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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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From a distance, one may wonder why television characters living in New York City apartments so often appear to wear little at all in the privacy of their own homes. From Archie Bunker’s white undershirts on “All in the Family” to Carrie Bradshaw’s lingerie on “Sex in the City” to Hannah Horvath’s practical skivvies on “Girls,” fictional New Yorkers always seem to be stripping down to the bare essentials regardless of the season. To any real New Yorker, there is an obvious reason why these fictional New Yorkers are so often shown partially clad July or January: New York apartments have a tendency to be sauna hot. But in a city where tenants frequently have to fight for even the most basic amenities, how did heat become overly abundant, even in the dead of winter?
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When most people think about archaeologists, they imagine outdoorsy adventurers—perhaps, modeled on the fictional Indiana Jones—uncovering ancient artifacts in remote locations. They probably don’t imagine archaeologists riding the MTA to excavation sites.
In reality, archaeologists frequently do work in New York City and the surrounding region and play an essential yet often under-recognized role in the city’s building industry. While many new developments go ahead without major archaeological studies, most developments only get the green light to move forward after archaeologists have completed at least a preliminary investigation.
how archaeologist work in urban environments like NYC
Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and failed Republican nominee, has now been cleared to serve as Secretary of Housing for the next four years. For many, his appointment remains perplexing. Carson has no political experience and no obvious knowledge of housing and development issues. At least some concerns about Carson’s fitness for the job were put to rest during his Senate hearing on January 12. Beyond a contentious exchange with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Carson dodged any major attacks. Still, there is no question that under Carson’s direction, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will roll out a series of changes over the coming four years. While some changes will impact housing and development in New York City, Carson’s influence is expected to be minor.
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