Features

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends, Transportation

Williamsburg, where the L train shutdown will soon take effect, via Wiki Commons

In a city with fewer car owners than nearly any other location in North America, it should come as no surprise that subway access is a key factor for most New Yorkers when they go on the housing market. In fact, many New Yorkers won’t even consider renting or buying if the address is more than a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway. This explains why some neighborhoods, including Greenpoint, which has a subway but not one that leads to Manhattan, and Alphabet City, which doesn’t have a subway at all, have long reported lower real estate values and rental prices that their nearest neighbors. However, there are growing signs that subway access may no longer matter as much as it once did.

While subway access remains important, it is increasingly no longer a deal breaker for developers or prospective tenants. In today’s real estate market, a growing number of developers are pouring money into developments located off the subway line, and many tenants don’t seem to mind. This may also explain why not all developers with projects located along the L line are worried about the pending shutdown, which is now slated to begin in April 2019.

Read more

Featured Story

Features, Interiors, My SQFT House Tours, Upper West Side 

6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Alessia’s plant-filled Upper West Side apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

Amassing 24,000 Instagram followers in just over a year is nothing to sneeze at, but when you have a collection of nearly 200 plants in a 750-square-foot Manhattan apartment, you’re going to attract some attention. Artist Alessia Resta moved into her Upper West Side home seven years ago, and when she saw how much light came in through the west-facing, 16th-floor windows, she decided to finally start assembling the plant collection she always wanted, and there was born the Apartment Botanist.

Today, Alessia, her boyfriend Micah, and their two dogs live very happily among the greenery, which includes many philodendrons (perhaps the most popular species among Insta-planties), Monsteras, and succulents. 6sqft recently visited their apartment to get a first-hand look at the plant paradise and learn what it takes to upkeep the operation.  Take the tour!

Featured Story

Events, Features, holidays, NYC Guides

With the temperature dropping and the foliage blooming, it’s officially sweater weather. And what better way to welcome the fall season than drinking German beer from steins, eating giant pretzels and bratwurst, and listening to “oompah” bands. And don’t worry if you can’t make the trip to Germany for Oktoberfest this year–Munich comes to New York City with tons of fun festivities. Celebrate Bavarian culture with events like traditional pig roasts, ceremonial keg tappings, stein-holding competitions and more. Ahead, find the 15 best spots to grab authentic brews and brats with 6sqft’s guide to Oktoberfest 2018.

Brats and brews this way

Featured Story

Features, GVSHP, History, West Village 

What’s in a name? Gay Street

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, September 27, 2018

Southward view of Gay Street via Wiki Commons

Gay Street is one of the most charming and picturesque streets in Greenwich Village, an icon of the historic neighborhood’s anachronistic character. But the origins of its name are hotly debated, with the LGBT rights movement and abolitionism often cited as the source of its unusual nomenclature. And while the street certainly has strong connections to gay liberation and the African-American struggle for freedom, the history behind the name is a little murkier, and a little more complicated to unravel, than one might expect.

Get the story

Featured Story

Features, Green Design, Where I Work

In his first year as the Director of Sustainability at the Institute of Culinary Education, Chef Bill Telepan has immersed himself in the school’s indoor hydroponic garden, an agriculture system that uses LED light in a climate-controlled environment. Over 50 different crop varieties are grown at any time in the garden, providing culinary students access to herbs typically not found fresh in NYC.

“As a chef, you taste things in your head and can put them all together, sort of mentally, and then prepare it,” Telepan said when asked about the benefits of the garden for students. Throughout his career, he’s been committed to using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local greenmarkets. He has worked in France under famed chef Alain Chapel, owned his own Upper West Side restaurant (Telepan) for a decade, and currently runs NYC seafood spot Oceana. Telepan gave 6sqft a tour of ICE’s hydroponic garden and told us how he became the institute’s first ever sustainability director, or as he describes it “a culmination of everything I’ve done as a chef and a person.”

More

Featured Story

Features, Manhattan, Murray Hill, real estate trends

Via Jeffrey Zeldman on Flickr

Unlike many New York City neighborhoods that have reputations that travel far beyond their borders, for many years, Murray Hill has remained low key. If Murray Hill hasn’t always been quick to flaunt its assets, it may have something to do with its Quaker origins. After all, the “Murray” in Murray Hill points back to the Murray family—the clan of Quaker merchants who first settled the area in the mid-18th century.

