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The Couch Doctor is In; Brokers Get Desperate

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1) With so many hunters these days leaving their youthful downtown digs for Harlem or Brooklyn, it's nice to finally see some real neighborhood loyalty. This week's hunter, Kat, thinks that she wants to get a place in the more adult Morningside Heights, where residents push strollers and shop at Fairway, but she soon realizes that the East Village is the only place she really feels at home. She ends up getting a four-room co-op for $420,000 and now she never has to grow up. Good deal. [The Hunt/'A Vote for the East Village']

2) It's a problem that many of us have faced at one time or another: you've got a couch that's going to look great in the living room, just as soon as you can get it dislodged from your building's hallway. In most cases, a little jiggling and angling can do the trick, but what if it's really stuck? That's when you call Sal Giangrande, New York's premier couch surgeon, who cuts stuck furniture apart and reassembles it inside the apartment. Giangrande fields 20-25 calls per week, and his famous clients have included Alec Baldwin, Walt Frazier, and Phil Collins. [Debriefing/'When the Couch Has an Attitude'; photo by JoelZimmer]

3) A shortage of for sale apartments in Manhattan is leading some brokers to develop new strategies for drumming up business. Most of those strategies simply involve trying to harass people into putting their homes on the market but—surprise—a lot of the time it works. One broker, who volunteers at nursing homes and retiree centers, realized that she had the ultimate resource sitting right under her nose in "the elders," who know all the neighborhood happenings, including which apartments might be hitting the market soon. Finally, old lady gossip has been monetized. Too bad the elders don't get a piece of the action. ['Dear Owner: Please Sell']