How the Other Side of Perry Street Lives

I thought I had it tough when I was living in a shoebox-size apartment on Perry Street, in New York. But after reading an article about the uberwealthy tenants of 173/176 Perry, the two condo towers designed by bad ass-architect Richard Meier, it’s clear that, by comparison, I had it good. The story, titled “Faulty Towers,” was in the June issue of Vanity Fair, and it’s about the travails of the numerous celebrities–Calvin Klein, Martha Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman–who plunked down ridiculous fortunes to live in the buildings, only to have their lofty expectations squashed. The never-ending series of problems includes leaks, heating malfunctions, water damage, a street-bound gunman shooting out windows, and actor/director Vincent Gallow being an all-around nag. I couldn’t get a link for the story (damn you and your print-only mags, Conde Nast!), but there’s a brief recap here. One disaster, detailed in the story, happened when a rainstorm caused Martha Stewart’s duplex to flood, and the ensuing water damage ruined rosewood floors on numerous apartments below. It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for her–as if you didn’t already.

–The finished product. Well, sort of.

I remember going by the towers on my morning runs to the WTC, when I was living on Perry, but back then they were just dusty construction sites, hardly deserving mongo condo price tags, much less human inhabitants. Well, I gather that not much has changed. The lobbies are still in disarray, covered in white soot, and being trampled by contractors. I only have one question: Why pay $6 million for a floor in a sterile glass fortress when you can get a whole row home–say, for example, the brownstone that poses as Carrie’s home on “Sex and the City,” just a couple blocks down Perry–for less cash money? Explain that to me.

–How I remember 173/176 Perry Street, right before it was completed–er, opened to residents–in 2002.