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.

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Upper East Side, yorkville

Robert Moses’ former Yorkville home lists for $2M

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, May 25, 2017

“Master builder” Robert Moses–he of the 13 expressways that crisscross New York City–spent the 1970s living with his wife, Mary Grady Moses, in a three-bedroom co-op at 1 Gracie Terrace in Yorkville on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (h/t NYPost). We can see how the home’s sweeping river views would inspire the subject of Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” when pondering the conflicting issues of a complicated and changing city. The apartment is now for sale asking $1.95 million.

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Cool Listings, Historic Homes, West Village 

One of a pair of Federal-style row houses on the longest unbroken stretch of Federal/Greek Revival homes in New York City, 39 Charlton Street was built in 1827 to exacting standards by a builder-carpenter at a time when the area, now a tony enclave where the West Village meets Soho, was known as Richmond Hill. This 25-foot-wide home has been called one of the city’s finest examples of Greek Revival/Federal houses. The house and its neighbor are regarded by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as “the two best (and best preserved) examples…whose exquisitely detailed entrances with original doors and leaded glass sidelights convey many of the style’s most distinctive qualities.” Both the interior and exterior of this unique home, now on the market for $13.85 million, have retained an extraordinary level of original detail.

Tour this historic home

Art, hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West

Michael R. Bloomberg has added a $75 million contribution to what the New York Times calls “New York’s first new cultural institution in recent memory,” the arts center known as The Shed, part of the new Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s far west side. The former mayor’s gift brings the total raised for the project to $421 million of its $500 million capital campaign. The new arts center has gotten much of its funding from a small group of billionaires that includes Related Companies’ Stephen M. Ross and media mogul Barry Diller. Set for completion in 2019, the eight-level structure, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in partnership with the Rockwell Group, will host performances, concerts, visual art, music and other events.

A ‘tool kit for artists’

Cool Listings, East Village

407 East 12th Street, cool listings, east village, solarium, outdoor spaces

This unusual East Village one-bedroom duplex condo in the Village Mews at 407 East 12th Street checks all the boxes without shouting–that is, it lets a rare and fabulous garden paradise do the talking, which in this case means asking for $1.695 million. The 750-square-foot home was recently renovated from tip to toe, and the design is tasteful without being generically “luxe.” And while this not-huge condo wouldn’t work for a growing family or a communal crew, it looks heavenly for anyone seeking, an “oasis away from city living” while situated on a lovely street in the heart of what could be called an oasis of city living, with its 24-hour energy and unending list of destinations of every kind.

Here comes the sun

Cool Listings, Downtown Brooklyn, Interiors

176 Johnson Street, Cool Listings, Downtown Brooklyn, lofts, toy factory

With two exposures, 11-foot ceilings and walls of windows, this 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom loft condo in the Toy Factory Lofts at 176 Johnson Street has its heart in the right place–even if its bathroom isn’t. The historic 1926 building–once the home of Tudor Metal Products and birthplace of many mid-20th-century toys–lends itself to authentic loft living in ever-changing Downtown Brooklyn. A modern renovation makes loft living easy–with a possible exception or two–and the $1.25 million ask comes with low carrying costs.

About that bathroom

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

6sqft reported in March on the latest developments in the on-again-off-again status of the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park/performing arts center proposed for Pier 55 on the Hudson River; though construction began last November, opponents of the project, led by the City Club of New York, gained a victory in the form of a ruling by Judge Lorna G. Schofield that agreed with group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. The judge ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary. Now, the New York Times reports that the Corps of Engineers, with the project’s sponsor, the Hudson River Park Trust, has filed an appeal of the decision.

And what about that Diller-Durst feud

Getting Away, Places to Stay

If smelly subway platforms and sweaty tourist hordes start to loom large this summer, there might be cabin for two on the shores of New York Harbor with your name on it. Gateway National Recreation Area–which includes Fort Tilden, Jacob Riis Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Great Kills Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and Canarsie Pier–and Getaway, a company that provides pop-up camping houses, are placing three tiny cabins along NYC’s harbor shore to provide a place to spend a quiet summer night in a national park, reports Gothamist.

Check it out

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown

State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger have asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s main branch and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room at the 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue branch as interior landmarks, according to DNAInfo. The library’s main branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, was given landmark designation in 1967 and Astor Hall and the grand staircases within the building were designated as interior landmarks in 1974. Interior landmark designation would give the two reading rooms–favorites of literary greats including Norman Mailer, E.L. Doctorow and Elizabeth Bishop–the same protection moving forward.

