• Follow us

New York

Assisted Living. For All Ages.

Monday was pet portraits in a velvety lounge at 88 & 90 Lexington Avenue, a condominium development on 26th Street in New York City. Thursday was mixology in the chef’s kitchen at 121 East 22nd Street, the OMA-designed, prism-edged tower built by Toll Brothers.

Down at 56 Leonard, otherwise known as the Jenga building in TriBeCa, there were classes in bouquet making by Uprooted, the mobile florist; a mommy-and-me tea party; and a tacos and tequila fiesta for Cinco de Mayo. Color therapy, involving an installation of light and sound, designed to treat stress, is scheduled for June.

In shiny new developments all over Manhattan, the fulsome amenity spaces — lounges and screening rooms and chef’s kitchens — are being “activated,” as developers and artists like to say, with talks and classes, tastings, parties and panels, as if home is now an extension of the 92nd Street Y.

While the buildings of the last few booms adopted the embellishments and services of luxury hotels, this wave has been imprinted by the community-building behaviors of idealistic millennials — bees, horticulture, self-care! — and the tastes of the podcast class.

This is not wine and cheese on a card table, nor balloon-animal making by a clown in a basement playroom. Piquing the interests of the new condo cohort isn’t easy, and producing enticing events in hundreds of city buildings is no mere side hustle.

Companies that provide simple concierge service and amenity maintenance, like pool cleaning, have added event “curation” to their duties. In New York City, one of the biggest is LIVunltd, an amenity-servicing company overseeing more than 100 buildings. Its creative officer is Michael Fazio, a dapper 55-year-old who once worked for a Hollywood agent and whose duties for her included walking Jason Patric’s pet pig.

ImageCreating community in the new urban suburbs: just add dogs ...CreditJeenah Moon for The New York TimesImage... and a sketch artist. On a recent evening at 88 & 90 Lexington Avenue, Laura Supnik rendered Lex, a Bernedoodle, immortal.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

It was Mr. Fazio who invited Noah Wilson-Rich, a behavioral ecologist, chief scientific officer at Best Bees (a company that installs and manages beehives across the country) and veteran of the TED X circuit, to give a talk on urban beekeeping for the would-be residents of Waterline Square, a condominium complex near Lincoln Center expected to open later this year. Also on the roster: a panel on the science of scent; a talk on decoding dreams by a sleep doctor; an evening with an aura photographer; and a class in dancing while blindfolded.

“We think brain fitness is on trend, and it’s something we’re going to push out in the fall,” said Mr. Fazio, the co-author of “Concierge Confidential: The Secrets of Serving Champagne Bitches and Caviar Queens,” a 2011 memoir (with tips) of his years taking care of uppity guests at the InterContinental hotel.

On a recent afternoon, Mr. Fazio and his colleague Rachel Woodbridge, 29, a Parsons School of Design graduate who once worked at the fashion website Net-a-Porter and helped found a concierge start-up, were on a conference call with Game U, a company that teaches children how to build video games.

They were planning an event at 56 Leonard and hashing out the details: Would the kids be able to code in one session? Would it be enough of an experience? What would it cost? (About $100 per child, which Mr. Fazio thought could fit the building’s budget without charging extra. The cost of most events is built into a property’s running costs, he said, which are paid for in maintenance fees or by the developer.)

The next call was to Tom Leonardis, the president of Whoopi Goldberg’s company Whoop. Mr. Fazio wanted to create an event for Gay Pride Day around marriage equality: perhaps screen a few documentaries and organize a panel.

“If you were painting this picture, what would be discussed?” Mr. Leonardis said. “Would you want Whoopi to be a part of it? She’s doing a clothing line and opening Gay Pride at the Barclays Center.” Mr. Leonardis went on to describe an engagement ring he and others have designed for the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and also straight men. “It hasn’t launched,” he said. “You could have it first.”

Mr. Fazio gasped and said, “Oh my God! O.K.! Let me bake this a little bit more and get back to you.” Then he turned to Ms. Woodbridge. “Do we do serious, or light and breezy, a trunk show: destination weddings and the engagement rings?”

ImageIn return for their time and products, entrepreneurs like Jennifer Cintron, center, and Kathleen Cruz, right, of the CBD wellness company Terrestrial Roots, get exposure to a captive audience of time-starved affluent people.CreditNina Westervelt for The New York TimesCaptive Audiences

Mr. Fazio, Ms. Woodbridge and their small staff are now producing 90 to 120 events each month for more than 100 buildings. Research can be arduous; the other night they struggled through an immersive theater show called “The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking.”

