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The Three-Bedroom Sale, Displaced by the Second Avenue Subway

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1) Here's some light for these dark times: the $1 million that used to net buyers only a one-bedroom in Manhattan is now enough to purchase a three-bedroom in some neighborhoods. The median price of a three-bedroom has dropped 42 percent over the past year, largely because the priciest 3BRs aren't selling. Buyers are still eager for three bedrooms below $1 million. Those allow them to avoid the 1 percent mansion tax, which, in the words of one broker, gets people "really caught up psychologically." ['Yours for Under $1 Million']

2) Amid a flurry of returning megaprojects, bulldozers have arrived at LIC's Hunters Point South to clear land for the 11-acre park. Developers' bids for the project's 5,000 apartments are expected to follow by the summer, and the park (flashy new rendering, right) is meant to "signal to a fairly skittish development community that it's serious about this project," according to landscape architects Weiss/Manfredi. Meanwhile, it's signaling to the local community that it's time for war. [Posting/'A First Step for Hunters Point South']

3) A Second Avenue subway "displacee" (also the former star of the "Ring Around the Collar" commercials) goes looking for a replacement for her rent-stabilized one bedroom. After giving up on the MTA's relocation consultants, who sent her to buildings with "zero personality," she finally ended up with a 600-square-foot one-bedroom in the East 90s. The rent? $1,600/month on a two-year lease -- but the MTA refused to pay for the movers' tips or for the appraisals required before the hunter's antiques could be moved. Following complaints, a spokesman said the MTA will revisit the appraisal issue but that the tips are arbitrary, so no dice. [The Hunt/'A Place With a Certain Something']
4) Remember the saga of hand model Christina Ambers, who was suing her building, 340 East 74th Street, alleging that the board was trying to force her out for marrying a building doorman? New development: the model and her husband left the building just before the start of the year, after the co-op board came forward with evidence that the couple was abusive toward other building residents. The couple's lawyer still claims they weren't given a chance to present their case, but we hope our long national nightmare is over. ['"Foot" brawl duo get sack'/NYP]

5) Despite politicians' and bankers' efforts to convince homeowners that paying even underwater mortgages is the responsible thing to do, homeowners who voluntarily default on their mortgages are no worse than the banks that hand them out, this Times Magazine essay argues. Okay, so foreclosures drive down neighborhood property values and make the mortgage borrower seem like a less perfect human being. "But in a market society, since when are people responsible for the economic effects of their actions?" In other words: go for it! [The Way We Live Now/'Walk Away From Your Mortgage!']