Tear Down That Wall? The Quest To Open Gramercy Park To NYC Dwellers Continues

There are a great many reasons to look for a luxury rental in Gramercy Park -- greater Gramercy is a beautiful neighborhood with plenty of nice restaurants, some charmingly low-key nightspots and several really nice rental apartment listings. But as much as we at Luxury Rentals Manhattan love us some Lex Lofts or Park 23, there's one thing that a rental apartment in Gramercy will never boast: access to the actual Gramercy Park. Keys to Gramercy Park are among the most elusive prizes in Manhattan real estate, and even people who own their apartments on Gramercy Park are denied keys. If you don't own one of the 39 town houses surrounding Gramercy Park, the best you can hope for is to look through the high, wrought-iron fence surrounding Gramercy Park's eponymous green space. But will it always be thus?

To be honest? Probably, yes. Gramercy itself is a charming and chilled-out neighborhood, but the people jealously guarding their park keys are among the stuffiest human beings Manhattan has to offer. All of which is more reason for New Yorkers -- both those looking for Gramercy Park rentals and those with a small-D democratic bent -- to cheer Gramercy gadfly Aldon James, who has made it his quest to open the park to those who don't belong to the Gang of 39. In an entertaining little article in the New York Daily News, Joanna Molloy profiles James' (probably futile) efforts.

"James, a true New York character with a pet raven, envisions a village square, where the gates could be opened to the public for concerts and Shakespeare," Molloy writes. "[Park establishmentarians] want to keep the original concept, that the park be 'ornamental' - to be mostly looked upon from townhouse windows." Bless James and his pet raven, and good luck to him. You don't have to live in an apartment in Gramercy to cheer this guy on.