The Deal



PRICE $69,000 in 2004 [$342 maintenance]

SQUARE FEET 300 [studio in 1928 elevator building]

OCCUPANT Marko Albrecht [associate producer, NBC Universal/Trio]

Hi, and who is this? [Marko] Danielle, my girlfriend. [Danielle Brunelli] I live in New Jersey. [Marko] We met in Florida six years ago. Our families were on vacation. It changed my life. Want some guava pan from the Colombian bakery?

OK. You’re wearing a Chicago Blackhawks T-shirt. Do you like hockey?

I don’t know. So you want the tour—just turn your head. [Danielle] It’s the cleanest it’s been.

I’ll have another guava pan. Do you watch sports a lot? [Marko] English soccer. Soccer’s the reason I’m in New York—a scholarship. I came from Chicago five years ago to go to Long Island University. Then I transferred to the Brooklyn campus.

I’ll have another guava pan and another and another and another. You’re near the Mozart Music School with the orange and violet fluorescent flutes in the window. Down the way is: Chinese and Korean Herbal Medicine Cures Allergies and the Flu. I’m fascinated by your yellow brick building with the awning and lavender-painted stucco halls and the crumbling . . . who lives here? The U.N.—Armenians. [Danielle] Asians, Chinese. [Marko] The neighborhood’s coming up but I don’t care if it’s coming up. I just like it. This is a big post-World War I neighborhood. Across the street is Doughboy Park. There’s St. Sebastian’s, a lot of Irish. I used to be in the East Village. My roommate moved to L.A. He’s an actor. We were both actors.

I thought you were a soccer player. Well, whatever.

Why did you move all the way out here? My dad’s ex-girlfriend had two friends who lived here, these guys. My dad works for the Green Building department in Chicago. See all the plants in here? I’m trying to do what I can.

What did the two guys do? They owned a bunch of little co-ops in Jersey and the New York area. They had to go to Taiwan because one’s dad owned a bunch of apartment buildings and they had to collect the rent or something. There was only a sofa here.

What did you think when you came out here? I walked in. I didn’t know what to say. It was so small. The two guys were standing here. They said, If you buy this, we’ll let you keep the couch. We really didn’t talk too much. [Danielle] He had to get approved by the co-op board. [Marko] Lady Mary.

Lady Mary? No, that lady—Mary. She’s not like an English dame. She’s Armenian. She and her husband do everything. They’re in their seventies. I’m barely ever here. I come home at 11:30. On the weekends, I’m traveling or with Danielle in Jersey.

Where do you live in New Jersey? [Danielle] Off exit 117 on the Parkway. I’m with my family there. [Marko] I eat all their food.

You said you got a Finnish language certificate. My mom’s Finnish. She came to Chicago when she was an au pair. She met my dad. When she passed away, we sold her condo. I used my half to buy this. Me and my brother went to Finland every summer.

Have you ever been, Danielle? [Danielle] No.

Say something in Finnish. [Marko] Moi mita kuulu. Ever meet anybody Finnish?

I don’t know. I’m going this summer with my soccer team. I play with a club team in Bayside.

You got very deep in the old neighborhood life of New York. Most people get as far as Williamsburg. Yeah, well. I’m shooting my film today. A guy gets drafted into the military, walks around New York, ends up going down to the Statue of Liberty, and blows his head off.