Apartment Hopping

Like new buildings. In the 1970s, during the economic downturn, I was able to rent a three-bedroom apartment in a just-built tower that couldn’t sell it’s condominiums. Marianne Howaston, CEO Letter SFCandGIt included a dining room, library, and maid’s room and bath along with north, south, and east views. “See the planes taking off at LaGuardia!” I’d exclaim to my awestruck guests from the 42nd-floor balcony. It was the ultimate in Manhattan skyscraper living. And with new construction there is always the opportunity to configure a space the way you want. Add a wall here, remove one there, even combine two apartments into one—and it’s all so spick-and-span!

Several apartments later, all in skyscrapers with staggering views, I realized that I never looked out unless there was a visitor to whom I could show the vista. If you don’t step over to the window on a daily basis, all that’s visible is the sky and clouds or fog. While living in one of these buildings on an impossibly high floor (still renting!), I saw the apartment of my dreams. The giant windows framed Manhattan’s towers and landmarks from both the living room and the bedroom. It was exquisitely decorated, with pale floors painted to look like giant marble squares. Custom furniture included a double sofa anchoring the living room on one side and the dining room on the other. A floating window seat and acres of closets fashioned with Shaker-like simplicity underscored the sleek lusciousness of it all. The apartment, I learned, had been decorated by none other than designer Vicente Wolf. I bought it lock, stock, and barrel. And it was only on the 33rd floor!


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