All posts by Michelle Cohen

Michelle is a New York-based writer and content strategist who has worked extensively with lifestyle brands like Seventeen, Country Living, Harper’s Bazaar and iVillage. In addition to being a copywriter for a digital media agency she writes about culture, New York City neighborhoods, real estate, style, design and technology among other topics. She has lived in a number of major US cities on both coasts and in between and loves all things relating to urbanism and culture.

Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features, Products, Shop

The best mattresses you can buy online in 2021

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, April 16, 2021

Image courtesy of Tuft & Needle.

Buying a mattress is no longer like buying a car, requiring showroom visits that put us at the mercy of unctuous sales agents and an SUV-sized investment. The advent of “bed-in-a-box” disruptors changed the game, but this new era has brought so many options that it’s almost impossible to comparison shop. There’s no perfect formula, and it really comes down to personal preference, so while we can’t tell you which mattress is perfect for you, below is a roundup of the current important entries in the mattress field, and why they’re so popular.

Don’t lose sleep over buying a mattress

History

sunday baseball, baseball, blue laws, history

1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Baseball may be a long-standing tradition in New York City, but not so very long ago that seemingly innocent pastime was illegal on Sundays. As one of the infamous “blue laws” on the state books–that other beloved NYC pastime, shopping, was illegal as well–the ban was part of a sweeping statute from colonial times called the Statute for Suppressing Immorality. Enacted in 1778, it was the first state “Sabbath law.” Section 2145 of the revised New York State Penal code of 1787 outlawed all public sports on Sunday–so as not to “interrupt the repose of the Sabbath”–and wasn’t repealed until 1919.

No movies, either

Featured Story

Events, Features, History

(1917) Picketing in all sorts of weather. N.Y. Day Picket. United States Washington D.C. New York, 1917, [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

International Women’s Day, and what later became Women’s History Month, originated in New York City over 100 years ago. On February 28, 1909, “Women’s Day,” was celebrated as the one-year anniversary of the city’s garment industry strike led by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The Socialist Party of America chose the day to honor the women who bravely protested miserable labor conditions. American socialist and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman addressed a New York crowd, saying: “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood but home should mean the whole country and not be confined to three or four rooms of a city or a state.” At the time, women still couldn’t vote.

Read more

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6sqft gift guide, Features, Shop

The best gifts for plant lovers in 2020

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, December 7, 2020

Image courtesy of The Sill.

Plants don’t just make our rooms look great, they also purify indoor air, reduce stress (especially important in 2020!), and add liven up even the smallest apartments for a relatively low cost. Even if plant care and feeding lie just outside your skillset, faux foliage, like the life-like specimens from The Sill, has come a long way. Plants and everything you need to nurture them can be easy and convenient to order online, and plants and accessories make great gifts for both experienced “plant people” and newbies. See our guide below for some great green thumb gift ideas.

Get growing

Events, Hotels, Queens, Restaurants

TWA Hotel, runway chalet, gerber group, eero saarinen, hotels

Courtesy of the TWA Hotel

Looking to safely hang with friends outdoors without freezing your bum off? Then you might consider heading out to the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport. For the second year, the hotel is sharing its Eero Saarinen-designed mid-century fabulousness with its guests by transforming its rooftop bar into the Runway Chalet for the rest of the winter season. In addition to a tented and heated Alpine-themed restaurant and bar, the chalet offers the “pool-cuzzi,” which is heated up to 95 degrees.

Find out more

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy

Image: Michael Kowalczyk via Flickr.

The ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect on Monday, more than seven months after enforcement was set to begin. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on plastic bags was approved by state lawmakers last year with plans to begin enforcement on March 1, 2020. But a lawsuit from the Bodega and Small Business Association and a delay in a court decision on the lawsuit because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed enforcement of the new law back multiple times until a state judge ruled in August that the ban can begin on October 19. Starting Monday, grocery and retail stores that collect state taxes from customers will no longer be permitted to use plastic bags to contain purchases at checkout. Ahead, learn more about the Bag Waste Reduction Law, the exceptions to the law, and alternatives to single-use plastic.

Find out more

Featured Story

Events, Features, maps

MAP: Predict when fall foliage will peak in your area

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 21, 2020

Image courtesy of Smoky Mountains

It officially feels like Fall, and whether you’re good and ready for sweater weather or you’re sorry to see summer go, there’s no avoiding the fact that cooler temps and shorter days are on the way. One way to savor the changing seasons is to enjoy the majestic hues of autumn foliage. If you’re hoping to catch the changing season at its peak, there’s no better tool to plan your leaf-peeping strategy than SmokyMountains.com’s Fall Foliage Prediction Map. This interactive infographic will tell you when and where foliage is expected to appear, and when it will reach its peak, in your area. Here in NYC, expect peak foliage to hit around mid-October.

See the full map

Featured Story

Architecture, condos, Features, Interviews, New Developments, Upper West Side 

Images courtesy of CetraRuddy

Designed by CetraRuddy and RKTB Architects, Dahlia at 212 West 95th Street celebrates the Upper West Side‘s classic residential blocks of pre-war architecture while adding innovative design elements. The condo’s 38 homes and common areas are designed to be more spacious than the average Manhattan apartment, and perks unheard of in New York City include a huge 5,100-square-foot private elevated park, a fitness center with a yoga room, and a private parking garage. Plus, each apartment is situated on a corner of the building, so there’s no shortage of views and natural light. 6sqft recently offered a peek at the 20-story building’s interiors, and we’ve now chatted with architect John Cetra about this new addition to the Upper West Side, the neighborhood, and how apartment building design must be sensitive to changing times and the idea of home in the city.

An interview with John Cetra of CetraRuddy, this way

Featured Story

City Living, Features, NYC Guides

NYC’s 10 best under-the-radar picnic spots

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, July 7, 2020

Photo by Ben Duchac on Unsplash

Thankfully, with correct social distancing measures, picnics are considered a safe way to have fun this summer, and the city is filled with possibilities in the form of parks and gardens. New York City is also known for its accessible secrets, and our shortlist of urban escapes–whether hidden in plain sight or tucked away–are great to visit any time, but as off-the-beaten-path picnic spots, they shine.

Discover a new favorite picnic place

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Financial District, History

Woolworth Building, historic photos of the Woolworth Building, NYC then and now photos, historic NYC photos

The Woolworth Building, then and now. L: Image courtesy of Library of Congress via Wiki cc; r: Image Norbert Nagel via Wiki cc.

When the neo-Gothic Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway was erected in 1913 as the world’s tallest building, it cost a total of $13.5 million to construct. Though many have surpassed it in height, the instantly-recognizable Lower Manhattan landmark has remained one of the world’s most iconic buildings, admired for its terra cotta facade and detailed ornamentation–and its representation of the ambitious era in which it arose. Developer and five-and-dime store entrepreneur Frank Winfield Woolworth dreamed of an unforgettable skyscraper; the building’s architect, Cass Gilbert, designed and delivered just that, even as Woolworth’s vision grew progressively loftier. The Woolworth Building has remained an anchor of New York City life with its storied past and still-impressive 792-foot height.

Find the city’s history in the Woolworth Building

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