Gigi Hadid and toy soldiers; she designed their uniforms. Photo credit: Rony Alwin.
To mark the return of the iconic FAO Schwarz toy emporium to NYC in the form of a new 2.5-story, 20,000-square-foot-plus flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the store hosted a celebrity-studded VIP preview Thursday night ahead of Friday’s opening. Guests included Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Whoopi Goldberg, Bethenny Frankel, Morena Baccarin, Carrie Berk, and Disney’s Mia Sinclair Jenness. Doors opened today at 10:30 a.m., kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With a nod to the brand’s magical history as part of New York City lore, the new store uses the Art Deco architecture of its new home to amplify memories of FAO experiences from years past; a look toward the future begins with FAO Schwarz toy soldiers flanking the store’s 49th street entrance sporting new uniforms designed by supermodel Gigi Hadid.
Welcome back to our world of toys
Ask a group of New Yorkers where to find the best cannolis or cheesecake, and without a doubt, you’ll hear Veniero Pasticceria and Caffé. An East Village institution, Veniero’s is a family-owned and operated Italian pastry shop that was established by Italian immigrant Antonio Veniero in 1894. Veniero, who lived with his family next door, started the business as a candy shop. He then started serving Italian espresso and biscotti and by the 1920s, he had brought in master bakers from Sicily to run the kitchen.
A century later, Veniero’s is still family-owned and is celebrating is 125th anniversary next year. We had the chance to tour the caffé and bakery with Robert Zerilli, the fourth-generation current owner and great-nephew of founder Antonio Veniero. Today, Veniero’s serves more than 150 desserts, from traditional Italian butter cookies and cannolis to some more modern offerings such as red velvet cake and oreo cheesecake. Ahead, go behind the scenes to see how all these tasty treats are made, tour the historic interiors, and learn all about Veniero’s history from Robert.
Hear Robert tell Veniero’s story
Rendering of Plaxall’s proposed (but not yet approved) mixed-use LIC project courtesy of WXY architecture + urban design
Amazon officially announced on Tuesday its plan to bring its second headquarters to Long Island City, following a 14-month long contest among hundreds of cities across the country. The company will also open a second new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, with each location expected to house 25,000 new employees; Nashville will become home to Amazon’s “Operations Center of Excellence,” equipped for 5,000 full-time jobs. In Queens, Amazon intends to construct the mixed-use complex across both public and private sites that sit along the East River, in an area known as Anable Basin. Although the HQ2 project still must undergo a public and environmental review, as well as a possible rezoning, the tech company said it will receive over $1.7 billion in incentives from New York State for its project, which is expected to cost over $3.6 billion, and has the potential for another $1.3 billion “as-of-right” benefits from New York City.
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Image courtesy of feedingNYC
The winter holiday season is a time of overflowing bounty for so many. While giving thanks and exchanging gifts, it’s a fine opportunity to share the wealth, good cheer–and extra time off–with fellow New Yorkers in need. There are hundreds of ways to volunteer from now through the New Year (and beyond); the list below is a good place to start. Need an app to get anything done? DEED has you covered.
The list, this way
Archtober is New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival of tours, lectures, films, and exhibitions taking place during October when a full calendar of events turns a focus on the importance of architecture and design. Organized by the Center for Architecture, in collaboration with over 70 partner organizations across the city, the festival raises awareness of the important role of design and the richness of New York’s built environment. Now in its eighth year, Archtober offers something for everyone—from the arch-intellectual who wants to talk about the relationship between architecture and power to the armchair landscape architect with a thing for waterways, parks or sustainable design—in the 100+ event roster. Below, we pick 10 don’t-miss highlights in this year’s program.
Learn about the architecture of NYC at these cool events
While visiting the major, most popular attractions of New York City can be fun, it can also be stressful, overwhelming and full of selfie-taking tourists. However, the great thing about the Big Apple is that plenty of other attractions exist that are far less known or even hidden in plain sight. To go beyond the tourist-filled sites and tour the city like you’re seeing it for the very first time, check out 6sqft’s list ahead of the 20 best underground, secret spots in New York City.
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Like most things in New York, creative communities come and ago as new development and rising rents force artists to move on to the next best, or cheaper neighborhood. While 6sqft found ‘hoods like the Upper East Side, Harlem and Long Island City to be the best places for artists a few years back, we’ve updated our top-10 list to reflect the changing times. Ahead you’ll find some areas you may expect–Sunset Park and Bushwick, for example, along with more up-and-coming artsy enclaves like Newark, Washington Heights, and the South Bronx.
The full list right this way