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Empty Nesters Upgrading; Can An Apartment Be Art?

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1) Remember last week's hunt couple, who rejected apartments and lowered their price range because they didn't want to feel ostentatious? These guys are not those guys. These guys are Chris and Jim, college buddies moving to New York to work in finance. Chris arrives first, meets some new people, and decides that they are very different and weird and he doesn't want to live with them. He does this thing where he tells a story about potential roommates who were stringent vegans, and then sort of implies that no one in the city would let him eat meat. Sure, yeah. That's probably exactly how it went. Everybody wanted to be your roommate, they were just going to force you to grow dreadlocks and participate in OWS drum circles and that's just not what you're about, bro. Long story short, he decides to live with one of his frat brothers, Jim, who rejects the East Village (he thinks prewar buildings are too dirty) and forces Chris to pay more than he can afford for a 1BR in the Ritz Plaza (Chris sleeps in the living room.) They don't love living near Times Square. No shit, geniuses. [The Hunt/'River-to-River Views, on a Budget']

2) Many parents use the kids going away to college as an opportunity to downsize homes, but in the city, many see it as the perfect chance to go after their dream apartment. And why not? Good for them! One couple upgraded from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet and "don't encourage [their] children to visit." And even if the parents could make new space by converting their children's bedrooms, that can be an unappealing option. "They don't want to be reminded they were the kids' rooms," says Barbara Fox, of Fox Residential Group. Yeah, who wants to turn their kid's childhood bedroom into the Orgy Room anyway? [Supersizing the Empty Nest]

3) When listing his City Spire penthouse for $100 million, developer Steven Klar now-infamously told the Times, "Art is what people are willing to pay for, and an apartment like this is like a piece of art." James B. Stewart takes this opportunity to ask the question: Um, is it? The short answer is "No." The long answer is "Are you kidding me? No." One real estate agent points out that for a property to be considered art it needs to have cultural or historical significance. An art curator says that comparing real estate to fine art is "like comparing Earth to Saturn" (in terms of size.) Jonathan Miller explains that people are "confusing price with art. You'd think that titans of industry would be very individualistic about their acquisitions, but at the very top, there's a herd mentality. You get one or two very large transactions that grab headlines and then it's like a light switch goes off." Does that answer that question? [Common Sense/'Overpriced Real Estate? Well, Maybe It's Art']