Relocating to NYC

By Laura Smiros

I recently had to decide where to live in NYC after living on Long Island my whole life. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods in NYC and all have a different vibe. We had a pied-à-terre on Central Park South for a few years, and despite the pedigree, it wasn’t a comfortable neighborhood. It just never felt like a home.

Central Park South from Columbus Circle.

So I decided to assess what makes a great neighborhood and what values were important to me. Now, while I don’t want to seem biased, the great neighborhoods are the ones with great architecture. Architecture that has human scaled elements and warm textured materials. If you think about the neighborhoods that are popular like Tribeca and Greenwich, both have wonderfully scaled buildings.

Broadway near Prince Street.

The street level is filled with shopping, affording a flurry of people to watch, mingle and bump into. The apartments above have large windows, but more importantly a scale that relates to humans. Then the buildings follow Louis Sullivan’s rule for the form of a high-rise building—a base, shaft, and cornice.

While the one modern building tries to carry the lines of its neighbors, it lacks the warmth that says home at Broadway and W. Houston St.

Greenwich has wonderful streets with old brownstones and brick faced buildings with a pedestrian scale. 


Greenwich at McDougal Street.

After living on Long Island my whole life; Blue Point on the Great South Bay as a child and moving to Oyster Bay once married, I selected Battery Park City for my new home.


I’ve always been sensitive to my environment so a connection to the water, earth, and fresh air are necessary foundations with my love for architecture as an expression of art. BPC has plenty of parks, the Hudson River, iconic architecture and plenty of classical architecture within a short walk. I also enjoy watching and listening to the children’s laughter.

Customs House built in 1834 by Town & Davis, one of the country’s first architecture firms.

Connection between the Brookfield Place and the Oculus under the West Side Highway.

Lunch spot at North Cove outside the Brookfield Place.

View from the World Trade Center Observation level looking down to the square reflecting pools and Oculus spine to the left. 

September 11, 2016 at the end of the day.

This morning from my new home. (March 29, 2017)