Taking the star out of starchitecture
Park House Chelsea, Maine restaurants, Hudson Valley for $3M, Three Decker Diner, secret Mexican crudo, more
REAL ESTATE • FOUND Development
A brick house on the High Line
Drive up the West Side Highway, and the premium architecture on display is intense: here’s Frank Gehry and his IAC Building, Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh, and Annabelle Selldorf’s 200 Eleventh, a building so enhanced that residents can park their cars in their apartments. Each of those buildings is a product of the aughts, when the High Line was just opening to the public, and starchitecture reigned.
Come now to the present day where Selldorf’s latest, understated act in the High Line District, Park House at 500 West 22nd Street, suggests something about our current moment. The facade of the building is brick, blending into its 10th Avenue block instead of standing out like the glassy facades of yore. Of the building’s 10 condo units, three are still on the market, including a $2.5M one bedroom, a $5.9M three-bedroom, and Penthouse A, asking $9.985M. What if starchitecture was just… architecture?
→ Park House Chelsea, 500 West 22nd Street, Developer: Brantwood Capital, Sales: Compass.
NYC REAL ESTATE LINKS: On the Upper East Side, 3rd Avenue is ready for its makeover • Tracking the new Midtown supertalls: 520 Fifth rises and JP Morgan’s 270 Park climbs upward • 25 Water St. readies for massive residential conversion at Wall Street • Is Atlantic Beach, Long Island the new Hamptons?
GETAWAYS • Upstate Real Estate Report
Hudson Valley three-pack
With the back half of summer upon us and dreams of next summer’s getaways just coming into view, today we begin our multi-part tour of NYC second-home markets. First up: Hudson Valley, east of the river.
Rolling hills and wooded glens may provide respite from the pressures of city living, but not from inventory shortages (and stubbornly high interest rates). Only 122 single-family properties traded in Columbia County in the second quarter of 2023, down 30% from last year and 75% from the early pandemic rush to the country. The story is similar in Dutchess County and in the north-of-the-city luxury market, writ large. But prices have come down, too. For instance, in the Dutchess $1MM+ segment, the median 2023 sale price is at a 10-year low.
And so: maybe for a savvy buyer, there’s a deal to be had. For consideration today, a trio of new-to-market listings on the upper-end of region’s price curve:
→ 29 Tims Rd., Ancram, NY, 4BR/4.5BA, 4300 SF. Asking price: $2.9M. Days on market: 21. Modern farmhouse with Berkshires views. Broker: Houlihan Lawrence.
→ 511 Breezy Hill Rd., Copake, NY (above), 4BR/3BA, 3100 SF. Asking price: $3.495M. Days on market: 3. Revitalized contemporary colonial. Broker: Rouse + Co Real Estate.
→ 0 Rowe Rd., Red Hook, NY, 5BR/5.5BA, 8925 SF. Asking price: $3.5M. Days on market: 30. 1810 Federal manor with whimsical 70s-style wing. Broker: Houlihan Lawrence.
GETAWAYS • Maine Restaurant Report
The way life should be
Twelve (above) is the newest addition to Portland’s overachieving restaurant scene. It opened last summer to much food media acclaim, but we didn’t make it in until this June, when we did back-to-back nights there and at Fore Street, the standard-bearer for Portland fine dining.
Fore Street, which opened in 1996, is the Gramercy Tavern of Portland. I’ve had dozens of meals there over the years, and very little has changed about the dining room, the finest in New England. Much of the cooking happens over wood-fired grills and in a wood-burning oven that frames the open kitchen at the center of the restaurant. To start: oysters, of course, Bangs Island mussels, and if you’re there in tomato season, the tomato tart. For mains, order the seafood special, often served in cast-iron.
The cooking at Twelve is fussier — as befits the pedigrees of its principals, who worked at Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, and Tartine — but mostly wowed us. The menu is a four-course prix fixe for $90 in the dining room and a la carte at the bar, which takes walk-ins. The setting is lovely, too: a converted railroad building along a recently revitalized stretch of the harbor known as Portland Foreside.
Where Fore Street has always shined brightest, though, is service. Last month, as usual, the long-tenured waitstaff offered a deft, light, Danny Meyer-esque touch. Which stood in contrast to our over-attentive Twelve server asking us after every course, didn’t you love it? We did, and we might even more as the restaurant matures and settles into itself. Maine plays the long game. –Lockhart Steele
FOUND Pro, Portland alternatives: Fore Street sister restaurant Scales is considerably larger but still reliably excellent. Walk-ins are the order of business at modern classic Eventide — put your name in then plan a stroll — and its sister restaurant next-door, Asian-infused Honey Paw. Oyster bar The Shop is also reservation-free. Last-ditch dinner move: the show-stopping Sicilian pizzas at Slab.
GETAWAYS LINKS: The tragic decline of Amagansett’s Clam Bar • Tourists are back. Is it time to tell them to stay away? • Gatwick workers to strike at end of month — but Heathrow boasts new Whispering Angel wine bar.
