Opinion: Mailing List Bingo

Remington Write

Not exactly targeted advertising

The flyer that was addressed to us recentlyPhoto byTammy Remington

We do land on some very curious mailing lists (thanks a pantload, Bernie and you flakes at the ACLU), but this one’s a doozy. How did we wind up on Christie’s International Real Estate mailing list? Odds are very good that Bernie had nothing to do with this one.

If nothing else, it gave us a dark giggle.

According to the back of this glossy bearer of glad tidings, we discover that we live in “our beloved South Harlem”. It gets better. It seems that the lily-white real estate agents who love south Harlem so much scored $1,870,000 on the sale of this “beautiful two-bedroom residence”.


The copy goes on to burble something about “this historic market” and “gaining insight on economic characteristics before you buy into it” leading up to the punchline.


“For a complimentary evaluation of what your residence is worth, give us a call”

These folks are really casting their hopes to the four winds. Clearly, no one tasked with putting this thing out took even a minute to confirm who was on the receiving end of their little ray of real estate sunshine. If anyone had, they might not have bothered sending it to rent-stabilized tenants in a building two blocks from 111 Central Park North.

A building, btw, that last changed hands in 2018 for a cool $8,200,000.

A building, also btw, with at least 43 open violations and one very temperamental elevator. Oh, and a very active drug trade on the stoop most afternoons as well as lots of rats. One of which died and was left to stink up the basement for two days.

Did I mention the rats?

Tell us, oh Christie’s real estate gurus, what do you think this 1910 beauty is worth on the open market? Got any excited prospects? Pity about the zoning that won’t allow some deep-pocketed visionary to slap an A-frame on the roof where they’d have a clear view of the money shot. Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and all those supertalls on 57th Street. Pity.

Before 111 Central Park North made its inauspicious appearance at the southern edge of Harlem in 2009, the building it replaced was a two-story hodge-podge of a place. It housed Bianca’s On The Park, a party center that hosted proms and fancy dances. At least half a dozen other businesses called what used to be 103 Central Park North home. There was Make My Cake, a dangerous bakery to have right by the 2/3 subway stop, and at least three convenience stores as well as a parking garage and two beauty salons (one of which was inside the parking garage).

The mural and the building are long gonePhoto byTammy Remington

111 Central Park North didn’t arrive until 2009 — killer timing there, developers — and even now it’s still got either significant vacancies or people are buying units as investments. Fun fact: the initial architect’s rendering of what the property would look like had to be re-rendered because all the people in it were white.


As can safely be surmised, we won’t be reaching out to the eager beavers at Christie’s for anything. Obviously, Christie’s would have zero interest in anything they can’t turn a big profit on and this building doesn’t fit that profile. Moreover, much as we’d enjoy living in a “beautiful two-bedroom residence” overlooking Central Park, we also don’t fit the profile.

What do those well-off residents who do fit the profile make of the people out there in the street going from car to car in 110th Street traffic asking for money?

I’m guessing they simply don’t look down.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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