On Our Deep Admiration for the Realtors and Developers of Washington Heights

19Nov07

To our dear friends, the realtors and developers of Washington Heights: thank you so much for inviting us to your delightful open house! As happy as we were to learn that you had bought the vacant “shell” on St. Nicholas and 157th Street for $1 (and don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone about the $500k kickback you made to your “friends” at HPD to get it out of foreclosure), it hardly compared to the pleasure — no, awe! — we felt as you unveiled your beautiful renovation! It really does seem like “a steal” at $1.95 million! And with views of Yankee Stadium? Priceless. Market downturn? Credit crunch? Rest assured, the phrases mean nothing to us!

The craftsmanship and design were — quite simply — unsurpassed. The facade alone is breathtaking: the seamless integration of new construction and majestic pre-war detail will be an inspiration to preservationists everywhere. We found the interior equally impressive: tell us, where did you get those pine-framed plywood cupboards? And the polished brass doorknobs and sconces? And each door was so pleasantly light, as if made of air. As for the “showroom” furniture — classic — who knew you could still buy a floral print couch with velvet fringe? (And good idea to keep the plastic covers on — you never know when someone is going to spill.) Really, it was so smart to avoid the tiresome “Jeff Lewis” aesthetic of obsessive-compulsive attention to detail and sophisticated color palettes, given what a coat of decent paint does to your bottom line (not to mention the “light-in-the-loafers” clientele that sort of thing inevitably brings in).

So yes, in case it wasn’t already obvious, we’re prepared to move aggressively on this property; would you take $2 million in cash if we could wire it to you by the end of work tomorrow? Can you fax a sales agreement asap to our attorney? We’ll do whatever it takes to live in this “Palace in the Heights”!

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