6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Bed-Stuy brownstone of Mark and Lauren. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
The Upper West Side to Bed-Stuy may seem like a big jump, but Mark Macias and Lauren DeGregory haven’t looked back. Last August, the lovely couple bought a renovated brownstone in the ‘hood, upgrading from a one-bedroom apartment to a three-story 1890 house complete with a rental apartment, owner’s duplex, and, best of all, rear deck and backyard.
Having a warm, comfortable home was especially vital to the couple because of their schedules. Though he runs his own PR firm, Mark spent their first year as homeowners finishing up his play about Elvis Presley, “The King, The Final Hours.” And Lauren’s life sciences consulting job keeps her traveling and living out of a suitcase for most of the work week. 6sqft recently paid Mark and Lauren (and their dog Einstein!) a visit, got a tour of their pretty home, and learned a bit more about their new lives as homeowners.
Take the tour
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.
Discover a new favorite picnic place
© New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Before iPads and air-conditioning, New Yorkers of all ages sought entertainment outside. And since backyards and open space in the city are practically non-existent, games took place outside of apartment buildings, spilling out onto the streets and sidewalks. Twentieth-century New Yorkers improvised games in streets and parks, including classics like kick the can, off the wall and stickball. Preserved and documented from an NYC Parks archivist, photos from this era will make you wistful for the simplicity of urban street games.
The Grand Central Hotel in the late 1800s, via Wiki Commons
In the mid-1970s, New York City was falling apart. Its finances, infrastructure, and social cohesion were, figuratively speaking, crumbling. But in one very tragic case, they were literally crumbling, too. And it all came tumbling down on August 3, 1973, when what was once one of the world’s grandest hotels (which had more recently become known for mayhem of both a musical and criminal sort) collapsed onto Broadway at Bond Street in Greenwich Village. From serving as the scene of one of the time’s most notorious murders to a connection to the National Baseball League, the Grand Central Hotel certainly had a grand history.
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Photo via Wiki Commons
With 12 million visits a year from tourists and residents alike, Washington Square Park has plenty of things to see and do. And Parkies worth their salt know the basics: it was once a potter’s field where the indigent were buried, and a roadbed carried vehicles through the Park for almost 100 years. But the Park holds some secrets even the most knowledgeable Washington Square denizen might not know, like its connection to freed slaves in NYC and the fact that it was the first place the telegraph was publicly used.
Read on to discover if you’re a Park newbie or a Park expert
When the Piccirilli Brothers arrived in New York from Italy in 1888, they brought with them a skill– artistry and passion for stone-carving unrivaled in the United States. At their studio at 467 East 142nd Street, in the Mott Haven Section of the Bronx, the brothers turned monumental slabs of marble into some of the nation’s recognizable icons, including the senate pediment of the US Capitol Building and the statue of Abraham Lincoln that sits resolutely in the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.
The Piccirillis not only helped set our national narrative in stone but they also left an indelible mark on New York City. They carved hundreds of commissions around the five boroughs, including the 11 figures in the pediment of the New York Stock exchange, the “four continents” adorning the Customs House at Bowling Green, the two stately lions that guard the New York Public Library, both statues of George Washington for the Arch at Washington Square, and upwards of 500 individual carvings at Riverside Church.
Chisel away at this tale
When it comes to New York City’s subway system, you may think you know the letters (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,J,L,M,N,Q,R,S,W,Z) and numbers (1 through 7), all too well. But a few of the fun facts and staggering stats that add up to the seventh busiest public transit system in the world might surprise you. From the longest route (the A line is 31 miles) to the world’s highest rapid transit station at Smith-9th Streets (it’s 88 feet above street level), there are plenty of figures that even the most well-versed New Yorker likely doesn’t know.
More stuff you never knew about the subway
Millennials are masters of upcycling, the practice beyond recycling products and things to not just reuse them but make them better. This trend is now extending to the real estate sector, where we’re seeing some pretty spectacular renovations of historic barns into stunning homes. Below are five great examples of upcycling historic barns in a way that modernized the structures and added luxe amenities while honoring the authenticity and origin of the structures. All for sale and all within a few hours drive of New York City, these barn homes can be your country dream – or reality.
Check them all out
With major developments underway, Staten Island is slowly losing its nickname as the “forgotten borough.” While projects like the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets and the expansion of the former Stapleton homeport hope to revitalize the water-front borough with new residential and commercial space, Staten Island already offers visitors a ton of unique attractions to explore. Just take the free Staten Island Ferry to discover the miles of coastline and 12,300-acres of parkland in the city’s greenest and least populated borough. For the best spots in the borough, follow 6sqft’s list ahead of the 15 most unforgettable attractions on Staten Island.
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Roger Horne, a Mohawk Ironworker in the Raising Gang, ca. 1970 via the Smithsonian
The Empire State Building. The George Washington Bridge. The United Nations. The Woolworth Building. 30 Rock. The Seagram Building. Lincoln Center. The Waldorf Astoria. Virtually all of New York’s most iconic structures were raised in part by Mohawk Native American ironworkers. Since 1916, when Mohawk men made their way to New York to work on the Hell Gate Bridge, ironworkers from two Native communities, Akwesasne (which straddles Ontario, Quebec, and New York State) and Kahnawake (near Montreal), have been “walking iron” across the city.
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