Where I Work

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Features, Greenwich Village, People, Top Stories, West Village , Where I Work

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.

See inside

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Features, Interviews, Nolita, People, Restaurants, Where I Work

Restuarant photo credit: Nicole Franzen; Portrait credit: Kathryn Sheldon

Earlier this month, Nolita restaurant De Maria won the coveted James Beard Award for best restaurant design or renovation in North America. The designers at The MP Shift replicated an artist’s studio, with Soho in the ‘70s and the Bauhaus movement in mind. But it’s not just the space that’s beautiful; Venezuelan-born chef Adriana Urbina‘s dishes, composed heavily of veggies and seafood, look like they were made for Instagram.

Outside of the visuals, however, what sets De Maria apart is Urbina’s socially conscious approach. Not only does she mix her South American heritage with her fine dining background (she started her career as an apprentice at Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, Martín Berasategui and was a 2017 winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”), but she’s committed to empowering female chefs and business owners, as well as using food as a way to connect people and raise awareness about what’s going on in the world. 6sqft recently enjoyed an insanely delicious meal at De Maria and chatted with Adriana about her journey, the restaurant scene in NYC, and why this Nolita restaurant is the perfect place to see out her dreams.

Meet Adriana and get hungry!

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Art, Boerum Hill, Features, People, Where I Work

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 artist Stephen Powers’ Boerum Hill studio and sign shop. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Walking along Fourth Avenue in Boerum Hill, the storefronts all look pretty similar–pizza shops, laundromats, cute cafes–until you come to the corner of Bergen Street and see the large, colorful collage of signs gracing the side of the little brick building. This is ESPO’s Art World, artist Stephen Powers’ sign shop. But as you can imagine, this space is much more than that. Powers, who painted graffiti under the name ESPO for much of the ’80s and ’90s in NYC and Philadelphia, also uses his shop as a retail store and informal gallery where passersby can walk in and peruse his graphic, pop-art-esque, text-heavy work. Stephen recently gave 6sqft a guided tour of his shop and chatted with us about his transition from graffiti to studio art, why he dislikes the term “street art,” his love for Brooklyn, and where he sees the art scene heading.

Get a look around and hear from Stephen

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Architecture, Design, Features, Financial District, Where I Work

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 Financial District offices of architecture firm Woods Bagot, located on the seventh floor of the Continental Bank Building at 30 Broad Street. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Internationally acclaimed architecture firm Woods Bagot opened their first office in 1869 in Adelaide, Australia. 150 years, 15 offices, and 850 staff members later, they’ve designed projects from a master plan for Perth to a mixed-use tech center in Singapore to a rental tower right here in Brooklyn. After opening their first NYC office a decade ago in Midtown, the rapidly expanding firm decided it was time to design a work space for themselves. So last summer, they moved into a brand new 11,000-square-foot home in Lower Manhattan.

The vision of Woods Bagot’s head of global workplace interiors, Sarah Kay, and head of global hotels, Wade Little, the studio has done such an impeccable job creating a “raw” feel that guests often think it’s the original interior. Using a simple color palette of black and white, along with industrial elements like raw columns, exposed pipes, and cracked, stained concrete floors, they’ve managed to infuse “New York City grit” into their modern space, complete with virtual reality technology, 3D printing, and, most importantly, an industrial-strength espresso machine. 6sqft recently visited Woods Bagot to see the space in-person and chat with Sarah Kay about how she approached the design, what a typical day in the office is like, and what we can expect to see in the near future from this incredible firm.

Go on the tour

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Central Park South, Features, Green Design, Midtown, Where I Work

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 Midtown offices of architecture firm COOKFOX. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

When COOKFOX Architects started looking for a new office space three years ago, it was a no-brainer that they’d incorporate their signature biophilic tools, but their one non-negotiable requirement was outdoor space to connect employees directly with nature. And though the firm has come to be associated with so many contemporary projects, they found their ideal space on the 17th floor of the 1921, Carèrre and Hastings-designed Fisk Tire Building on 57th Street. Not only did it offer three terraces (that the team has since landscaped with everything from beehives to kale), but the large, open floorplan allowed the firm to create their dream wellness office.

6sqft recently took a tour of the space to see how employees utilize the space day-to-day and learn more about how COOKFOX achieved LEED Platinum and WELL Gold status by incorporating natural materials for finishings and furniture, temperature control systems, lighting that supports healthy circadian rhythms, and, of course, plenty of connections to nature despite being in the middle of Midtown Manhattan.

