Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Style Bigwig and Project Accessory Judge Sells Downtown Digs

SELLER: Ariel Foxman
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $949,000
SIZE: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: As anyone who knows Your Mama will probably ruefully and woefully attest, we love us a reality television program. We can't help it. So many of them cater to the trailer trash that runs in trace amounts in our decidedly not-blue blood and with this genetic sickness we will test drive just about any old reality tee-vee turd ball that comes along. Of course, we don't keep watching most reality programs. After all, just how many episodes of a morbidly over-weight dance teacher who screams and wags her luridly manicured fingers at the neurotic mothers of the talented tweenage girls she teaches to tap and grind can a person take, you know?

Being unfortunately inclined towards reality teev-vee, it didn't even occur to Your Mama not to tune in for the first few episodes of the first season of Project Accessory, a recent if not quite full term off-spring of supermodel Heidi Klum's boob-toob gold mine Project Runway. Much to our own surprise we worked our way through the entire first season and saw the winner crowned (or whatever) but our inner jury remains in a hostile flux about the continued watchability of future seasons. Not only is Molly Sims–no offense to the tall darlin'–a pale facsimile of Miz Klum's accented camp but a fair number of the contestants were not particularly compelling which would be okay if they made compelling cuffs, handbags and belly chains but, alas...

But we digress. One of the regular judges on Project Accessory's first season was a compact-looking, chisel-chinned, droopy-eyed and well-pressed young(ish) gentleman named Ariel Foxman, the honcho editor at celebrity-focused magazine InStyle and the sartorial-minded son of Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman.

Previous to sitting atop the mast head at InStyle Mister Foxman headed up the thankfully defunct Condé Nast men's shopping guide Cargo. It was during his years at Cargo, in the mid-Aughts, that the New York Observer reported and revealed in April 2006 that Mister Foxman received (and did other favored editors, editrixes and executives at Condé Nast) some sort of mortgage assistance in 2005 when he purchased what was then described in the Observer as an "oversized one-bedroom spread that had listed for $625,000."

As it turns out Mister Foxman paid handsomely for his co-operative apartment located a momentary stroll to the insanely chic or, depending on your view of the 'hood's gentrification, jump-the-shark sheek collision of the West Village and the Meatpacking District, a once stinky, out of the way corner of Manhattan where the streets literally ran with animal blood and now transformed in to an upscale and urbane shopping and dining district dense with fancy-schmancy eateries, high-cost hotels and private clubs, emergent and established art galleries, a glassy Apple store and scads of designer boo-teeks.

The fine folks at StreetEasy and Property Shark both show Mister Foxman, in February 2005, actually paid $695,000 for his fifth floor, three-exposure, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom apartment in the well regarded Art Deco-style Abingdon Court building. That price, according to Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, is more than ten percent over the asking price.

Mister Foxman briefly and unsuccessfully attempted to sell his West Village one bedroom over the summer of 2009 when he heaved it on the market with a $995,000 price tag. For unknown reasons, Mister Foxman quickly caught a classic case of The Real Estate Fickle and de-listed his stylish downtown bachelor pad just three weeks later.

Fast forward to July of this year (2011) when Mister Foxman once again listed his fully updated and contemporized pre-war one bedroom bolthole with a $995,000 price tag. Three weeks later the co-op crib went to contract–that's like escrow for all the west coasters–but that deal soon swirled down the real estate terlit as some deals do and by late September the apartment was back on the market, again at $995,000. A week later the price dropped to $949,000 and about three weeks after that the apartment was once again put into contract. Mazel Tov! and ¡Buena Suerte!

Listing information for Mister Foxman's apartment doesn't indicate the square footage but we guesstimate it's a generous but far from huge 800 or maybe 850 square feet. What listing information does reveal is that the three exposures are to the north, west and east and that the monthly maintenance cost for the full-service building runs a not insignificant $1,205 per month.

The apartment opens, as do many decent-sized one bedroom pre-war one bedroom apartments in Manhattan, directly into a large foyer that could, if the occupant so chose, do double duty as an intimate (if essentially windowless) dining room. The deep ebony wood floors and crisp white walls in the foyer extend into the step-down corner living room with excellent windows on two walls and just enough floor space to accommodate a proper seating lounge/tee-vee nook and a dining area just large enough for six to sit for a take-out from Fatty Crab. Generally speaking Mister Foxman's tailored but contemporary clean-lined day-core is lovely except for that upsetting pair of two-toned armchairs that flank the wall-mounted flat screen tee vee and the credenza below it. Probably they were bought at Wyeth or on 1st Dibs for as much as a Fiat 500 but we just don't get it.

