American feminist literature pioneer Erica Jong is putting up her Manhattan home for sale at a handsome price of US$4.25 million. The author’s white-glove apartment sits on the coveted 27th floor of a former hotel right in the heart of the Upper East Side. With the space measuring at nearly 3000 square feet and boasting wide open panoramic views of the New York City skyline to the west, north and south, the listing is truly a prototypical luxury Manhattan home for those seeking comfort in abundance, ensured privacy and a bird eye’s view of the city all in one.
Jong is native to New York, having established herself as a published poet after earning her master’s degree in 18th century literature from Columbia University — an achievement atypical for women at the time. She skyrocketed to fame and fortune with her infamous 1973 bestselling novel on the sexual revolution of the 70s, Fear of Flying. Apart from giving voice to a generation of women feeling stuck and entrapped by the parochial value systems of a world which had not yet become familiar with feminist thought, Jong also became a model of female empowerment for her generation and is now a household name in American literature that has become virtually synonymous with Second Wave Feminism.
Now 81 and with nearly 30 published works under her belt, Jong has reportedly decided to move closer to her grandchildren, leaving the home where she wrote her greatest works to the next lucky buyer.
The two-bed, two-bath apartment opens with a spacious entry foyer where checkerboard parquet hardwood floors lay in contrast against the stark white walls and gold accents. A 30-foot long gallery connects the bedrooms and common rooms, with the living and dining areas accessed through columned archways.
The dining room is enclosed by floor-to-ceiling mirrors, giving the effect of a luxury dining experience. Meanwhile, the oversized south-facing living room too is flanked by custom wall-to-wall bookcases that used to house Jong’s priceless book collection, likely to be an informal work space where Jong worked on so many of her beloved yet controversial character studies. Matching custom bookcases also feature directly across the gallery in the library which Jong used as her primary office. Jong was known to rise early with the morning sun and a cappuccino in hand, keeping both the coffee and writing going throughout the day.
At the end of the gallery lies an enclosed solarium, Jong’s personal sunbathing sanctuary which offers an unobstructed view of Central Park. Jong was known to entertain many of her guests here, a list filled with other prolific writers and artists of her generation.
The master and second bedroom are both south-facing and adjacent to one another, offering generous dimensions, en-suite baths and expansive walk-in closet space.
The spacious kitchen across the bedrooms features sleek stainless steel countertops and appliances, paired with wood cabinetry in a warm, homely shade. A large window at the end ensures plenty of sunlight streams in while also allowing the next owner to air the kitchen from any remnant odours. An attached pantry offers ample storage and a hidden nook which doubles as a small office for busy days cooped up at home when Jong probably worked as she cooked, complete with its own ensuite bath and walk-in closet as well.
The apartment sits in Imperial House, a residential building which boasts excellent amenities such as a concierge service, a full-time doorman, a gym, a yoga studio, a game room and an on-premises tailor. Residents can take a quick jog over to the nearby Central Park for a run, passing by a variety of museums, shops, and restaurants. A subway stop right on the corner of the block offers lightning-quick access to the rest of New York City with no shortage of other celebrity homes in the vicinity including Madonna, Woody Allen, Ricky Martin and Drew Barrymore.
The listing is held by Maria E. Daou of Coldwell Banker Warburg. Find more information on Jong’s Imperial House apartment here.
For more stories on homes, click here.