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Someone Bought A Brooklyn Parking Spot For $80,000



PARK SLOPE — What's the going rate for 119 square feet of Park Slope real estate these days? Try $80,000.

That's what one buyer recently plunked down for a piece of property the size of a closet. While small in stature, the pocket-sized chunk of land offers enormous peace of mind for the lucky owner. It's a permanent parking spot in the heart of Park Slope.

The $80,000 transaction was the latest sale at Park Slope's Garage Condominium,where prices have been climbing recently and are expected to keep rising, said Howard Pronsky of Berman Realty, who created the Garage Condominium about 25 years ago.

Pronsky said the price hike started after news broke that the 300-spot parking garage directly across the street from the Garage Condominium is going to be shut down in the near future so the building can be converted into apartments.

The development will bring 28 new apartments to Park Slope, but the loss of parking is a blow in a neighborhood some call "no Park Slope." A 2007 study found that drivers spend an average of half an hour hunting for a parking space in the neighborhood.

Now clients at the Central Parking rental garage, at 800 Union St., are beating a path across Union Street to the Garage Condominium, Pronsky said.

"People come to inquire [from across the street] but we have no room," Pronsky said. "We have great demand and no supply, so the prices are going up."

The 145-spot Garage Condominium made national headlines when it was founded in the mid 1980s — paying $29,000 for a parking spot then seemed preposterous. Owners pay a lump sum for their spot, then pony up monthly maintenance fees — now $240 — and yearly real estate taxes, just like at a residential condo building. Like a traditional condo, there is a board of directors.

Last year four spots at the Garage Condo, which is conveniently located on the same block as the Park Slope Food Co-op, sold for an average of $53,000.

This year there have been three sales: one for $50,000 in April, the next for $62,500 in June and the latest, in July, for $80,000.

The man who acquired the $62,500 spot said he considers himself lucky. He had been parking his car at the Central Parking garage, where slots rent for $350 a month.

"It's a seller's market," said the parking spot purchaser, who declined to be named.

The buyer of the $80,000 spot, who works in finance, declined to comment for this story. The spot he bought last sold in 2003 for $32,000.

Pronsky said the $80,000 sale is high, but not as steep as the six-figure deals in the pre-recession days. Prices could approach that level again soon.

"I've got people who want to buy, but I don't have spots for sale," Pronsky said.

SEE ALSO: BMW's New Electric Car Is Surprisingly Cheap

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MAP: The Best Food You Can Eat In Every State

The Best Food You Can Eat In Every State


2Best State Food Map_02From sea to sea, America is jam-packed with amazing foods.

We searched for the top foods you should chow down on wherever you find yourself across the country. 

Some dishes evolved from early immigrants and others were inspired by celebrities, but each contributes to the character of the state. 

Did we get your state right? Click here to see a full, annotated version of the above map.

ALABAMA: Smother your chicken with white barbecue sauce, a northern Alabama specialty. This creamy, tangy concoction consists of four main ingredients: mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and coarsely ground black pepper.

ALASKA: Try the freshest, pinkest wild salmon on the coasts of Alaska. It's great on the grill.

ARIZONA: Chow down on a crispy chimichanga, a deep-fried tortilla filled with meat, cheese, and other ingredients, in Tuscon.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Machine Squeezes Drinking Water From Your Sweaty T-Shirt


t shirt sweat machine

I think the question here isn't whether you'd drink your own, but whether you'd drink someone else's.

One company has designed a system, called Sweat Machine, to wring sweat out of clothes and turn it into potable water.

The Sweat Machine heats and spins clothes to extract the liquid from them, then filters the extract with a membrane developed with the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Yum.

The filter is the most sophisticated part of the machine. It's "a bit like Goretex," one of the machine's designers, engineer and Swedish TV host Andreas Hammar, told the U.K.'s The Independent. Water vapor passes through the material easily, but it traps bacteria, salts and fibers from the clothes.

Fans watching the Gothia Cup, an international youth soccer tournament held in Sweden, will get to see the Sweat Machine at work during the game. Players Tobias Hysén and Mohammed Ali Khan have promised to drink a glass of water extracted from their own sweat, according to UNICEF. Anybody else interested in getting a taste can try, too.

The demonstration is supposed to draw attention to the fact that 780 million people around the world don't have access to clean drinking water. Contaminated water can be deadly, especially for children. UNICEF will be raising money for a more practical solution for those kids-water purification tablets.

Want to see a more practical water-recycler at work? The International Space Station hosts a system that captures astronauts' sweat and urine and turns it into potable water. The space station uses the same type of filtration as the Sweat Machine, Hammar told The Independent, but the Sweat Machine was a bit cheaper to build.

Find Us On Facebook — Business Insider: Science

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The Most Expensive Business Schools In America


NYU Stern

Business school costs a lot of money. Period.

But when you're factoring in the cost of business school, it's not the tuition alonewhich costs more than $60,000 an averagethat you have to consider.

You also have to think about everything from the cost of health insurance to books, a computer, and other supplies. Then there are the hidden fees that you probably don't factor in, like loan fees, transportation, business attire, and networking costs (taking people out to lunch, attending conferences, and more).

Add in the cost of living (which can be quite high in a city like New York), and you've got yourself a lot of debt.

We looked at each school's total cost estimate for the first year of business schoolmost of which assume that students are living a very modest lifestyle. We didn't even include extras like study abroad costswhich are popular add-ons in business schoolor miscellaneous fees like club dues. Schools that provided tuition costs for the entire duration of the program were excluded.

