Photo via Pixabay
Over the past decade, there has been no shortage of headlines about the impact of foreign buyers on the New York City real estate market. At one time, the headlines about Russian oligarchs and Chinese business tycoons buying up luxury properties in New York City were true, but as of 2019, the real estate market in New York City and across the country is shifting. New restrictions on foreign buyers combined with a perception that the United States is no longer a friendly market for foreign buyers has slowed foreign sales. In fact, over the past twelve months, the highest closes in New York City have all been to U.S. buyers.
What’s the deal?
Since Amazon announced it had selected Long Island City for its new headquarters last fall, a lot of people have wondered what will happen to the neighborhood and its surrounding communities. While LIC has already undergone a series of radical changes of the past two decades—first there was an influx of artists seeking larger live-work spaces and later a wave of condo developments—the arrival of Amazon promises to have an even deeper impact on LIC.
And the potential negative effect of the tech giant moving into town has not gone unnoticed by public officials and locals, who have led a strong opposition campaign. It was reported on Friday that Amazon was reconsidering its plan to move to the neighborhood after facing an intense backlash from those who fear increased rents and even more congestion. But with no plan to officially abandon Queens, it’s important to understand what could happen if Amazon does put down roots in LIC by first looking at how the company has already changed Seattle, where it first set up shop back in 1994.
More on the effect
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Short on hope? Wondering where to find love? Craving the promise of Utopia? If you are, you’re likely not alone. What you may not realize is that a few New Yorkers have these things on the street where they live, or at least on the street signs where they live. While most New Yorkers, especially Manhattanites, are relegated to living on numbered streets and avenues, in a few city neighborhoods, streets do have names and just a few of these streets–Hope Street, Love Lane, Futurity Place, and more–are especially uplifting.
Learn the story behind NYC’s most optimistic addresses
Closet photo via Flickr cc; Photo of Karin and Marie courtesy of Karin Socci
Between her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” and new Netflix show, “Tidying Up,” over the past five years, Marie Kondo—a diminutive Japanese organizing guru—has changed how people around the world think about decluttering their homes. But Kondo isn’t just another interior designer offering tips on storage. She believes that one’s home has a direct impact on their lives and even their personal relationships. This is why she approaches tidying from the heart and not simply the mind. As she says on her website, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”
With so many of us living in homes that are almost as tiny as those in Tokyo where Kondo is based and developed her method, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers have been eagerly embracing Kondo’s advice. It is also likely no coincidence that one of the only certified Master KonMari consultants in North America, Karin Socci, happens to serve the New York City area. 6sqft recently reached out to Socci, founder of The Serene Home, to learn more about the KonMari method and how she helps New Yorkers put it into practice.
Hear from Karin here
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One of the most distinctive architectural features of New York City buildings is their water towers. Many New Yorkers assume these towers are a relic of another era—a time when people did store water in wooden barrels. In fact, nearly all of the city’s wooden water towers are still in use, and many are newer than one might expect. If a building is actually following city guidelines, their water tower should be no more than three decades old. Unfortunately, compliance is an ongoing problem when it comes to water tower inspections and maintenance. In fact, many of the city’s charming water towers aren’t so charming when you take a look inside the barrel.
Everything you need to know
Photo of Hunter Mountain via Flickr cc
Sure, you’ll find more snow and more serious skiing if you fly to Colorado or even drive up to Vermont, but there are plenty of ski hills located in New York State, including several located within a one-and-a-half to three-hour drive of Manhattan. To be frank, the main thing these hills have on their side is their proximity to New York City. If you want to reenact a trip to the Alps or Aspen, you’re going to be disappointed, but if you want to plan an affordable day or overnight ski trip, skiing in the Catskills region can be a great option. Ahead, we break down five of the best ski resorts less than 150 miles from NYC, along with everything you can expect when hitting these slopes.
Get the guide here
Trees awaiting mulching, via Flickr cc
If you’re the sort of person who feels down after the holidays come to an end on New Year’s Eve, don’t despair—the fun isn’t over quite yet. From January 4 to 13, NYC will be celebrating its annual Mulchfest, and this year, the city plans to make it better than ever before. On December 17, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver gathered with a group of city officials in Washington Square Park to officially declare Mulchfest a part of the New York City Holiday tradition. In a nutshell, the City of New York wants New Yorkers to stop “pine-ing” for their discarded trees and mulch them instead.
The city is not only embracing clever wordplay to encourage New Yorkers to bid their trees “fir-well” but also launching a new advertising campaign to raise awareness about their mulching program. As explained in a press release, “The new Mulchfest look celebrates New Yorkers’ post-holiday tradition of dragging their trees to a local park for mulching. An illustrated cast of diverse characters use bikes, strollers, teamwork, and other creative methods to get their trees to the chippers, so that their ever-greens can be turned into mulch that will help to reduce waste, protect and nourish other trees and plants throughout the city.”
How to participate this year
Via Journey Jeff’s Pix on Flickr
There was a time when New Yorkers, even those with the means to live in some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, willingly packed up their homes and fled to the suburbs. While it may be difficult to imagine now, at different points in history, moving to the suburbs has been considered desirable and even a sign of one’s upward mobility. After all, why cram into a walkup with your family of six when you could spread out in a rambling suburban bungalow with a two-car garage? Today, many aging members of Gen-X and their younger millennial counterparts—who often came of age in the suburbs—are stubbornly toughing it out in the small urban apartments for the entire life cycle, but this doesn’t mean that the suburbs don’t have a lot to offer.
Photo © Daxiao Productions – Fotolio
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we’ve put together the top five reasons it makes sense to move in the winter.
Until the end of WWII, moving day in New York City was May 1. Today, many people continue to move on this date and in the four months following, but if you’re a renter looking for great value, more options, and lower stress, the very best move dates fall in the winter months. In this article, we outline why a winter move makes sense and how to prepare for one.
The top five reasons you should move in the winter
New York may be known around the world as a city where anything goes, but in fact, the NYC is home to a long list of unusual, and in some cases, archaic laws that suggest the opposite may hold true. Most of these laws—with the exception of those concerning postering—are not readily enforced, but they are technically still on the books. As for the consequences of breaking some of the city’s more peculiar laws, they run the gamut from small fines of $25 to jail time up to thirty days.
Get the scoop