All posts by Michelle Colman

Michelle writes children’s books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle’s first children’s book, “Urban Babies Wear Black.” Michelle has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics. Whenever possible, Michelle and her family love exploring cities all over the world together. Follow her on twitter @MichelleSColman

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Featured Story

Features, Interviews, People

Park image via Elliot Scott on Flickr; image of Silver via NYC Parks

Mitchell J. Silver, the commissioner of New York City Parks Department, tells us he’s 58 years old. But with his vibrant enthusiasm and energy for parks, fitness and life in general, it’s hard to believe. Only as he details a list of his achievements and accolades over the years does his age show. Silver, who oversees the management and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of city parks, calls himself the “commissioner of fun,” a title he strives to live up to every day. This summer, Silver launched “Cool Pools,” an initiative to renovate public pools, celebrated making Central Park car-free, and increased accessibility to parks for all New Yorkers. If you want to feel good, follow his Instagram and see him sliding, swinging, running, jumping, swimming, kayaking and more.

Silver is training for his first marathon this November (with his best friend from college) after completing four half marathons. 6sqft jogged beside the commissioner and got his running commentary on the biggest challenges facing NYC parks, what he attributes his success to, what we can expect for the future and where he buys his running gear.
More here

Featured Story

Connecticut, Cool Listings, Features, Historic Homes, Upstate

Millennials are masters of upcycling, the practice beyond recycling products and things to not just reuse them but make them better. This trend is now extending to the real estate sector, where we’re seeing some pretty spectacular renovations of historic barns into stunning homes. Below are five great examples of upcycling historic barns in a way that modernized the structures and added luxe amenities while honoring the authenticity and origin of the structures. All for sale and all within a few hours drive of New York City, these barn homes can be your country dream – or reality.

Check them all out

City Living, Events

Photo via Corey Menscher/Flickr

Coolest astrophysicist on Earth Neil deGrasse Tyson reminds us that the otherworldly phenomenon called “Manhattanhenge” is happening this evening. At two times during the year, New Yorkers can see a full sunset perfectly lined up through the streets and high-rises–Wednesday, May 30th at 8:12pm and Thursday, July 12th at 8:20pm. And two other times, you can see a half sunset perfectly lined up where half the sun is above the horizon and half is below–Tuesday, May 29th at 8:13pm and Friday, July 13th at 8:21pm.

Find out more

Bronx, Far Rockaway, Staten Island, Transportation

Jump dockless ebike

In May, 6sqft reported that outer-borough neighborhoods underserved by Citi Bike would get dockless bike-share programs this summer. On Tuesday, the city’s pilot officially kicked off in the Rockaways, the area around Fordham University in the Bronx, and the North Shore of Staten Island, and to make things more exciting, the city is also offering electric bikes (h/t NY Times). The Uber-owned Jump Bikes is providing dockless electric bikes that can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with little user effort. The bikes will cost only a dollar or two and can be reserved and paid for in the Uber app.

All the details

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Financial District

Will the third time be a charm for Def Jam’s Russell Simmons and his FiDi penthouse? The Post reports that the music mogul is trying to sell his five-bedroom duplex at 114 Liberty Street after an unsuccessful listing in 2005 and another two-year listing in 2012 (both times asking $11 million). The sprawling pad–there’s 7,175 square feet of interior space and 3,500 square feet of outdoor space split among three terraces–is now asking a bit less at $9,925,000.

Get a look around

Architecture, Design, Interiors, Park Slope

von Dalwig Brooklyn Extension

von Dalwig Architects, formerly known as Manifold Architecture Studio, changed their name as they changed their focus, from a broad architectural lens to a more concentrated vision on space, program and the relationship between them. The firm achieved their vision in the gut renovation and expansion of a 19.5’ wide x 42’ long three-story, single family Brooklyn townhouse, completed in 2016. This renovation both infused the traditionally dark rowhouse with light from the front, back and sky and also created a continuous connection from the house to the backyard.

See inside the bright space

Cool Listings, Upper East Side

206 East 73rd Street PHW

Inspired by his trip to Therme Vals in Switzerland and the architecture of Pritzker-prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor, the owner of the penthouse at 206 East 73rd hired architect Wayne Turret to create his very own spa in New York City. Turret decked out this two-bedroom, two and a half, 2,650-square-foot penthouse loft on the Upper East Side with a high design, minimal modernist, spa-like aesthetic. This unique triplex penthouse, asking $6,950,000, sits on top of the Blanca Loft Condominium near the corner of 73rd Street and 3rd Avenue.

Take the tour

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends, Upstate

Photo via Dennis Fraevich’s Flickr

Located on the Hudson River adjacent to New York City’s northern border, Yonkers is the third-largest city in the state with nearly 200,000 residents. And with five major highways, two commuter train lines that are just a 28-minute trip to Grand Central, and the highest number of bus lines in Westchester County, it’s no surprise that many are going bonkers for Yonkers.

Phillip Gesue, chief officer of development at Strategic Capital, the developer of the Hudson Park residential project, told 6sqft that Yonkers is in transition. “Unlike Manhattan, which is, perhaps, over-baked, Yonkers is an affordable place to live and play,” Gesue said. “It has people who have been living here a long time and new transplants who largely want to work in New York City. There is a growing population, development momentum and job growth.” Ahead, find out how officials are working to attract millennials, get a breakdown of all Yonkers’ new developments, and learn why there’s a lot more to do here than you might think.

Get the Yonkers low-down

City Living, Events

See the colorful makeovers of five NYC public pools

By Michelle Colman, Thu, June 28, 2018

Cool Pools NYC, public pools NYC

All photos courtesy of NYC Parks

To coincide with the opening of all 53 public pools yesterday, the city’s ever cool and joyful parks commissioner Mitchell Silver launched the Cool Pools NYC pilot program. The initiative gave a colorful makeover to five outdoor pools, one for each borough, in underserved neighborhoods. Prior to Cool Pools NYC, none of these sites had a major renovation since they were built in the 1970s. In addition to the cheery paint jobs, these pools have been outfitted with polar-themed art, lounge chairs, and landscaping and will offer drop-in fitness classes for adults and obstacle courses and scavenger hunts for kids.  Read more

New Developments, Policy, Sutton Place 

Gamma Real Estate Sutton 58

Proposed massing of the tower, via CityRealty

A relatively staid neighborhood, things are heating up at the Upper East Side’s Sutton Place, again. Last December, 6sqft reported that Gamma Real Estate had to stop work on Sutton 58, their proposed 800-foot residential tower. After three years of community protest over what many consider an out-of-context supertall building, the New York City Council spoke loudly (with a 45-0 vote) and approved a height rezoning of 10 blocks between 51st and 59th Streets east of First Avenue. The rezoning required 45 to 50 percent of a building should rise below 150 feet. This was a huge blow to Gamma and would require massive changes to their plans. Most immediately, it required a halt of construction on the project. But that just changed. Read more

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