Even as New York City continues to experience record financial growth, a small explosion of fast food chains within city limits still comes as somewhat of a surprise. A recent Crain’s article confirms that, even more surprisingly, McDonalds, perhaps the fast-foodiest of all, is not only expanding but polishing up its image to appeal to a more upscale market–and it’s working. You might just chalk it up to a sweeping takeover by big chain stores, but isn’t that about gentrification? Fast food has traditionally had a big presence in the city’s lower-income neighborhoods–known as “food swamps“–and in tourist areas. But the nation’s largest Chick-fil-A just opened in…the Financial District. Reasons for the latest fast food boom are many, it turns out, and extend beyond mere mallification.
Via bitchcakes on Flickr
As neighborhoods in New York City continue to change, bodegas are having to update their inventory. While chips and cigarettes are still corner-store fixtures, owners are selling more fresh fruit and vegetables and organic products to keep up with the shift in consumer demographics. Coinciding with the updated interiors, the exteriors of some NYC bodegas are getting upgrades as well, thanks to a new pilot program from the city. The program, “Commercial Corridor Challenge,” aims to help fund public realm improvements for local businesses to keep them competitive amid gentrification, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Are subway platforms really as hot as the inside of a rotisserie, or does it just seem that way? On Thursday, August 9, 2018, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) sent out an intrepid task force of staff and interns to measure the temperature in the city’s ten busiest subway stations. The temperature outside was 86 degrees. The data they collected helped to inform a report titled, “Save Our Subways: A Plan To Transform New York City’s Rapid Transit System.”
In 1981 the MTA rolled out 7,000 pure white subway cars to curb graffiti and guess what happened next, Fri, August 10, 2018
Image courtesy of the NY Transit Museum Collections.
Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, New York City struggled with infrastructure failure, poverty, crime and garbage. One front in what seemed like a constant battle against total chaos was the attempt to keep subway cars graffiti-free. Inspired by a single white car sitting in a train yard in Corona, Queens that somehow managed to remain tag-free for two months (behind a security system that included a chain-link fence, barbed wire and guard dogs, but never mind that) in September 1981, the MTA rolled out one dozen all-white 7 trains–7,000 cars in all. The new program was dubbed “The Great White Fleet,” and officials hoped the bright white cars would do their part to keep graffiti at bay.
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Columbia campus, via Pixabay
If you can’t bear the idea of living in the dorms for another year, you’re not alone. Unless you happen to go to Columbia where over 90 percent of students live on campus, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be searching for your own apartment at some point during your college years, just like 57 percent of students at NYU and 74 percent at The New School. And if you’re like most students, you’ll be looking for an apartment far from downtown that strikes the right balance between affordability, commutability, and access to services.
To help you make the smartest decision possible, 6sqft has compiled a list of affordable, student-friendly neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. By New York City standards, all of these are both safe (e.g., reported fewer than 1.5447 crimes per 1000 people in June 2018) and within reach (e.g., on average, three-bedroom units can still be rented for less than $5,000 per month). Using July 2018 City Realty data on average neighborhood rents, we’ve broken down how much you’ll pay on average to live in a three-bedroom shared unit in each of these neighborhoods. We’ve also provided average commute times to both Union Square, which is easily walkable to NYU, The New School, and Cooper Union, and to the Columbia University campus.
Elmhurst’s Chinatown. Image: Wiki Commons.
Recent economic snapshots issued by the state comptroller show that New York City has continued to experience record economic expansion in the past three years. This growth has been led by notable gains in the economies of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx (Staten Island’s report is expected later this year), which since the 1990s have seen an economic boost from a large increase in their immigrant populations, Crain’s reports. The revitalization of these immigrant-rich areas has led to an uptick in the number of businesses as well as sales and job growth. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1990. Queens, the borough that is home the city’s most diverse population and becoming more so, is clearly one to watch.
Since its inception nearly four years ago, IDNYC has seen more than 1.2 million New Yorkers enroll for the free card, making it the largest local identification program in the nation. And now, Mayor de Blasio has announced three updates that will even further expand the program’s reach–the minimum age has been lowered from 14 to 10, students living in local college housing can now apply, and technological updates allow the application system to pull from existing city agency records to streamline the process.
Photo via Pexels
Whether it’s an annual event planned weeks in advance or an impulsive adventure with wine and pizza gathered on the way, picnics are one of summer’s greatest pleasures, and the city is filled with possibilities in the form of parks and gardens. New York City is also known for its accessible secrets, and our short list of urban escapes–whether hidden in plain sight or tucked away–are great to visit any time, but as off-the-beaten path picnic spots they shine.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
The official word is: There is no 200th Street in the Bronx or Manhattan; Manhattan numbered streets skip from West 196th Street straight to West 201st. But if you happen to be passing through the Dyckman Street station on the Eighth Avenue line, you wouldn’t know it. What’s up with the phantom 200?
This one-bedroom co-op at 250 West 15th Street in Chelsea shows off its considered design and just enough of an of-the-moment look and laid-back 1970s feel for us to almost overlook its compact size and slightly odd layout. The turn-key apartment is priced to sell at less than a million–and a wood-burning fireplace with an exposed brick hearth and drawers galore can’t hurt its chances.