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A Stiff Drink of New Development Smackdown

As soon as the October Vanity Fair (Suri Cruise edition) hit the newsstands, we started getting emails from readers imploring us to post about A.A. Gill's startling takedown of the Manhattan new development scene. We held off until the piece went online—which it now has. Suffice to say, if there existed a Curbed required reading list, this would be near the top. Choice quotes:

On Richard Meier's West Village towers: "They're striking because they're so unlikely. Like finding three zebras in your garden. But in a suburb of Berlin they would be as unexceptional and uninspiring as leather shorts and an oompah band."

On Ian Schrager's 40 Bond: "Imagine that: coming home and finding a shrieking gay Cuban bouncer with a clipboard on the door; three peroxided trust-fund brats with added silicone bits, all talking at once, locked in the bathroom; and a family from Idaho in town to see The Producers asleep in your bedroom."

But it's the Jean Nouvel-architected, André Balasz designed 40 Mercer (top) in Soho that really takes it on the chin.

It starts with this take on the 40 Mercer saleswoman:

The salesperson walks in with a humorless professional smile. She's not what I expect.... In a beat, she seems to sum up my net worth, potential income, status, and I feel myself fall short. No—collapse short. Then she does what we in the Old World call "French flirting," which is like regular, full-beam flirting, but done to show you what you're not going to get. Flirting with malice. She shows me her teeth, licks her lips, picks up the clipboard, flashes a wink of cleavage, and we go to see the building.... and segues to this:I can't help noticing that on the stairwell landings, wherever she stops, there is, just behind her head, a large graffitied penis, usually with a terse exclamation referring to Don, who apparently "focks hos and takes it in the as." Oddly, they don't put that in the brochure, but the place is infested with penises. Everywhere you look it's like a Neolithic fertility site.We won't spoil it all, but read on for five-head action, and a special appearance by Shvo's 20 Pine.
· Condos of the Living Dead [Vanity Fair]