Unless you've been living under a proverbial rock, New York City has gone papal with Pope Francis making his way here today. Consider yourself blessed if you managed to get tickets to the Holy See’s various NYC events (most notably the Central Park processional)—we hear it's such a score, the city's Cardinal Dolan and city officials have wagged their scolding finger at those trying to make money off the entire enterprise.
If you haven't lucked into a ticket and are still looking for a once-in-a-lifetime view of the 78-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church, what's the next best thing? Having an apartment along the papal route that'll give you the best views of his motorcade processional near Central Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral (where he's saying Mass). Unless you're sitting on millions, it'll take real estate miracle to gain access to these properties—and we'll admit that given Francis' stances on income inequality and the pursuit of wealth, these high-end pads probably aren't Pope-approved—but there's no harm in at least looking, right?
THE SPOT: ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL (evening prayer on September 24, 6:45 pm)
THE PLACE: New York Palace Hotel penthouse
Where better to set up your Pope-watch than from the penthouse suite of one of Manhattan’s most iconic hotels? A triplex unit at the famed Helmsley Tower of New York Palace Hotel (most recently featured prominently in “Gossip Girl,”) is currently going for $250,000 a month, featuring three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a wood-burning fireplace, and all of the amenities afforded to hotel guests.
THE SPOT: CENTRAL PARK MOTORCADE – Sept. 25 at 5 pm
THE PLACE: The Dakota
Francis will be making a beeline from Harlem down to Madison Square Garden for a much-anticipated mass. But no 2 train for him: Instead, Francis will be heading through Central Park by way of the West Drive, exiting at around 60th Street, which gives anyone living parkside at the Dakota prime pope-viewing seats. This three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath once belonged to silver screen siren Lauren Bacall. The price? A cool $23.5 million.
THE PLACE: 101 Central Park West
If you’re livin’ on a prayer and simply have to see the Pope pass by, another option is this famed co-op at 101 Central Park West. The living room, dining room, and library of this $42 million behemoth look directly over Central Park West, guaranteeing you the best seat in the house to view His Holiness.
THE PLACE: The Residences at the Mandarin Oriental
Why fight the masses when you can look down on them? Take a page out of an oligarch’s book and drop a few cool million ($12.995, to be exact) on a two-bedroom in the luxe Mandarin Oriental with prime Central Park views.
THE PLACE: 15 Central Park West
One more option for eyeing His Holiness' tour through Central Park: This three-bedroom, four-bath on the 28th floor of 15 Central Park West, which (if you can't tell from both the name of the building and this listing photo), has an unrivaled view of the park, which should come in handy even when there isn't a visiting Pope making the rounds.