He Left a Fortune, to No One

(The New York Times) When Roman Blum died last year at age 97, his body lingered in the Staten Island University Hospital morgue for four days, until a rabbi at the hospital was able to track down his lawyer.

Mr. Blum, a Holocaust survivor and real estate developer, left behind no heirs and no surviving family members — his former wife died in 1992 and the couple was childless. His funeral, held graveside at the New Montefiore Jewish Cemetery in West Babylon, N.Y., was attended by a small number of mourners, most of them elderly fellow survivors or children of survivors.

Roman Blum, shirtless, at a birthday party on Long Island in 1983. In 1949, he and his wife, Eva, moved to Forest Hills, Queens, where they joined a tightknit community of Holocaust survivors.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/nyregion...

A Ghost Town on 20 Acres in Brooklyn

(The New York Times) Vines clamber over ruined mansions. A stagnant swimming pool blooms with algae. Inside an abandoned hospital, amid falling plaster and splintered banisters, a chink in the wall reveals a city skyline.

This is not a movie set, though it might become one.

The developer Douglas C. Steiner recently reached an agreement with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation to convert this 20-acre site within the industrial complex into a media and technology hub. The $383.4 million project would allow his Steiner Studios to expand its existing footprint there.

Vines clamber over ruined mansions. A stagnant swimming pool blooms with algae. Inside an abandoned hospital, amid falling plaster and splintered banisters, a chink in the wall reveals a city skyline. This is not a movie set, though it might become one. Here, the chief surgeon’s residence.

Credit: Mustafah Abdulaziz for The New York Times

Source: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...

Amanda Burden Wants to Remake New York. She Has 19 Months Left.

(The New York Times) Amanda M. Burden, in a sheath dress, impossibly thin and with a blond bob reminiscent of the “Mad Men” ’60s, wore a serene smile as she oversaw a recent public hearing in a drab hearing room near City Hall.

“Today, I am thrilled to vote on the department’s latest sustainability initiative,” said Ms. Burden, the director of the New York City Planning Department, her clipped diction and sophisticated dress contrasting with the worn-out rug and metal chairs of her surroundings. Ms. Burden was referring to Zone Green, “the most comprehensive effort of any city in the nation,” she said, to use zoning to spur environmentally efficient building.

Emily Berl for The New York Times

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/nyregion...