It's always been my dream to own the largest waterfall in New York
October 11, 2013 8:58 AM   Subscribe

What does 39$ Million get you in Manhattan real estate these days? How about a UES townhouse with its very own 22-foor waterfall?
posted by The Whelk (139 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
22-foot, not 22-floor, right?
posted by leopard at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2013


leopard, the foor (فور) is a standard Arabic unit of waterfall height.
posted by theodolite at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2013 [43 favorites]


Yeah but then you have to live on the Upper East Side and no one wants that.
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 AM on October 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


22 foor is about half a chalach, to give you some context.
posted by Mister_A at 9:03 AM on October 11, 2013 [18 favorites]


I think I'll just stick to the rivers and the lakes that I'm used to.
posted by Kabanos at 9:04 AM on October 11, 2013 [100 favorites]


I watched the video, and I was very disappointed. It's a corporate style plain wall with water pouring down, not a waterfall leaping and jumping over rocks and plants.

Also, that is a depressing kitchen. You can't even eat in it, and no sunlight? I had a better shaped and lit kitchen in public housing.
posted by jb at 9:07 AM on October 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


That apartment was on Four Houses a while back. The waterfall looked cool, but we couldn't work out if it'd just be annoying and make you want to pee or something.
posted by Brockles at 9:07 AM on October 11, 2013


It may be a standard Arabic unit, but this is America. In context, "foor" clearly refers to the Foor, a unit of length equal to the height of baseball player Jim Foor (i.e. 6'2"). See also the smoot. The waterfall is thus about 125'8".
posted by jedicus at 9:08 AM on October 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'll take it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:08 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


jedicus: "It may be a standard Arabic unit, but this is America."

freedom foors?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:09 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's too bad that every molecule of charm has been ripped out of this poor building.
posted by freakazoid at 9:09 AM on October 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


Oh man think about how cool it would be to have Goren and Eames standing over your dead body in that apartment.
posted by griphus at 9:11 AM on October 11, 2013 [20 favorites]


It's too bad that every molecule of charm has been ripped out of this poor building.

Charm, like "coziness" are the cold comforts of people unable to afford personal indoor waterfalls.
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM on October 11, 2013 [19 favorites]


Also, that is a depressing kitchen.

If you've got $39m to blow on invest in an apartment on the UES and it has an unimpressive kitchen, it is most likely because you're not entirely sure what a kitchen actually is, outside of the dark part of your house where that guy you pay comes on days you're not being waited on hand and foot at Dorsia or Crayons.
posted by griphus at 9:14 AM on October 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


As a friend of mine says, Disneyland. Disneyland for rich people.
posted by wuwei at 9:14 AM on October 11, 2013


Griphus, please to be updating your references to 11 Madison Park and extolling the virtues of Mcheal Buble albums.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to have an indoor waterfall, and they make a great talking-point.

Mine started up every morning at 7:30am when my upstairs neighbours ran the shower. It made my lightbulbs flicker and buzz, and eventually the ceiling fell in...
posted by pipeski at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2013 [15 favorites]


I'm just happy this isn't someone posting that damn clock tower penthouse again. It's so expensive! (And no one will buy it.)
posted by smackfu at 9:17 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


That giant slinky though.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:19 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah! That place!

I remember that time we were hanging out there but then the owner started in with this weird speech about Phil Collins and came out of his bedroom covered with plastic and wouldn't blink, so I took that as my cue to get the hell out of there.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:19 AM on October 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


You could come close to buying my entire neighborhood for that much money. It is a very small neighborhood but still.
posted by octothorpe at 9:21 AM on October 11, 2013


"Hell is New York City with all the escape hatches sealed." -- James R. Frakes.
posted by samofidelis at 9:23 AM on October 11, 2013


Nineteenth century town house. I weep at that thought of what could have been, as well as what once was.

More on Ms Shin. And CBS slavers over the thing here.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:24 AM on October 11, 2013


Is James Frakes Riker or is that Jonathan Franzen? I can't keep all these people straight.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:24 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sure, it looks cold and uninviting now, but it will have a lot more character when Crockett and Tubbs storm in and blow the brains of the coke-dealer owner all over those white walls and daring modern wall sculpture. You just have to look at the big picture, is all.
posted by The World Famous at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait is that the building from How to Murder Your Wife? It looks like it from the outside in the garden.
posted by Carillon at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2013


I think journalist James R. was Jonathan's father.
posted by samofidelis at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2013


I think we are looking at it wrong.

