All posts by Diane Pham

Diane is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Real Estate Finance & Development and a minor in Architecture, she enjoyed stints at SCI-Arc, the A+D Museum Los Angeles, Perkins Eastman Architects and Resolution 4: Architecture. She also previously served as Senior Editor of Inhabitat.com and spent several years as an analyst at CB Richard Ellis Investments in Milan, Italy.

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Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Top Stories

300-ashland-daytime-exterior

Downtown Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of NYC’s most desirable commercial hubs. On top of hosting a lengthy roster of big name retailers and entertainment centers—which include a new Target, Trader Joe’s, Century 21, Apple store, Alamo Drafthouse cinema, and Barclays Center—the neighborhood will also welcome a brand new, lower-priced Whole Foods concept store called “365.” According to a press release, the store will open in early 2018 at Two Trees’ 300 Ashland Place, and be set up as a no-frills version of the grocery giant.

more details this way

City Living, Urban Design

Just as New York’s population is a melting pot of ethnicities, the city’s tree population is just as diverse. A new interactive chart from Cloudred give us a look at how tree genus breaks down across the five boroughs. As seen above, if one zooms in on the largest chunks of graph across Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, it becomes quickly apparent that maple, oak, pear, and planetree trees have their roots firmly planted in the ground—as do a bunch of “unknowns,” which account for about 14 percent of the city’s total tree population.

find out more here

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Tribeca

Mike Meyers, 443 greenwich street, celebrity real estate, mike meyers nyc home

Nah, baby, nah… It took just a week for Mike Myers to change his mind about purchasing a sprawling $14.65 million loft in Tribeca’s 443 Greenwich Street. The Observer reports the funnyman has just relisted the 4,241-square-foot spread for a slightly higher $15 million. While it’s not clear what prompted his decision, Myers’ move gives us a fresh look inside the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom condo currently being marketed by Compass. The firm incidentally is also trying to help him sell his Mercer Street penthouse, currently going for $15.95 million.

more views inside here

Technology, Transportation

Citi Bike is gearing up for a high-tech upgrade this winter in the form of lasers, reports Metro. The bike share’s operator, Motivate, and the designers at Blaze have teamed up to outfit 250 bikes with Laserlight, a safety light that combines a 300 lumen LED with a forward projecting laser that continuously beams an image to warn cars and pedestrians a bike is approaching.

find out more here

Featured Story

Features, Interiors, MY SQFT, Park Slope

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Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Park Slope apartment of journalist and gallery owner Alexandra King. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

If you needed any more proof that British women just have “it” when it comes to style, place your gaze no further than Alexandra King. The expat journalist, writer and one half of downtown gallery Lyles & King seems to have a knack for turning naught into something noteworthy—just look at her apartment.

Alexandra came to NYC seven years ago, first living on her own and then moving into a grimy Chinatown pad with her then-boyfriend-now-husband, Isaac. Following a somewhat traumatic event at their old building, the pair decided to leave Manhattan and high-tail it to leafy Park Slope. While their new neighborhood offered a different kind of charm than Chinatown, their one-bedroom rental still left a lot to be desired; the accent walls for example were painted in what Alexandra describes as “a bizarre shade of poop brown.” But leave it to an enterprising creative to transform a turd into a gem. Alexandra saw plenty of potential in the dank space and jumped on the lease. Despite having a few what have I done?! moments, Alexandra worked her magic and completely transformed the apartment. Ahead she gives 6sqft a tour of her bright boho-chic abode, and shares her fail-safe plan for creating an inspiring home.

go inside

City Living, Getting Away

hiking-trail

Joggers, walkers, cyclists, cross country skiers and just about anyone who can move their feet will in the very near future be able to follow a single trail direct from the bottom of Manhattan all the way to the border of Canada.

