Features

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Celebrities, Features, Interviews, People

Genevieve Gorder on the set of “Best Room Wins” with Elle Decor Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson. Photo by Nicole Weingart/Bravo.

From getting her first design job at MTV during the station’s height in the ’90s to being selected as one of the original designers on TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” Genevieve Gorder says she feels eternally grateful for her timing. “I hit a lot of those key moments at the right time for when I was born, and I don’t know how I keep doing it, but I’m very grateful I do.” When Genevieve says she’s “grateful,” we know it’s authentic. This is why the interior designer has achieved the success she has, appearing in more than 20 TV shows over her 20-year career. She’s a person everyone feels comfortable around, whether it’s with a family who shares her Midwestern roots or a New York City neighbor.

Her latest endeavor, the design show “Best Room Wins,” aired last week, and once again, it’s Genevieve’s warmth, grace, and exceptional talent that are on full view. 6sqft recently caught up with Genevieve to learn more about her background and time on “Trading Spaces,” why she feels the new show is “smarter, sexier, and more real,” and what her favorite spots in the city are.

Read the interview

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Features, Interiors, Midwood, My SQFT House Tours

Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Scott Wiener’s Midwood apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

How does one person amass 1,471 pizza boxes you may ask? After spending a few minutes with Scott Wiener, this will seem like a silly question. Scott founded Scott’s Pizza Tours 11 years ago, and since his first tour, he has become NYC’s resident pizza expert. In addition to his company’s signature bus tours, it now hosts daily walking tours, and Scott is often cited in both gastronomy and historical publications. But the real reason people from all over the world are keen to send Scott one of their pizza boxes is his genuine personality.

Whether he’s talking about the different types of flour used to make dough or discussing how he used 19th-century tax maps to unearth the various coal-fired ovens that once existed in the city, you can’t help give Scott your full attention; his passion is contagious. And he’s just a really nice guy. When a couple recently got engaged on his tour, Scott told us that he had been texting for months with the groom to make sure everything was perfect. 6sqft recently paid Scott a visit at his Midwood apartment and got to learn even more about him, from how he developed his pizza passion to what an average day looks like. Of course, we also got a behind-the-scenes look at that record-setting pizza box collection. Read more

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Art, Design, Events, Features

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week

Photo courtesy of NYCxDESIGN

You can expect to see the stars of NYCxDESIGN–sinuous sofas, luminous lighting, fab furniture, terrific textiles, and amazing accessories–for the next several years in magazines, blogs and showrooms, but you’ll be seeing them here first. It’s not strictly for design geeks only, but if modern objects are your thing, get out your calendar and get ready for design heaven. ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) anchors an international celebration on a par with the Milan Furniture Fair and Stockholm Design Week, with hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe converging on the city’s five boroughs from May 10–22; much of the mid-May action happens in Manhattan, but Brooklyn weighs in with a full calendar of collective events in hotspots like the Navy Yard and Industry City that serve as design hubs 365 days a year. Read on for a handful of highlights.

What’s next in design, this way

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Features, Harlem, Interviews

Joe Cruz Jr. (right) at the Jalisco distillery

With Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, New Yorkers most certainly have margaritas on the brain. And while we may typically associate tequila with Mexico, a new label here in NYC is bridging the divide between our southern neighbor and local entrepreneurship. Joe Cruz Jr. grew up in Harlem, spending much of his younger years hanging out in the Bronx. After working in the beverage industry for many years, he decided to take a mere $25,000 and create his own “ultra-smooth” tequila right from Harlem. And so in late 2017, YaVe Tequila was born. Not only has the company garnered culinary headlines (it produces the first-ever mango-flavored tequila), but it’s caught the attention of local stakeholders thanks to Joe’s commitment to working with his neighborhood.

Read on for our interview with Joe

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Bronx, Design, Features, Interiors, Interviews, Restaurants, Where I Work

Ice Scream, Asthetíque, Bronx Ice Cream

All photos courtesy of Costas Picadas

Last December, Ice Scream opened at the Mall at Bay Plaza, giving the Bronx its first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor. In addition to serving up futuristic frozen treats, the shop provides a fun and relaxing rest stop in between shopping. Founded by New Yorker Julien Albertini and Alina Pimkina, from Moscow, interior design firm Asthetíque specializes in luxury hospitality and residential design. Although developing a brand for a family business tailored to children was a totally new concept for Julien and Alina, the duo took on the design for Ice Scream and came up with a concept that “benefits society and makes peoples’ lives and businesses more beautiful and functional,” according to the designers.

Inspired by the 1980s Memphis design movement, Asthetíque has created a space for guests to have “plenty of Instagrammable moments.” From the ceiling’s coordinated light show to the fun mantras written in neon script throughout the 24-seat store (ie: “Ice Scream is better than therapy” and “Count your sprinkles, not your problems”), Ice Scream’s design not only provides a spot for families to make memories, but as a declaration that the “Bronx can contribute to the world of design.” For its innovative and playful ice cream parlor design, Asthetíque was a winner in the 46th annual IIDA Interior Design Competition this year. Ahead, see inside the eye-catching ice cream parlor and hear from Julien and Alina on the brand development process.

