year in review

Curbed’s 20 Most-Read Stories in 2023

Photo: Alex Hodor-Lee, Illustration: Zohar Lazar/Photo: Busà Photography/Getty Images, Illustration: Curbed/Getty Images, Photo-Illustration: Joe Darrow/Photos: Marcus McDonald, Getty Images, Photo: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, Illustration: by Zohar Lazar

Reader, we’ve made it through another year. A feat, always. So what was 2023? Investigations, some delightfully tiny and others that confronted more existential questions pressing our city and our futures here: What will happen to our office districts? What stops working when New York gets burning hot? You read industry gossip about the high-end condo market and the dad market. You looked beyond the panic about chain-store theft, spent time with the collectors willing to spend thousands on a Pyrex bowl, and witnessed the beginning of the end (sort of) of Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Below, you’ll find our list of the 20 most-read articles we published this year, measured by total collective minutes of audience engagement. It’s just a small sample of the work Curbed puts out, alongside New York’s print edition and its other five digital sites — Intelligencerthe Cut, VultureGrub Street, and the Strategist — and a growing portfolio of newsletters. For more of all of it, be sure to sign up for Curbed’s daily newsletter (along with our Design Hunting and Listings Edit newsletters) and subscribe. A new year is coming. We’ll see you there.

20.

Park Slope Parents Is Old Enough to Order a Drink

By Emily Gould

Photo: Adam Powell

Susan Fox wanted to build a community. She never expected to birth an archetype. Read the story …

19.

California Is Becoming Uninsurable

By Alissa Walker

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

State Farm has put a moratorium on new home-insurance customers in the state. It’s a sign of what’s to come. Read the story …

18.

The Problem With Boston’s MLK Memorial Isn’t That It Looks Like a Penis

By Diana Budds

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The furor over a Boston memorial dedicated to Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. reanimated a debate about how to memorialize Black history. Read the story …

17.

The Collectors Offering Thousands for a Piece of Pyrex

By Angela Serratore

Photo: Nate Smith

“Twenty thousand for a bowl?” That’s what most people said as the price of Lucky in Love continued ticking up on an eBay auction last year. The auction brought a new wave of attention to die-hard Pyrex fans and their corners of the Internet. Read the story …

16.

Paul Schrader’s Very Paul Schrader Days in Assisted Living

By Adriane Quinlan

The screenwriter moved into the Coterie, a luxury senior-living facility at Hudson Yards, to stay near his wife. He’s never been busier. Read the story …

15.

Why Is the Floor of the Oculus Already Crumbling?

By Christopher Bonanos

Photo: Christopher Bonanos

The World Trade Center Oculus opened barely seven years ago, and most of it still looks crisp and new, even great, like the nave of a great cathedral. Cast your eye downward, though, and you’re back in busted-up New York. Read the story …

14.

Manhattan’s Trophy Apartments Are Gathering Dust

By Kim Velsey

Photo: Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Corcoran Group, Serhant LLC

There just aren’t enough billionaires looking to park $30 or $40 million in real estate as developers thought there were. Read the story …

13.

Chaos and Betrayal on Day One of Bed Bath & Beyond’s Closeout Sale

By Clio Chang

Photo: Clio Chang

By 10 a.m. on day one of Bed Bath & Beyond’s multiweek bankruptcy sale, there are at least 100 people at the Sixth Avenue flagship and betrayal is in the air. Read the story here …

12.

On New York’s First 110-Degree Summer Day, What Will Break First?

By Christopher Bonanos

Illustration: by Zohar Lazar

In New York City, the hottest day of the year has usually fallen just around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But in the future? We might expect gooey asphalt, grounded planes, buckled railroad tracks — a sweat-inducing list. Read the story …

11.

Talking to an Air-Quality Expert About That Haze

By Alissa Walker

Photo: Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires burned New Yorkers’ lungs this year. We spoke to an air-pollution expert about how to protect yourself when the skies will clear — and why people should prepare for more days like these. Read the story …

10.

Is There a Serial Killer Stalking the Brooklyn Mirage?

By Brock Colyar

Photo: Alex Honor-Lee

Before the writer set off for a Saturday night at the Brooklyn Mirage, all their friends cautioned them to “stay safe.” They didn’t just mean “Hydrate” or “Don’t take drugs from strangers.” They were warning of something more sinister. Read the story …

9.

The Candy Sellers

By Jordan Salama

Photo: Andy Zalkin

Victoria was her name. She was just 14 years old. The girl was clearly distressed: She didn’t expect to be selling candy like this just one day after landing with her father and brother on a plane from the border. Read the story …

8.

The Battle of Fishkill

By Reeves Wiedeman

Photo: Stefan Ruiz

When Domenic Broccoli set out to expand his IHOP empire upstate, he didn’t expect to find a grave site — or start a war. Read the story …

7.

Boomer Dads Are Driving Real-Estate Agents Nuts

By Adriane Quinlan

Photo-Illustration: by Curbed; Photo Getty Images

Sure, New York real estate has always been propped up by family money — and family opinions. But millennial and Gen-Z buyers are leaning harder than ever on their parents for cash, and real-estate agents are increasingly finding their valuable time being sucked away by boomer dads. Read the story …

6.

Tom Sachs Promised a Fun Cult

By Katy Schneider and Adriane Quinlan

Photo: Alex Antitch

The sculptor likes to call his studio part of his art practice. Working there could often be scary. Read the story …

5.

New Glut City

By Andrew Rice

Photo: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao

The city’s mega-office landlords are panicking, pivoting, and shedding what’s worthless. One opens his books. Read the story …

By James D. Walsh

Photo-Illustration: Joe Darrow; Photos: Marcus McDonald, Getty Images

The recent spike in shoplifting is both overblown and real. And almost everyone is profiting from it (including you). Read the story …

3.

New Yorkers Never Came ‘Flooding Back.’ Why Did Rents Go Up So Much?

By Lane Brown

Illustration: Nicolás Ortega

All of the people who left the city during the pandemic should have left behind a surplus of empty apartments. What happened to them? And why is it so difficult and expensive to lease one now? Read the story …

2.

Spiraling in San Francisco’s Doom Loop

By Elizabeth Weil

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

What it’s like to live in a city that no longer believes its problems can be fixed. Read the story …

1.

How Much Does It Cost to Live Like This?

Reporting by Rachel Sugar, Jack Denton, Laura Thompson, and Adriane Quinlan

Illustration: Zohar Lazar; Photo: Busà Photography/Getty Images

We asked nine young New Yorkers about their dream futures. Then we calculated exactly how much each would cost. Read the story …

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Curbed’s 20 Most-Read Stories in 2023