Ideas may come from serendipitous street sightings or scouring Instagram. They court new businesses, and are courted back. Du’s Donuts and Coffee, the chef Wylie Dufresne’s exotic doughnut emporium in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, sent samples for LIV to test, after which LIV organized a few doughnut pop-ups in its buildings.

In return for their time and products, the businesses or individuals LIV approaches get exposure to a captive audience of time-starved affluent people who may not otherwise partake of their wares and expertise.

“We’ve probably exhausted hundreds of relationships,” Mr. Fazio said. “But it’s part of the life these people have bought into. It becomes part of a building’s story. Everyone has the same Bosch appliances, the same views, the same marble slab open kitchens. But you can say, ‘Move over Soho House and Core Club.’ You don’t have to belong to those, it’s in your building. So it’s just another asset. Just add water. Just add $6 million and you have friends and stuff to do and you’re in the know about, say, Wylie Dufresne’s doughnut shop in Brooklyn.”

Unless you win the affordable-housing lottery, you’ll need $6 million for three bedrooms and water views at Waterline Square: three glass towers with 263 condo units on five acres, more than half of them park, on the edge of the West Side Highway, stretching from 59th Street to 61st Street.

Image“Lit in Luxury” is how Michael Fazio (in gray jacket) described the CBD panel he convened for his buildings’ residents.CreditNina Westervelt for The New York Times

The exterior architecture is standard high luxury fare, by Richard Meier, Kohn Pedersen Fox and Rafael Viñoly. (Each firm got its own building; the Viñoly one looks sort of like an iceberg.)

Underneath will be a private underground mall called the Waterline Club, 100,000 square feet rendered into swoopy fabulousness by the Rockwell Group and outfitted like a college campus with a soccer field; a skate park; multiple gyms, pools and fitness studios; a tennis court; a gardening center; a recording studio; an art studio; a two-lane bowling alley; a dog run; and a 4,600-square-foot children’s playroom that looks like the Gryffindor common room by way of Disney.

Five years ago in Manhattan, according to the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, there were 54 developments that were considered “luxury”; at the time, that meant units selling, on average, for $2,200 per square foot and up. Now there are 90, and the benchmark for “luxury” is $2,400 per square foot. (In 2012, there were just 31 such properties.)

Many of these buildings, rising in all sorts of commercial or less populated areas — “transitional neighborhoods,” as James Lansill, a managing director at Corcoran Sunshine, called them — may lack organic opportunities for socialization. Enter LIV and its competitors, which include a company called Luxury Attache and also in-house lifestyle managers.

Mr. Lansill was on the phone from the sales center of 130 William, a cast concrete tower at the southern tip of Manhattan that has just topped out at 800 feet and will be finished next year.

Its architect is David Adjaye, one of the designers of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. It is quite beautiful — with arched windows that are a little bit Gaudí, a little bit Romanesque, a respite from all the glass towers — but its size and vast amenity spaces will create yet another enormous gated community, another urban suburb.

“The most precious commodity people have is time, and they value the efficiency of having robust resources in their vertical community,” Mr. Lansill said. “If you don’t have to leave your home to host a party, or your kid’s party, or go to the gym or see a movie, that’s truly valuable.”

And then there’s that major commitment of many Manhattan women: hair. Lauren Witkoff, executive vice president of Witkoff, one of the developers of 111 Murray Street (another Kohn Pedersen Fox tower on the edge of TriBeCa), has invited the blowout chain Drybar into the amenity spaces there.

“It’s the only private Drybar in the city,” Ms. Witkoff said, adding that she was working with Creative Art Partners, an “art concierge service” in Los Angeles, to help residents build their own art collections. “We’re always trying to do something a little different. It’s not just, ‘What amenities are we going to put in the building?’ But ‘how are we going to activate them in a way that’s meaningful?’”

The Vertical Suburb

In “The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of Community,” which was published in 1989, the sociologist Ray Oldenburg wrote about the importance of the “third place”: that which is not home and not work, a ballast in a society where home life is increasingly isolated.

If there is no informal public life, he wrote, if the “means and facilities for relaxation and leisure are not publicly shared, they become the objects of private ownership and consumption.”

That’s not good for cities. So many buildings have devoted so much interior space to what used to be public places — hair salons and gyms and theaters and food courts — it may begin to feel like the city is turning inside out, ringed by walls of glass as smooth and blank as Kim Kardashian’s skin.