We found that the cost of tuition pales in comparison to the total cost of these MBA programsin fact, the true cost of a MBA is often double the cost of tuition.

#11 McDonough School of Business, Georgetown


Room & Board: $20,100

Health Insurance: $2,325

Books, Supplies, Computer: $2,620

Miscellaneous Fees (including program fees, clothing, transportation, loan fees, networking costs): $2,580

Total: $81,225

#10 Yale School of Management

Tuition: $57,200

Room & Board: $14,800

Health Insurance: $2,000

Books, Supplies, Computer: $2,005

Miscellaneous Fees (including program fees, clothing, transportation, loan fees, networking costs): $8,000

Total: $84,005

#9 Kellogg, Northwestern University

Tuition: $59,085

Room & Board: $15,711

Health Insurance: $3,067

Books, Supplies, Computer: $2,847

Miscellaneous Fees (including program fees, clothing, transportation, loan fees, networking costs)$6,480

Total: $87,190

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Billionaire Who Lost A Massive Fortune Wonders Where It All Went Wrong


eike batista

Things are worse for Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista than they have ever been before.

Now he has written an open letter in the journal Valor International to express his intense regret to the public.

Over the last year Batista's gone from being the 7th richest man in the world, to hemorrhaging $2 million a day.

His fortune comes from his holding company, EBX. Under its umbrella are six companies that all deal with Brazil's natural resources and logistics. The Brazilian resource industry has gotten crushed as part of the overall emerging market slowdown. They've lost a combined $10 billion over the last year, says Bloomberg.

What Batista wants is to be the country's champion again, and to have investors believe in him. To regain their trust he wrote:

More than anyone, I wonder where I went wrong. What should I have done differently? A first question might be linked to the funding model I chose for the companies. Today, if I could go back in time, I would not have resorted to the stock market. I would have a structured private-equity firm that would allow me to create from scratch and develop over at least 10 years each company. And they would all remain private until I was sure that it was time to go public. In the projects that I conceived, time proved a vital stress factor for the reversal of expectations on companies bearing broadly satisfactory results and valuable assets.

He's always said that his investments are patriotic — that he's making his fortune on one hand and exporting the riches of Brazil on the other. In the most recent disaster for EBX, its oil and gas company, OGX, is getting absolutely hammered. Its stock is down 86%, and the company's bonds maturing in 2018 have fallen as much as 20%.

Fields have gone untapped, Batista isn't making production targets, and investors are suing Batista to stop him from selling OGX assets. The lawyer who filed the lawsuit against Batista, Jorge Lobo, is saying that bankruptcy is imminent for OGX at least. He's restructured a risky $2 billion loan he took from Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Mubadala Investment Corporation.

In his letter, Batista explains what went wrong with OGX:

What has happened since it became clear that OGX would not be able to deliver the results that once seemed possible to achieve? Have I suddenly become a reckless adventurer who marshals resources for his own benefit and does not care if I will deliver what I had advertised? Today it is hard to remember, but OGX was built by some of the crowned heads by decades of services to reputed companies. I did not invest in the oil industry without surrounding myself of those I and the market understood to be among the most skilled professionals one could find. When winning the fields it got, expectations around OGX were sky high.

I had offers to sell big stakes or even the control of OGX from a valuation of $30 billion. Two years ago, I put more than $1 billion out of my pocket in the company. I lost and have been losing billions of dollars with OGX. Does someone who wishes to mislead the other do so at a cost of billions of dollars? If I wanted, I could have performed a scheduled sale of $100 million every six months over 5 years. I would have pocketed $5 billion and still remain in control of OGX. But I did not. Who lost the most with the collapse in the value of OGX was one shareholder: Eike Batista. No one has lost as much as I did, and it is fitting that it be so.

The nastiest whispers about Batista are that he's a swindler — the best PowerPoint-maker in the world, able to convince investors to give him money the same way a magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat.

To those criticisms, Batista asks that observers remember his record. He didn't come out of nowhere.

I became an entrepreneur still in the early 1980s, when I ventured in gold mining in the Amazon. I learned a lot in border regions, environments hostile to productive activity, with enormous difficulties of all sorts to transport equipment, outbreaks of malaria that forced me to replace entire teams overnight, the challenge of extracting ore in places almost inaccessible and my own questioning about the possibilities of success in the face of adversities that appeared. I ended up becoming mine owner in several countries and decided to settle down in Brazil and ultimately get rid of the stakes I held in the mining business...

In recent months, my business obituary has occupied the pages of blogs, newspapers and magazines. I can only say that I find myself far from this retired Eike. I am 57 years old and have a lot of energy to roll up my sleeves and take new projects off the drawing board. I am a Brazilian entrepreneur, I believe in what I do, love my country. Every day, my head is buzzing with new ideas that spring from nothing and slowly take shape. I feed myself from this ability to dream and achieve. Undertaking is in my blood, in my DNA. It is my inexhaustible source of energy and life.

If that doesn't take your team running full speed into the fourth quarter, I don't know what does.

SEE ALSO: The Fabulous Life Of Eike Batista—The Brazilian Who Is Risking It All To Become Richest Man In The World

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We Tried Out The French Electric Car-Sharing Service That's On Its Way To The US


autolib paris car sharing electric

While New Yorkers are getting used to their new bike share program, Parisians have long since moved on to the next level: electric car sharing.

Inaugurated in December 2011, Autolib' offers its more than 65,000 members a fleet of nearly 2,000 electric Bolloré cars, for an affordable price.

