Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, March 21, 2021

There are 147,500 walk-up apartments in the five boroughs, and despite price breaks, they’re not for the faint of foot:

Walk-ups can be a tricky sell, because it takes a delicate blend of circumstances to create a happy walk-up resident.

For a buyer of a certain age, all those stairs throw a wet blanket over the thrill of saving thousands of dollars. Having an elderly canine member of the family can make the journeys up and down tiresome, time consuming and kind of sad. And even people in the prime of life with the stamina to launch themselves from the first floor to the fifth without trouble — hey, it’s aerobic exercise, right? — may find the climb unbearable if they are hauling along toddlers and strollers, too…

Banks, too, can be squeamish about stairs. Some will not finance above the fifth floor of a walk-up building. Others will not go above the fourth.

“A lot of banks just won’t do it because of marketability,” said Julie Teitel, a mortgage broker at GuardHill Capital. “I have a friend who has had a walk-up on the market for a year and a half, and they’ve lowered the price a lot. I’m tempted to buy it myself, but then no older people will come over.”

I guess it’s hard for me to accurately relate, because I don’t have to deal with several flights of stairs to get home. But honestly, the aversion most people in New York have to walk-ups strikes me as whiny. Merely invoking the phrase “walk-up” incites an allergic reaction to apartment-hunters around here. Even the slowest/crankiest elevator in town is considered a godsend, versus having to trudge up a few steps.

I could understand 10 or 15 floors being an issue. But only four or five? If you’re in halfway decent shape, that shouldn’t be an arduous climb-and-descent (after the move-in, of course). Even if it is, the $50 grand or so that seems to come off the market price of such a dwelling should keep you motivated in giving your legs a daily workout.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/21/2010 09:05pm
Category: New Yorkin'
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The Civil War was 150 years ago, so it’s a bit late for Maryland to switch sides. But it is, by switching from the Southern region of the Council of State Governments to the East region, thus disassociating from its fellow former slave-holding states.

This official shift merely confirms what’s been happening in the Old Line State for a long while now:

Longtime residents note a shift too. Diane Schwallenberg, who has lived in the Annapolis area all of her 53 years, said she feels more Southern because of the state capital’s laid-back waterside atmosphere and small-town friendliness. But she said she has noticed a change over the years as more people have moved to the area.

“Some of the new people that come in - not the real, true Annapolitans in particular - but people that have come in are kind of preppy and all,” she said.

And then there are those who put the situation in a harsher light:

The state of Maryland exists as it does due only to our proximity to the high paying jobs of the federal government. If not for that, the entirety of our one-party dominated anti-business state would be wallowing in filth, crime and food stamps. We consistently rank at the bottom of business-friendly states. We have no idea how to sustain ourselves without jobs and assistance from the federal government.

A state-sized dependency of Uncle Sam? Sounds about as anti-Southern (in the 19th-Century sense) as you can get. Maybe this puts the final nail in the coffin of the Mason-Dixon line as the traditional North-South divide. It also calls for a replacement for “Dixie” as a regional nickname; maybe “Potomaca”?

Since Maryland unavoidably includes Baltimore, I’ll let John Waters have the last word. Or I would, if I could actually track down a memorable quip I could swear he once tossed out about his hometown. I cannot find a trace of it on the Web, but I remember it pretty well, and it went something like this:

“I love Baltimore. It’s like every oddball in the South decided to head North, and when their cars broke down halfway there, they decided to stay put.”

From border state to borderline state. Explains everything, really.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/21/2010 08:27pm
Category: History, Politics, Society
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