Monday, March 7, 2011

Selling My Soul for New York

I wasn't born to live in a "Classic 6" apartment on the upper West side of Manhattan, but I sure have grown into the role.  For the uninitiated, the term "Classic 6" refers to a prewar apartment building with six rooms: a living room, formal dining room, kitchen, plus two full sized bedrooms, and a smaller third bedroom typically referred to as the maid’s room.

Those of you who don't live in the New York City area should know that a Classic 6 can easily cost...oh $2 or $3 million.  Or rent for $10,000 a month.  That's a lot of secret, middle-of-the-night Ebay's sales of DH's old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection.

For years all I wanted was to live in the suburbs in a single family home instead of the apartment in which I grew up. The dream finally came true when my family moved to the 'burbs when I was a teenager.  The suburbs "worked" for me for many years, initially when the kids were small and enjoyed running around in the backyard, when I would lay on a chaise lounge reading a book - actually that last one never, ever happened.  Now my frustrations with the suburbs range from the lack of green grocers within walking the lack of interesting sights to distract me when I (don't) take my daily squirrels chewing through my vegetable garden and occasionally breaking into the garage.

Selling New York, an HGTV show, is my newest obsession.  Selling New York.  It follows the Kleiers, a prominent New York real estate family, as they broker high end apartments all over the city.  Viewers get a glimpse into fabulous apartments, both contemporary and classic, as well as what they cost and the commission that the Kleiers make on each sale. 

I am fascinated. I am intrigued.  I am so jealous I could vomit all over the "traditional crown molding" or "six burner professional grade stove." 

The apartment shoppers on Selling New York get chauffered around in limos and dine with their realtors at 3-star Michelin restaurants.  They dress for a day of house hunting activities in the type of clothing that I would wear to a fancy bar mitzvah, minus the Spanx. When we moved into our townhome, our realtor sent us a dustbuster as a thank you gift.  When we moved into our house, we received a plant.  It died a week or two later.  I wore sweatpants to the closing, leaving my Manolo Blaniks at home to avoid tripping over the threshold of our attorney's office.  I didn't want him to regret representing us in case we ever needed him  to post bail for us in the future.

If I lived in the city, there would always be interesting people to ogle, boutiques to visit and esoteric parades in which to march.  I wouldn't have to worry about squirrels breaking into the garage.

Heck, I don't care if they stick me in the "maid's room" in my Classic 6 (this would actually be very fitting). I just want to be north of a good bagel shop or green grocer.  Where the crown molding stretches as far as the eye can see.


  1. Oy, have I got an apartment for you!

  2. How do you feel about hot and cold running water bugs and roaches?

  3. Joan Oliver EmmerMarch 07, 2011 7:36 AM

    Ask me about how I feel about suburban mice...

    I've always wanted to visit the Tenement Museum, but felt that at $20 for the price of admission, it was inconsistent with our ancestors' values.

  4. That was a beautiful love story... I felt every word.

  5. The tenement museum is 100% worth it, IMHO. I believe that the price of admission supports the museum.

  6. The one Merrill linked to is the sad reality of what I could afford in NYC. But with some paint and a new kitchen (and bathroom) from Ikea, it could be quite nice.

  7. The grass is always greener... just not the grocery store.

  8. I like crown molding, just not wrapped around $10,000 a month of downtown.

  9. a born and bred NY'r from the outer borough of The Bronx, I have loved NYC and will always love NYC but I am ready for some suburbs...I love nature and forget going to the green grocer for "fresh" produce...I am ready to grow my own...which I have been able to do in my little 15x15 foot yard that is now enclosed with high fences from the neighbors who have all concreted over their small yard spaces and built 7 ft fences for privacy thereby making me feel more confined than ever. Once the 2 magestic trees are cut down (which I have little doubt could happen some day) that will be it.

    This is not a complaint...because I grew up in a 2-family with large 3 & 4 bedrooms both occupied by my own family, original crown and chair moldings, french doors to the dining rooms, and clawfoot, cast iron tubs in the bathrooms...but the concrete is encroaching upon the things that I loved about living here.
    And don't think you would be escaping wouldn't : )
    They find their way in. Let's not mention the rats.

    If you think that the $20 for the museum is too much...that is just a drop in the bucket AND as a previous commentator does go to the museum with is a non-profit.

    This isn't to dash your dreams...just want to provide some context: )