In Jeffrey Toobin’s profile of Chuck Schumer in last week’s New Yorker (subscription only), the senior U.S. senator from New York, an anti-“anti-business liberal,” says his only major asset is his Park Slope apartment.
The story goes that in 1982, when Mr. Schumer was a state congressman, he and his wife, CUNY vice chancellor Iris Weinshall, spent about $157,000 on an apartment in a prewar doorman building on Prospect Park West. It was a stretch at the time. “Now it’s the only major asset we own,” Mr. Schumer says in the profile, “but it’s worth much more, probably ten times that.”
He’s quite proud of the appreciation. Back when senior Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was just a candidate, she went on a bike tour of Brooklyn with Mr. Schumer. His antics made her daughter uncomfortable. “Chuck has a bullhorn, and he stops in front of his building and announces that he and Iris bought their apartment for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars and now it’s worth ten times that much,” she says. “And my twelve-year-old daughter pulled on my jacket and said, ‘Mom, if you said that in Minnesota, you’d be in so much trouble.'”
Minnesota children are more discreet than their New York counterparts.
By comparison, Mr. Schumer’s Capitol Hill apartment is seedy. “Our rats,” says Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt, who shares the place with Mr. Schumer, “scare our cockroaches.” Mr. Toobin calls the place “famously unhygienic,” noting that Mr. Schumer’s clothes “look like they’ve been stored in tense adjacency to Chinese-food containers.” His father, by the way, was an exterminator.