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Murray's Cheese, NYC cheese caves, Rob Kaufelt, James and Karla Murray

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning photographers James and Karla Murray return to give us a behind-the-scenes tour of Murray’s Cheese. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Murray’s Cheese was founded in 1940 on Cornelia Street. When Rob Kaufelt bought the business in 1991, he grew the store into an internationally known food destination that now includes educational programs, a full-service restaurant, catering, and state-of-the-art cheese aging caves in Long Island City. Personally, our love affair with Murray’s Cheese began in 1994, when we were newlyweds on a budget, often buying cheese from the small Bleecker Street store to eat with some freshly baked bread purchased from the nearby Zito & Sons Bakery. Plus, with Murray’s being our namesake, we felt an immediate connection to the store.

Just last month, the Kroger Company purchased the equity of Murray’s Cheese and its flagship Greenwich Village location to form a merger of the two companies. As this new era approaches, we decided to capture all the cheesy goodness of the store, restaurant, and caves, as well as chat with Rob, cavemaster PJ, and Murray’s Cheese Bar’s general manager Jake Goznikar to learn about Murray’s history, unique contributions to local and world-wide food culture, and future.

Take the grand tour

Celebrities, Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, History

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr may have dueled in Weehawken, New Jersey, but they also both left their mark on Greenwich Village. At the end of the 18th century, Burr began buying up land around Bedford and Downing Streets for his Richmond Hill country estate (a Federal rowhouse here recently hit the market for $5.75 million). Hamilton’s connection is much less glamorous: On July 12, 1804, the day after the duel, he died in the home of his friend William Bayard. According to a plaque on the building, this took place at 82 Jane Street, where a listing for a $3,495/month one-bedroom also backs up the claim. But historians say Bayard actually lived a block north on Horatio Street.

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Celebrities, Greenwich Village

Back in September, after a 19-month legal battle, John and Yoko Ono‘s son Sean was ordered by a Manhattan judge to remove a tree on his Greenwich Village property at 153 West 13th Street after neighbors Gary and Addie Tomei (parents of actress Marisa Tomei) claimed it spread roots on their property, “cracking the stoop, breaking the railings, and coming through the basement floor of their townhouse,” as 6sqft explained. The Post now reports that Lennon has finally settled on the $10 million suit and removed the pesky tree.

The whole story

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Historic Homes, Interiors

The listing brags that this Greenwich Village co-op looks like something out of a movie, and we’d have to agree. A two-year restoration of this apartment, which occupies the third floor of the 1839 Greek Revival townhouse 158 Waverly Place, left the 2,000-square-foot space looking gorgeous. Historic details are paired with both intricate wallpaper patterns and modern amenities. The apartment, too, has hosted a notable crew of residents. The townhouse was built for Lambert Suydam, the former president of Manhattan Gas & Light Co., and then the third floor was later occupied by Oscar winning actress Judy Holliday between 1948 and 1952. The latest owner, Thomas Ruff, is a German photographer who purchased it in 2006 for $1.65 million, according to public records. And now the co-op can be rented for $12,495 a month.

Take a look

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

The aren’t many glassy condo developments in Greenwich Village, but this one at 3 West 13th Street has an apartment up for sale. The two-bedroom pad occupies the entire eighth floor and is accessed by a private key-locked elevator. Floor-to-ceiling windows, white tile flooring and a modern gas fireplace lend to an aesthetic the listing dubs “sleek and sexy.”

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Greenwich Village

Justin Timberlake may be bringing sexy back to Greenwich Village, as the Post reports that he was seen checking out the sprawling triplex penthouse at 12 East 13th Street. The mod pad was first listed for $30.5 million in 2013, but has since been cut nearly in half to $18.5 million. It boasts amazing architectural details like a three-story, sloped wall of glass and a dramatic sculptural staircase, as well as luxury offerings including two massive terraces and two parking spots.

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Celebrities, Greenwich Village, Recent Sales

It’s safe to say this $40 million penthouse is of the “venti” size, considering it’s the priciest unit in new mega-development the Greenwich Lane and, at $7,159/square foot, one of the most expensive residential sales in Greenwich Village to date. Though The Real Deal reports that the buyer is Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, whose estimated $3 billion net worth makes this a drop in the bucket. The 5,587-square-foot duplex spans the 16th and 17th floors and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with skyline views and more than 1,600 square feet of private outdoor space.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

This charming Greenwich Village studio costs just a hair under $1 million after a recent price chop. Located at the cooperative 45 West 10th Street, the pad first hit the market last summer asking $1.075 million and the price has whittled away in the months since down to $995,000. (It last sold in 2007, for $495,000.) This studio does boast some perks, like a separate bedroom nook that creates space for a charming, bookshelf-lined living room, as well as a massive private backyard.

Take a look

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

140 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village tiny apartment, Murphy bed

Some smart design maximizes space at this Greenwich Village studio, located at 140 West 10th Street and asking $3,495 a month. The wall and Murphy bed system was designed in Italy by the space saving furniture company Clei, and the system provides a flexible space that can be transformed into either an entertaining area or bedroom.

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Celebrities, Cool Listings, Greenwich Village

Shepard Smith has been bestowed with the dubious title of “most likeable anchor on Fox News,” and the popular breaking news chief won even more points for defending competitor CNN against PEOTUS ranting. But he’s also looking to get some real estate points by selling his Greenwich Village apartment at 65 West 13th Street for $4.9 million (h/t Luxury Listings). Smith bought the 2,341-square-foot condo in 2004 for $1.875 million, briefly listing it for $4 mil in 2011.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

What’s a loft apartment without towering ceilings above? This lofty prewar building, at 30 West 13th Street in Greenwich Village, was converted to co-op in 1978 and holds 24 units. This one, now on the market for $3.5 million, is a sprawling three bedroom with dramatic beamed ceilings in the open living and dining room. This last sold in $2.3 million in 2004 and has been on and off the market since 2015, when it was first asking $3.95 million.