It isn't like you spend 39m on a house and leave it as it is, all stark white walls and giant slinkies.

When you got that kind of money you can buy all the charm you need, and if you don't know where to find the best charm money can buy you can always hire someone to make some. Or import it from Provence.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:29 AM on October 11, 2013


Also, am I the only one that can't really feel bad about incredibly old buildings being made habitable, even if it is ugly-habitable?

After you tear out the cardboard walls, the lead plumbing, the air ducts insulated with asbestos, the radon-paint stars on the nursery ceiling, the fuse-quality electrical wiring and so on, what are you even left with?
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like the room with the cowhide chairs and asymmetrical light fixtures cause haven't we all always wanted to live inside the gift shop at the Chicago Museum Of Contemporary Art?
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "Yeah but then you have to live on the Upper East Side and no one wants that."

I used to live four blocks east of this house and referred to the neighborhood as The Land That Fun Forgot®
posted by exogenous at 9:31 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


what are you even left with?

Pressed tin ceilings, people love those.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:32 AM on October 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


For $39 million I could get one of these, and one of these, and this and this and one of these, and have $20 million left over.

This lady managed to get a brown kitchen and a wet wall?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:33 AM on October 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


And several apparently important pieces of contemporary Korean art, which is huge in the gallery world right now, major bragging points.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on October 11, 2013


I love the NYTimes "What You Get For" feature, where they compare 3 identically-priced listings across the country (latest installment, not crazy about any of the houses this week). Fun to see what's out there!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:37 AM on October 11, 2013


Kinda funny that they mention that it is LEED certified, as if a 10,000+ square foot single-family home could ever be considered 'green'.
posted by scottatdrake at 9:38 AM on October 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


I think this was the last one- that Kansas City house is SO WEIRD.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:39 AM on October 11, 2013


With $39m you could probably buy enough billboard space along I-80 to sequentially write out the lyrics to C.R.E.A.M., one word per billboard
posted by theodolite at 9:40 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


(MacArthur Foundation nominators, please PM me)
posted by theodolite at 9:41 AM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I let my bathtub overflow all day, I get a waterfall that travels down two flights of stairs and creates a basement swimming pool, so suck it, $39,000,000 shitbox.
posted by orme at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


This lady managed to get a brown kitchen and a wet wall?

Well, she only paid 8.5mil + renovation costs, so figure on 9-10mil total to gut the place and throw up some bland Ikea flooring and corporate designed furniture and that tacky waterfall gimmick. She's hoping some lucky idiot will plunk down $39mil because the place got featured in the NYT Style section and she makes a cool $30mil profit.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love the NYTimes "What You Get For" feature

I love it but at the same time it makes me want to EAT MY OWN FACE because oh how delightful please tell me more about how I can get an 100 acre spread in Maine with its own meandering stream and functioning grist mill for the same price as an UWS studio, yes I love that information.

SOB
posted by elizardbits at 9:43 AM on October 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


The problem the only jobs in that part of Maine are novelty magnet painting and ghost tours.
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The worst one I ever saw was a 5-house compound in Brazil for the same price as the duplex I was looking at on Park Ave South.
posted by elizardbits at 9:45 AM on October 11, 2013


The Whelk: "The problem the only jobs in that part of Maine are novelty magnet painting and ghost tours."

Like Detroit, but with accents (and novelty magnet painting).
posted by boo_radley at 9:45 AM on October 11, 2013


Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the Trump Tower penthouses you're used to.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:45 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this was the last one- that Kansas City house is SO WEIRD.

wow it's literally the house from Beetlejuice, post-renovation
posted by theodolite at 9:45 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


After you tear out the cardboard walls, the lead plumbing, the air ducts insulated with asbestos, the radon-paint stars on the nursery ceiling, the fuse-quality electrical wiring and so on, what are you even left with?

If I was going to spend that much money on a 19th century townhouse, I'd hope I ended up with something more like this*, than what she ended up with.

*That's a friend of mine's house, mine is around the corner and about 1/10th that size and price.
posted by octothorpe at 9:46 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


If anyone bought a place in Toronto for $39 million it would probably be a crackhouse the owner was planning on tearing down and replacing with an architect's experiment that clashes horribly with the rest of the neighbourhood.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:48 AM on October 11, 2013


wow it's literally the house from Beetlejuice, post-renovation

Oh man if ever a dining room was calling out for a meal made entirely of human meat and cat skulls, this is it.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The worst one I ever saw was a 5-house compound in Brazil for the same price as the duplex I was looking at on Park Ave South.

