Hebrew name: David Wolf
Currently living in: Astoria, Queens
Alma maters: Swampscott High School ’09,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ’13
Job: Co-director, Brave New Players
Favorite food: Greek
Favorite music: I’m a pop music person: the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue
Favorite movies: “Spice World,” “Poltergeist”
Favorite books: Harry Potter series, “Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow
Favorite TV shows: “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Kath & Kim,” “Westworld”
Favorite travel destination: Bermuda
Place you want to go next: Paris
Favorite North Shore spot: Captain Pizza, Swampscott
Favorite Jewish person not in your family: Marla Gay, and Barbara Sidman
Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover
What is your Jewish background?
I was Reform, and I went to Temple Emanu-El. Had two Jewish parents. I had a b’nai mitzvah with my sister – we’re a year and a half apart, which at the time was kind of a relief to have my sister take the spotlight, so it kind of took a lot of the heat and pressure off, being able to share it. Judaism still plays a role in my life – I still am friends with a lot of people that I knew growing up and being Jewish, so there’s definitely a bond there. Passover is still a big holiday in my family. I also definitely feel like I relate to the humor.
How did you get into selling real estate in New York City?
It’s in my family, it’s what my dad does, and I was living with my boyfriend, who’s a teacher here, and I had a lot of friends doing real estate, and so I thought I’d give it a shot.
What’s the New York City market like right now?
Right now, the median price of a one-bedroom rental in Manhattan is $3,000 a month, but it can go a lot higher than that. You can see one-bedrooms in the sixes at Hudson Yards [a new, high-profile real estate and office development on the Hudson River], I’m pretty sure what the average small, one-bedroom goes for, like $6,000 a month. Meanwhile the median price of a condo is probably over a million dollars. I sold all over the city, but Long Island City [in Queens], where I live is really popular.
And a lot of young people are moving into the Upper East Side – it was a very old neighborhood. The demand is crazy in New York. You can usually tell who’s more serious and who’s not. In New York you have to act immediately, so unless someone doesn’t want to act immediately, they’re probably not gonna get it. And in the rental market, someone’s probably gonna take it that day. A lot of people in New York City real estate are very ruthless, it’s not just something you see on “Million Dollar Listing” – one woman when she met me described herself as a “shark.” But I don’t think most are like that, but it’s definitely part of the culture. I enjoy that from a distance – it was thrilling to watch people screaming on the phone, but that was never my style, and never has been. They scream about deals that have fallen through, they were screaming about other brokers that they stole their deal, people would scream. I was briefly at a real estate office in Queens – that was the first place I did real estate in New York. There was a lot of screaming there. The arguments on the Upper West Side were definitely less loud in volume, but just as intense. There’s something about real estate in New York where it’s just part of the DNA of the city. A lot of people who are in it, their families have been in it for generations. It’s just part of the city.
Right now, you’re co-directing Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” for homeschooled kids here on the North Shore.
It started with my friend Molly Booth, who’s an author. She’s written two books for a young adult publishing house, and they’re Shakespeare adaptations. She and I met teaching at Arts at Tower. The class runs during the daytime, when most other kids are at school, and Molly was homeschooled all the way through high school, so she’s always been passionate about community things for homeschooled kids to let them socialize with other kids, and she also loves Shakespeare, so it was her idea to create the class. She’s run it for a couple other years before this, but it’s my first year with them. I don’t think them being home-schooled makes any difference, but they’re all a really good bunch of kids. They’re all very smart, and they all get the play, even the youngest ones who are nine.
Yeah, I was there for about a year. I wasn’t the best at that job, but it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had, just with the personalities who would walk into the club. You never knew what was gonna happen. Rosie O’Donnell signed my Rosie O’Donnell doll – that was definitely a highlight.