Absence Makes the Heart Grow Snobbish

I LOVE Manhattan.

Oh my. I can’t believe I said that!

Let me explain. The cooler than usual real estate market this summer has afforded me the luxury of spending some time outside of Manhattan and for the first time in my life I think I’m actually becoming one of those "city" snobs.

I grew up much the opposite, in a working class neighborhood outside Baltimore city (half suburban/half urban). People in that neighborhood were not snobs at all. I moved to New York City in the summer of 1989 having never even visited before.

I’m not ashamed to admit that "the city" petrified and intimidated me at first. I lived in a sublet in Hell’s Kitchen where people were shooting heroin and prostitutes were on the street in broad daylight.

Boy has the city and my feelings for it come a very long way. Today I was driving back from a business meeting in central New Jersey. The setting was aesthetically similar and equally void of culture as the place where I grew up. Did it make me long for home? Why yes it did. But not the home of my childhood.

Manhattan has been my home for the past 17+ years and will likely be my home until the day I die. You can have the suburban lifestyle and I will visit the beach or rural areas when I hunger for that, but there is no better place in the world to call home than New York City. The energy, the creativity, the sophistication, the people (who definitely get a bum rap outside of "the city"), and the everyday conveniences it provides me and my family are most appreciated when I am without them. For this and a plethora of other reasons, I can’t see why anyone would want to live anywhere else.

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2 Responses to Absence Makes the Heart Grow Snobbish

  1. avatar Peter says:

    Doug,
    Thats why NYC real estate is different than any where else in the world. People always want to live here. Prices will not drop, only go up and up! Studios in walk up brownstones will cost $1.5 million in 10 years. Only multi millionares will own property here.

  2. Peter,
    From your lips to G*d’s ears. I don’t disagree that prices over the long term will continue to rise. Most agree that this is not a unique phenomenon of NYC real estate but all real estate in general. That said, the $1.5M walk-up, brownstone studio thought makes me cringe not unlike the thought of the $1M one bedroom made me cringe several years ago. Perhaps Manhattan will indeed exclude all but the wealthy from “ownnership,” but I sincerely hope that some form of housing (subsidized iof necessary) will be available to low, middle and even upper middle class families to maintain the socio-economic diversity that makes this city such an awesome place to raise a family.

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