How much to hollow out the inside of Cristo Redentor and live in there?

Eduardo Paes, have your people call my people.
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on October 11, 2013


They'd kick you out as soon as you filled the head with garbage.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on October 11, 2013


Wealth can afford a lot of things, even stupid things like this.
posted by Vibrissae at 9:58 AM on October 11, 2013


It's not in the article, but for $39M you also get Aimee Mann as your housekeeper.
posted by Mister_A at 10:02 AM on October 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


"I always wanted to have the biggest waterfall inside of a house," says owner Kate Shin in the video below, echoing a childhood dream shared by millions.

SNAP (formerly, food stamp) participation was 47 million by May of this year, a 1.2 million participant increase YTD. That's 15 percent of the total population in the US.

It's estimated (using hard census data) that 49.7 million people in the US are living in poverty. Over 20% of children under 18 are living in poverty in the US. Roughly the same proportion of children in that age cohort live in food-insecure households.

There are literally tens of millions of American children going hungry, right now, in the wealthiest country ever to exist. Nearly 50 million citizens are impoverished, as wages stagnate and inequality surges forward, leaving hundreds of millions behind while the super-wealthy continue to seize an ever-larger share of prosperity.

I realize that this may seem like a derail, but I think that statements like the one quoted above should not go unchallenged by the reality of people's lives. This story, as essentialized in the quote, and the disconnect between whatever planet Shin lives on and the one that the rest of us are obliged to live on, amounts to a moral obscenity.
posted by clockzero at 10:11 AM on October 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


So, ecoterrorism jam, anyone?

What, where are you going?
posted by planetesimal at 10:19 AM on October 11, 2013


Oh pshaw - everybody in the great U S of A is just a temporarily embarrassed millionaire. Whatever would the poor aspire to if nobody had 22 foor waterfalls in their UES pied a terre?
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:20 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I personally like the Upper East Side, but if you want to live in an ugly, stark loft you should just buy one instead of ruining an old house. I don't think the narrow spaces of a townhouse work with that style. And the art and decor are basically boring to me.

If I had a waterfall, I would use it for a shower though. that would be cool.

Other than that, the existence of great wealth along with poverty isn't a moral obscenity, it's an ordinary fact of life.
posted by knoyers at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2013


...statements like the one quoted above should not go unchallenged by the reality of people's lives.

Well, unless you know the details of the reality of Kate Shin's life, your stance of moral superiority to her is, at the present moment, unearned.
posted by griphus at 10:24 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why rich people always want such big houses. This is a serious question. If you have that much money, you can afford to have a pleasant place to live AND a place to throw big parties. Why sacrifice your day-to-day comfort just for the sake of occasionally showing off to a big crowd? If you honestly enjoy the aesthetic of this house, you could have it on a smaller scale and not need a Segway to get a drink of water in the middle of the night. Obviously there's something I'm not getting here. What is it?
posted by HotToddy at 10:26 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's always been my dream to own the largest waterfall in New York

The people in Niagara Falls must be pissed (and not just about having to live in Niagara Falls).
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:26 AM on October 11, 2013


you could have it on a smaller scale and not need a Segway to get a drink of water in the middle of the night

Why on earth are you getting your own glass of water?
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


> If you have that much money, you can afford to have a pleasant place to live AND a place to throw big parties. Why sacrifice your day-to-day comfort just for the sake of occasionally showing off to a big crowd?

Usually, there's a kind of apartment within an apartment that people can live in without needing to avail of the extravagant amenities in the common areas.
posted by planetesimal at 10:31 AM on October 11, 2013


Because having a water servant stand next to your bed while you sleep is super creepy.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


But it's creating jobs.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on October 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


You could buy this small village in Gladwyne, PA for less than 25 million, so you'd still have money for racehorses, skeletons of famous people, and butt-ugly luxury cars.
posted by Mister_A at 10:35 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "Because having a water servant stand next to your bed while you sleep is super creepy."

