2002-09-28 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points

By Kevin Boyle


Location, Location, Ludicrousness

A piece of litter, some newspaper giveaway, blew across my lawn. As soon as I bent down to pick it up, the value of my house shot up twenty grand. When I put new brass house numbers above my front door I increased the value by another sixty. So, that rounds it off. My house is now worth two million bucks. Easy. By next week, it could be three mil but I don't want to look that far ahead and get greedy. I'm gonna list it with the forty or fifty real estate agents now advertising in The Wave.

Ah, there's nothing like a real estate boom to make a homeowner feel like a genius. Stocks? Come on, you're at the mercy of those insiders. Ah, but real estate --- now that's where you prove your smarts. You've got a kitchen that hasn't been updated since the 1950's? You're not cheap or lazy ---you're a genius. That vintage Honeymooners icebox? That's just part of the classic motif. Add another fifty thou to the asking price. That shag carpet with the shifting sand dune underneath? Why worry about it? So what if you've got a couple of piping plovers nesting there. Buyers are lined up. Don't do a damn thing and feel smarter, richer. Hey, if that guy is asking that or if that other guy is actually getting that price---my house has to be worth twice that. (Psst, if you cut out the broker, I'll take one point eight mil---'cause I like you).

But hold on a sec. If you're sitting in your bungalow, calling it a ranch, and feeling like a prosperous land baron, just recall the old saw about Joe Kennedy, patriarch of America's political dynasty. The story goes that Kennedy decided to cash in his stocks when a guy selling apples gave him a tip about what stocks to buy. He figured, if guys like that are buying, this market's bound to crash. Yep, Kennedy saw that train wreck a'comin' and got out before Black Tuesday in 1929.

But real estate---even if you know it's a bubble---and you sell---where do you go (and overpay) while you wait for the burst? Beats me. All I know is, you can either be Joe Kennedy or the guy selling apples. Me? I've got no Kennedy in me.

Boyle-ing Over: Too bad Son of Gasbag---Andrew Cuomo---dropped out of the gubernatorial race. I hadn't been so excited about hammering a candidate since the glory days of Al Stabile. He had the nerve to say, as the obvious became obvious to him, that the only alternative he had to make a dent in Carl McCall's lead was to run negative ads and, choir boy that he is, didn't want to go that route. Oh. You mean he couldn't have finished the race without going negative? That would've been asking too much. So, screw the volunteers and ill-advised supporters who were ready to see the race to its end. With this no mas, no mas on his resume, I expect it'll be tough for him to be taken seriously in the future---unless he wants to run for President of CYO somewhere---there's a job he could win.

Although I'm sure to be disappointed and disillusioned (maybe not!) I happen to think City Councilman Joe Addabbo has the right stuff. I've seen him around the neighborhood as if he actually came because he likes it here. To me, that says something. It's a lot more encouraging seeing him here of his own free will than at some meeting he has to attend.

*** Hello to Father Dave Ciancimino's mom, a Rockaway resident and Boyle-ing Points reader. Father C happens to be Headmaster at Xavier High School. Boyle's son happens to go to that exalted institution. Boyle's son does not want JUG (detention aka Justice Under God). Boyle vows to sing the praises of Xavier (at least for four more years)---and hey, it'll be easy to do.

***The 100 Precinct, not happy with The Wave, is apparently withholding the Police Blotter. Hooray for that! It'd be nice to retire that column altogether. Major crimes will make the front page and that's fine---but the Blotter stuff simply embarrasses people. It's surely not a deterrent. The Wave editors really should tell the precinct, guess what, we don't want it anyway. (And yes, they should say no thanks to the 101 Blotter, too).


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