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Features, NYC Guides, Policy, real estate trends, stuff you should know

How 100 years of zoning has shaped New York City

By Cait Etherington, Fri, December 2, 2016

historic midtown empire state building view

In October, city officials unveiled plans to rezone a large swath of East Harlem. The major thrust of the rezoning initiative is to bring more high-rise buildings to a corridor running several blocks along Park, Second, and Third avenues. By building up, city officials hope the neighborhood will increase its housing stock, including its affordable housing stock. In the long term, the proposed rezoning will also radically reshape the East Harlem’s appearance and street life, turning it from a mostly low-rise to high-rise neighborhood. What is about to happen to East Harlem, however, is a familiar story. Since 1916, when New York passed its first zoning resolution, the city has been profoundly shaped by zoning regulations.


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apartment living 101, Design, Features, Green Design, holidays, NYC Guides

Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we’ve rounded up some alternative holiday tree ideas for those living in tight spaces.

While you could buy a Charlie Brown tree, or try ask to have a few feet knocked off that pine when you hit the register, if you’re a small space dweller who wants a more eco-friendly holiday arbol this year, there are plenty of options for you beyond the classic artificial fir (which fyi is even more environmentally unsound than chopping down an evergreen thanks to the carcinogens produced during manufacturing and disposal). From edible trees to LED pines to DIY options that smell just as good as the real thing, 6sqft has searched high and low for 10 different types of sustainable Christmas tree alternatives to jazz your apartment up with this year—and years to come.

ten alternative ideas here

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apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides, real estate trends

No, you don’t have to suffer in a sub-zero apartment this winter, nor do you need to dine with mice and roaches in your kitchen during the summer. If you’re one of the many constantly finding themselves up in arms over a negligent landlord, rest assured there’s more that you can do beyond grumbling to your friends. Indeed, in NYC tenants have a lot of power, and the city has established a number of regulations to protect you, your family, and especially young children living in rental properties. Ahead is 6sqft’s list of the most common problems New York renters face—and some advice on how to get those issues fixed quickly.

Your rights here

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apartment living 101, Features, Interiors, NYC Guides

10 easy ways to give your rental kitchen a makeover

By Diane Pham, Tue, August 30, 2016

rental kitchen makeover ideas

6sqft’s series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we’ve got tips on how to give your rental kitchen an inexpensive makeover.

For renters, the kitchen is often the least attractive area of their home. And this is especially true in NYC where landlords often turn to the cheapest finishes, built-ins and fixtures they can find in order to save a few dollars. But even if your apartment ultimately won’t be your forever home, there’s no reason suffer through an interior design nightmare. Ahead 6sqft highlights 10 easy and affordable ways to transform a ugly rental kitchen into a chic space—all without putting your deposit at risk.

Our 10 tips here

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apartment living 101, City Living, Features, NYC Guides, Products

Barbecuing in NYC, grilling in NYC, indoor grilling, best grills

6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we provide a comprehensive guide to indoor and outdoor grilling in NYC.

Nothing says summer like a perfectly charred burger or buttery ear of corn, but for many New Yorkers these warm-weather goodies are reserved for weekend jaunts to the suburbs or sub-par restaurant versions. If you want to get in on the grilling action without leaving the boroughs, there are plenty of options to barbecue both outside and in. It’ll just require a little insider knowledge of the city’s rules and regulations, so to help in the process, 6sqft has done the research, as well as put together handy tips and some of the best products.

Things are heating up right this way

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apartment living 101, City Living, Features, Green Design, Interviews, NYC Guides, Technology

fred maxik of lighting science

Studies have shown that getting a good night’s sleep is critical to keeping one’s self happy, healthy and fully functioning. But with advances in technology, modern humans have increasingly found themselves typing and swiping into the wee hours of the night without any regard for what time it is. Unfortunately, exposure to light before bed can have serious negative effects on our body, messing with our circadian rhythms and suppressing our ability to produce melatonin—the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles. But beyond feeling tired and irritable the next day, not getting enough sleep also has tremendous long-term effects that include, but are certainly not limited to, depression, immune stress, weight gain, premature aging and disease. Luckily, there are researchers out there harnessing the power of the light spectrum to engineer light bulbs that work with our bodies and environment, rather than against them.

