Writer, cultural critic, New York icon and LGBTQ national treasure, Fran Lebowitz shelled out $3.1 million for a condo at the Chelsea Mercantile, building on a well-known corner in Chelsea. Whole Foods is downstairs.
The 2,268-square-foot apartment, 1 bedroom, 2 bath apartment has a 25-plus-foot long, closet-lined entrance hall, 13.5-foot beamed ceilings, and a 20-foot wide, 11-foot tall wall of windows. The loft-sized living room/ dining room and opens to the kitchen and a long island. The large master suite includes a bedroom with an adjoining dressing room and a large bathroom. A good-sized windowless room, I feel certain will be converted to a library to house some of those 10,000 books. In March, she told The New York Times,
“I just [moved] a year and a half ago. They come and pack the books. That takes three days. But two times before that, it took two months to organize them first. I have many bookcases. They have glass doors. They are mostly 19th-century. The books all go in certain places in my apartment. I like to have fiction in the living room, reference books in the writing room. I have 10,000 books. I know this because I move them. When I move, I go through them and take some out. Many books come to this house unbidden. And unbidden books, I don’t want to keep them. Once the books are all rearranged, I can put my hand on any book. I know where they all are.“
The Chelsea Mercantile, has a 10,000-square-foot roof terrace and a underground garage where the Fran can for a considerable monthly fee, park her 1979 Checker Marathon cab. (She once drove it, as a cab driver…) When she lived at the Osborne on 57th Street, she parked it under the convention center where the Time Warner complex now sits. (I know, I saw it there.) Her new neighbor, Sheila Nevins, President of Documentary and Family Programming for HBOand Cinemax, offices at Time Warner and also owns a handful of units including the penthouse at Chelsea Mercantile.
Other neighbors include chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay and Kyle MacLachlan and his Project Runway executive producer wife Desiree Gruber. Jane Fonda rented in the building during her short run in the Broadway play 33 Variations and Katie Holmes, set to star as Jackie Kennedy in the TV mini-series The Kennedys After Camelot, famously shacked up in a luxury rental during the much-publicized aftermath of her split and divorce from Tom Cruise.
Shopping for groceries IS convenient, but chances are you won’t catch Fran shopping in Whole Foods, though. They deliver.