Features

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Features, History, More Top Stories, NYC Guides

How to kayak or canoe across a NYC water reservoir (GUIDE)

By Cait Etherington, Fri, August 18, 2017

Image via Pexels

On average, New Yorkers use a staggering 1 billion gallons of water per day, but unlike people in many other U.S. cities, they don’t need to worry about their taps running dry. Over a century ago, city engineers devised a plan to ensure the city would have ample water and that the supply would meet the growing needs of the city over time. Today, the city’s century-old reservoir system continues to supply New Yorkers with clean water year round. For outdoorsy residents, the city’s water supply also serves another surprising purpose. Located just over two hours north of the city limits, the reservoirs are also an increasingly popular place to canoe and kayak without the distraction of motorized water vehicles and cottagers.

our complete guide here

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Features, Greenwich Village, History

A 15-year-old Greenwich Village student inspired the hit song ‘Summer in the City’

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, August 17, 2017

Image via Wiki Commons

Everyone knows the folk-rock classic “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful, which topped the charts 51 years ago this August in 1966. But fewer know the song’s roots in Greenwich Village–lead singer John Sebastian actually grew up in the neighborhood and the act got their start in the local clubs–and fewer still know a 15-year-old Village student was responsible for a significant part of its composition.

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Features, Green Design, Stuyvesant Town, Technology

Photos courtesy of Stuyvesant Town

“Think of us as a 1947 Cadillac retrofitted with a Tesla engine,” says Marynia Kruk, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village‘s Community Affairs Manager. Though the 80-acre residential complex’s 110 red brick, cruciform-shaped buildings were constructed 70 years ago this month, their imposing facades are hiding an intense network of systems that, since 2011, have allowed the development to reduce its on-site carbon emissions by 6.8 percent, equal to over 17 million pounds of coal saved. To put this in perspective, that’s roughly the same savings as 3,000 drivers deciding to bike or take the train for an entire year or planting a forest of 400,000 trees.

This massive sustainability push, along with new ownership (Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge bought the complex for $5.3 billion in October 2015), updated amenities, and an affordable housing commitment, is driving Manhattan’s largest apartment complex into the future, and 6sqft recently got the inside scoop from CEO and General Manager Rick Hayduk and Tom Feeney, Vice President of Maintenance Operations, who is spearheading the green initiative.

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Chelsea, Features, gentrification, History, Hotels, Interviews

Background image via Andrew Malone/Flickr

When it comes to the Chelsea Hotel, Ed Hamilton has seen it all. He and his wife moved to the iconic property in 1995, living among artists and musicians in a 220-square-foot, single-room-occupancy unit. The storied, artistic community nurtured inside the hotel came to an end a decade ago when the building sold for the first time and evictions followed. Since then, the property has traded hands a number of times with talks of boutique hotel development, luxury condos, or some combination of the two. Hamilton started tracking the saga at his blog Living With Legends and published a book, “Legends of the Chelsea Hotel,” in 2007.

After the book’s success, Hamilton wrote a short story collection titled “The Chintz Age: Stories of Love and Loss for a new New York.” Each piece offers a different take on New York’s “hyper gentrification,” as he calls it: a mother unable to afford her lofty East Village apartment, giving it up to a daughter she shares a strained relationship with; a book store owner who confronts his failed writing career as a landlord forces him out of now highly valuable commercial space.

Ultimately, many of the stories were inspired by the characters he met inside the Chelsea Hotel. And his tales offer a new perspective on a changing city, one that focuses on “the personal, day-to-day struggles about the people who are trying to hang onto their place in New York.” With 6sqft, he shares what it’s like writing in the under-construction Chelsea Hotel, what the Chintz Age title means, and the unchanged spots of the city he still treasures.

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apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides, real estate trends, Top Stories

Lead image © Daxiao Productions – Fotolio

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, now that the city is in high renting season, we’ve researched the best resources for finding a no-fee apartment.