To help urban dwellers sleep better, we tapped Lighting Science Group founder and Chief Technology Officer Fred Maxik to learn more about the challenges we face when it comes to city and indoor light, as well as for some tips on how to improve health, productivity, sleep, and even happiness by simply switching bulbs. Lighting Science is one of the world’s leading LED manufacturers and they’ve worked with everyone from NASA to national sports teams to the creators of the Lowline Underground Park.

Learn more about what lighting is best for your home and health here

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apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides

6sqft’s series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we’ve rounded up tips on how to get rid of and deal with mosquitoes this summer. 

New York’s hot and humid summers bring all sorts of agony, but the bites of unrelenting mosquitoes may be the worst of all. While in past years these buzzers haven’t been much more than a itchy nuisance, this year, the Zika virus has everyone on high alert. In February, the World Health Organization declared the virus a threat to public health across the globe. To date, no vaccine exists.

As of June 8th, there have been 133 cases of Zika reported in NYC. However, the species of mosquito spreading Zika (the Aedes aegypti) has not yet been spotted in the city and all cases caught the virus while abroad. Nonetheless, with a potential threat looming, the city has launched a campaign to get New Yorkers to do their part, which includes tips on how to prevent the mosquito population from propagating. Ahead we’ll cover some of the same ground, on top of other tips to keep mosquitoes from entering your home and attacking your body—because any way you look at it, mosquito bites are no fun!

What you can do, this way

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apartment living 101, Features, NYC Guides, Products

6sqft’s series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we’ve found products that can help turn your fire escape into a mini warm weather oasis. 

If your fire escape is the closest you’ll get to a backyard this summer, fear not–6sqft has dug up some products that will turn this tiny space into much more than a place to set up some potted herbs. From grills to desks, we’ve found six clever items that require nothing more than the railing of your fire escape. Of course, consult your lease and talk to your landlord before installing them (technically putting objects on the fire escape is illegal, however they’re becoming a thing of the past due to safety concerns), but once you get the go-ahead these designs are sure to maximize your outdoor enjoyment.

See them all this way

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apartment living 101, Features, Interiors, NYC Guides

20 Kitchen Cleaning Hacks for Lazy People

By Annie Doge, Mon, May 9, 2016

kitchen cleaning hacks

Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. Last week, 6sqft rounded up a list of 15 air-purifying plants to add indoors. This week we’ve pulled together 20 kitchen cleaning tips for the lazy (or busy) man and woman.

Most of us would probably agree that keeping a home clean with any regularity can be a formidable challenge; because really, who wants to pour hours and hours into a tedious and thankless job that only promises to return with another layer of dirt? But while housekeeping is in general a groan-worthy task, the kitchen often poses its own hell, especially when shared with roommates who seem almost clueless as to how a sponge and soap work. Though we don’t have a solution for making those dirty dishes in your sink disappear, we do have 20 cleaning hacks for keeping a (reasonably) clean kitchen that even the laziest person can squeeze in between Netflix and chill sessions.

20 tips for quick and easy cleaning here

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CityRealty, Features, NYC Guides, Policy, stuff you should know

Stuff You Should Know: How Eminent Domain Works

By Penelope Bareau, Wed, May 4, 2016

atlantic yards before and after

The Atlantic Yards (now known as Pacific Park) in Brooklyn where eminent domain was used to take property. Image via Atlantic Yards Report

It has been called the most coercive public policy after the draft. It has also been said that without it, construction in major cities would come to a shuddering stop. What is this powerful, controversial tool? Can both statements be true?

Eminent domain is the policy by which a governmental agency can acquire or “take” property from an owner unwilling to sell in order to build something else there, and it has been around for centuries. Some say it derives from the medieval concept of the divine right of kings, empowered by God the Almighty to be sovereign over all. And by inference, that includes the land, which individual owners occupy and trade at the king’s sufferance. When he wants it back, it is his right to take it. So under eminent domain, all land theoretically belongs to the state, which can assume control at any time.

more on eminent domain here


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