And now the system is coming to the United States: The Bolloré Group announced in June it will bring 500 electric cars (likely the Ford Focus Electric or Nissan Leaf) to Indianapolis, starting next spring.

Autolib' works like most bike share programs. Users pay for a membership, with an additional cost depending on how much they drive. Autolib' memberships can last a day (10€), a week (15€), a month (30€), or a year (144€).

Once you've signed up, you can drive as often as you like. Just find an available car at a nearby station, drop it off wherever you find an open spot, and plug it in to charge.

You pay extra for each half hour you use a car (7€ for day members, 6€ for week and month-long members, and €5 for annual users).

We tried out the system with a company rep when we were in town for the Paris Air Show last month. While the cars themselves are far from amazing and have the limited range that's common in electric rides, they do the trick for getting around the city.

We're officially jealous of Indianapolitans.

Some stations have kiosks where you can sign up for the service (or hide from the rain).

Make sure you have a credit card, ID, and a driver's license (International or European only) with you, then choose your language (French or English).

You sign up via video conference. The quality isn't great, but it does the job. You can start the sign-up process online, but need to complete it at a kiosk.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 Great Sites That Do The House Hunting For You


McGraw House Porch

Buying a home is a big commitment, and searching for that home can be a big headache. In a market where mortgage rates are fluctuating and consumer confidence is still shaky, finding your new pad is tough. Here are a few house hunting websites that can help you narrow your search, so you don’t have to settle.


Realtor.com has listings updated every 15 minutes from more than 900 multiple listing services across the country. This makes the more than 4 million listings some of the most up-to-date information available, and their market summaries provide insight to neighborhoods, as well. As the official site of the National Association of Realtors, rest assured that this is a credible place to start your search.


This site breaks down its listings by category, from broker listings to rentals, new construction, foreclosures and classifieds, which is helpful for homebuyers uncertain of the type of listing they want to pursue. With resources on their blog, several guides available, and professionals available to chat, Homefinder.com walks you through the process of buying a home step-by-step.


Trulia is a truly a user-friendly site, with capabilities to view listings in photo, list, and even map formats. Their tagline is “get the inside scoop,” and here users can do just that with school reviews, price trends, crime reports and even reviews from local residents. They’ve recently added a “Find an Agent” feature, and you can do it all on the mobile app as well.


Homes.com provides an easy way to search for the basics: homes for sale, places for rent, recently sold home values, and a directory of local professionals to help in your search. Demographic information for neighborhoods is displayed in graphs and easy to understand, making this a great place to browse in your search.


This site has some of the most in-depth demographic information and market analysis for neighborhoods, displaying information as specific as average commute time, weather risk broken down by type of occurrence, even sortable nearby amenities and a detailed inventory of market trends. Listings can be sorted by all kinds of criteria, and you can even get a free home valueestimator report.


This site is pretty self-explanatory — here you can find listings of homes that are being sold sans real estate agent. Here you can search homes on the market, list your own home for sale, and even find plenty of resources for both buyers and sellers: guides, checklists and important information to make sure you don’t forget anything if you decide to sell or buy a home on your own.


Often used by homeowners to check their property’s value, Zillow boasts more than 100 million listings (with Google Earth views), not just those that are for sale. Their Zestimates, their estimated market value, give insight into a home’s worth using publicly available data, and users can ask questions and participate in advice forums in their online community. By using these house hunting websites, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and energy in your homebuying adventure. It can be a long journey, but if you arm yourself with the right resources, sealing the deal on your new home can more easily become a reality.

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An Inside Look At The World's Best Business Schools

8 Things We Wish We Had Known Before Buying Our First Home


brownstoneIt's hard to live in New York City and not have some sort of real estate regret.  But you don't have to live them to learn from them.  Here's what 8 first time buyers told BrickUnderground they'd do differently next time:

1. I wouldn't hire a friend to be my broker--and I wouldn't believe everything the seller's broker says.

As a native New Yorker, I thought I was thoroughly street savvy and knew how to manage the whole process....Well, mistake number one was asking my friend who is a broker to represent me and my interests. It's not that he's a bad guy, but I ended up flagging apartments of interest to me rather than him bringing them to my attention and then I began doubting him during the negotiation process.

Second was trusting the seller's broker when I asked specific questions about the unit before putting in an offer. I should have known how to pick out that the heat was electric not steam (big monthly expense!!). I should have been able to see that the "built-in" dining room table was thoroughly removable, despite the fact the the seller broker told me it was permanent. 

But I think more than anything, I would have handled negotiations myself rather than rely on my broker's advice to increase my bid. I discovered after my purchase that the "other bid" (made by neighbors in the building), which the seller's broker used to get me to bid higher, was significantly lower than my initial offer, let alone my final one! After I moved in, I learned from my new neighbors that the owners would have accepted my original offer because they were desperate to sell and knew they were asking too much. -- Holly, Upper West Side 

2. I would think twice about buying into a sponsor-controlled building

I bought in a co-op building when it was still controlled by the sponsor. I didn't fully appreciate what that meant--that there would be a powerless board where the residents were constantly overruled on the issues that mattered to them--like putting in a roofdeck and a remote doorman system.

Until enough sponsor units sold and the residents controlled the board, we also had to deal with a managing agent hired by the sponsor who actually turned out to be stealing from our building.  And we discovered that many capital improvements had been put off or mishandled, which cost us more money.

