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It Happened One Weekend: State of the Concierge, Downtown Strikes it Rich, Where Brokers Buy, More!

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1) It's a story that was already written by the Observer last month, but the Times' look at how residents in luxury buildings are dialing-down their concierge service needs is a how-to for living fabulously in difficult times. Some bits of advice: Raid your wine cellar and bring your own bottles to fine restaurants. Instead of guys' weekend in Vegas, opt for a "crazy suite" at the Borgata (example at right). Still go to opening night at the Met, just don't sit Center Orchestra. Oh, the horror of it all! ['Concierges Get New Marching Orders']

2) Who out there doesn't love some piping hot census data? Nazis, that's who, and since you're not a Nazi you'll enjoy these NYC factoids about changes within the city between 2000 to 2007: more white people live in Harlem (old news); more young children live in Lower Manhattan, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side; the richies moved Downtown and the poor folks still live in the South Bronx; the Rockaways had the biggest percentage gain in population, and Coney Island had the biggest loss. [The City/'New York by the Numbers']

3) How did the real estate market along the Hudson River waterfront, Jersey side, become so over-inflated over the past few years? According to this interesting piece, it was all those dastardly real estate brokers' fault. They bought up all the apartments! In Toll Brothers-developed buildings alone, 40 brokers snapped up $35 million worth of real estate over the past three years, mostly as investments. ['At Least the Agents Are Sold']

4) The most depressing Hunt column in the history of the New York Times ends with a woman downgrading from Dumbo to Staten Island and already complaining about shoddy cabinetry and a leaky sink at her new place. Oh, did we mention her dad is her roommate? And that he sleeps on the couch? [The Hunt/'Combing the Boroughs']

5) So this is kind of random. In "The Sell," a column that tells a seller's tale of unloading an apartment, a 950-square-foot Boerum Hill loft on Atlantic Avenue gets slashed from $725,000 to $700,000 to attract more online database searchers, but the apartment ends up getting purchased by the broker's other client: Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead. Hooray, unexpected semi-celebrity connection! [The Sell/'A Deal Squared by a Round Number']

6) The motto of Woodhaven, a blue-collar immigrant neighborhood in southwestern Queens, is "A Haven in the City," and most residents tend to agree, though the rusty elevated subway tracks that hover over the main avenue don't provide much chicken soup for the soul. But who cares about that when there's a Trump-built supermarket! Built by Fred Christ Trump, of course, father of The Donald. [Living In: Woodhaven, Queens]