Sunday, January 18, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970s (2)

The real estate broker and West Village landlord was a retired elderly U.S. colonel in his early 60s who had fought in World War II and--following the world war--apparently managed to both gain ownership of some West Village rental apartment building and corner the market on being able to refer scarce vacant West Village apartments to tenants who wished to live in the West Village apartments that were still then affordable to working-class and middle-class tenants.

But this West Village real estate broker and landlord was apparently also using his real estate business and apartment building to find or rent the still affordable West Village apartments he could refer people to or possessed to only surround himself with men as either his employees or his clients.

If a woman who was looking for a West Village apartment to rent walked into his real estate office, she would be told that he had no vacancy listing in his vacant apartment book for the type of West Village apartment at the rent she was willing to pay.

But if a man--especially an unmarried younger white man who was under 40--walked into his real estate office who was looking for an affordable West Village apartment to rent, the elderly, retired U.S. Army colonel-turned real estate broker and landlord would search through his vacant apartment book, hand the white male client under 40 an index card with a vacant West Village apartment address written on it and say: "Go see the Super. And after he shows you the apartment, come back here if you think you want to rent it."