Must... not... make... more jokes about... dick beakers.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


I get UES and UAE mixed up in my head. For some reason.

p.s. soundtrack to this post is Riverbank from Best of Em. "Some people try to build waterfalls..."
posted by moonmilk at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2013


griphus >

Well, unless you know the details of the reality of Kate Shin's life, your stance of moral superiority to her is, at the present moment, unearned.

I think that your interpretation does not match my intent. First of all, we know that she owns a property which is worth roughly 39 million dollars. That's a rather significant fact about the reality of her life. Most people do not own property, and very, very few people own property which could sell for that price. This much is uncontested, right? That's the basis I'm using to aver that the conditions of her life (and this is not an attack on her as a person) are, in a pecuniary sense, utterly unlike those of most people in the US.

I do not claim to be morally superior to her, rather I'm fervent about the complete exclusion of moral and ethical considerations in the discourses on stratospheric wealth that attain in places like New York Magazine. What annoyed me here more specifically was the suggestion that millions of children dream about owning apartments with waterfalls in them, made in the context of an article about pricey Manhattan real estate, when millions of children are actually going hungry in this country, and probably dreaming instead about having food whenever they want to eat. Outrageously wealthy people are utterly disconnected, in their decadence, from the consequences of an enormous, nearly-unprecedented wealth disparity; their right to remain undisturbed personally, and to have their claims uncontested, by the suffering of the poor is indefensible. The politicians bought and paid for by great wealth are succeeding in cutting social spending when it's most needed, literally taking food out of the hands of hungry children. I just think the facts of poor people's utterly unnecessary suffering in the US should be militated against the bland amorality of narratives like the one I quoted.

So it's not about me and her, as people, nor is it about establishing a moral hierarchy of individual persons. I'm talking about structural things, and I've said what I meant to say about that.
posted by clockzero at 10:50 AM on October 11, 2013 [10 favorites]


I see your point. But the problem with getting worked up about this quote:

"I always wanted to have the biggest waterfall inside of a house," says owner Kate Shin in the video below, echoing a childhood dream shared by millions.

is that there is little doubt in my mind that the clause "echoing a childhood dream shared by millions" was a slam on Kate Shin for exactly the reasons you note.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I personally wanted to not have to wear glasses and also to have rocket launchers.
posted by elizardbits at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, unless you know the details of the reality of Kate Shin's life, your stance of moral superiority to her is, at the present moment, unearned.

If you only knew HALF THE SHIT I know about Kate Shin, you'd be cringing in the shower listening to your old Cure albums to wash away the pain!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:59 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because having a water servant stand next to your bed while you sleep is super creepy.

Oh man I remember talking to a tutor for these obnoxiously one percenter UES types and how the kid in her charge refused to learn how to do anything, like pour a glass of milk or turn the handles on the bath. A dedicated bedside water servant would not have been out of place.
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 AM on October 11, 2013


I know more than you can possibly imagine about the reality of Kate shin's life.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:00 AM on October 11, 2013


That child should have been thrown into the sea.
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm elaborating on some of the facts that actually demonstrate why it's outrageous, as I see it. It's not enough, to me, to be gently sarcastic. That's just what I think and how I feel about it, and I don't mean to derail the thread to express that.
posted by clockzero at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2013


From an unfashionable beach, no less.
posted by elizardbits at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you have that much money, you can afford to have a pleasant place to live AND a place to throw big parties. Why sacrifice your day-to-day comfort just for the sake of occasionally showing off to a big crowd?

A. What's the point of having wealth if you can't show it off to everyone?
B. Whoever dies with the most toys is the winner.
C. Why not, I'm riiiiiiiiiiiiiiich, so my sense of scale is broken.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:03 AM on October 11, 2013


...you'd be cringing in the shower listening to your old Cure albums to wash away the pain!

Hang on, where is it you think I'm posting from?
posted by griphus at 11:04 AM on October 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


If I had a 39m dollar house I would put a nice glass front bar fridge in my bedroom full of San Pellegrino and babybel cheese. Fuck that walking to the master bath to fill a glass nonsense.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 AM on October 11, 2013


Hang on, where is it you think I'm posting from?

I just assumed from your dutiful post beside Ms. Shin's bed. Now, madame's quickly drying lips aren't just going to moisten themselves are they?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:09 AM on October 11, 2013


In my village everyone had waterfalls. My first waterfall, a mere 9 foor, I made from charengo leaf and kúta fur. My friend Karen, her waterfall stood 6 foor high – but nearly 2 timôk in length, and studded with glittering rradangochëa shells. Many days we sat in the shady place beneath Karen's waterfall and spake of waterfalls both great and small. And we decided that there was a place for every kind of waterfall, excepting the monstrous waterfalls of the Turallae, of course.
posted by Mister_A at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


The worst one I ever saw was a 5-house compound in Brazil for the same price as the duplex I was looking at on Park Ave South.

