IT WAS A SNOWY WEDNESDAY IN MARCH WHEN…
…My dear friend Ms. X called to say that because of the Nor’easter she had postponed her flight back to LA and wondered if I could possibly show her 2 and 3 bedroom apartments that afternoon. She realized it was very last minute but she really wanted to see an apartment in the building where for over 50 years her husband’s family’s toy business was located until the building was sold to a developer and turned into a luxury condominium. I had loved and admired her larger than life, stylish late mother-in-law who had run the company until she was well into her 90s. I wasn’t sure if Ms. X was simply curious to see the former office building or if she genuinely was considering selling her terraced penthouse in Carnegie Hill since her son had relocated to Los Angeles where she and her husband, who is an internationally renowned film producer were now spending most of their time.
Ms. X was already on a first name basis with the concierge who was charging her iPhone when I arrived early for our first appointment. Since the broker hadn’t shown up yet, I took Ms. X to look at the amenities that included a beautiful swimming pool that Ms. X found to be precisely the right degree of warm. She then left me to check out the ladies locker room and use the facilities and after expressing her excitement about the pool, gym, steam room, and sauna we returned to the lobby where the concierge told us both brokers were upstairs waiting in the apartments we were scheduled to see. I often wonder how I can go from being early for an appointment to suddenly being late.
The first apartment overlooked Madison Square Park which thrilled Ms. X who told us she adores the food carts, the greenery and Shake Shack. She asked the broker to find out if the building would permit her to put in a fireplace and after deciding Mr. X would love the apartment her enthusiasm waned when she asked the price and the broker mumbled 7 something. We raced to our second appointment as the broker hadn’t wanted to waste her time showing it because they had an accepted offer but she’d agreed when I said I had a serious buyer however when she found out I was bringing Ms. X she’d wanted to cancel since she said only men liked the apartment. After seeing the brick-wall facing sterile vacant unit, I decided it wasn’t the apartment that men liked but the blonde broker who was wearing a very short skirt and displaying a lot of cleavage and a minimal amount of brains.
I told Ms. X that I was sorry I had to dash off, but I had an appointment uptown, and since it was rush hour I was going to try taking the subway. Just as we were crossing Park Avenue a bus with an enormous advertisement for Mr. X’s new movie passed by and when I pointed it out to Ms. X she grabbed her phone and ran into the street to photograph it. She was certain the sign was “a sign” that the timing and building were right and I agreed until I realized she was standing in the middle of the street photographing the bus oblivious to the approaching cars. The movie opens April 7th which was my mother’s birthday confirming that our afternoon adventure was truly a sign from above. The good news is Mr. X is flying in for the movie’s premiere and we have an appointment to show him the apartment and review it afterward over pasta and gelato at Eataly.