Get the scoop on Ice Scream

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Book Reviews, Features, History, Landscape Architecture

All of the images in this post are included in “The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” and are courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.

There are few things as beautiful as a sunset in Central Park, standing beside the reservoir at 90th Street, looking west, and watching the sun sink behind the San Remo then glitter through the trees on the park’s horizon, and finally melt into the water, its colors unspooling there like ink. That view, one of so many available in the park, can be credited to the meticulous planning by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, whose extraordinary vision made Central Park one of the finest urban oases on earth.

The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” a new book by Cynthia S. Brenwall, out now from the NYC Department of Records, offers a closer look at that lanning process than ever before. Using more than 250 color photos, maps, plans, elevations, and designs — many published here for the very first time — the book chronicles the park’s creation, from conception to completion, and reveals the striking “completeness” of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision. “There was literally no detail too small to be considered,” Brenwall says. You’ll see the earliest sketches of familiar structures, and check out plans for unbuilt amenities (including a Paleozoic Museum!) 6sqft caught up with Brenwall to find out how the book came together, hear what it was like to cull through those incredible documents and snag a few secrets of Central Park.

Read more

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Events, Features

Six of the season’s best neighborhood food festivals

By Alexandra Alexa, Mon, April 29, 2019

Image courtesy of Gary Petersen

The city really comes alive during the spring, and neighborhood food festivals offer a fun and exciting way to toast the warm weather and try some new, seasonal bites from the city’s best restaurants. With live music, celebrity chefs in attendance, and activities for the whole family, food festivals have something to offer every palate. Below, we’ve rounded up the season’s best indoor and alfresco events for your tastebuds, from the Upper West and Lower East Sides to Cobble Hill to Harlem.

Get the details

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Art, Events, Features, Museums, NYC Guides

Spring art guide, The Roof Garden Commission: Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot, the met, Alicja Kwade

Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot. Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Hyla Skopitz.

New York City’s art scene blossoms anew in springtime, with fresh ways to look at classic museum collections, international art fairs, cutting-edge installations and everything in between. And new public works pop up in the city’s parks and gardens, making it possible to enjoy both the outdoors and the art. We’ve rounded up a list of must-see exhibits, fairs, and installations to get you started.

Check out our top spring picks

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Architecture, Features, History, immigration, Lower East Side

“A Group of ‘Lung Block’ Children,” from Ernest Poole, The Plague in Its Stronghold, Tuberculosis in the New York Tenement, 1903. Courtesy of the Department of Records

In 1933, a new development rose on the Lower East Side. It was Knickerbocker Village, the first federally-funded apartment complex in the United States, and one of the first developments that would later fall under the umbrella of the city’s “Slum Clearance” program. The “slum” that Knickerbocker Village replaced wasn’t just any rundown collection of buildings – it was the notorious “Lung Block” between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, bounded by Cherry, Monroe, Market and Catherine Streets, which in 1903, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernest Poole named the most congested and disease-ridden place in the city, or, perhaps, the world. But was it?

The Lung Block: A New York City Slum and its forgotten Italian Immigrant Community,” a new exhibit opening April 25th at the NYC Department of Records curated by researchers Stefano Morello and Kerri Culhane, will revisit the neighborhood and the immigrant community that called it home. With maps, journals, photos and other artifacts, the exhibit will consider the connections between health and housing, affordability and gentrification, public health and progressive reform, and architecture and the immigrant experience.

Learn more about this community

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Carroll Gardens, Features, Restaurants, 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 Carroll Gardens nonprofit-restaurant Emma’s Torch. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

While volunteering at a Washington, D.C. homeless shelter a few years ago, Kerry Brodie witnessed how food can facilitate conversations among diverse groups of people. “If I have one background, someone else a different one, but we have this shared experience of cooking with our mothers and grandmothers, there’s got to be something else we can do to propel change,” Kerry said. With the idea to help those from disenfranchised communities find jobs and feel empowered doing so, she quit her job in public policy, moved to New York, and enrolled in culinary school.

A month after graduating, Kerry founded Emma’s Torch, first as a pop-up in Red Hook to now a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Carroll Gardens, where it’s been for about a year. The nonprofit, named after Emma Lazarus whose poem is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, serves as a culinary school for refugees, asylum seekers, and survivors of trafficking. Applicants who are accepted to the 12-week paid program not only learn how to cook in a high-pressure setting but also work on English language skills and career planning. 6sqft recently sat down with Kerry at Emma’s Torch ahead of a graduation dinner, a night where the students take over the menu and “cook from the heart.” Ahead, learn more about the mission of Emma’s Torch, the challenges of operating as a nonprofit, and Kerry’s plan to expand beyond New York City.

See the space and meet the founder of Emma’s Torch

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