Playwright John Patrick Shanley Gives Brooklyn the Finger in Move to Williamsburg

  • John Patrick Shanley must have been Moonstruck when he saw the eleventh-floor condo in Williamsburg’s brand new Finger Building.

    At least, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright was taken enough with the three-bedroom pad at 144 North 8th Street to pay $1.85 million for the privilege of being its first inhabitant, according to city records. Mr. Shanley paid a little more than the $1.82 million ask set by developer Gabriel Realty.

    Maybe he didn’t mind paying a little more? After all, he had some extra cash sitting around following the $3.1 million sale of his 3-bedroom Gramercy Park co-op at 149 East 18th Street just days before. Mr. Shanley moved into the apartment with ex-girlfriend Canadian actress Paula Devicq, in 2006. He paid, according to city property records, $505,000, to add his name to the deed. (If Mr. Shanley ever had any Doubt about the Manhattan real estate market, the experienced should have restored his faith.)

    With his move to Williamsburg, Mr. Shanley will enjoy a spacious, sunny space, one that looks, from the listing photos, nice but bland. The listing, from Corcoran brokers Stefanie Barlow, Deborah Rieders and Sarah Shuken, is itself a generic one describing the standard perks of units in the buildings: black granite countertops, Sub-Zero refrigerators, “truly one-of-a-kind bathrooms” with custom hand-painted ceramic tiles, custom lighting fixtures and Robern medicine cabinets. Still, looking through pictures of Mr. Shanley’s former home, we assume he’ll soon be personalizing the space. Unless the interiors were all Ms. Devicq’s doing.

    With the move, the Bronx-born Mr. Shanley can now tick another borough off the list. Although we doubt he’ll be house hunting  in Staten Island anytime soon.

    kvelsey@observer.com

  • The writer himself

  • Shanley's new pad in the Finger Building

  • Mr. Shanley's Gramercy Park living room is anything but dull.

  • The heart is a quaint touch.

  • We also like to think about poetry while we're showering.

  • The bathrobes on the posts is an odd touch.

  • Now that is custom cabinetry.

  • The cereal boxes on the table are a realistic touch.