1) Rich people. What are they spending millions of dollars on? What are they complaining about? This is What's Up With Rich People?
In a scheme worthy of Jacob Riis himself, certain segments of the blue-blooded, urban haute bourgeoisie of Park Avenue have decided to throw caution to the wind and see how the other half lives by venturing south of 59th Street to buy apartments. By now, you should be clutching your pearls in astonishment, but curb your stupefaction, dear reader, and entertain the idea, no matter how harebrained and scandalous it may be!
Yes, despite prevailing notions, there are actually areas "Downtown" (like Tribeca and Greenwich Village) that aren't riddled with beggars, transsexuals, and immigrants, but can still offer the upper crust a chance to experience the "gritty side" of New York.
Our betters simply find Downtown more vivacious than humdrum Park Avenue, with one resident describing a stay at her West 12th Street pied-à-terre as if "we have been in Milan for the weekend." Still, others find the insouciance of the area utterly delightful. "You can go out to dinner and you don't have to be dressed," says one Tribeca conquistador. "You don't have to wear jewelry."
Women are leaving the house bereft of jewelry! Pray, telegraph the Metropolitan Police and inform the constable of this calamity before the streets of our fair city run crimson with blood! ["New York's Beau Monde Finds Downtown"; photo by Andriy Prokopenko]
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 widower seeking a two-bedroom rental
Dream: less than $5,000/month
Dream: a neighborhood "different" from Flatiron
Reality: Midtown West
Dream: doorman, space
Reality: doorman, space, views, pool, gym
This week's Hunter decided to sell his apartment and transition to a rental, after witnessing a gradual hike in his monthly expenses. He seems pretty easygoing (a nice change of pace in The Hunt!) and looked at apartments in Murray Hill and Midtown West, before settling on a corner two-bedroom on far West 42nd with gorgeous views of New Jersey and a bus depot. Success. [The Hunt/"Lighting Out for a Midtown West Rental"]