Où tous les artistes sont ?

I rarely see a luxury NYC apartment for kazillions of dollars that I would look twice at, inured by the laughable prices and the overabundance of granite. But I could spend relaxing evenings in the library of this luxury duplex for sale in the Hotel Des Artistes building. I can see myself in bathrobe and deerstalker hat, blowing bubbles from a curly pipe. Proving that the previous owner had no interest in his collection of over 2,500 books – including rare first editions –  those are being tossed in with the sale. Price is your typical $6,950,000 plus $7,176 monthly “maintenance” – that weirdly uncontested NYC patented ripoff. I hope that maintenance includes dusting those old tomes with a feather duster.

The Hotel Des Artistes, on West 67th, off Central Park West is a fantabulous, neo-Gothic-style building. It was designed by George Mort Pollard and built in 1916 as a 72 unit artists co-op.  The tenant roster has included Norman Rockwell, Edna Furber, Leroy Neiman, Mike Nichols, Noel Coward, Joel Grey, Fannie Hurst and Isadora Duncan, although stockbrokers, engineers, and other business people also lived there and the most frequent occupation back in the building’s early days was listed as “household servant”. The opulently adorned building also houses the Cafe des Artistes, a pretty French cafe adorned with the nude murals of artist Howard Chandler Christy. I doubt there are many “artists” able to shell out for a “studio” here anymore.

The studio of Jazz Age photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston in 1920

About kara

We know our letters just fine, and we know our numbers to a certain point, but books were always the realm of four-eyed poindexters with bowler hats and cravats. That’s why it pleases us so that America’s proud illiterates are finally stepping up and pushing back against the crushing tide of education that threatens to swallow us all into its gaping maw of checked facts. Champions of the Ignorantiat will not like it here.
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