I would also pay more attention to the condition of the big-ticket items that might need to get replaced (boiler, elevator) because they wound up costing around $10,000 in assessments the first few years. And I would have bought into a building that allowed dogs--I didn't count on changing my mind about wanting one. -Carolyn, Kips Bay

3. Next time, I'll shop around for a better broker

We were very inexperienced, and when we met with a broker at an open house and he told us he'd show us more listings, we went along right away. We signed that disclosure form and then felt we should keep working with this one person. While he showed us good properties, they were nothing we couldn't have found ourselves. In fact, some we had already seen. And everything he showed us was always north of what we were willing to pay. 

We were finding properties on our own that he should have obviously shown us, but when we asked him about it, he was very negative about them. We wasted a lot of time, but finally we realized we didn't like having him around us, so we severed connections. -Julian, Fort Greene

4. I'd learn NYC nuances better

I would have educated myself more about the process of buying in New York City. My parents helped me buy, but they live in California, and the process of how they bought their house, and my brother's house in the suburbs, was totally different. My parents were adamant against co-ops because in California there is no such thing. So we restricted ourselves to condos.

During the search, I got into a bidding war. My parents couldn't help me through it... they had given me "earnest money" to use in case I saw an apartment I really wanted and was afraid would go quickly.  But earnest money isn't really used in NYC. -Arlyn, Brooklyn

5. I'll look for a condo next

I bought without really knowing what I was buying. I bought a co-op in Queens because the price per square foot was great back in the early 2000s. But I hate dealing with the ins and outs of being a shareholder in a co-op. I've rented out my place and had to jump through their unreasonable hoops to get my tenant approved. It's very political. Next time, I will only consider condos. -Vlad, Queens

6. I wouldn't use a broker and I wouldn't rely on a broker's recommendation for a lawyer

I think our biggest mistake was using a broker to buy (selling is a different story). I think buyers have enough knowledge and power to negotiate for themselves without using someone who takes a cut of the selling price and just wants to get a deal done.  

Our next biggest mistake was using the real estate lawyer the broker recommended. The real estate lawyer just wanted to push the sale through for his friend.  Our first attempted buy was a very shady co-op conversion that fell through.  A decent lawyer wouldn't have let us put down a deposit. It all worked out in the end, but we were once innocent, naive, and stupid and believed that these people were acting in our best interests. -Alana, Upper East Side

7. I'll use a boutique bank for my mortgage next time

I went with a big bank and they turned out to be awful to work with. They'll do anything to reel you in, promise smooth sailing all the way. Then, during underwriting, they turn out to be robots just going through the motions with no expertise, timing, common sense or common courtesy. I can't wait to re-finance. -Cinthia, Harlem

8. For my next purchase, I'll get a set price from the lawyer in advance

Our lawyer had told us that he'd charge us somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 for his services, depending on the complexity of the transaction. Then, at the closing -- when we had a million other things to do and were totally overwhelmed -- he told us the price was going to be on the higher end without explaining why and despite the fact that it was a pretty standard purchase and he was pretty unresponsive and unhelpful whenever we had called him before. -Rebecca, Upper East Side

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Hey Parents — Here's What You Need To Know About Renting An NYC Apartment For Your Grown Kid


new york city brooklyn brownstone

After years of making college tuition payments, parents of newly minted college grads may find themselves facing another test this summer: Helping their kids find a New York City apartment.

We've already covered the basic of buying an apartment for your grown kid; today, BrickUnderground offers some tips on renting one. Here's what you need to know:

Best neighborhoods & buildings for "shares"

Due to the high price of NYC real estate, an apartment suitable for roommates--a.k.a. "shares"--will not necessarily have a 1-to-1 ratio of bedrooms to humans. Doubling, tripling, and quadrupuling up and in many cases subdividing space (more on that below) is the name of the game here.

However, not all buildings are "flex-friendly." Some landlords and management companies don't want the extra wear and tear on the apartment and--when repeated on a widespread scale--on the building itself that occurs when four adults share a space meant for one or two. Others are wary of their building taking on a post-college dorm atmosphere.

Neighborhood-wise,  if you're looking in Manhattan, the areas of Murray Hill and the Financial District have many share-friendly buildings. (See also 10 of the Best NYC Neighborhoods for Recent College Grads.)

In general, high rises are often more friendly to sharing than walk-ups. One indication of whether a building looks favorably on roommates is its policy on the use of temporary walls to subdivide and reconfigure a space.  

For more info on sharable apartments, see BrickUnderground's 6-Step Guide to Renting a NYC Apartment with Roommates.

Splitting up an apartment

These days, permission to install temporary walls--long used to subdivide a pricey apartment into bite-sized pieces--is harder to obtain from the Buildings Department and landlords following the deaths of two Bronx firefighters who responded to a fire in an apartment with illegal temporary walls.

One alternative is to use “bookshelf walls” or "wardrobe walls" which don’t extend all the way to the ceiling and are therefore likely to be considered furniture rather than a wall. Be sure to check with the landlord or managing agent in the building to see if such modifications are allowed. Do it before signing a lease, and don't take a broker's word for it.

Roommate issues

If your child is planning to live with a roommate, he or she should sign a notarized agreement with the person whose name is on the lease. These agreements are legally binding and can be used in small claims court in a worst case scenario. 

"A sublessee or a roommate should certainly have a written agreement, and the primary tenant should should make sure he or she either witnesses the other person signing it or has the agreement 'acknowledged' by a notary so the agreement can be used in court, " says real estate attorney Steve Wagner of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman

Sometimes the lease-holder will add in provisions about smoking, pet limitations and other preferences, and those too are legally binding, says Wagner.

How to save money

One of the biggest places to save is by reducing or avoiding a broker's fee, which traditionally amounts to 12-15% of a year's rent.