GETAWAYS • The Nines
Maine restaurants, beyond Portland
Magnus on Water (Biddeford), serious cocktails and small plates
Palace Diner (Biddeford), elevated diner with life-changing tuna melt
The Well at Jordan’s Farm (Cape Elizabeth, above), gazebo fine dining in a farm field
Primo (Rockland), OG Midcoast farm-to-table still holds up
Nina June (Rockport), NYC chef Sara Jenkins (Porchetta) returns to her Maine roots
Long Grain (Camden), top-notch Thai, consider takeout if booked up
Brooklin Inn (Brooklin), serious cooking at a four-bedroom boutique inn
Aragosta at Goose Cove (Deer Isle), tasting menu via Tock, or walk-in on the patio
Jordan Pond House (Acadia), hike the pond then tuck into legendary popovers
Excluding lobster & clam shacks, but obviously go to McLoons. Hit reply or email firstname.lastname@example.org with additions and subtractions.
CULTURE & LEISURE • Friday Routine
Variety is the spice of life
It’s Friday afternoon, how are you rolling into the weekend?
Normally, it's just me, finishing up checking in on all the Variety and/or Blue Collar locations either by foot or phone, and on various construction projects, like the new Blue Collar Burger on Manhattan Avenue.
This Friday's a little different. It's our one-year anniversary of taking over Greenpoint's legendary Three Decker Diner (above), which has, at various points, been infuriating, deranged, unhinged me from the last remnants of my sanity, filled me with deep regret, and also, occasionally, fun. Usually all at once. We — myself, and my partner in the diner/liability, Eddie Sandobal — are gonna be trying to remember only the latter. Or just drink enough to forget all the former. If you want to stop in, Eddie and I will be in the back bar, taking care of it.
How about a little leisure or culture?
If I'm going out for a bite, my regular these days is Nura, which I'm at three times a week. My order: The kofta, the gem salad, and occasionally, the chicken. I love Twins Lounge in Greenpoint, which I'm told is strange, because I don't work in marketing and I'm not going on Bumble dates, so why am I there? Honestly: Great acoustics. Important thing in a bar. Also, near several places of business I own (important thing in a bar).
On Sundays, I try to golf with Eddie, our friend Raf, and Asa Shelly (who owns Casino, Primo's, Mr. Fong's, Oliver Coffee, and Casetta, his newest, which is excellent). We go to a shitty local course in Woodhaven, Queens: Forest Park. Note that I'm using "shitty" here as an accurate descriptor, but also, a term of endearment. After golf, we typically hit 4 Charles Prime Rib for the early bird (we're there for the Chicago Cut and a Gibson).
Any weekend getaways?
Only aspirationally — I feel like I need a visa to leave the 11211 zip code/North Brooklyn as it is. Worth noting here I feel that way as someone with businesses in Chelsea, the Upper East Side, lower Manhattan, and Park Slope. I'm a homebody. Also, I'd be lying if I didn't say I love it around here. But if I were gonna get out of town, it'd be Shelter Island, to visit my friend Mason Lindahl, who's the chef at Léon 1909.
What was your last great vacation?
Okay, so this sounds like bullshit, but really: I have not been on a vacation in... possibly ever. I should listen to literally every single person in my life, and take a vacation. Which might happen this winter, when I (possibly) go skiing (possibly) with my friend Zev Rovine in Chamonix (possibly). Odds, right now: Fitty fitty. If/when it happens, I'll let you know how it goes, emphasis on "if."
CULTURE & LEISURE • Spectacles Report
Manchester United FC vs. Arsenal, MetLife Stadium, Sat @ 5p, 1st tier centerline, $559 per
Boy George, Culture Club & Berlin, Jones Beach Theater, Sun @ 7p, orchestra, $270 per
Sweeney Todd, Lunt-Fontanne Theater, Sat @ 8p, orchestra, $372 per
CULTURE LINKS: After Whitney price hike, these are the most expensive museums in New York City • Dealers describe “nightmarish” flooding at Hamptons Art Fair • Ed Sheeran playing Amagansett’s Stephen Talkhouse in August.
LOST & FOUND • Behind the Paywall
Dispatches from the frontline, from FOUND subscribers for FOUND subscribers:
A handful of favorite NYC restaurants from this week’s new subscribers: Pepe Giallo (Chelsea) • Bernie's (Greenpoint) • Soogil (East Village) • Le Bilboquet (Upper East Side) • Commerce Inn (Greenwich Village, "NY food critics kind of panned it when it opened last year, which is bad for the restaurant but makes it fairly accessible at a moment in NY dining when it's hard to get a last minute table at most new/interesting places. Cocktails and food are exceptional imo, space is welcoming, and because it's in Manhattan, the service is actually good.")
Finally, this three-pack of top-notch dining intel from FOUND subscribers in the field:
“I've known this for a long time but have always kept it as my little secret: