The house above, in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, is regarded, according to this piece about the gingerbread on Curbed.com, as New York City’s most charmingly adorable “fairy tale” residence. But it has been sitting on the market, watching its price fall year after year, now down to $10.5 million. What’s wrong? Yes, that’s a lot for most people, but more quotidian houses and condos go for more. The townhouse I wrote about recently by Peter Pennoyer on East 78th has units under contract for similar amounts, even though it’s not even built yet, with the penthouse asking $29 million.
Am I the only one bowled over by the photo above only to be underwhelmed by shots of the interior? It would be considered quite extraordinary an interior for most houses. You approach a mansion of magic but enter only to find a level of luxury that seems the work of a very talented interior designer rather than the “fairy tale” romantic setting that you are expecting. The inside just does not live up to the outside.
Or maybe it’s the neighborhood. I don’t know for Bay Ridge, but every nice neighborhood has its dumpy blocks. What’s next door? When Victoria, Billy (age 5) and I were looking for a house in Providence we found a most enchanting Beaux Arts house whose inside lived fully up to its outside, but which was set on a street of decidedly downmarket single-families – and it was not the best section of Mount Pleasant, and right across from a poorly rated elementary school. We took a pass, and quite sadly, because we loved the house, but in retrospect we doubt that we would have felt happy there.
The Brooklyn gingerbread may be surrounded by places up to all but its most romantic standard. But step inside and, though beautiful, it’s a letdown because it does not have the exterior’s mythic, storybook princess-in-the-tower connotations – which, of course, may not be for everyone. Anyway, that’s how it struck me. Better knock that price down again.