Wednesday, March 11, 2009


You should move to my condo building. This is why:

[No, not because boosting the occupancy ratio will make it more probable that I will succeed in my refinancing effort. Not that. That would be self-serving and Ocean will not promote such crass efforts at improving its author’s own financial situation.]

But, as I shone all the lights at the condo yesterday during the bank-hired assessor’s visit, I noted that he was genuinely pleased to be here. As if my space, my wood choices, my tiles in the bathroom genuinely made his day better. So, I put quality of workmanship high on my list of reasons to buy here.

Then, remember my issues with the heater? Remember how many times I have come back from travels and found the heating unit straining to keep the place at my desired level of warmth (which, admittedly is befitting of a person accustomed to the tropics or, in the alternative, my alternative, of a person who has spent too many Decembers in dreary central Europe)? Well, the developers studied the problem with furrowed brows and expert guidance (mine, for example) and they have decided that I need a new and larger heating system. At their expense. At least, I am assuming it is at their expense. They recognize principles of fairness. They are good guys. Buy from them.

And finally, there is the matter of the athletic club on the ground floor. I’ll have you know that my ER doc earlier this week was very impressed with the size, shape and functioning of my arteries. That kind of compliment comes when you trot down to exercise every day. I think others do not trot to athletic clubs nearly as frequently. Stepping outside (in winter) to trot anywhere can make you reconsider. And here’s an interesting development: each new condo buyer will get a lifetime free membership to the club. Buy a condo and add years to your life. What a deal.

Oh, hey, I should also introduce you to Bruce, our concierge. He is there only half the day, but once building occupancy reaches near maximum levels, he’ll be there full time. Bruce is your go-to guy. And he signs for packages. And you can nudge him for gossip. He’s discreet, but you can try. He looks a little like Jeeves, so you can feel you’ve made it in life just by passing his desk every morning.

More? You need more reasons? Ah, hard to please reader. How about this: I’ve lived here for almost two years and the value of the place has not gone down! Is there any property left on the planet where value hasn’t shrunken (so that your biggest investment now has the sticker price of the half-finished writer’s shed on Ed’s property)? [At least I think this to be true. I’ll know for sure once the assessment comes in, but I said lots of nice things to the assessor and I am hoping I did not waste my breath.]

A small P.S. – someday the hole where Whole Foods was to go, just across the street to the north of us, will be filled. And in any case, you should buy a unit facing the south, because this is Wisconsin after all and the winters are long and cold. You will be in a good place in Madison. On virtually all major bus routes and city bike paths. Three groceries, one drugstore, one bookstore, all within a few short blocks. And you can walk, too, to this spot, when you’re sick of photographing the view outside your large patio door.


Too wintry-bleak for you? Well, me too, actually. I can gloat about my condo, but I can’t make trees sprout leaves or flowers bloom. My powers of persuasion are very limited.

[By example: when I am asked travel advice, which does happen, for no good reason, I admit - typically I write long, exhaustive notes on not-to-miss gems and strategies for making it the most perfect trip. When the person(s) returns from said trip, I get this: We’re back and we had a great time! We didn’t have a chance to eat or stay at the places you suggested and we never made it to any of the special nooks from your list, but still, you really helped us, so thanks!]