I read the article three times and I still have no clue how New York manages it real estate and the ownership issues therein. For instance, people in L.A. rent apartments whereas people in New York buy apartments. A landlord in Los Angles owns the apartment building but in New York "co-ops" can own the building. We call those people investors or stock holders.
Hmmm, Co-op? Isn't that something hippies did in the 1960's in places called communes and pig farms? I digress, there are only 150-pools in Manhattan and most of them really suck. With that in mind pools are such a scarce resource there that there is a lot of "poolitics" surrounding which higher "forms of life" get to use them.
From the New York Times:
"... And now it has become the object of a dispute that threatens to divide the city within a city that is the venerable London Terrace apartment complex in western Chelsea — the four taller buildings on the corners, known as London Terrace Towers, and the 10 smaller buildings in between, known as London Terrace Gardens. [Read as really swanky gentrified apartments]
At issue is how much the landlord of the Gardens buildings should pay the Towers, a co-op that collectively controls the pool, so that Gardens renters can continue to swim, work out in an adjacent fitness center and lounge on a nearby roof terrace. A 20-year deal runs out at the end of the month, and some renters in the Gardens worry that they will lose access. They fear that co-op owners in the Towers have concluded that continuing to share the three facilities would hurt property values. ..."
Let's take a step back here and consider what New York is - I have only been to New York once and when I was there I spent three days walking through the whole place, ten miles a day, just to see what life there and on the streets was all about.
A lot of people envy New York: John Lennon once said that if the United States were the Roman Empire than New York city is Rome. Though I agree with that statement one thing must be clear, New York is nowhere near being an urban paradise or otherwise.
Consider this: New York is so overly centralized and cramped that the upper class mentioned in the article has to go to a roof top to lounge in the sun. Their beach water is dirty, and their pools scarce and fought over by people with the most money. Prices there are expensive and the weather is formidable. The only thing to envy about New York is its centralized art districts such as Soho, Broadway, the Met.
So when you are laying on deck in the sun waiting for your next event or walking to pool through a meadow or a field of wheat to get to workout you have more space more freedom and less hostility than John Lennon's Rome.
BTW, Ringo Starr had a different take on where to live. I saw him driving a 1956 something with flames on the side of the car and a big smile on his face driving through the Santa Monica mountains. Ringo Starr's "Rome." - I predict Rome 2.0 will be either be Shanghai or Los Angeles.