Brooklyn, History

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , June 15, 2018

Photo via Kirti Poddar/Flickr

Chocoholics all over the country know Brooklyn blackout cake, a three-tiered devil’s food cake with layers of chocolate pudding and chocolate frosting topped with cake crumbs. In recent years, the rich cake has become re-popularized from its heyday in the first half of the 20th century. But most of us who gluttonously indulge in this tasty dessert have no idea where its borough-centric name came from or just how long this confectioner’s delight has been around. It all started in 1898 at a German bakery called Ebinger’s on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, but it wasn’t until World War II that the moniker took hold.

Get the full story here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Nomad

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 15, 2018

A rare find in 21st-century Manhattan, this light-filled loft at 50 West 29th Street in go-go Nomad is a legit live/work space with a history of artists-in-residence. Asking $1.995 million, it’s also a high-floor co-op with Empire State Building views in one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, with great bones and plenty of potential. In its current state of artsy maximalist splendor, the two-bedroom home has plenty of character and room for creating and living.

Get a closer look

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Washington Heights

  • By Devin Gannon
  • , June 15, 2018

A newly constructed rental that meets passive house standards has launched a lottery for six middle-income apartments in Washington Heights. Designed by PM Architecture, the Uptown six-story building contains 20 units and boasts a facade of charcoal-painted insulated panels.

Located at 577 West 161st Street, the building will have a medical office on its first floor, residences above it, and an outdoor recreation space in the back. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the $1,650/month and $1,800/month one-bedroom apartments.

Find out if you qualify

Historic Homes, Murray Hill, Recent Sales

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 15, 2018

Tucked within the Sniffen Court Mews in Murray Hill, blocked from the public by a private gate off East 36th Street, composer and songwriter Cole Porter’s former townhouse has sold for $4.8 million (h/t New York Post). The former engraver’s studio, located in one of just a few private mews in New York City at 156 East 36th Street originally served as stables during the Civil War era.

Find out more

Featured Story

East Village, Features, GVSHP, History, Top Stories

Remembering the worst disaster in NYC maritime history: The sinking of the General Slocum ferry

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Fri, June 15, 2018

  • By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
  • , June 15, 2018

PS General Slocum; photo via Wikimedia

On June 15, 1904, a disaster of unprecedented proportions took place in New York City, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 lives, mostly women and children. This largely forgotten event was the greatest peacetime loss of life in New York City history prior to the September 11th attacks, forever changing our city and the ethnic composition of today’s East Village.

It was on that day that the ferry General Slocum headed out from the East 3rd Street pier for an excursion on Long Island, filled with residents of what was then called Kleindeutschland, or Little Germany. This German-American enclave in today’s East Village was then the largest German-speaking community in the world outside of Berlin and Vienna.

Learn more

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Upstate

  • By Michelle Colman
  • , June 15, 2018

“Pretty Penny,” the elegant, former Nyack mansion of Helen Hayes, for 61 years, and Rosie O’Donnell, for four years, has hosted its share of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Russell Crowe, and Madonna, to name a few. Just 22 miles from NYC, the 1858 wedding cake-style Italianate Victorian with stunning Hudson River views has hit the market for $4,750,000, after trying to sell for the past five years. In addition to the celebrity pedigree, a lucky new owner will also get 6,000 square feet dripping with period details, a 60-foot Olympic-style pool, and incredible landscaped grounds with terraced gardens, a koi pond, and more.

You don’t want to miss these interiors

weekend subway service

Subway service changes (relatively) minimal this weekend

By Hannah Frishberg, Fri, June 15, 2018

  • By Hannah Frishberg
  • , June 15, 2018

Photo by Phil Roeder / Flickr

Rejoice: Straphangers are being a granted a relief from the past two weeks’ truly brutal service changes this weekend and upcoming week. That’s not to say the subways won’t be a mess, especially for those reliant on the 4 and 6 trains, but the track work’s impact will have, by comparison, a far more manageable planned impact.

The bar is so, so low

Events, Flushing, Restaurants

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 14, 2018

The intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street in Flushing. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Flushing, Queens is a dining destination for serious foodies and fans of any of a cornucopia of authentic Asian and Indian delights; from June 15-17, you can sample the international cuisine with discounts and a tour to help you with the highlights; the Flushing’s World Fair is a three-day expo that brings together the businesses, cultural institutions and historic landmarks of the diverse and dynamic community.

Find out more about the food tour

Featured Story

Features, History, photography, The urban lens

  • By Hannah Frishberg
  • , June 14, 2018

Central Park, 1900 © Ray Simone

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Ray Simone shares vintage photographs of New York City he has lovingly restored to stunning quality. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Born-and-raised Manhattanite Ray Simone has a native knowledge of New York, as well as an intimate understanding of its past lives. When he’s not taking current photos of the city, he’s in his Williamsburg studio, restoring its past, negative by negative to shocking quality. While some negatives take under an hour to restore, the more badly damaged ones can require more than 40 hours of painstaking work, going pixel by pixel. “You can only work at something a certain amount of hours at a time,” Simone reflects, “You get tunnel vision after a while; carpal tunnel.” Ahead, 6sqft talks to Simone about his photo restoration business and his thoughts on NYC’s history and future, and we get a special look at some of his greatest restoration works.

Travel back in time

Architecture, Construction Update, navy yard, New Developments

  • By Devin Gannon
  • , June 14, 2018

Rendering via Steiner NYC

Just six months after filing permits for a nine-story mixed-use building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, city officials and developers broke ground Wednesday on 399 Sands Street. Designed by Dattner Architects, the building will feature a parking structure on four levels, four floors of manufacturing space and one floor for creative office space. The construction of 399 Sands Street is a key part of the Navy Yard’s $1 billion expansion, overseen by Steiner Equities Group, which will add $2 million square feet.

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen also announced Wednesday a $40 million investment from the city to fund 230,000 square feet of leasable space above the parking area. “New York City grew up around the Brooklyn Navy Yard – and thanks to the City’s $40 million New York Works investment in 399 Sands Street, the Yard will continue to fuel growth, and provide manufacturing and creative jobs for generations to come,” Glen said in a statement.

Find out more


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