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Stretch your NYC bath renovation dollars, Brooklyn sales uptick, & more

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This week, readers visited Brick Underground for the inside story of three Upper West Siders who live next door to the site of Shaare Zedek, a synagogue that was torn down and has turned into a nightmare of a construction project. The ongoing work has forced these New Yorkers to take extreme measures, including: putting couch cushions against the windows and drinking Ketel One to drown out the noise.

Also of interest: How to update an Upper East Side one-bedroom co-op (once owned by the iconic Joan Rivers) by refinishing the floors, sprucing up the kitchen, and changing the entrance to the bath.

Here, in full, are this week's top stories.

1) How to give Joan Rivers' onetime Upper East Side apartment a facelift

2) How to save money on your NYC bathroom renovation: Where to skimp and where to splurge

3) Brooklyn sales show an increase for the first time in two years, and Queens continues to set records

4) Here are the NYC apartments for sale with the deepest price chops in December

5) These three Upper West Siders live next door to a hellish construction project. Here's what it's like

And from this week's sponsors: 

Ask Sam: Our landlord is renting to a commercial tenant without changing the Certificate of Occupancy. Can we withhold rent? [sponsored]