The emperor’s new house: We should all be like Mike

By Daniel Meltzer 

We note with unmitigated relief and admiration that the financial crisis has not impeded our mayor from expanding, as recently reported, upon his modest Manhattan real estate holdings by buying and breaking through to four of the five stories in the Upper East Side townhouse next door to his own. Far from letting layoffs in virtually all city bureaus, cutbacks in city services, fewer food stamps and the elimination of a full class at the Police Academy discourage him, Billionaire Bloomberg is showing us how to say “no” to recession, or depression, or whatever.

What a guy.

The mayor reportedly also owns three additional Upper East Side parcels, along with properties in Westchester, Vail, London and Bermuda. Three cheers for his continued vote of confidence in our economy while the rest of us are foolishly believing the gloom-and-doom shadows under every day’s rising unemployment figures, incredible shrinking stock prices and shuttered storefronts.  

Speaking of votes: In addition to all this floor space for his two feet to furnish and pace, the mayor is also seeking to annex a third term onto his previously legislated two-year term in City Hall. And to aid him in this quest, Mr. Bloomberg is now openly courting the Republican Party he had previously abandoned, in hopes of getting his name at, or at least close to, the top of the ballot in November, to make it easier for the sciatically challenged to pull the lever for him. He recently made his pitch in person to the top honchos of the G.O.P., the party being blamed for eight years of uncontrolled excess that arguably brought us to where we are today, with its years of tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and gazillionaires, and its laissez-faire policies toward irresponsible bankers and hoggish corporate C.E.O.’s. Their admissions jury is still out. After 9/11, as you may remember, they told us to go shopping. But heck, that was only a one-day slaughter. This is an across-the-board downsizing of virtually everything…except for billionaire living space, thankfully.  

So stop whining and take Mike’s lead. This is not about getting the fancier phone, the better bike or the tonier tableware. This is a time for really opening up our wallets and showing the world how, when the going gets really tough, the really tough really get going.

Three cheers for Lord Mike for leading by example. Let us all just keep buying and adding to what we have. I think I’ll convert my own linen closet, in fact, into that den I have always wanted, with an adjoining squash court and sauna. What the heck.