Downtown and Midtown Re: [OT] Hotel suggestions for downtown London

John Costello cos at
Mon Apr 30 18:33:05 BST 2007

On Sat, 28 Apr 2007, graham wrote:
> John Costello wrote:
> > I toured an open house last year (two stories) and was pleased to see that
> > the owners had built shelves into the walls along the staircase.  The
> > shelves were the right height for paperbacks.
> This is a trap I've fallen into before - the assumption that there is a 
> 'right height' for paperbacks. For some reason known only to publishers' 
> marketing departments, every couple of years there is a jump in the 
> height of paperbacks (not to mention the increase in thickness as they 
> go for ever fatter and coarser paper). So my nice custom shelves for 
> 1990 paperbacks are useless for 2007 paperbacks..

I haven't seen an increase in height of mass-market paperbacks.  Then 
again, I didn't specify mass-market paperbacks, did I?
> What is an 'open house'? Is it like a free house, but with less booze 
> and a non-viral license?

It's a marketing ploy by realtors.  The owners leave, usually, and a
realtor sets up a table with information inside the house.  Nosy
neighbors, passersby, and a few interested buyers wander through the house
to get a close look at the condition of the house and the features 
therein.  It gives prospective buyers an idea of how much, or how little, 
their money will buy.

Occasionally, there are cookies, even fresh chocolate chip cookies, but 
the booze is not present or off limits.  Sometimes, the house is staged, 
with nice furniture brought in to show buyers how nice the house could 
look.  Other times, the house is left in its natural, messy state.  I'm 
surprised people don't lose their photography equipment or cats, but 
the realtor must be there to make people behave.

This is a popular neighborhood pasttime in the U.S., at least in the 
cities in which I've lived (West Coast).  An 'open house' applies to 
houses proper as well as what the Brits call flats.

I feel like I'm explaining to anthropologists which parts of a human are 
tasty to eat....


More information about the mailing list