New York City is a sparkling winter wonderland with so many trees, ornaments, and holiday windows a glow. Rising in the night sky is December’s Long Nights Moon prominently named for its high trajectory across the sky, causing it to sit above the horizon for a longer period-of- time augmenting the illumination. The fragrances of pine trees, apple cider bubbling, and chestnuts roasting in the air tell us all the winter solstice is near and arriving just in time to kick off the holiday season on Saturday, December 21. The Rockefeller Tree is spectacular this year and there is an immersive lights festival on Randalls Island – The LuminoCity Festival, a 12 acres covered LED art installation and not to be missed is the dazzling Big Apple Circus. This is a perfect time to take a city stroll and immerse all of your senses.
This months Culturally Inclined focuses on the Upper West Side and Manhattan Valley (Bloomingdale District) steeped in a long history of cultural and intellectual novelties. The Upper West Side has over 3,200 designated architectural and cultural landmarks from 59th to 110th Streets, Central Park to Riverside Park.
Pay a visit to the lesser known parks, participate in a book signing event and browse the collections in long established bookstores, mingle with friends enjoying comedy or a cocktail and stop in to some of the most amazing museums. The following have gift shops to find a special treasure for a loved-one and some spots to dine with a friend:
Time to make a barber shop appointment for your holiday hairdo. Consider a full immersive experience at the NYC Barbershop Museum to learn the history of the barbershop where stories have been told over the ages. New York Historical Society is New York City’s FIRST museum founded in 1804 formed to ensure our history was not lost. One of the many exhibits currently on display is the Holiday Express re-imagined to celebrate the 100th birthday of Busytown author and illustrator Richard Scarry; one of my favorites. Take the time to wander around the American Museum of Natural History; always a wonder and a delight to meet up with T-Rex and his friends. The American Folk Art Museum near Lincoln Square showcases creative artists who talents refined through personal experience rather than formal artistic training, Nicholas Roerich Museum on West 107th Street showcases Roerich, a Russian-born painter covering the realms of art, science, spirituality, peacemaking in a fractious world, the Bard Graduate Center of Art dedicated to research, decorative arts, design history and material culture from the past and present. Currently on exhibit is “French Fashion, Women and the First World War“, Children’s Museum of Manhattan “Home Sweet Home: Is A Home A Sanctuary?” is on display. The idea of home moves beyond the concept of a place to live or a place of shelter, and connects to ideas of identify, safety, one’s place in the world (Join the conversation using the hashtag #HomeSweetHomeCMA!), New York Public Library of Performance is a great place to find reserve film and video collections, and anything you want to know on dance and theater and the whose who in artistic realms can be found in these hallowed hall. During these cold winter months you can join “The Librarian is In Podcast” about books, culture and what to read next, and for another worldly experience Rose Center for Earth and Space encompassing the spectacular Hayden Sphere and exhibitions that explore the vast range of sizes in the cosmos, the 13-billion-year history of the universe, the nature of galaxies, stars and planets. The 37th annual wreath interpretations exhibition at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park is worth a visit too — A huge number of wacky and inventive Christmas wreaths! More than 40 artists will feature their work, made from unusual materials including woven dog leashes, candy, plastic trophies, coffee wrappers and wigs. This year’s themes will range from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to NYC bridges. Admission to the gallery is completely free and open to the public. It will be open on weekdays until January 2nd. The Arsenal Gallery is located at 830 Fifth Avenue (at 64th Street, right past the entrance to the park).
There are a number of new developments that have been built and are presently rising upward in the UWS neighborhood and it’s residents and preservationists are strongly engaged in maintaining the Upper West Side’s character and skyline for future generations. These amazing condominium buildings provides buyers a plethora of bespoke offerings to choose from.
- 200 Amsterdam – The construction crane has been fully disassembled and taken down. The topped-out residential skyscraper stands 668 feet high above the Upper West Side and is the 30th structure in YIMBY’s countdown of the tallest projects under construction in New York City. The 51-story building, which is designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and developed by SJP Properties, stands as the tallest structure in the upper Manhattan neighborhood. CetraRuddy is the lead interior designer for the 283,000-square-foot project.
