Starck Modernism v. Cast-Iron Starkness in the $4 to $6 Million Price Range

If it is true, per Carrie Bradshaw and Intern Alexis of De Jure Altarcations, that the Times wedding announcements is "the straight woman's sports pages," then surely the Times Sunday Real Estate section is the sentient man's Mutual Funds Report. Consider, for instance, Suzanne Slesin's "Window Shopping" column today: in a few compact inches, every factor that could possibly go into judging a person's worth is introduced and discussed. Ideological attachments w/r/t architecture? Check. Thoughts on (de)merits of adaptive reuse? Check. Snide praise of decorator-charlatan Philippe Starck? Check. Subtle revelation of writer's own net-worth situation? Ding.

The stated point of Slesin's piece is to compare new condo buildings of radically different philosophies: in one corner, a Starck-approved glass-and-steel-and-tub-big-enough-for-fat-people scenester; in the other, a high-ceilinged machine-age loft conversion. You'd think Slesin, who literally wrote the book on high-tech design, would rip that Philippe shit to shreds, but she calls things a draw: "both projects seemed like too much, and not enough, at the same time." Could this have something to do with Corner 1 reminding the long-time author, editor, and power-couple component (with Michael Steinberg) that she does not, in fact, have infinite money?

The building dates to about 1900, and it's part of the Ladies' Mile Historic District, so the exterior is being restored rather than changed... Inside, the detail work is a bit harder to appreciate, even when Mr. Osher pointed out the arched windows and corner of a Corinthian column that could be glimpsed from the model apartment, No. 6. It has two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths with about 1,800 square feet of space and is listed at $2.575 million...

But in this particular unit, I felt that the main living space, in spite of its high ceilings, was anything but luxurious. To be truthful, I need little fantasy, a little whimsy — less boardroom, more breathing room.

Maybe the 3,200-square foot triplex, crowned with a lovely cupola, would do it. Although it could be seen only in a rendering, the triplex apartment has two bedrooms and two and a half baths and a 800-square-foot terrace.

Mr. Osher agreed it was "not too shabby." He wasn't kidding.

Will it be in the $4-million-to-$6-million range, I asked a bit sheepishly?

"No, no, no," Mr. Osher answered, horrified. "It's more like $12 million. We've had so much interest."

Ouch. Poverty is an epidemic. The plaintive cries of the Target-bound poor: "Maybe the Gramercy, conceptualized by Yoo, Mr. Starck's company, would be more in my price range."

Two Opposites, Neither Perfect [NYT]