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Art, Bronx, Design, Features, mott haven, Where I Work

Sebastian Errazuriz, South Bronx design studio, Mott Haven artists

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 South Bronx design studio of Sebastian Errazuriz. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Sebastian Errazuriz is a Chilean-born artist, designer, and activist but over the years, he’s grown his multidisciplinary studio to incorporate everything from virtual reality to activism. But nothing he does is cookie-cutter. His cabinets undulate and mimic kaleidoscopes; his public art makes social commentary on issues from Wall Street and capitalism to Chile’s politicide; and he’s created sculptures that mix a boat with a coffin and a crystal chandelier with taxidermy birds. Sebastian likens his ability to work in these mediums separately but together to how he can speak both English and Spanish but also Spanglish. “It’s the freedom to incorporate words that do not exist in one particular language but that enrich communication with someone else that I really enjoy within the boundaries of art and design,” he explains.

Now, Sebastian is at the forefront of yet another new frontier. Though he has a 5,000-square-foot space at the uber-hip Industry City, he opened his second location last summer in Mott Haven, one of the city’s newest artist enclaves due to its affordable warehouse spaces and non-residential nature that sets it apart from the more gentrifying parts of the area. 6sqft recently paid Sebastian a visit here to learn how his firm is growing, the process behind his “functional art,” and why he moved to the South Bronx.

Tour the studio and meet Sebastian

Featured Story

Bushwick, Design, Features, Furniture, Where I Work

Pouch hammocks, Pouch Bushwick, indoor hammocks, El Salvador hammocks, Bushwick design studio

The pouch team, L to R: Textile Designer Taylor McMahon; Fabricator Emma Cook; Design Director Melissa Riling; Founder/CEO/Design Director Robert James Ramirez

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 high-end interior hammock company Pouch‘s Bushwick studio.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Picture yourself lounging in a hammock. Perhaps you’re a kid on summer break in the backyard or on a trip to the islands relaxing on a beach. Wherever this vision takes you, it’s that weightless, carefree feeling that probably comes to mind, which is the sensation that Bushwick-based design collective Pouch is trying to recreate inside the home with their handmade hammocks. According to founder and design director Robert Ramirez, the company believes the feeling of being on vacation should be incorporated into everyday life and that their product provides “a moment of retreat and relaxation amid the craze of city life.”

Working with a group of artisans in El Salvador who employ a traditional Salvadoran weaving technique and a fellow Bushwick company that naturally dyes all the cotton (using materials like tree bark and avocado pits), Robert has taken his family’s roots and brought them to what is arguably the maker capital of the country. 6sqft recently visited Pouch’s Brooklyn studio to learn more about the company and see how the hammocks are made, step-by-step.

Learn more about Pouch and tour their studio

Featured Story

Art, Features, People, Soho, Where I Work

David Mandel (L) and Serge Strosberg (R) in their studio, photo by James and Karla Murray

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 artistic duo Strosberg Mandel‘s Soho studio.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Last year, Belgian-American figurative painter Serge Strosberg had an exhibit about feminism in the East Village. The show’s curator introduced him to David Mandela theatrical stylist, jewelry designer, and former drag queen. Though the two came from very different artistic backgrounds, they immediately hit it off on both a personal and professional level. Fast forward to today, and they’ve formed the NYC-based artistic duo Strosberg Mandel, creating large-scale assemblage portraits–mostly of rock n’ roll icons such as Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, and Cher–using found materials and glamorous add-ons like Swarovski diamonds and luxury fabrics.

In anticipation of their upcoming debut solo exhibition “Troubadours of Eternity” at Lichtundfire from January 24th to February 4th, in which they’ll unveil the full portrait series as “a celebration of authentic musicianship and timeless spirits,” Serge and David invited us into their Soho studio to get an advanced preview of the pieces and learn about their unique work and partnership.

Tour the studio and hear from David and Serge

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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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Features, Tribeca, Where I Work

Owner Jeff Friedman works on a neon snowflake for a holiday display that went up in Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue flagship store

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 Tribeca showroom and studio of Let There Be Neon, an international supplier and creator of custom neon for signage and artistic applications. 

Back in the early ’70s, neon had gone out of fashion, with cheaper fluorescent-lit and plastic signs taking over after World War II. But multimedia artist Rudi Stern was determined to revive the art and make it more accessible. He opened a showroom studio, Let There Be Neon, in 1972 on West Broadway and Prince Street in Soho, and soon attracted a client roster of artists including Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He even outfitted Studio 54! By 1990, he’d moved to a charming brick storefront at 38 White Street in Tribeca and sold the business to his long-time friend and employee Jeff Friedman.

Rudi Stern sadly passed away in 2006, but he would be happy to see the legacy that Friedman has maintained and how wildly successful the business is today. Not only does their client list still include a long list of contemporary artists, but they’re the go-to sign restorers and recreators for classic NYC mom-and-pop businesses such as Russ & Daughters and Trash & Vaudeville, and Old Town Bar, and do projects with national companies like WeWork, Soul Cycle, and Uniqlo. 6sqft recently paid Let There Be Neon a visit to see their incredible fabrication work and chat more with Jeff Friedman about the art of neon.

Tour the studio and see how it’s done

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