All posts by Cait Etherington

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City Living, Features, Interiors, More Top Stories, real estate trends

In New York City, how much space is too little?

By Cait Etherington, Mon, September 18, 2017

Anthony Triolo apartment, NYC tiny apartment, Upper West Side tiny apartment, 150-square-foot apartment

Image © James Karla Murray / 6sqft

Walking through Union Square in late August, it was difficult to miss the new advertising campaign for Breather. Breather is just the latest space-by-the-hour option for New Yorkers who are in desperate need of space, even if it is simply a small room barely large enough to accommodate two chairs and a table. Of course, Breather isn’t the only company now selling space-by-the-hour to city residents. The market for shared workspaces also continues to grow, providing a growing army of local freelancers with access to desks and even soundproof telephone booths where it is possible to talk to clients without explaining a barking dog or screaming baby in the background.

That so many New Yorkers are willing to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 per hour for a small room where it is possible to have a thought or make a phone call without distraction may appear to offer profound evidence of the city’s space crisis. But are New Yorkers really lacking space, or is our sense of space simply unrealistic? Are we just too precious about the space needed to live and work?

read more here

Featured Story

City Living, Features, History

The boarding house’s long history of hosting single New Yorkers

By Cait Etherington, Tue, September 12, 2017

boarding houses

Images by Esther Bubley, 1943. Courtesy of the Esther Bubley Photo Archive

In the mid-19th century, as the city rapidly grew in area and population, many single New Yorkers faced difficult decisions on the housing market. Unlike the majority of today’s single New Yorkers, however, the decision was not whether to share an apartment with one or more roommates or squeeze into a studio apartment but rather which type of boarding house to inhabit. Ahead we’ll go over the history of the New York City boarding house, as well as where you can still find the handful that remains.

read more here

Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides, real estate trends

Image: Dov Harrington / flickr CC

Living in a college residence might be fun for a year or two, but most college-age kids eventually want to move out. And who can blame them? After all, who wants to show ID to a security guard every time they arrive home, share a room with a stranger, or eat in a cafeteria night after night? In many smaller college towns, sending your kid first and last month’s rent is more than enough to get them out of residence and into their first apartment. In New York City, it’s a bit more complicated.

In most cases, parents need to be directly involved in the housing search and rental process and prepared to come up with a substantial deposit, which can meet or even exceed the money needed to purchase a starter home in many U.S. cities. In order to rent an apartment in New York City, renters typically must come up with first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, and a broker’s fee (the fee is either one month’s rent or anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the first year’s rent). Also, as a rule, owners and management companies require lease holders to have an established credit history, to make more than 40 times the monthly rent on an annual basis, or to have a guarantor who exceeds these criteria.

This 6sqft guide outlines everything parents need to know before going on the market to rent an apartment for a college-age child, including advice on where to find listings and how to decode them.

the full scoop here

Featured Story

Features, History, NYC Guides

How to kayak or canoe across a NYC water reservoir (GUIDE)

By Cait Etherington, Fri, August 18, 2017

Image via Pexels

On average, New Yorkers use a staggering 1 billion gallons of water per day, but unlike people in many other U.S. cities, they don’t need to worry about their taps running dry. Over a century ago, city engineers devised a plan to ensure the city would have ample water and that the supply would meet the growing needs of the city over time. Today, the city’s century-old reservoir system continues to supply New Yorkers with clean water year round. For outdoorsy residents, the city’s water supply also serves another surprising purpose. Located just over two hours north of the city limits, the reservoirs are also an increasingly popular place to canoe and kayak without the distraction of motorized water vehicles and cottagers.

our complete guide here

Featured Story

affordable housing, Features, real estate trends

Image via CityRealty

You’ve landed a great job in New York City—then the reality of the city’s housing market starts to sink in. It’s a situation that thousands of new city residents face every year. New York City’s cost of living, which continues to outpace most other cities across North America, can make a move to the city seem difficult and even impossible. In fact, even highly compensated professionals often balk at the idea of relocating due to the fact that it typically means radically adjusting one’s established standard of living. After all, most adults assume it is normal to have more than one closet and expect their kitchen to be large enough to accommodate more than one person at a time. This is why at least some local employers throw in the most coveted perk of all—free or at least steeply discounted housing.

