All posts by Cait Etherington

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Features, More Top Stories, real estate trends

Age-friendly NYC: The best neighborhoods for New Yorkers 65+

By Cait Etherington, Mon, April 22, 2019

Photo via Flickr cc

More than 17 percent of New Yorkers are over the age of 60, and over the coming two decades, this number is expected to rise to well over 20 percent. To address the specific needs of older New Yorkers and to ensure the city is able to fully benefit from their presence, New York City has launched an Age-Friendly Neighborhoods Initiative. Modeled after similar initiatives in cities around the world, it is described as “an opportunity to build upon the rich experiences of older adults and leverage the strengths of local neighborhoods that make each New York City community unique.” This article explores what “age-friendly” neighborhoods look like and examines five NYC neighborhoods where at least 25 percent of residents are already 65 years of age or older, from the Upper East Side to Brighton Beach.

All the info ahead

Featured Story

Features, hudson yards, ideas from abroad, More Top Stories, Urban Design

Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Kohn Pedersen Fox

Photo via Wiki Commons

Now that Hudson Yards has finally moved from construction site to New York City’s newest neighborhood, it may appear to be a made-in-New York City development. In actual fact, Hudson Yards took its blueprint from a similar neighborhood in Tokyo known as Roppongi Hills, which broke ground in the 1990s and officially opened in 2003. While there are a few notable differences—you won’t find any rice paddies on the roofs of Hudson Yards’ new buildings, for one—the similarities are striking. But in many respects, this is no surprise—New York- and London-based architectural firm, KPF, played a hand in the design of both developments.

Comparing Roppongi Hills and Hudson Yards

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends

Photo via Flickr cc

No one ever said that the New York City real estate market was easy to understand or even entirely logical. Still, you might not expect numerology to be among the knowledge sets required to fully navigate the market. But from good luck and bad luck floors to lucky number combinations, numerology plays a surprisingly significant role in how some units are priced, how quickly they sell, and most importantly, to which buyers.

It’s a numbers game

Featured Story

Features, Restaurants

Via Flickr

Since the early 2000s, a host of new health-conscious establishments have transformed the restaurant scene nationwide. While some of these establishments focus on serving exclusively organic or vegan fare, others have a mandate to deliver local and farm-to-table products. In the beginning, most of these restaurants were on the pricier side, but increasingly, even fast-food or quick-service restaurants are focusing on local and farm-to-table products. But this raises a question: In New York City, what exactly does local or farm-to-table mean? 6sqft investigated to find out how these concepts are being defined and what types of local products are most likely to end up on plates and bowls in our city’s restaurants.

Learn what’s local

Featured Story

affordable housing, Features, Policy, renting 101, stuff you should know

Area median income: What it means and how it’s calculated

By Cait Etherington, Tue, February 26, 2019

Photo via Flickr cc 

If you’ve ever applied for affordable housing in New York City, you’ll know that it is all about the area median income, or the AMI. If you make too little or too much, you won’t qualify at all for affordable housing. Even if you do qualify, however, your AMI will impact your likelihood of actually acquiring a unit since most buildings have more units available in some AMI bands than others. For most New Yorkers, this is one of the most confusing aspects of affordable housing, so we’ve broken it down, from how AMI is calculated and what the current NYC parameters are to the many controversies surrounding the guidelines.

Everything you need to know

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends

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?

Featured Story

Features, Long Island City, Policy, real estate trends

Learning from Seattle: How Amazon could shape NYC real estate

By Cait Etherington, Mon, February 11, 2019

Via CityRealty

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

Featured Story

City Living, Features

Photo via Flickr cc

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

Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features, Interviews

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

Featured Story

City Living, Features, NYC Guides, stuff you should know

Photo via Flickr cc

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

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