Summer is the most difficult time of year to find fee-less or "no fee" apartment, but it's not impossible.

Begin your search online with one of the resources listed in The 8 Best Websites for Finding a No-Fee Apartment in New York.  For best results, go guerrilla. Put on your walking shoes and scour your ideal neighborhoods for "for rent" signs. Chat up doormen. Reach out to your personal networks through email, Facebook, co-workers, and alumni groups. Get hold of a list of management companies and call them up to ask about upcoming availabilities that may not be listed anywhere yet.  (See  "How I Found My No-Fee Apartment" for real-life examples of guerrilla tactics.)

You can also look for a "low fee" apartment.   Rental search site Naked Apartments, for instance, you can search for "low fee" apartments only, which pulls up no-fee listings as well as apartments with broker's fees of 0-9%.   Or you can find a a broker who charges a lower-than-normal fee.   BrickUndergrounders can take advantage of corporate rates--typically around 10% of a year's rent--offered by Suitey.com, a referral network founded by a pair of young Yale grads inspired by the dismal and expensive rental experiences of their classmates and colleagues. 

In addition to saving money on a broker's fee, you can focus your search on certain types of apartments. Elevators and doormen are two things you'll pay a premium for in a New York City rental. While a doorman is nice, it's not always necessary. Some New York City buildings have remote doorman systems or full- or part-time security guards that could also be good options (and will likely bring rental prices down).

 Walk-up buildings, meanwhile, tend to be cheaper than elevator buildings; it is not uncommon to save hundreds of dollars per month by forgoing an elevator.

The guarantor game

If your child doesn't earn an annual income of 40-45 times the monthly rent, they'll likely have to put down a hefty deposit (often in the 4-6 month range)--or you'll need to act as a guarantor,  providing documentation that your annual salary is 80 times the apartment’s monthly rent, which works out to around $120,000 for a (cheap!) $1,500 per month Manhattan studio. 

Guarantors don't need to be at the lease signing, but they need to send pay stubs, tax returns, a letter of employment and sometimes submit to a background check. If you're self-employed, a letter from a licensed public accountant and proof of taxable income will be required to confirm salary.  

Most landlords will accept only one guarantor per lease--so if your child has roommates, you will be on the hook for the entire rent, not just your kid's portion.

If that's not very appetizing, or if you don't earn enough to meet the requirements or simply don't want to complete the intrusive application process, many landlords will accept Insurent Lease Guaranty--an institutional guarantor that can act as a guarantor for a fee of around 80 to 110 percent of a month's rent.

Timing it right

When it comes to New York City rentals, the early bird doesn't get the worm. The market is so fast and competitive that apartments are typically available only 30 days in advance of the occupancy date.

For the lowest prices and least competition, it’s best to search for an apartment during the winter--from November through February--says real estate agent Shannon Aalai of Citi Habitats.  Inventory is higher and rents are typically at their lowest.

That timing doesn't often work out well for students who graduate in May, but if you live close enough to New York that your child could live at home for a few months, you may want to encourage that.

No matter what time of year it is, parents (and their kids) are encouraged to begin looking at listings about a month in advance of the move-in date.

Related posts:

8 ways to get more space for less money in a NYC apartment

How to Rent a NYC Apartment

Find a roommate online: Six websites that do the heavy lifting for you

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Shoe Tycoon Vince Camuto Is Selling His Incredible Hamptons Estate For $48 Million


Wooldon Manor vince camuto house

Shoe tycoon Vince Camuto and his former beauty queen wife have put their historic Southampton estate on the market for a staggering $48 million price tag.

Known as Wooldon Manor, the mansion has approximately 10,000 square feet of space, and sits on over five acres of land with views of the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Agawam. It's currently being sold through Sotheby's International Realty.

The estate — which has a gorgeous pool, pool house, formal gardens, a romantic green house, and tennis court — was previously owned by both the Woolworth family and Edmund Lynch, a founding partner of Merrill Lynch.

According to celebrity real estate blog The Real Estalker, the Camutos redecorated the famous home after purchasing the 14.29 acres of land it sits on. Though the current price includes the home plus five and a quarter acres of land, the listing hints that the nine additional acres the couple owns can also be purchased (for an additional fee, of course).

Wooldon Manor sits on the iconic oceanfront drive, Gin Lane.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

The home has plenty of room with five acres of land.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

Inside, the vaulted ceilings have exposed beams and sky lights.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Bentley Is Going To Create A New Market Segment With A Super Fancy SUV


david cameron bentley suv

Bentley is going to build an SUV, it announced today.

It's going to be a classy affair, and likely a good move for the luxury automaker.

The car will be made in Crewe, Bentley's UK headquarters, and is scheduled to go on sale in 2016.

Bentley will invest £800 million ($1.23 billion) in the site and the development of new models, and says production of the SUV will create more than 1,000 UK jobs.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was on hand in Crewe for the announcement.

“I am delighted that Bentley will be building their new vehicle here, not only creating a thousand jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices,” he said.

Business has been booming for Bentley. The luxury arm of Volkswagen announced its global sales were up 9% in the first of of 2013, compared to the first six months of 2012. Sales have been steadily rising over the past four years, and the introduction of the SUV — a new kind of car for the automaker — could push those numbers much higher.

That's because there is no SUV currently on the market to match what Bentley has in mind. As with all of the company's offerings, it will be a clear cut above the the work of Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and other, more attainable, luxury brands.

No price has been released, but the cheapest Bentley currently on the market starts at $176,725.

