I have just finished reading through a litany of quotes on patience, thinking that perhaps it would be a good theme for a story about what it takes to get an apartment like the one in today's photos. Specifically, a duplex that has a full parlor floor and a small bedroom on the lower floor with a small garden space. An apartment located in a historic 1837 landmark townhouse on Washington Square North with windows facing Washington Square Park. There are only three privately owned residential townhouses on the entire park - the rest are occupied by New York University and utilized as offices or residences for university faculty or personnel.
In reading over lists of quotes on patience and pondering what might be the best suited as appropriate for this real estate dilemma, it slowly dawned on me that, although patience is a virtue, it would really be disingenuous to tell you that the secret to getting a place like this is to have the patience of a saint. Why? Because you might die waiting. Literally.
This apartment has been occupied by the same tenant for the last 35 years. Super long tenancy is the same case for two of the three remaining apartments, both over 30 years. Unless you have a secret as to how to stack the odds in your favor for games like lotto, then it would be best to discount luck also, because being at the right place at the right time to acquire occupancy in a property like this somehow seems to require more than luck. For those who are religiously inclined, perhaps the grace of God would be more apt.
And for those who believe that money can buy most things and that lots of money can buy almost anything, think again. Because this is the kind of thing that money can't buy. This apartment is a rental and not available for sale. Buy the building? No, tenants have approached the owner over past years. The landlord has dozens of mortgage-free properties, does not need the money, and is just not interested in selling. Period.
So what's the secret? There is none. Just forget places like this exist. Or as they say in Brooklynese, fuggedaboutit :)
Note: For another rare glimpse at a spectacular garden space in this building, see Affront to Dignity here.