MORNING BULLETIN: LUXURY ‘SLOWDOWN’, ACADEMIC ROCKSTARS, GOOD NEWS FOR GRAY’S PAPAYA

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Photo by Ellen Joy.

August 29, 2016 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 91 degrees.

Notices:
Free screenings of operas in the central plaza at Lincoln Center, and more events this week are on our calendar.

News:
An appeals court is expected to rule on an environmental study for the controversial New Jewish Home nursing center on 97th Street soon. “Following oral arguments in May, Audrey Weiner, chief executive of the New Jewish Home, said she expects a ruling in the next several weeks. The building is fully designed and the New Jewish Home has 95% of construction documents completed, Weiner added.”

Luxury home prices fell on the UWS in July. “Among neighborhoods, the Upper West Side saw the biggest decline in high-end values, with its median resale price falling 3.2% last month compared with the same month in 2015, down to $3.08 million.”

A “fixer-upper” on West End Avenue that was gutted by fire is asking $10 million, so maybe there’s not that much of a luxury slowdown after all. “The home, you see, is a McKim, Mead & White creation, built around 1886 and part of the firm’s practice of designing smaller buildings “to render services to friends or clients or just to pay the rent,” according to a 2003 New York Times piece.”

Good news for Gray’s Papaya, which was down to just one location (the one on 72nd Street). It’s opening a new location on 8th Avenue.

Students at The Special Music School at the Kaufman Music Center, rock their instruments and academic tests too. “Of the 32 schools in its Upper West Side district, SMS’s fourth- and seventh-graders posted the highest proficiency rates on recent state math exams and were second in English.”

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 26 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      “Luxury home prices fell on the UWS in July. “Among neighborhoods, the Upper West Side saw the biggest decline in high-end values, with its median resale price falling 3.2% last month compared with the same month in 2015, down to $3.08 million.’”

      explains the downbeat attitude on WSR lately

    2. dannyboy says:

      “Students at The Special Music School at the Kaufman Music Center, rock their instruments and academic tests too. “Of the 32 schools in its Upper West Side district, SMS’s fourth- and seventh-graders posted the highest proficiency rates on recent state math exams…”

      There’s a strong correlation between musical talent and proficiency in Mathematics.

      • Chuck D says:

        There’s also a strong correlation between being able to hand select your students (as that school does) and high overall test scores.

        • J. Amory says:

          True, but SMS does no academic testing at all — only ability to move to music, and sense of pitch. What correlates are parents who manage to seek the school out, and commit to enforcing at least an hour of practicing a day.

    3. B.B. says:

      Luxury RE market is slowing for a number of reasons that have been reported in media for several months now. Largest reason is simply supply; tons of new product has come online this year and more still is still to come.

      OTOH various world economies are slowing and or otherwise in turmoil, causing many international wealthy to perhaps rethink *some* spending.

      The Treasury Department’s actions on foreign money coupled with many countries cracking down on capital outflows isn’t helping matters either. http://www.businessinsider.com/new-yorks-billionaires-row-is-dead-2016-7

    4. This, more than any other evidence, shows that when schools support the arts and offer experiences that foster creativity and self-discipline, that the cognitive skills of the students improve enormously. We need to reduce the emphasis and resources spent on testing, and put back into the curriculum of every single school classes in music, art, and foreign language instruction, all of which have been amply demonstrated by researchers to expand and amplify the creative thinking and analytical skills of our students.

      • Eli says:

        While I agree with your desire to see more music in school and less testing, keep in mind these kids were all chosen during an audition. These are high-performing kids in supportive households. The cause of the high scores cannot be confirmed with this one.

    5. Karen Bruno says:

      Gray’s Papaya on 86th closed?

    6. Independent says:

      B.B., I replied quite late to a comment you had made in the thread about the Central Park bicyclist who sadly passed away after having sustained serious injuries from an accident that occurred a month ago. Since that thread is now closed to comments, I am taking the liberty of posing my question to you here.

      You had written,

      Personally [I] avoid biking or roller blading in CP during daylight hours, especially on weekends or week nights. Give me late evening (after say 10PM), especially in Fall, Winter and early Spring.

      My reply:

      Going to Central Park after 10:00 PM?! In order to be safer?!

      Sure, when riding at that hour, the risks of collision or other traffic accidents might be considerably less, even much less, due to there being less traffic. But what about the risks of being mugged, assaulted, murdered or otherwise falling victim to thugs? Do they not become far greater after dark, let alone as late as “after 10:00 PM”?
      (And likely all-the-more-so the cooler/more inclement the weather, thus causing your addition of, “especially in Fall, Winter and early Spring” to make your comment all-the-more perplexing.)

      Surely, any benefit afforded by the former (safer riding) would be completely consumed, outweighed and overridden by the latter (risk of falling victim to thuggery).

      Or am I missing something?

