Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Greenpoint apartment of musician-couple Sara McDonald and Amit Peled. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Growing up in a military family that moved almost every year, Sara McDonald tried to feel settled in each new city by furnishing her room with framed photos and special pillows. “I would always spend a ton of time organizing and decorating my room even though I knew it wasn’t permanent,” she told us. “I just wanted to feel at home where we lived.” In her Greenpoint apartment she shares with boyfriend Amit Peled, Sara has been able to do just that, styling her place exactly how she wants with Craigslist finds and unique mementos from abroad.
Both musicians (they met at the School of Jazz at The New School), Sara and Amit needed space for their many instruments. Thankfully, Sara, who composes and arranges music for her big band NYChillharmonic and plays the French horn, and Amit, a guitarist, and member of a hard-core Klezmer band, can use their apartment’s second bedroom as a music studio. Their apartment boasts a vintage vibe, credited mainly to Sara’s resilient effort to find pieces she wants online. Nearly everything in the couple’s home cost them less than $200, with even the mahogany spinet piano picked up for free. “I always know exactly what I want, almost to a fault,” she said. Ahead, meet Sara and Amit and learn how they made this funky Brooklyn apartment their own.
Photo by Scott Beale
Summer in the city can be a slog, but neighborhoods like Williamsburg turn the dog days into a wealth of seasonal perfection with peerless places, rare and unique tastes, and unbeatable views around every corner. From pools and parks and ice cream parlors for family fun to chic rooftop boîtes overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhood offers endless urban opportunities to beat the heat. Below are just a few ways to keep cool and carry on.
The Williamsburg summer survival guide
Photo via Flickr cc
What do Woody Guthrie, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Frank Schubert (the nation’s last civilian lighthouse keeper) have in common? They all lived in Sea Gate, a private community at the westernmost tip of Coney Island. Sea Gate began as a 19th-century playground for the rich, turned into a hotbed of Yiddish literature and Socialist labor activism in the 1930s, and sported at least one commune in the early ‘70s. Today, Sea Gate is home to about 8,000 residents who enjoy private beaches and expansive views of the Verrazano Bridge.
If you want to “get in the Gate,” as the locals say, but aren’t ready to relocate west of the Wonder Wheel, you can snag a summer membership at the Sea Gate Beach Club, where even non-residents can while away the hours under a cabana. Or, you can read on for the history of a Coney Island beach town you’ve probably never been to.
When Cassie Harwood-Jacquet moved to NYC from Adelaide, Australia eight years ago, she thought she’d only stay for a few months. But after scoring a job in a salon (she’d worked as a hairstylist for a decade back home), meeting her husband Matt, and having him move to New York from Paris to continue his career as a menswear designer, she decided to put down roots. Cassie and Matt now have an adorable three-year-old daughter named Fanella Rose and a lovely, family-friendly duplex in Chelsea. To balance her life as a working mom, Cassie set up her own salon, Maison Jacquet, in their apartment. 6sqft recently paid the Jacquets a visit and got a tour of their contemporary, colorful, and comfortable home and chatted with Cassie about raising children in Chelsea, working from home, and how she and Matt decorated their space.
Take the tour and meet Cassie
Photo via Flickr
The Rockaways is the quintessential beach getaway for those looking to soak up some sun and still remain in the city. Once known as “New York’s Playground,” the Rockaways offers a 5.5 mile stretch of bustling boardwalk and over 120 acres of sandy beach. While definitely a go-to spot for city-dwellers, navigating the Rockaways can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the Queens neighborhood. We’ve rounded up the best of the Rockaways, including how to get there, where to soak up the sun, and, of course, the best spots to wine and dine.
