Friday, November 30, 2007


Evil Knievel is dead!

Evil Knievel is like petrified wood, one of those things you hear about as a kid that you sort of never stop thinking about or being interested in. Sure, you might go into a long stretch where you're not thinking about Evil Knievel or petrified wood 100% of the time, but if you turned on the TV and they were talking about Mr. Knievel or you went to a house and there was a piece of petrified wood there, your loyal curiosity would control you.

Best I've Never Needed 40 Million Dollars So Bad

The Richard Meier Perry Street Condos. Before moving to New York I had heard about them, seen them on some TV show talking about how this star architect had completely designed them and all sorts of superstars (Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein, Nicole Kidman, Vincent Gallo [superstar to some], Hugh Jackman rented there, etc. etc.) were buying into them and that these apartments were a big, big deal. And then I saw them for myself for the first time as a New Yorker and simultaneously found them both striking and not terribly impressive. I mean...obviously they're all designy and at night you can make out exotic interiors within some of the apartments (and perpetual construction projects inside others) but overall, more than anything, these buildings just don't seem very big or imposing so it's hard to imagine them being all that awesome.

the two buildings on the left are the Perry Street condos, the one on the right was also designed by Richard Meier and is where Natalie Portman lives. It has a nice looking pool in the basement, you can see it from the outside. The negative things I say about the Perry Street buildings they really don't apply to the much shinier, far less green final building.

Yet that difficulty of imagining the awesomeness changed today when I discovered the listing for am 11,000 sq/f (Eleven thousand square foot. ELEVEN THOUSAND) triplex "mansion" inside the south building. Upon seeing photos of this apartment I instantly knew which one it was because from the street (and in this photo of mine, if you look closely) you can make out a spiral staircase inside an apartment about halfway up the building and from outside you can tell that it's open, that we're dealing with a two-story tall room right there. So often I've wondered about that apartment and now I know about that apartment. Several years back Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy bought three floors in the building and hired Meier to come in and oversee the transforming of these three separate apartments into one super-apartment. He bought it back then (not sure of the year) for $17.5 million and now is selling it for $40 million dollars (which I type here wanting to have some sort of impact on you, but I know that I already revealed the price in the title of this post). And while it does seem grand and awesome, $40 million does seem a little much. Oh, and word is Mr. Joy never moved in. Of course not.

Floor plan:


From the listing:

A modernist masterpiece designed to the minutest detail by internationally acclaimed architect Richard Meier. This significant apartment comprises the 8th, 9th and 10th Floors and over 11,000 square feet of living space in 176 Perry Street, one of Richard Meier's minimalist transparent towers overlooking the Hudson River in the historic West Village. One of the most dramatic apartments in Manhattan, it was built to the very highest standards. The 9th floor features an enormous 51' x 26' double height living room overlooking the Hudson. This floor also has a professional gourmet kitchen and 54' x 17' dining room/gallery. On the 10th floor is the 51' x 16' master bedroom, a studio/exercise area, bath, sauna and dressing areas. The 8th floor features a huge recreation room, 3 bedrooms with baths, a music room/guest bedroom with bath, and a library/guest bedroom with bath. Each floor has a terrace and is connected by a swirling staircase - a work of art in its own right. Truly spectacular!

I think it could use some fireplaces and I do hope the white Eames chair is included when you move in.

Can you even imagine all the sliding around in socks to be done in this apartment?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Best Side Quest

To spice up the pleasantness of my lengthy Thanksgiving visit to Chicago I got up plenty early Tuesday morning and hit the road...

My destination? Historic Nauvoo, Illinois!

I hadn't been to Nauvoo since my 17th birthday (which coincided with a YM/YW trip, I wasn't the sort of teenager who, given the choice, would choose a trip to Nauvoo to honor his birthday...but apparently I've grown into the sort of 30 year old who might) and back then the Temple was still just a grassy lot on a hill. For the past year or so there's been this buzzing in the back of my brain whenever I think of going to Chicago that bzzz's "And maybe I can get down to Nauvoo and check out that temple?" Indeed, it is an impressive structure and just really rather amazing to have back. I found the interior to be like the most elegant farmhouse you could imagine, very nice.

Can a place be said to be infested with ladybugs? It's hard to imagine ladybugs being a bad thing, but there were a bunch on the Temple steps. And I know this is just one ladybug and that hardly constitutes an infestation in and of itself but please believe me, this bug was one of many.

From the steps of the Temple you can see this statue and you think to yourself, "Hey, there's a nice looking statue, I wonder what it's about?"

Major buzz kill.

I prefer to look at the statue from this vantage point because now it looks more like "Hey Hyrum, why don't we ride our horses over to the temple? Wouldn't that be a nice sort of horse ride?"

Had time been on my side, I probably could have had a very enjoyable day being the only guest at every Nauvoo brickmaker or bootmaker, but I had to get back to Chicago quick. Before departing I gave the town a quick drive-around and admired certain sights. Famous old stores, the Mighty Mississip, and spots to begin your Exodus West from.

Farewell Nauvoo! See you again when I'm 43!

On my way back to Chicago I stopped at a Steak n Shake. Man, do you have any idea how great a Steak n Shake is? My only regret of my Orlando trip was not having time to get to the Steak n Shake that was by our hotel. So this middle-of-Illinois opportunity to Steak n Shake was greatly appreciated. I had a value meal, meaning that I got all of the following for less than the price of certain burgers in New York:


Milkshake (ENORMOUS, might I add)

Very very decent double cheeseburger (just so no-nonsense good, totally salt of the earth as far as burgers go. This is a burger that gets up and feeds the cows and the chickens before sunrise on Christmas morning with quiet dignity.)

And then I drove back home and the next day I flew back to New York. The End.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Best Something I Have to Say Before I Catch My Flight Back to New York

That movie Enchanted was good, but only about 87% as good as I hoped it would be. It's Elf-with-a-girl, and Elf-with-a-Farrell was better.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Best Thanksgiving So Far

When I come home I get lazy with the snapshots, but these are some that were taken. Just some meals, family members, places visited, and a variety of things that caught my eye so far:

Things to look forward to: Shrimp I cooked. Side-trip I will take tomorrow morning.