      • B.B. says:

        Actually during the warmer times of year you’d be surprised how many bikers, joggers, roller bladers, and those just walking are out after say 9PM. There are even fitness “groups” of joggers who met up at that time as well. Oh and of course the hard core serious bike riders. In fact since Citiike has expanded all over am seeing more and more people on those bikes at night in the park. Some are commuting through the park, others are just out for a ride.

        Yes, by October or so it is dark and often very quiet above 96th Street (east and west), but you keep moving and perhaps try to stay within sight of others. Thing is you remain on the drives/loops, not going into the park proper.

        The Westside seems a bit more busy than east especially below 96th Street. Often there are a good number of dog owners taking “Fido” out for his final walk of the day, and also taking advantage of the “no leash” rules (9PM to closing).

        Have seen many famous New Yorkers getting their bike ride or jogging on after 9PM. Even had a nice chat with John Stossel a few years ago.

        There is a good NYPD presence both stationary at points and driving along the loops at this time. The darker and later it gets sometimes they will give a warning that one should consider wrapping things up and head home, especially for females alone otherwise.

        Again you just don’t go into the rich heartland of CP, this includes the band shell area and IMHO around the reservoir.

        CP like the rest of Manhattan these days is much to crowded during the day. Late evening/early night it is so peaceful and beautiful. One can gather thoughts, concentrate on solving a problem or just enjoy being alive.

        In order to get mugged, attacked or whatever someone would have to catch a biker or whatever person on wheels first. If you stay on the drives/loops *and* keep moving at a good clip that becomes rather difficult. Suppose someone could jump out of the woods/bushes but still.

        If I see groups of teens on bikes (you know what I mean), and the little voice inside me says “Danger Will Robinson”, I simply turn around and go the other way and or take other action to avoid. I don’t let persons I don’t know get too close nor do I chat up random strangers.

        • dannyboy says:

          Can you 2 hijack on another blog. The topic here is:
          MORNING BULLETIN: LUXURY ‘SLOWDOWN’, ACADEMIC ROCKSTARS, GOOD NEWS FOR GRAY’S PAPAYA

          • Independent says:

            I had the impression that these “Morning Bulletin” threads, each one covering numerous topics as they do, are at least somewhat open to the introduction of other, neighborhood-related topics (within reason, of course). At least, since the weekly “open threads” have ceased. Considering how neighborhood-related and friendly the exchange between myself and B.B. has been, I find it difficult to imagine too many people objecting. That a moderator had to approve our comments would suggest that he or she likely agrees. Your objection seems quite gratuitous and, I must say, comes across as downright petty. I suppose it can be frustrating not being able to wield control in other areas (such as this site) that you apparently wield on Community Board 7.

            • Sophia says:

              Independent: I totally agree with you! “Dannyboy’s” remarks 99% of the time seem petty, snarky, and it seems as if he always likes to have the last word. This site would be so much nicer without his 1-1/2 cents.

            • dannyboy says:

              Pretty Snarky there Sophia.

              Hey, I’m the one with the Fan Club. You can inquire with Mark about Membership.

          • B.B. says:

            It is bad manners to ignore a direct question. As this forum does not have a way to send private messages, what would you have one do?

            • dannyboy says:

              I would politely defer.

              I would certainly NOT reply with 400+ words.

              But that’s the difference between us.

        • Independent says:

          Thank you, B.B., for that detailed response. Sounds quite reasonable.

          I note that in Riverside Park, Ellington in the Park (EITP) cafe` and bar is open ’till 11:00 PM. On their web site, is written,

          Ellington in the Park will be open May through November, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.

          Isn’t all of the seating at EITP outdoors? How many customers could they possibly have after dark by November?

          Moving-on to a different yet related topic, I wonder whether EITP ever considered offering a special menu for dogs? Seriously, with canine companions appearing to be quite welcome there and its location right across from the dog run, wouldn’t offering suitable fare for the cherished creatures only make sense?

          • dannyboy says:

            About that idea about dogs:Your dog really does know what you’re saying, and a brain scan shows how.

            Your dog gets you. I mean, he really gets you.

            No, really — he actually does. So say scientists in Hungary, who have published a groundbreaking study that found dogs understand both the meaning of words and the intonation used to speak them. Put simply: Even if you use a very excited tone of voice to tell the dog he’s going to the vet, he’ll probably see through you and be bummed about going.

            It had already been established that dogs respond to human voices better than their wolf brethren, are able to match hundreds of objects to words and learn elements of grammar, and can be directed by human speech. But the new findings mean dogs are more like humans than was previously known: They process language using the same regions of the brain as people, according to the researchers, whose paper was published in Science.

            This had already been demonstrated in studies that observed dogs, but no one had seen how it works inside the canine brain. To determine this, Attila Andics and colleagues at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest recruited 13 family dogs — mostly golden retrievers and border collies — and trained them to sit totally still for seven minutes in an fMRI scanner that measured their brain activity. (The pups were not restrained, and they “could leave the scanner at any time,” the authors assured.)

