All posts by Cait Etherington

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Featured Story

Features, History, Policy

Sea Breeze Hospital in Coney Island via Library of Congress

As of this month, there have been 619 confirmed cases of measles in New York City since September, according to health officials. The current measles outbreak is mostly contained in the ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn communities of Williamsburg and Borough Park. While the city believes the outbreak is slowing, it has revealed just how challenging it can be to keep highly contagious diseases under control in high-density cities like New York. But fortunately, New York has a gold standard for managing outbreaks of contagious diseases. From managing the flu pandemic of 1918 to the tuberculosis surge at the turn of the 19th century, the city’s public health officials have been containing outbreaks for well over a century.

Learn more

Featured Story

Features, ideas from abroad, real estate trends

Photo via Pixabay

In June, New York State rolled out a slate of proposals to protect renters. Among other changes, the new legislation closes several loopholes that have permitted owners to legally spike rents following renovations—a tactic that has been successfully used to deregulate more than 150,000 units over the past two decades. In essence, under the new legislation, owners will no longer be able to deregulate rent-regulated apartments at all. While the new legislation is certainly good news for many renters, for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who now already live in unregulated apartments, the current legislation doesn’t fix their current woes. But could a five-year rent freeze help? It may sound impossible, but this is precisely what Berlin—once an oasis of inexpensive rents—has just approved as a way to put the brakes on rising rental prices.

Could this work in NYC?

Featured Story

Events, Features, History

“GAA and Vito Russo marching in 1st Christopher St Liberation Day Parade,” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1970.

Decades ago, New York City’s Pride Parade was controversial because it focused on LGBTQ rights. And while there’s always more work to be done, five decades later, the LGBTQ community has gained legal recognition and acceptance. And in sharp contrast to the first Pride March, the annual event now seems to attract as many politicians and corporate sponsors as it does activists. But one controversy persists—the Pride Parade route itself.

Route this way

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

Features, 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, 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?

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