It seems like some rich people never seem to realize that, in times when so many are losing their homes, it is not a good idea to whine to reporters about how tough their lives are when their troubles are ones of having excess. I wrote about this peculiar phenomenon before and the latest edition comes from people living in New York (where ordinary people are lucky if they can afford an apartment that is bigger than a closet) who complain about having too much space.
“I realized I hadn’t been up to my library in six months. My wife pointed out that neither of us had been to the parlor in the last three,” art dealer Otto Naumann recently confessed to The Observer. “We were basically living on two floors.”
The Naumanns’ townhouse on East 78th Street had five, in addition to an elevator meant to relieve the headache of traveling between them. Perversely, the couple quickly discovered that the elevator made it easier not to get around the house. They were bypassing entire floors without so much as a glimpse from the stair landing for weeks, even months. Prized possessions, like a beloved boat sculpture, were stranded in neglected corners. After two years of rattling around the brownstone behemoth, they admitted defeat and retreated to a 2,500-square-foot cond-op.
They weren’t the first, or only, townhouse dwellers to find the vastness and verticality of their home daunting. While such residents would seem to be living the dream—the exceedingly common one in which the dreamer discovers extra, hidden, previously unexplored rooms in his or her own house—it can sometimes feel more like a nightmare.
One doesn’t know what to say.