All posts by Cait Etherington

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Featured Story

Features, History

Alice Austen House, Staten Island house museum

Clear Comfort, the Alice Austen House, photo by Alice Austen, via NYPL

When most people think about gay New York, they naturally think about all the historic sites located in Greenwich Village and its surrounding vicinity. In fact, the LGBTQ community has long lived and made history citywide from the Bronx to Staten Island. To mark the 2018 NYC Pride Celebration, which will take place from June 14 to 24 with the famed Pride March happening this Sunday, 6sqft has compiled a list of just a few historic gay residences located well beyond Greenwich Village.

Learn about 7 of the most influential sites

Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides

Photo via Pexels

Everyone loves kids, right? While this may be true in most cases, when it comes to renting and buying apartments, kids can be a deal breaker. To be clear, in NYC, owners cannot discriminate against renters with children, but there are a few exceptions. For example, co-ops, which are free to come up with their own selection criteria so long as it doesn’t overtly discriminate, can privilege quiet tenants over potentially loud tenants. If you have a couple of toddlers or even teens who look like they might be prone to hosting all-night parties or jam sessions in your living room, you might find yourself looking for housing elsewhere. But don’t be discouraged. After all, New York is home to more kids than any other U.S. city.

As of 2016, over 21% of New York City residents were under 18 and more than 6.6% were under five. With roughly 1.8 million infants, toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens living here, most city buildings are home to children and adolescents. The challenge facing parents is finding a building that is not only tolerant of kids but has the facilities, location, and support needed to make one’s childrearing experience easier rather than harder. This 6sqft Guide offers tips for prospective and new parents, as well as those who are not new to parenting but are new to the city, who are looking to rent or buy in a child-friendly building and neighborhood.

Our full guide to finding a child-friendly home in NYC

Featured Story

Features, Furniture, real estate trends, renting 101

Photo via Pixabay

Currently sleeping on a mattress with no box spring? Worse yet, a blow-up mattress? Is your night table a repurposed milk crate and are your bookshelves fashioned out of salvaged bricks and found lumber? Although all these features can be surprisingly charming when paired with the right accessories, there comes a time in one’s life when one wants or needs a bit more. But even if you opt to go full-on Ikea, the cost of furnishing a small one-bedroom from the ground up will likely cost well over $3,000 and that is only if you opt for a discount Bråthult over Vallentuna sofa.

For anyone faced with the challenge of furnishing an entire apartment—either for the first time or because you’re only in NYC for a limited amount of time—there is now a solution: “fast interiors.” Rather than buy, you can now rent your furniture for three months or for several years. While the rise of furniture rentals may sound unusual, in fact, it is an obvious extension of the sharing economy that has been growing, especially in highly populated urban areas, for the past decade. An underlying tenant of the sharing economy is that renting often makes more sense the owning. But does it? Ahead, we explore how and where to rent furniture and the relative short- and long-term benefits of renting over buying.

A guide to furniture rentals

Featured Story

Features, Policy, real estate trends

Photo via Felix Castor/Flickr

As recently reported on 6sqft, the number of vacant homes in New York City continues to rise. The Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Survey found that the number of unoccupied apartments citywide has grown 35 percent since 2014. While a majority of the city’s 247,977 empty units are empty for a legitimate reason—for example, they are currently awaiting the arrival of a new occupant, being renovated, or are seasonally occupied—among the city’s currently vacant homes are a small percentage of homes known as “zombie homes.” Usually vacant and deteriorating, in some cases, these homes have been abandoned by owners who are behind on their mortgage payments and in other cases, the homes have already been taken over by a lender.

The issue has become so problematic that last April, the city —prompted by the passing of the New York State Zombie Property and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2016, or “Zombie Law”—decided it was time to tackle the zombie home problem head-on.

What’s going on?

Featured Story

Features, History

How New Yorkers responded to the 1918 Flu Pandemic

By Cait Etherington, Wed, May 2, 2018

A typist wearsing a guaze mask in 1918.Via the National Archives and Records Administration

May 2018 marks the centennial of one of the world’s greatest health crisis in history—the 1918 flu pandemic. In the end, anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million people worldwide would die as a result of the pandemic. New York was by no means spared. During the flu pandemic, which stretched from late 1918 to early 1920, over 20,000 New Yorkers’ lives were lost. However, in many respects, the crisis also brought into relief what was already working with New York’s health system by 1918. Indeed, compared to many other U.S. cities, including Boston, New York suffered fewer losses and historians suggest that the health department’s quick response is largely to thank for the city’s relatively low number of deaths.

Read more

Featured Story

Astoria, Bronx, Features, History

While immigration, urban planning, and the forces of gentrification are certainly key factors in how NYC’s neighborhoods have been shaped, New Yorkers’ patterns of work, their unions, and in some instances, even their employers have also played a role in the development of several of the city’s established neighborhoods. To mark May Day, 6sqft decided to investigate two of the city neighborhoods that were quite literally made for workers—the Van Cortlandt Village area of the Bronx and the Steinway neighborhood in Astoria, Queens.

Learn all about it

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends

Photo via Pexels

A new PEW Research Center study has found that one-in-three adults are now “doubled up.” Some of these shared households are traditional multigenerational households—for example, a married couple with children who have chosen to live in a home belonging to one of their parents. By definition, however, shared households also include any households with at least one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student. As a result, among the one-and-three adults who are now doubled up are adults sharing households with other adults to whom they are not related, adults sharing with same-generation siblings, and most surprisingly, a growing cohort of elderly parents moving into their adult children’s homes.

What’s the deal?

Featured Story

Features, NYC Guides, real estate trends, renting 101, stuff you should know

Photo via CityRealty

Foreign nationals from around the world are recruited to work in New York City, but when they arrive, they often realize that not everyone is eager to welcome them with open arms nor open doors. Indeed, while many employers from banks and tech companies to museums and universities are eager to recruit top global talent, most of the city’s rental management companies would prefer to rent to a pack of college students than a fully employed foreign national with a six-figure income.

So, what is an adult with a great credit history, full-time job, and in many cases, a family to do when they arrive in New York City? While foreign nationals likely can’t change the perception that renting to foreigners is a bad idea, there are a few ways to troubleshoot the housing market in New York City whether you were born in Toronto, Paris, or Tokyo.

Everything you need to know, here

Featured Story

affordable housing, Features, People, real estate trends

Photo via CityRealty

It sounds like a dream come true. After a decade of living and struggling to pay your rent as a middle-income New Yorker, you get an email from NYC Housing Connect that says, “Invitation for Interview” followed by the address of the building to which you applied. For a moment, you are ready to break out the champagne and start celebrating the fact that that rent-stabilized, affordable NYC apartment you have always dreamt about living in—yes, that massive apartment that is only a fraction of everyone else’s monthly rent—is finally in reach. But then, like a lot of middle-class New Yorkers, you start to seriously consider whether you’re ready, willing, and able to accept what NYC Housing Connect is actually offering.

Hear from real New Yorkers who have turned down affordable housing

Featured Story

Features, History

shakespeare and sons bed, paris bookstore with bed, shakespeare and sons paris

Image by Glynnis Ritchie via flickr

For many book lovers, there is nothing more exciting than the idea of a home library. What most of the city’s book lovers don’t know is that until recently, there was an affordable way to fulfill the dream of a home library—at least for book lovers who also happened to be handy with tools.

In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.

FInd out more about these apartments and the people who lived in them

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