This Is Where The Magic Happens...! by Harper Dimmerman
"The magic begins on the 37th floor." And no, it's not what you're thinking. Trust me. I'm actually referring to Philadelphia's latest installment in wildly extravagant urban dwelling, situated right there at 16th and Chestnut Streets. For those of you whose canines are craving the next level in decadent living and playdates with Oprah's retrievers followed by monogrammed dog biscuits, Evian spritzers and craniosacral therapy at The Rittenhouse just aren't cutting for Fifi - boy do I have a place for you. It's Two Liberty Place and it's hot, red hot, assuming of course you’ve got a few million buckaroos lying around (after charity of course, i.e. not purchasing entirely unnecessary luxury items under the guise of pumping money into the global economy). The Penthouse can be yours for a cool 15 Million. Any takers?
Two Liberty's developer, bucking the national trend by promoting American narcissism, wants potential buyers out there to know that the Owner's Club will afford "views of the setting sun." Where are we? Out West? Anyway, according to a recent Inquirer piece, every five-star staffer in this ultra-luxe condo is acting "exquisitely polite, enunciating every syllable, and smiling." Because rich people demand superlative enunciation, right? The slogan of the place is "A life designed around you" and one of its biggest selling points is its unyielding commitment to personal service and the elimination of "hassles" from daily life. For instance, in one of the new neighbor's units, a Miele appliance expert was brought in to give a group tutorial on how to operate the washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven and built-in coffee maker. Gotta make sure the Villeroy & Boch china impress.
All ribbing aside, the place sounds pretty remarkable. In case it's not obvious, I'm just envious. Yet I just can’t seem to stop contrasting life in the clouds at Two Liberty with real life. This Memorial Day, I had the good fortune of being invited to Ocean City, New Jersey, for opening weekend. Thousands of calories and several near-miss boardwalk bike accidents later, I finally had the chance to sneak in some quality beach time with the family. I took in my own version of a million dollar view (free I might add) and let philosophical thoughts reign supreme. I remembered why I keep myself too busy to stop and reflect. From the look of the lines at Mack & Manco Pizza or the five dollar-a-pop kiddie rides at the Wonderland Pier, one would be hard pressed to tell we're in the middle of a recession or honoring our country's fallen heroes for that matter.
Warren Buffett, ironically someone who likely couldn't endure the ease of life at Two Liberty for more than a trading day, isn't exactly raving about the state of the economy. And why should he be? Millions of American families are barely subsisting, just one crisis away from financial ruin. Gas prices are at an all-time high thanks to the monopolistic profiteering of our munificent oil companies. Health care. Enough said. I think it's safe to say that borderline poverty, astronomical energy prices, bankruptcies caused by exorbitant medical bills are hassles. Learning how to operate one's designer dishwasher probably doesn’t qualify as a "hassle" to most of the free world.
Then again, I guess everything's relative. Right here on 6th and Bay at casa de los amigos, there was a neighborly dispute over the weekend. Apparently, one neighbor had fantasies about having another neighbor's boisterous dog euthanized, simply for barking too much, too early in the morn’. Not only is Ocean City a dry town, but rumor has it they've got some pretty draconian noise ordinances down there, too. What a hassle! Barking dogs. Never mind Myanmar or the devastation caused by the recent quake in China. Get that miserable neighbor a life designed around her. Wait, she's already living one. Now it's just a matter of making it official, relocating her to a place where the struggles of daily life have been eliminated, all for a price, of course.