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Art, Lower East Side, photography

Rendering of the installation

After publishing their first account of small businesses in NYC a decade ago with their seminal book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York,” photographers James and Karla Murray are now ready to bring their work back to the street. As 6sqft previously reported, “the husband-and-wife team has designed an art installation for Seward Park, a wood-frame structure that will feature four nearly life-size images of Lower East Side business that have mostly disappeared–a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette (the recently lost Cup & Saucer), a deli (Katz’s), and a newsstand (Chung’s Candy & Soda Stand). Though the installation is part of the Art in the Parks UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Program, there are still high costs associated with materials, fabrication, and installation, so James and Karla have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the additional funds.

More details

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Nolita, People, Restaurants, Where I Work

Restuarant photo credit: Nicole Franzen; Portrait credit: Kathryn Sheldon

Earlier this month, Nolita restaurant De Maria won the coveted James Beard Award for best restaurant design or renovation in North America. The designers at The MP Shift replicated an artist’s studio, with Soho in the ‘70s and the Bauhaus movement in mind. But it’s not just the space that’s beautiful; Venezuelan-born chef Adriana Urbina‘s dishes, composed heavily of veggies and seafood, look like they were made for Instagram.

Outside of the visuals, however, what sets De Maria apart is Urbina’s socially conscious approach. Not only does she mix her South American heritage with her fine dining background (she started her career as an apprentice at Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, Martín Berasategui and was a 2017 winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”), but she’s committed to empowering female chefs and business owners, as well as using food as a way to connect people and raise awareness about what’s going on in the world. 6sqft recently enjoyed an insanely delicious meal at De Maria and chatted with Adriana about her journey, the restaurant scene in NYC, and why this Nolita restaurant is the perfect place to see out her dreams.

Meet Adriana and get hungry!

Construction Update, Lower East Side, Major Developments, Manhattan, Restaurants

Interior image via SHoP Architects; construction shot via NYCEDC

Construction of Essex Street Market’s new home across Delancey Street continues to move along before its scheduled opening this fall. Designed by SHoP Architects, the market sits above the 150,000-square-foot Market Line, which will stretch two levels and connect three sites of the Essex Crossing development. The market’s first phase is expected to wrap up in October, bringing 13 new vendors to the site in addition to the 24 vendors from the historic Essex Street Market. Additional renderings released by the city’s Economic Development Corporation this week highlight the brightness of the space, courtesy of the huge windows, 60-foot ceilings and use of light-reflective material.

“As we near completion on the project, we are excited to soon open a world-class public market for the local Lower East Side community,” NYCEDC President James Patchett said in a statement to 6sqft. “The new Essex Market will preserve the current community-based spirit while creating additional space to expand the market’s offerings, provide new jobs, and present a higher level of goods and services to visitors and area residents alike.”

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Events, Lower East Side, Urban Design

Public Squash, Squash NYC, Hamilton Fish Park, outdoor squash court

Squash is often considered the sport of prep schools and Ivy League colleges, but four squash enthusiasts are changing that, one court at a time. The NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver officially opened the first-of-its-kind in the world outdoor squash court at Hamilton Fish Park on the Lower East Side. This amazingly cool court looks more like an Apple Store glass cube than a fitness facility. Even cooler, it’s funded by the nonprofit Public Squash and is free to the public and will offer free clinics throughout the summer.

Get all the details!

Architecture, Lower East Side, New Developments

Not only does 520 West 28th Street lay claim to being Zaha Hadid’s only New York City project, but its futuristic design, marked by the late starchitect’s signature curvaceous forms, is unlike any other building in the city. But ODA Architects may be looking to change that, as a proposed rendering uncovered by CityRealty for a condo at 208 Delancey Street looks strikingly similar to Hadid’s High Line-hugging residence. The Lower East Side project shares its inspiration’s L-shape, squat massing, and, most importantly, curved glass corners and extending balconies.

Find out more

Lower East Side, Major Developments, New Developments

180 Broome Street, Essex Crossing, Handel Architects

Rendering via Moso Studio

Construction of Handel Architects‘ mixed-use tower planned for the Lower East Side’s Essex Crossing development has officially begun. Located at 180 Broome Street, the tower sits at the Manhattan entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge, the structure which influenced the oversized concrete frames in the building’s design. The tower includes 263 apartments, retail at street level, office space on levels two through five and a section of the massive marketplace below ground, the Market Line. According to CityRealty, the start of construction at 180 Broome makes it the sixth site to begin building in the nine-site complex.

Take a peek

Lower East Side, Major Developments, New Developments, Restaurants

Rendering courtesy of SHoP Architects for Market Line

This week’s announcement of more vendors that will make up the inaugural roster for Essex Street Market’s new home at the Essex Crossing mega-development included some favorites from around the city along with current faces, reports Bedford + Bowery. New to the market when the 24-story building at 115 Delancey Street opens will be Williamsburg’s Middle Eastern takeout spot Samesa, East Village herbal apothecary Roots, Fort Greene florist Saffron and Union Square Greenmarket regular Josephine’s Feast!

What else is in the works?

Featured Story

Features, Lower East Side, real estate trends

For many New Yorkers, the Lower East Side is one neighborhood that still has a lot of authenticity and good ‘ole New York grit left. It has been described as Manhattan’s “last frontier of cool. The promise land of old as well as new… Where the Godfather lives side by side with a hipster movie.” Put more tangibly by Benjamin Baccash of Taconic Investment Partners, the developer of LES’s Essex Crossing, “The Lower East Side has wonderful restaurants, art galleries, and a great street life. It’s a real neighborhood and that’s what a lot of people are looking for.”

In addition to great diversity, personality, and transportation, the city is undertaking huge improvements on the east river waterfront, and developers are erecting new developments at all corners of the ‘hood. Ahead, 6sqft takes a look at everything that’s keeping the Lower East Side a vestige of old New York during its contemporary resurgence, from massive projects like Essex Crossing to a booming art gallery scene.

As Irving Berlin once said, “Everybody ought to have a Lower East Side in their life.”

Celebrities, Lower East Side

Photo of Nina Dobrev via Wikimedia

Nina Dobrev, best known for her role in “The Vampire Diaries,” appears to be making the move to Manhattan. The actress recently toured a two-bedroom pad at Blue, a Lower East Side condominium at 105 Norfolk Street, according to the New York Post.  The roughly 1,400-square-foot condo boasts lots of natural light, state-of-the-art appliances and a private outdoor space. Originally listed for $2.31 million in 2016, the condo is currently asking $1.88 million.

See inside

Art, Lower East Side, photography

Photographers James and Karla Murray published their first account of small businesses in NYC a decade ago with their seminal book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York,” which captured hundreds of mom-and-pops and their iconic facades, many of them since shuttered, along with interviews with the business owners. They’ve since published two follow-ups, “New York Nights” and “Store Front II-A History Preserved,” winning countless awards and gaining local and national fame for their documentation of a vanishing retail culture. And this summer, they’re bringing their work to a larger scale than ever. The Lo-Down reports that the husband-and-wife team has designed an art installation for Seward Park, a wood-frame structure that will feature four nearly life-size images of Lower East Side business that have disappeared–a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette (the recently lost Cup & Saucer), a vintage store, and a newsstand.

More details

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