The Upper West Side Wins

One winter day, Ms. Khoury was dining with a few friends and acquaintances. She recounted her difficulty with the hunt. One person present was Laurie Zucker, the vice chairwoman of Manhattan Skyline, which owns and manages West River House. She suggested the Khourys look there. Built in the early 1980s, West River House, in the West 80s, is one of the few postwar rental buildings on West End Avenue. One-bedrooms there rent from the high $3,000s to the high $4,000s.

“In sociology, we’ve got these little tricks we use to analyze human behavior,” Mr. Khoury said. “One is called an unobtrusive measure, so you might measure how popular Christmas windows are by counting the fingerprints on the glass.” He suggested that his wife, when she visited, ask to borrow a pen from the doorman to gauge the reaction.

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