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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Among Beautiful Things

Window Grille, Upper West Side
Photo by myself on Riverside Drive, around 76th Street.

Many precious architectural details can be found on the old buildings on the Upper West Side. Here, a beautifully curved double hung window is protected with an elaborate metal grille. Carved brackets support a balcony overhead.


Today, my coworker Cheryl and I went to survey an apartment for renovation.

Our clients, a lovely middle-aged couple, own a spacious apartment on the Upper East Side at 85th Street. The building fronts Gracie Square, which is a park along the East River with views out to Roosevelt Island.

The clients are avid collectors of traditional art. Framed Impressionist oil paintings and ink drawings were hung on every wall. I've been in some very fancy homes before, but this was fancy. There were bronze statues and marble fireplaces. There were heavy curtains at every window, each trimmed with colorful ribbon and tassels.

The apartment spanned two floors. There were several bedrooms, a media room, Living Room, Library, Dining Room, Powder Room, his and her bathrooms and dressing rooms. The Master Bedroom had a spacious sitting room. There was a maid's room, laundry room and crafts room. A graceful internal stair in the front hall connected the two floors. On paper, the place resembled a spacious two-story home except that it was on the high floors of a Manhattan apartment building.

Cheryl and I worked all afternoon, tip toeing around little tables arranged with bric-a-brac. We carefully measured all the walls and doors and windows. I had visions of little tables toppling over, spilling priceless objects to the floor.

Of course, our day was emergency-free. At the end of several hours, Cheryl and I measured all the rooms and documented the apartment with plenty of photographs.

The job was exhausting. Even though we were surrounded by ornate beauty, all we wanted to do was hurry home, pour a glass of wine and put our feet up.


Eva said...

I never thought of all the beautiful homes you get to see. Lucky you! :-)

I love your picture of the day. It reminded me of Italy, were you find beautiful window protectors like this.

Abraham Lincoln said...

If you need to have a window grill for any reason, this would be the one I would choose. It is beautiful, Kitty. I like it a lot.

jesslovesnyc said...

I love your blog! All the gorgeous pictures :) Linking you now!

Kitty said...

Hi Eva
When I went to Italy so many years ago I didn't notice the grilles. I guess I was overwhelmed by everything else.
I should post more about the houses I see and work on. It's all pretty cool.

Morning Mr Lincoln
Thank you sir!

Welcome Jess
Thanks so much. Good luck with your move to New York this fall! I'm sure you'll have many adventures.

Jilly said...

beautiful ironwork. Lovely photo.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh I love ironwork. I always wanted a house with iron railings round the garden and I eventually did when we lived in Wales. So much of it was ripped up to be used in the war that it is not that easy to find.

I love to look at beautiful houses with precious things but I couldn't ever live like that - I am such a clumsy oaf I would never dare move about, I'd have to stay welded to a chair all day.

Tammy said...

I would be so scared to death to break something, and knowing me i probably would. LOL

Kitty said...

Thanks Jilly!

lol, RB
I have to say the place looked too museum-like for my tastes. It wasn't homey at all.

ha, Tammy dear!

Patrizia said...

You certainly must have a tiring but very very interesting job.

When I walk in Venezia or in Milano, I often wonder what beauties must be hidden in the apartment houses I pass by: anonymous outside, but inside .....

Kitty said...

thanks Patrizia
It's very human to walk by a house and peer through the windows, isn't it? You might be the most polite person, but it's hard to resist that urge, lol.

I'm sure you'd find some amazing homes in those old cities...but I bet you'd find some very modest places as well. It'd be interesting to take a look!