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Celebrities, Greenwich Village

It’s more common to see NYC’s rich and famous buy to combine, but Craig Newmark—better known as the brains behind Craigslist—appears to want to cozy up in smaller quarters. Back in May, Newmark dropped nearly $6 million on a massive 6,075-square-foot, three-bedroom duplex at 52 West 9th Street, and now according to The Real Deal, he’s making plans to transform the generous spread into a two-family home.

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Celebrities, Greenwich Village, Recent Sales

Comedian Louis C.K. (real name Louis Székely) already owns four units in a West Village brownstone, but these were joint purchases with his ex-wife, painter Alix Baily. Though they openly maintain a good relationship, he’s now ventured out on his own, as the Observer reports that he dropped $2.45 million on a two-bedroom co-op at 101 West 12th Street, a larger apartment building a few blocks away.

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Architecture, Greenwich Village, Major Developments, New Developments

Coles Sports Center, 181 Mercer Street, Davis Brody Bond, KieranTimberlake, NYU expansion, NYU architecture

NYU’s controversial plan to replace their Coles Sports Center site at the corner of Mercer and Houston Streets received approvals way back in 2012, but due to community opposition and lawsuits, they only filed plans and began demolition this October. The Wall Street Journal now shares the first renderings of the hulking, 23-story, 735,000-square-foot building at 181 Mercer Street designed by Davis Brody Bond (who’s also responsible for the 9/11 Museum) and KieranTimberlake. It will cost a whopping $1 billion and host a bevy of uses, including 60 classrooms, common spaces, two cafes, practice/instruction rooms for the arts, three theaters, a giant athletic facility that’ll have four basketball courts and a six-lane lap pool, 30 to 60 faculty apartments, and a 420-bed freshman dorm.

Lots more renderings and details

Celebrities, Greenwich Village, Recent Sales

A $2 million real estate loss sounds like quite the hit, but to environmental activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose net worth is $217 million, it probably won’t make too big of a dent. Back in 2014, he dropped $10 million on a three-bedroom Greenwich Village condo in The Delos, an uber eco-friendly building that boasts vitamin C-infused showers, purified air and water, in-duct aromatherapy, and posture-supporting flooring. He rarely resided there (he owns another environmentally conscious apartment in Battery Park City), but has been renting the apartment for $25,000 a month since March 2015 to Bill Clinton’s economic policy advisor Jonathan Orszag. Now the Observer reports that the apartment has sold to an LLC for $8 million.

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Greenwich Village, holidays

$1,000, as the Post notes, could pay for more than 600 meals for the homeless at the Bowery Mission, or 25 holiday gifts for in-need New Yorkers through the Winter Wishes program. It could also get you an “exotic” white fir Christmas tree off the street in Greenwich Village. Sixteen-year tree saleswoman Heather Neville, who runs a stand at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street, is charging $77 per foot for a 13-foot tree, which equals $750. Add to that a $200 stand, $25 delivery and setup fee, and $20 for the three men doing the job, and you’ve got yourself a four-figure Christmas tree.

If you think this is bad, just wait

affordable housing, Greenwich Village

As a way to offer lower-cost housing options, NYU is piloting a program this fall that will let students live in the spare bedrooms of local senior citizens. Dubbed the “home stay” program, it would cut in half the university’s housing bill, reports the Post, as well as provide income to hosts. According to Gothamist, the program is part of a larger affordability initiative that NYU President Andrew Hamilton put forth when he assumed his role in January. The school’s $65,000/year tuition makes it the third most expensive in the country, and undergraduate housing ranges from $10,500 for a shared bedroom to $21,000 for a private suite.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

8 East 12th Street, Greenwich Village, Lofts, Cool Listings

While the $4.2 million price may sound steep, this sprawling 10th floor loft at 8 East 12th Street on the east side of Greenwich Village checks the boxes for just about every dreamy detail you’d need or want in a city apartment. At 2,330 square feet with four bedrooms, closets galore and an enormous great room, there’s more than enough space for family, friends and guests. High-floor views go all the way down to One World Trade, and high ceilings accentuate the brightness in every room–and then there are the sunsets. Though there may be no million-dollar parking spots or Olympic-sized pool, this covetable condo is far from no-frills. Central air, a laundry room, marble baths and a chef-ready European kitchen are just a few just-right details; the building is located in one of the finest spots a Manhattan dweller could ask for, just blocks from Washington Square Park, the East Village, the Union Square Greenmarket and nearly every subway in the city.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

There’s lots of lofty space at this three-bedroom apartment at 303 Mercer Street, a Greenwich Village cooperative. Two units were combined into one and the seamless space was designed with chic, upscale finishes like mahogany doors, crown moldings and Brazilian hardwood floors. (Not to mention three different chandeliers.) The listing calls it Greenwich Village’s only three-bedroom, two-bathroom pad under $3.5 million with an ask of $3.25 million.

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Celebrities, Greenwich Village, Recent Sales

67 East 11th Street, The Cast Iron Building, Kate Bock, Greenwich Village lofts

Things have been heating up between Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Kevin Love and Canadian supermodel Kate Bock, but the Sports Illustrated beauty doesn’t seem to be settling down in Ohio anytime soon. The Post reports that she’s the lucky new owner of this sleek Greenwich Village duplex, last listed for $1.35 million. Located in the Cast Iron Building at 67 East 11th Street, the one-bedroom loft boasts a mod, all-white interior highlighted by two enormous ten-foot windows and a contemporary floating staircase.

Take a look around

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