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Surveilling the Rich; Photographer Seeks Total Dump

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) Rich people. What are they spending millions of dollars on? What are they complaining about? This is What's Up With Rich People?
Rich people are starting to go a little overboard with surveillance in their buildings. While it's true that, like most New Yorkers, rich people want to feel safe in their own homes, The Times describes a paranoid Orwellian nightmare in many of the city's toniest residential buildings. This is a world where penthouse owners insist on facial recognition software, where board members have security footage sent directly to their personal computers, and where cameras are used to monitor the night doorman. Is this where dystopia begins? Freedom is slavery; Who watches the watchmen; Soylent Green is people; etc. ["The Building Has 1,000 Eyes"]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality]
The Hunter: a fashion photographer looking for a fixer-upper
Price
Dream: $1.2 million
Reality: $900,000 + reno costs
Neighborhood
Dream: N/A
Reality: Flatiron
Amenities
Dream: fixer-upper
Reality: fixer-upper
Summary
So this guy basically wanted to buy the worst apartment possible for under $1.2 million because, he says, he's a photographer and "photographers are very particular about our needs . . . it's very important we have control over how the place is laid out. So it is better to start from scratch and customize it, unless the person who moved out was a photographer." Hey, whatever you say pal. . . He ended up buying a really dreadful apartment on Park Avenue South for $900,000, pumping in at least an additional $130,000 in gut renovations. Also, this 44-year-old man's mother paid for the whole venture, selling a nine-unit apartment block in Los Angeles in order to subsidize him. [The Hunt/"On Park Avenue South, a Layout for a Photographer"]