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affordable housing, Architecture, Design, Technology

The growing need to build affordable housing in big, dense cities while keeping expenses to a minimum led to Malaysian designer Haseef Rafiei’s idea for a futuristic “skyscraper” housing pod vending machine. A Dezeen video shows how the designer–he won an honorable mention in this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition–inspired by the fascination with vending machines and robotics in Japan, sketched up the skyscraper idea for offering prospective homeowners a way to customize–and then create–a modular home. The home would then be slotted into place within a high-rise framework. According to the designer, the Pod Vending Machine is based on a “3D-printed building that grows in parallel with the city’s housing demand.”

Check out this ‘affordable mass produced home dispenser’

Bay Ridge, Cool Listings

We may not think first of Bay Ridge when we think of barrel-fronted attached limestone row houses lining sun-dappled city blocks. But they do exist, and this one at 456 74th Street asking $1.575 million is a fine example. This turn-of-the-century townhouse is filled with meticulously restored original details like 10-foot ceilings, oak parquet floors with detailed inlaid borders, pocket doors and fluted oak columns while offering a modern kitchen and bath, basement family room and plenty of play space indoors and out.

Tour this Bay Ridge limestone

Bronx, Staten Island, Transportation

Citi Bike looks at major five-borough expansion

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, May 18, 2017

6sqft recently reported that so many people are hopping on Citi Bikes that even bus ridership has been affected. But there are parts of New York City–Staten Island and the Bronx for example–don’t have that option because the familiar blue bikes haven’t made it into their neighborhoods–yet. Citi Bike parent company, Motivate, has approached City Hall with a plan that would add 6,000 bikes to the system–4,000 of them in areas that currently have no docks–without spending tax revenue, the New York Daily News reports.

Find out more

Cool Listings, Noho, Nolita

308 Mott Street, Cool Listings, Co ops, Noho, Nolita

This bright and airy co-op at 308 Mott Street in Noho may not have a 35-foot-long terrace,  but it is, as the listing says, both charming and efficient, with plenty of storage and enough room for a guest or two. The lovely tree-lined blocks that surround the building are home to elegant buildings both historic and new, and quaint shops, theaters and restaurants just far enough from the bustle of Soho. It’s an expensive enclave, home to celebrities galore, so the $550K ask makes this charming apartment seem like quite a find.

Get a closer look

History, Midtown East, More Top Stories

Though we’re getting used to bidding farewell to our favorite vestiges of old New York, the May 17 reopening of historic and elegant cocktail establishment Campbell Apartment brings a rare reprieve to that familiar scenario, as The New York Times reports. Shuttered in July, the iconic lounge tucked away deep within Grand Central Terminal will reopen as an expanded version of the original. Both its slightly hidden nature and the establishment’s dress code will not be returning in its newest incarnation. The new, easier-to-find bar will be run by the Gerber Group, who says they want the bar to be less stuffy, hopefully without losing any of the historic and genteel appeal that made it a favorite grown-up rendezvous spot and a great way to impress a date.

Find out the story behind this unique NYC space

Chelsea, Cool Listings, Interiors

221 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Cool Listings, Homepolish, small space design, tiny apartments, co-ops, interiors

This cozy and chic one-bedroom co-op at 221 West 21st Street on a quiet and leafy Chelsea block may not boast a lot of square feet, but its well-curated design makes it feel more like a home than a tiny Manhattan apartment. It’s a success story we’ve seen over and over again; in this particular case, the home’s small-space makeover was the inspiration for successful designer-client matchup service Homepolish–the homeowner, a coder for Buzzfeed, went on to partner with the interior design company’s founder to help others find smart design solutions. The fifth-floor apartment is currently asking $750,000.

Check out some of the cool details

Cool Listings, Nolita

240 Centre Street, formerly the New York City Police Headquarters, is somewhat known for its splashy pads with amazing details and high price tags–like this $40M penthouse in the building’s clocktower dome–that are better at getting attention than finding buyers; this remarkable duplex in the Nolita landmark is no exception. Late New York Five architect Charles Gwathmey designed this reborn 6,600 square foot home that includes what was once the police gymnasium. The stunning co-op has been on and off the market since 2008, at one point asking $31M (h/t Curbed); the four-bedroom apartment just reappeared on the market $18.5 million.