- 50 West 66th Street – Anticipated to be 775-foot tall this super tower is on YIMBY’s countdown list as the 22nd tallest project underway in New York City on tree-lined West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, 50 West 66th Street steps from Central Park and Lincoln Center will be one of Manhattan’s most prominent addresses. Designed by renowned architectural firm, Snøhetta and SLCE with interiors by AB CONCEPT AND SHAMIR SHAH DESIGN. The building takes on the neighborhood’s architectural character with a natural palette of limestone, bronze and glass. This new neighborhood landmark building will feature 127 condominiums embracing refinement of the Upper West Side while fusing a contemporary elegance. An unrivalled amenity package will include an indoor pool, full court basketball court, squash court and bowling alley. The entire 16th floor will be dedicated to additional resident amenities centered around a beautiful landscaped terrace with an outdoor pool, spa and fire pit. Anticipated Completion 2021.
- Waterline Square’s three high rise towers spanning 5 acres overlooks the Hudson River designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates or Richard Meier & Partners Architects. Connecting the three buildings is 100,000of extrodinary indoor amenties designed by the Rockwell Group called The Waterline Club. Amenities include an indoor tennis court, 25-meter lap pool with adjacent children’s pool and spa pool, full court basketball, squash court, bowling, indoor soccer field, rock climbing wall, expansive fitness center, children’s room, game room, music and recording studio, and art studio, are just some of the many amenity .And, there will be the first ever large culinary experience by the Cipriani family offering a myriad of market, restaurant, and casual dining options. The culmination of this new riverside community is a lush, new 2.6-acre park, distinguished by cascading water features, a great lawn, a flowering meadow, and a fully equipped children’s playground. Designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Waterline Square connects the beauty of parkfront living. Watch a cool time-lapse video of Waterline Square reaching the finish line by clicking the link.
- The Park Loggia – 15 West 61st Street at the nexus of Columbus Circle and Lincoln Square. Rising 32 stories with 172 luxury condominium residences designed by world-renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and features an elegant champagne terracotta façade, custom oversized windows and luxurious private loggias. An elegant port-cochère arrival and double-height lobby are complemented by concierge services and an extensive amenity and lifestyle offering designed by Pembrooke & Ives including a rooftop crown loggia overlooking Central Park and Lincoln Center. Nearly 20,000 square feet of amenity space including areas to entertain on the wraparound outdoor terrace and garden with barbecues, fire pits, lawns, and a pergola. The landscape architure is by renknowned HMWhite. Residents also have access to 24-hour white glove service, a fitness center, children’s playroom, yoga studio and golf simulator. In keeping with the cultural offerings of the neighborhood, a performance space and screening room, as well as musical practice room. Occupancy Quarter 1 2020.
- The Marbury – 164 West 74th Street a tree-lined block where a new a boutique new conversion designed for luxurious, easy and practical living resides. The renovated and restored 1901 building with Beaux-Arts detailed architecture with beautifully restored façade alone is noted to “steal your heart”. The residences are both classic and contemporary, with high ceilings, elegant finishes and large windows displaying beautiful tree lined views on lower floors and wide-open city views higher up. With 14 residences, including two penthouses and two garden units, The the services and amenities one might find in a larger building, including an attended lobby, a landscaped and furnished garden, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a residents’ lounge with wine storage, a large wood-paneled private dining room that uniquely converts to a billiards room, and a bicycle room. Greystone is a national developer and investor, Barry Rice is the architect who practiced architecture for 30 years. After stints in Sydney and London, Rice spent a dozen years at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, in New York, before establishing his own firm, Barry Rice Architects in 1999 and Maureen Winter McDermott was responsible for the interior design and “believes that design should tell a cohesive story and should not be limited to decoration but rather something that’s tightly in harmony with architecture”. Anticipated Completion is first Quarter 2020.
- Vanderwater – 543 West 122nd Street in Morningside Height’s 33 story tower with 183 condominiums is perched high on a hill and is a reinterpretation of the classical neo-gothic architecture bridging old and new designs and offering breathtaking views of he Hudson River, Columbia University, Central Park and Midtown Manhattan. There is 24,000 square feet of programmed indoor and outdoor amenities built specifically to offer residents a calming sanctuary including a cobblestone motor court, a 24-hour attended double-height lobby, concierge service by Luxury Attache, a Salon, Great Room, and Club Room, a fitness center with a Quiet Energy room, a 70-foot lap pool, a pet spa, a Practice Room, a Children’s Playroom and private outdoor dining terrace, and landscaped gardens designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA). The residential condominium project was designed by INC Architecture & Design, and SLCE Architects is serving as the executive architect. Savanna is the developer. Anticipated Completion 2020.
