All posts by Cait Etherington

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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

Featured Story

Design, Features, Interviews, People

Photos © AphroChic/Patrick Cline

“Modern.Soulful.Style.” This is the term coined by Crown Heights-based husband-and-wife team Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason when they started their home design blog AphroChic in 2007. These three little words really must have resonated; just over a decade later, Jeanine and Bryan have taken the design world by storm, starting their own product line (which includes their “Brooklyn in Color” paint collection, the first paint line by an African-American design brand), designing interiors, authoring the book “REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul,” and hosting HGTV’s “Sneak Peek with AphroChic.”

6sqft recently chatted with Jeanine and Bryan to learn how they went from careers in criminal justice to interior design, how African American influences factor into their work, and what’s to come from this unique couple who “embraces culture and the unique admixture of the traditional and the contemporary that helps to define us all.”

Our interview with AfroChic

Featured Story

Features, Transportation, Upper East Side, yorkville

Second Avenue Subway, 96th Street, subway entrance

96th Street entrance to the Second Avenue Subway, via MTA/Flickr

On Valentine’s Day, The Source, a long-running store on Third Avenue that sold everything from stationary and household cleaning products to cards and candles, closed its doors for good. Since early January, when the owner hung a going-out-of-business sign in his window, he had been telling Upper East Siders shoppers that he was shutting down for two reasons: rising rents but the drastic decline in business brought about by the Second Avenue Subway’s opening in January 2017. Although one might assume that a business like The Source is really a victim of Amazon and the rise of other online retailers, the increasing vacancy rates along Third and Lexington Avenues on the Upper East Side over the past year appear to confirm his speculation. As much as the Second Avenue Subway has been good news for businesses in Yorkville, its opening seems to have dealt a devastating blow to businesses located just west of the new line.

What’s the deal?

Featured Story

apartment living 101, City Living, Features, stuff you should know

A guide to operating a legal home business in New York City

By Cait Etherington, Tue, January 30, 2018

Image via Pexels

Whether you’re baking pies for sale, taking care of children and pets, or setting up an apiary on the roof of your loft with hopes of selling your own honey at a local farmer’s market, running a home business in New York City is a complex affair. There are many circumstances under which home businesses are legal, but don’t take anything for granted. There are myriad city and state regulations to navigate. If you’re caught running an illegal home business or simply a business that is not fully in compliance, you may find yourself without a source of income, facing eviction, and owing high fines.

Everything you need to know about operating a home business in NYC

Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides, renting 101, stuff you should know

Everything you need to know about breaking a lease in NYC

By Cait Etherington, Tue, December 19, 2017

Via Pixabay

Whether you’ve just been offered a dream job in Austin or decided to ditch New York City for a farmhouse in New Paltz, if you have a lease, you have problem. Leases are generally a good thing: They give tenants the right to stay in an apartment on a year to year or even bi-annual basis. If you need to vacate early, however, a lease can quickly start to feel like vice grip on your future. Fortunately, tenants, at least those living in rental buildings, do have some legal ways to opt out early. This guide outlines the ins and outs of lease breaking, how to find a qualified tenant, and what to do if you are currently renting in a condominium or co-op where lease breaking is a far more complex process.

Everything you need to know, right here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

A short history of New York City’s foul air shafts

By Cait Etherington, Mon, October 16, 2017

apartment building air shafts, air shaft

Image by Bikes And Books

If you think there is nothing worse than renting an apartment with windows and no view, think again. At one point in the city’s history, where one may now enjoy a small sliver of daylight and at least some fresh air, there was no light or air at all. Indeed, at some points in the history tenants’ windows looked out onto slits—sometimes a mere 28 inches wide—that were teeming with waste, rancid smells, and noise.

on the history of NYC air shafts

Featured Story

Features, History

The history of New York’s railroad apartment

By Cait Etherington, Wed, October 11, 2017

Rendering by 3DCOW

Apartments comprised of a series of directly connected rooms—without a hallway—are a common feature of the New York City housing market. Generally, this layout is described as a “railroad apartment.” It is important to note, however, that depending on where you are in the United States, the “railroad” may, in fact, refer to a very different type of layout—namely, an apartment with a series of rooms connected by one long hallway. Indeed, in many other U.S. cities, “shot-gun apartment” is the more commonly used term for an apartment where rooms are connected without a hallway, and in some cities, these apartments are also described as “floor-through apartments.”

Whatever you call them, the layout nearly always comes with its share of pros and cons. At their best, this apartment layout offers considerably more space at a lower cost than a conventional layout and desirable pre-war details. At their worse, this layout offers nothing but a dark and dank space that can be especially awkward when shared by roommates rather than couples.

find out more here

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Interiors, 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

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