Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

The son of J-prof Allan Wolper buys David Halberstam's apartment; Wolper pere writes about it for Editor and Publisher.

It's a great story. But what do I chafe at? Wolper fils, Richard, occupation unknown, lives in Utah. He's just buying the apartment to have a place in the city -- a pied-a-terre, as they say. And this bothers me to no end.

Yes, I know that some ungodly percentage Manhattan apartments are rented as second homes by the absurdly wealthy. But, I think of most of these people as international bankers, scions of royal families, entertainers and media moguls. You know, the obscenely wealthy.

I don't think of them as professor's kids with a wife and kid from Utah. And they get to buy Halberstam's apartment? I want Halberstam's apartment. I'd put on a tuxedo every time I stepped inside of it -- I don't care.

Instead, I live in an apartment probably even tinier than this place with my wife. And is it on the Upper West Side? No. It's in Upper West Philadelphia. There's garbage and bugs everywhere, and anarcho-hippies who play guitar on their porches and then get mad at each other and start trashing each other's junk in the street. I've got a laundromat and a coffee shop around the corner, two bus routes close by, and in West Philly I'm damned glad to cling to this. It's probably the cheapest place I've ever lived; and we still can't really afford it. I'm coming to the realization that I haven't been able to afford anything I have ever done in my entire adult life, yet I've somehow barely managed to come out all right.

I've been in college for ten years now. All I want is a quiet place to sit, read, and type; a place with parks and markets close by, regular trash pickup, and plumbing I can count on. I want enough money that I could begin to think of saving or investing it.

But right now, I really want David Halberstam's apartment.

1 comment:

LPS said...

you live near anarcho-hippies? maybe i'll come visit! :)