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May  11

Defending Crisco

Img_0291_1As Baristanet commenters deduced, the sale of the first Crisco mansion was a bit premature (see comments for the back story). In our mailbox...

After reading all the comments about Christopher court I couldn't help but feel the need to defend it.    I (we) are working very hard and taking great pride in what we are doing here.   I apologize for lying on your site.   I acted on my own and my actions were not company sanctioned.   It was poor judgement on my part and I hope we can forget about this whole thing.


Greg Paoli
American Properties

All is forgiven. It takes a big man to do what you did. Good luck with your McMansions.

May 11, 2006 in Buzz | Permalink



Posted by: Right of Center™ | May 11, 2006 4:12:39 PM

I bet the one in the picture sells first (unless there's more than one with a turret).

Posted by: appletony | May 11, 2006 4:24:52 PM


Doesn't it seem he should apologize to the people he was lying to?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | May 11, 2006 4:38:02 PM

can we start a pool to see who guesses the closing date of the first Crisco McMansion purchased?

Posted by: Shitalker | May 11, 2006 5:17:30 PM

Barista'ites are tough! Shouldn't we also be sensitive to the "blood, sweat & tears" someone puts into a business?

And balance respect with our wonderful sense of irony?

Posted by: quaker-oats | May 11, 2006 5:50:39 PM

I think they will reduce the price to approx $900k soon.

Posted by: anon | May 11, 2006 6:35:52 PM

Of course we are tough - what are you, a Quaker?

Posted by: Black Irish | May 11, 2006 6:37:18 PM

As William Penn said:

"When the Actions of a Neighbor are upon the Stage, we can have all our Wits about us, are so quick and critical we can split an Hair, and find out ever Failure and Infirmity: But are without feeling, or have but very little Sense of our own."

"In such Occasions some shew their Malice, and are witty upon Misfortunes ..."

read more:

Posted by: Quaker Oats | May 11, 2006 7:14:41 PM

maybe this kind of attitude is why the sales agents are quoting taxes that seem ridiculouly low to the rest of us.

maybe when they are caught by prospective buyers they will say " It was poor judgement on my part and I hope we can forget about this whole thing."

Posted by: pissant | May 11, 2006 7:40:16 PM

Realtors often don't have a great track record with regards to the "truth." Mr. Paoli might have profitably borne this in mind before his postings (and before others quickly uncovered his verbal misdeeds). There were others ways to try to mount a defense of the project.

If you'd only paid attention to how the outraged lions here even jumped on admitted shills for Red Cheetah, Greg, you might have known this. So I doubt very much this is behind you. Were I your superior, yes, we'd be having a "come to Jesus" meeting.

Posted by: cathar | May 11, 2006 7:57:36 PM

Well heck, not only did Greg lie, but he did it so badly. I'm not sure which is worse.

Posted by: Max | May 11, 2006 8:19:39 PM

i feel tremendous compassion for greg. i have nothing but respect for the builders who work hard to do a good job.
greg, it is nothing personal. please understand that montclairions pay exorbitant taxes--seriously, our taxes are a perforated ulcer on the duodenum of hell--and so we sometimes react with rancor if something blocks a small chunk of our view or impedes our egress on an already busy throughfare.
also, christopher court has suffered from category identification--through no fault of their own, the crisco homes resemble closely a type of home known as a mcmansion. mcmansions have fallen into disfavor among those of us who don't like to see something knocked down to make room for something really big that gets shoehorned into the same space.
this said, i visited crisco last sunday, and while i did feel the house was too large for my taste, i will congratulate you on some of the really beautiful and well executed features. the kitchen made me drool--it was huge, well lit and i especially loved that huge granite eat-in counter top. furthermore, you sound like a nice guy and you also had the guts to post your retraction letter. i see nothing wrong about feeling protective towards your life's work. so best of luck and please keep posting.

Posted by: i'm fran, dammit | May 11, 2006 8:38:27 PM

I read the back story and all the comments - and it is still not clear what lie he is apologizing for. The taxes? Can someone clarify?

Posted by: half-empty | May 11, 2006 9:04:16 PM

Fran, would you feel similar compassion for a flack for GM who posted under an assumed name about the glories of his employer's cars? For a pharmaceutical salaryman who similarly posted about the "evidence" that his company's new prescription drug was perfectly fine to ingest?

I think Greg got caught in something bad and embarassing. And he did it to hype sales, not out of any desire to see the workmanship that went into the development properly credited. They do cover what he tried to pull off in business ethics courses, and people there are usually not as kindly disposed towards his offense as you were. Even that he suggested folks "forget about the whole thing," that's a somewhat more oleaginous approach than most might understandably take. That his actions were unsanctioned by his employer (at least in his version here) does not necessarily mitigate the need for a searching come-to-Jesus talk with his boss.

Posted by: cathar | May 11, 2006 9:10:56 PM

"Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive
And so, my friend, the simple fact is
You've got to have a lot of practice!"

