Photo © Cameron Baylock
Among neighborhoods primed to be the next untapped frontier, Ridgewood isn’t a newcomer. This low-key community on the western border of Queens has seen a steady migration of L-train riders, including the young and restless fleeing Williamsburg and professionals looking for a safe, accessible, quiet ‘hood to call home. In New York City, where every square foot vies for “next big thing” status, Ridgewood is a smart alternative to its headline-stealing North Brooklyn neighbors, Bushwick and Williamsburg, for anyone looking to invest in an up-and-coming residential area.
More on the rise of Ridgewood this way
Image: rutlo cc
It’s not a shocker that some Brooklyn neighborhoods are outselling their Manhattan counterparts. What’s a bit of a surprise is that the Columbia Street Waterfront District, a quirky 22-block enclave wedged between Red Hook and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, is one of them.
Until recently, Columbia Street was known as a far-flung and largely forgotten strip that fell victim to Robert Moses’s highway expansion project—the BQE—which, when built on a below-ground slice of Hicks Street in 1957, severed the area from the rest of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, breaking up what was then “South Brooklyn” into distinct neighborhoods.
More on Columbia Street’s Comeback
Breaking up is hard to do, especially in New York where shacking up saves you big bucks. And other than mending a broken heart, the worst part is finding a new apartment in a pinch and the dreaded division of belongings. But what if you could just throw a wall in between you and your ex and call it a day? A new design for small-scale housing communities does just that.
Songpa Micro-Housing, named for the district of Seoul in which it’s located, is a mixed-use building designed by SsD Architecture, a firm based in New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has 14 units that can be combined and rearranged to fit lifestyle changes. So, two lovebirds can rent a place together and if it doesn’t work out, they can simply separate the units.
Find out more about the adjustable housing
Before-and-after views of Staten Island
This week marks the two-year anniversary since Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City and the surrounding coast lines. In its wake, the storm forever altered our coastal areas. These before-and-after satellite images from the Huffington Post taken via Google Earth, show just how dramatic the damage was—and they ask us to consider the progress we’ve made recovering from the destruction over the last two years. Our rebuilding efforts in the post-sandy aftermath have been significant, however our work is far from over.
More details here
In New York, where a parking spot can cost up to $1 million, it’s important to realize just how much space one single car really takes up. As part of the 2014 edition of European Mobility Week, a group of Latvian activists got this message across with some truly out-of-the-box methods.
The activists are part of the advocacy group Let’s Bike It, and the goal for their recent project was to create a visual commentary about the space taken up by cars on a typical road. In doing so, the group fabricated bamboo structures that resembled the shape of a car and mounted them to their bicycle frames. They then road their cycle-monstrosities through the streets to demonstrate the absurdity of operating large cars to transport a single person.
More on the activism here
Film crews on your block: Yet another thing New Yorkers love to hate, whether it’s a case of grumble-brag or a genuine inconvenience. Some people love the opportunity to watch their favorite shows being made (and maybe get a peek at their favorite stars) and argue that it boosts the local economy. Others give the whole gig a big two thumbs down.
Find out who’s filming, where and when–and how you can make the most of it.
Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we look at Hope Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
It’s hard to imagine any corner of Williamsburg that doesn’t embody some form of the neighborhood’s upscale hipster paradise. With the opening of The Gorbals restaurant–to excellent reviews–atop the 6th Street Urban Outfitters on the North Side and the South Side sprouting condos and charter schools, the term “prime Williamsburg” has become meaningless. But in every district there are places that retain that charming, slightly unruly je ne sais quoi. The four blocks that comprise Hope Street fit this description.
What makes Hope Street so ‘just right?’
Nobody likes getting stuck out in the rain especially when you’ve got places to go and people to see. This poses a problem for many New Yorkers because more often than not when its raining, finding a vacant taxi is damn near impossible. In a city that normally puts convenience at your finger tips, it’s somewhat perplexing as to why this is not also true for taxi cabs in NYC. One would think that the number of taxis on the road would increase when demand for their services is at its highest. As it turns out the opposite is true, and there are many people looking into this peculiarity. In an attempt to find some answers, a recent article published on citylab.com examines a few theories surrounding the conundrum that have been developed by some scholars studying economic behavior.
Find out more on why here
Jam-packed full of boutiques, bars, and a booming frat scene, the East Village‘s past as a haven for artists and other creatives is quickly being forgotten. But from the 1950s through the 60s, the Village was the epicenter of beat poetry and was once the stomping grounds of lit’s most prolific.
For more than sixty years there has been an intense poetry scene happening in the East Village. Passing Stranger, a project by WNYC’s Pejk Malinovski and The Poetry Foundation, is an interactive documentary experience that brings listeners through two miles of the East Village via the poetry and poets of the 1950s up to the present. If you love podcasts such as This American Life and 99% Invisible, you’ll love this sound-rich audio tour which will get you out and about on a beautiful fall day, and enlighten you on one of the most important bohemian communities to exist.
More on the project and podcast
IKEA has made their way into homes across the world, but with their latest project ‘Life at Home‘ the furniture giant finds themselves square at our breakfast tables. Although you may think that your mornings aren’t all that different from someone in say Paris or London (or in the next cubicle for that matter), as New Yorkers we’re pretty distinct in how we wake up, how we dress ourselves, and even how long we shower.
The company’s Life at Home report is the first of what will be a series of studies geared towards developing new home products in line with a particular city’s waking habits. The report covers seven other cities, including Paris, Berlin, London, Moscow, but of course, we’re going to bring you the top findings from their NYC study. Many of these were surprising…
How New Yorkers spend their mornings this way