All posts by Susan Cohen

Susan Cohen is a freelance writer living in New York. She is a columnist and contributor for Gluten-Free Living. Her work has appeared on Jewcy.com, ModernFarmer.com, and The Forward's The Sisterhood. She blogs at susanedotcohen. Follow her on Twitter @susancohen.

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Featured Story

City Living, Events, Features, holidays

trick or treat nyc

Halloween is a lot like real estate; Both the holiday and the industry place a premium on size and neighborhood, it’s not unheard of to hear phrases like “tons of it” and “prime location” used to describe trick-or-treating or a new listing, and when it comes down to it, apartment hunters and trick-or-treaters want the same things: the best block, thoughtful exteriors, attention to details, and most importantly, value. Ahead, 6sqft has put together a list of some of the best blocks across the five boroughs to score sweets and scares. Just remember to bring along your broker parent and to count the square feet pieces of candy.

Where to spend Halloween this year

Featured Story

Art, Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

maya valladares met museum of art

If you’ve ever visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art and watched an artist working at a canvas or sculpting amongst the museum’s larger than life pieces, then you’ve seen the Copyist Program in action. Founded in 1872, two years after The Met first opened, the program has provided countless artists the opportunity to copy the great works that fill the museum’s numerous galleries.

The Copyist Program is overseen by The Met’s Department of Education, and Maya Valladares, an artist focusing on textiles, serves as the its Assistant Educator for Public Programs and Creative Practice. Her role requires her to create holistic experiences through the museum’s public programming, and through the Copyist Program, she works to enhance the experience of copying for the students and cohorts that come through the museum’s doors.

6sqft recently spoke with Maya, who shared details about the program’s rich history, what copying offers artists, and what it’s like to duplicate the works of a world-class museum.

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, Nomad, People

In a city with a museum in an elevator shaft and another all about transit history, it should come as no surprise that there’s a museum dedicated to math. Located across from Madison Square Park, the National Museum of Mathematics is an institution devoted to the numerous possibilities that numbers hold. Since opening in 2012, MoMath has been a place for visitors of all ages to gets hands on with the subject through interactive exhibits that explore conundrums like how it’s possible for a square-wheeled tricycle to pedal on a circular, curved surface. And as of last week, the museum offers the chance to drive remote-controlled cars on either a Möbius strip or a trefoil track in the newly opened Twisted Thruway.

6sqft recently visited the museum to speak with Executive Director and CEO Cindy Lawrence about the importance of making math interactive and most importantly, fun.

Read the interview ahead

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Catie Lazarus, Employee of the Month, Joe's Pub

Catie and Jon Hamm by Andrew Walker courtesy of Shutterstock

Catie Lazarus might have one of the coolest jobs in New York, interviewing the likes of actor Jon Hamm, singer Patti LuPone, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, and even a hand model. As the host of Employee of the Month, a live interview series at Joe’s Pub, Catie delves deep into her interviewees’ careers, adding in some of her own fun (she used to be a stand-up comic) alongside Lin Manuel Miranda’s Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip hop host band, and a sketch illustrator. 6sqft recently reversed roles, offering Catie the chance to be the interviewee and talk about her job.

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

If you’re walking on East 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A or in the West Village on 7th Avenue near Christopher Street and see a long line on the sidewalk coupled with smiling faces walking by with ice cream cones, you’ve found Big Gay Ice Cream. The two shops are places where ice cream is not scooped, but swirled, in offerings that have become famous not only for their imaginative ingredients, but their fabulous names. There’s the Bea Arthur, named after the “Golden Girls” actress and activist, comprised of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and crushed ‘nilla wafter; the Cococone with chocolate ice cream and toasted curry coconut; and perhaps their most well-known, the Salty Pimp, made up of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip.

One of the visionaries behind Big Gay is Douglas Quint, who, along with Bryan Petroff, founded the business in 2009. While it started out as a summer experiment when the two opened an ice cream truck, it quickly developed into something much bigger (a third location recently opened in Philadelphia and the duo published a cookbook last year). 6sqft recently spoke with Douglas to discuss all the magic that takes place at Big Gay, including how the flavors come to be, their three locations, and the best time to stop by for a cone.

The full interview ahead

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

With increasing concerns about rising sea levels and the large quantity of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere, Radley Horton‘s work is more important than ever. As a climate scientist at Columbia University, he’s working on the applied end of climate change by examining data to make projections about the possibility of extreme weather events. Based on the data and ensuing models, he then considers the impacts these potential events and the overall changing climate might have in a variety of contexts that range from airports to the migration of pests. Radley is on the forefront of understanding what might happen and how cities, countries, and other entities can prepare even in the face of uncertainty.