Tour this one-of-a-kind Manhattan masterpiece

Cool Listings, Noho

718 Broadway, Cool listings, Noho, lofts

This light-filled loft at 718 Broadway on a bustling stretch of Noho has 1,300 square feet of space to live in—and a New Yorker’s dream of storage space to stash your stuff. Just listed for $2.2 million, the massive downtown apartment is the perfect refuge from the city. And, can you really go wrong with eight-foot windows and twelve-foot ceilings?

Have a look around

City Living, Policy

In reference to a movement that has been gaining momentum in recent months, Grubstreet reports on a petition to repeal the city’s archaic–and racially motivated in its origins–1926 Cabaret Law that requires an establishment to have a city license if more than three patrons want to move their feet. According to New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, “A Cabaret License is required for any business that sells food and/or beverages to the public and allows patron dancing in a room, place, or space.” The law, which prohibits any and all dancing in a business establishment without a Cabaret License, was originally aimed at jazz clubs born during the Harlem Renaissance.

Racist origins and selective enforcement

Featured Story

Art, Design, Events, Features

NYCxDesign 2017, New York City’s official turn to celebrate all things design, hits town from May 3 – May 24. NYC is among the world’s design capitals and home to more designers than any other U.S. metro area. NYCxDesign spotlights the city’s diverse design community and its contributions to our economy and everyday life, and increases awareness of and appreciation for design with a collaborative mix of cultural, professional, educational and commercial offerings. This year’s celebration is the longest-running one to date. You can head in any direction and you’ll stumble into a design-related event, but we’ve compiled a guide to a few of the top collaborative efforts and highlighted some of our picks.

Check out our NYCxD picks, this way

City Living, Transportation

In the “ideas from abroad” column, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will begin offering pregnant riders a better shot at getting a seat on packed subway cars by way of a big yellow and blue button that reads “Baby on Board” and bears the MTA logo in an attempt to encourage passengers to offer up their seats, the NYTimes reports. Reportedly the idea began in London, where the underground has had a similar program in place for pregnant riders since 2005. Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, got some public attention when she wore one on the Tube in 2013. Officials said about 130,000 buttons are distributed on the London transit system every year.

Worse than manspreading

Boerum Hill, Cool Listings

96 Schermerhorn Street, cool listings, co-ops, Boerum Hill

In a classic pre-war loft building at 96 Schermerhorn Street known as Boerum Court, where Boerum Hill meets Downtown Brooklyn, this solidly-built co-op offers a flexible loft layout and the high ceilings and proportions to match. Custom additions have transformed the space into a unique home with Japanese-inspired details and modern conveniences. The apartment currently offers one bedroom and a home office but could easily gain a second bedroom.

Take the tour

Architecture, Cool Listings, Red Hook

While we’re used to seeing headline-stealing buildings from innovative design firm SHoP ArchitectsBarclays Center, the American Copper Buildings, and what will be Brooklyn’s tallest tower, to name a modest few–we don’t see SHoP-designed townhouses every day. This particular two-family home at 87 Dikeman Street in the heart of creative and laid-back Red Hook has at least four bedrooms and consists of an owners’ triplex and a rental unit plus a garden and off-street parking. But it’s the home’s design that will likely attract the most attention, with an exterior comprised of zinc panels juxtaposed with polar white concrete planks and accented by a hardwood slat screen and full-height peerless windows. This 3,080-square-foot home, its innovative design–and design pedigree–can be yours for $3.15 million.

Tour this unique Brooklyn home

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village

It’s often said that if you’re not sure which neighborhood you’d like, renting is the best way to get to know a few before you make the commitment of buying. And while Greenwich Village is often a top choice, it’s an expensive commitment. This $13,000 a month rental in a classic pre-war co-op at 61 West 10th Street is pricey, but you’re starting at the top, with a view, on downtown Manhattan’s “Gold Coast” in the aptly named Windsor Arms. And there’s plenty of room at the top in the form of two big bedrooms with room for more.

Take the tour

City Living, maps, Neighborhoods

There’s almost no end to the amount of information you can find out about folks in your neighborhood, from two-legged to four, right down to which streets harbor the biggest poop non-scoopers. Now you can find out what name your neighbor’s pet is likely to answer to (h/t Brick Underground): A newly-released official NYC dog name map shows the city’s most popular dog names as well as the most common names unique to each neighborhood, based on 2016 registered dog license data.

