Tuesday, February 18, 2014

They paid the rent but will they be able to use the pool - "Poolitics" slams a swanky block in Manhattan?

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.

1 comment:

Glenn Mills said...

We've been in NYC 3-1/2 years. From my beginnings in PA, moving to Ohio, school in Alabama, and then a small island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay... I have to say... NYC is the friendliest place I've ever lived. Be it the competitive nature of business, or people's desire to live in an environment that forces you to deal with others, if you spend any time here, you'll be amazed at the kindness, and outgoing nature of the people here.

I can see if people visit, and don't completely immerse themselves in the environment, they'd miss these things. People are rushing to get through the craze to get to their base, but once there, you really are home.

Your local stores know you. Your local hang out knows you. Go grab some coffee on the way to the pool at 5am, and the local guy on the corner sees you coming and gets your packets of sugar ready. This Friday night, our favorite "waitress" is coming over for dinner. A jazz singer working for her break. I use quotes on waitress because she was so good to us, she's absolutely passed any part of being a server, so I don't like to think of her in that role. She's a very good friend we met at a restaurant while she was working.

I would have NEVER guessed it is the way it is on my infrequent visits prior to moving here, and yes, we're very lucky to spend every day in the best pool in NYC, and are surrounded by warm, and generous families who's kids we work with. However, NYC really is the best place I've ever lived and we hope to be here for a very long time.