The exclusive market niche could be spoiled if Rolls-Royce goes ahead with rumored plans to build an SUV.

So far, Bentley has released only one official image of the SUV, and it's a boring drawing that tells us nothing about the car, except that it will have wheels and be shaped like an SUV.

bentley suv drawing

For further instruction, here's a look back at Bentley's concept SUV, the EXP 9 F:

bentley suv concept EXP 9 F

SEE ALSO: Breathtaking Photos Of Classic Rolls-Royces On A Road Trip Through The Alps

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Everything Is Insanely Expensive In Brazil



Last month during the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil — a test run ahead of next summer's World Cup— more than a million of Brazilians took to the streets to protest crime, corruption, failing public schools and hospitals, and high and rising prices.

High prices may be the most critical factor in Brazilian unrest, according to Simon Romero of the New York Times.

Romero offers several striking examples:

  •  A Samsung Galaxy S4 phone that costs $615 in the U.S. is nearly double that in Brazil.
  • "... a resident of São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital, has to work an average of 106 hours to buy an iPhone."
  •  A crib for a baby at Tok & Stok in Brazil costs over $440, "more than six times the price of a similarly made item at Ikea" in the U.S. 
  •  A cheese pizza? $30, according to Romero.
  • "To buy a Big Mac, a resident here has to work 39 minutes, compared with 11 minutes for a resident of Chicago."

And its been going on for years. In September 2011 we provided some examples:  

  • If you pick up an international newspaper in Manhattan, it will set you back $2.50. The same paper in Rio costs $9.59.
  • In the U.S., you'd spend around $21,000 on a new Volkswagen Golf. An equivalent car in Brazil would cost $27,000.
  • A gallon of mid-grade gas in the U.S. costs around $3.30. In Brazil it's $6.65.
  • A luxury, two-bedroom apartment in São Paulo costs $2,397 per month. A comparable apartment in Miami costs $2,000.
  •  In the U.S., a summer dress at a chain store like H&M costs around $38. A similar dress from an equivalent Brazilian chain will cost $76.
  • A basic hamburger in the U.S. costs around $5.50; in Brazil it's a whopping $8.99.

Romero writes that the stunningly high pricing can be largely attributed to "a dysfunctional tax system that prioritizes consumption taxes, which are relatively easy to collect, over income taxes."

Even as Brazil benefits from a decade of steady economic growth fueled by booming commodity exports and a consumer binge that lifted 35 million Brazilians from poverty, the new middle classes — not to mention the poor — are being squeezed by the high cost of basic goods and services.

“Brazil is on the verge of recession now that the commodities boom is over,” Luciano Sobral, an economist and a partner in a São Paulo told The Times. “This is making it impossible to ignore the high prices which plague Brazilians, especially those who cannot easily afford to travel abroad for buying sprees where things are cheaper.”

If that is true, the public protests will be even bigger during the 2014 World Cup across the country and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

SEE ALSO: The Most Expensive Places To Live In The World

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The Time I Took On The Most Legendary Golf Hole In The World


jay yarow

I like golf. Quite a bit. 

So, when I found out in early July I was going to be playing TPC Sawgrass, home of the Players Championship, I was quite excited. 

When I say quite excited, I mean very excited. And when I say very excited, I mean, losing sleep because I'm thinking about playing the course excited. 

And there's only one thing to think about when it comes to TPC Sawgrass: The world-famous island green on the 17th hole. 

The 17th is rather controversial in the golf world. It feels like a quirky, contrived hole to golf snobs. 

It gets intense coverage during the Players Championship. NBC has 11 cameras on the hole, and the PGA Tour live streams every shot online from 17. 

But, putting the snoots aside, it's a cool hole. It's unique and it's compelling. It's fun.

It's not a hard shot for most pros. It's just a wedge to the center of the green. But, even the easiest shots can be tricky under pressure. 

This year, Sergio Garcia was tied for the lead standing on 17. He dropped not one, but two balls into the water, losing the lead, and $1.5 million in the process

sergio in the water

Having seen the hole on TV, I felt reasonably confident I could knock it on. It's only ~130 yards, which is just a smooth 9 iron for me. 

But, golf is a fickle game. An easy 9 iron isn't always easy.

As a wise man once said to me, golf comes, golf goes.

One day, you've figured out the game, the next minute, you're texting your friend from the course saying, it's time to take a break, this is just an expensive waste of time. 

Look at Rory McIlroy. He was the best golfer in the world last year. Today, he says he's lost on the golf course. 

Or look at Phil Mickelson. He's playing lights out golf, telling reporters he's discovered "the secret" to putting. He sounds like a buddy in your Sunday foursome who's figured out the secret to his swing. A week later, he's duffing shots, and looking for a new secret. 

So, sure, I could hit a nine iron easily. Or, I could be totally lost out there. You just never know. 

first tee shotI was invited to play TPC Sawgrass by PGA Tour Experiences. A division of the PGA Tour that focuses on vacations, instruction, and just recently expanded into the digital realm. It flew me down, and set me up with a free round to test a new app called TOURCaddie, which lets you measure yardage on 40,000 courses around the world. It also keeps track of all your stats, and scores. It's a pretty good app, and I'll have more on that later. 

I just so happened to be slated to play TPC Sawgrass the day after the Open Championship ended. I was waking early to watch the Open Championship, which was making me tired.

TPC sawgrass For the week leading up to my round at TPC Sawgrass, the combination of excitement about the course, the Open Championship, plus apprehension about the state of my game led to choppy sleep. 

My golf game is in shambles right now. I'm slicing my driver. I'm hooking my irons. 

