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The Times just ran a feature on the "most expansive family enclave seen in New York." It took decades for the Vanderbilts to build their Fifth Avenue mansions, so why did they sell them off? Well, because their rich friends sold theirs: "[Developers] soon erected the characterless eight-story commercial building now there, with occupants like dentists, hairdressers and Ganna Walska Perfumes, headed by the Polish opera singer. The Vanderbilts liked the opera, but they didn't want to live across from a perfume showroom." [NYT]