People

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Features, People, Upper East Side, Where I Work, yorkville

All photographs © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft

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 Glaser’s Bake Shop, a 115-year-old German bakery in Yorkville.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

In the early 20th century, New York’s German immigrants relocated from the East Village to the Upper East Side neighborhood of Yorkville, which soon became known as Germantown. The community was so culturally rich, that German was spoken more than English in this area. 86th Street was dubbed “Sauerkraut Boulevard” and was lined with German butchers, restaurants, and bakeries. After the dismantling of the Second and Third Avenue elevatrated trains in the 1940s and ’50s, most of the German community moved out, but several of these old-time businesses still remain, one of which is Glaser’s Bake Shop.

When German immigrant John Glaser opened his bakery in 1902, there were half a dozen nearby competitors. 115 years later, the perfectly preserved storefront on First Avenue and 87th Street is the last of its kind in Yorkville, but it’s still filled everyday with new neighbors and long-time residents alike, eager to satisfy their sweet tooths with the extra chocolately brownies, jelly donuts, Bavarian pastries, and their famous black-and-white cookies. Glaser’s is now owned by John’s grandsons Herbert and John, who are committed to keeping their family’s traditions alive. 6sqft recently stopped by to watch Herb work on massive gingerbread village and chat with him more about the baker’s history and how he’s seen Yorkville change over the years.

Get a behind-the-scenes look and hear from Herb

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Celebrities, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, People, photography, The urban lens

The Urban Lens: From Bob Dylan to Jack Kerouac, see rare photos of the Village’s Beat Generation

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, December 7, 2017

© Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

Perhaps no single photographer could be said to have captured the energy, the cultural ferment, the reverberating social change emanating from New York City in the second half of the 20th century as vividly as Fred W. McDarrah. McDarrah got his start covering the downtown beat of the Village Voice in the 1950s and ’60s, as that publication was defining a newly-emerged breed of independent journalism. McDarrah penetrated the lofts and coffeehouses of Lower Manhattan to shed light upon a new movement known as “The Beats” and went on to capture on film the New York artists, activists, politicians, and poets who changed the way everyone else thought and lived.

Through the generosity of the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah and the McDarrah family, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation was fortunate enough to add to its digital archive a dozen of the most epochal of Fred McDarrah’s images of downtown icons, including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jane Jacobs, and Allen Ginsberg. And just in time for the holidays, you can purchase your own copy (with all proceeds benefitting GVSHP!).

Learn the story behind all the photos

Featured Story

Design, Features, Interviews, People

Background: “Christmas Dinner” by Kim Radovich Interiors and Bernhardt, photo by Alan Barry. Photo of Iris Dankner by Richard Lewin.

Step into the Upper East Side’s Academy Mansion until December 6th and you’ll find a festive wonderland of interior design known as Holiday House NYC. The interior design show house is an undeniable display of top design talent, but what’s perhaps less obvious is that the word “holiday” here has a much deeper meaning.

Interior designer and Holiday House founder Iris Dankner is a 20-year breast cancer survivor. After her experience, she feels that every day is a holiday and a chance to celebrate life. With that outlook and the realization that there were no initiatives in the design industry to benefit breast cancer–a disease that impacts more than 250,000 women and 2,000 men in the U.S. each year–Iris started Holiday House a decade ago, asking each designer to draw inspiration for their room from a “holiday” or special moment in life. Now in its 10th year, Holiday House has launched its inaugural London outpost and released a coffee table book, and it’s continuing its partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to which it’s already donated more than $1 million.

6sqft recently visited Holiday House and talked with Iris about 10 years of Holiday House, her personal inspirations, and why “women supporting women is such a powerful tool.”

Hear from Iris ahead

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Architecture, Features, Interviews, People

In architect Morris Adjmi’s new book, “A Grid and a Conversation,” he describes his ongoing conversation between context and design. On any project, Adjmi balances three factors: standing out while fitting in, respecting history while not being frozen in time, and creating “ambient” architecture while gaining popularity. 6sqft sat down with Adjmi to find out more about his work philosophy, art exhibits, love of Shaker design, and awesome opening night parties with custom-made drinks.

Hear from Morris Adjmi himself

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, People

Lorraine Hansberry’s Greenwich Village: From ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ to civil rights

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, October 12, 2017

Lorraine Hansberry at her typewriter in her Greenwich Village apartment in 1960. Photo by David Attie courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute.

