When the world around us is on fire, we must find ways to cope. Everyone needs a distraction or soothing habit because the brain can only take so much.
Some people cook or do yoga. Some meditate. Some people play Animal Farm or yell at CNN. But some of us dive a little deeper with something more. . . individual.
Examples: Some of you will only do the Gay Pride rides on Peloton. “Turn your life around while you turn that resistance up to seventy, hunty!” Some of you are tracking the BLM movement commentary — or lack of — from each and every Real Housewife on Bravo. Some of you are watching old episodes of that late 90s NBC soap Passions on youtube. The chunky highlights are soothing, I guess.
Me? My coping skill is logging onto Zillow and gawking at Manhattan real estate listings.
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary Manhattan real estate comes to me.
Speaking words of
wisdom marble bathrooms, let it be
Why Manhattan Real Estate Specifically
First, it’s a delight to look at things I can’t afford. I love capitalism. I love luxury. I love guillotines.
Second, I know Manhattan pretty well from a “boots on the ground” perspective, with a good feel for the differing neighborhoods. Yes, there are other towns with plenty of luxury offerings, but I know dick-all about the Bay Area or LA. Everything I know about London comes from Regency romance, which means I only know the Mayfair district. So when I see a 4-bedroom Central Park simplex, I appreciate the listing more, knowing how many steps it is to Bergdorf’s (now in Chapter 11) and that you can smell steaming horseshit the second you leave the building.
Another reason to love Manhattan real estate is that I find it hysterical you can pay $8.5 million for a home and not get a tennis court, swimming pool, or actual grass. While it’s true that leg room is at a premium in a crowded city, it soothes me to know that a rich person can drop that kind of cash and still not have anywhere to put a ball machine. And then I laugh maniacally when I realize they are dropping a few more million to put that ball machine behind their Southampton shingle-style traditional. It feels so good to laugh (sobs).
And the final reason I love Manhattan real estate is the staging for the listing photos. There is so much modern art, from either Debra Ramsey or from Home Goods. Velvet couches really exude finery. The stagers are also using a lot of Lucite. It’s clean; it’s chic; it’s an ode to Rick’s Cabaret. And then there are the coffee tables and the coffee table books. The way they make post-war monochromatic tenements kiss Prabal Gurung’s mood boards is “chef’s kiss” perfection.
My Top Soothing Listings Right Now
This stunning 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment on the first floor of a stately 1850s, 27 ft-wide prewar home – now an upscale boutique co-op – is a site to behold with its modern refinements and original detailing.
This $3.7M house 2 bedroom comes with a coveted key to Gramercy Park. Unfortunately, it’s street level, so when we eat they rich, we are coming for you first.
Built for Gilbert C. Brown between in the Beaux-Arts style by Buchman & Deisler, this landmarked 5-story home was extensively restored by renowned architect Campion Platt with no detail overlooked.
A listing that drops more names than Tahani Al-Jamil. This $16.75 Lenox Hill single-family boasts a fireplace in the closet/workout area. Heated yoga and your clothes can smelled like mildewed ass. I want to be a part of it . . . New York . . .
There is a sitting room with access to the wide parlor floor terrace overlooking the garden, as well as a large library replete with built-in bookshelves.
This description of this UES townhouse is how I describe my boyfriend. $14.95M will get you a “massive rear garden”. . . and this is how my boyfriend describes me.
Built in 1860, this extraordinary 20 wide Italianate house has recently undergone an extensive renovation designed by Piet Boon. The delightfully serene interior represents a successful melding of restored original architectural details and exemplary contemporary finishes while the facade incorporates a stoop with wrought iron detailing.
Notable features of this $16.3 townhouse: so much marble to slip and crack your head on. This house has so much white, it comes with a year’s supply of Clorox, to clean up the wine and the blood stains.
So if you hear me rambling about co-op boards, classic fives, Basquait knock-offs, or prewar construction, know that I am doing my best. I’m coping. I’m coping with Zillow and not with Xanax.
So let’s hear it. What are YOUR weirdly specific coping skills? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter. The weirder, the better.
Amy takes pride in being a grumpy optimist. Want to talk sports ball? Amy is your girl. Her favorite New York Times crossword puzzle day is Tuesday. If your book is set in the former Soviet Union or World War 2, Amy will read it. As a recovered Southern Baptist, she is raising her daughter to be happy.