This being golf, I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I had been playing well in June. I almost broke 80 for the first time in my life on a tough course in California. Two weeks later I was struggling to keep it under 90. 

11 at TPC Sawgrass

I knew my game was not in top form as I was going to TPC Sawgrass, but I was hoping that some how, some way, it would all just snap back together again. 

rough at TPC

Before we dig into what happened, a small interlude. 

Florida golf kind of sucks. It's a lot of flat boring courses, with water hazards all over the place. You have to take a cart, and it's just a blah experience overall. 

There are some great courses in Florida, though.

For instance, Streamsong Red and Blue are fantastic designs, and fantastic experiences. 

tpc 14I'd put TPC Sawgrass on the list of good golf courses in Florida, but the experience isn't great. You have to be in a cart. As we all know, the best golf is walking golf. You're waiting in the tee box, and in the fairway.

The course is fantastic. It's very lush, and very hard.

If you can't accurately drive the ball, you're in for a long day. 

It's a narrow course with water and sand lining the fairways and protecting the greens. If your not in the sand, or the water, or the fairway, then you're in the rough, which feels light and fluffy, but is actually quite dense and grabs your club.

Unfortunately, I couldn't drive the ball at all. I was all over the course.

My handicap is currently 10.1. On the front nine, I shot a +19. I barely slept the night before, tossing and turning, thinking about 17. The fatigue led, in part, to my swing being a mess.

As I was racking up double bogey after double bogey, I began to become depressed about facing 17. There was simply no way it wasn't going in the water. 

On the fifteenth hole, when I was +24 on the round, and telling myself it was time to quit playing golf altogether, a sudden wind hit the course. The beautifully sunny day changed in a blink of an eye. Grey clouds took over:

I hit another crappy tee shot, slicing into a sand trap, right of the fairway. We drove the cart on the path, left of the fairway. As I walked across the fairway to get a yardage, the rain started to fall. By the time I was walking back from my ball to the cart, the rain had turned into a monsoon. Howling wind and hard rain was battering us. 

tree down

We pulled out umbrellas hoping the rain was going to pass. It wasn't. it was only getting worse.

We heard a loud crack. Just twenty feet to our left the wind knocked down a pine tree. Its roots were sticking out of the ground. We quickly jumped in the cart, and drove to the clubhouse. 

I was one and a half holes away from playing the 17th. I didn't know if I'd ever come back. It's not cheap, and it's not easy for to get to Ponte Vedra Beach, Flordia. I was *thisclose* to playing the island green, but it looked like Mother Nature was not going to let it happen. 

We sat in the clubhouse, drying off, drinking a beer, hoping the rain would pass. It looked bleak. The Weather Channel showed a green blob of rain just sitting over the course for hours. 

I had to take a car back to the airport in an hour and half. The rain was not going to be done in time.

As we sat at the table, one of the guys in my group, Ed, started talking about the 17th. "It's easy," he said. You just hit a short iron to the green, putt and that's that. 

The really hard hole, according to Ed, is the 18th. The tee shot is nothing but water down the left. Either you're pushing your shot so far right to avoid the water that you have an impossible approach, or you bring the water into play going after the fairway. Travis, who works for the PGA, and was in our group, agreed with Ed's assessment. 

It sounded interesting, but it looked like I would never be able to see if Ed was right. I was hosed. The rain was pouring, and the day was over.

It was probably for the best, anyway. I didn't have a single par on my card for the day. I don't think I had a single green in regulation. Even if I could have played the 17th, the ball was going in the water. 

Just when it looked like all hope was lost, the rain let up just enough that you could play golf if you really wanted. Despite my crap play, I still really wanted. 

So, we scooted out to 15, planning to finish 15, play 16, and if time allowed, play 17. From 140 yards away, in rain, in a trap, I hit about 6 shots to finish 15. 

At that point, I had only 20 minutes left on the course. I said, screw it, let's go to 17 and get the heck out of here. So that's what we did. In the rain, as the only people playing golf on the course, we rode to the 17th hole. 

I walked down to the tee box, an eight iron and a nine iron in my hand, holding an umbrella.

The green looked enormous. The rest of the greens on the complex look like postage stamps compared to 17.  I started to feel irrationally confident. Maybe I could do it, after all.

Ed used his range finder to get the exact distance to the pin, which was up front. "120 yards," he said. In normal conditions, that's a pitching wedge, but in the rain, I figured it was a 9. 

Because I was busy taking photos and video, Ed, and Travis hit first. Both took easy swings, both put it on the green. 

Here's Travis' shot:

After Ed knocked his shot on the green, he tried to skip one across the water and on to the green. It didn't make it. 

It was my turn.

The pressure was on. Ed and Travis, true to their word, made it look easy.

I didn't think it would be easy for me. My swing was a mess all day. And even the best in the world put their ball in the water. It's estimated that 100,000 balls end up in this water each year. I didn't want to be a part of that group.

A month's worth of wasted sleep all came down to this. I had one chance to hit the green, or I'd forever live with the knowledge that I choked and whiffed on the island green. 

A slow back swing, a smooth follow, the ball was on its way... and BOOM. Right on the green, just over the pot bunker on the top of the ridge.

TPC 17We drove to the walkway, walked on the green. As we walked up, Ed said, "There are some people that would pay good money to have these shots."

Not just people like Sergio who dropped in the water, but tourists who, like me, spent weeks dreaming about this shot. 

I found my ball plugged in the green softened by the rain. 