            A female trainer familiar to the dogs then spoke words of praise that all their owners said they used — “that’s it,” “clever,” and “well done” — and neutral, common words such as “yet” and “if,” which the researchers believed were meaningless to the animals. Each dog heard each word in both a neutral tone and a happy, atta-boy tone.

            Using the brain activity images, the researchers saw that the dogs processed the familiar words regardless of intonation, and they did so using the left hemisphere, just like humans. Tone, or the emotion behind the word, on the other hand, was analyzed in the auditory regions of the right hemisphere — just as it is in people, the study said.

            In an e-mail, co-author Tamás Faragó acknowledged that the left hemisphere’s response to praise words didn’t prove the dogs were comprehending meaning and not simply reacting to familiarity. But, he said, it’s safe to assume the dogs hear the neutral words in daily human conversation as often as they hear the praise words, “so the main difference will be not familiarity, but whether the word is addressed to the dog or not.” In other words, whether it has meaning for the pooch.

            Finally, the researchers saw that the dogs’ “rewards center” — which is stimulated by pleasant things such as petting and food and sex — did the brain equivalent of jumping and yelping when positive words were spoken in a positive tone.

            “It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Andics said in a statement. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

            The researchers said it’s unlikely that human selection of dogs during their domestication, which occurred at least 15,000 years ago, could have led to this sort of brain function; Faragó said that it’s more possible it would be a side effect of other dog traits selected by humans, such as attention. But he said he and his co-authors think these neural mechanisms are probably far more ancient, and perhaps “more widespread than we thought before.”

            That means we aren’t as special as we like to think, at least when it comes to how our brains deal with language. What makes words uniquely human, Andics said, is that we came up with using them.

            Oh, and if you’re a cat person? Faragó said it’s likely they (and other domestic animals) might also be able to understand words and tone. But given that cats were domesticated thousands of years later and have generally lived less closely to humans, they might not be as adept as dogs. They certainly wouldn’t be as cooperative on an fMRI scanner.

            • Independent says:

              My mention of dogs was in an entirely neighborhood-related context.

              Your post above consists of an entire article from the Washington Post about dogs, copied and pasted without even crediting the source. (That is not only a blatant copyright violation but even smacks of plagiarism.) This, from someone who just a little earlier had reprimanded me and the individual I had been corresponding with in this thread for “hijacking” it.

              Incredible. Just incredible.

            • Sophia says:

              What in the world does your latest post have anything to do with “Independent’s” last post?

            • dannyboy says:

              I figured he’d be interested.

              At least as interested as he figured I’d be in “Moving-on to a different yet related topic, I wonder whether EITP ever considered offering a special menu for dogs? Seriously, with canine companions appearing to be quite welcome there and its location right across from the dog run, wouldn’t offering suitable fare for the cherished creatures only make sense?”

            • dannyboy says:

              “Incredible. Just incredible.” – Independent

              “I find it difficult to imagine too many people objecting. That a moderator had to approve [my, mr dannyboy’s] comments would suggest that he or she likely agrees.”

              How d’ya’ like my use of quotation marks? Better?

          • B.B. says:

            YW, any time.

            If you are at all curious get your bike and go out one late evening in September. After Labor Day when everyone is back in town there is sort of an uptick in late night biking/jogging IMHO.

            Should you only want to dip a toe in; stick to the lower loop (72nd down to CPS up around and back). Almost promise however the bug will bite and you’ll just say “what the heck” and go above 72nd.

            One place I don’t go late is past 102nd street, unless am with someone else or there is a good amount of people about. I cross over on 102nd and head back down. There is a NYPD station or posted just off the ball field there most days and evenings so am not too worried.

            • dannyboy says:

              “It is bad manners to ignore a direct question. As this forum does not have a way to send private messages, what would you have one do?” – B.B.

              And CERTAINLY NOT post Replies of 400+ words, which was way longer than the ENTIRE WSR Article and off-topic, AND after asking for a polite way out, ANOTHER Reply of 135 words.

              Start a blog about you.

    7. Independent says:

      Re: Environmental review for the planned construction of a new Jewish Home Lifecare on W. 97th St.:

      How about a review of the effect on traffic of such a move? And, specifically, any changes in response times for emergency vehicles — including to residents in the new facility– that would result from its construction?

      I have yet to see these specific concerns addressed by proponents of JHL’s planned move to 97th St.

      Why can’t JHL simply renovate and/or rebuild, as necessary, their current facility on W. 106th St.? Isn’t 106th St. wider and less congested than 97th St.? Isn’t 97th St. a major cross-town artery that is already badly congested?

      Why does JHL insist upon constructing a new facility on W. 97th St.? Is the reason, as has been charged, the lucrative sum that they have been promised by a developer who plans to turn the 106th St. facility into luxury condos? If so, wouldn’t this be a prime example of a wealthy, private interest being allowed to triumph over the wider public interest?