Since the days of the Murray family, much has changed in the neighborhood. The “hill” has been leveled, the neighborhood is no longer considered uptown, and since the early 2000s, the neighborhood’s reputation as a quiet and staid residential enclave has also been shattered as a younger crowd has moved in. In fact, for much of the past two decades, at least some parts of Murray Hill have become synonymous with the bar scene along Third Avenue, which is primarily known as a playground for young professionals. More recently, the neighborhood is undergoing another shift as a new era of higher-end rentals and condo developments attract a somewhat more mature demographic.

More on Murray Hill

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

NYC Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach watching agents pour liquor into a sewer following a raid; via Wikimedia

One hundred years ago, the United States Congress passed a temporary Wartime Prohibition Act banning the sale of beverages with an alcohol content of over 1.28 percent. The 1918 amendment later led to full-blown Prohibition, which wouldn’t officially end until the early 1930s.

Find it difficult to imagine a spirit-less New York? In 1918, many New Yorkers, including city officials, also had a difficult time imagining a New York without alcohol. After all, with alcohol banned, the future remained uncertain for an estimated 9,000 hotel and saloon properties. The city itself stood to lose roughly $18 million in tax revenues related to the sale of liquor. In the end, however, New York not only survived the Prohibition Era but, indirectly, had its architecture altered.

Booze and bootlegging this way

Featured Story

Events, Features, maps

Whether you’re good and ready for sweater weather or you’re sorry to see summer go, there’s no avoiding the fact that fall is on the way. One way to savor the changing seasons is to enjoy the majestic hues of autumn foliage. If you’re hoping to catch the changing season at its peak, there’s no better tool to plan your leaf-peeping strategy than SmokyMountains.com‘s Fall Foliage Prediction Map. This interactive infograph will tell you when and where foliage is expected to appear, and when it will reach its peak, in your area.

Check out the map

Featured Story

East Village, Features, History

Community Gardeners at the Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden, 1974 via Liz Christie Community Garden

Awash in gray pavement and grayer steel, New York can be a metropolis of muted hues, but with 39 community gardens blooming between 14th Street and East Houston Street, the East Village is the Emerald City. The neighborhood boasts the highest concentration of community gardens in the country thanks to a proud history of grassroots activism that has helped transform once-abandoned lots into community oases.

By the mid-1970s, as the city fought against a ferocious fiscal crisis, nearly 10,000 acres of land stood vacant throughout the five boroughs. In 1973, Lower East resident Liz Christie, who lived on Mott Street, refused to let the neglected lots in her neighborhood lie fallow. She established the urban garden group Green Guerillas, a rogue band of planters who lobbed “seed bombs” filled with fertilizer, seeds, and water into vacant, inaccessible lots, hoping they would flourish and fill the blighted spaces with greenery.

Get to the root of the story!

Featured Story

Features, Upper West Side , Where I Work

Van Leeuwen, UWS, Where I Work

Ben (left), Laura and Pete in their UWS store

Ten years ago, with $60,000 on hand and no factory, Laura O’Neill and Pete and Ben Van Leeuwen decided to operate an ice cream truck in New York City. Instead of using gum stabilizers and fillers, they wanted to make their ice cream with all-natural, pure ingredients. The trio, none of whom have a culinary background, started testing ice cream recipes in the kitchen of their shared Brooklyn apartment. Today, Van Leeuwen has grown into a multimillion-dollar, multi-city dessert empire with numerous trucks and brick-and-mortar stores throughout NYC and Los Angeles.

Van Leeuwen remains known for its rich and delicious vegan flavors, which hit their menu about five years ago. With a formula of raw cashews, extra virgin coconut oil, pure cocoa butter, coconut cream, and organic cane sugar, the ice cream is beloved by vegans and non-vegans. “It’s not just good vegan ice cream–it’s incredible ice cream that happens to be vegan,” Laura told us. Pete, Ben, and Laura recently gave us a tour of one of their new NYC stores, a small pastel-painted shop on the Upper West Side. Ahead, hear from Laura about Van Leeuwen’s humble start in Brooklyn, the decision-making-process behind new flavors, and plans to expand even further.

Read the sweet background here

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.