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Nora Ephron's Love Affair with the Apthorp

[Photo from]

Ever wonder why Nora Ephron wrote so fondly of the Upper West Side in You've Got Mail? Perhaps it's because the director/screenwriter was paying just $2,000 a month not too long ago to live in a fifth-floor eight-room apartment in the Apthorp (above), the full-block limestone job with the vaulted tunnel entranceways, on Broadway from West 78th to 79th. She writes in the New Yorker this week (hard copy only) of giddily borrowing some $24,000 in "key money" back in 1980 for the privilege of moving into the now-98-year-old building that was still mostly, if not entirely, filled with rent-stabilized tenants at the time. Try not to feel too much schadenfreude as the "luxury-decontrol law" overtakes Ephron with her movie money, and her rent skyrockets. A good read, whether or not you can stomach her romantic comedies.
· Apthorp, 2207 Broadway [City Review]
· Apthorp [NY Architecture Images]

UPDATE: A commenter reminds us that the 170-unit building as a whole is up for sale, and could fetch $500 million plus. [NYSun]

UPDATE x2: Times columnist John Tierney lashes back: "Her expulsion from rent-control paradise ... isn't exactly a heartbreaking story. But it gives a rare inside look at the rentocracy, the system allowing affluent New Yorkers to pay below-market rents and pass along the apartments to their children." [NYT, TS req.]