Featured Story

CityLiving, Events, Features, holidays

NYC Volunteer Opportunities: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, November 25, 2014

Image: Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest

The season of good cheer–and good food–has begun, but there are many who are left out in the cold. Share the abundance; volunteer your time, your food, or your funds (or all of the above) to help spread real warmth to all New Yorkers. We’ve rounded up Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities around the city to make it event simpler for you to give back.

Check out our list of ways to get involved

Architecture, Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Queens, Quirky Homes

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84-62 Beverly Road, Queens, NY, United States

Image via Queens Chronicle

While the rest of New York is vying to live in one of the lofty penthouses of Manhattan’s most luxurious buildings, your chance to outdo them all has arrived with this incredible Anglo-Japanese-style home located in Kew Gardens. DNA Info recently spotted a brand new listing for the storied structure on Craigslist. While we’d be lying if we were to say that this home is move-in ready—who are we kidding, it would easily top our list of NYC’s scariest homes—with a little love, a lot of elbow grease, and $1.2 million, you could easily polish this Queens pad into a palace fit for an empress. And hey, it’s Craigslist, these prices have bargaining built into them.

More on the home here


Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Urban Design

Last week, news broke that billionaire media mogul Barry Diller had been working with the Hudson River Park Trust for the past two years on an idea for an offshore park and performance space in the Hudson River. And though it seemed far-fetched at first, the fact that Diller had personally committed $130 million to the project and that detailed renderings had been created made it see much more plausible.

And now Thomas Heatherwick, the British designer behind the Pier 55 floating park, is opening up about how the decrepit West Side piers inspired his vision for the undulating, landscaped “aquatic High Line.”

Hear what Heatherwick has to say

Real Estate Wire

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. defends Pier 6 development with need for potential revenue. [Crain's]
  • Actor Mark Ruffalo joins the fight against the NYU expansion plan. [NY Post]
  • Coney Island’s boardwalk is experiencing a renaissance, but what about the surrounding neighborhoods? [WSJ]
  • City Council approves the controversial Astoria Cove project. [NYO]
  • Upper East Side residents who oppose the waste transfer station release an attack ad. [TRD]

Images: Pier 6 (L); Coney Island (R)

Green Design, Landscape Architecture

Jellyfish Barge Is a Floating Greenhouse

By Dana Schulz, Tue, November 25, 2014

Influenced by the World Bank’s prediction that the world population will grow to almost 10 billion in the next four decades, and the fact that arable land is scarcest in many of the areas with the highest rates of population growth, the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology and the architects at Studio Mobile have created the Jellyfish Barge, a floating greenhouse.

At only 229 square feet, the sustainably-made, octagonal Jellyfish Barge can purify salt, brackish, or polluted water using solar energy, thereby acting as a module for crop cultivation that doesn’t rely on soil, fresh water, and chemical energy consumption.

More on the floating green house here

Design, Products

Why umbrellas come with covers is beyond us; very few people manage to keep them beyond the first second they pull them off, and where they inevitably end up is a mystery to all. But there’s no denying that when you’ve got a sopping wet umbrella–and no way to dry it–few things would make you happier than having that tiny tube of fabric in tow again. Well, wet umbrella holders need no longer fret over pruney fingers, because the designers over at Nendo have invented an ingenious winter weather product: the “cover-brella,” an umbrella with a built-in cover that neatly tucks into the handle when you’re not using it.

Check it out here

Architecture, Green Design, Upstate

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Mamaroneck Harbor, Westchester County, NY, United States

Andreas M. Benzing, LEED-certified vice president of the New York Passive House, was the architect in charge of Westchester County’s first-ever passive home. Located in a close-knit community in Mamaroneck Harbor, this ultra energy-efficient split-level is actually a re-do of a gutted 1960s home. A modern temple of natural wood and glass, the dwelling features bright modern interiors and takes passive energy from the sun.

