Has it really come to this?
An ad for a 15,000 sq.ft. McMansion describes it as “an aspirational compound for today’s lifestyle”. Geeze, how insecure are you if, having scraped together the wherewithal to buy this whopper, you still have unmet aspirations?
Shakespeare in Greenwich
From The Tempest: Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?
This quote struck me as apt when I read that Eric Clapton will be performing at a private soiree at Belle Haven this summer. He’ll be paid $1.5 million for an hour’s work, which is probably far less per hour than his employer, hedge fund owner Raymond Dalio makes but you never want to over-pay the help; like over-tipping in poor countries, it spoils the natives. So why would anyone pay that kind of money for a once- famous singer? I wouldn’t presume to plumb the motives of a particular person, especially when, as here, lots of money will be raised for charity, but as a general observation of this social phenomenon, I’d say it’s because one can. And what’s really cool is that, unlike poor Glendower, the spirits will indeed come when a Greenwich millionaire summons. Top Greenwich social life is about showing your friends up – you can do what they can’t. Own a Gulfstream II? Heck, even the mud-soiled builders in this town have those. Helicopter skiing in Banff? Swap tales with your gardener – he was there last April. But pull Clapton into town for your charity event and you’ll have topped your peers, at least until one of them manages a Beatles reunion. I’m sure someone’s working on that now.
19 Andrews Road
This is a beautiful 1928 five bedroom brick Georgian completely renovated and located close to town on an acre. Marc Robinson (New England Land) has listed it at $4,900,000 which I think is a fair price. It remains unsold because, I would guess, at just under 5,000, sq.ft., it’s smaller than today’s young customers feel they must have. Too bad, because it’s an absolute classic, with five bedrooms and a pool, that even the most upwardly mobile couple should be proud to live in. I realize I’m getting grumpy here, but the best quote I overheard at this showing was one agent to another: “If my clients had any taste, I’d tell them about this place.”
Cops at Greenwich High?
I was all set to blast the idea of posting a policeman at the high school because, I reasoned, today’s kids couldn’t possibly be any worse-behaved than we were in 1971. We didn’t need a cop to keep order back then so why should a police presence be necessary now? But speaking with people who actually know something about the situation, it turns out that our current crop of young folks is quite a bit nastier than they were in my day. Really? In Greenwich? Why? (I hate when facts interfere with my opinions).
Price it, sell it
A house came on the market a year ago at a price that, given the house’s tired condition, seemed a bit steep to me (okay, really steep). The listing expired and the owners have now re-listed it with another broker for even more money. Yeah, that’s the ticket: it’s not the price that’s wrong, it’s the marketing!