Accolades and ambient music were the order of the day at last week’s talk by Dr. Andrew Weil at the new Miraval Living condominium on the Upper East Side.
“I want to congratulate all of you who have purchased in this building,” Miraval C.E.O. John Vanderslice told attendees before introducing the alternative-medicine guru. “This apartment will change your life.”
In an evening of bold statements, this one stood out. The 41-story development at 515 East 72nd Street is the Tucson-based resort’s first foray into metropolitan real estate. Part of AOL founder Steve Case’s Revolution Living, Miraval is hoping that its impurity-cleansing practices will transfer to big-city residential living.
Like the Arizona resort, the building will assign a Miraval Living advisor to each of its residents. The advisor will design a tension-reducing regimen for the resident from over 100 services and activities like yoga, Pilates and massages.
The apartments, which range in price from $700,000 to $4 million, also have their stress-relieving components. Residents can have a Rubin Naiman–designed “optimal sleep system” with no L.E.D. light and a bed of all natural fibers. (“Just sleep and sex in the bed,” The Observer was told. “No food.”) While most activities in the complex are included in the monthly maintenance charges, custom-designed rooms and spa treatments are not.
The main event of the evening was a brief talk on healthy aging by Dr. Weil, the director of integrative health and healing at Miraval.
“Dr. Weil is the reason that my wife and I started eating more whole grains and I stopped taking Claritin,” Mr. Vanderslice confessed to the crowd, which was peppered with baby boomers, well-off young couples and a number of single women. There was little evidence of aging hippies, even the kind that might have, like Dr. Weil did, mixed with the late LSD enthusiast Timothy Leary at Harvard in the 1960’s.
Decked out in black slacks and a silver tunic, the heavily bearded Dr. Weil spoke on the virtues of omega-3 fatty acids, breathing exercises and fish oil. He also noted that he is working on a new multi-vitamin gum. “A number of the multi-vitamin pills are too big,” Dr. Weil told the audience. “So, I am working on developing a chewing gum.”
Dr. Weil, who divides his time among Arizona, British Columbia and New York, admitted to The Observer that his visits to the city take their toll. “New York is a very hard place to lead a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “And getting around the city is just exhausting.”
While Dr. Weil adheres to a regimen of tea and breathing exercises to cope, surprisingly, he does not have an apartment in the new complex. Neither does Mr. Vanderslice.
“I would like to have a place,” Mr. Vanderslice said. “But I have to talk to Steve Case to see if it is coming out of my paycheck.”
People are buying, though. In the elevator on the way back down to the stress-filled New York streets, a woman said that a couple was converting four apartments into one.
“They must have a lot of stress!” her friend remarked on the way out the door.