Learn more about this stunning Passive Home


Daily Link Fix

  • Check out these amazing vintage photos of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. [Wired]
  • Why not make your holiday gifts this year? Here’s six arts and crafts classes that won’t break the bank. [Brokelyn]
  • After 110 years as an East Village staple, De Robertis Caffé will close on December 5th. [Bedford + Bowery]
  • Hate schlepping to Ikea? Check out these furnished apartments. [Taylor Made]
  • The world’s most expensive gingerbread house costs $78,000 and comes with real rubies and pearls. [Daily News]

Images: Thanksgiving Day Parade via Macy’s Inc.(L); De Robertis Caffé via Kilgub via photopin cc (R)

East Village, Interiors

The East Village is one of NYC’s most sought-after neighborhoods, and this beautiful townhouse located in its landmark district speaks to the area’s down-to-earth yet sophisticated and modern appeal. The four-level home recently underwent a massive renovation led by the design team from Andrew Franz Architect. Andrew Franz is known for their seamless integration of outdoor and structural elements, and with many of their projects it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. With their signature style running rampant throughout the space, this stately home is no exception.

Check out the interiors here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

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132 East 62nd Street, New York, NY, United States

Back in March, the owners of this remarkable townhouse listed it, along with such extravagant furnishings as a gold-plated sofa and an oil painting by Frank Sinatra, asking $27 million. We don’t know if prospective buyers were turned off by the lavish furnishings, or if the sellers turned to each other and said, “Wait… we’re selling a gold-plated couch?!” Either way there’s been a change of heart. Now, you can enjoy the five-story home and admire the artwork of Ol’ Blue Eyes for a mere $65 thousand per month, or you can purchase the home outright, unfurnished, for $22 million.

Take a look inside, here

Featured Story

Features, New Yorker Spotlight, People

What does a farm in Norwich, New York have to do with New York City? Well, Norwich Meadows Farm actually serves as a farmer to many New Yorkers. In fact, if you have ever shopped at Union Square or Tompkins Square Greenmarkets, you might have purchased their local, organic fruits, vegetables, eggs and poultry. Perhaps you have even spoken with Zaid Kurdieh, the farm’s managing partner.

Zaid is responsible for providing New Yorkers with access to local, organic foods at farmers’ markets and beyond. He has shares in a number of CSAs and supplies a number of well-known restaurants—which means when you last ordered greens or beets with your meal, they might very well have been his.

We recently spoke with Zaid at Union Square’s Saturday Greenmarket about providing the city with local, organic foods, how the farm is preparing for Thanksgiving, and their collaboration with Cornell University.

Check out the interview here

Celebrities, Recent Sales, Upstate

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541 Guard Hill Road, Bedford, NY, United States

It looks like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are bidding adieu to their “tiny” six-bedroom, six-bath brick Colonial up in Bedford. According to the LA Times, the couple have just sold the home for $7.5 million—a bit under their $8.1M August asking price, but well above the $5.1 million they originally paid for it.

Bedford residents, however, shouldn’t say their goodbyes just yet; Michael and Catherine will still be staying in the area. In October, after ending their separation, the pair snagged a $11.25 million, 15,458-square-foot stunner boasting eight bedrooms, 13.5 baths and 13 acres (Talk about a fresh start!). While the recently-sold home is quite demure when compared to their new estate, the updated 1930s farmhouse has plenty of charm and comes complete with 5.7 bucolic acres of its own, surrounded by a horse farm on three sides.

More inside here


Architecture, Brooklyn Heights, Interiors

People are constantly moving back and forth from New York City to different cities on the West Coast like Los Angeles and San Francisco; with everything these great cities have to offer, who can blame them? This was the case for one family who moved back to New York after a five-year stint in San Francisco. Their plan of action was simple: Buy a townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, do moderate remodeling, and be chillaxing at home in a year’s time, max.

However, as many of these stories go, that wasn’t the case, and in the end it took them three years to find the right property for purchase and another three years to complete the remodel. With 1100 Architect at the helm, what they lost in time was made up in style and elegance. This five-story Brooklyn Heights Gothic Revival will make you want to say “Hallelujah! That’s some good design!”

Have a tour inside here

Real Estate Wire

  • Renée Zellweger has found a buyer for her Hamptons home. After a bidding war, the actress banked an extra quarter-million dollars on the deal. [NYP]
  • Since 1933, the Rockefellers have been taking up space in their namesake building, but they’ve just announced they’re moving to a space across 49th Street. They “got a deal,” they say. [NYT]
  • Jonah Hill has pulled his $3.8 million Soho apartment from the market. [NYDN]
  • Baldwin, Long Island, a suburban enclave not far from the city. [WSJ]
  • John Lennon’s ‘Nutopia’ townhouse will be turned into a men’s luxury clothing store. [TRD]
  • A block-long site in Harlem that once held the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom will finally have its day. The building, which has stood empty and abandoned for three decades, will be razed for a luxury apartment building. [WSJ]

Images: Renee’s former Hampton’s home (left); 30 Rock (right)

Art, Design, Furniture, Green Design

Float Is an Exquisite Coffee Table That Looks Like a Lotus Pond

By Ana Lisa Alperovich, Mon, November 24, 2014

Float is a unique coffee table designed as an exquisite optical illusion for the home. Created by London’s Central Saint Martins graduate Olivia Lee, it appears as a levitating lotus pond supported by a trio of intertwining stems. In addition to providing tranquility for the eye, it creates some surprising visual effects when objects are placed on it.

