For many New Yorkers, summer means just one thing: getting out of town as fast as possible. And for the monied Park Avenue folks, that often means the Hamptons. Who doesn’t love the Hamptons, right? Thing is, it can be a nightmare to get there on a Friday afternoon.
Drive? Nothing says “summer” like bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic. The train? It’s fast, but also crowded with a zillion loud 20-somethings who just want to party. The jitney? Not so fast, but easy. At least until an elderly lady sits next to you with a Maltese in her lap, who yaps from Manhattan to Southampton. How about a helicopter? It’s certainly fast, just half an hour from Midtown, but also crazy expensive, upwards of $1,000 per seat during peak times, and landing spots are uncertain with local airports possibly being closed.
At least once you get to the Hamptons, you can relax, right? Wrong. You’re going to run into the same people you don’t really like from the city on the beach, you’re going to get stuck in more traffic getting to the farm stand and then later, spend ages on your cell phone trying to secure a decent reservation for dinner. But don’t stress out! You need to make the most of the weekend before you have to pack up and go back Sunday evening.
All that sound draining? Here’s another idea: Stay home at this spacious Upper East Side penthouse, with its giant wraparound terrace that’s planted with small trees and flowers and located approximately three steps from your living room sofa, not three hours packed into a car along the Long Island Expressway moving slower than a typical New Yorker walks. Now, add a barbecue and an outdoor shower and what more does anyone really need on a Friday afternoon in the summer? Of course, all that convenience and outdoor space just off Park Avenue will cost you dearly, far more indeed than a summer’s worth of helicopter rides.
Located in Park Avenue Court, a prestigious 17-story building just off Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill, the penthouse and its sunny terrace are available for $18 million via Victoria G. Hersh at Coldwell Banker Warburg. The 4,775-square-foot, six-bedroom condo was created by combining three apartments, making for a home on a grand scale. The pièce de résistance, however, is the 2,725 square foot terrace, which offers dramatic views in every direction. There’s plenty of space for dining and lounging, an outdoor shower, custom lighting, automated irrigation for the landscaping, and both charcoal and electric grills.
The apartment is entered via a private elevator landing, through art-deco style metal doors. Floor-to-ceiling windows admit floods of light during the day and allow many rooms to bask in sweeping views of sunrises, sunsets, the city skyline, and the lush expanse of Central Park. Most public spaces open to the terrace as well.
When a summer storm blows through and necessitates some indoor time, the living room has a window seat to relax and take in the view. Off the dining room is a hidden wet bar, and the kitchen is equipped with two dishwashers and refrigerators as well as a wine fridge. The adjoining great room boasts two sets of glass doors to the terrace. Bedrooms are all en suite and outfitted with built-ins to maximize space, while the master also provides a large walk-in closet, dressing room and en-suite bath.
Park Avenue Court offers a slew of amenities, including a pool, gym, a private lobby-level terrace, an around-the-clock door attendant and concierge, a resident manager, and storage. The building also has an interesting history. In 1927 an RKO theater opened on the site, with vaudeville on stage and Rin-Tin-Tin in “Tracked by the Police” on the screen. The theater was demolished in 1969, when Gimbels built the first Upper East Side department store in the spot, and that building was replaced by the existing apartment house in 1989 by the well-known architecture firm Skidmore Owens and Merrill.
Sing along! You can keep the Hamptons, just give me Park Avenue!