Stories that make the times we live in sound like the ancien regime or the final days of Rome ought to be told gradually. Otherwise, people panic. They begin to think they can hear Madame Defarge's knitting needles clicking as head after head tumbles into the basket below the guillotine. So, writing from Manhattan, I'm going to begin by telling you folks in the rest of the country simply that, according to a story in the New York Times by Monique P. Yazigi, apartments in so-called A+ buildings on Fifth Avenue are now selling for what real estate brokers have come...

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