Learn more about this charming lotus table

Technology, Transportation

Self-driving cars are definitely in our future. Some states–Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California–and Washington, D.C. are already allowing them on their streets (at least for testing purposes) and a number of others are considering doing the the same. Though the road to a hands-free life has been paved, the future of it all is still up in the air. What would allowing self-driving cars on the road en masse mean for our safety? How will we communicate our needs to them? In what ways will they change how we live day to day? And can they enrich our lives?

International design group and think tank IDEO wants to explore what this new technology could mean for urban life over the next 15 years. With their study “The Future of Automobility” they offer up a wildly vibrant vision through three concepts grounded in the use of autonomous vehicles.

Check out their fantastic proposal here

Social Media, Technology

The Prynt Case Turns Your Phone into a Polaroid Camera

By Dana Schulz, Mon, November 24, 2014

Move over Instagram, this new technology is going back to the photo fad that started it all–Polaroid. A French startup company has spent the past year developing the Prynt Case, which can instantly turn a cell phone into a Polaroid instant camera. The case can even print the vintage-looking photos on the spot.

Learn more about the phone case here

Daily Link Fix

  • There are 62 lampposts that are designated city landmarks. Who knew?? [GVSHP]
  • Local artists design markers for the South Bronx Culture Trail. [DNAinfo]
  • Ever wonder where the nickname Gotham came from? Turns out, it might have started as an insult. [Ephemeral NY]
  • NYC is America’s snobbiest city. We politely disagree. [Fortune]
  • On the one-year anniversary of the whitewashing of 5Pointz, a new documentary chronicles the artists’ efforts to save the graffiti mecca. [Brownstoner Queens]

Images: Central Park lamppost via 6sqft (L): Breakfast at Tiffany’s via Christina Saint Marche via photopin cc (R)

Celebrities, Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

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232 East 6th Street, New York, NY, United States

Australian supermodel Gemma Ward bought her East Village apartment in 2007 for $1.5 million, when she was only 20 years old, undertaking a gut renovation of the three-bedroom pad at 232 East 6th Street. But considering that, at age 16, she was the youngest model ever to appear on the cover of American Vogue, entering the NYC real estate game at 20 isn’t that shocking. And she has now listed the pre-war apartment for $2.25 million, according to the Daily News.

Tour the stylish pad here


Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

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555 Park Avenue, NY, United States

A renovated duplex maisonette in the same building Barbara Walters once called home has been struggling on the market since it was listed earlier this year. Now, after eight months and a few price drops, the price has landed at $12.5 million. The opulent space has four bedrooms, parquet de Versailles floors, and imported French First Empire fireplaces, all just steps from the iconic Central Park.

Take a look inside, here


Celebrities, Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

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66 East 11th Street, New York, NY, United States

Kim Kardashian checked out this penthouse at Delos Living’s eco-friendly building at 66 East 11th Street back in August when it was listed for $50 million, but we guess she wasn’t sold by the handcrafted “floating” metal staircase and beautiful glass atrium ceiling. Or maybe its health-centric amenities, including vitamin C-infused showers, circadian rhythm lighting, posture supporting floors, and a built-in herbarium, were too much for her. Another theory is that she didn’t want to share the spotlight with celeb neighbors Leonardo DiCaprio and New Age guru Deepak Chopra. Whatever the case may be, though, she surely missed out, as the 7,693-square-foot Greenwich Village triplex just dropped its price by $10 million, now listed for $39.8 million.

