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It Happened One Weekend: Window Shopping in Gramercy

1) Some comparative window shopping at 141 Fifth Avenue and the Gramercy leaves Suzanne Slesin feeling surprisingly unsatisfied by both. The renovations at 141 Fifth are putting the sparkle back into a New York City classic, but despite some nice features, the living spaces were a bit too dull. The Gramercy is anything but dull. Would you expect anything less from Sirs Shvo and Starck? However, our shopper did not feel right at home, saying "such an emphasis on the latest in design could be a bit daunting." The search continues. [Window Shopping/Suzanne Slesin]

2) The free wheeling days of condo buying may be finished. The reason? Condo boards are beginning to act like coop boards, requiring prospective buyers to submit to a thorough background investigation to receive board approval, sometimes including an interview. Condos are still fetching higher prices than coops and the common belief among current owners is that tightening the rules and requirements for buyers will maintain values. Halstead's Richard Grossman explains, "they just want to have more control and help make the image of the building what they want it to be." [Condos Tighten the Rule/Vivian S. Toy]

3) Judith Rodgers decided 30 years in her Upper West Side one bedroom was all she could take. When her building went condo, Rodgers used her buyout money to pick up a 3 bedroom coop in Riverdale for $535,000, which she shares with her 3 sons who had all shared the 1 bedroom. Cozy. [Joyce Cohen/The Hunt]

4) Another war has erupted in Tribeca, but this one isn't about liquor licenses. Area residents have accused local tennis player John Jones of treating the tennis court at Washington Market Park as his own private fiefdom. Jones, the court's namesake, has been giving lessons and overseeing the schedule at the court for 20 years. But since 1999, the entire park has been under the Parks Department control, meaning Jones has been breaking the law. Nelle Fortenberry of the Friends of Washington Market Park wants order restored, saying, "I just want everyone to come to the park, play some tennis and go home." [Tribeca Report/Jennifer Bleyer]

5) The Jitney's journey through its new Brooklyn route is a bit scrappier than the Manhattan original, but riders will find shop owners anxious to serve them as they make their way to the Hamptons. [Street Level/Ben Gibberd]