So when biscotti and I were looking at houses in the Buffalo area in 07, her parents in Toronto (well, North York) would look at listings for fun, and there was this one house in their neighborhood that was on the market.

Just the difference between the initial asking price in North York and the (higher) price they eventually sold for would have bought our 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath, ~1800SF house in a very-good-but-not-the-bestest school district. With enough left over to also buy either of our neighbors' houses.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2013


When we went to visit my fiancee's family in Duluth, we hung out with her cousin who is a sculptor and also makes money buying perfectly nice, normal houses and renting them out.

The flat cost of a house over there is roughly equal to the broker's fee on the 2-bedroom apartment we're looking to buy in Brooklyn.
posted by griphus at 11:27 AM on October 11, 2013


Also, how is that the largest waterfall in NYC? The one in the lobby of Trump Tower is both taller and tackier.

And it's not like an indoor waterfall wall thing like that is expensive or difficult to rig up. What's the big deal?
posted by The World Famous at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2013


And it's not like an indoor waterfall wall thing like that is expensive or difficult to rig up. What's the big deal?

"Deal" is the operative word. The waterfall detracts from the fact that everything else in the house does not come anywhere near justifying the asking price.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:36 AM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


How stupid do you think I am when you list your height as 1 foor even on your OKCupid profile? Every man does that. Show some creativity.

The moment I meet you I will know you are lying, and that is a deal breaker. Unless of course you have a 5 foor or taller waterfall. Then it is on. Because of indoors waterfall sex.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 11:43 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love wood floors, but seriously, they make that place looks like The Gap.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:47 AM on October 11, 2013


It's not actually worth $39 million until someone buys it for that price, right?
posted by maggiemaggie at 11:55 AM on October 11, 2013


Plus what's with that really scraggly grass? For that price, I want newly rolled, putting green quality, preferably imported from Ireland.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:55 AM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I personally thought clockzero's original post was the whole point of this thing, not a derail at all.
posted by maggiemaggie at 11:56 AM on October 11, 2013


Doroteo Arango II, you speak like a benighted Turalla!
posted by Mister_A at 11:58 AM on October 11, 2013


I love how the bedroom has an entire glass wall where the only view is the big ass appartment building 30 ft away. Oh, and there are no curtains.
posted by Vindaloo at 12:06 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love how the bedroom has an entire glass wall where the only view is the big ass appartment building 30 ft away. Oh, and there are no curtains.


The building 30 ft away is included in the price. It is inhabited by actors who will portray amusing tableaux for you, should you choose to look at them.
posted by theodolite at 12:15 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


So ugly and austere, even with the waterfall. And a waste of water! It's like going to MoMA, except MoMA at least has excellent art to look at; its purpose is the reason for their stark white design. The art in Ms. Shin's was so corporate and blah. The whole place was bare, blah, and box-like.

And cold. It just looks like it would be freezing in there.

Behind the walls I'd want all mod cons, sure, but give me a nice Georgian-era brownstone, put some Persian rugs on the floor, deck it out with some Federal-style furniture, a few paintings, and a cozy fireplace. Not too much stuff, because that was the downfall of upper middle class Victorian style, in my opinion, but otherwise, put some color in there! That would suit me. Waterfall? Pah. For $39 million? I could get a nice antebellum townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, furnish it the way I like and still travel to ALL THE WATERFALLS IN THE WORLD.
posted by droplet at 12:17 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, unless you know the details of the reality of Kate Shin's life, your stance of moral superiority to her is, at the present moment, unearned.

Anybody who is a millionaire is by definition an awful person is a good rule of thumb, especially in a corrupt third world society like the US.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:27 PM on October 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


Let's say it are a doctor,lawyer,architect, particularly well compensated software developer, what is the best way to avoid going over that million dollar threshold. Demand to be paid less or give money away?
posted by Ad hominem at 12:46 PM on October 11, 2013


I'm a millionaire, if you're counting hugs, and I'd like to make a big donation to everyone in this thread.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:51 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I realize that this may seem like a derail, but I think that statements like the one quoted above should not go unchallenged by the reality of people's lives. This story, as essentialized in the quote, and the disconnect between whatever planet Shin lives on and the one that the rest of us are obliged to live on, amounts to a moral obscenity.