The galley-style kitchen isn't large by any stretch but it more than adequate for Manhattan where many residents rarely cook has a window and is fully upgraded with plenty of counter space for laying out the hors d'oeuvres and booze bottles, dark and sleek flat-fronted Euro-style lower cabinets for hiding ugly pots and pans, and open shelves above the white counter tops for displaying daily dishes. Mister Foxman (or his nice-gay or lady decorator) slathered the rear wall of the kitchen, a wall complicated with a radiator and a large but off-center window, in a patterned wallpaper that looks like some sort of winter time forest scene, a naked birch trees in the snow sort of thing. We're still torn up by the notion of wallpaper in general and this wallpaper in particular. We want to like it but we're afraid to commit and worry about it's trendiness despite the fact it's been in decorative resurgence for more than 10 years.

Anyhoo, Mister Foxman (or, again, his nice-gay or lady decorator) opted for an abstract pattern wallpaper in his boo-dwar where the long wall behind his Nakashima-esque bed frame is sheathed in a somewhat dizzying but not unpleasant vertical striped wall covering in repeating shades of blue. The bedroom benefits from two closets–or one long one with two doors as shown on the floor plan–and windows on two walls that encourage cross ventilation.

Listing photographs do not show the one bathroom but does describe it as "Deco" which means either the original Art Deco-era bathroom has been retained (and presumably restored) or an all new "Deco" style facility was installed to replace the original one.

We really haven't any idea where Mister Foxman might go now that his one bedroom and one bathroom co-op in the West Village is–knock on wood–about to be sold but given that's he's now the honcho of a huge celebrity-culture driven magazine and a judge on a reality television program Your Mama imagines he might feel he wants a second bedroom (and maybe even a second bathroom) so his overnight house guests don't have to bed down on an air mattress in the living room anymore.

listing photos and floor plan: Corcoran


trump said...

Wow the price for a 1/1 in New York just blows me away, makes me glad im living in the country. Happy new years to everyone as well. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,pa

Doug said...

I love this site and Mama but, I often wonder if I should be commenting given my somewhat limited knowledge of up-scale fashions and accessories. I think I mentioned once on here that long-legged blonde cowgirls in tight jeans driving lifted diesel pickup trucks drive me to distraction. So, I don't know all the labels but, I look at things based on whether I like them or not, rather than cost or where they might have come from.

With that out in the open, I am on the fence on this apartment, co-op, (whatever-the-Hell you call it) much like I was regarding yesterday's house. Part of it works and part of it doesn't. I kind of like things that are, for lack of a better description, brought forward in life. I like a house where it looks like you brought things from your former house (that came from Lord knows where) and tried to incorporate them with the new things you bought for your current house. It leads to an evolutionary timeline of your life and time on earth.

There is really nothing in this place that says, "hey, this is my life"! It is clean, pretty and well done, but ANYONE with the money could have the same exact place. Always nice to have a few things from YOUR family, YOUR past, YOUR adventures, etc around to say this is MY place and you can't have one just like it.

I guess once you get enough money you can have a lot of nice houses, but do you have "one" home?

angie said...

$1,205/mo maintenance fee for such a small and basic apartment seems excessive, but full service doesn't come cheap, and this IS Manhattan. I'd lose my mind with a 7x11 kitchen even if I never used it to cook, but again, it's Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

what a little rathole of an apartment.

Anonymous said...

Your info re the owner is all interesting and welcome and perhaps that justifies showing us his abode. The abode by itself hardly merits a second look, in my view.

ctkat1 said...

I love that "Grey Gardens" is playing on the tv in the listing photo. I'm always fascinated by what is playing on televisions in listing photos, mainly because I want to know the thought process behind it- it's a deliberate choice meant to convey a specific something about the residence and the person who might want to live in it. "Grey Gardens" is one of the more interesting choices I've seen...

Anonymous said...

I agree...who cares about this place? My grandma's trailer is more interesting. Give us some juicy end of year morsel please???

lil' gay boy said...

One look at that bedroom wallpaper and I am instantly reminded of Oscar Wilde's musings on this modern scourge; not only did he say in his dying days, about the flocked wallpaper in his hotel room, ""We are engaged in a battle unto the death; clearly one of us must go."

But my favorite one, which seems more apt here, was delivered during one of his House Beautiful lectures: "Modern wallpaper is so bad that a young boy brought up under its influence could allege it as a justification for turning to a life of crime."

Not being nearly so witty, all I can say is it makes me dizzy.

Anonymous said...

A million dollars for a 700 sq.ft box and another $1,000 a month in "maintenance"? New Yorkers are truly idiots. My great room alone is over 400 sq.ft, this is just stupid. A million dollars to live like a rat and you can't even have people stay over.

Anonymous said...

Frankly this is a decent price for the West Village and in a decent building. This is the perfect NYC getaway that doesn't break the bank or a nice starter.

Yes, this is pricey compared to other states and cities... but living in THE city isn't cheap.

midTN said...