12. Murray Bay

The last time anything exciting, buildingwise, happened here was in the early sixties, when I. M. Pei built two high-rises in the International Style between 30th and 34th Streets. Almost five decades later, this monotonous stretch finally has landed another noteworthy edifice: 303 East 33rd Street (left). It’s no Pei, but it does hold the distinction of being the area’s first LEED-certified condominium.


Rick Marx, a partner at Ernst & Young, moved from Tampa last year into a two-bedroom apartment in 303 East 33rd Street.

Why’d you pick this neighborhood?
I work uptown, downtown, midtown, so I need someplace that’s central. We started looking in the Flatiron, but they didn’t really have a lot of new construction, so we kept moving east. And then I saw this building and I just fell in love.

What was it that sold you?
First of all, I think it’s really interesting from the outside. And it’s set back from the road just enough. You know how in New York, if you’re on a lower floor, you’re looking out onto another building? Here, it feels open.

Was buying in a green building a priority?
No, it really wasn’t. I tell people it’s a green building, and they kind of look at me. I’m very conscious of the environment, but I’m not big into the cause.

So you’re not munching on granola all day.
Not at all. People come in and they think my countertop’s marble, but it’s recycled glass. And the counters in the bathrooms look like stone, but they’re recycled plastic. It’s that kind of green.

12. Murray Bay