Monday, March 31, 2008

Luxury Living

Yesterday I attended the NY Observer's first annual Luxury Living New York Condo Showcase at the Puck Building, where dozens of booths manned by sharply dressed salespeople hawking condos were beset by hundreds of people pushing their way to the price lists and free swag.

I went with the hopes of gaining some new insight about the current condo culture and the future of our city. I'd like to come up with something brilliant to say about the event, but it wasn't much more enlightening than leafing through a glossy magazine. So, for what it's worth, here's a bunch of random snippets--snapshots, overheard conversations, bits and pieces of marketing materials...


80 Metropolitan gumball with Platinum and 45 John M&Ms

Mmm...condo cookie...


"She's getting a lot of personal exposure. She comes from money, so it's expenses first, money second."

"It's not how much you make. It's who you know."


model of Toren: coming to Flatbush

Own Your Share of New York.

You Belong Here.

"It's a great amenity-laden building."



"It's all about connections."

Prewar Elegance--Extravagant Scale.



"How can that be prewar if it's new?"
"It's new construction but with prewar style."


Starting at $8 million with a minimum of 4 bedrooms.



"You look fabulous."

Hell's Kitchen, It's Got a Bite...It's got a sexy smile, too. And an energy and a future that's making tomorrow a different story from today.



A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who demand the most amenity-rich, full-service, ultra-everything life-style imaginable.

"It's perfectly safe for a single woman to live alone in Astoria, Queens."



"Sorry--I flirt."

25 comments:

hooverfactory said...

How did you manage to restrain yourself from machine-gunning everyone and everything in sight? Sheesh... how revolting.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Ok so FiDi is Financial District now? According to 45 John's website it's in the most vibrant neighborhood in Manhattan. And these new "prewar" buildings just kill me. The sales tactics are more see-through than the structures themselves. Used car lot sleaze at its worst.

BaHa said...

And luxurythink now permeates everything. Luxury vacations, dog treats, cupcakes. How narrow, how boring. I'm lxwaiting for the larger financial crash that is surely coming. I hope it happens before Chinatown is leveled in the name of luxury living. Bloomberg has certainly been talking about the neighborhood a little too much lately.

John said...

The need to place one's self above others, as in ultra luxury-philia, is an expression of the kind of deep insecurity that only comes from a total lack of self-awareness.

The illusion of "whiteness" cuts people off from the cultures and traditions that help define us, and leave people floating in a vacuum, looking for something to bring meaning or value into their lives. Easy targets for anyone who can slap on a vaneer of luxury to the same old and a way with fancy sounding words and typefaces.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult for me to imagine that Bloomberg has ever even been to Chinatown, or Coney Island, or anywhere else he would like to see "revitalized".

Anonymous said...

Much like the article in Atlantic Monthly http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/subprime
these condos will be the next sub-prime crisis. The interest rate cuts provides for "cheap" money to be borrowed and the overbuilding of these condos will result in inflation of the condo prices, thus resulting in cheaper than the condo's purchase price -- hence condo foreclosures. It'll get much worse before it gets better.

Anonymous said...

"Fun Flirty, Fresh in Fidi", heh. So, what's next, the evee? The Exotic, Elegant, Extraordinary, Enormous, Exciting, Exquisite, Energetic, Evil Empire, in EVee .

Anonymous said...

hooverfactory had it: how DID you restrain from gunning these urban vampires? You were standing amidst the Fall of Rome! Can imagine the cell phone blather and texting to 4,000 closest friends. Condomania is a sub-prime scam of a real NYC nature. Wait; just sit like a spider: luxury will be redefined as a warm spot under the bridge with a tin of Magnolia dogfood.

john said...

it will get worse, especially when that iron rebar starts rusting and the cement starts weakening from the inside out. an apt analogy for our society, devaluing the future for a gilded present.

thats when theyll convert them to mitchell-lama.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with the Astoria quote? As an Astoria resident, the neighborhood is very safe, and still has things like family owned fish, produce and meat markets, which I haven't seen in a whole lot of other neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

How can it be Pre-War? Maybe it will be. Perhaps we are on the verge of war. War against these real estate bastards!

Anonymous said...

By the way, the word FiDi really pisses me off. Chito, WeHa, SoHa, Why don't we just forget our real names and abbreviate those as well. Who needs names. Let's use souless, meaningless code words and pretend the Lower East Side never existed by calling it LoSaiDa or whatever the hell these jerk off political figures, mayors, and real estate developers have decided to name our neighborhoods.

Thank God there are other cities in the world that aren't cloneville like New York.

Anonymous said...

Have attempted to access the Atlantic Monthly sub-prime article without success. Any suggestions for reaching it another way? Sounds interesting.

Joshua said...

They mean the Astoria quote in the same way they mean statements like, "'people' finally want to live here", and stuff like that. They mean women like them, not the millions upon million of women who've passed though Astoria throughout the past 300 years. Those women, like the nonexistent "people" who didn't live in these neighborhoods before gentrification, are just losers to them, so they don't count. Barely human.
Also remember, our parasitic affluency is sheltered in the extreme, so often what they consider "unsafe" can be quite surprising. That's part of the reason gentrification gives them such a giddy thill (I mean, besides from all the money they're making from it to buy shoes with), they feel like riding the subway makes them super savvy superheros, because, 10 years ago, the thought of riding it could have frightened them into catatonia.

Nispero said...

I live in Detroit, but I used to live in New York. This kind of stuff is all very, very strange to me now, but I can't believe that Manhattan can remain insulated forever from the real-estate disaster most of the country is now facing. But who are the people at these things--upwardly mobile people who are borrowing heavily to buy a condo, or the old-money types that Joshua is describing? I suspect it's more of the former.

