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.
“Integrity, vigorous work ethic, and a strategic business approach,” form the platform that Candice Milano and Malessa Rambarran bring as brokers to the NYC real estate world. But there’s no “broker babble” here. The duo–who recently joined Halstead as the Milano-Rambarran Team–consider themselves the “next generation of real estate,” forming important relationships with their new development clients and growing their luxury resale business. But what sets them apart the most is their mission to bring this knowledge of how to use real estate as a wealth building tool to the public, specifically women. They’ve even created their own platform, Women in Residential Real Estate (WIRRE) to foster this community and connect people through their series of curated events. Ahead, 6sqft chats with Candice and Malessa about how their approach, how they got into real estate, and why it’s so important to support fellow females.
Park image via Elliot Scott on Flickr; image of Silver via NYC Parks
Mitchell J. Silver, the commissioner of the New York City Parks Department, tells us he’s 58 years old. But with his vibrant enthusiasm and energy for parks, fitness, and life in general, it’s hard to believe. Only as he details a list of his achievements and accolades over the years does his age show. Silver, who oversees the management and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of city parks, calls himself the “commissioner of fun,” a title he strives to live up to every day. This summer, Silver launched “Cool Pools,” an initiative to renovate public pools, celebrated making Central Park car-free, and increased accessibility to parks for all New Yorkers. If you want to feel good, follow his Instagram and see him sliding, swinging, running, jumping, swimming, kayaking and more.
Silver is training for his first marathon this November (with his best friend from college) after completing four half marathons. 6sqft jogged beside the commissioner and got his running commentary on the biggest challenges facing NYC parks, what he attributes his success to, what we can expect for the future and where he buys his running gear.
© Jim Bachor
Update 10:15am on 7/20/18: Jim Bachor tells us that the NYC Department of Transportation has already pulled up the cockroach, bouquet, Trump, and pigeon mosaics.
If you recently saw a construction worker filling potholes around Manhattan and Brooklyn with mosaics and thought it was a bit off, you were right. This was Chicago-based artist Jim Bachor in disguise for his latest public art piece, “Vermin of New York.” For the past five years, Jim has been filling potholes in Chicago with mosaics of everything from flowers to trash, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, he recently brought his work to NYC. The series includes a cockroach, a rat, a pigeon, and Donald Trump (yes, you can drive over his face). 6sqft was able to talk with Jim about how he got into such a unique form of “guerilla” art and what the meaning is behind his latest series.
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the oldest pharmacy in the United States, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries in Greenwich Village, and talking with owner Ian Ginsberg. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries was established in 1838. It is the oldest apothecary in America. It was originally called the Village Apothecary Shop and was opened by the Vermont physician, Galen Hunter. It was renamed C.O. Bigelow Apothecary when it was purchased by an employee, Clarence Otis Bigelow in 1880. The apothecary is in fact so old that it once sold leeches and opium as remedies. According to legend, the chemists at Bigelow even created a salve for Thomas Edison to treat his burned fingers when he was first developing the light bulb.
In 1922, the apothecary was sold to the pharmacist, Mr. Bluestone, employed by Bigelow, thereby continuing the unique legacy of passing ownership from employer to employee. Bluestone sold the pharmacy to yet another pharmacist employee, William B. Ginsberg in 1939. And since 1939, three generations of Ginsberg’s have owned and operated the shop, passing down from father to son to most recently grandson, Ian Ginsberg, who 6sqft spoke with at this historic pharmacy in Greenwich Village at 414 Sixth Avenue.
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Bill Hayes shares photos from his book “How New York Breaks Your Heart“. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
A writer, Guggenheim Fellow, photographer and, since 2009, a New Yorker, Bill Hayes is quite familiar with the beautiful and painful ways New York City can play with the human heart. He recently published a book of his many portraits of the city’s inhabitants, “How New York Breaks Your Heart,” showing in black and white and living color some of the city’s many faces, all very real and alive and core to this city’s aura. We spoke with Hayes, a West Village resident, about the book, the, ity and its people.