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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.” With origins in the city’s turn-of-the-century tenement lifestyle, the layout today 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.
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Photo of Hunter Mountain by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr cc
Sure, you’ll find more snow and more serious skiing if you fly to Colorado or even drive up to Vermont, but there are plenty of ski hills located in New York State, including several located within a one-and-a-half to three-hour drive of Manhattan. To be frank, the main thing these hills have on their side is their proximity to New York City. If you want to reenact a trip to the Alps or Aspen, you’re going to be disappointed, but if you want to plan an affordable day or overnight ski trip, skiing in the Catskills region can be a great option. Gov. Andrew Cuomo last fall gave ski resorts the go-ahead to reopen, seen as a safe outdoor activity during the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are COVID-19 restrictions at each resort, including mask mandates, social distancing and disinfection requirements, and 50 percent capacity limits indoors. Ahead, we break down five of the best ski resorts less than 150 miles from NYC, along with everything you can expect when hitting the slopes this year.
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Photo of the 79th Street Boat Basin by Jim Henderson on Wikimedia
In Amsterdam, houseboats are considered an affordable way to live in the center of the city. They’re also popular in other global cities, from London’s Little Venice to waterfront neighborhoods in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Sydney. So why doesn’t New York City—with its 578 miles of coastline—have a thriving houseboat community, too? While it’s impossible to know for certain, recent estimates for Manhattan suggest that year-round houseboat residents or “liveaboards” may now number fewer than 50.
More on houseboat living and how to do it yourself
Photo by Aleksandr Rogozin on Unsplash
In 2019, NYC saw the completion of more than 15 new buildings over 500 feet, and in the coming couple of years, even more tall buildings are slated for completion, including Central Park Tower, the world’s tallest residential building at 1,500 feet. None of this is a surprise. By building up, New York is able to maximize available space and even diversify certain neighborhoods by creating mixed-income housing communities. At their best, high-rise developments can drive economic and social change, but are these buildings also good for our health? Ahead, we look at the risks and benefits of high-rise living, many of which have taken on a new meaning during a time when New Yorkers are mainly confined to their homes.
more on high-rise living and health this way
Sea Breeze Hospital in Coney Island via Library of Congress
At a press conference on Monday about the recent coronavirus cases confirmed in New York City and State, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio emphasized that this is not New York’s “first rodeo” when it comes to pandemics. They pointed to the recent Ebola scare, as well as the 1968 Hong Kong flu and the 2009 Swine Flu, which closed 200 schools across the state. But even long before that, New York has had a gold standard for handling 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. Ahead, we look at some of the ways this done, from quarantines to sea hospitals.
Photo: NYC Parks / D. Avila
Not quite sure how to get rid of that Christmas Tree? From December 26 to January 11, NYC will be hosting its annual Mulchfest so that you can recycle your tree at a local park. With 67 total drop-off sites throughout the five boroughs—32 of which are chipping sites—it’s easier than ever to get your tree turned into mulch that will be used to help nourish trees and plants across the city.
How to participate this year
Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash
Many New Yorkers live in spaces that barely appear large enough for their human occupants, but this doesn’t prevent them from adopting dogs of all breeds and sizes. By one estimate, there are more than half a million dogs in New York City (that’s more than the human population of Atlanta and most U.S. cities). To find out which dogs are best for NYC’s finicky indoor and outdoor environments, 6sqft reached out to Lauren McDevitt, the founder of Good Dog, which is, in essence, an online platform designed to promote responsible breeding and make it easier for people looking to adopt a dog to avoid scams. Ahead, McDevitt shares some tips for New Yorkers looking to adopt a canine companion and helps us put together a list of the best dog breeds for apartment dwellers (French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Golden Retrievers all made the cut!).
Check out the full list
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?
“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
Image by furtwangl / Flickr
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