Food, Wine, & Blue Shoes at 208 West 96

Wedged in between a few older buildings on 96th street between Broadway and Amsterdam is the shiny new condo development, 208 West 96. MILo and I got to go have a peek at the model apartment at an event meant to highlight the neighborhood and the new building.

Since I can’t pass up free food and/or wine, and MILo can’t pass up an opportunity to grill people about real estate, it was a perfect date night for us. Tony, a chef from Gourmet Garage gave us a cooking demonstration (mushroom fritatta using organic ingredients). We also got to taste some local wines from upstate NY. The Thirsty Owl, a white wine made from vidal blanc grapes, was delish and a bargain at $11.99. (And you can get it at the Whole Foods on 97th and Columbus, right around the corner. Coincidence? I think not.)

So let’s talk about this building. It’s sleek and modern with lots of automated bells and whistles. First, the Virtual Doorman. We talked to one of the developers about this, and apparently the front door is monitored by cameras which have actual humans attached to them 24/7. “And we promise they’re not in Bangladesh or Mumbai,” the developer told us. There’s a package room and a refrigerated room all operated by various codes, which allow you to get deliveries safely. All without the prying eyes of gossiping doormen. (Well, I love my doormen a lot. But this is a much better alternative than packages sitting on the stoop getting peed on by local pooches.)

The central vac was a nice feature, and MILo–who is slightly OCD when it comes to crumbs–was particularly fascinated by the CrumbVac. Basically you just kick any crumbs on the kitchen floor into the baseboards and they are miraculously sucked away.

The finishes and teak floors are really pretty, and I especially liked the penny tiles in the bathrooms. The 2nd floor unit has a HUGE terrace and the other units have balconies. The penthouse will be about 2000 sq feet and is duplexed. Prices start at about $2.2 million. What real estate bubble??

We spoke to a broker who had lived at 74th and CPW  for many years and moved to Hoboken a few years ago. “I just can’t believe how chic & trendy the UWS is now. It’s great.” Chic and trendy + UWS in one sentence?? Yes, people, I heard it with my own ears.

To support this claim, I saw some good shoes at this event. Joanne, co-founder of Food-Shelter and an organizer of the party, was wearing fantastic blue suede Steve Madden pumps. Aaron, the friendly elevator man, was wearing faux (?) blue alligator beauties. Very few men can carry these off, and he did so with true style. The shoe gauntlet has been thrown:


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