ImageThis “chat” came with treats ...CreditNina Westervelt for The New York TimesImage... and tinctures.CreditNina Westervelt for The New York Times

Not everyone is wringing their hands. Richard Florida, a professor at the School of Cities at the University of Toronto and the author of “The New Urban Crisis,” cautions against reflexively dismissing these fastidious private developments, and romanticizing New York City’s grittier past, even if it was chockablock with authentic “third places” like seedy bars and diners.

“Every time people say New York is over, it transforms,” he said. “New York was never held back by its past. Everyone is complaining about Hudson Yards, but they don’t get it. Hudson Yards is not for New Yorkers. It’s made for a lot of people who lived in a suburb and want to be in a city that’s not gritty or dirty.”

Yes, he conceded, “some of these neighborhoods are becoming the equivalent of vertical suburbs. Now combine that with everyone on their cellphones and social media, instead of talking to people at the bar. And you have the modern, tech-induced version of David Riesman’s lonely crowd.”

The binding element, he suggested, may be the community and connection found in blindfold dancing with your neighbors, or at a panel of CBD entrepreneurs and wellness experts, like the one convened by Mr. Fazio on April 20 (“Lit in Luxury,” he called it). Or hey, pet portraits.

“I never lived in a building before where I talked to my neighbors,” said Colleen Tanjeloff, who is on the board of 88 & 90 Lexington and had brought her two-year-old son and Lou, a 13-year-old Yorkiepoo, to the pet portraits party in her lounge.

There, Roxy, a gassy yet beguiling Boston terrier, had her mug sketched by Laura Supnik, an illustrator in Brooklyn, without straying from the lap of her owner, Jodi Balkan, the principal of a public relations firm. (“She doesn’t like people or other dogs,” Ms. Balkan said.)

Ms. Balkan and Ms. Tanjeloff noted that new developments aren’t like traditional co-ops or rental buildings. “Everyone is new and everyone arrives at about the same time,” Ms. Tanjeloff said.

Their building is rife with amenities, including a plush screening room that Ms. Tanjeloff and other residents with small children use as a playground in the colder months — no programming required. “We call it the kids’ track,” she said. “We lie back in those reclining seats with our coffee and let them run around us.”

It’s a ThingFrom the East Coast to the West Coast …Opinion | Candace JacksonThe Suburbs Are Coming to a City Near YouIs a city still a city if urban living is a luxury good?May 18, 2019Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Metro | New York Post

Man fatally stabbed at Memorial Day party on 2019-05-28 11:00:51A Staten Island man was stabbed during a fight at a Memorial Day party — then stumbled the three blocks home before fatally collapsing in front

Missing teen swimmer in Connecticut presumed dead: authorities 2019-05-28 10:22:50A 17-year-old who disappeared while swimming with friends in Connecticut on Memorial Day is presumed dead, officials said Tuesday. The search for the

Man stabbed in neck, abdomen during subway platform 2019-05-28 09:56:48A man was stabbed on a Midtown subway platform during a fight over money, police said Tuesday. The 24-year-old and two men were arguing over money aro

Woman in Queens sets herself on fire in 2019-05-28 02:43:13A woman in Queens lit herself on fire in an apparent suicide early Tuesday morning, police sources said. Firefighters received the alarming call about

Passenger caught on video attacking Lyft driver for 2019-05-28 02:26:55Cops are looking for a man who attacked his Lyft driver after demanding he go faster on the way to a Queens hospital last Thursday. The caught-on-came

Site of tragic 2011 Christmas blaze sells for 2019-05-28 01:25:54The plot of land that held the Connecticut home where three young girls and their two grandparents died in a Christmas Day fire has been sold, a repor

De Blasio a hit with Republicans for all 2019-05-27 22:39:44The mayor ranks among the top most-talked-about Democratic 2020 primary candidates online, but the majority of the Web chatter is coming from conserva

Pair of shootings in Brooklyn leave 1 dead, 2019-05-27 22:33:33One person was killed and five others injured in two separate Brooklyn shootings just hours apart on Monday night, police said. Three men were st

Memorial Day travelers skip the ferry after disastrous 2019-05-27 22:21:35NYC Ferry service went off without a hitch on Memorial Day — because it was so abysmal the day before that many would-be passengers gave it a wi

Anthony Weiner complained about sex offenders in district 2019-05-27 22:12:09Here’s another thing that gets a rise out of Anthony Weiner: other perverts. Long before the former Queens congressman earned himself a rap shee

