House tour season is kicking off on May 2 this year with the opening of the Kips Bay Decorator’s Show House and will continue throughout the summer at various sites throughout the city, New Jersey, and farther afield. For architecture buffs, history junkies, and avid gardeners, this time of year offers the rare opportunity to get an insider’s look at some of the most spectacular homes and surprising gardens in and around New York City. Below we’ve rounded up 14 of the season’s best tours, from the Upper East Side to Park Slope to Nyack to Long Beach Island, and we’re sure everyone will find something to suit their interests and budget.
As details like discounts and transit perks are discussed in the wake of New York’s newly approved plan to levy a congestion fee on vehicles entering Manhattan’s business district south of 61st Street, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has voiced objections to the plan, saying it it could be unfair to New Jersey residents, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the New York Post, commuter rail discounts are on the way for New York City residents coming from areas–such as some in northeast Queens–not served by subways, where the MTA agreed to knock 20 percent–$45–off monthly passes for LIRR commuters entering and leaving Penn Station. The MTA will also invest $3 million for express bus service from Queens to Midtown.
Hoboken’s Transportation Director Ryan Sharp; Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken
Hoboken is set to launch an electric scooter sharing program, the first in the state of New Jersey and one of the first in the tri-state area. The city’s transportation department on Wednesday night passed an ordinance that allows for a six-month pilot program with companies Lime and P3GM to roll out next month. According to the law, the scooters can travel up to 20 miles per hour in bike lanes, but will not be allowed on sidewalks.
Rendering by Binyan Studios
After over a decade in the works, the Jersey Shore is getting its first five-star boutique hotel. The Asbury Ocean Club, a 17-story hotel-condo, will open this June in Asbury Park, a hip beach community with working-class roots known for its flourishing foodie and surf scene, as well as its Bruce Springsteen connection. Opening this summer, the 54-room beachfront hotel occupies the building’s entire fourth floor and sits next to the pool deck, which offers water views. With its proximity to New York City, the Asbury Ocean Club Hotel hopes to attract New Yorkers looking for an oceanfront oasis. And the prices even mirror Manhattan, with rooms starting at $295 per night. Reservations officially launch May 1.
All images by Ben Gancsos, courtesy of District Kitchen
Harborside, the Jersey City waterfront district, opened its ground-level food hall, District Kitchen, this week. Located just seven minutes from Manhattan via the PATH, the Mack-Cali led development brings 13 new culinary vendors to the Harborside Atrium at 210 Hudson Street. Designed by TPG Architecture, the 12,750-square-foot space features nods to Jersey City’s industrial past and classic striped black-and-white floor tiles. The eclectic offerings come from local purveyors and include everything from pizza and burgers to Turkish and Indian food to a banana pudding bar.
Sketch by Richard La Rovere courtesy of the Journal Square Community Association
A Jersey City community association wants to turn an abandoned rail cut into a 17-acre High Line-style park. The Journal Square Community Association is proposing turning what used to be the Erie Railroad’s four-track cut through the Palisades into a public park. Better known as the Bergen Arches, the historic rail-cut borders Journal Square and opened in 1910, but has not been in use since the late 1950s. Since then, the Bergen Arches has become an overgrown wooded area in the expanding Journal Square neighborhood.
Asbury Park, NJ; via Wikimedia
A surcharge on short-term rentals took effect last October in New Jersey, making it one of the first big states to implement such a tax. An 11.6 percent tax, dubbed the “Airbnb tax,” applies to properties rented for fewer than 90 days made on home-sharing sites or directly between a renter and homeowner, excluding deals arranged through a broker. But as homeowners gear up for the summer season in the coming months, owners of Jersey Shore rental homes say the tax has made it harder to fully book their properties ahead of beach season, the New York Times reported.
Image courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty. Photo credit: Warren Young.
The listing for the circa 1867 Thomas Watlington house in Ridgewood, New Jersey’s Prospect Street Historic District calls it “unforgettable,” and it’s certainly not one you’d pass by without taking note. The six-bedroom Second Empire style home at 226 Prospect Street, on the market for $1.825 million, is filled with historic details. But the home’s wide, gracious porches, grand port-cocheres, in-ground heated pool and 3-car garage make it especially well suited for enjoying everyday life.
Photo via Wikimedia
In a statement this week, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka asked that New York City’s Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) Program providing homeless shelter residents with free rent for a year if they are willing to leave NYC be re-evaluated due to “serious defects.” A recent investigation by WNYC confirmed that some families ended up in “illegal and uninhabitable” apartments in Newark. As CBS New York reports, Baraka cited the fact that participants were coming to Newark under the program–which pays landlords a year’s worth of rent upfront–and ending up in the aforementioned conditions, then being abandoned to become homeless again when the year was up.
Photo via Flickr cc
Update 12/17/18: Following the public poll, the Port Authority says they will move the Christmas tree over the A and remove the wreath over the U in Tunnel.
The Port Authority is asking commuters to weigh in on the great Holland Tunnel holiday decoration debacle that many are calling an “OCD nightmare.” While the decorations have historically been placed to sit aligned symmetrically above the tunnel lanes, workers who were tasked with decking out the tolls created an eyesore by placing a triangular tree over the N in “Holland” and by putting a wreath over the U, turning the “Tunnel” into a “Tonnel.” As the New York Post reported, Cory Windelspecht of Tribeca decided to start a Change.org petition to challenge the decor faux pas. “I look at it and it makes me itch. It gives me anxiety and anger,” he fumed. “Why wouldn’t they just put [the tree] in front of the A?”