I agree. What strikes me as even more obscene is the slobbering, uncritical attention given to projects like this by house-porn on HGTV and others. This house was featured on "Million Dollar Rooms", a show I've watched a few times and which never fails to infuriate me. I don't think they intend to raise my revolutionary ire, though, which makes it worse -- instead, they seem to suggest that we all could or should aspire to these kinds of houses, or at least take inspiration from them.

I've got no problem with people have lots of money. Lots and lots, in fact, if they're ethical about how they get it. And living in nice houses? Sure, go ahead! But the sheer wastefulness of 10,000 square feet for one or two people, or a giant waterfall that you're bragging cost you over a half million dollars -- that just makes me turn into HULK SMASH.
posted by katemonster at 12:52 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


IMO better to keep indoor waterfall artisans employed and practicing their craft than keep that 500k under a mattress.

I always find it odd that we don't like people who have money but we don't like it when they squander their money either.

Let them squander it on waterfalls instead of political contributions.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:03 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


How much, realistically, did that waterfall cost to build? The stone is the only real variable, and everything but the stone was probably about $200 in parts and an hour and a half of labor.
posted by The World Famous at 1:06 PM on October 11, 2013


I think most of the cost was in the design. It's probably a totally custom job from a posh architecture firm in league with the best interior designers money can buy.
posted by griphus at 1:11 PM on October 11, 2013


She says they had to re-do it 4 times to get the slope Just Right. And the stone was imported from Italy.
posted by katemonster at 1:14 PM on October 11, 2013


Middle-class schlubs like me buy "imported from Italy" stone countertops all the time. It's overpriced, but not astronomically so. The waterfall wall most likely cost a tiny fraction of the cost of the kitchen countertops and plumbing fixtures.
posted by The World Famous at 1:16 PM on October 11, 2013


(Which is not to say I've ever bought a stone countertop - but I do know more or less what they cost and that they're often imported from Italy and installed in housing bubble tract homes.)
posted by The World Famous at 1:17 PM on October 11, 2013


And a waste of water!

I think it's probably a closed system which recycles the water from the bottom of the waterfall back up to the top. It's not the same as someone leaving the tap on for a year at a time or flushing the toilet every 5 minutes.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I require all new water in all my fixtures after each use, imported from Glaciers in Iceland.

I'm not peeing in the city water. Dear lord, the thought of it.
posted by The Whelk at 1:28 PM on October 11, 2013


The fixtures in my house use only rainwater or pure grain alcohol. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by The World Famous at 1:36 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am under the impression that stone countertops come pre-cut. This would require masons to cut and install the stone.

They probably did a really nice job with a custom copper pan at the bottom, probably covered with an expensive tile job, nice drain, and copper return pipes instead of the plastic liners and pipes people use for koi ponds all the time.

Wasting electricity on the pumps is probably the biggest factor.

Fuck do I know anyway, I have butcher block countertops. I just want to know how many millions I need for a giant slinky. I've never shared this publicly, but it has always been my dream to own the largest indoor slinky.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:38 PM on October 11, 2013


For maximum authenticity it should be the blood of the proletariat.
posted by elizardbits at 1:39 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


...flushing the toilet every 5 minutes.

Echoing a childhood dream shared by millions.
posted by griphus at 1:39 PM on October 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


think it's probably a closed system which recycles the water from the bottom of the waterfall back up to the top. It's not the same as someone leaving the tap on for a year at a time or flushing the toilet every 5 minutes.

This is true. It's actually a massive waste of electricity.
posted by jaduncan at 1:40 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if it's powered by a child labor operated treadmill though. Or like one really determined terrier.
posted by elizardbits at 1:43 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fuck do I know anyway, I have butcher block countertops. I just want to know how many millions I need for a giant slinky. I've never shared this publicly, but it has always been my dream to own the largest indoor slinky.

I will sell you a giant slinky for one million English pounds.
posted by The World Famous at 1:43 PM on October 11, 2013


Because I believe in our responsibility to the environment, everything in my apartment is powered by turnspit dogs.
posted by griphus at 1:45 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if it's powered by a child labor operated treadmill though. Or like one really determined terrier.

