PERRY STREET, the ultra-cool, chic + sleek, Thomas Juul Hansen-designed West Village Jean Georges restaurant, re-opened tonight after undergoing extensive renovations and repairs as a result of SANDY, the hurricane that caused flooding in lower Manhattan in late 2012. The place looked exceptional and the food was pitch-perfect. The crowd was as good as it gets full of locals and New York regulars who have established a special bond with this landmark located in the middle Richard Meier designed tower that set the tone for the West Village real estate renaissance.
Posts Tagged ‘jean georges’
Yesterday was one of those rare and wonderful days where I could take off some time in the afternoon to enjoy a CITY DAY: I met a good friend for lunch at Jean Georges (exquisitely renovated in ONE week – all contractors and designers take note – by the inimitable Thomas Juul Hansen). Then it was a leisurely walk past the stores of Time Warner to the Museum of Arts and Design, one of my favorites.
After taking in some rather remarkable works involving dust, dirt, glass, ceramics and more, we strolled along Central Park South, and thats when things turned ugly…… firstly we stopped into an ‘Art Gallery’, presumably one catering to the new-rich-lottery-winner or tourist-with-big-cash: several of the garish works of ‘art’ appeared to have been constructed with the same sparkly Michael’s MJ Designs puff paint that the ‘artist’s’ Mom’s had used on her home made T-shirts. It made me yearn for my wonderful West Chelsea 24th Street block jam-packed with some truly great art. Then it was on to the Plaza, where a new Men’s boutique has opened, Angelo Galasso. Does this exquisitely appointed store only cater to super-rich fat Russians or any tacky Guido who wishes to differentiate themselves from the masses with layers of Alligator and excessively detailed fine Milanese tailoring? The excess was blinding.
Exiting the Plaza, walking past the layers of glitzy Bentley’s, Ferraris and the kind of cars people notice, we walked past Bergdorf Goodman. The windows at Van Cleef & Arpels were littered with large, abrasive watches embellished with diamonds, colored stones, snakeskin and possibly every other deign thought all planned to be caked onto the wrist of whom…..Snooki? It was at that moment that I realized the world is being Snookified. After that it had become obvious how so much of the retail world was showcasing product whose design teams were obviously in some way beholding to the JERSEY SHORE ESTHETIC, something that has seeped into design culture in the most horrible way. Some of the most refined stores were definitely being influenced by these new Kardashianesque Reality TV ‘style icons’. UGH!
We settled at the Peninsula for tea, a wonderful haven from the throngs of tourists who obviously came to our little town to buy a piece of Snookiville, whether on Fifth Avenue or Canal Street (they are beginning to look rather similar!). Picking up the Financial Times, I read a story how the BRIC countries’ esthetic may start influencing the West. They have already, but lots of the jazzy, flashy, tacky, massive-wrist-watch-culture we are seeing can proudly be attributed to our own cultural icons. And how will this impact New York real estate? My friend pointed out how a good volume of the people buying this tacky crap usually don’t save their pennies and rather buy things they can easily display such as watches and cars….
Just like a virus, Snooki is in our system and I’m afraid, she ain’t leaving soon.
The other night I was invited to the launch of EXTELL’s newest addition to the New York skyline, One 57, the Christian de Portzamparc-designed 90 story, 1,000ft tall Tower located at 157 West 57th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Towering above the Time Warner Center, Trump’s One Central Park West, and certainly looking down on the neighborhood icon 15 Central Park West, the 135 residential units will rise above a 210-room Park Hyatt Hotel, offering un-obstructed panoramic views of Central Park and the entire tri-state region.
The occasion was a grand one indeed: Manhattan Brokerage Royalty came out in full force, immaculately attired in Prada, Louboutin’s, sequins and all. A string quartet greeted guests as they embarked from the elevators and led them through palatial double doors into the sales office/showroom. No expense has been spared in creating certainly one of the most dramatic showrooms ever, resplendent with floor to ceiling screens showcasing a movie of the building and environment, two mock-up kitchens and a master bathroom. Severely chic black, white and deep wood tones featured. The interior design is the responsibility of uber-chic Thomas Juul Hansen, one of New York’s premiere designer architects responsible for projects such as One Madison Park, One York, Jean Georges and Perry street to name a few. The quality of the Smallbone kitchens is immediately apparent, vastly superior to most of the designer name kitchens one sees regularly. I thought the floorplans were particularly strong, the perfect take on a classic apartment with a very modern, purist sensibility. The well proportioned, squared off rooms are reminiscent of One Beacon Court, another building many considered to be in a less-than-stellar location that has been hugely successful.
I thought the bathroom was rather beautiful and especially grandly scaled for highrise living. Architecturally, the look of the building is one of Severe Gotham Chic with definite Art Deco-inspired undertones, and should definitely appeal to many foreign buyers seeking a glossy New York experience.
Several brokers muttered that there are not enough Russian buyers to buy all these units: I suspect that sales will start to take off mostly once buyers have the ability to witness the views on site, and it may be challenging at the $ 5,000+/sf pricing not being directly on Central Park: 57th Street is not exactly Fifth Avenue. I also believe the true value of these apartments may only be realized once the building is completed and buyers have the ability to walk through the spaces, getting a feeling not only for the bathrooms and kitchens, but also the light, views, volume of space and the other finishes so critical to this price point. Hopefully the finish quality takes its cues from One Hyde Park, where this profile of buyer was willing to spend the extra dollars knowing the apartments did not have to be gutted. This building is for those that love super-highrise living, want spectacular views, grand spaces, full services, tight security, a central location, sleek, modernist design (the opposite of the Plaza or 15 Central Park West) and do not want to renovate.
It was heartening to see luxury Manhattan New Development spring back to life: this will be one of several new modernist buildings for the uber-rich coming to the market over the next year or so, including Macklowe’s 1,300ft + tall Drake building on Park Avenue at 57th Street and One Madison Park. Other, more humanly scaled buildings are coming too, so the mix and variety will be outstanding, bringing an end to the very limited inventory of top-notch apartments currently available. I believe the quality bar will be raised dramatically by this level of competition, and it will be an exciting time in New York real estate for sure.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newest venture is ABC KITCHEN, a roughly 150-seat café inside ABC Carpet & Home that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and fresh juices at a juice bar with a ‘from farm-to-kitchen’ mindset. Located steps off Union Square in the Flatiron District, Vongerichten worked with ABC CEO Paulette Cole on the design, sourcing as locally as possible; that includes plates from Bella Porcelain, made by Cole’s childhood friend Jan Burtz. The result is gorgeous: a room that mixes Downtown loft-style cool with a Tuscan/Provencal twist that actually is authentic Hudson Valley at its best. Svelte Lois Freedman, the diva behind Jean Georges, introduced us last night to the menu and it is wonderful: all ingredients come from within 100 miles of the store and are all organic. Standouts include the crab toast, the carrot and avocado salad and a divine Sea Bass item. Dishes are dead simple, mostly ones Vongerichten makes for his own family. “We want to do what Alice Waters did in the 1970s,” he says. “Handwritten menus, changing daily, seasonal food.” Chef de cuisine Dan Kluger won’t churn his own butter, but he will make his own yogurt….and mixed in with the beets we can attest that its amazing! All the restaurant waste will be re-cycled into compost. What a great addition to the City and neighborhood.
35 East 18th Street Tel: (212) 475-5829.