More than half of New Yorkers spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent. Tack on a broker’s fee that could be as high as 15 percent of an apartment’s annual rent, and that burden becomes even worse. Thankfully, there are more and more resources popping up to find no-fee rentals. Aside from the go-to listing aggregators, there’s now roommate-share options, lease break sites, artist-centric search engines, and good old fashioned networking. 6sqft has put together our 12 favorite options, along with the basics of each so you can figure out what will work best for you and how to prioritize your search.

Check out the full list here

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Features, photography, The urban lens

Dionisio González photographer, Dionisio González architect, Galerie Richard, Dialectical Landscape, Thinking Central Park

Image © Dionisio González

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Spanish artist Dionisio González presents two series of digital photos showcasing Central Park. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Architect and photographer Dionisio González has made a name for himself with his surrealist photo manipulations, which typically combine existing buildings and urban spaces with digitally drawn structures and landscapes. His latest two series take on Central Park and how the city’s giant “void” relates to its surrounding skyscrapers. In his “Thinking Central Park” series, González fills the space with futuristic shelters. Conversely, in the black-and-white series “Dialectical Landscape” he adds empty spaces as aerial extensions of the park for recreation and transportation.

See them all right here

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Features, Greenwich Village, History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

The Village’s Twin Peaks: From a quirky ‘Swiss-chalet’ to a landmarks controversy

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, August 10, 2017

102 Bedford Street in 2015 (left) via Wiki Commons, and as of today, via GVSHP

Few buildings capture the whimsy, flamboyance, and bohemian spirit of early 20th century Greenwich Village as does the building known as “Twin Peaks” at 102 Bedford Street. Described as a “wonderfully ludicrous mock half-timbered fantasy row-house castle” by architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the present incarnation of the building was born in 1925 as a radical remodeling of an 1830 rowhouse into a five-story artists’ studio apartment building. In the mid 20th-century, the building became even more iconic with a cream and brown paint job that mimicked its Alpine cottage inspiration. However, a more recent paint job stripped away this history, resulting in a controversial landmarks battle.

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Features, History

To fully experience New York City, you have to eat. And then eat some more. So inextricably linked with its food, the city’s social and cultural history requires an exploration of its endless cuisines. And while street food is not unique to New York, the city provides some of the most diverse dining options in the world, with over 10,000 people make a living by street vending. But this tradition dates all the way back to the 1600s when European settlers enjoyed eating shellfish on the streets. Food vendors took on a more formal incarnation in the early 1800s on the Lower East Side and have changed with every new immigrant group that’s landed here since. From oysters and knishes to hot dogs and Halal, the city’s street vendors reflect its constant evolution and also what brings New Yorkers together.

Dive in to the full history

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affordable housing, Features, real estate trends

Image via CityRealty

You’ve landed a great job in New York City—then the reality of the city’s housing market starts to sink in. It’s a situation that thousands of new city residents face every year. New York City’s cost of living, which continues to outpace most other cities across North America, can make a move to the city seem difficult and even impossible. In fact, even highly compensated professionals often balk at the idea of relocating due to the fact that it typically means radically adjusting one’s established standard of living. After all, most adults assume it is normal to have more than one closet and expect their kitchen to be large enough to accommodate more than one person at a time. This is why at least some local employers throw in the most coveted perk of all—free or at least steeply discounted housing.

find out where these jobs are

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Bushwick, Features, Interiors, More Top Stories, My SQFT House Tours

Ehren Shorday, Bushwick loft, Brooklyn artist loft, trash and treasures

6sqft’s ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

When Ehren Shorday moved into this giant Bushwick loft a little more than six years ago, his main focus was making the industrial space feel like a home. Originally from antique-haven New Hope, he chose to go with a “southeastern Pennsylvania river town vibe,” but as an artist who didn’t have a ton of money, he achieved this aesthetic by furnishing the 900-square-foot space with “trash,” or perhaps more eloquently put, “found treasures.” Aside from the rug and his parents’ two club chairs, which he brought with him when he moved to New York 13 years ago, everything in the apartment was found, from the church pew and diner banquet table to the porcelain bathtub that’s been repurposed as a chaise lounge. Ahead, Ehren gives us the grand tour and fills us in on the story behind his prized possessions.

Take a video and photo tour and hear more from Ehren