With the sun shining for the first time in days, a packed crew of suits and bloggers congregated last night on the third floor terrace of 808 Columbus Square, a newly-opened luxury high-rise that's part of a five-tower development flanking Columbus Avenue.
They'd all been invited to explore the property by real estate blog Curbed, whose editors have been smitten with the audacious rental project -- the high-rise sports a sprawling and immaculately manicured lawn, an outdoor pool and glassed-in workout room, not to mention an in-house Whole Foods -- since its inception.
"We're standing right now on one of the most amazing green roofs I've ever seen in New York," remarked Curbed head honcho Lockhart Steele between sips of 6 Point Ale (a craft beer out of Red Hook and one of the evening's many sponsors). "We're up three stories but you'd think we were in a little wing of Central Park. It's just gorgeous."
So were the party favors, like three open bars, Tapa of Octopus from UWS eatery Graffit and -- the piece de resistance for any gluttonous gadabout -- burgers courtesy of Shake Shack.
The nine food stations, each serving a signature dish, were a preview of sorts for the Taste of the Upper West Side, an eat-a-thon happening next weekend that will showcase 80 of the neighborhood's best restaurants.
But the main dish was the dazzling development itself, which cuts a silvery swath from a skyline of drab apartment buildings and brick projects. It's a bold and unorthodox addition to a neighborhood not really known for pushing the envelope real estate-wise, which is precisely what interested Curbed.
"Find a project in a kind of fringe neighborhood or almost transitional neighborhood … that’s how you get Curbed excited,” Steele said. “You look around and you see a lot of projects and apartment buildings that were clearly built 30, 40, 50 years ago, and now suddenly there are these big glass towers that have dropped down amongst them -- it's a pretty gutsy bet by the developer.”
But could such a plush nest lure the likes of Steele from his beloved LES, the ever-evolving neighborhood he’s called home since 2001.
“I mean this is absolutely beautiful, but I get a nose bleed above 14th Street, so I really need to get downtown as soon as possible,” the affable blog kingpin said with a laugh.