Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Keep Passing the Open Windows"*

I have a couple of phobias, one of which is heights, which by the way doesn't extend to flying in airplanes. That I love (as long as I have enough leg room). But I could never live way high up in a building. (Presently I live on the 5th floor, with my windows and terrace facing the pool deck one floor below, so it's like living on the 2nd floor. That's perfect for me and the safe for the cats, too.) You couldn't pay me enough money to live high up in the air. I'm afraid I'd fall out of a window or off the balcony and die (not that I'm particularly clumsy, but there's always a chance).

I'll never forget The Hotel New Hampshire* in which people are falling or jumping out of windows. Or this from the "Splat!" episode of Sex & the City, which takes place in a fabulous New York apartment:

Also at the party is former "it girl" Lexi Featherston, an old running partner of Carrie. Unfortunately, Lexi is a 25-year-old party girl in a 40-year-old body, and she quickly wears out her welcome at the event. Coked up and craving a cigarette, Lexi denounces all of the people at the party, utters the immortal words "I'm so bored I could die," then trips over her Manolos and falls out of a window to her death.

I could see me doing that. And then there's the episode of Will & Grace in which Beverly Leslie is swept from the terrace of his gorgeous penthouse by a gust of wind. (That was the end of him.)

Manhattan apartments in particular evoke a kind of a fatal fascination--not that I could ever live in one, much less afford to. So you can imagine I found this article in The New Yorker--"Past Perfect: Retro opulence on Central Park West"--fascinating. (The most expensive apartment in the building, a penthouse, cost $45 million.) But the article doesn't mention square footage. Is it too gauche to ask?

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