Reputed Brooklyn gangster out on ‘diversion’ plea deal 2019-05-27 22:10:33A reputed Brooklyn gangster who is awaiting sentencing for gun possession was caught red-handed with a loaded pistol — less than a month after s

De Blasio wants teens charged with robbery, assault 2019-05-27 21:54:05Mayor de Blasio hopes to “more than triple” the number of teens who are released from city jails with no bail on charges as serious as arm

NYT > N.Y. / Region

They Donated to De Blasio. But Here’s What 2019-05-28 11:29:17The Times asked donors to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s federal political action committee if he should be president. Their answers showed why he is vi

Subway Swipe? Soon, Tap to Pay 2019-05-28 09:51:12Tuesday: Learn how your smartphone can replace your MetroCard.

Dementia Stopped Peter Max From Painting. For Some, 2019-05-28 05:00:13Now Peter Max’s associates are trading lurid allegations of kidnapping, hired goons, attempted murder by Brazil nut and art fraud on the high se

Why a Hamptons Highway Is a Battleground Over 2019-05-27 23:58:27As many rich and famous New Yorkers headed out to the Hamptons on Memorial Day weekend, they were welcomed by large billboards erected by the local Sh

‘I Quickly Turned the Tie Around to Show 2019-05-27 18:00:29Shakespeare takes the train, belting out Heart in the back of a cab and more reader tales of New York City in this week’s Metropolitan Diary.

Nxivm Branding Was Scripted by Sex Cult Leader 2019-05-27 12:41:33Keith Raniere helped design the ritual, according to recordings introduced during his federal trial. Women should be “completely nude,” he

A Nice One-Bedroom, Even on a Teacher’s Salary 2019-05-27 09:49:20A series of bad roommate situations leads a public-school teacher to her first solo apartment in Brooklyn.

71-Year-Old Woman Is Killed, and Her Husband Is 2019-05-27 09:17:30Maria Rodriguez was found dead on Saturday in her Brooklyn home, and her 87-year-old husband, who uses a wheelchair, was wounded in the attack.

What 8 Green Thumbs Wore to the New 2019-05-27 05:00:02The Garden Furniture & Antiques Fair is an annual rite of spring in New York.

‘I’m Weird, but I Get Results’: Have You 2019-05-27 00:11:31Devin Person moonlights as the warlock of Brooklyn, casting “spells” and offering wise words for start-up workers and subway riders.

Homes That Sold for Around $1,000,000 2019-05-26 05:00:06Recent residential sales in New York City and the region.

Trenton Shooting: 10 People Hit by Gunfire Outside 2019-05-26 00:52:25The victims were hit when bullets were sprayed into a crowd.

Daily Intelligencer

Senate Republicans Say They Would Kill Trump Impeachment 2019-05-28 10:17:50Senate Republicans are making it clear that if the House impeaches President Trump, the upper chamber will act quickly to complete the constitutionall

Boycotts of Georgia Will Only Make It Redder 2019-05-28 08:00:00Don’t dismiss the South. The abortion fight won’t be won from New York.

How Many Bones Would You Break to Get 2019-05-28 06:05:19“Incels” are going under the knife to reshape their faces, and their dating prospects, often seeking out Indiana plastic surgeon Dr. Barry

What We Know About the Knife Attack in 2019-05-28 01:12:54One elementary school age girl and an adult man have been killed in the attack, which occurred on Tuesday morning in Kawasaki, Japan.

Trump HUD Appointee: ‘I Honestly Don’t Care’ About 2019-05-27 21:59:01Lynne Patton, a former Trump family event planner and current HUD administrator, is honest about her Twitter use as a federal appointee. After defendi

Bernie’s Pro-Sandinista Past Is a Problem, and His 2019-05-27 20:00:31The New York Times has reported on Bernie Sanders’s 1980s-vintage praise for the communist government in Nicaragua. Bernie is responding by sayi

Navy Pilots Were Seeing UFOs on an Almost 2019-05-27 18:34:17According to Navy veterans who spoke with the New York Times, UFOs were consistently being sighted in the airspace from Virginia to Florida in 2014 an

Joe Biden’s Early Campaign Strategy Doesn’t Involve Much 2019-05-27 13:30:24Joe Biden is holding fewer campaign events than his competitors, a strategy that comes with both pros and cons.

I Tried to Find a New Yorker Who 2019-05-27 09:00:35I Tried to Find a New Yorker Who Wants Mayor de Blasio to Be Elected President in 2020. It Wasn’t Easy. (Even at the Park Slope YMCA.)

