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From the Editor: Credit Report



A few months ago I drove off the road. I was in no particular hurry, mosying along a familiar route when, upon a sharp bend to the left, I spotted a stately château, a vision of European elegance framed in a typically New England setting. Several questions occurred to me as I stared, missed the turn and landed in a muddy ditch: Why hadn’t I noticed it before? Who lives there? How can I meet them? I was fine, as was the car, so I jotted a brief can-we-meet note, placed it in the mailbox and hoped the homeowners would not think I was crazy for asking. I got lucky twice that day. Alain de Lotbinière called and invited me over.

I knew the moment I drove through the gate that I wanted Stamford magazine to feature this home, and the tour Alain gave me of Manoir Gentilhommière (small manor, in French) only confirmed my decision. He told me of its history and pointed out the French provenance of its many fine features. His wife, Catherine, described her decorative vision. The way writer Judy Ostrow describes it, the mix of family antiques—some from the eighteenth century—with Art Deco furnishings and a collection of fine art and photography give this house the authentic feel of a French country estate. I am so grateful to Alain and Catherine for agreeing to share it with us.

I am also grateful to Cheri Abruzzini, Martine Curto and Ann Baker, three remarkable women who are going public about their bout with cardiovascular disease. Two survived heart attacks; a third underwent heart surgery to correct a malfunctioning aortic valve. They share their stories here, with great humility, to spread the word about heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women. They hope, by detailing their symptoms and care, that we will all learn that heart disease doesn’t happen only to men.

In the spirit of gratitude, and this being our annual real estate issue, I guess it’s appropriate to be thankful my house is not worth less than it was last year. Given that home sales and values in Stamford are similarly flat and office space remains stubbornly empty, it would also seem there’s not much to report. But there’s been plenty of chatter—and we’ve been listening—so we put together our Ten Hot Topics in the Real Estate Market to fill you in on the conversation. Together the topics hint at modest hope and tell us how some people are finding opportunity in the downturn.

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