NYC Luxury Living in Movies and TV
September 14, 2019 11:54 AM   Subscribe

"The way luxury has been defined in New York City has changed drastically over time. And I think that's really reflected in the spaces we looked at today"- Architect Michael Wyetzner breaks down NYC luxury homes as they appears in 'Mr. Deeds,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'Billions,' 'Cruel Intentions,' 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Big.'
posted by Mouse Army (15 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Really interesting video. It's striking how so many of the changes in how rich people were living were stolen from things everyone else was already doing. Almost every single thing here, like from the idea of living in apartments at all, living on the west side of Manhattan, living in penthouses, living in industrial lofts, wherever some people discovered the air and light was better, rich people were kicking them out (see also manifest destiny/colonialism). (I was going to say "poor people" but I decided not to. People who don't ever quite have what they need are normal, rich people are an aberration). But at the same time as rich people were adapting these ideas about how to live in cities they were being tricked into downgrading their own standard of living by the developers. Like first it was ok I'll live in the city and I'll have my own big-ass house. Then it was like well I don't have my own big-ass house anymore, I still have a big-ass house it's just inside a bigger building. Then it was like well I have to have an apartment with an elevator but they made it so fancy to remind me how dignified I am (dignified comes from a root word meaning "able to take"). Then it's like this isn't even an apartment it's an old factory floor but I kicked the poor weirdos out so that's what reminding me how dignified I am. Im just so dignified in my abandoned old factory.
posted by bleep at 12:27 PM on September 14 [19 favorites]


Ahhhh, I love this series so much! I always forget to seek it out, thank you for the reminder -- this was a pure pleasure to watch. AD puts out excellent videos. (I think I spent most of their tour of the Plaza Hotel with my jaw dropped.)
posted by kalimac at 12:34 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


This was very cool, and made even better by the fact that the so called "architect" was clearly actually H Jon Benjamin.
posted by saladin at 12:43 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I love the museums on the Upper East Side that were formerly homes. Neue Galerie and Cooper-Hewitt are must-stops every time I'm in the city. Those homes are just fabulous. It's fun to walk around and just dream about people living in them.
posted by heyho at 12:46 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


...likewise the Frick and the Morgan.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:02 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Great video. I feel like i learned at least five totally fascinating new things
posted by thivaia at 1:04 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Cracked recently ran an article/listicle entitled "6 Secret Hollywood Crossovers That Nobody Picked Up On" and #5 is the curious coincidence of how many fictional New Yorkers all have residences on the same few blocks of Manhattan's Riverside Drive.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:18 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


This was really neat! I hadn’t known about how much local styles were influenced by various regulations; I’d assumed they had more to do with weather.
posted by tautological at 1:35 PM on September 14


The bit about the height of the front steps is fascinating. I've always wondered by NYC townhouses have such a long climb to the front door. I live in a townhouse that's only three steps off the sidewalk and it would be kind of nice to be a little higher up so that people walking past the house can't see what you're watching on TV.
posted by octothorpe at 4:16 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


The bit about the height of the front steps is fascinating. I've always wondered by NYC townhouses have such a long climb to the front door. I live in a townhouse that's only three steps off the sidewalk and it would be kind of nice to be a little higher up so that people walking past the house can't see what you're watching on TV.

I'd always assumed that's why they did it - for more privacy. I don't really believe that horse poop smell would make a difference vs a two to three steps, but then again I'm not an architect.
posted by The_Vegetables at 4:20 PM on September 14


Also I never thought about before that servants quarters were in the top of the house where it's always hottest in the summer and colder in the winter.
posted by bleep at 4:27 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Re: big brownstone stoop, it sounds more liveable in terms of light and noise as well. Those super-thin windows must have been miserable at blocking street sounds.
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:42 PM on September 14


Also I never thought about before that servants quarters were in the top of the house where it's always hottest in the summer and colder in the winter.

Back when I lived in Texas, you always chose an apartment in a big complex based on how much sun it got. North facing apartments on the ground floor would save you a load of A/C money in the summer. I had an acquaintance in a high rise in Chicago who said the apartments under him had their heat up so high that he spent nothing on heat in the winter. They're good spots, if you can get them.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:49 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


grandiloquiet: "Re: big brownstone stoop, it sounds more liveable in terms of light and noise as well. Those super-thin windows must have been miserable at blocking street sounds."

We still have the original 1870 windows and yes they are terrible at blocking street noise.
posted by octothorpe at 5:26 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


bleep, I don't know if it counts as the standard of living being degraded, but look at how much less detail rich people get as time goes on. The early stuff is probably too cluttered, but I think the recent stuff is too stark.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:48 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


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