6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we cover everything you need to consider when raising chickens in the city.
In a city where simply finding a balcony large enough for a pot of basil can be a challenge, one may be surprised to discover that chicken coops can be found across all five boroughs. Chickens were once primarily kept by older city residents, including many who come from places in the world where a backyard supply of fresh eggs is taken for granted. More recently, everyone from Park Slope housewives to Bushwick hipsters appears to be embracing the backyard chicken craze.
More on Raising City Chickens
Photo via Nick Allen on Flickr
With its 8.5 million residents, honking taxis, constant construction and vibrant nightlife scene, New York City remains one of the noisiest places on Earth. Although quieter neighborhoods like the Upper East Side once offered a quiet reprieve from the city’s cacophony, these pockets of peace are getting harder to find as NYC’s population expands. As the New York Times reported, despite the fact that noise pollution has already been linked to harmful health effects like stress, hypertension and heart disease, about 420,000 noise complaints were filed citywide with the city’s 311 hotline in 2016, more than doubling the number of complaints made in 2011.
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After an upper Manhattan track fire this week reminded them that trash catches fire, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is considering limiting the all-too-familiar practice of stuffing one’s face with hot, messy food while riding the subway. The New York Times reports that MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota said Tuesday that he’d like to curb inappropriate eating as a way to eliminate fires caused by the ensuing litter.
Have another french fry. For now.
While most New Yorkers can describe each neighborhood in just a word or two, a new website takes these definitions and puts them on a map, giving users a better understanding of how locals see each city block. As ArchDaily learned, the platform, Hoodmaps, crowd sources information, letting the public “paint” parts of the city using six colors to represent “uni”, “hipster,” “tourists,” “rich,” “suits” and “normies.” In NYC, it’s no surprise users painted Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and the High Line in red, marking high tourist spots. And of course, Williamsburg was yellow marking it “hipster central” on the map.
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On June 1, the United Nations joined a growing local trend—they installed three apiary yards, better known as beehives, on their grounds in midtown Manhattan. The UN is hopeful that by summer’s end, their 150 bees will turn into a thriving colony of 250,000 bees. If this happens, the UN bees will not be alone. There are millions of bees buzzing around the five boroughs and not only in the backyards of earthy residents in neighborhoods like Park Slope and Greenpoint. From the rooftops of high-rises in Manhattan to community gardens stretching from the Bronx to Staten Island, New York City is home to thousands of active beehives, but this wasn’t always the case
Prior to a 2010 ruling, beekeeping existed in the five boroughs but only under the radar. At the time, the city deemed beekeeping to be as dangerous as keeping cobras, tarantulas, or hyenas on one’s property. Indeed, if caught, underground beekeepers faced hefty fines of up to $2000. Since the 2010 ruling that legalized beekeeping, both bees and beekeepers have been on the rise citywide and so have organizations and services designed to help residents explore apiculture.
learn more about beekeeping in the city
Image via Kid Monkey for the Bushwick Collective
According to a new analysis by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), the number of artists in New York City has grown in almost every discipline, borough and neighborhood between 2000 and 2015. Citywide, the number of artists has increased by an all-time high of 17.4 percent, to 56,268 as of 2015. Since 2000, the Bronx saw the number of visual and performing artists nearly double, to 2,920 from 1,524, while Manhattan saw a decline of 10 percent, from 28,454 artists to 25,650. On the other hand, Brooklyn grew 72 percent to 17,605, Queens grew at 35 percent to 8,726 and Staten Island experienced an 8 percent growth to total 1,367 in 2015.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Wednesday that he wanted “more rat corpses” in a $32 million crusade to rid the city’s most plagued neighborhoods of the scurrying scourge. The New York Times reports that parts of lower Manhattan, the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx are the focus of the latest campaign that hopes to reduce the number of rats in those areas by 70 percent by the close of 2018. Among the battle’s newly-forged weapons are 336 $7,000 solar-powered rat-proof garbage bins and an EPA-approved–and apparently very effective–method of killing rats in their holes using dry ice.
Psst…hey…pizza over here
Photo courtesy of Big Sky Balloons
Despite a nationwide decline in union membership, New York City continues to defy this trend. The number of city workers who belong to unions has risen for the last three years in a row, growing from 21.5 percent of all workers to 25.5 percent in 2016. And because of this high number of unionized employees, city residents have become even more familiar with Scabby the Rat–one of the most recognizable symbols of unions. The giant inflatable rodent, with its sharp buck teeth and beady red eyes, has been a staple of union construction protests in NYC and across the country for decades, and if there’s a development project that enlists nonunion labor in New York, expect to see Scabby out on the street.
Find out more about Scabby’s story
Photo courtesy of Ted McGrath on Flickr
For over 100 years, water towers have been a seamless part of New York City’s skyline. So seamless, in fact, they often go unnoticed, usually overshadowed by their glassy supertall neighbors. While these wooden relics look like a thing of the past, the same type of water pumping structure continues to be built today, originating from just three family-run companies, two of which have been operating for nearly this entire century-long history. With up to 17,000 water tanks scattered throughout NYC, 6sqft decided to explore these icons, from their history and construction to modern projects that are bringing the structures into the mainstream.
Everything you need to know
For something to ponder while trapped in subway hell or highway gridlock, a detailed visualization by statistician Chase Sawyer shows typical commute times clocked in every U.S. county, based on census data from 2011-2015. Citylab reports on the findings revealed therein; for example, we probably could guess that the top 10 easy-peasy commutes were in Alaska (where you can always find a seat on the subway), but you may not have guessed that Pike County, Pennsylvania has the worst transit time at an average of 44 minutes.
Find out how your daily trek stacks up