SELLERS: David Schisgall and Evgenia Peretz
LOCATION: New York City, NY
SIZE: 3,500 square feet (approx.), 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The peeps at PropertyShark reveal it was only about 2.5 years ago that documentary filmmaker/screenwriter David Schisgall and his well-known writer wife Evgenia Peretz shelled out $3,615,000 to acquire and extensively renovate a spacious penthouse loft atop a 19th-century warehouse building on a cobblestone street in New York City’s celeb-trendy TriBeCa ‘hood.
Thanks to the intrepid and greatly appreciated endeavors of our unofficial—and unpaid—aide-de-camp, Hot Chocolate, Your Mama has come to learn that the wagon-hitched and child-rearing couple appear to have had a real estate change of heart down in ol’ TriBeCa. Or, maybe they just caught a a slow-brewed case of The Real Estate Fickle? Or, maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever the reason(s), the couple recently heaved and hoed their duplex penthouse atop a small, doorman-free building on the market with an asking price of $6,950,000.
These two are hardly recently trending, household names in the manner of that sadly dissembling former child star Amanda Bynes or that bed-hopping sit-com actor/reality producer/angel investor Ashton Kutcher but in certain circles of urbane, cultured and sophisticated folks—along with those who like to think of themselves or would like to bes urbane, cultured and sophisticated—they are, believe you Your Mama, deeply entrenched, card-carrying members of the Los Angeles/New York City media-world culturati.
In addition to co-writing the the Paul Rudd-starring movie Our Idiot Brother (2011), Mister Schisgall has directed and produced a handful of television and film documentaries. They include the short-lived boob-toob series True Life, the Showtime piece Very Young Girls (2007)—a piercing look into the wicked morass of teen-aged prostitution in New York City, and The Lifestyle (1999)—a lurid, maybe NSFW and deeply disturbing must-see romp through the sanity-shattering underground world of middle-aged and elderly swingers in unsuspecting suburban communities in southern California.
For what it’s worth and if anyone cares a whit, Your Mama saw The Lifestyle in the long-ago-closed Two Boots Pioneer Theater in New York’s East Village when it first came out and we are still perplexed and possessed by a few, truly shocking scenes that an ocean of gin & tonics and a mountain of nerve pills could never wash away. Think grandma prancing around in leather gear with her naughty bits out. Seriously.
Miz Peretz also lays claim to a writer title on the movie Our Idiot Brother—which was directed by her brother Jesse—but is probably best known as a frequent feature and profile writer for Vanity Fair magazine whose journalistic milieu straddles the glossy intersections between art, culture, politics, and Tinseltown. Her professional neighborhood isn’t so surprising given that the Harvard- and NYU-educated wordster was raised up in a high-brow wide world peopled with arty-farty intellectuals and globally influential power brokers. Her mother, Anne Labouisse Farnsworth Peretz, is a Cambridge, MA-based painter and social worker who’s also—so the story goes—an heiress to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune and her father, Marty Peretz, is a former Harvard professor and the outspoken, lightening rod former co-owner and former editor-in-chief of lefty-lib publication The New Republic.
Current listing information states the approximately 3,500 square foot duplex was “meticulously renovated with the utmost style and sophistication” with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms plus two sky-lit dens and a petite, windowless office.
The elevator opens directly into a snug foyer with lowered ceiling that bursts dramatically into a sky-lit reception gallery separated from the roller rink-sized main living/dining space by a muscular and theatrical yet smartly restrained, floating switchback steel staircase.
Beyond the stairs, in the spatially meaty, 1,000-ish square foot main living space, a simple black firebox anchors one wall and a deliciously long row of (almost) floor-to-ceiling bookcases lines the opposite. Three sets of custom-crafted, steel-framed glass doors open to a 25-plus foot wide and six-foot deep terrace.
A disappointingly wee but well-equipped kitchen and good-sized pantry closet were wedged somewhat uncomfortably into a corner niche off the living/dining area and outfitted with clean-lined white cabinets, thick plank open shelves, zinc covered counter tops and—natch—a complete suite of top-grade, commercial-style stainless steel appliances.
The second floor is given entirely over the somewhat compact master suite comprised of a bedroom and an adjoining, closet-lined dressing room that connects through steel and frosted glass double doors to windowed private pooper finished with poured concrete floors, double sinks, a free-standing claw-footed bathtub and a separate, sky-lit shower.
Besides the forgivable but somewhat pinched size of the bedroom itself, there there are—in Your Mama’s humble and utterly meaningless opinion—two obvious—ahem—issues with the design of the master suite.
Number One: There does not appear on the floor plan to be any kind of door that separates the top of the stairs from the bedroom, only an always-open doorway at the top of the stairs. This means, of course, that any child, house guest and/or domestic worker can stand quietly on the landing of the stairway and hear everything that goes up up in there. And we mean everything, the good, the bad and most definitely the ugly.
Number Two: As far as we can tell from our study of the floor plan, any one who wants to make use of the unusually expansive, partially decked and nicely planted wrap-around roof terrace must traipse through the master bedroom. Uh, no thank you very much. Nobody, at least nobody Your Mama knows, wants to have their down-nosing frenemy or fancy-pants co-worker over for dinner in order to impress them with their property prowess and obvious financial chutzpah only to have no choice but to ask them if they would mind passing through the master bedroom, the most inner of inner real estate sanctums, in order to get to the roof terrace where they can contemplate the head-on view of the nearly-completed Freedom Tower, rising phoenix- and phallic-like from the hallowed grounds of the downed World Trade Center. With proper and plentiful resources, this traffic snafu can probably be fixed by a smart architect or clever space planner, of course, but still….
We’re not sure where Miz Peretz and Mister Schisgall plan to decamp but a quick peep and poke around public property records show she sold an approximately 2,000 square foot loft on Duane Street in August 2010 for $2,800,000.
listing photos and floor plan: Halstead Property