“A Scene in Shantytown, New York” appearing in the March 4, 1880 edition of the New York Daily Graphic, via Wikimedia Commons
Following the October stock market crash of 1929, there was an unprecedented number of people in the U.S. without homes or jobs. And as the Great Depression set in, demand grew and the overflow became far too overwhelming and unmanageable for government resources to manage. Homeless people in large cities began to build their own houses out of found materials, and some even built more permanent structures from brick. Small shanty towns—later named Hoovervilles after President Hoover—began to spring up in vacant lots, public land and empty alleys. Three of these pop-up villages were located in New York City, the largest of which was on what is now Central Park’s Great Lawn.
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Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated Art Deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s, if not the world’s, most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening backdrop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romantic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant lineup of plot-lines and characters spanning the past 90 years.
Read about the dark side of the empire state building
Pilgrim balloon in 1946. Photo via Macy’s Inc.
There are many famous traditions synonymous with New York City, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is at the top of that list. The first parade marched down Broadway in the winter of 1924, and in the years since, it’s grown into an event with more than 3.5 million spectators. Though this year’s parade is going to look a bit different, the history behind the festivities and larger-than-life balloons is just as mesmerizing. Ahead, learn all about the parade’s 96 years and see some incredible archival photos.
This way for the full history
Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash
From purifying the air to making your apartment feel more welcoming and alive, there are a multitude of reasons to incorporate plants into your home decor. However, for many of us, keeping these precious specimens alive can be a small but legitimate challenge—especially when space and natural sunlight is limited (like many apartments in New York City). To make the commitment to caring for and sustaining the life of greenery a bit easier, we’ve put together this list of special and very sturdy plants perfect for apartment dwellers like yourself.
West Side Cowboy on Death Avenue, via Kalmbach Publishing Co.
The now-defunct elevated train lines of Manhattan are well known today thanks to their reincarnation as the High Line. But before this raised structure was put in place, the west side was home to a deadly train system appropriately referred to by locals as “The Butcher.” The full-size railway line ran from 1846 to 1941 between 10th and 11th Avenues without barriers, fences or platforms, earning the route the nickname “Death Avenue” before it was taken out of operation for causing more than 430 fatalities–deaths that not even true western cowboys could stop.
The whole history right this way
Image by acfb.org
The holiday season is the time of year when seeing friends and family is hard to avoid. We also find ourselves with more vacation days during these winter months. However, even though these two holiday realities suggest cheer and relaxation, they don’t always mean we’re taking the necessary time to slow down and appreciate what really matters. Instead of just eating and drinking your way through the next weeks, why not harness the holiday spirit and take a pause to help your fellow New Yorkers in need? There are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer from now through the New Year, and the list we’ve compiled below is a good place to start.
6sqft’s list this way
Vault lights in Soho, via WooJin Chung for 6sqft
In many parts of Soho and Tribeca, the sidewalks are made from small circular glass bulbs instead of solid concrete. Known as “hollow sidewalks” or “vault lights,” the unique street coverings are remnants from the neighborhood’s industrial past when they provided light to the basement factories below before electricity was introduced. These skylight-like sidewalks first came about in the 1840s when these neighborhoods were transitioning from residential to commercial and when their signature cast iron buildings first started to rise.
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This gorgeous East Hampton property is located on a 20-acre site that was surveyed and designed by architect Michael Haverland in the format of a “campus” rather than one large suburban home. It’s arranged around a series of courtyards and gardens to take full advantage of the subtle undulations of the site’s organic topography, providing room for an L-shaped main house, pool house and 25-meter pool, gym, spa, and tennis court.
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Those of us New Yorkers lucky enough to be heading out to the Hamptons this weekend may not as lucky to shack up in a stunning abode like this, but we all can dream. This contemporary home from Barnes Coy Architects is located in picturesque East Quogue and was strategically designed to feature views of both the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Shinnecock Bay to the north, all highlighted by stark white interiors.
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The New Design Project decked out a young couple’s urban residence with bursts of bold color, texture, and geometry, transforming the rustic Jersey City loft into a vibrant modern oasis. Integrated into the interior decor are several modern pieces, strategically placed among playful accents and ethnic touches–an unexpected yet seamless integration of various styles that’s become synonymous with the work of this edgy design duo.
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