A Penthouse in Philadelphia

By now, most (if not all) of you have heard the news I teased on Friday: I was interviewed by the New York Times! The article is about ‘Instagram envy’ and has been in the works for two or so months. I had anticipated being able to sit on the secret until this morning, but when my Instagram notifications started blowing up Saturday morning, I knew the increased traffic was from the article and the cat was out of the bag. Still, though, reading it online was nothing compared to reading the hard-copy when it plopped on my front doorstep Sunday morning. I would have loved to have made my New York Times debut in, say, the book review in a few years, but that’s getting ahead of myself.


Jamal was sound asleep when I found the article on my phone Saturday morning, but I decided to read it out loud to him anyway. I got about halfway through the first sentence (“engaged to a great guy”) when he bolted awake and shouted, “I MADE THE NEW YORK TIMES, TOO?!” It was adorable. He might have walked around for a while saying, “I’m a great guy. The New York Times says so,” to no one in particular (Fitz). Alex, the journalist at the Times, was great to work with and I’ve been reading his Styles pieces for years. What did you guys think of the article? I know I’m not alone in occasionally feeling envious of someone else’s well-edited feed.

While you mull that over, I wanted to share this beautiful penthouse apartment for sale right here in Philly. I post enough about real estate in other parts of the world, I figured it was time to feature my hometown. This four bed, four bath apartment is located right on Washington Square, in the Ayer building. Years and years ago, I had a temp job at a custom closet design company, and we did a closet in this building (though I don’t think it was the penthouse!). The art deco lobby and that killer terrace explain the price tag: $4.3 million.










I’d move in just for those double beds. Related question: how does one get into the business of home staging? That would be a fun job.

PS. If you’re new here or coming here from the Instagram story: hi! Feel free to start here.

23 thoughts on “A Penthouse in Philadelphia

  1. I’d just like to say that you’ve been making the papers since you were 3 months old. We’ll ignore the hiatus of 26 years. Not only did you make the NYT…….you made the SUNDAY edition. Looking forward to the Sunday Book Review!
    Perhaps you can purchase this penthouse for your Mommy Moo with the proceeds from your book deal.

    1. Do you know how many books I’d have to sell to afford something like this? I have a better chance of winning the lottery. And if that happens…you can visit the guest room from time to time if I’m feeling generous ;) xo

  2. oh that’s so cute about jamal. i am pretty certain i would have reacted the same way. i mean i was just so excited for you! and while i am saying that let me say this: this whole blogging thing is so weird because people who don’t blog don’t get it. so i say things like “my friend was in the NY times!” and they say “oh! who?!” and i say “well, my blogging friend. but we really are friends!” and then i always realize how “crazy” people must feel when they say something and as soon as they say it they know people are going to go “uh huh. that’s not real, betty. have you taken your medication today? let’s go work on that puzzle.” . . . “but they ARE my REAL friends!!” so with that i endured a few eyes over the weekend bragging about you. just wait until your book comes out oy. (can we please meet irl before then?)

    whew! okay this penthouse, i love the lobby and the apartment is pretty nice too. those windows! those views! however it made me realize if i ever had millions to spend on a place i wouldn’t have large tile in it anywhere. xoxoxo

    1. Hahaha, I’m glad I’m not alone in that! When your pillows were on Fab I kept saying, “My friend is on Fab!” and yeah, people would side-eye me when they asked how I knew you and my answer was, “…the internet. But I PROMISE it’s not like that, she’s really my friend!” Haha. So i get it. And if you all keep telling me my book is going to get published I will end up believing it and will then be devastated when it doesn’t happen, haha. ;) But we can still meet and be real life twinsies, too!

      Good call on the tile! I didn’t even look at the flooring, haha. Oops! xo

  3. congrats on being interviewed! since our wedding was featured in a magazine recently i too feel a little like a celebrity. however – a wedding magazine does not compare to the new york times! it’s really awesome erin!

    1. Haha, congrats to you, too! Fellow “celebrities” ;) You at least did something worthwhile, I just played around on Instagram too much, haha. xo

  4. I was going to ask if Jamal was excited about his feature! Just so you know, yours is the Instagram I get jealous of. I generally agreed with the article, but Instagram makes me more jealous of other people’s lifestyles than it does of specific events I’m missing out on, so I’m not sure how much I agreed with the FOMO assessment. How did you connect with the writer?

    That apartment is just gorgeous – love the casual view of Liberty Place out of the living room.

    1. That’s so sweet! I promise that my Instagram feed is not an accurate representation of my lifestyle, though. There are a lot more sweatpants than you’d think, haha. But I agree with you, it’s more about an overall lifestyle than a specific FOMO occurrence. The journalist is married to the blogger at Cup of Jo, and we met through her twitter account! Blogging, the gift that keeps on giving.

      I love love loooove that you caught Liberty Place out the window. I was going to mention it but was worried no one would care! Haha. Hooray fellow Philly lovers! xo

  5. It’s like knowing a celebrity – I loved seeing your name in the paper and whooping and hollering about it. So when you’re rich and famous and buy this swanky penthouse, don’t forget about us little people!

    1. Hahaha that’s awesome, that makes me feel like a rockstar! Thanks so much, girl. And don’t even kid yourself, should that day ever come I won’t forget to dance with the one that brung ya, err, me. ;)

    1. It was really difficult! I am kind of a blabber mouth by nature, haha. I love this apartment. I’ve lived in this city my entire life and have never enjoyed it from that vantage point. What a dream. xo

  6. Wow, this is so beautiful and inspiring! I love it! :)

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    1. Haha, thanks Erika! Definitely a surreal “pinch me” moment. The funny thing is, $4.3 million in this city could buy you SO MUCH MORE house, but not those views. Sigh. xo

  7. Well, congratulations on the article, of course, of course! What a fun ride that must have been for you. It inspired an interesting conversation between a friend of mine and me (we’re co-teaching an iPhone-ography class this winter), but I guess that’s a story for another day.

    I have to confess, now that I see that this is Chase Utley’s penthouse, Cal and I are quite worried. Even if he did sign a new contract. :(

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! Sorry I had to keep it a secret, you’re usually the first person I spill the beans to about stuff like this, haha.

      I wouldn’t be worried, Chase has already bought and sold two other big condos like this in the city in the last few years. He’s here to stay :) xo

    1. It was a fun secret to keep, nothing too serious! Haha but yeah, it really did test me! Thanks Petra xo

  8. I’m so proud of you and so pleased for you! But I want to know how this happened!!! I read it aloud to Richard too :)
    Bless JAMAL, that is very cute!
    Nice house xx

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