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.

City Living, Policy, Transportation

How the NYC subway is preparing for coronavirus

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, March 3, 2020

Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit, Flickr cc

After issuing their first response last Thursday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) issued an update today on the precautions the agency is taking in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), joining a coordinated effort by New York City and state to remain ahead of an epidemic whose impact could depend on how well communities and authorities respond to it. Now that there’s been a confirmed case in Manhattan, as well as one in Westchester, the agency has taken additional measures to inform and protect its employees–and the eight million people who ride its subways, commuter trains and buses daily. The MTA will make sure that none of its trains, cars, or buses go more than 72 hours without undergoing sanitization.

More on how New York City is preparing for coronavirus below

City Living, Policy

hand washing, coronavirus, gov. andrew cuomo, public health

Image: US Department of Agriculture via Flickr.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced at a briefing on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in midtown Manhattan that the Wadsworth Center–a research-intensive public health laboratory located inside the State Department of Health–is partnering with hospitals to expand testing capacity to 1,000 tests a day statewide. Upon receipt of lab specimens, the Wadsworth Center can complete testing within three to five hours. The announcement followed Sunday’s news that one person’s test in New York came back with positive results.

More info this way

Architecture, Green Design, Nolita

butterfly sanctuary, monarch sanctuary, terreform one, nolita, 23 cleveland place, architecture

Renderings courtesy of Terreform ONE, Mitchell Joachim, PhD

Architecture and urban design research group Terreform ONE has offered a proposal for a 12-story commercial building in the works across from Petrosino Square in Nolita that goes beyond any of the city’s existing architectural curveballs, angles, and anomalies. The non-profit group has revealed plans to create an eight-story-high monarch butterfly sanctuary, or “Lepidoptera terrarium,” that would serve as the building’s façade and line its atrium.

More sanctuary in the city, this way

Cool Listings, Windsor Terrace

Listing photos courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

As an alternative to a co-op or condo, this three-story townhouse at 550 20th Street in Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace neighborhood, asking $1,368,000 has a lot going for it. First, a gated private parking space is a rare New York City convenience. A sun-dappled bluestone-paved garden with a covered patio is ready for summer entertaining. And a tranquil, laid-back style and a thoroughly livable layout make the most of the petite townhouse’s available interior space.

Take the tour

Celebrities, City Living, Policy

Billy Idol joins Mayor de Blasio in anti-idling message

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, February 28, 2020

billy idol, bill de blasio, idling, pollution, environment

Image courtesy of the Office of the Mayor

Motorists are getting a new warning: If you idle on New York City’s streets you’ll get a fine from the city–and a snarl from rocker Billy Idol. The mayor’s penchant for geeky dad humor and a dose of Gen X nostalgia make the collab a natural, and while it might sound as if it’s aimed at slackers in city government, the fresh and direct message is meant for the idling vehicles that befoul the city with noise and pollution.

More, more, more

Cool Listings, Hell's Kitchen

438 West 44th Street, cool listings, townhouses, clinton, hell's kitchen, midtown

Photo credit: Guillaume Gaudet courtesy of The Corcoran Group.

Amid the new tall towers of midtown Manhattan’s west side, we may forget the streets of historic townhouses that have made Hell’s Kitchen a unique residential neighborhood for so long. Asking $7.5 million, this beautifully renovated home at 438 West 44th Street sits on a tree-lined block, with 5,223 square feet of living space within, spread over six floors and two family-sized units. The entire home is served by an elevator and has been thoroughly updated with new mechanicals throughout, while retaining its historic character and charm.

Explore the many levels

Design, Museums, Upper West Side 

AMNH, Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals

A conceptual rendering of the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, opening in fall 2020 at the American Museum of Natural History. Rendering courtesy American Museum of Natural History.

The American Museum of Natural History announced this week that the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be opening in fall of 2020. Named for longtime museum supporters Roberto and Allison Mignone, the long-awaited redesign will be a dazzling showcase for one of the greatest collections of its kind. The new Halls will be connected to Studio Gang’s 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation.

More about the exhibitions and gallery, this way

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Upper East Side

Renderings and photos by Madd Equities LLC, via LPC

In a public hearing on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed and approved an application to open a Trader Joe’s in the city-owned space underneath the Queensboro Bridge on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The cavernous space, known as Bridgemarket, is regarded for its 5,000-square-foot Guastavino-tiled arcade as well as its unique location. Former tenant Food Emporium moved out in 2015. The bridge and the space beneath it were designated a city landmark in 1974. The LPC applauded the proposal’s “sensitive approach” to the space.

Find out more

Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron upheld an August 2019 ruling that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The judge’s decision invalidates the City Planning Commission’s 2018 approval of the towers on the grounds that City Council authority regarding the land-use review process was illegally bypassed and that the controversial skyscrapers must go through the city’s full application process. The ruling prevents the Department of Buildings from issuing permits until the multi-billion dollar project has the proper approvals. The decision represents a rare victory for those opposed to the skyscrapers, including the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several Lower East Side and Chinatown community groups.

Find out more

Cool Listings, Soho

49 Howard Street, cool listings, Soho, lofts

Photo credit: Rise Media courtesy of The Corcoran Group

This former photographer’s studio and residence at 49 Howard Street is the kind of classic Soho loft that we don’t see too often these days. Comprised of 1,800 square feet of open space, the loft checks all the boxes: 11-foot tin ceilings, hardwood floors, oversized windows , exposed brick and industrial pipe shelving frame the third floor walk-up condominium unit, available to rent for $6,500 a month. You don’t have to be an artist to live here, but your art will look right at home if you happen to be one. And unique interior features–like a bronze soaking tub and stone infinity sink–keep things interesting.

Eyeful of industrial loft goodness, this way

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