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Thursday, May 19, 2011

What it has been like living next to the most generous man in the United States

One of my next door neighbor's is one of the the most generous if not the most generous man in the United States.

He has provided me with huge inspiration by his example even though in a whole lifetime of giving it would be impossible for me to equal what he gives away in a month.

The three buildings to the south of my home and gallery at 1016 Madison Avenue (between 78th and 79th Street) probably generate gifts to charity in the range of $200,000,000 a year at least.

This is the home to the Bloomberg Foundation founded by the greatest mayor in the history of New York, Michael Bloomberg.

Why is he great?  Because he is a superb manager with the ability to keep close tabs on money that would otherwise most likely have been wasted or stolen.  With all the bankers that have been wiped out since the Fall of 2008, there is no way that this city would have survived without a man of his skills.  It is just amazing that New York has thrived with a tax base that has been severely reduced.

And many of the big investors who still have their fortunes left legally keep there income offshore where it is not taxed until it is spent in the United States.   That anything is working at all is a testament to his managing skills. 

While there is a huge upside from the inspiration of being next to this great man, the noise and vibrations from his air handling units prevent me from sleeping unless exhausted.   This encourages me to exercise for 90 minutes every morning to make me as sleepy as possible at night.  And during the two and a half years of renovations, business in our gallery came to a halt costing me at least $15,000,000 in sales.

In a fine gesture he gave me a wonderful renovation of my roof and cleaned the outside of the front and back of my building. While that was an amazing, unexpected gift, it certainly did not come close to covering my loss.

But one of Michael Bloomberg's favorite expressions is "get over it."

At first that sounds pretty harsh.  But when one considers that my home would be worth less than half if anyone else on this planet had been Mayor, it sounds pretty good to me!

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