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Living on Park Avenue

Updated on September 8, 2014

What is it like to live on Park Avenue?

I lived on Park avenue for almost 4 years and no I am not rich..far from it!

Let me back up a bit so that you know how I came to live on Park Avenue. I had moved to Manhattan at the age of 42 after my son left for college. I had a boarding house in Portland Oregon and one of my tenants was from New York. He saw how lost I was after my son had left for college and suggested that I move to New York City. He felt that I belonged there and he was right.

I arrived in Manhattan in the fall of 2004. I took out a second on my home and used the money to rent an apartment in the upper west side. The apartment was $2,000 a month! It was a small one bedroom on the second floor of a brownstone about one block from Central Park. I loved that apartment, but in 2008 I lost my job and after the economic downturn couldn't find another job that paid enough to support me in Manhattan. My rent had gone up ever year and was now $2,500! I managed by renting out an area above my closet to people who wanted to stay in Manhattan but couldn't afford $200 to $300 a night for a cheap hotel. I wrote about this in another article if you are interested.

So, after the economic downturn I started looking for odd live-in jobs on Craigslist so that I could stay in Manhattan without paying rent. I was blessed with a position as a paid companion. I interviewed for the position but I wasn't told where it was. After I was told that I got the job I was then told where it was and even though I'm not from New York I knew Park Avenue was the cream of the crop.


So I moved into the apartment on the 17th floor of Park Avenue and 71st street. The very first thing I experienced after moving in was that NO ONE SPOKE TO ME! That's right no one! Not even the doormen! After awhile one woman spoke to me, she was blind and I am not kidding! So, not coming from the upper echelons of society really made a difference. After about a year and a half the doormen started to speak to me but it was still extremely rare that any of the tenets spoke to me. Lucky for me I have good self esteem so I didn't really care and it didn't bother me.

Having lived in a brownstone and now living on Park Avenue I could compare the differences. And one of the clear differences was that anything you want you could have someone get or do for you on Park Avenue. If you needed your dog walked you could get one of the doormen to do that, if you needed a package to be collected they would do that as well, if you needed groceries to be purchased and brought to you that could be done as well. Of course all these services would come at a price but nevertheless, they could be done.

Also, living on Park Avenue was very safe. The doormen were always there no matter what time of night you came home. When I lived in the upper west side sometimes I felt like I was taking my life into my hands coming home late at night.

The other thing is that Park Avenue is/was very clean. When I lived on the upper west side off of 91st street I would often see rats late at night. I NEVER saw rats on Park Avenue. How the rats knew not to go on that street was beyond me! But, I never saw any.

One thing that I did notice was that everyone in my building was thin and generally pretty good looking. I was the fattest person there and I wasn't even that fat! I just chalked it up to the fact that money can buy beauty and after a few generations maybe all the ugly was bred out!

The other really great thing about living on Park Avenue is the prestige it brought. Whenever I had the occasion to mention my address people who lived in New York knew it was the ritziest part of town and they would look at me and wonder if I was a millionaire. On one occasion a tour guide employee stopped his tour after asking where people were from and after I answered and sat next to me in an obvious attempt at gold-digging. When I told him that it wasn't my apartment he immediately got up. Living on Park Avenue was a great adventure. I thought it was funny at the time to be hobnobbing with all the rich and sometimes famous but it was also a lot of fun.

At the time I didn't really think very much about my experiences but now, having left Park Avenue and New York City, I look back and think of my time there with great fondness. I mean how many people do you know lived on Park Avenue? I don't know anyone other than the people I met while there and myself. It was great while it lasted and I certainly hope that my adventures in New York City and beyond are not all behind me.

Jewel Toned Buildings
Jewel Toned Buildings | Source

This was where I lived before they remodeled the apartments, the new one is in the video below

This is what the apartments look like now.


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    • vespawoolf profile image


      4 years ago from Peru, South America


    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Kristine..sometimes the most "glamorous" is also the most dull too.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Brie, I'm from the Bronx, NY, and where I lived was not glamorous at all. I do miss the shopping, Spring St., Alexanders Dept. Store, Hearns, etc. My Mom loved going to the Fulton Fish Market. Nice read.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Yes it was an interesting experience. Thanks for commenting "vespawoolf". Btw, the ugly on the inside never gets bred out!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What an interesting experience! I had to laugh about some of your observations, for example that beauty can be bought and maybe after several generations the ugly gets bred out! Lol. Really enjoyed this--thanks.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      I miss it everyday, thanks for becoming a fan and for commenting. Check out my other articles on NY, you might enjoy them.

    • kndashy41 profile image

      Dana Ayres 

      4 years ago from Houston, TX

      Well, I'm from NJ and I worked and played in NY for close to 15 years. One thing I can honestly say is that I never noticed when people were ignoring me because in NYC, there are too many people around to care about stuff like that. Like everyone else, I was about my own business. I live in Houston, TX now and after 8 years, it still seems strange to me that people are so friendly in a big city. It's a regional thing, I suppose. But, if strangers here think I'm a cold person, then, in my opinion, they have a little too much time on their hands and not enough to do. I agree, NYC is a happenin' place!


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