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It Happened One Weekend: Harlem Retail, Hell's Kitchen Goes Gay, Splasher Strikes Again

1) The Langston Condominium in Harlem Heights will soon welcome Starbucks and New York Sports Club as retail anchors when residents begin to move in later this spring. These retailers join the Duane Reade, Pathmark, Chase Bank and Washington Mutual stores that are already operating, signaling the neighborhood's economic turnaround. There is still one 16,000 square foot space available in the building. Paging ColdStone Creamery. [Postings/Clare Wilson]

2) New construction buyers who leave deposits based on floor plans and model apartments are often surprised when they see their new homes. By carefully reading the fine print of offering plans, it becomes clear that developers often engage in a form of bait and switch. Promised appliances are often switched for similar, lower quality models and the listed square footage usually goes through the chopper. To combat surprises, Andrew Phillips of Halstead says, to hurry up and wait. Get there fast, but then take your time thinking it through.” [The Danger in the Fine Print/Vivian S. Toy]

3) Professional pianist Ronen Segev was looking to upgrade his apartment so his baby grand piano would no longer be the dominant the entire space. In his old apartment, Segev says “I would look up from my bed and see my piano. I felt like the piano basically was my apartment.” It turns out another pianist Leon Fleisher was selling his place. It was love at first sight for Segev, who picked up the one bedroom Coop on Park Ave South for $610,000. [Joyce Cohen/The Hunt]

4) The Splasher has struck again. The latest victim? The Neck Face/Vans billboard at Bleeker and Lafayette. The vandalism has forced Vans to pull the ad a week early. [Billboard Blues/Jennifer Bleyer]

5) Chased out of the West Village and Chelsea by high real estate prices, New York City's gay population is carving out a new home in Hell's Kitchen. Instead of becoming a dominating force in the area, the gay community is one of many subcultures sharing the Hell's Kitchen turf. As the story's author points out, with some new kitschy names being tossed around (Mid West, NoChe (North of Chelsea), Hell’s Kitchenette, Hell’s Kitty), "the message is unmistakable: Hell's Kitchen is getting gayer and gayer." [David Shaftel/Under The Rainbow]