1) It's time for one of those semi-annual roundups of buyer incentives offered by developers, but given the economic climate, the giveaways are far more serious than the usual payment of transfer taxes or a free plasma TV. All over town, at buildings like the Fitzgerald, Azure, Isis, Northside Piers and many more, developers are buying down interest rates, offering fixed mortgages and increasing broker commissions by several percentage points. They'll also bake you cookies and tuck you in at night, if you ask nice enough. ['Gifts for Skittish Buyers']
2) Some residents of Park Row in Chinatown, frustrated by years of closed streets and heightened police activity in the wake of 9/11, are fighting an NYPD plan to turn a vacant two-story building at 109 Park Row (right) into a new high-tech NYPD command center. We understand their complaints, but perhaps "We lost our lives after 9/11" isn't the best choice of words for describing the situation. [The City/'Sick of Safety Measures, Residents Say, ‘Enough’]
3) Despite all the bad news, people continue to buy apartments. In fact, during all the bad news, people continue to buy apartments. Josh Barbanel reports on several bidding wars—from multi-million-dollar Village co-ops to Park Slope one-bedrooms—that played out on some of the worst days in recent market history. ['Like Old Times (Almost)']
4) Usually, the "Living In" feature paints the neighborhood being discussed as a picture-perfect paradise filled with charming homes and lovely people, but in this week's look at Canarsie, the whole 'hood seems on the verge of total collapse due to subprime mortgage fallout. But hey, the detached homes and tidy lawns are nice! [Living In: Canarsie, Brooklyn]
5) This week's The Hunt is a daring high-wire act of word selection. A young female post-grad had to get out of East Harlem for problems related to dirty little bodegas, and then turned down a rental on 109th Street because "the block was filled with people hanging out, reminiscent of her old neighborhood." Anyhoo, she winds up sharing what sounds like a fairly awful sixth-floor walk-up with her cousin on East 85th Street, where people don't hang out and the bodegas are clean. [The Hunt/'Six Flights to Independence for Young Apartment Hunters'] For more stories from Curbed, go to curbed.com.