Just a few weeks in the past, the New York Submit’s cowl featured the headline “UPPER WEST SLIDE” and the picture of a neighborhood mom and her teenage son. The accompanying article defined that the mother in query was “fleeing the neighborhood amid crime and chaos,” and, afraid to allow them to fend for themselves, “[dragged] her two sons” to work together with her. She had, the article mentioned, simply listed her gut-renovated West Finish Avenue house of twenty-two years, described as a “fabulous four-bedroom co-op with a hearth.”
I bought a textual content from my dad. “Did you see the Submit cowl?” he wrote. “WHERE IS THIS APARTMENT?”
I used to be means forward of him, as a result of each few days I verify the listings in my neighborhood. Even when one can go to viewings safely and simply, for me — barring the occasional Pomander Stroll open home, in fact — it’s largely theoretical or for pals shifting to the realm; I’m probably not able to maneuver. Realizing my curiosity, pals within the real-estate enterprise ship me listings they know I’ll like. Different instances, I search by block (West 69th Road between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West has the most effective Halloween decorations!) or by key phrase (“character” and “fixer-upper” are favorites). Or buildings: Generally I wish to see if there are footage of flats within the place the place my grandparents lived in the course of the Despair, or the one the place my mother and father lived once I was born (a deal due to its proximity to the loading doorways of a funeral parlor). The liabilities of the UWS — its lack of stylish, its dowdy eating places, its ever-encroaching basicness — are as nicely referred to as its superior bagels, its historical past of left-leaning intelligentsia, and its engaging family-friendly streets and colleges. For me, it’s simply household — beloved despite and due to all this stuff, retaining a sure zhlubby allure irrespective of the way it evolves and devolves.
And it has some nice flats. Sure, there’s no scarcity of spanking-new high-rises with gyms, however the problem is discovering one thing particular. Through the years, I’ve marveled at 3 Riverside Drive, mooned over Milton Glaser’s studio, and dreamed of Aaron Shikler’s windows. And, within the course of, scouted a number of flats for pals! Right here, some present favorites:
15 West 67th Road, 5RW — $550,000
Whereas now thought of staid, the UWS was once an inexpensive nexus for musicians, actors, and artists, lots of whom lived in light-filled studio buildings. Of those, the Lodge des Artistes might be the most effective identified — the legendary Café des Artistes, bedecked with romping nymphs, was situated downstairs — however the neighboring neo-Gothic Central Park Studios is equally beautiful, with 11-foot ceilings, atelier home windows, and a foyer lined in landmarked murals by Robert V. V. Sewell. The constructing is now not precisely for ravenous artists — upkeep charges are excessive, as you may anticipate — but when, like me, you discover a constructing with this sort of historical past irresistible, this candy one-bedroom will appear comparatively cheap.
210 Riverside Drive, 8D — $875,000
I’ve at all times beloved this explicit constructing, with its huge, tiled foyer (used as a filming location for a number of motion pictures, You’ve Bought Mail amongst them) and often-idiosyncratic layouts, since most of the flats have been carved from the unique 1909 floor-throughs. It’s steps away from Riverside Park, in fact, and even these flats with out river views are likely to get nice mild. However, for me, what earned a bookmark is the lavatory.
211 Central Park West, 19E — $19.5 million
Since this neighborhood was one of many first to roll out the idea of the luxurious house — making an attempt to lure individuals who usually would have lived in townhouses — there’s no scarcity of attractive name-brand buildings: the Dakota, the San Remo, the Apthorp. They’re all beautiful and costly and stuffed with facilities. I’m bizarre in that I hate an open-plan kitchen, which signifies that, within the fake world the place I’m searching for a multimillion-dollar co-op and all of the boards are clamoring for me to dwell in them, it’s exhausting to seek out one I like; remodels are likely to dispense with old style contained kitchens and pantries. Sure, I assume I’d accept this six-bedroom mansion, I believe, gazing out at my air shaft. However I’d actually need to do quite a bit of reworking. However this duplex on the Beresford — some of the lovely buildings in Manhattan — is unbelievable and it retains its unique Emery Roth format and St. Charles kitchen, to say nothing of the gallery, the 2 staircases, the French-doored terrace with breathtaking views, or the wood-burning hearth — they’re okay too. And it’s even bought a theatrical pedigree: Whereas the house of longtime house owners Phyllis Newman and Adolph Inexperienced, the house and its piano performed host to Groucho Marx, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, and (neighbor) Glenn Shut.
310 Riverside Drive, 806B — $1,595
I’m at all times protecting an eye fixed out for a non-exorbitant, livable studio rental (I’ve an extended listing of single pals I’m making an attempt to lure into the neighborhood), and this one is vibrant, high-ceilinged, has an enormous rest room with a bathtub, and — greatest and rarest of all — a view of the river.