Fannies, Foxwoods and Pomeranians by Harper Dimmerman
By the time I finally sat down to write this column, I was still undecided about which one of a handful of topics I wanted to discuss. The government seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certainly ranks right up there. Under the terms of that monumental deal, the Treasury has committed to purchasing mortgage backed securities owned by the financing behemoths to boost liquidity in the mortgage market. A loan of up to $200 billion is also in the offing. And then there's the story about the Foxwood casino developers targeting The Gallery (as in the mall across the street from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court) as the site for their widely-anticipated hall of gambling and debauchery. Proponents tout the move as one which would restore Market Street to its supposed glory days, which is frankly pretty tough to visualize. And then there are others, like Woulfe, a philly.com reader, who thinks that a casino at that venue would be "like putting lipstick on a pig." Needless to say, Woulfe's diplomatic little nugget sparked quite the cyberspace discussion. It's a scary time when gamblers rack up debt in one place and then walk across the street to file for bankruptcy. Finally, there's the Unisys logo zoning controversy. The last time I checked, Philadelphia was having a very tough time luring big business into town. Not that that would matter to the residents who can afford a pad in Liberty Two.
Anyway, I decided to write about something near and dear to my heart, the pitfalls of condominium life. Since I can't vent about it at home, why not do it here? And trust me, it's more than just my misanthropic outlook which has prompted me to expose a few of the dirty little secrets about my quaint commune. Let's start with the guy who died a couple weeks ago. Of course it was all very hush hush - the existential approach to condominium management works wonders. But according to a very reliable source (he's a lawyer), the paramedics couldn't find the deceased's apartment. Apparently emergency plans are optional these days, which makes perfect sense. The security guard at the front gate had little if anything to go on in the way of directing the ambulance driver. An hour later...
And then there's the noise. I definitely didn't buy there because of the representations like the one about the paradisiacal pool, starting to look more like a mirage than anything else. But I could've never imagined the construction hell I'd be forced to endure for months on end. A few weeks after moving in, ground was broken on the first of three buildings which would insure my view was forever limited to bricks and mortar, as opposed to the "best view on that side of the community." Gee. I wonder where I got that. I can't even see the Unisys sign that never was. Just in case the din of moving earth, heavy equipment and the Village People wasn't enough, I've got a grad student living below me whose sweet revenge for us having a kid is buying a video game system with surround sound, sub-woofers and all. It's a regular child's fantasy. Well, thanks to him, the guy who bought the cheaper unit, my bed four stories up now vibrates in the wee hours of the morning (thanks entirely to him).
Fortunately for him, he didn't show up at the annual homeowner appreciation BBQ, just this past weekend. Great food and Blues, courtesy of Famous Dave's, all taking place on the front lawn of the community. Incidentally, that lawn is also where the resident dogs take care of their business. Nothing like the sweet smell of ribs and dog dirt. The dirt is complements of the owners who fancy themselves too good to pick up and probably the same ones objecting to the lawn being used as an organized child's play group spot. As the world of narcissistic people turns...I'd gander one of the vocal objectors is a sub-prime mortgage broker with a yappy canine off leash.