I have finally moved into my new flat, a jewel of a place in a pre-first world war Park Avenue building. The finishing touches won’t be made until Christmas 2016, as work is only permitted during the two summer months.
That is the way it should be. The past three years have been agony for me. I’ve been living in an apartment that shook all day while Jeff Koons, a so-called artist, was putting up a behemoth in the shape of a house directly behind me. Worse, a Russian oligarch, who had hired dodgy construction workers to tear down and rebuild a monument to his thievery, had them ignore night-time regulations, which made sleep impossible. I had sold my brownstone when my children chose to live in Europe and my household staff announced the stairs were too many and too steep. It took three years to find a new home.
Now I sleep like the proverbial baby and have never been happier. My walls are so thick I had to have an expert come in and drill holes in them in order to use the internet. I no longer hear the fat lady upstairs fart at night, or Mister Goldfarb lament the cost of living every morning. Happiness is never hearing your neighbours. Manhattan luxury buildings of recent vintage are pretty horrible to behold. Roughly ten major buildings have come on to the market in Manhattan that advertise multiple swimming-pools and private lifts for the very, very rich and very, very vulgar. The ad says, ‘Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you have to give up your spot by the pool.’ Nor their wives their lifeguards, I imagine.
Most nouveaux riches buy ultra expensive dwellings downtown in Greenwich Village.