Posted by: latebloomer | May 11, 2006 11:09:41 PM

It's ironic how Greg's last line is "I hope we can forget about this whole thing."

Sure Greg, we'll forget about the lie, but it doesn't seem like there is any way you can help us forget about those ten ugly houses you built with fake chimneys eight feet from each other. So no, maybe you shouldn't be let off that easy. Or, tear the houses down, that would be a great start.

Posted by: The Bird | May 11, 2006 11:52:40 PM

I think it is "personal" I take offense. Some tried to *fool me* with a bald faced lie! And I say this as someone who has defended Crisco.

I don't trust liars. Sorry.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | May 11, 2006 11:56:32 PM


Somone calling themselves "superdad" posted this:

"JEALOUSY will get you nowhere. I just purchased a home in "crisco" and can't wait to move in. The sales staff was exceptional. The homes are superb. It's sad to hear that some of my new neighbors are so bitter about something they know so little about. Dont you people have better things to do???"

But he put his real email address which was at the development company.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | May 12, 2006 12:01:49 AM

and the other point is that he didn't purchase a home.

Posted by: pissant | May 12, 2006 1:58:52 AM

good point, cathar. would i forgive a gm flack or a pharma flack for the same ploy? possibly, if they sounded as abject.
more important, though--kevin lee allen had some specific observations, for example, he notes:
"The spray-crete detailing is already broken on the exterior, the roof isn't insulated and there are open floor spaces in the service attic. The gaps in the vinyl siding and the gaps in the exterior plywood only exacerbate the effect of the missing insulation."
no matter what one's position on crisco or on warehouse sized homes in general, kevin's points do merit discussion from the developers if they hope to attract buyers.
i'd also like to make some suggestions to the developers of these properties and others who come to montclair:
this is a community that cares about parks, old buildings and the beauty of the landscape. we don't have a lot of ratables because we don't want a panera/barnes and noble/kohls running through what used to be brookdale park. try and figure out what you can GIVE to the community besides a traffic problem. some ideas:
>>landscape the houses with plantings that attract beautiful birds and butterflies to the area.
>>respect the scale of the houses around you. it's too late for crisco but i suspect you have more crisco's on drawing boards back at the office.
>>picture yourself justifying your building plan to a group of third graders at watchung school. have you made the homes energy efficient, using solar power, etc. to compensate for the horrific energy draw houses of that size will need to heat and cool and light them seasonally?
>>for appr. one per cent of your asking price you could put a honda civic hybrid in every garage, thus reducing the number of hummers and escalades coming in and out of the limited access areas and setting a good example regarding energy use.
-so you see, greg/superdad, even though we sound cynical and bitter we are actually basing our complaints on genuine concerns. we look forward to your thoughts.

Posted by: i'm fran, dammit | May 12, 2006 3:21:05 AM

Greg, working hard and great pride don't make up for what was an ill conceive plan to start with. That may not be your fault but unfortunately, poor projects are poor projects no matter how much work goes into them.

Posted by: Max | May 12, 2006 5:52:46 AM

I'm not sure that we require solar power and a Civic in every garage to make new homes acceptable to most Montclair citizens. These houses are probably more energy efficient than most homes in Montclair with the same square footage. I think what most people would accept is building a reasonable number of houses for the amount of land being developed. Our Master Plan and our Planning Board are large culprits in this regard. We (the town) allow this type of development to occur.

Now that we have witnessed the abomination known as Crisco, the question is how do we realistically avoid having this happen in the future? Maybe a start would be a moratorium on variances by the Planning Board on multi dwelling projects until the new Master Plan is vetted and approved.

Posted by: BeanCounter | May 12, 2006 7:02:55 AM

"It's sad to hear that some of my new neighbors are so bitter about something they know so little about. Dont you people have better things to do???" mr. paoli's post

it's sad to see that the developer values this community and our opinions so little and thinks that we have no knowledge about building, quality products, or design.

i guess that we (YOU PEOPLE) are not the people that this developer wanted to market their product to.

Posted by: pissant | May 12, 2006 7:08:49 AM

Fellow Baristoids: Indulge me for a moment.
Like you, I feel a sense of helpless and despair everytime I walk by Crisco.
This morning I got up and felt my sixties activism revive as this slogan popped into my head,"Take back Crisco!!!"
Is it a totally crazy idea to get our citizens to buy the houses---tear them down--and return the land to a park? We could get national coverage, i.e. "Local Townsfolk say No To McMansions", enlist the help of preservationists across the country, appeal to foundations for contributions.
What do you think?

Posted by: 60's Rad | May 12, 2006 7:38:13 AM

problems doing that. you are still putting lots of $$$ into the hands of the mcmansion builders.

there is no incentive for them to stop building. it's like buying a dog from a puppy mill you end up helping to keep them in business.

let crisco stand. we can continue to point to these houses and what they stand for - greed and the unwilliness of developers to consider the surrounding community.

instead lets change the zoning and building laws in montclair!!!

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