All terriers are naturally determined.

Parse that in whatever way makes the most sense to you, dear reader.
posted by clockzero at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2013


Apple would never turn a spit, she would steal the noms, devour them, and then poop on the bedroom floor.
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Within 50 years we will use Internet rage as a power source.Kinetic energy from each angry keystroke will be harvested to provide the enough power to run the all of the 1%'s indoor waterfalls.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:52 PM on October 11, 2013


Kate Shin is a former "financier". Bailout funds at work! If she hadn't spent $9 million on her house, the economy would have collapsed. We dodged a bullet here.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:59 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero: "I think this was the last one- that Kansas City house is SO WEIRD."

I'm so sad at what they did to the interior of that place. It would have been so nice originally. :(
posted by wierdo at 2:27 PM on October 11, 2013


I love the NYTimes "What You Get For" feature

Me too. I think the saddest list of all that I've seen like that is this one of castles you could buy that are less than NYC apartments
posted by rmless at 4:10 PM on October 11, 2013


My uncle explained to me how that works recently. You can buy an old castle for a song, practically, but you are legally required to keep it in shape, and possibly required to live there as your primary residence. The cost of maintenance far, far outweighs the cheap asking price and castles are really hard to make genuinely habitable in the contemporary sense.

Of course if you can prove to me it is haunted, I'm in.
posted by griphus at 4:14 PM on October 11, 2013


Plus, they don't come with a village of farmers and craftsmen tied to the land who, in exchange for my protection, provide me with tax income in the form of their products and labor.

Wait, would you guys be into that? Think about it, all natural, organic back to the land peasantry -but with wifi! I promise to be tough but fair.

I will ask you to wear the outfits however, and endure a few yearly questings.
posted by The Whelk at 4:17 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]



(oh and I may ask for your young male children to die for me in ritualistic battle between whoever owns the the castle in the next valley, possibly Greg Nog.)
posted by The Whelk at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2013


Yeah those are all useless without vassals and serfs and villeins and crofters.
posted by elizardbits at 4:32 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plus you get to force people to call you Vicomte.

I've always wanted to be a Vicomte.
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 PM on October 11, 2013


Oh man I remember talking to a tutor for these obnoxiously one percenter UES types and how the kid in her charge refused to learn how to do anything, like pour a glass of milk or turn the handles on the bath. A dedicated bedside water servant would not have been out of place.

I dated a girl who grew up like this. And the person she grew up to be was a bit disconcerting. I wrote about it a bit in this comment. I would say that probably 8/10ths, or possibly an even higher percentage of daily life type tasks you or i deal with on a daily basis was dealt with by a personal assistant or something. She only knew how to cook one thing, terrible stir-fry made with like 3 ingredients laid out... and didn't really know how to do much of anything else beyond the level of "put the dvd in my bedroom tv".

Well, other than do drugs and drink and screw.

I'm fairly certain that if you handed her $10, and sent her into a grocery store from the front door(you couldn't send her to one from home, she'd just get lost and die in the "wilderness" of the city. This was pre smartphone.) to buy a box of macaroni and cheese and everything you needed to make it, you'd end up with a confused girl and a pot of hard noodles and water with cheese paste floating on it. Rice? you'd probably burn your house down.

I'm not even 100% sure she knew how a microwave worked. If the toilet paper ran out i severely doubt she'd know where to find it in the house. Spending any amount of time with her was always really cringey because of how often she'd go "wait, how does that work i've never done that" or "Wait, you do that yourself?" to normal everyday tasks. And i mean like, really basic stuff. Not things like doing the laundry you could see hired help doing. As you said, like pouring a glass of milk.

I have mixed feelings morally and otherwise about how satisfied i was when she ended up disowned, pregnant, and stripping on webcam to live in a shitty apartment with a drug addict. It sort of felt like the universe correcting itself somehow.
posted by emptythought at 5:30 PM on October 11, 2013


When I lived on the UES, I used to walk past a parking garage that had a similarly boring waterfall (corner of 70th or so and York). So this place, in terms of its waterfalls-ness, is as nice as a parking garage.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:34 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amazed me the way she kept saying the house was all about value when all she talked about was cost and price. It's not just house porn; she's pitching the place. I don't mind a little house porn, I merely object to bad house porn.
posted by Anitanola at 6:38 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Whelk and emptythought, please clarify: Like, literally pouring a glass of milk? Because it's pretty much like pouring a glass of wine, right? And literally turning the handles on the bath?

