As a shiny new luxury residential tower scrapes the sky above Lower Manhattan, I find myself bedeviled by questions, chief among them: Where in the hell is it? Or, conversely, where isn't it? Because based on its marketing materials, I can only assume that this condo conglomeration is... everywhere?
Please, look at the images from this brochure for One Manhattan Square, which my esteemed colleague Jen Carlson received in the mail. (Unsolicited, of course, because this skyscraper has its claws in everything.) On the cover, above, we see a gleaming cheese grater of truly terrifying proportions. Allegedly located at 252 South Street, it looms over the intersection of East 7th Street and what appears to be Avenue B, menacing the eyes of the beholder like a miles-high knife wall.
Seen from another view, it hunkers beside the Manhattan Bridge, just "an 800-foot-tall modern glass tower located on the edge of the New York Harbor," and pushing me to the brink of sanity.
One Manhattan Square as the centerfold, courtesy of Extell, although no one asked for this. (Gothamist)
Among other things, the brochure claims that this monstrosity sits at "the intersection of grit and glamour," which may explain why it appears to be both everywhere and nowhere at all. It can, after all, be seen from many parts of NYC, and when you do spot it from a distance, it can be difficult to discern which neighborhood exactly it calls home. It's possible that One Manhattan Square's apparent omnipresence could be chalked up to a trick of perspective, but it's also possible that someone made some bold and unapologetic photo-editing decisions. Because here is what Avenue B and East 7th actually looks like:
Certainly, from that angle, One Manhattan Square does not seem to lord over the Lower East Side with the overblown confidence of a residential building that boasts a bowling alley, private gardens, an infrared sauna, a tea pavilion, and truly outlandish incentives to buy. Nor does it seem to sit in the middle of the street, blocking the avenue's steady progression toward Houston, as the brochure's imagery suggests.
Anyway, I made a string map on the wall and the only logical conclusion I came to was this: Whoever designed this brochure has been playing it fast and loose with the scale on what are now my favorite-ever renderings. If that person was you, will you please teach me how to Photoshop? Thank you in advance.