It was a happy accident that Sidney, my broker, suggested we return to the West 181st street area, aka Hudson Heights. I had liked the location, which reminded me of a Parisian enclave with its leafy trees and trellised stone steps.
I first looked here in the beginning of my search—back in April 2011. And I'd never quite forgotten the charms of the neighborhood: the low-rise scale, thriving mom & pop stores (including an excellent wine store) and a street emptying into the openness of the Hudson River. The Starbucks on the corner was the only hint of the new world on the street.
On a Wednesday afternoon, Sidney, Chris and I met at 870 W. 181st, a large pre-war coop building that hugged the slight curve of the street heading down the embankment.
The lobby instantly clicked with my aesthetic: a columned marble lobby—not gleaming, but also not shoddy. We took the elevator to the third floor. The agent recognized me from a previous visit (not in this building), which was no surprise to me now that I’d been on the circuit a couple of years, where often I felt like I saw the same faces, just different apartments.