Ever walk past those townhouses in the West Village or the Upper East Side and curse yourself and your parents for not being affluent enough to live in one? And then perhaps you buy some deveined shrimp at Whole Foods on the credit card you'll maybe pay off later and climb the six floors to your tiny shoebox apartment for which you are being charged a full 40% of your salary? At those times are you filled with the rage of the creative underclass? Don't be, whiner-dog!! Those rich people who live in an entire house in New York City are even worse off than you!

According to Times real estate reporter Teri Karush Rogers, living in a townhouse is "the real estate equivalent of riding bareback across Manhattan in an ice storm." Wait, I don't understand really: It's like unprotected gay sex in a Rick Moody novel? Well, ask a rich person: It turns out the problem is the stairs!

"You hate when you come home from a trip with a lot of luggage and have to drag it up the stairs, or you're in a huge hurry to leave and you have to run back up to the third or fourth floor dressed up in high-heeled shoes because you've forgotten something," said Barbara Fox, president of Fox Residential Group, who lived for two decades with her husband, James Freund, in a 7,000-square-foot town house on West 73rd Street near Central Park. "And you hate when you have to have repairs because there's always got to be somebody there to answer the door."

Oh! I do hate all of those things! Some other totally reasonable complaints emerge:

  • "On garbage days you really have to be very alert and aware of taking things out"!
  • "With a really little kid you always have to worry about the stairs, and there are so many"!
  • "What really stinks is when the doorbell rings and you're breast-feeding on the fourth floor or you're in the cellar and the baby wakes up and you've got to run up so many flights to get there at lightning speed"!