Is Justice Brett Kavanaugh As Bad As Democrats 2019-05-27 08:00:10Is Kavanaugh as bad as Democrats feared? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the impact Justice Kavanaugh will have on the law, and Ame

A Post-Roe America Would Be a Never-Ending Nightmare 2019-05-26 18:00:10The blithe talk of abortion policy being better set by legislatures than by courts in a post-Roe environment misses the endless chaos it would engende

Trump Has to Remind John Bolton How Much 2019-05-26 13:53:27President Trump reasserted his support for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after his national security advisor, John Bolton, became the first Trump

Local Rss

City’s hand-picked “third-party” groups give big $$$ to 2019-05-27 06:15:22Groups selected by the city to take over foreclosed properties both employ and have close ties with dozens of donors who have given generously to poli

Community garden head wants probe of de Blasio, 2019-05-26 08:00:38The head of a lower Manhattan community garden is demanding the state attorney general and the city Conflicts of Interest Board probe plans to turn ov

Adorable pooch Marley still lost on subway tracks 2019-05-24 14:56:11The determined owner of a missing cocker spaniel shined a flashlight down a darkened Midtown subway tunnel Friday in a so-far fruitless search for his

NYC lawyers want courts to force homesharing app 2019-05-23 18:49:07City lawyers filed a suit Thursday to compel the home-sharing app HomeAway to respond to a subpoena for internal records of the properties it has offe

Former state senator and ex-con Hiram Monserrate helped 2019-05-22 18:41:55Queens DA candidate Jose Nieves is coming under fire for enlisting Hiram Monserrate — an ex-state senator who slashed his girlfriend’s fac

Fleet Week festivities bring thousands of sailors to 2019-05-22 13:05:08Thousands of tons of American steel sailed along the Hudson River on Wednesday as the 31st annual Fleet Week kicked off on the city’s waterways.

Miracle men reunited with their FDNY EMS lifesavers 2019-05-21 19:51:11Their guardian angels came to them first as strangers. Now, they’ve had a chance to get better acquainted. Seventeen people who came within inch

Local News

Howie Hawkins will seek Green nomination for president 2019-05-28 11:11:54Longtime New York gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins will seek the Green Party nomination for president in 2020. Hawkins, who make the announcemen

Grondahl: Ted Bundy still haunts Tacoma 2019-05-28 11:00:00TACOMA, Wash. — I went back to Tacoma last week to visit my family and ran headlong into Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious and savage serial

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony coming to the Capital Region 2019-05-28 09:53:55Seminal '90s hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will be making a return visit to the Capital Region this summer Aug. 25 at Skyloft in Crossgates.

After months of delay, Syed appoints confidential secretary 2019-05-28 09:51:13NISKAYUNA — Supervisor Yasmine Syed has appointed a confidential secretary after months of delay. Brian Backus, a current Niskayuna School Boar

Los Angeles recruit visits Siena men's basketball 2019-05-28 09:10:23Gary Harris Jr. flew to Albany on Sunday, according to the Twitter account of Middlebrooks Academy, where he spent the past year after graduating from

Cooler, wet weather expected Tuesday 2019-05-28 07:04:10Monday's sunshine and calm breezes will be followed up by rain and wind all day Tuesday. The majority of the rain is expected after 11 a.m., accordi

Police: Woman dies after being shot at Niskayuna 2019-05-27 20:25:02NISKAYUNA — A woman who was shot in the arm Monday night at Hillcrest Village , an apartment complex in Niskayuna, has died, police said.

Albany's immigrant women harbor dreams, face barriers to 2019-05-27 19:00:00The Church of St. Vincent De Paul in Albany recently conducted a study with focus groups to identify the skills and interests of refugee and immi

Review: "The Goat..." @ Berkshire Theatre Group, 5/26/19 2019-05-27 18:36:43STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The woman on the couch lets out a primal howl, her voice coarse and tearing like burlap. She howls again, then a third time

Russian tech mogul seeks to reshape New York 2019-05-27 18:00:00Once one of Russia's richest men, tech mogul Alex Konanykhin fled in 1992, after escaping a kidnapping attempt of rogue ex-KGB agents who were seekin

Photos: Albany Memorial Day Parade 2019-05-27 17:02:50ALBANY — Albany honored service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the country with the city's annual Memorial Day on Monda

Ex-Ag Secretary: Federal support for climate-friendly farming ‘imperative’ 2019-05-27 16:00:00WASHINGTON — Former Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, who now represents dairy farmers, is pushing Congress to provide financial incentives

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.