- 350 West 71st Street – Previously a row-house this reconceilved 19 condominium residences by DNA Development, Anbau Architecture and Interiors by Morris Adjmi is ready for immediate occupancy and offers a unique combination of historic charm and modern elegance. Situated among stately townhouses on a landmark block, the building occupies a coveted position at the end of a cul-de-sac. The facade has been meticulously preserved, and the interior were completely rebuilt using the best 21st century technology and materials. The floorplans offers large open spaces and finishes from DXA Studio are eloquently designed to marry the past with the present. The building’s amenities include a 24-hour doorman, gym, children’s playroom, library, rooftop terrace, bicycle room, and private storage. Ready for Occupancy.
- The Chatsworth – 344 West 72nd Street a 13-story beaux-arts beauty overlooking the Hudson River was originally designed by John E. Scharsmith in 1904, at the dawn of the 20th century to entice upper-class New Yorkers with its old world decadence and french-inspired aesthetic . Landmarked in 1984 and officially recognized as a gem in the crown of New York’s Upper West Side. HFZ Capital Group and architect Pembrooke & Ives restored The Chatsworth including its grand entrance to its original glory. Enduring craftsmanship and the promise of old world sophistication in combination with considering the style and needs of a modern life-style provide an amazing sanctuary. Foyers feature coffered ceilings and elegant chandeliers, herringbone oak floors provide a through line in each home’s design, and spacious living areas echo many of the features seen in the dramatic foyers. While wooden architraves add spots of beauty to deep doorways, gray marble in the kitchens as well as the rich, oak floors harken back to the natural materials found in many original Beaux-Arts buildings, adding a touch of timelessness to the overall aesthetic. In the master bathroom, imported Italian marble brings texture and warmth to this intimate area of the home, while the freestanding bathtub beckons one further into this welcoming retreat. Chatsworth Amenities include a library and business center off the lobby elegantly appointed with custom stained walnut millwork, a state-of-the-art gym and fitness center, children’s playroom, game room, media screening room, wine tasting room and an outdoor garden. Immediate Occupancy.
- West End & Eighty Seven – 269 West 87th Street (previously named the Chamberlain) contemporary city luxury while remaining faithful to the Art Deco elements of the surrounding neighborhood. The building is a collaboration between architects from FXCollaborative and interior specialists, Champalimaud Design, and it offers residents 38 stunning 2- to 5-bedroom homes along with a robust amenities package that complements the modern lifestyle. Features include wide plank flooring, formal entry galleries, charming Juliet balconies, oversized casement windows, chic pocket doors, spacious bedrooms with private marble en-suites, and stunning Smallbone of Devizes kitchens with marble countertops, matching backsplashes, custom cabinets, and fully-integrated stainless steel appliances from Wolf. West End and possesses a luxurious amenities package that includes a full time doorman and concierge, a quiet library with a fireplace and a private book collection, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a landscaped courtyard with a living green wall, a children’s playroom, a multipurpose recreation space for basketball, soccer, and rock climbing, a laundry room with commercial-grade washers/dryers, bicycle storage, and private storage rooms. Immediate Occupancy.
- Dahlia – 212 West 95th Street – a 20-story new construction building with a modern, refreshingly original design by CetraRuddy Architecture. Dahlia offers 38 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, including penthouses that are forward-thinking and elegant, just like the flower for which they are named. Amenities include a massive 5,100 square foot elevated terrace with a lounge area for adults and a play structure for kids, a music room, a fitness room with a yoga studio, 24-hour attended lobby, a children’s playroom, a game/tween room, a pet spa, storage, and a covered parking garage offering 12 parking spaces for purchase. Anticipated closings are expected in 1st Quarter 2020.
