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It Happened One Weekend: Pimp My Hooverville, Rental Market Chaos, Jeff Koons' Bargaining Skills, More!

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1) It took 20 Parks Department employees to destroy the one-room shanty a homeless man built in Riverside Park along Washington Heights. The 8-by-10 shelter, created in October, "looked like a little house, solidly put together, with a single glass window and a front door equipped with a peephole and a knocker." Artist rendering at right. [The City/'Under an Exit Ramp, a Cluster of Mysteries']

2) As of Sunday afternoon, this story on the slipping Manhattan rental market is the most e-mailed Times article, and it's easy to see why. Check out this tidbit: "Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people are negotiating rents as much as 20 percent lower than the original prices asked by landlords." Yes, the world is now officially upside down. ['A Month Free? Rents Are Falling Fast']

3) Artist Jeff Koons has a brain filled with balloons and puppies and porn stars, so please excuse the scattershot way he shops for UES townhouses: "Mr. Koons at first offered $27 million, and when Ms. Bullock accepted, he knocked the offer down to $23 million and she accepted again. When he then asked to drop the price again to $20 million, she refused. The deal was off. But Mr. Koons came back and made an offer of $25 million; it was again accepted. After the contract was drawn up, Mr. Koons reconsidered, and his lawyer said he would sign only if the price was reduced to $14 million. The deal was off again." [Big Deal/'The Artist's Largest Work?']

4) Yes, Inwood is cheap, but as these young renters found out, finding a place is an adventure. Management companies never get back to you, 1BRs are mysteriously priced more than 2BRs, and competition is fierce. But, in the end, the magical forest takes care of everyone. [The Hunt/'Apartment Hunters Drawn to the Forest in Inwood']

5) Now, to get a mortgage, it's as much about the building's situation as it is about your own: "Even if a prospective buyer has impeccable credit and reliable income, many banks are refusing to make loans if they don't like what they find when they review the finances and bylaws of the building where the purchaser hopes to live. Among the matters under scrutiny: the dollar amount and type of insurance a building has; the size of the building; the size of the apartment; and, in the case of new developments, the number of apartments sold and closed." ['For Home Buyers, More Bank Roadblocks']

6) When artsy types who settled in Soho in 1984 finally get priced out of Manhattan, it's clear what type of house they need: one covered in graffiti and formerly occupied by crackheads. Now, following a DIY renovation, the $350,000 Fort Greene house is "really my homage to the South." [Habitats/'In Brooklyn, a Slice of the South']