6sqft recently spoke with Radley about his work, areas of climate concern in New York, and what we all can do to combat a changing planet.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Upper West Side 

Fencing in the Schools, Tim Morehouse, Upper West Side kids programs, fencing NYC, Time Morehouse Fencing Club

The opening ceremonies for the 2016 Rio Olympics are a week away, and for many of us it’s all about the swimming, gymnastics, and track and field. But for Tim Morehouse, the main event is fencing, a sport with three weapons (sabre, foil, and epee) that has tremendous depth internationally. In 2008, Tim was part of the US men’s sabre team that won silver in Beijing, and in 2012 in London, he reached the quarterfinals in the men’s individual sabre event.

Four years later, Tim has transitioned from a competitor to a fencing ambassador, aiming to raise the sport’s profile in the United States. To accomplish this, he founded and runs Fencing in the Schools, a non-profit organization that teaches physical education teachers the basics of fencing so they can introduce it to their students – especially those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to try it – with the hope of a few of them wanting to take it beyond gym class. In November 2015, Tim continued his mission by opening his own sabre club on the Upper West Side. Though less than a year old, the club is already making a name for itself on 91st, as well as way beyond; at the recent United States Fencing Association‘s National Championships in Dallas, two of club’s students medalled.

6sqft recently spoke with Tim to discuss the Olympics, starting his own club, and his goals of making fencing accessible to everyone.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Staten Island

New York is fortunate to not only have two Major League Baseball teams, but two Minor League teams—the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones and the Yankees-affiliated Staten Island Yankees. The latter is based right near the Staten Island Ferry in St. George, and for 15 years, it’s been a team for Yankees players who are tuning up after rehab or future Major League players to get their start. Unlike the Major Leagues, the SI team has a shorter season that runs from mid-June until September, and the focus at games is all about the entertainment factor. This is where John D’Agostino comes in.

John grew up a Staten Island Yankees fan, but now serves as the team’s Director of Entertainment, where he’s responsible for making sure every game has a range of fun programming that gets fans laughing and cheering. 6sqft recently spoke with John to learn all about baseball on Staten Island and why more New Yorkers should hop on the ferry and head to a game!

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Sailing is an expensive sport and often requires a formal introduction at a young age. For many young New Yorkers, particularly those in underserved communities, the chances of getting this exposure are very limited, which is where Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) steps in.

The eight-year-old organization’s Sail Academy in Chelsea teaches sailing to 150 students from nine public high schools in the neighborhood. The students enroll in a four-year program during which they earn math and science credit as they learn how to sail, study the marine environment, and build boats. In addition to its work with high school students, HRCS offers Community Sailing, where New Yorkers of all ages can come out and learn to sail.

6sqft recently spoke with HRCS’s Executive Director Robert Burke to find out more about this unique program and what students are learning on the Hudson, and more importantly, beyond it.

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Alex Gomberg, seltzer companies, seltzer delivery

L to R: Alex Gomberg, Kenny Gomberg, Irv Resnick

When Alex Gomberg says “I have seltzer in my blood,” he’s not referring to the quantity of seltzer he drinks, but rather describing how deep the seltzer tradition runs in his family. It began in 1953 with his great-grandfather, Moe Gomberg, who opened up Gomberg Seltzer Works, a seltzer bottling plant in Brooklyn. The term seltzer man may be new to some, but it refers to someone who delivers seltzer in glass bottles right to your door; no supermarket needed.

Over the years, seltzer delivery went out of favor and the family business, currently run by Alex’s father Kenny Gomberg and uncle Irv Resnick, continued to bottle for others, but was no longer doing delivery routes themselves. Four years ago, Alex joined Gomberg Seltzer Works and felt strongly that company should return to its delivery roots. He helped developed a delivery branch, aptly named Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, and today, Alex is well on his way to becoming many New Yorkers’ 21st century seltzer man. His idea of returning to delivery service was right on the mark as the company is benefitting from a myriad of factors including nostalgia, a focus on curated, well made items, and the popularity of home delivery. 6sqft recently spoke with Alex to find out about Gomberg’s seltzer, what it’s like to be a seltzer man, and how he’s bringing seltzer delivery back to New York.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Features, holidays, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Gary Souza, Macy's Fireworks, 4th of July fireworks, Pyro Spectaculars