Snezan said...

umm, losaida is the name that the puerto rican immigrants gave to the lower east side. there's old school graffiti that is all over.

its kind of ironic you decry soho since its named after soho in london and guess how long that has been around?

naming things is how we come to possess them. renaming is a big part of our cultural process. we should remember that new york used to have a different name. new amsterdam.

Jeremiah Moss said...

and before new amsterdam, the first native people had a name for it. you make the point perfectly: new arrivals rename places in order to POSSESS them. in the current climate, real estate and yuppies rename to stake their claims, effectively erasing the culture that already exists in these places.

Anonymous said...

Wow! once we get rid of all the yuppies, hipsters, real estate developers, billionaire businessmen, frat boys, princesses, will be left with over all those overly educated, poorly motivated, way to cool folks who have nothing better to do then sit around their classic rent controlled tenement and talk trash about everything. Can't wait..

Anonymous said...

I'm with Hoover, I would have wished for a bag full of grenades.

Those people are SCUM and I only hope the recession takes them down a notch, or three

--NewYorkDave

Paul Allen said...

I concur, with anonymous (April 6, 2008 5:54 PM); can't wait for the yunnies, yuppies, wealthy & overprivileged, narcissists, egomaniacal, etc., to be rid of, so that their MBA and JD education -- if any at all -- or their uneducation or undereducation in marketing, fashion, communications, etc., greed, insecurities, overly ambition and motivation, way too much money and time folks, who have nothing better to do thAn sit around their overly priced condos, lounges, Starbuck's, and consume and talk trash about everything and everyone that is beneath them.

The moment the economy hits them hard, they leave their glass condos -- much like how locusts operate, swarm and leave once they've sucked the juices out of their targeted "hotspots" and move on to the next one -- to those who actually cares about culture and sense of neighborhood to pick up the pieces they leave behind. Yeah, can't wait for them to leave to go back to their natural habitat in the MidWest or California...

Anonymous said...

I am one of the oodles of contractors building New York into what resembles a scene from "Brazil" or "Blade Runner". Some of the new architecture is interesting, but for the most part it lacks a soul. And the quality is laughably and deservedly cheap. Almost all of it is funded with foreign money, and the swarms of new tenants are vapid. The new version of yuppies almost makes me long for the 80's idiots and the cheezey, self-important art galleries. They wander in and out of our community gardens and the dog run with their heads up their own asses, snubbing the very people who built this neighborhood. Never has there been sooo many "pure bred" dogs, in this neighborhood, who are dragged about by "pure bred" people. These people are the reason puppy mills exist. And none of them has the slightest experience or knowledge of dog behavior. They wouldn't even consider rescuing a dog from the pound. They refuse to neuter and spay their "investments" and it causes continuous dog fights, and more pound victims. Since the dog run began, I never noticed people standing in clicks or alone, in an anti-social stink that is poisoning the community spirit. These body-snatching, pod people think it's great to have roof parties where they throw beer bottles at residents. Any one who has anything but lily white, anemic skin tones are snubbed, and I am now regularly embarrassed to be white myself, because of their sub human and cold demeanor. Has any one checked out the yoga place on 13 st off of Avenue B??? I have practiced yoga for 30 years, but I found this wretched establishment is nothing like the love-centered and spiritual REAL yoga of such places as Shivananda on west 20 st. These bimbos actually have the nerve to tell people on the street to be quiet (some one please bring back boom boxes, and does anyone have a bad muffler ?), and they will call the police on any one who doesn't comply...mid day. The clients mill about outside the door, scoffing at the poor and suffering neighborhood residents that aren't scrubbed and sanitized in a way that makes the suburbs look interesting. Please KILL these vampire yuppies to stop them from sucking our souls, and if they crave interesting surroundings, then they should first become interesting, and then build their own community far away from us.

Joshua said...

In regards to the annonymous #9. Has anyone else ever noticed that when yunnies can't think of any specific "higher ground" argument (like "you're racist!", "you're provincial!", "we're saving the neighborhood!", etc), they often simply turn and attack the act of blogging itself? As I recall, blogging about nothing in particular was a staple of yunnie society, the fact that they share all kinds of bizarre and (what would normally be considered) embarrassing information about themselves being one of the innumerable proofs of their extraordinary hipness. “Redefining human interaction in the information age”, and all that other weird stuff they say. But, use the technology against them and suddenly they’re bursting with sanctimony.
Apparently, when yunnies are stumbling around drunk at 2:00 a.m. on weekday nights (then blogging about it the next day), it is evidence of people who are in fact models of the mature management of time, rather than examples of a marriage between spoiled infantilism and too little work (though it may appear so to us complainers).
Jeeze, these kids are really full of it, right?

john said...

post of the year. its like you squeezed all my mind grapes into one potent grape drink.

anon said...

Don't despair, the NY condo boom will soon slow down, similar to the ones that Vegas and Miami are experiencing to their condo markets.

http://realestate.msn.com/Buying/Article_wsj.aspx?cp-documentid=6599796>1=35000

Downside, of this? -- either we'll be left with vultures (and who knows if they'd be better than the yunnies or the yuppies)trying to buy cheap condos in NYC, or we'd be left with abandoned condos or halfway constructed condos -- I'll take the latter scenario.

Samuel said...

Here we are now in 2012....4-years later than these comments. And the luxe culter in NYC never suffered as predicted - it grew stronger. More douchebag, young, rich yunnies throwing their money around.