Legendary New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin used to put out a year-end list of people who had wronged him.
Dubbed “People I’m Not Talking to Next Year,” the list, which ran in the 1960s, included people like “the big shot maitre d’ at the 21 Club” who didn’t let him in, and Pepe, a bar owner who was trying to extort Breslin with an inflated bar tab.
Well, I have my own list.
Here are all the people that have wronged our editors’ sensibilities this past year or so. You know who you are — all the companies that have thrown good grammatical sense to the wind in their pursuit of hip and clever names. There are seemingly more of them every day.
The following should consider themselves warned:
Architectural firms like SHoP Architects, FXFOWLE and FLAnk: stop it with the mix of all capital and lowercase letters already. We get it, you’re cutting edge! There is also the city’s BluePRint program — meant to streamline approvals through the Department of City Planning — which just looks like a bureaucratic error.
BRGR, TIKL and ROK:BRGR are equally vexing, in the restaurant world. Koffeecake Corner is a minor infraction. (Potbelly and Pounds & Ounces get a pass, but you have to wonder about the wisdom of naming a restaurant to lure customers with references that will make them feel fat.)
The Related Companies. Come on, guys — why can’t it just be one company?
There is also the real estate event sphere, with the popular and confusingly named RECon conference and smaller companies like Expos Your Business. (My advice: just don’t expose yourself there.)
WEmi:t (Where East Meets West), a development firm, would cause any self-respecting editor to commit hara-kiri. That infraction is much worse than others like Harlem Property Re+Development. Condos like +aRt and One57 (for the missing space) are also on the list.
On the broker front, there is Gad Realty (E-gad!), CORE, EAR NYC (someone’s initials apparently), plus Brick&Mortar and I&I (again, people, get familiar with the space bar!).
Finally, any company that has “Manhattan” or “Citi” or “Urban” in its title is not a violator per se, but new companies should stop putting any of those words in their names because it makes them instantly indistinguishable from 10 other firms.
Again, architects are the worst violators. To Christoff:Finio Architecture, please, finito on writing your name like this.
Now that I’ve vented on that subject, it’s on to the issue, where there’s a lot to feast on this month.
Inside, we feature our ranking of Manhattan’s biggest residential brokerage firms. This year, our 10th annual survey, seemed to be more hotly contested than most years, which we attribute largely to the inventory crunch.
We also survey the top boutique firms, and for the first time, the top mid-sized firms. In addition to measuring who has the most listings, we also take a look at closed sales volume in 2012 to see who finished tops. Being able to match closed sales data with brokerage information is something that just recently became available, thanks to StreetEasy, and this is our inaugural run in presenting it.
In another story, we take a neighborhood-by-neighborhood look at the shortage of available apartments in Manhattan — perhaps the defining feature of today’s market and the reason behind prices rising (as well as a factor in the top firms survey).
Meanwhile, residential development has long overshadowed commercial building in the city. Very little has been built in terms of new office buildings, but that’s starting to change, particularly in the Hudson Yards area.
Finally, take a look at James Gardner’s review of 432 Park Avenue, which is slated to be the tallest residential building in the city (and the tallest outright, if you don’t include the spire atop One World Trade) when it is completed. Gardner says the Rafael Viñoly–designed condo reminds him of a conceptualist sculpture with its beautiful “freakish thinness.” High praise considering our architectural critic seems to dislike much of what he sees rising in the city — he has a longer list of things that annoy him than even I do.
Enjoy the issue, and watch the spelling!