Last night I had dinner with my friend Barry the commercial real estate broker at our favorite NYC steakhouse, Del Frisco’s. For the uninitiated, Wall Street is no longer geographically located on Wall Street, over the last 15 years the major firms and the hedge funds who do business with them have all migrated north to the 40’s and 50’s. When the quittin’ time whistle blows, the Wall Streeters who work on the east side of Park Avenue head over to Bobby Vans Steakhouse (46th and Park) and the Wall Streeters to the west of Park Avenue go to Del Frisco’s (48th and Avenue of the Americas).
I’m over-generalizing a little but that’s pretty accurate. It should also be noted that on a Tuesday night there wasn’t a table to be had until 8:30pm. The afterwork crowd was hungry last night and $62 steaks were no deterrent.
Anyway, Barry kept me waiting at the packed bar for 30 minutes and I had a chance to do some eavesdropping. Presented below, some snatches of random conversations in no particular order…
On Occupy Wall Street:
Mid-50’s male exec: “You see all the cops down there keeping the peace? They should send a bill for that to these kids’ parents.”
Mid-40’s male exec: “F***in’ retards, no wonder they’re unemployed.”
Female patron: “Thank god they don’t know that all of Wall Street comes here for dinner!”
On Startups and Real Estate:
Old school real estate exec: “You get these startups with these office managers who know nothing, they go on craigslist to find office space like they think they’re saving money or something, some broker trolling on there does a bait and switch listing and they end up getting dragged to all these horrible spaces all over town.”
Junior real estate exec: “They walk into these buildings without representation not understanding that they need a broker, they think it costs them money, schmucks.”
Old school real estate exec: “Someone should just start a RE firm dedicated to these venture motherf***ers, they’re the only people spending money these days on space anyway.”
Junior real estate exec: “Yeah, you find the next Google deal where someone buys a building in Chelsea, you’re done, set for life.”
Banker: “When they write the textbook on how to miss your IPO window, Groupon will be chapter 1. They can’t say a million people didn’t warn them…”
Other banker: “Speaking of, what’s Zynga waiting for, a blessing from the Pope?”
On the Recession:
Advertising exec: “What recession? Look around!”