But, it wasn't over. I still had a tricky two putt. Downhill breaking left. I hit my first putt 6 feet past the hole, and nervously said, "That's good from there, right?" No one said it was good. 

If I three putted, it would have been just as bad as if I had missed the shot in the first place. 

golf ball pluggedI lined up the second putt, a little left to right break, hit it ... and BOOM. In the hole. Par. 

I no longer wanted to take a break from golf. Golf was once again awesome.

We didn't have time for the 18th, which is for the best. I would have put the ball in the water. We rode straight from the course back to the hotel where I jumped in a car and went straight to the airport. 

I was sweaty, covered in sunscreen, and still had bits of TPC Sawgrass stuck to my legs. But I was really, really, happy. 

The 17th may be quirky, it may be a gimmick, but it's awesome. Put the ball on the green and it makes a +24 round feel like the best round of your life.

TPC Sawgrass 18

SEE ALSO: Why Sergio Garcia is the world's most hated golfer

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How To Separate Egg Yolk With A Water Bottle

Anthony Bourdain Reveals His 10 Favorite Books


Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is a world traveler who has had successful careers as a chef, TV host, and author.

He's also an adventurer who's done everything from mastering martial arts in Hong Kong to eating fermented shark in Iceland.

But where does he find inspiration?

We asked Bourdain, who currently hosts travel show Parts Unknown on CNN, to share some of his favorite books with us.

He kindly obliged, and shared some comments on why he loves these books so much.

The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins

"The best, most realistic crime novel ever. Best dialogue in a crime novel ever," Bourdain said.

This classic crime novel by George V. Higgins tells the tale of bank heists, mobsters, and cops in Boston during the 1960s. Higgins uses sharp dialogue and suspense techniques to keep readers on edge.

Buy this book here >

"The Quiet American" by Graham Greene

"Drama, romance, tragic history in SE Asia? I'm there! I re-read it frequently. Particularly when visiting Vietnam," Bourdain said.

The most controversial novel of Graham Greene's career, "The Quiet American" is an anti-war novel that takes place in Southeast Asia (present-day Vietnam) during the First Indochina War.

Buy this book here >

"The White Album: Essays" by Joan Didion

"I wish I could write like Joan Didion," Bourdain said.

This compilation of essays by Joan Didion focuses on the trends and movements of the 1960s, touching on everything from the Black Panthers to the advent of the shopping mall.

Buy this book here >

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I Felt Like Robinson Crusoe While Staying In An Overwater Villa In The Maldives


Maldives dock leading to private residences by la carmina

Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives is, without doubt, the most luxurious resort I've ever visited.

Each guest gets a personal assistant, nicknamed "Mr. Friday." Mine welcomed me with fresh coconuts and gave me a tour of my Robinson Crusoe villa, perched over water. With two patios and a private ocean pool, this was hardly the shipwrecked life.

I sampled fresh curry leaves from the resort's organic garden and snuck into the cellar for truffle chocolates. Between naps, I sailed to a deserted island, snorkeled in lush coral reefs and bicycled through jungle paths.

No wonder Gili Lankanfushi dominated the 2013 World Travel Awards, taking home three prizes including "Leading Luxury Resort" in both the Indian Ocean and Maldives.

Villa rates begin at $1,441 per night.

Disclosure: La Carmina and her filmmakers were hosted by Gili Lankanfushi Maldives.

Gili Lankanfushi is located on a private island in the North Malé Atoll, about a 20-minute boat ride from the Maldives International Airport at Malé.

With only about 80 guests on this private atoll, I felt like I'd escaped the outside world.

The hotel has 45 overwater villas that are made from renewable materials like thatch.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 14 Most Creative Ways College Students Drink Beer


Shoot the Boot

For most students, beer is an inescapable part of the college experience. Regardless of whether you're drinking a bottle from a craft brewery or cans out of a cheap 30 rack, the frothy libation is seemingly everywhere.

In order to battle the monotony of massive beer consumption, college students have developed some pretty great ways to drink. That these methods may get you drunk faster is just an unexpected side effect, we'll assume.

From beer pong to beer bongs, we've compiled the most creative and ridiculous ways college students drink their beverage of choice. Who knows, you might be inspired to try some of these yourself.

Edward Fortyhands

Named after the popular Johnny Depp movie "Edward Scissorhands," Edward Fortyhands participants have each hand duct taped to a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor. The duct tape is only removed after the bottle is completely consumed.


Shotgunning occurs by puncturing a hole in the side of a beer can, covering the hole with your mouth, and opening the top tab to force the beer out by creating air pressure. Science!

Ice Luge

In an ice luge, beer is poured down the carved piece of ice into an eagerly awaiting mouth.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Britain Is Using The Royal Baby To Convince Tourists To Come Visit


Big ben and double decker bus in London

Following yesterday's birth of the First Prince of Cambridge, it seems like all sorts of brands are trying to capitalize on the occasion and market their products to customers.

And Britain's tourism board, VisitBritain, is no exception.

The government-funded organization has been on a campaign to convince tourists to visit the UK with tweets, Facebook messages, and promotions.

After the birth was announced, they tweeted:

Then they tweeted a series of stories tied to the royal baby:

They also mapped out several places hat have "shaped the lives of Prince William and Kate Middleton," encouraging visitors to stop at those spots:

And now that there's a royal baby, VisitBritain is billing itself as a family-friendly destination, encouraging families to explore kid-friendly attractions like the Tower of London, Blenheim Palace, and the Diana Memorial Playground, which was inspired by J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan stories.

SEE ALSO: 17 Royal Heirs And Heiresses Who Will One Day Rule The World

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