This is the lead from a story on the front page of the real estate section of the Sunday New York Times:
Charlene and Jon Simonian were longtime renters, occasionally looking for a place to buy. They got serious, but everything in Manhattan seemed too expensive. Until they found a three-bedroom condo at 1280 Fifth avenue. They bought it for $1,525,000, and moved in last spring.
Is it the Simonian’s textbook narcissism that I’m so annoyed at? [The article included a photo of them holding cups of tea and another of them on their balcony overlooking Central Park.] Their need to tell their tale in a public forum of a struggle against almost insurmountable odds? Their triumph over adversity? Thank heavens they found something within their meager budget. Good for you, Charlene and Jon! We all celebrate your success!
Or is it the New York Times itself, who likes to fancy itself as a populist publication and a champion for the common good, but then prints tripe like this?
Or is it my own insecurity? The fact that I will never have the wherewithal to plant my clan in a $1.5 million home?
I suspect it might be a combination of the three. I can tell you one thing for certain; it doesn’t go well with coffee and a Hostess Ho-Ho on a Sunday morning.
I promise this is the last time I’ll prattle on about Las Vegas. It was three weeks ago and I need to move on. I know. You don’t have to say anything. But there was magic at my fingertips. I keep looking back in my mind’s eye and I can still see it all so clearly. The focus is still sharp. It hasn’t begun to blur yet. This isn’t how I get to live all the time. I’m just regular.
I spent hours lounging on my balcony, day and night, and became lost in thought. This is extraordinary when you consider the fact that crap tables were only an elevator ride away and I am a borderline addict. I memorized the view. They had a nice chair and end table set that made it comfortable and hard to leave. I was entertainingly appalled by the gruesome lights and architecture, the fake Eiffel Tower and the dancing waters.
On my last night in town, I requested a wake-up call for 4:45 a.m. to catch a 7:30 flight. But I couldn’t tear myself away and stayed out there just drifting until 3:30 a.m. It was a new sensation and I was afraid that if I stood up, opened the sliding door, went to bed and closed my eyes, it would all disappear like vapor. But I have this bright memory. I’m not convinced it’s ever going to go away.