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It Happened One Weekend: Friends and Neighbors

1) Amenities like free breakfast, rec rooms, gyms and cinemas at new buildings like the Orion are breaking down the traditional barriers between a building's residents by creating a dorm like atmosphere. Traditionally, New Yorkers have used their apartments as a fortress of solitude, helping to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not anymore. Corcoran chief Pam Liebman explains, "These amenities are drawing people out of their apartments. This has become a way of life." Free breakfast would definitely get us to mingle more. [A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood/Stephanie Rosenbloom]

2) The hot real estate market means its tougher for pet owners to find pet friendly buildings that are truly pet friendly. Boards and management companies have even taken to interviewing dogs to test their demeanor before granting approval (A real skill!). Pet owners are now willing to pay a premium to live in a building where all pets are truly welcome. Luckily, there are brokers who specialize in this sort of thing. [So, Do I Make the Cut?/Christine Haughney]

3) Two recent Vassar grads with their hearts set on starting a hipster life together in Williamsburg are shocked to discover the apartment of their dreams was actually in the Upper East Side. They barely miss the hipster scene and relish the tranquility, as Katy Robinette notes, "We just graduated from college and feel like little yuppies living on the Upper East Side with our one-bedroom apartment." [Joyce Cohen/The Hunt]

4) Conversion work is set to begin at One Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer, with move ins expected sometime in late 2007. Pre-sales have already begun, but only the 4000 people who joined the waiting list have been able to make offers. And speaking of amenities, the building will be equipped with an indoor golf simulator, Entourage style. Nothing to fear if you aren't on the waiting list, general sales begin soon. [Postings/C.J. Hughes]

5) The Claremont Stables, the last public riding school in Manhattan, officially closed this weekend. The decision to close was not easy for the stables longtime owners, who lamented over financial pressures and diminishing access to Central Park's bridle path, which has been overrun with other uses. The news was crushing to the students, like Anna Leigh, who says "I've been crying for the past two days. I haven't slept. I've missed a couple days of school." [Upper West Side Report/Jennifer Bleyer]