We visited the final home of poet Frank O'Hara back in 2009, just before it was completely demolished. It was a building once full of artists, where the ground-floor business sold orthopedic devices for amputees.
It is now debuting for "first move-ins" and computer-printed signs on the ground-floor windows ask you to please check out their website. Rents for apartments in the new building start at $3,750. A two-bedroom has gone for $5,000. (O'Hara paid $150 for a floor-through loft.)
Its developer's blog hypes the "modern kitchens with Carrera marble countertops and state-of-the-art appliances, Italian porcelain bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and hardwood floors" and suggests the ground-floor space be used "for a boutique or coffee shop."
In case possible ground-floor renters get confused, here's a visual from the window:
A skinny lady drinks a latte. A couple of go-getters in tight sweaters show their teeth while carrying loads of shopping bags. Get it? Coffee shop or boutique. Boutique or coffee shop.
This type of marketing never says, "Ideal for a bookstore or clock repair shop." They never show pictures of people browsing records or bringing their shoes in to be resoled. And they certainly never say, "Terrific space for orthopedic appliances!" with a photo of a smiling guy and his prosthetic leg.
O'Hara moved to this address in 1963. That same year, this memorable quote appeared in the New York Times in farewell to Penn Station--I often think of it on these occasions: "Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves."