Though we love Palazzo Chupi with a burning intensity, a small part of us hopes the two unsold apartments in Julian Schnabel's West 11th Street neo-Mediterranean tower never find buyers. Because if they do, Julian Schnabel will stop talking to the media about Palazzo Chupi, and if that happens, then Palazzo Chupi's secrets remain hidden. When Vanity Fair tackled Chupi's Gesamtkunstwerk, we learned that the fireplaces have testicles. This is why we must keep Schnabel talking. Today the Times' Penelope Green gets a Schnabel-guided tour of the Chupster, and it's a wild ride filled with new info and insight into life on Mars—er, in Chupi:
1) On Chupi's architecture: "Mr. Schnabel said he sketched its form in 15 minutes."
2) On Chupi's recent PriceChopping: "Prices on the two, a duplex and a triplex, each nearly 4,000 square feet, have been reduced to $24 million from $32 million, and to $23 million from $27 million. Those prices may be negotiable." According to Chupi's broker, "two interested buyers" are circling.
3) On Chupi's context: "Yet it is sui generis — handmade and human-looking — in a neighborhood marked by a rash of development in glass and steel that has threatened to turn the area along West Street into a mirror image of Jersey City."
4) On why Schnabel built Chupi: "'I built it because I wanted more space, and because I thought I could sell two or three apartments to pay for that space, and I built it because I could,' said Mr. Schnabel, who said he spent 'a lot' on its construction. 'I'm sorry if I inconvenienced anybody, but I tried to be a good neighbor.'"
5) On Chupi vs. Meier: "'Instead of going that way,' he cocked his head in a southwesterly direction, toward the Meier towers again, 'instead of building some anonymous glass towers,' Mr. Schnabel broke off, then moved this reporter from one spot to another, so she could see one of his paintings, which had the word Zeus written in white on a bright splash of red."
6) On journeying through the Chupi wormhole: "Along the way, dogs appeared and vanished, along with Mr. Schnabel’s 22-year-old son, Vito, and a designer and raw food guru named Xavier Llongueras, who fetched new slippers for Mr. Schnabel when it was discovered he was tracking yellow paint everywhere."
7) On Chupi as an homage to transsexual prostitutes: Said Paul Rudnick, a novelist and playwright who lives across the street: "It's much more in the tradition of the West Village, which is supposed to be outrageous and theatrical, than all those glass towers. When the transsexuals left it seems they were reincarnated as real estate. At least the Palazzo does them proud."
· The Painter and the Pink Palazzo [NYT]
· Palazzo Chupi coverage [Curbed]For more stories from Curbed, go to curbed.com.