Lorraine Hansberry, the trailblazing playwright, activist, and Nina Simone song inspiration was perhaps most closely associated with Chicago. But in fact she lived, went to school, and spent much of her life in Greenwich Village, even writing her best known play “A Raisin in the Sun” while living on Bleecker Street. And shortly a historic plaque will mark the site of her home on Waverly Place.

Learn the full history here

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Art, Features, Midtown West, People, Video

Adrian Untermyer plaing the piano, via Sing for Hope

Smack in the middle of the busiest bus terminal in the world is a funky, rainbow piano. Located on a platform that was once the terminal’s operations control center but is now the Port Authority Bus Terminal Performing Arts Stage, the piano arrived last year via a collaboration with the nonprofit Sing for Hope. But the idea for this public performance opportunity is thanks to pianist and preservationist Adrian Untermyer, who originally saw pianos in train stations in Paris and thought it would be a great way to bring “light and joy and music to a space that we all know but may not particularly love.” In the video ahead, Adrian tells us how his proposal became a reality and why Port Authority deserved a piano.

Watch 6sqft’s video here

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Features, Midtown, People, photography, The urban lens

Fifth Avenuers, NYC street photography, Nei Valente, Fifth Avenue NYC

Photos © Nei Valente

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brazilian designer and street photographer Nei Valente presents his series “Fifth Avenuers.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Fifth Avenue: the street that divides Manhattan east to west; home to many of the world’s most prestigious museums and famous buildings; high-end shopping destination; the road to Central Park; office district. There’s no one way to describe the thoroughfare, nor is there one type of person associated with it. It’s this vibrancy that branding designer and street photographer Nei Valente set out to capture in his new series “Fifth Avenuers.” Over several months, Nei used his lunch breaks to capture “the unusual mix of tourists, blue- and white-collar professionals, and shoppers,” creating “a visual registry of people and moments from one of the most iconic avenues in the world.” His editorial style and candid technique is not dissimilar from that in “Newsstands,” in which he documented the changing face of newsstands around the city. Ahead, Nei shares all his photos from “Fifth Avenuers” and fills us in on what went on behind the scenes.

Get it all right here

History, People, Queens

West Side Tennis Club via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr; Althea Gibson via Wiki Commons

On August 22, 1950, what was then known as the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accepted Harlem’s Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York (the precursor to the U.S. Open). The spot on the championship roster made Gibson the first African-American athlete to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition, launching a storied career in which she won a whopping 16 Grand Slams, including the 1956 French Open where she became the first person of color to win such a title.

Find out more

Featured Story

Features, History, Interviews, People

“Where did lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history happen in New York City? In what buildings did influential LGBT activists and artists live and work, and on what streets did groups demonstrate for their equal rights?” These are the questions that the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is answering through a first-of-its-kind initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in the five boroughs. Through a map-based online archive, based on 25 years of research of advocacy, the group hopes to make “invisible history visible” by exploring sites related to everything from theater and art to social activism and health.

To mark Pride Month, 6sqft recently talked with the Historic Sites Project’s directors–architectural historian and preservation professor at Columbia Andrew S. Dolkart; historic preservation consultant Ken Lustbader; and former senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Jay Shockley–along with their project manager, preservationist Amanda Davis, about the roots of the initiative, LGBT history in NYC, and the future of gay advocacy.

Read the interview here

Featured Story

Far Rockaway, Features, History, People, photography, The urban lens

Rockaway Beach by Sam Shere, Sam Shere photography, indecent exposure tickets, Rockaway history

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, we share a set of vintage photos documenting Rockaway Beach in the 1940s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

These days, beachgoers give nary a thought when stripping down to their skimpy bikinis and short-shorts, but 70 years ago wearing much more modest swimsuits was enough to get you a ticket from the NYPD. Noted LIFE magazine photographer Sam Shere (who’s best known for his iconic photo of the Hindenburg disaster) documented this “indecent exposure” phenomenon at Rockaway Beach in 1946. Starting with a sign that reads “wear robes to and from the beach,” Shere’s series shows women sunbathing in high-wasted two-pieces, men walking the boardwalk in just their shorts, and the way in which these beach bums seem unphased by the cops writing them summonses.

See all the photos here

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