And in NYC, the WSJ reports that there's no "January Blues" in the high end market

269 W. 11th Street. 233 is nicer.

269 W. 11th Street. 233 is nicer.

In fact, 269 W. 11th Street is under contract. It started off in September at $26 million in September but was raised to $30 million in response to buyer demand. This is of particular interest to me because my father sold his own 4-story brownstone at 233 W. 11th Street back in 1954, so he could buy our house on Gilliam Lane for cash.

When I was a mere lad of 16, I asked The Commander why he didn't just take out a mortgage and hang on the brownstone and he said, "who wants to be an absentee landlord in New York City?" Precocious little wise-ass that I was (I grew out of that) I raised my hand and said, "I do".

Oh well, I've enjoyed having to work for a living. Besides, my father's myopia just continued a long family tradition: the Fontyns arrived with the Dutch in New Amsterdam and chose to turn their back on Manhattan and settle on Staten Island instead. Many generations later my great grandfather was offered an empty plot of land in Manhattan and turned it down, explaining that the swamp land across the way would cause anything built on the offered plot to have a perpetually wet basement. I'm told that the Plaza Hotel, across from what is now CentralPark Pond, has pumps operating in its basement 24-hours a day. 

You won't find a Fountain making a dumb real estate deal, no siree.