Behold the website for Montgomery Greene, the swankily named luxury condo being erected right next door to WFMU. While the name Montgomery Greene could easily be mistaken for that of a contemporary country duo, it's actually the pot-holed Jersey City intersection where piss elegance meets unbridled tax abatement. But this amenity-laden white gloved Lady can only go up, up, UP! And it's that extra "E" in Greene that locks in the freshness of real estate values on the rise. And where extra E's reside, can infinity-edge lap pools be far behind?.....
Anyhoo, you'll want to turn the volume up for this one, kids. The sophisticated schpiel begins the moment that ambient "urban groove" starts wafting out of your speakers. Nothing conjures up designs for better living quite like generic royalty-free beats.
Just as the hypnotic groove has you nodding your head in rhythmic approval, snazzy Macromedia Flash graphics fire on all cylinders to quickly seal the deal. A twinkling digitally enhanced photo of a twilight skyline (the kind often used as a backdrop on rap albums) beckons you to explore the life of cost-per-square-foot privilege. "City Living" really does "Come of Age" in the architect imagined renderings of soon-to-be personal valets and "a concierge who actually knows your name." The Sims-ish Virtual Lobby Walkthru (requires Quicktime) with its cascading water wall and Bahian travertine marble will have you feverishly calculating 30 year mortgage payments.
But credit where credit is due. It's the copywriting that had us quivering in our beaded camisoles. The crack creatives over at Chavin Lambert have spun all sorts of penthouse pillow talk. "Kashmir white slab granite counters" and "Shaker Paneled maple cabinetry?" You naughty, naughty boys! And those sweet nothings about "Kohler Bubble Massage air tubs" and "complementary dual, undermounted, rectangular sinks in biscuit-colored china" should really be subject to FCC review. Oooh, and did somebody say "random oak plank floors"? Oh yes they di-hid!
But it's not all "Devonshire chrome hardware" and "thermostatically controlled HVAC units." Before you get all swept up in floorplans and fabric swatches, let's consider the following.
First of all, let's face it, you wouldn't even consider downmarket Jersey City had you not been so late to the Manhattan real estate dance. And while Montgomery Greene is quick to stress that the magic of Manhattan is only "minutes away," we both know that no amount of money spent on Jersey City property will confer upon you that covetous 212 fairy dust. You won't be breathing the same rarified air as the residents in Richard Meier's 165 Charles Street (complete with leather-seated screening room thank you very much) or sharing the chic cachet of folks who bought at Downtown By Philippe Starck.
And it's highly unlikely that life in Jersey City will afford you the bragging rights of newsy neighbors - you know, the bold-face types who loiter on Page Six and allow you to bitchily bask in their reflected glory. "I saw Nicole in the elevator this morning - looks like her nasolabial folds have been hitting the Restylane again."
Did we mention the dearth of drycleaners, Bloomie Nails salons, and newstands that carry Elle Decor? I suppose there's no need to rub in the fact that the Flamingo Diner is no Ono at the Gansevoort Hotel. And yes, the views are indeed panoramic. But is a detailed view of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the Bayonne petroleum refineries what you had in mind?
Then there's the locals. The swarms of day-tripping Goldman Sachs worker bees don't exactly gussy up the neighborhood. But at least they go back to where they came from by sundown. Not so all those creaky elderlies living out their final fixed-income days across the street at Battery View Senior Citizens Housing. The old Paulus Hook Polskas have pretty much taken the hint and moved on, save for that gory Katyn Forest Massacre Monument they left down the block. And not to worry, those perforated punk bands loading in for Pat Duncan's show only look like they're about to make off with your Lexus.
But this isn't to say that Montgomery Greene is merely a gilded repository for your dashed Big Apple real estate dreams. No piece of God's Little Acre comes without un petit penance. In the end, my friend, these peccadilloes are a small price to pay for the Fine Art of Living.