Please Be Kind, Rewind
'Boutique' real estate is no better than property at the bottom of the ladder. Bill Barnett has had enough of bogus developers dragging buyers into the mediocre middle ground.
Do you remember video tapes? I'm sorry to say that I do. For the most part Hollywood movies that ended up going direct to video were second rate from the get go and doomed to relegation. The tribe spoke, judge and jury colluded and a hasty decision was made to avoid further embarrassment.
I can also still recall the days of the remittance men in Asia. Misfits from well-to-do families who were sent far away from the public eye, where they could drink themselves into oblivion and fade away like wallpaper, which starts to go brown on the edges and eventually peels off and disappears into a sudden wind. Still, I'd like to think that going straight to the bottom is not that terrible. Being who or what you are is not a bad thing, but the great pretenders are entirely another matter.
Nowadays, new real estate projects are for the most part unremarkable.
They are churned out, hyped, sold and forgotten, complete with tag lines and tired cliches about the luxury lifestyle and living the dream that make me want to throw myself under the wheels of a speeding train.
Though some mad marketing collateral talks about making memories in your shiny new condominium, the reality is that a healthy dose of amnesia would be better. Alternatively, you could hit the streets and live out of a dumpster, rather taking up residence in the mass-produced dog box.
Surely in the early hours, after a great drinking session that eventually turns to shots and conversations about heaven, hell and real estate, it's far better to dive straight into the nearest gutter instead of taking that pretentious trip home in a speeding taxi, followed by the inevitable drunken fumbling for keys in front of all those doors that look exactly alike? Welcome to the rest of your life, straight in the middle. Sure, it's more expensive, but after the picturesque brochures, tweets and celebrity endorsements are gone, you'll be left decomposing in the land of sameness. Those early dreams of distinction and bespoke fashion have vanished down a domestic-grade toilet. There' no way back to the top from where you' re headed.
I genuinely miss the ethos of imagination, stunning architecture, and clever interiors. My heart and mind yearn for great things that stand out and shout tones of individuality.
Yet, my hope turns to tears as I wander down the avenue of broken dreams in today's property world on steroids. Stardom is measured by sales pace, or a broad customer base, though, in reality, most property developers claiming to be' boutique' or' irreplaceably luxurious' are cheap frauds that would be better off working public parks cranking a musical instrument as the monkey in the red suit dances for passers-by.
Is my judgment here too harsh? Perhaps, but I think not. As every fighter will tell you, nobody wants a split decision. Either fight to win or get knocked down trying. A life on the ropes is no life at all. There remains honour in going straight to video, as, at the very least, you weren't pretending to be something or somebody else.