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Diary of a Real Estate Rookie

Braden Keil died last week at the young, young age of 53. The obits mentioned that he was a longtime real estate reporter at The New York Post and -- I love this phrase -- a "prince of the newsroom." But this didn't even quite get to my friend Jason's summation: that he pretty much single-handedly invented real estate gossip reporting. The whole idea that if Nicole Kidman or Kanye West moved somewhere, that people would want to know what the place looked like -- before that fueled "TMZ" or MTV's "Cribs," it came from Braden's "Gimme Shelter" column. That was a column I had the privilege of editing for two years, although I'll tell you sometimes I thought I'd never last that long. Braden was a witty writer but also a perfectionist, and more than once the column was late because he was doing one last interview or polishing one last turn of phrase. "Braden," I would say, "we have deadlines. The boys in the Bronx want to pu...

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