‘For all sad words of tongue or pen . . .’

” . . . The saddest are these: It might have been.”

The San Remo

So wrote the 19th Century poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

The building pictured above and the one below represent some of the most memorable moments in which my life as an apartment owner might have been quite different.

The time was probably 1974-75, when New York City was facing possible bankruptcy.

My then-wife and I had saved enough money for a modest down payment–laughable now for its small size–and had decided it was time to buy an apartment.

We looked and looked, even made a false start by making an offer on a place that, as I dimly recall, belonged to a New York Times writer (Clive Barnes?) on West End Avenue.  As the offers flew back and forth, we chickened out after a sleepless night.

Then we saw a beautifully maintained two-bedroom corner apartment in the San Remo Continue reading