More doggie demographics this way

Celebrities, Clinton Hill, Cool Listings

Chris Rock has just listed his cool carriage house in the Clinton Hill Historic District, according to the New York Post. The comedian, who has owned the three-story home at239 Waverly Avenue since 1994, has been renting it since moving out in ’96. The historic 1901 property was last listed for rent in 2013 with an ask as high as $15,000/month at one point. The new sales ask is $3.85 million for the renovated residence with room for two or three bedrooms, a 23-foot-wide master suite with skylights, and the elusive urban perk of being above a parking garage for not one but two cars.

Find out more about the carriage house and its twin

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

Lovers of half-legal, barely livable but totally adorable East Village boltholes, step right this way. This two-story hideaway at 121 East 10th Street, tucked into the Saint Mark’s Historic District, is a short walk from all of your favorite things to do, and also in a pretty building–one that’s apparently filled with adorable East Village boho duplex caves–on an absolutely gorgeous street. It’s basically a duplex studio with its lower half seriously below-grade–but it sure looks cozy down there.

Take a look

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Upper West Side 

Internationally renowned architect César Pelli, founder of the firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, just listed his San Remo apartment at 145 Central Park West for $26 million (h/t LLNYC). Pelli and his wife, landscape architect and urban design scholar Diana Balmori, who died last year, purchased the five-bedroom co-op for $17.5 million in 2015 from John Leguizamo’s mother-in-law, Rona Maurer. Pelli is known for skyscrapers like Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers and, closer to home, Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, and he’s now hoping to make quite the profit on this incredible spread.
View more of this Central Park West classic

Cool Listings, Greenwood

213 29th Street, cool listings, greenwood, townhouses

It’s houses like this renovated two-family brick townhouse at 213 29th Street in lovely Greenwood, Brooklyn, that make us stop and think about the current real estate market. The home is asking $2.5 million. Sure, it’s a 2,379-square-foot townhouse–bigger than most apartments. And there are four bedrooms if you count the rental unit, though most of them are pretty small–and there’s that rental income, of course. But though Greenwood is a solid choice for townhouse living, a 17-foot-wide, three-story house is a tough sell in any neighborhood–and a two-and-a-half million dollar property is a tough sell in this one. Also: The house has no cellar (less storage and other downsides). But it’s awfully cute. And the crazy thing about home buyers is that it only takes one.

See more details

City Living, Transportation

Citi Bikes, Maps, Data, bike share

A new before-and-after study shows that in New York City thousands of potential bus rides are likely happening by bike instead, reports CityLab. Recent research published in a new journal article on bike sharing stations along city bus routes, by Kayleigh Campbell and Candace Brakewood, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the City College of New York, revealed that for every thousand Citi Bike docks situated along Brooklyn and Manhattan bus routes, bus trips dropped by 2.42 percent. The study includes trips made between May 2012 and July 2014 and controls for a wide variety of factors in order to show the impact of bike sharing on bus ridership.
Find out more

Architecture, condos, Major Developments, New Developments, Rentals, Upper West Side 

As 6sqft previously reported, a trio of glassy residential towers known as Waterline Square is rising on a five-acre waterfront site between West 59th and 61st Streets. Aside from the megaproject’s size, its roster of starchitects–Richard Meier and Partners, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates–has been most impressive. But now a head-spinning host of perks joins the wow-factor, as Curbed reports that the Rockwell Group has revealed renderings of a three-story amenity space to be dubbed The Waterline Club, divided among all three buildings. Among the offerings are a three-lane pool; 4,600-square-foot kids’ playroom; gardening, art, and music studios; and indoor tennis court, basketball court, soccer field, and skate park.

Moreamazing amenities this way

Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Interiors

121 saint james place, townhouses, clinton hill, rentals, renovation, interiors, cool listings

There’s no question about it, this Clinton Hill townhouse at 121 Saint James Place is a standout. The historic brownstone, offered for rent at $16,000, recently emerged from a complete renovation underscored by “an artist’s eye and architect’s mind” that incorporates industrial and rustic chic, open and casual loft style and the tall ceilings and endless rooms of a four-story 3,000 square-foot townhouse. Extra-magical additions include 22.5 feet high ceilings, double-height industrial framed windows and reclaimed wood throughout. The home offers four bedrooms, a home office, and a 1,500 square-foot landscaped backyard (which may or may not “make you feel you are in Narnia”). In addition to the stunning triplex, a one-bedroom garden apartment is included, great for guests.

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