Take a tour of what it would feel like to be Leo’s neighbor


Weekly Highlights

Weekly Highlights: Top Picks from the 6sqft Staff

By Dana Schulz, Sat, November 22, 2014

This Week’s Features

Images: Rendering of Pier 55 park via Heatherwick Studio (L); Forest Hills Gardens via Joe Shlabotnik via photopin cc (R)

Architecture, Brooklyn Heights, Policy, Urban Design

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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY, United States

Rendering of the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront via Brooklyn Bridge Park

Critics of the two new residential towers planned for Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park have made complaints that the structures’ environmental impact needed further analysis, but a new study, completed by environmental engineering firm AKRF and set to be released today by the city-controlled Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation asserts that the towers’ environmental impact will be insignificant.

In a statement, Brooklyn Bridge Park said: “After evaluating the potential impacts on 19 distinct environmental categories—including schools, flood resiliency, traffic and open space—and incorporating any relevant updated changes to the project, the environmental regulations and background conditions, the technical memorandum concludes that the Pier 6 uplands project would not have any additional significant impacts.”

More on the planned towers here

Featured Story

Features, History, Hotels, Midtown West

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42 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, United States

In a town overrun with fancy hotels, the Algonquin–which turns 112 tomorrow–has true staying power, proving that history and heritage are every bit as important as plush bedding and sweet-smelling bath products.

Designed by Goldwin Starrett in a Renaissance limestone and red brick façade, the 12-story Algonquin Hotel, at 42 West 42nd Street, opened on November 22, 1902, initially operating as an apartment hotel with year-long leases but switching to a hotel after the owner failed to find enough renters. Today, the Algonquin–both a literary landmark and a New York City Historic Landmark–remains one of New York’s most cherished institutions, drawing a mix of artists, tourists and cultural elites.

Read the full history of the storied Algonquin


Architecture, Design, Upper East Side

Great architecture, whether it’s here in New York or elsewhere, is fully realized when the physical shape of the building, the interior design, and the surrounding landscape are brought together through great design, and this amazing Upper East Side townhouse is an impeccable example of this magical combination.

Led by Steven Harris Architects and interior designer Rees Roberts + Partners, the house recently underwent a four-year renovation and re-decoration, and the results were clearly well worth the wait. The property boasts over eight stories and 8,500 square feet of living space, and it includes a bedrock basement pool, wine cellar, gym, and workshop.

You’ve got to see the rest of this home

Real Estate Wire

  • Morris Adjmi will design condos to replace the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. [BK Heights Blog]
  • New York’s most expensive townhouse officially hit the market for $63 million. [Curbed]
  • Queens real estate is getting a lot of attention lately. [NYT]
  • An $18 million Williamsburg warehouse sold for $434/square foot, among the highest sales ever in the borough. [Crain's]
  • Gowanus rezoning proposal favors high-rise development. [DNAinfo]

Images: 24 East 81st Street (L); Rendering of rezoned Gowanus Canal via the Lightstone Group (R)

Cool Listings, Design, Green Design, Products

Swedish Note Design Studio has re-designed the iconic Uten.Silo by Dorothee Becker for Vitra in a playful architectonic way. The hyper-functional wall storage was originally made from ABS plastic and featured plenty of pockets for pens, makeup, toys and tools. But the new, more sustainable wooden version called Suburbia features a small neighborhood in which small objects can find a home.

Learn more about this sustainable storage redesign

Policy, Staten Island, Transportation

Verrazano Bridge via Sue L C via photopin cc

Bridges and tolls are on everyone’s mind these days, thanks to the MTA’s latest proposed fare hikes. If approved, this would raise the toll of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to $16. And today, on the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s opening, most Staten Islanders still think that driving across the bridge was supposed to become free once it was paid off. No one’s really certain where this myth came from, but those who believe it are quite passionate about the subject.

More on the urban myth here

Design, Products, Transportation

We’ve featured some foldable bikes on 6sqft in the past, but this cool new design from Impossible Technologies takes things to a whole new level. Not only does it fold down small enough to fit into a backpack, but it’s also all-electric and easy to ride!

Check it out in action here

Daily Link Fix

  • Here are 21 secrets about Brooklyn. From a taxidermy museum to where to find a piece of Plymouth Rock. [Thrillist]
  • Bonnie Slotnick talks about losing the lease for her beloved rare and vintage cookbook store in the Village. [Grub Street]
  • Ikea is bringing back its midcentury furniture. [Fast Co. Design]
  • Flatiron Plaza will be illuminated by twinkling walls of LED lights and mirrors. The art installation is called New York Light. [DNAinfo]
  • Tour a Buddhist monk’s West Village home. [The Cut]

Images: Brooklyn Bridge (L); New York Light via INABA (R)


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