Thoughts on Gaines’ The Sky’s the Limit

July 29, 2013

I found Steven Gaines’ book The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan quite interesting overall. I read it from the
perspective of someone wanting to learn some context behind the convoluted world of Manhattan real estate. In this regard some parts of the book are not that useful: principally those that in a gossipy sense focus on celebrities buying seven and eight figure properties and all the machinations to get past apartment co-op boards. On the other hand there is some genuinely useful factual information. It provides the history of a number of the structures in Manhattan, in particular the cooperative structure, which ironically started out as a socialist inspired movement for tenants who own their building but in modern times this turned into the ultimate exclusive club for the very rich. (There are some great quotes in the book about such excesses such as Bill Clinton’s remarking on the fantasy Upper East Side co-op, that it makes the White House almost look like public housing.) The book also gives a lot of background on some of the prominent buildings in Manhattan such as the Time Warner Center, the Ansonia Hotel and the Dakota. Finally it gives some perspective on the different neighborhoods, contrasting the large parcels available on Central Park West with the smaller and older developed real estate on the Upper East Side. Overall, a good read with a bit of useful facts to impart.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A255VTLSSZIVT9/ref=cm_pdp_rev_title_1?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview#R13M6X7GOMGMBJ

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