Of Real Estate and Politics
The political divide that runs down the middle of Central Park, dividing the very blue Upper West Side from the very red Upper East is considered as unyielding and insuperable as the Berlin Wall. During the last presidential election, the top two fundraising zip codes for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were on the Upper West Side (10024) and Upper East Side (10021) respectively, an ideological division that has held fast all these years despite all that is shared between the fabulously wealthy residents who live in the sprawling, pre-war co-ops lining either side of the Park.
However, as the results of the most recent mayor’s race reveal, the political leanings of the East and West sides are not as uniform as they seem at first blush—in fact, during an analysis of The New York Times‘ election district results, The Observer discovered that there are some surprising bastions of conservatism in a few of Central Park West’s most storied buildings (alas, no corresponding pockets of liberalism can be found in the posh precincts that radiate out from Fifth Avenue).
The 21-story co-op building at 1080 Fifth Avenue once had over 70 units, Stribling broker Marcy Pedas Sigler recently told The Observer. Today, due to combinations, it has a mere 45, one of which—the entire ninth floor—recently sold for $15 million, according to city records.
“This building has coveted views,” Ms. Sigler, who herself lives on the 16th floor, said. “It’s where you come if you want to see the sun, moon and stars. The astronaut Scott Carpenter used to say these were the best views he’d ever seen. And he’d orbited the earth several times.” In her apartment at 1080 Fifth, Ms. Sigler introduced Mr. Carpenter, who died earlier this month, to his fourth wife Patty Barrett Carpenter, who had been a client. Though she was not responsible for the matchmaking involved in the ninth-floor unit, which was not listed publicly.
It’s mushroom season in the Northeast, and, to foragers like Marie Viljoen, a writer and urban gardener, that’s a reason to salivate.
Rodrigo Medellin’s first word was flamingo, but his first love was bats. And on a recent late-summer evening, the 55-year-old led a bat-finding expedition through Central Park as part of a marathon effort to tally as many species as possible in 24 hours.
“You have to think as if you were a bat,” Mr. Medellin said of the event, known as the BioBlitz. “You put your brain into bat mode and just picture where a bat would fly.”
And so Mr. Medellin, a bat scientist at the University of Mexico, along with a contingent of other scientists and bat aficionados, set off deep into the northern section of the park at twilight to position nearly invisible mist nets along the Loch, a ribbon of water that flows from a waterfall near the Glen Span Arch.
There are times when it’s totally okay to stop and capture nature’s beauty. And then, there are times when you should just let it be.
Apparently Taraka Larson, frontwoman for the Brooklyn psych-dance-sister-duo Prince Rama, didn’t get that memo and wound up getting 15 rabies shots yesterday as a result.
While taking a Read More
Battle of the Bike
If anyone is going to exploit tourists, it’s going to be them.
In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Citi Bike has had negative consequences on independent bike rental programs, according to workers on the southern tip of Central Park.
This morning, the Central Park Conservancy announced a new fundraising campaign called “Central Park for Sale.” But by the afternoon, the site had been taken down.
The campaign is supposed to allow anyone to purchase a plot of land on a “virtual Great Lawn.” This virtual Great Lawn has no connection to the real Great Lawn in Central Park, save for the name. It’s just an online social networking game, the Central Park equivalent of Farmville, if you will.
The Eight-Day Week
Prepare the juice cleanse: at the Central Park Conservancy’s annual “Taste of Summer,” dozens of fancy food tables amount to a cavalcade of calories. Gourmet grub is provided by the 21 Club, Armani Ristorante, La Esquina, PJ Clarke’s, Sirio Ristorante, Swifty’s and Tulsi, to name a few. Those with fat wallets and hungry tummies who Read More
While you were busy writing out a list of neutral topics yesterday to discuss during your terse, obligatory five minute Father’s Day phone call (verboten items, as always: your career, your love life, how mom’s doing), this roller-skating poppa said “Screw it” and went to the park instead of waiting for his kids to call. Why stress about family when you can just strap on your quad skates, go to Central Park and dance like nobody’s watching?
In this era of over-snark and legitimate concerns of Big Brother-monitoring, it’s truly refreshing to see a man who doesn’t care what people think of his good time moves.
City Pays Out
It looks like money does grow on trees—and that’s not a good thing.
The City of New York has quietly awarded a Google engineer who sustained life-altering injuries from a falling tree limb in Central Park a cool $11.5 million, it was recently revealed.
Sasha Blair-Goldensohn was struck by a rotten Pine Oak branch on his Read More