Award-winning pastry chef Tracy Wilk says, “being in the kitchen makes me happy; it emits a sense of calm where love is shown with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.” When the pandemic struck her home of New York City, she found herself with too many treats to eat herself. So, she began sharing them with essential workers. This turned into an international movement called #BakeItForward, which is also the title of Tracy’s new cookbook. Not only does the book contain a ton of yummy recipes–from Quarantine Banana Bread to Classic Snickerdoodles–but it also includes inspirational stories from bakers and frontline workers around the world.
There’s no way to describe this past year in words. We can list all the adjectives–painful, scary, hopeful, etc.–but no combination can truly articulate what it meant to be a New Yorker during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Sunday, the city will mark March 14–one year since NYC lost its first resident to the virus–with an official day of remembrance for the nearly 30,000 city residents who passed away. For our part, we decided to speak with our fellow New Yorkers and ask who or what they would like to remember on this somber anniversary. It might be someone they’ve lost, someone who did something heroic, or a larger group or event that played a role. And with these raw stories, we think we can describe this year, through all the feelings that can never be put into words.
Portrait of George Washington via Wikimedia, Photo of Chester Alan Arthur via Wikimedia; Photo of Theodore Roosevelt via Wikimedia; Photo of Barack Obama via Wikimedia; Photo of Donald Trump via Wikimedia
New York City’s presidential history runs deep. Our nation’s very first president lived in the inaugural presidential mansion on Cherry Street during the city’s two-year reign as the country’s capital. As the 2020 presidential election finally wraps up, we’re taking a look at this original New York presidential residence, as well as those that followed, including Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama, and most recently, Donald Trump.
Courtesy of Village Preservation
The former New York City home of author and organizer Jane Jacobs was honored this week with a historic plaque. The Village Preservation on Thursday unveiled the plaque at 555 Hudson Street in Greenwich Village during a virtual event. The 1842-constructed row house is where Jacobs, who died in 2006, wrote “Death and Life of Great American Cities,” a critique of urban planning of the 1950s and a call for more safe, walkable city streets and mixed-use development.
Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Crown Publishing announced that a new book by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” will be released on October 13, 2020, just three weeks before election day, as the Associated Press notes. According to Crown, the book will provide Cuomo’s “personal reflections and the decision-making that shaped his policy, and offers his frank accounting and assessment of his interactions with the federal government and the White House, as well as other state and local political and health officials.”
Times are tough in New York, but New Yorkers are even tougher. Though we’re facing a lot of challenges right now, one way to get through it is to try to find a “silver lining.” Here at 6sqft, we thought all of us in NYC could use some positivity, so we asked our fellow New Yorkers to share their personal silver linings. From 3D printing face masks to spending more time with family to stepping it up in the kitchen to witnessing communities coming together, here are some of the things that are providing some light in these dark times.
In the face of adversity or when tragedy strikes, New Yorkers band together in a remarkable way. Over the years, from World War I to the AIDS epidemic to 9/11, residents of NYC have emerged as true heroes, aiding in war efforts, saving lives, and at times, making the ultimate sacrifices. In today’s current crisis, we are seeing thousands of heroes every day working in our hospitals and grocery stores and who are fighting day in and day out to save lives and flatten the curve of coronavirus. Ahead, we’ve put together 11 questions that will test your knowledge of New York City heroes over the years and hopefully remind you that we will get through this.
Photos courtesy of Invisible Hands
If you needed more evidence that New Yorkers come together in a time of crisis, look no further than Invisible Hands. The premise of the volunteer group is that low-risk people can help to bring groceries and supplies to those in demographics at high risk for COVID-19. Simone, Liam, and Healy — “healthy 20-somethings in NYC” — started the group just nine days ago, and today have amassed 7,000 volunteers across New York City and parts of Jersey City. Yesterday, we spoke with Liam Elkind about what it’s been like starting this incredible group, how New Yorkers have been able to “pull together when it feels like the world is trying to pull us apart,” and what Invisible Hands hopes for the future.
A portion of the map by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Three years ago, journalist Rebecca Solnit and geographer/writer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro created City of Women, a subway map that replaces stations with significant women in NYC’s history and cultural landscape. The map was originally part of their book “Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas,” but they’ve now done an updated version that’s currently for sale at the New York Transit Museum. In this revamp, they’ve assigned a woman to all 424 subway stations and have added 80 names, including Cardi B and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ahead, we chat with Joshua to learn more about the inspiration behind the map, how they chose the names, and what’s next.
Genevieve Gorder on the set of “Best Room Wins” with Elle Decor Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson. Photo by Nicole Weingart/Bravo.
From getting her first design job at MTV during the station’s height in the ’90s to being selected as one of the original designers on TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” Genevieve Gorder says she feels eternally grateful for her timing. “I hit a lot of those key moments at the right time for when I was born, and I don’t know how I keep doing it, but I’m very grateful I do.” When Genevieve says she’s “grateful,” we know it’s authentic. This is why the interior designer has achieved the success she has, appearing in more than 20 TV shows over her 20-year career. She’s a person everyone feels comfortable around, whether it’s with a family who shares her Midwestern roots or a New York City neighbor.
Her latest endeavor, the design show “Best Room Wins,” aired last week, and once again, it’s Genevieve’s warmth, grace, and exceptional talent that are on full view. 6sqft recently caught up with Genevieve to learn more about her background and time on “Trading Spaces,” why she feels the new show is “smarter, sexier, and more real,” and what her favorite spots in the city are.