Rockaways this way
Photo of Asbury Park’s Convention Hall and boardwalk, via Flickr cc
If you lived along the Jersey Shore in the ’80s and ’90s, Asbury Park was not a place you went. After getting its start in the late 1800s as a summer escape for wealthy residents of NYC and Philly, the 1.6-square-mile town boomed again in the ’50s and ’60s as a grungey, artsy hangout. But after the race riots in the 1970s, the town fell into disrepair and was forgotten by local stakeholders. Fast forward to today, and Asbury is booming–we once aptly described it as “Williamsburg meets Bruce Springsteen-land meets Venice Beach.”
Like many gentrifying/revitalized areas, the change can be attributed to a developer with foresight. In this case, the team at iStar realized the opportunity nine years ago. They now own 35 acres of land in Asbury, including 70 percent of the waterfront, and are investing more than $1 billion in the town. Their projects include the luxury condo Monroe, the renovated Asbury Lanes bowling alley/performance venue, The Asbury Hotel, and, most recently, the Asbury Ocean Club, a hotel-condo hybrid that made headlines for its $1,050/night suite. Unsurprisingly, iStar has received its share of criticism, but that hasn’t stopped New Yorkers from flooding the seaside city in the summertime. Ahead, we delve into the social and cultural landscape of Asbury and talk with iStar’s Brian Cheripka about the lesser-known politics behind their plans, why they decided to invest in Asbury Park, and what we can expect to see in the future.
Photo via Flickr cc
The tumult and unrest in the streets of Puerto Rico right now harken back to a time when many Puerto Rican New Yorkers were also agitating in the streets for long-overdue reform and change. One milestone in that history took place 50 years ago when several Puerto Rican activists gathered in the East Village to found the New York Chapter of the Young Lords. This began a flowering of Puerto Rican cultural and social ferment in the East Village, the legacy of which can still be seen and experienced in the neighborhood today. From Tompkins Square Park to the Nuyorican Poets Café, here are six of the most significant spots.
Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Greenwich Village apartment of Museum Hack founder Nick Gray. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
A few years ago, a date brought Nick Gray to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and showed him all of the pieces she really loved. Something clicked. “The passion was contagious,” Nick said. “I went back to the museum dozens of times, iPad in hand, doing a deep dive into the pieces I found most interesting.” As this became a serious hobby, Nick, who has no background in art or history, began inviting friends to join him at the Met to teach them fun facts about lesser-known works of art and artifacts. What started as a new obsession with museums, grew into Museum Hack, a million-dollar company that leads “renegade” small-group tours of museums in New York City and four other cities.
Nick’s enthusiasm follows him into his Greenwich Village apartment, where its minimalist design comes packed with memories. On a recent tour of his apartment–which boasts super tall ceilings, a skylight, and a wood-burning fireplace–he eagerly showed us a wall covered with polaroids of friends, his blue velvet couch inspired by a piece of furniture at the Met, and a large photo of “the craziest party” he’s ever thrown. Ahead, tour Nick’s bright pad, take his advice for museum newbies and learn about what he has planned next (it involves guacamole).
Meet Nick and see inside his apartment
There are few summer pleasures more sublime than drinking aboard a boat, though, in New York City, those are hard to come by unless you’re buddies with a yacht owner. The good news is, there are a handful of bars actually located onboard barges and boats, where you can sip wine and watch the sunset as the waves bob below. Here are our favorites; and do note the Staten Island Ferry is an unofficial boat bar, too.
Bowne & Co. Stationers today, via Flickr cc
Bowne & Co. Stationers, which the South Street Seaport Museum bills as the city’s “oldest operating business under the same name,” has been a presence in Lower Manhattan since 1775. That year, Robert Bowne opened a dry goods and stationery store at 39 Queen Street. Following the American Revolution, Bowne & Co. grew along with the Port of New York, providing the advertising, stationary, and financial printing that made it possible for life and commerce at the port to function and thrive. Because New York’s printers were responsible for printing everything from stock certificates to tugboat notices, steamship broadsides to cargo invoices, fishmongers’ business cards to bankers’ prospectuses, the industry helped the city emerge as the world’s busiest port, and its preeminent financial center.