City Living

City Living, maps, New Developments, Williamsburg

old versus new Williamsburg, developments in Williamsburg, developments on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Google Maps Street View, Williamsburg in 2007, changes in Williamsburg, how bedford avenue has changed

My, the difference a few years makes. Never was that more apparent than with Google Maps Street View’s new function that allows you to take a peek back in time and see how much your neighborhood has gentrifi–err–transformed since 2007.

The photos culled by the WSJ ahead focus in on the unprecedented changes Williamsburg has undergone over the last six years. The alterations are particularly apparent at Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street, where some cosmetic improvements have been made to the building facades. However, the transformation is rather mind-blowing when you see the difference new developments by the waterfront have made to the neighborhood’s aesthetic.

Take a look at Williamsburg’s astonishing transformation here

Featured Story

City Living, Features, real estate trends, Upper East Side

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side isn’t just for your grandparents anymore. Photo by Ed Yourdon cc

There’s been so much talk lately about how the Upper East Side is the next cool ‘hood–this guy even says it’s cooler than Brooklyn–and while that may be true (the neighborhood’s got a Meatball Shop; is there really any use denying it anymore?), we have our sights set slightly farther north.

The high 80’s and 90’s, clustered between Park and 1st Avenues, is a hot spot for young professionals who are looking for little more culture and a little less of the bro-tastic bar scene, as well as for just-starting-out families who want a community feel, but not the sky-high rents of Park Avenue and Museum Mile. A slew of new residential developments are popping up in the area, as are fun, independent restaurants and bars. And this piece of Manhattan offers almost just the same transportation convenience as the Upper East Side proper, but with lower rents and a calmer feel.

More on the new Upper East Side

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City Living, Features, real estate trends

The Top 15 Family-Friendly Buildings in NYC

By Elijah Quinton, Mon, September 29, 2014

family-friendly nyc buildings

Last week, we talked to five families currently raising children in New York City’s many diverse and multifaceted neighborhoods about why they pick city living over the suburbs, and most of our readers agreed that they prefer an urban upbringing to the more “traditional” suburban childhood.

But once you’ve decided to raise your children in the Big Apple, it can be tough deciding which neighborhood is best for your family. Many factors come into play: What are the best schools in the area? What amenities does the building offer? Are there playgrounds nearby? How secure is the building? And the list goes on. But to make the process a little easier, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best family-friendly buildings in New York City.

Check out our list here

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City Living, Features, People

City Kids: Why Parents Pick City Living Over the Suburbs

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, September 23, 2014

city kids, brooklyn kids, nyc neighborhoods,

The ‘American Dream’ may have dominated the last few decades, causing a mass exodus to the suburbs, but today’s families are reversing the trend and turning their attention back to the city. The reasons are many: An appreciation for cultural offerings, the camaraderie and creative cross-pollination of networks of colleagues, friends and family, the convenience of being able to walk or bike to school, work or child care without a long commute—just to name a few. New York City has always been a haven for the forward-thinking, albeit a challenging one. And its newly-”discovered” outer boroughs as well as an unprecedentedly low crime rate have made the city a prime choice for family living.

But what is it about those city kids—the ones with parents who planned from the start to raise their kids in a non-stop urban environment? We interrupted the busy schedules of five families currently raising school-age (or soon-to-be) children in New York City’s many diverse and multifaceted neighborhoods to get some insight about why they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hear what five parents of city kids have to say

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City Living, Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Landscape Architecture, Neighborhoods

Goldilocks Blocks: (Far) East 7th Street in Alphabet City

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 22, 2014

Flowerbox, New Development, Condo, East Village, NYC

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, big-ticket townhouse enclaves, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. Free from corner menace, sticker shock and boom-time developer schlock, these special spots often span only a few blocks in each direction and are close enough to the center of their ‘cool destination’ nabes to legitimately bear their names. They aren’t commonly known, and are best found by pounding the pavement, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes—you just have to be willing to do a little legwork. But when you do find them, don’t sleep on them… Winners like the Columbia Street Waterfront District were once Goldilocks blocks.

Today we’ll look at a unique 7th Street stretch hidden in Alphabet City.

Find out what makes this Alphabet City block so special.

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City Living, Features, Neighborhoods, Sunset Park

Industry City, Design Week, ICFF, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NYC

With plans in place that call for a public waterfront bustling with creative industry and commerce rather than luxury residential developments, Sunset Park is not on its way to becoming the next hip NYC residential neighborhood–and that’s a good thing.

Located on Brooklyn’s western waterfront flank, there are really two sides to Sunset Park. The neighborhood, generally defined as the area between 65th Street, the Prospect Expressway, Eighth Avenue and the East River, has long been a thriving residential community. Sunset Park is also home to about 15 million square feet of warehouse and light industrial space. The key to the neighborhood’s future may be the point at which the two meet.

Find Out How Fashion May Give Sunset Park a Chance to Shine As the New Garment District

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Neighborhoods, Restaurants

cafe grumpy brooklyn, cafe grumpy, brooklyn coffee shops

Photo: Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint by Premshree Pillai cc

From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.

Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.

Get a fleeting glimpse of old New York City cafe culture in the West Village, meet the future of coffee distribution in Red Hook.

City Living, Design, Technology

If you’re one of the many who love city living but constantly curse the stress-inducing sounds of construction, car horns, garbage trucks, and yelling children, SONO will restore your sanity and bring your home to the pin drop quiet, peaceful state only found in the suburbs. Designed by Rudolf Stefanich, this pebble-shaped device could be applied to all of your home’s windows, turning them into a comprehensive noise canceling system.

Find out more here

City Living, opinion

My Gay Summer: Maybe We Are Moving Forward After All

By Andrew Cotto, Sun, August 17, 2014

Fire Island Pines Beach NY

Last Saturday, I walked out of a Fire Island Pines liquor store just as a friend was walking in. “Hello, handsome,” I said without pause.

My friend was less decorous.

“What the f*%k are you doing here?!?” He asked, his face flushed with wonder.

It was a legitimate question since The Pines is famously gay, and I’m neither famous nor gay; but, considering my summer so far, me in the company of gay men no longer seems wonder inducing to me.

Andrew’s revelations this way

City Living, People

How a ‘Buona Forchetta’ Stays Trim in NYC

By Andrew Cotto, Sun, August 10, 2014

new york skyline plate, nyc plate, nyc dinner plate, skyline dinner plate

Having just returned to New York City from another extended stay in Italy, I’m often asked about how I ate during my trip. I’m happy to accommodate such requests since I’m what Italians call a “Buona Forchetta” or “Good Fork” — someone who loves and knows food. Talking about food is one of my favorite things to do; it’s up there with eating food. And my passionate and detailed conversations about the food I’ve recently eaten often segues into curious inquiries about my somewhat surprising physique.

Read more of Andrew’s story here

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