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It Happened One Weekend: Astoria Finally Manhattanified, Biddings Wars, Suing Over Shipping Containers, More!

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1) Think hipster coffee shops and wine bars are the ultimate signs of gentrification? Nope, according to a real estate broker in Astoria, it's all about the bitches. Adorable, stumpy little French bulldogs are running amok all over Astoria, and here's his take: "We have been getting trendy restaurants and trendy shops, but more than anything, the Frenchies, which are so Manhattanesque, may be the signal that this is finally starting to happen." A bit of a reach, mon ami. [Astoria Journal/'Love for a Dog That's No Bark and All Yodel']

2) Holy 2007, Batman, bidding wars are back! Well, sorta. They're back only on the properties?about one-third of the units on the market, Jonathan Miller estimates?where sellers have priced their homes correctly, about 20% to 30% off peak 2008ish prices. And sometimes those bidding wars are still below the asking prices, but sometimes, like at Williamsburg's Rialto?yes, the Rialto!?they creep above. And here's a rule of thumb: In a bidding war, cash is king. ['Bidding Wars Resume']

3) Following a fatal Flushing fire in a house illegally subdivided into a warren of tiny apartments, the Daily News does some follow-up digging on the growing problem. The numbers are pretty darn scary, and then there's little problem: Inspectors without a warrant can't get access to buildings if no one lets them in. After two failed tries, the case is "closed." More than 200 properties have had 10 or more complaints about illegal conversions since 2005. And already in 2009, the FDNY has notified the DOB of 566 illegal conversions, up from 205 through all of last year. ['Hidden deathtraps: After Flushing fire and 200K complaints, divided apartments still run rampant'/NYDN]

4) C'mon Fifth on the Park, all this rheumatologist wanted when she went shopping for luxury Harlem living was a place to swim, and even after all the assorted problems with the building, she still closed. And you reward her loyalty with continued pool delays, blaming things like a lack of cashola "power to the filtration system" problem? Keep it up and she's on the first train back to Chappaqua. [The Hunt/'A Condo Hunter Remains True to the List']

5) A pair of photographers who live and work in a loft at 31 West 31st Street want to build a rooftop extension made of shipping containers, but the co-op board isn't really feeling that. So?surprise!?they're suing the board and all the members. Interestingly, the case has become something of a landmark, with the court deciding that board members cannot be sued as individuals unless the complaint details specific allegations of wrongful conduct by each of the individuals sued. The lawsuit against the board, however, is still in play, and the photogs may get their shipping containers yet. [Big Deal/'Rooftop Ruckus']