find out where these jobs are

Featured Story

Features, History

When temperatures soar, fire hydrants across the city flow freely and not necessarily to put out fires. The practice, commonly known as “uncapping,” has long served as a way for city residents to cool off. Although it is not entirely legal, it is generally tolerated, especially when temperatures climb above 90, and for a number of legitimate reasons.

read the full story

Featured Story

apartment living 101, City Living, Features, NYC Guides, real estate trends

Image via WikiCommons

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 cover everything you need to consider when raising chickens in the city.

In a city where simply finding a balcony large enough for a pot of basil can be a challenge, one may be surprised to discover that chicken coops can be found across all five boroughs. Chickens were once primarily kept by older city residents, including many who come from places in the world where a backyard supply of fresh eggs is taken for granted. More recently, everyone from Park Slope housewives to Bushwick hipsters appears to be embracing the backyard chicken craze.

More on Raising City Chickens

Featured Story

City Living, Features, NYC Guides

Beekeeping finds a home throughout NYC’s five boroughs

By Cait Etherington, Mon, July 17, 2017

Image via The Co-Op Group Urban Bees’ Revolution

On June 1, the United Nations joined a growing local trend—they installed three apiary yards, better known as beehives, on their grounds in midtown Manhattan. The UN is hopeful that by summer’s end, their 150 bees will turn into a thriving colony of 250,000 bees. If this happens, the UN bees will not be alone. There are millions of bees buzzing around the five boroughs and not only in the backyards of earthy residents in neighborhoods like Park Slope and Greenpoint. From the rooftops of high-rises in Manhattan to community gardens stretching from the Bronx to Staten Island, New York City is home to thousands of active beehives, but this wasn’t always the case

Prior to a 2010 ruling, beekeeping existed in the five boroughs but only under the radar. At the time, the city deemed beekeeping to be as dangerous as keeping cobras, tarantulas, or hyenas on one’s property. Indeed, if caught, underground beekeepers faced hefty fines of up to $2000. Since the 2010 ruling that legalized beekeeping, both bees and beekeepers have been on the rise citywide and so have organizations and services designed to help residents explore apiculture.

learn more about beekeeping in the city

Featured Story

Features, More Top Stories, Neighborhoods, real estate trends

New York is home to dozens of distinct neighborhoods with their own names, identities, and histories. Some of these neighborhoods acquired their names by misfortune (Hell’s Kitchen gained its moniker due to its tough reputation), others by function (the Battery was once home to a series of artillery batteries), and some were coined by local artists playing with abbreviated combinations (SoHo is likely the most well-known example). However, at least some New York City neighborhoods, including the East Village and NoLita, were created by real estate agents in an attempt to “rebrand” areas that historically had a reputation for being either undesirable or simply boring places to live. Increasingly, this now well-established practice is coming under attack and if one local state senator is successful, the practice may even soon be illegal.

read more here

Featured Story

Alphabet City, East Village, Features, History, Top Stories

summer of love 1967

Hippies singing and playing music in Washington Square Park in the late 1960s. Photo: Peter Keegan

It has been 50 years since 1967’s “Summer of Love” when young people from around the world flocked to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and to other urban neighborhoods, including New York’s East Village, to trip out at psychedelic dance parties, sleep in city parks, and live and do whatever they pleased. While the hippie subculture was already flourishing prior to the Summer of Love, by mid 1967, hippies and their music, style, and communal way of life had caught the attention of the mainstream media and as a result, reached a critical mass of young people who were now eager to ditch their suburban homes to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.”

Reactions to the Summer of Love in New York were predictably mixed. An estimated 50,000 young people descended on the city to join the movement, but many New Yorkers, including longstanding residents, police officers, and politicians, had little interest in spending the Summer of Love soaking up the good vibes. In the end, the city’s Summer of Love saw as much conflict and violence as peace and love, and debates about rental prices, real estate values, and the gentrification of the Lower East Side were all part of the conflict.

find out more here

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