In a city where ever-rising rents often hamper potential small business owners from opening a storefront, mobile retail has become a popular alternative. Food trucks certainly led the way over the last few years, but the business model has spread beyond the culinary world and now includes a flower shop on wheels.
A year ago, Ashley Custer and Kristin Heckler introduced New York to Uprooted Flower Truck. The business parks in neighborhoods around Manhattan to sell their New York-inspired, hand-tied bouquets available in three sizes: studio, loft, and penthouse. The driving force behind Uprooted is to not only bring flowers directly to New Yorkers, but to help people engage with and hopefully gain a deeper appreciation for them. 6sqft recently spoke with Kristin to learn more about this budding business and how it’s developing a unique identity in the city.
Read our interview with Kristin
If you head west on the road that winds by the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, there’s a good chance you’ll see New Yorkers dressed in white, playing croquet on a stretch of green lawn. Yes, the sport associated with tea parties and country clubs has a home in New York thanks to the New York Croquet Club. But the club’s dedicated members are not playing the typical backyard version. Instead, they’re playing American Six-Wicket Croquet, an iteration of the sport played in the United States that exists on the croquet spectrum alongside the internationally played Association Rules as well as the widely popular Golf Croquet. American Six-Wicket is an intense game that’s full of strategy, as players try to maneuver balls with their mallets in ways that are hard for those unfamiliar with the sport to imagine.
At the New York Croquet Club’s helm is Peter Timmins, an ambassador for the sport in New York City. Peter tells everyone he meets to give croquet a try at one of the club’s free Monday evening clinics, which is exactly how he was first introduced to it. 6sqft recently spoke with Peter to learn about the complexities and excitement of croquet and why there is nothing better than playing the sport in Central Park.
Read the full interview here
Photograph of Roz Chast in her Studio, 2015, by Jeremy Clowe. Norman Rockwell Collections
In April, the Museum of the City of New York opened a new exhibit featuring the work of Roz Chast. While not every New Yorker may know Roz by name, most New Yorkers are familiar with her illustrations.
In 1978, just a year after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, Roz dropped off her portfolio at The New Yorker. The magazine not only selected one of her drawings for publication but also told Roz to keep the work coming. Since then, she has published over 1,200 works in The New Yorker, including 18 covers. And perhaps more than any other contemporary illustrator, Chast—a born and raised New Yorker—has consistently managed to capture the humor, beauty and at times, the sheer difficulty of living in the city.
Ahead we catch up with Roz, who reflects on her New York upbringing, her love for interiors, and what makes NYC so different from other cities.
read our interview with roz chast here
For many smear-loving New Yorkers, there’s no better way to usher in the weekend than with a bagel and lox. And one of the companies keeping this culinary tradition alive is Brooklyn-based Acme Smoked Fish, a family business that traces its roots back to 1906 when Harry Brownstein started selling fish out of a wagon.
For over 100 years, members of the Brownstein and Caslow families have been providing New York with smoked salmon, herring, fish salads, and other specialties. Adam Caslow and his cousin David Caslow are part of Acme’s fourth generation, continuing to grow the company and adapt to the city’s current “Renaissance in appetizing.” 6sqft recently spoke with Adam to learn more about Acme’s rich history, smoked fish, and how he feels about carrying on a family tradition.
Read the full interview
At a time when the inner workings of so many things have been demystified, magic still has the ability to stump us. But for magicians to make tricks look seamless, a tremendous amount of time is invested in perfecting the craft and engaging with colleagues who can help them grow and develop their skills. And in New York, magic is cultivated on a daily basis above the hustle and bustle of 34th Street at Tannen’s Magic.
The business has been serving the magic community since Louis Tannen opened a street stand in 1925. He later took the business indoors, where it became a gathering place for magicians of all ages and skill levels to purchase and practice their tricks. The current keeper of Tannen’s tradition is Adam Blumenthal, who fell in love with magic at a young age, in part thanks to the store, and is now responsible for ensuring its legacy and introducing it to a new generation of magicians. 6sqft recently spoke with Adam to learn more about magic, Tannen’s, and New York’s magicians.