- The Belnord – One of Upper West Side’s most storied building, re-envisioned by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern. Originally built in 1908, and occupying a full city block in the heart of the Upper West Side, this landmarked, Italian Renaissance building blends gracious pre-war proportions and history with all the modern conveniences and luxuries of today. Enter throughhistorically resonant, gilded wrought-iron gates send a subtle signal that something special and rare lies within. The apartments provide capacious rooms, abundant spaces to entertain, expansive views from room to room and to the courtyard, cityscape and sky. The Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed Molteni kitchens are generously sized, superbly equipped, and available in two color palettes— cerused oak and white lacquer. These are homes that honor a glorious past while embracing the future. The Belnord Club offers of 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities including: Private Gated Porte Cochère and Residential Driveway, Offering Front Door Drop-off and Pick-up, Meticulously Landscaped Courtyard & Garden, Six Elevator Lobbies, Private Dining Room with Fireplace and Adjacent Chef’s Kitchen, Gracious Residents’ Lounge with Fireplace, Double-height Sports Court, Teen Lounge with Pool Table and Adjoining Kitchen, Children’s Lounge, State-of-the-art Fitness Center, Yoga/Pilates Room, and Aerobics/Stretching Room
- The Astor – 225 West 75th Street recognizable on Broadway by its three towers between 75th and 76th Streets this turn-of-the-20th-century luxury condominium seamlessly combines classic architectural design with modern finishes. The Astor was commissioned by William Waldorf Astor in 1901, updated with the addition of a third tower in 1914. Architects Clinton & Russell adorned the façade with grey brick, carved Beaux-Arts ornament, rounded corners clad in limestone, and an antefix-trimmed copper cornice. Recently restored by the venerable design firm of Pembrooke & Ives. Exceptional prewar details remain, from the decorative cornice that crowns the exterior to the intricate mosaic and marble details that lend the lobby its elegant and welcoming character. One- to five-bedroom apartments offer gracious layouts, wood-burning fireplaces, custom ceiling moldings and floorboards, and built-in window alcove seats. Kitchens are equipped with state-of-the-art appliances, stained oak cabinetry, and marble countertops and backsplashes. Amenities such as a fully-attended lobby clad in mosaic and marble, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and a private viewing park overlooking Broadway. Immediate Occupancy.
- 250 West 81st Street – A limited collection of thirty-one homes in an elegant tower designed by Robert AM Stern and highly sought after. The building harkens to the past with its classic silhouette ringed by setbacks, finished in Indiana Limestone, warm, grey brick and an articulated frieze detail. A highlight of the design are the oversized apertures, many enhanced with unique details including Bay Windows and Juliet balconies. The residences Great rooms emphasize a sense of space with elevated ceiling heights, oversized windows, and oak flooring hand-laid in a herringbone finish. The kitchens showcase a rare collaboration between Robert A.M Stern Architects and England’s most respected bespoke cabinet maker, Smallbone of Devizes. The boutique collection of residences is serviced by a 24-hour lobby attendant and a concierge. The amenity collection engages the senses with a myriad of options for wellness and socializing. Amenities include a Multi-Purpose Sports Court with a basketball hoop, an imagination forest in the Children’s Playroom, a windowed Fitness Performance Studio, a Golf Simulator Room, a rooftop Sky Terrace with an outdoor grill and views of Midtown and the Hudson River, Immediate Occupancy.
During the holidays its a nice time to catch-up, so give me a jingle if you are in town. I very much would enjoy catching-up and hearing about your 2020 plans. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and our sincere thanks for your loyalty and goodwill throughout the year.
On Vanishing New York
”A large part of my life is walking up and down Broadway and Columbus Avenue and trying to remember what store used to be where. Look at that place over there. That’s a Madison Avenue boutique. What is it doing over here? I’ll be interested to see how long that lasts. The people over here, they have the money, but they’re not going to spend it. They’re too cheap.” — Jerry Seinfeld
On the Upper West Side
“Yes, I know You’ve Got Mail was shot on location exclusively on the Upper West Side. I have to live with that fact every day of my life. And when they changed the traffic pattern around Columbus Circle, many of us in the area thought it was going to be rerouted into an endless circle with no outlet. An attempt perhaps to try and just flush us back to where we came from. But I am here to tell you that Upper West Siders, stinking from smoked salmon and covered in grass stains from playing in the park, are not going away.” — Jerry Seinfeld
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Tell your friends and family that I am on duty to help with their home purchase and selling plans for 2020. The Warburg Way is best encapsulated in Fred’s blog article “At Your Serve” I recognize that being entrusted with a client’s listing or new home search is a significant responsibility. My goal is to build relationships through the deployment of experience and expertise, wielded with the integrity for which the Warburg brand is known.