This morning Governor Cuomo announced that the state would invest in building a $200 million Empire State Trail that would span 750 miles and become the largest, state multi-use trail in the nation. The project would build upon two existing but incomplete trailways—the Hudson River Valley Greenway (now 50 percent complete) and the Erie Canalway (now 80 percent complete)—and essentially run from Battery Park City all the way up to the Canadian border in the North Country, and from Albany to Buffalo.

more details this way

People, Policy

jared kushner, jared kushner brooklyn

In just 11 more days, Donald Trump will take office as the 45th President of the United States. And just as Trump is gearing up for his four-year term, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump are preparing to take on major roles as well. Last week it was revealed that the pair would be moving into a six-bedroom, $5.5 million mansion in D.C., and now the New York Times reports that Kushner will step down as CEO of Kushner Companies as he transitions from real estate mogul to full-time presidential advisor.

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History, maps

Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, civil rights and social justice map

With a new president entering the White House this month, there is a lot of uncertainty in the air, particularly when it comes to the rights of minority groups in the U.S. In light of these tumultuous times, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has created an interactive map that highlights, and celebrates, the fight for social justice that’s taken place in and around the East, West and Greenwich Villages. The map tool covers more than 100 locations, each signifying a site where African Americans, women, immigrants, Latinos and the LGBT community have fought for equality and representation over the centuries.

explore the map here

Featured Story

Features, Transportation, Urban Design

New York clocks in more steps on average than any other state in the country, and that number is most definitely skewed by New York City where more residents hit the pavement than the gas pedal. But in a town that’s seemingly dominated by pedestrians, car culture maintains the right of way. According to Vision Zero, NYC’s program to reduce traffic-related fatalities, being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors.

Providing more public space for pedestrians has become an increasing concern for the city over the last decade, and as such, a multitude of plans have been put forward to create sanctuaries from traffic or to reconfigure streets to keep people safe. But beyond preventing traffic accidents, by planting more trees, expanding sidewalks and bike paths, and installing seating, these urban renewal projects have also been key in promoting walking, biking, health and ultimately a more desirable and habitable New York City.

see more here

Manhattan, New Jersey, Transportation

new-jfk-airport-air-train

Yesterday, 6sqft revealed Governor Cuomo’s plan to give JFK Airport a long overdue overhaul, an endeavor that would cost nearly $10 billion, funded just over two-thirds in part by the private sector with another $2 billion provided by the government. Given that most of New York and New Jersey’s regional transportation infrastructure (including bridges, tunnels and airports) falls within the joint jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey will as a result receive similar funding for a project of their own—and that’s a problem according to The Record reporter Paul Berger. Yesterday, Berger published a confidential document obtained from the Port Authority that details how $30 billion will be spent on infrastructure over the next 10 years. While the purpose of the Port Authority is to divvy up cash across the region based on need, as Berger writes, the document simply shows how “interstate jealousies over funding” have led to a “quid pro quo capital plan” that completely bucks this objective.

more details here

City Living, Events

met opera house

If you hate flying solo, this deal is for you. Starting January 17th, the city will kick off its first ever NYC Attractions Week, a 20-day (not 7!) extravaganza that will offer two-for-one admission at more than 70 New York destinations and experiences, including museums like the Guggenheim and Cooper Hewitt, rides to the top of the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center, access to Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Opera House, and much more.

find out more and #seeyourcity

Far Rockaway, Queens, Transportation

John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK airport, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Tishman Construction Company

“We shouldn’t settle for second best on anything,” Governor Cuomo proclaimed at the opening of the Second Avenue Subway this past weekend, and he was serious. This afternoon Cuomo announced that John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will receive a massive overhaul that will transform the dated hub into a modern, state-of-the-art facility that can finally “meet the needs of a 21st century economy.” As laid out by the governor’s office, the revamp will address three main issues: unifying all the terminals with an interconnected layout so the airport is more easily navigable; improving road access to the airport; and expanding rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth. In 2016 the airport served 60 million passengers, and this number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030 and 100 million passengers by 2050.

