Another Fountain folly

Oh hell

Oh hell

Plaza Hotel may be on the verge of rescue.

Tied up for years because of its current owner's legal troubles, a Saudi and, implausibly enough, an Israeli company, seem poised to take it over.

As I admit to my own clients, my family has been blowing real estate deals since the early 1600s when, landing with the Dutch at the foot of Manhattan, we decided to settle on Staten Island instead of exploring the possibilities of the land at their feet (in fairness, there were Indian troubles at the time, and Staten Island offered more safety, but still ...). Most egregious, though, was my builder - great-grandfather's decision in the latter-half of the 1800s to turn down an offer of a plot of land in central Manhattan because of the swamp across the street: "anything you build here will have a wet basement", he is supposed to have said.

The swamp is now Central Park's pond, and the Plaza has pumps operating in its basement 24-hours a day. You weren't gonna pull a fast one on ol' Great-Gran-Pa!