If not, can we have some actual examples? I mean, I believe you that they were relatively helpless. Just having trouble picturing it is all. This kind of thing is fascinating.
posted by HotToddy at 6:41 PM on October 11, 2013


yeah the kid was like 7 or something but he refused to do anything, I don't even think he opened doors if he could get away with it. Apparently the tub thing caused a bit of stand-off, cause she tried to explain that he might be "embarrassed" at needing someone to turn handles for him and he was having none of it.

And his Nanny held his backpack to and from school.
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 PM on October 11, 2013


it is most likely because you're not entirely sure what a kitchen actually is

The kitchen is where the help caterers work.
posted by zippy at 7:12 PM on October 11, 2013


I once knew someone who worked for the food service that like, brought David Bowie his dinner when he was in town and in his loft.

It seemed like such a strange job, you're basically a high-end restaurant that never sees the patrons- but when you consider that, on a line-chef level once it's on a plate it vanishes from existence, it made sense - and they could obviously do more without a front room to deal with, but I kept thinking how strange that whole supply chain was - although now that I think on it it's basically a tiffin service with more money and a nicer name.
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 PM on October 11, 2013


(and if you look at the history of urban eating patterns, centralized kitchens are the norm cause they can use all the economizes of scale, even if it's just at a neighborhood block level. )
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 PM on October 11, 2013


(If I was designing a super sleek, super modern rich person designatastic townhouse I might not even put in a kitchen. Be all french about it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 PM on October 11, 2013


the existence of great wealth along with poverty isn't a moral obscenity, it's an ordinary fact of life.

It's both. In my opinion.
posted by gerstle at 10:07 PM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


he Whelk and emptythought, please clarify: Like, literally pouring a glass of milk? Because it's pretty much like pouring a glass of wine, right? And literally turning the handles on the bath?

In my case it was encouraged by the mom. The girl wasn't super against doing most things, but her mom was always like "EWW don't encourage her to do that you shitty dirty poor" to paraphrase a bit. It was stated with more than a bit of annoyance as a sort of "We don't do that here, if you want that done ask". Her mom really, really hated me. A lot of times it wasn't a refusal to do, but a refusal to even give her the opportunity to because "gross we have people for that".

The girl would approach it from a more "wait, you do that yourself? weird" standpoint. Usually in a judgey "wow, you really do that?" tone... and generally followed up with a "so, how does it work?". She knew how to literally do stuff like pour a glass of milk or turn on the bath, but you would be surprised at the stuff i would place on a level maybe one or two steps above that she had just never done.

The weirdest part about it was that she had several friends from her old private school full of seriously rich fuckers that didn't live like that. Some of them even lived in pretty modest houses and lived normal seeming lives. But i think the key thing was that none of them ever really questioned the way they handled things since they had been around rich fuckers forever.

As a closing note on this sort of thing, i am fairly convinced it's a very nouveau riche thing. Her family had been serious hicks who grew up poor as fuck in trailers and her mom was obsessed with being rich and acting as rich as possible because she thought that sort of thing = being high class and flaunted to everyone that she had "made it" and was completely separated from her past. Not that i know a ton of high net worth individuals, but my dads old business dealt with quite a few of them(including many of the suddenly-rich microsoft millionaires) and i feel like i could say with some semblance of confidence that this sort of thing is pretty much exclusive to people who suddenly have a big windfall of cash and are obsessed with the image and concept of being rich.
posted by emptythought at 1:53 PM on October 12, 2013


Geez, that's pathetic. I feel sorry for that girl. And I feel sorry for her family that they couldn't figure out that that sort of behaviour is dangerous and stupid.

I get the feeling that old money types would not buy this house.

As for the waste of the waterfall: D'UH! Of course it's a closed system and it's more the electricity being used to run it that's wasteful. I guess I'm too much of a Poor to understand it. Thank you for enlightening me, MeFites!
posted by droplet at 2:39 PM on October 12, 2013


As for the waste of the waterfall: D'UH! Of course it's a closed system and it's more the electricity being used to run it that's wasteful. I guess I'm too much of a Poor to understand it. Thank you for enlightening me, MeFites!
posted by droplet at 22:39 on October 12 [+] [!]

Eponysterical.
posted by jaduncan at 4:14 AM on October 13, 2013


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