more details and renderings this way

Transportation

nyc-taxis

If the city is looking to cut down on emissions and reduce traffic, here is some food for thought courtesy of folks over at MIT. Researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have determined that 3,000 ridesharing vehicles have the potential to do the same amount of work as NYC’s fleet of roughly 14,000 taxis—that is if New Yorkers are willing to use rideshare carpooling like Lyft Line and Uber POOL.

find out more here

New Developments, Upper East Side

lenox-hill-upper-east-side-rafael-vinoly

Lenox Hill will see the addition of a new 510-foot tower at 249 East 62nd Street, designed by none other than 432 Park starchitect Rafael ViñolyCityRealty reports that plans for the mixed-use skyscraper were filed in the last days of December by Chance Gordy of Florida-based Real Estate Inverlad, who is also developing another condo tower nearby called The Clare. The Viñoly design will join a slew of new Upper East Side constructions prompted by the opening of the Second Avenue Subway line, which is located just a few minutes walk away.

more details this way

Featured Story

Features, Transportation, Upper East Side

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Today history is made, as January 1, 2017 marks the official public opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway. The New York City transit endeavor has been in the works for nearly a century, and finally after countless delays and an eye-popping $4 billion bill, straphangers on the far Upper East Side will have access to three brand new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.

Just before midnight yesterday evening, Governor Cuomo, MTA CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, city and state pols, members of President Obama’s Cabinet, local community members, and many of the workers who helped build the new line’s massive underground tunnels and stations, took the line’s inaugural ride.

photos this way

Featured Story

Features, holidays, Midtown

times-square-ball-drop

Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!

More on New Year’s Eve in Times Square here

Chelsea, History, holidays

night before christmas nyc

This may be hard to imagine, but one of the holiday’s most iconic stories was written in none other than Manhattan’s Chelsea. Ephemeral NY recounts the origins of Clement Clarke Moore’s quintessential Christmas tale, “The Night Before Christmas,” and points to early 19th century life in New York as the inspiration for the classic. As the story goes, the year was 1822, and Moore was said to have come up with the poem on a snowy day while riding around Chelsea in a sleigh, on his way to pick up a turkey from the market.

find out more here

Transportation

second avenue subway opening

If you can’t wait until January 1st to scope out the new Second Avenue Subway line, today Governor Cuomo is holding an “open house” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the 96th Street station. Cuomo debuted the station yesterday afternoon at a press event in advance of the official New Year’s Day opening, offering select New Yorkers a glimpse at the completed work. The open house is the first time the greater public will have access to the Second Avenue Subway since the start of construction.

more details this way

affordable housing, Harlem, housing lotteries

parkadon condominiums, 70 west 139 street

Qualifying New Yorkers can now apply to purchase one of 42 affordable condos in West Harlem‘s Parkadon Condominiums. Currently under construction, Harlen Housing Associates has been planning the structure located at 70 West 139th Street for nearly a decade and construction finally commenced on the project in 2015. Although move-in day is still a ways off, the building has topped off and the brick facade is currently being applied. Once finished there will be a total of 64 units (the difference pegged as market-rate) across 55,355 square feet, which includes 1,878 square feet of communal space on the ground floor. The NYC Housing Partnership relays that affordable apartments will range from one- to two-bedrooms priced from $225,545 and $440,381 and will be available to those earning between $50,400 and $149,490.

find out if you qualify

Midtown, Transportation, Upper East Side

abandoned-subway-line-ny

Image Wiki Commons

There are countless relics from the subway’s past hidden beneath NYC, but one of the most intriguing will reveal itself again in just 9 days when the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) invites straphangers to swipe their Metro cards for the first time. As Quartz noticed this past summer, a peculiar loop cutting through Central Park appeared when the MTA released their new subway map touting the addition of the SAS. Reporter Mike Murphy immediately questioned the mysterious addition that would move the Q train further north without issue (“I felt like people would have noticed if the MTA had been ripping up Central Park to build a tunnel,” he wrote). After a bit of digging, he found out the half-mile stretch was built over 40 years ago and, at least according to archival maps, it’s only been used twice since then.

find out more

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