🏙🗽New York State of Mind
Don't you love New York in the Fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.
Maybe it’s all of the Nora Ephron movies I’ve been watching lately, or maybe it’s the world starting to explore the idea of what life might be like once the world starts to re-open (which is truly wishful thinking considering how many places are going back to shutdowns at the moment). But it’s got me thinking a lot more about the things that I miss from the ~*before times*~, not just going to my neighborhood coffee shop or traveling, but the feeling that things could be expansive and serendipitous.
To me, no place better embodies this feeling than New York. In a city of over 8 million people, it seems like there’s always a person you know or an opportunity to meet someone you should know around every corner. It is the land of meet-cutes and old friends. After a year of being cooped up, it would be nice to find some joy in seeing people again.
Here are the New York apartments that have captured my imagination of late.
The Brooklyn Heights Apartment
Location: 160 Columbia Hts APT 9F, Brooklyn, NY 11201
List Price: $2,995,000
This art deco two-story duplex is basically my dream apartment. When I first moved to New York, I shared a studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights and spent all of my free time reading on a park bench on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and daydreaming about buying a place nearby one day. This apartment is directly on the Promenade overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park and the water.
The apartment is beautifully renovated while still retaining much of its original art deco character, including incorporating a lot of round details like the bookcase in the main living area and the staircase. The finishes make the apartment bright and interesting without being overwhelming. It feels luxurious without being stuffy or gaudy.
And if a beautiful, spacious apartment weren’t enough of a draw, the apartment has a large terrace with views that sweep from Cobble Hill to Manhattan.
The Bed-Stuy Brownstone
Location: 158 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
List Price: $3,495,000
What could be more iconic than a brownstone in Brooklyn? This recently renovated triplex offers the quintessential brownstone experience with lofty ceilings and elegant moldings.
There are sight lines through the house which showcase the best of the new and the old (or at least the old looking). From the front of the house you can see straight through to the french doors which look out over the garden.
The thing that elevates this brown stone over any other on the market right now is the modernist extension on the back. The open floor plan space echos the renovations that happened in the main space, but the wood cladding and minimalist lines create a true retreat feeling separate from the rest of the space and the rest of the city.
The Greenwich Village Townhouse
Location: 142 W 11th St, New York, NY 10011
List Price: $16,750,000
This townhouse has *five* units in it, each with their own unique flair. Some are distinctly modern, some are more traditional. But the garden triplex is the unit that really captured my attention.
The main living space has huge vaulted ceilings with exposed brick and beams and an open stairwell. It’s truly unlike any apartment I’ve ever seen.
The back of the unit has huge windows that look out onto tiered private garden complete with a pond and a waterfall.
The space feels surprisingly modern, even with all of its old materials that could even be called rustic. It’s hard for me to imagine finding a place that feels so Old New York. It truly feels like it’s in another world and not in the middle of a giant city.
The Sutton Place Townhouse
Location: 11 Sutton Pl, New York, NY 10022
List Price: $8,000,000
This unassuming looking building on the far East side of Midtown known as Sutton Place holds what is perhaps the most special property in the city: the longtime home of the late I.M. Pei. The renowned architect lived here with his family for 45 years and it’s easy to see why.
The house is in a quiet enclave overlooking Sutton Park, the East River, and the Queensboro Bridge. The floor-to-ceiling windows and minimalist spaces make the home feel particularly serene while still very much connected to the city outside of the four walls.
Pei’s renovations to the home artfully bridge the modern and the traditional, respecting much of the original character of the place with touches like maintaining the fireplace in the master bedroom and the spiral staircase with the domed skylight, and incorporating finishes like marble and checkboard flooring.
This home feels particularly charming to me because it is so classically New York. It is the perfect blend of old character and modern touches. You can feel the love and joy that Pei poured into his home and family here.
You can read more about the architect and his life and work, along with pictures of their home here.
A 5th Avenue Princess apartment: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/854-5th-Ave-New-York-NY-10065/2094507705_zpid/
A modern apartment with old school charm: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/555-W-End-Ave-TOWNHOUSE-New-York-NY-10024/2087598859_zpid/
Since it might be illegal to write a piece about loving New York without mentioning how the city is always changing, here are some of my favorite listings right now that are fixers:
A mansion with old loft vibes: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/347-W-19th-St-New-York-NY-10011/2114116262_zpid/
A Beaux Arts mansion that is absolutely captivating as is and should not be updated to look modern: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/18-W-76th-St-New-York-NY-10023/2077898850_zpid/
An old brewery office: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/31-Belvidere-St-Brooklyn-NY-11206/2079437731_zpid/