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Touring Park Avenue; Upper West Siders Settle for Harlem

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...


1) History Lessons: wherein we explore our city's past, from Bronx to Battery.
In this week's Streetscapes column, writer Christopher Gray explores Park Avenue in celebration of the propsed expansion of the Park Avenue Historic District, running from 79th to 96th Street. Unlike most of NYC's designated districts, this stretch of Park Avenue is in no real danger of being changed, and while many associate landmarks preservation with quaint, leafy streets and old brownstones, the area is mostly defined by large, ritzy apartment buildings from the early part of the twentieth century, up through the architectural dark ages of the 1970s. But is that enough for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the stretch a historic district? In fifty years, will we fondly look back on post-war high-rise apartment buildings with a nostalgic glint in our eyes? Only time will tell. ["An Exploratory Stroll Up Park Avenue"; photo via Vivienne Gucwa/Curbed Photo Pool]
2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunters: a young couple on the Upper West Side
Price
Dream: $2 million
Reality: $1.8 million
Neighborhood
Dream: Upper West Side
Reality: Harlem
Amenities
Dream: Spacious
Reality: Spacious, yard, rental studio
Summary
This week's Hunters are two diehard Upper West Siders looking for more space. With a budget of $2 million, they looked up and down the Upper West Side, before realizing that finding a two- or three-bedroom in their price range was rather ambitious. They then set their sights on Harlem, where they quickly found a suitable four-story house with a lot of space, a backyard, and a rental studio. They negotiated a price of $1.8 million. Unfortunately, they also talk about how Harlem is "what New York used to be," apparently unaware of the depressing irony in that statement. [The Hung/"Rethinking an 'End-All, Be-All'"]