Tracing Lost New York Through Postcards

Then a few months ago, Mr. Pisark, knowing only that she was a Madison Square aficionado, sent her a scan of a random card that just happened to contain all necessary documentary evidence to prove that it portrayed that granddaddy of all public holiday trees. Postmarked in January 1913, it was a “real photo postcard” — a photograph taken by …

I Tested 13 Bidets. I’m a Convert.

Heated seat: This is really a standard feature on electric bidets, but it’s just so nice that I wanted to mention it again. I love the heated seat even more than I love the bidet. [Like what you’re reading? Sign up here for the Smarter Living newsletter to get stories like this (and much more!) delivered straight to your inbox …

The Taxman Cometh for Some Condos

For thousands of luxury condo owners in New York who have received deep tax breaks for a decade or more, the taxman is coming. The end of those benefits, through an expired program known as 421-a, could not have come at a worse time for many sellers, who are faced with mounting taxes and stiff competition in a weak market. …

Where Is the Dog Poop in New York City?

There are at least 80,000 dogs registered in New York City in a given year, according to the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which estimates the total canine population at about 500,000. With so many pooches using the city’s streets as a toilet, it’s surprising that we aren’t stepping in their unpleasant remains more often. In fact, …

$2.3 Million Homes in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Illinois

Philadelphia | $2.295 Million A 1925 stone house with six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, on a nearly half-acre lot This home is in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood, less than half a mile east of Wissahickon Valley Park, with its 57 miles of trails, and a short walk from Germantown Avenue, a cobblestone corridor lined with shops and …

House Hunting in the Canary Islands: A Villa Near the Ocean

A Classic Canary Island Villa Near the Coast $1.6 MILLION (1.49 MILLION EUROS) This three-bedroom, three-bathroom house is in Tacoronte, a rural city near the northeast coast of Tenerife, the largest island in Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago. The 4,844-square-foot house was built in the 18th century for Agustin de Torres Perdomo, a descendant of Canary Islands conquerors who claimed the …

How Much Should We Tip the Doorman at Year’s End?

Q: We live in an upscale building and always tip the building staff at the end of the year. Our tips total around $2,000, more than what we budget for gifts for our family. I’ve read many articles that discuss how confusing New York City tipping etiquette can be, but I’ve never seen an article that simply states advisable amounts. …

Looking for a Castle or Country Home? Try Scotland

The market conditions have prompted a scramble for some properties, such as the ground floor of a detached house that attracted 80 viewers and nine offers in its first two and a half weeks on the market, Mr. Thomson said. In September, the home sold for a sum 32 percent higher than the £950,000 valuation, he said. The market seems …

How to Cure the Renovation Bug?

The renovation of Geoff and Liz Caan’s house in Newton, Mass., has been a 16-year work in progress. Since the couple bought the 1920s Georgian-style brick house in the Chestnut Hill historic district in 2003, Ms. Caan, an interior designer who favors rooms bursting with statement-making color and pattern, has rarely rested. Renovating and redecorating the rooms one by one, …

90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way?

Online deliveries to an apartment building in northern Manhattan are left with a retired woman in 2H who watches over her neighbors’ packages to make sure nothing gets stolen. Corporate mailrooms in New York and other cities are overwhelmed by employees shipping personal packages to work for safekeeping, leading companies to ban packages and issue warnings that boxes will be …