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Spring fever. Fun things to do in New York. Why second and third houses make little sense, any longer

We came down to the city for a few chores. The blossoming trees are splendid. Here’s the view outside the Plaza and across from the Fifth Avenue Apple store.

The City is edging back. The offices are filling, slowly. It’s depressing to see so many buildings with no lights on. The restaurants are open, with limited seating. Retail is still suffering. There seem to be more closed retail stores than open ones. That an exaggeration. You get my message. The closed stores are an eyesore. Everything is on sale. I saw one sale at 85% “everything off.” My new jeans were “friends and family” 25% off.

The worst thing  about the city is the noise. Ubiquitous noise. It a pain. The good news is that I can still hear it.

How do I know the city is coming back? First, because it always has. I sold my “cheap” recession NYC loft for 24 times what I paid for it some years later. The City is remarkably good at repurposing buildings. Here are a couple of ex-banks I photographed this week:

The BIG thing to do here is to visit MOMA, the largely empty (of visitors) Museum of Modern Art, where you’ll feast your eyes  on:

Amongst many, many other wonderful pieces you’ll recognize.

So where’s this stock market going?

The last five days in tech — our emphasis — has been choppy, but trending up.

Our stocks are doing well. No reason to change holdings. There are good things happening with many of them, including new products from Apple and Zoom improving, broadening and licensing out its great technology.

Going forward, Cramer has seven concerns:

Cramer figures it’s time to take “a little of the table.” That depends on how strongly you feel about the risks or what you can do with the cash — like paying off a mortgage.

Patience is a huge part of today’s market. New offerings and bitcoin et al. are sucking money out of the market. Most hedge and mutual funds need to sell something to get into the latest hot offering — no matter how substantive what they sold is.

I eye my 15% stop loss rule.

How house assumptions change

In the old days, owning second and third homes was a good idea. They were comfortable. You could trust them to appreciate. That was the good old days:

+ Before Airbnb and VRBO.

+ Before SALT. When Trump took away the deductibility of local taxes.

+ Before houses stopped going up in price. (Though this is now changing.)

Now, you rent a nice house in the mountains one year, on the beach the next, in Paris the third. You give the owner a list of the busted appliances and leaking pipes, hand over the keys and catch the next plane home. Peace of mind.

Peace of mind is that it’s someone else’s problem.

Tesla news

My son Michael is going to buy a Tesla, model 3. It’s perfect for him — 350 miles to a tank. $36,000 or so, after he gets $2,000 from the feds. Easy to charge with a standard 240 volt outlet from a washer/dryer in his laundry.

The thing I like most is this:


Look carefully. It a place to lay down two cell phones — yours and your partner’s. It charges your phone while its connected by Bluetooth. I look at all the silly uncomfortable places I put cell phones in our Mercedes and our Subaru and I’m frankly envious. Elon is a genius if only for his cell phone holders.

Useful tips

+ Watch out for that last step going down. Every time I rant about steps, someone emails me about their partner who’s in hospital having just fallen down the last step!

+ A laptop and three 21-22″ screens is great for Zoom. The person speaking appears in large format on the one screen, while everyone else is on another.

+ Online trading platforms — e.g. Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro, need regular rebooting.

+ YouTube TV is great. It has most channels (except HBO). You can pause, rewind, save, skip commercials, and six of you can watch it simultaneously. It’s the way TV should have been.

+ Try to avoid flying 737 Max. It’s now having electrical problems. My motto, “When in doubt, stay out.”

+ You can make your Windows screen bigger or smaller by holding down your CTRL key and rolling the wheel on your mouse. Try it. It’s really useful.

Wonderful cartoons

It’s raining in Manhattan. It’s April. Those April showers bring May flowers.

And May flowers, well, they brig pilgrims.

Your grandchild will like that. Maybe.

This greeted Susan and me when we returned to our NYC apartment building on Sunday. Neat?

See you soon. — Harry Newton