Read the interview here
While temperatures outside are still a bit chilly, New York’s devoted wetsuit-clad surfers at Rockaway Beach are not deterred. Right now they have plenty of room in the water, but in the next few weeks there will be a bit more traffic when the busy summer crowds arrive at this popular surf spot. Amongst the experienced longboarders and shortboarders, there will be a fair number of newbies who’ll be starting their surfing journey under the guidance of Frank Cullen and the New York Surf School.
Frank has deep roots at Rockaway Beach. He first began surfing with the local guys during summers and later founded the New York Surf School there. When not out teaching kids and adults how to catch a wave, Frank is also a real estate broker working in Rockaway and parts of Brooklyn. Given his connection to the beach as a surfer and local resident, while also dabbling in local real estate, it goes without saying that he possesses a unique perspective on the changes taking place at Rockaway Beach.
6sqft recently spoke with Frank to find out more about surfing at Rockaway Beach, the New York Surf School, and to find out how he thinks the neighborhood will continue to change in the coming years.
read the interview here
An early appreciation for science can lead to a lifelong passion for the subject, but it can be a challenge to get elementary, middle and high school students excited about the sciences from inside the classroom, which is where the BioBus comes in. The mobile science lab was founded in 2008 by Ben Dubin-Thaler, who has a PhD in Biology from Columbia University. The bus began “as an experiment to test his hypothesis that, given the opportunity to use research-microscopes to perform live experiments, anyone would be excited about science.” To test his hypothesis, he purchased a bus on Craigslist and transformed it into a mobile laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art microscopes that could travel to students. The bus now serves thousands of New York City students and has a sister in the BioBase, located at the Lower East Side Girls Club, a hub created so that bus’s lessons can be expanded upon through additional programming.
BioBus’s Chief Scientist Sarah Weisberg is a great example of what’s possible with careers in science. While she originally envisioned working in academia as a researcher, she found her passion for science programming and advocacy through BioBus. She is now hard at work growing the organization and its mission of presenting science in a fun, accessible way to children. 6sqft recently spoke with Sarah to learn more about the BioBus and how it’s helping young New Yorkers discover their inner scientists.
Read the interview with Sarah here
At a time when Batman and Captain America are all over the big screens and sports culture is becoming increasingly digital, one might think superheroes’ and athletes’ presence on paper is waning. But collecting cards and comics is alive and well in Yorkville, where Alex’s MVP Cards and Comics has everything an X-Men-, Archie-, or sport-loving aficionado could want.
Alex Gregg first opened a store on the Upper East Side 27 years ago. The business grew out of his own personal collection and interest and is now the place to locate that latest rookie card, newest comic, or buy a piece of memorabilia. Alex certainly knows a great deal about history – particularly New York history – having worked for 22 years as a bartender at the famed (and now closed) establishment Elaine’s. 6sqft recently spoke with Alex about how cards and comics have both changed and remained the same and about his days at Elaine’s.
Read the interview with Alex
Image courtesy of New York Family
With school out for break this week, parents all over New York City have been looking for activities to occupy their youngsters. Many turn to Mommy Poppins, a local guide for the best preschools, classes, camps, events, trips, and generally fun stuff to do with kids in the city on every budget.
The go-to site for parents was founded in 2007 by native New Yorker Anna Fader who wanted to share her vision for a “more artsy, educational, non-commercialized and community-oriented way to raise kids in New York City.” It’s since expanded to include Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut, Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, as well as an app that helps parents find things like playgrounds and restaurants on the go. 6sqft recently caught up with Anna to learn about her personal experiences raising a family downtown and get some insider tips on the best things to do with kids in New York.
Read the interview here
New Yorkers tend to have go-to writers who they read day in and day out — with their morning coffee, on the subway, or winding down after a long day. For many, Jason Gay is on this team of journalists. As a sports columnist for The Wall Street Journal, he regularly provides sports coverage, insights, and opinions for the paper’s readership. He writes extensively about specific players and teams, but also pens features that touch upon the human aspects and humor that can be found on and off the court.
Jason has become known for his funny rule-centric columns, including the very popular “The 32 Rules of Thanksgiving Touch Football” and “The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym.” This passion for rules took shape as a book, “Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living,” which takes seemingly banal topics — parenthood, exercise, office life, travel, and the holidays — and celebrates how the smallest accomplishments in life are often the most meaningful.
6sqft recently spoke to Jason about sports, writing for the Journal, and how “Yankees World Championships are like real estate closings.”
Read the interview with Jason