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Design, Features, Interviews, People

Photos © AphroChic/Patrick Cline

“Modern.Soulful.Style.” This is the term coined by Crown Heights-based husband-and-wife team Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason when they started their home design blog AphroChic in 2007. These three little words really must have resonated; just over a decade later, Jeanine and Bryan have taken the design world by storm, starting their own product line (which includes their “Brooklyn in Color” paint collection, the first paint line by an African-American design brand), designing interiors, authoring the book “REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul,” and hosting HGTV’s “Sneak Peek with AphroChic.”

6sqft recently chatted with Jeanine and Bryan to learn how they went from careers in criminal justice to interior design, how African American influences factor into their work, and what’s to come from this unique couple who “embraces culture and the unique admixture of the traditional and the contemporary that helps to define us all.”

Our interview with AfroChic

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Art, Features, real estate trends

180 East 88th Street living room, via March Made for DDG

The architect Morris Adjmi looks to trends in art, more than in architecture, to inspire his work. “Art is more stimulating to me than the latest trends in architecture. Art is visceral and topical, it is much more immediate and it allows you to get into the zeitgeist of the time. In art, we see what is happening now, in architecture it takes a few years to show up.” More and more architects, developers, designers, and brokers believe in the powerful relationship between art and real estate. So much so, it is now understood that art sells real estate and real estate sells art.

James Cavello, owner of Westwood Gallery, curated an art exhibit at 212 Fifth Avenue’s $73.8 million “Crown” penthouse with a multimillion-dollar collection of art, with works by Warhol, Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Charles Hinman, and Douglas Kirkland. On the relationship between art and real estate, Cavello says, “We share the same similar high net worth clients so developers and brokers look to individuals like me and my company to propose alternatives to staging the areas with furniture and drapes and, instead, work with the light and space and utilize the art as staging.”

The Sotheby’s team behind 212 Fifth added that having Westwood Gallery stage art in the three-story, 10,000-square-foot unit, “Helped generate powerful awareness for Westwood Gallery with a level of visibility that is often unattainable for a stand-alone gallery.” Clearly, art and real estate have a very symbiotic relationship.

Read more

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Events, Features, holidays

It’s not surprising one of the original observances of Women’s History Month got its start in New York in 1909; the first women’s rights convention in the U.S. happened upstate at Seneca Falls, the first large-scale suffrage parade ran through the city and in 1917, the state became the first on the East Coast to grant women suffrage. A century later, there are countless ways to celebrate Women’s History Month in New York City, so to narrow it down, we’ve rounded up 15 feminist-friendly bookstores, art galleries, and educational events. Whether you want to shop for girl-power-themed swag at Bulletin or enjoy a female-led mediation session at the United Nations, there’s something empowering for everyone this month.  Get the scoop

Featured Story

Events, Features, holidays

All of New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day parades

By Hannah Frishberg, Mon, March 5, 2018

Photo via Richie S/Flickr

Some cities are lucky to have a single St. Patrick’s Day parade, but New York City is blessed with a whopping nine parades dedicated to the holiday. While Saint Patrick’s Day is not until March 17, three communities have already celebrated: Staten Island held its annual parade on Forest Avenue and Queens held its 43rd Saint Paddy’s parade in Rockaway, as well as its LGBT-friendly St. Pat’s For All in Woodside. No worries, though: There are still six other St. Patrick’s Day Parades coming up, including NYC’s biggest, in Manhattan.

Here’s where and when to attend the remaining five

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Central Park South, Features, Green Design, Midtown, Where I Work

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Midtown offices of architecture firm COOKFOX. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

When COOKFOX Architects started looking for a new office space three years ago, it was a no-brainer that they’d incorporate their signature biophilic tools, but their one non-negotiable requirement was outdoor space to connect employees directly with nature. And though the firm has come to be associated with so many contemporary projects, they found their ideal space on the 17th floor of the 1921, Carèrre and Hastings-designed Fisk Tire Building on 57th Street. Not only did it offer three terraces (that the team has since landscaped with everything from beehives to kale), but the large, open floorplan allowed the firm to create their dream wellness office.

6sqft recently took a tour of the space to see how employees utilize the space day-to-day and learn more about how COOKFOX achieved LEED Platinum and WELL Gold status by incorporating natural materials for finishings and furniture, temperature control systems, lighting that supports healthy circadian rhythms, and, of course, plenty of connections to nature despite being in the middle of Midtown Manhattan.

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East Village, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, Noho

15 female trailblazers of the Village: From the first woman doctor to the ‘godmother of punk’

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, March 1, 2018

Greenwich Village is well known as the home to libertines in the 1920s and feminists in the 1960s and ’70s. But going back to at least the 19th century, the neighborhoods now known as Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Noho were home to pioneering women who defied convention and changed the course of history, from the first female candidate for President, to America’s first woman doctor, to the “mother of birth control.” This Women’s History Month, here are just a few of those trailblazing women, and the sites associated with them.

Learn all about these amazing women

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Features, History

The corner of Pearl and Chatham streets, where Jennings hailed the bus. Photo via New York Historical Society

In 1854, 99 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to white passengers in Alabama, another brave African American woman affected change on local transit with her bravery. Elizabeth Jennings is not a household name, or even well-known, but her brave refusal to cow to 20th-century America’s racist customs and fight for her rights is historic, and the results of her actions have rippled down over the decades.

The whole history

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Battery Park City, Features, Interiors, My SQFT House Tours

6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Battery Park City apartment of “Stroller in the City” founder Brianne Manz. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

The term “mommy blogger” is fairly well known today, but when Brianne Manz started Stroller in the City nearly a decade ago, she was charting new waters. A fashion industry veteran, Brianne has grown the site into a full-scale lifestyle resource, offering tips on raising a family in New York City, the latest in kids’ fashion, and “all things that are mommy.” 6sqft recently visited Brianne at the Battery Park City apartment she and her husband found 15 years ago but now share with their three children (their oldest son in nine and two daughters are six and four). Not only did we get to see first-hand how this entrepreneur balances work and parenting, but we chatted with her about why she loves her neighborhood, why having kids in NYC is a great idea, and how anyone can create a family-friendly home.

All this and more ahead

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Features, Transportation, Upper East Side, yorkville

Second Avenue Subway, 96th Street, subway entrance

96th Street entrance to the Second Avenue Subway, via MTA/Flickr

On Valentine’s Day, The Source, a long-running store on Third Avenue that sold everything from stationary and household cleaning products to cards and candles, closed its doors for good. Since early January, when the owner hung a going-out-of-business sign in his window, he had been telling Upper East Siders shoppers that he was shutting down for two reasons: rising rents but the drastic decline in business brought about by the Second Avenue Subway’s opening in January 2017. Although one might assume that a business like The Source is really a victim of Amazon and the rise of other online retailers, the increasing vacancy rates along Third and Lexington Avenues on the Upper East Side over the past year appear to confirm his speculation. As much as the Second Avenue Subway has been good news for businesses in Yorkville, its opening seems to have dealt a devastating blow to businesses located just west of the new line.

What’s the deal?

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Features, History, Hotels, Midtown East

Photo via Wally Gobetz/Flickr

You know that Old King Cole had a pipe and bowl, but did you know he also had a cloak and dagger? New York’s hyper-illustrious St. Regis Hotel, home to the famous King Cole Bar, has a clandestine pedigree that goes straight to its core. Founded by a family of spies, the Hotel became headquarters for the nation’s wartime spy service, and in the process helped inspire not only the Bloody Mary cocktail but also the Invasion of North Africa.

Read on for the history of Midtown’s preeminent spy den


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