How Alex Edelman Came to Love His Family’s Condo, “Shvach” Couch, and Everything


The welcome mat is still out. During Hurricane Sandy, 11 people slept there. (Take that literally – one of the bedrooms has bunk beds.) Mr. Edelman’s brother, AJ Edelman, who represented Israel in skeleton at the 2018 Olympics, stays from time to time, and several fellow foreign comedians hang out. are made at home while touring or vacationing in the United States.

In return, they are asked to leave a note and a tchotchke. This modest request explains the dried lavender, the candle, the rather poorly carved wooden box on the ledge of the living room, and the spinning crystal that hangs from the window and shoots tiny rainbows around the apartment when the light from the morning is good.

Mr. Edelman chooses not to share the financial details of the condo purchase, except to say that he and his two brothers own the property with their parents, and he pays most of the monthly common charges.

Furnishing the apartment is a family affair. Mr. Edelman bought the clear molded plastic chairs – Philippe Starck’s interpretation of Baroque salon seating – which ring the dining table, with a rest for his desk. He’s visibly thrilled that the Breuer Wassily chair, a favorite reading perch in his childhood home, has arrived in New York, and he’s more than a little proud of the Claes Oldenburg print he bought at the estate of his idol, Robin. Williams.

“It was the first piece of art I ever bought,” Mr. Edelman said. “I love this little print. It’s really beautiful.

He can’t get as excited about the toast-colored tweed sectional chair and matching side chair – both provided by his parents. “It’s not exactly world-class furniture. It’s kind of a shvach,” he said, using the Yiddish word for weak or disappointing. “We’re due for a refurbishment.”

The condo itself grew on Mr Edelman, who began spending a lot of time in Britain shortly after moving in – he won the ‘Best Newcomer’ comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014, an award that put a gust of wind in its sails. “Back then, the house was like a blue suitcase,” he said.

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