When America celebrates her 240th birthday on Monday, Gary Souza will be marking the occasion in a very big way. As a fireworks designer for Pyro Spectaculars, he is responsible for creating and overseeing the wondrous fireworks that make the nation ooh and aah during Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. This year’s show will be Macy’s 40th annual production, a huge milestone for the department store, and will take place over the East River in Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Pyro Spectaculars is a multigenerational family business begun by Manuel de Sousa after he immigrated from Portugal to the San Francisco area in the early 1900s. Over the years, the business has grown tremendously from creating small fireworks displays to a company that now spans five generations and is responsible for providing fireworks for some of the biggest names in the sports and entertainment industries, including the Winter and Summer Olympics, Super Bowls, Disney, and at concerts for icons such as the Rolling Stones. When it comes to Macy’s, Pyro Spectaculars has a 35-year collaboration with the store that has propelled the fireworks company to develop technology that allows for safer, more elaborate firework creations to come to life.

6sqft recently spoke with Gary to learn about the magnificence of fireworks, what it takes to produce the Macy’s show, and some of the exciting new elements at this year’s display.

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Uprooted Flower Truck, Kristin Heckler, Ashley Custer, mobile florist, NYC mobile businesses

In a city where ever-rising rents often hamper potential small business owners from opening a storefront, mobile retail has become a popular alternative. Food trucks certainly led the way over the last few years, but the business model has spread beyond the culinary world and now includes a flower shop on wheels.

A year ago, Ashley Custer and Kristin Heckler introduced New York to Uprooted Flower Truck. The business parks in neighborhoods around Manhattan to sell their New York-inspired, hand-tied bouquets available in three sizes: studio, loft, and penthouse. The driving force behind Uprooted is to not only bring flowers directly to New Yorkers, but to help people engage with and hopefully gain a deeper appreciation for them. 6sqft recently spoke with Kristin to learn more about this budding business and how it’s developing a unique identity in the city.

Read our interview with Kristin

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

If you head west on the road that winds by the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, there’s a good chance you’ll see New Yorkers dressed in white, playing croquet on a stretch of green lawn. Yes, the sport associated with tea parties and country clubs has a home in New York thanks to the New York Croquet Club. But the club’s dedicated members are not playing the typical backyard version. Instead, they’re playing American Six-Wicket Croquet, an iteration of the sport played in the United States that exists on the croquet spectrum alongside the internationally played Association Rules as well as the widely popular Golf Croquet. American Six-Wicket is an intense game that’s full of strategy, as players try to maneuver balls with their mallets in ways that are hard for those unfamiliar with the sport to imagine.

At the New York Croquet Club’s helm is Peter Timmins, an ambassador for the sport in New York City. Peter tells everyone he meets to give croquet a try at one of the club’s free Monday evening clinics, which is exactly how he was first introduced to it. 6sqft recently spoke with Peter to learn about the complexities and excitement of croquet and why there is nothing better than playing the sport in Central Park.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

For many smear-loving New Yorkers, there’s no better way to usher in the weekend than with a bagel and lox. And one of the companies keeping this culinary tradition alive is Brooklyn-based Acme Smoked Fish, a family business that traces its roots back to 1906 when Harry Brownstein started selling fish out of a wagon.

For over 100 years, members of the Brownstein and Caslow families have been providing New York with smoked salmon, herring, fish salads, and other specialties. Adam Caslow and his cousin David Caslow are part of Acme’s fourth generation, continuing to grow the company and adapt to the city’s current “Renaissance in appetizing.” 6sqft recently spoke with Adam to learn more about Acme’s rich history, smoked fish, and how he feels about carrying on a family tradition.

Read the full interview

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Midtown, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Tannen's Magic, Adam Blumenthal, NYC magicians, NYC magic shops

At a time when the inner workings of so many things have been demystified, magic still has the ability to stump us. But for magicians to make tricks look seamless, a tremendous amount of time is invested in perfecting the craft and engaging with colleagues who can help them grow and develop their skills. And in New York, magic is cultivated on a daily basis above the hustle and bustle of 34th Street at Tannen’s Magic.

The business has been serving the magic community since Louis Tannen opened a street stand in 1925. He later took the business indoors, where it became a gathering place for magicians of all ages and skill levels to purchase and practice their tricks. The current keeper of Tannen’s tradition is Adam Blumenthal, who fell in love with magic at a young age, in part thanks to the store, and is now responsible for ensuring its legacy and introducing it to a new generation of magicians. 6sqft recently spoke with Adam to learn more about magic, Tannen’s, and New York’s magicians.

Read the interview here

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