinct markings and adornments, including a bullhorn hood ornament, said Detective Anthony Romano on Monday." So police in New Jersey are on the [...]
A theory as to why the rent is too damn high and a potato salad is ten thousand dollars and Uber is ten billion dollars and you'll have to buy reservations for restaurants like concert tickets and tickets for Transformers 4 in IMAX are like twenty-five dollars so that it made three hundred million dollars its opening weekend: Welcome to the Everything Boom — and, quite possibly, the Everything Bubble. Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards. Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland; you name it, and it is trading at prices that are high by [...]
"You know what’s been the biggest job creator over the last few decades? Financial bubbles. The labor demand created by the dot-com bubble in the 1990s and the housing bubble of the 2000s created millions of jobs and sent the unemployment rate below 5 percent in both cases."
What do you call a giant extrusion from your museum? If you're the Hirshhorn Museum, you announce that it shall be named the Bloomberg Balloon. The structure, which Diller Scofidio + Renfro will cause to be inflated from the museum with more than a million bucks from Bloomberg LP next year, is already generally referred to around D.C. as "The Bubble." But no more! Enjoy your "Bloomberg Balloon."
We demand that Bloomberg LP also announce that no funding for the structure was derived from participation in any bubbles before we start calling it a balloon.
Inside.com, launched May, 2000, was owned by Powerful Media, whose backers (to a total tune of $35 million) included Flatiron Partners and Chase Capital Partners. The biweekly print version launched in December, 2000. Then a series of complicated things happened: Steve Brill bought it, for, in part, maybe $8 million in cash. Brill made a marriage to Primedia; six months later, that partnership "unwound." Soon enough: donezo. That's the short version; try the long one. But just like the xoJane launch party last week, Courtney Love also attended the Inside.com launch party! If those eyes could talk!
Here are some of our favorite headlines from the glory [...]
"Chefs, among them Hes ton Blumenthal of Bray, England, New York City’s Wylie Dufresne, and Chicago’s Grant Achatz, have taken to foaming all manner of savory foods. These dishes have an aura of mystique about them and not just for their novel texture. Although foams may look like random jumbles, the bubbles within all foams seem to self-organize to obey three universal rules first observed by Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau in 1873. These rules are simple to describe but have been remarkably hard to explain. The first rule is that whenever bubbles join, three film surfaces intersect at every edge. Not two; never four—always three. Second, each pair of [...]
Here is a video documenting what happened when a blogger at the AOL tech blog Switched left the confines of his cube and headed out to ask Times Square visitors whether or not they were aware of Foursquare, the not-a-contest social-networking application that is currently making both money and waves. Spoiler alert: "Huh?" is a common theme! I do wonder what the cutting-room floor footage might look like, as well as what the results of this experiment would be in other neighborhoods / cities / worlds. [Via]
[I]nvestors are still betting on the city. The amount of venture, angel and private equity money invested in New York soared about 200 percent from 2009 to 2013, to $3 billion from $799 million, according to CB Insights, a data analysis firm that specializes in venture capital trends. Silicon Valley, by contrast, took in $11.4 billion in 2013.
April 22, "[...]
They may have some slight security issues, but Grindr, the infamous gay "social" app that's expanding to straight-town, is finding… some ways to make money.
"Citythings would become Venuetastic. Pivot completed." —If you haven't read the Wired story on startup incubator Y Combinator, it's worth it! Makes me want to go to summer camp.
It is, perhaps, the logical sequel to a decade in which Americans were encouraged to use their homes as ATMs: the recent announcement that next month will see the debut of the first gold-dispensing ATMs in the United States. As any casual Glenn Beck viewer will tell you, the gold market is booming; the metal eclipsed the $1,300-an-ounce threshold recently, the highest price it's reached in history. That's nearly double the price it fetched in 2008, and nearly four times its price when the current gold craze took off in the early aughts.
And the appearance of machines dispensing shiny yellow little bars and Krugerrands is, [...]