Where I Work

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Bronx, Design, Features, Interiors, Interviews, Restaurants, Where I Work

Ice Scream, Asthetíque, Bronx Ice Cream

All photos courtesy of Costas Picadas

Last December, Ice Scream opened at the Mall at Bay Plaza, giving the Bronx its first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor. In addition to serving up futuristic frozen treats, the shop provides a fun and relaxing rest stop in between shopping. Founded by New Yorker Julien Albertini and Alina Pimkina, from Moscow, interior design firm Asthetíque specializes in luxury hospitality and residential design. Although developing a brand for a family business tailored to children was a totally new concept for Julien and Alina, the duo took on the design for Ice Scream and came up with a concept that “benefits society and makes peoples’ lives and businesses more beautiful and functional,” according to the designers.

Inspired by the 1980s Memphis design movement, Asthetíque has created a space for guests to have “plenty of Instagrammable moments.” From the ceiling’s coordinated light show to the fun mantras written in neon script throughout the 24-seat store (ie: “Ice Scream is better than therapy” and “Count your sprinkles, not your problems”), Ice Scream’s design not only provides a spot for families to make memories, but as a declaration that the “Bronx can contribute to the world of design.” For its innovative and playful ice cream parlor design, Asthetíque was a winner in the 46th annual IIDA Interior Design Competition this year. Ahead, see inside the eye-catching ice cream parlor and hear from Julien and Alina on the brand development process.

Get the scoop on Ice Scream

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Carroll Gardens, Features, Restaurants, 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 Carroll Gardens nonprofit-restaurant Emma’s Torch. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

While volunteering at a Washington, D.C. homeless shelter a few years ago, Kerry Brodie witnessed how food can facilitate conversations among diverse groups of people. “If I have one background, someone else a different one, but we have this shared experience of cooking with our mothers and grandmothers, there’s got to be something else we can do to propel change,” Kerry said. With the idea to help those from disenfranchised communities find jobs and feel empowered doing so, she quit her job in public policy, moved to New York, and enrolled in culinary school.

A month after graduating, Kerry founded Emma’s Torch, first as a pop-up in Red Hook to now a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Carroll Gardens, where it’s been for about a year. The nonprofit, named after Emma Lazarus whose poem is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, serves as a culinary school for refugees, asylum seekers, and survivors of trafficking. Applicants who are accepted to the 12-week paid program not only learn how to cook in a high-pressure setting but also work on English language skills and career planning. 6sqft recently sat down with Kerry at Emma’s Torch ahead of a graduation dinner, a night where the students take over the menu and “cook from the heart.” Ahead, learn more about the mission of Emma’s Torch, the challenges of operating as a nonprofit, and Kerry’s plan to expand beyond New York City.

See the space and meet the founder of Emma’s Torch

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Features, Midtown, Restaurants, Where I Work

Noam Grossman, Upside Pizza, NYC restaurants

Photo courtesy of Molly Tavoletti

How do you heighten something as ubiquitous in New York City as a slice of pizza? It’s all about the dough. Noam Grossman, the founder of Upside Pizza, which opened in the Garment District in January, uses a 100 percent naturally leavened dough with a sourdough starter, unbleached flour, and a rise time of 72 hours. Grossman credits this mixture, along with the use of a brick-lined oven and in-house ingredients, for making Upside Pizza stand out among the hundreds of other slice joints found across the city. With a team consisting of dollar-slice gurus Eli and Oren Halai, of 2 Bros. Pizza, and pizza consultant Anthony Falco, of Roberta’s fame, Grossman’s pizzeria elevates the New York slice experience while retaining its grab-and-go roots.

“We’re not cranking out quick-made pies,” Grossman told 6sqft. “We’re working tirelessly to make our pies memorable, and the absolute best they can be.” And all of this is happening in a 330-square-foot joint on the busy corner of 39th Street, across from the Port Authority. Boasting a colorful, in-your-face aesthetic, the inspiration for Upside Pizza’s design came from “the nostalgia of being a kid in the ’90s when hip hop and sports reigned supreme, and local pizza parlors were places of community gathering,” he said. Ahead, hear from Grossman on Upside Pizza’s plan to perfect the slice, the pizzeria’s expansion, and his favorite slice joint in the city.

Meet Noam

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Architecture, 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 Battery Park office of architecture-interior design firm CetraRuddy. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Husband-and-wife team Nancy Ruddy and John Cetra started architecture/design firm CetraRuddy in 1987, and after working from an office in Soho for 25 years, the firm moved to One Battery Park Plaza a year-and-a-half ago. Now with 100 employees, they had outgrown the space and wanted to use the move as an opportunity to revamp and improve the things that didn’t work. They were first attracted to the space’s light and views, but the firm was also able to occupy the entire floor, meaning they could design the entire office space, as well as the corridors.

After recently interviewing Nancy about CetraRuddy’s many successes, 6sqft paid a visit to their new offices, where we received a tour from Eugene Flotteron, Director of Architecture. Eugene has been with the firm for 17 years and has been a partner for five, so he’s had the opportunity to see them grow and transform over the years.

Take the tour

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Art, Features, Midtown, Where I Work

Art Students League, Where I Work, 215 West 57th Street

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the landmarked building of the Art Students League of New York in Midtown. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

In 1875, a group of young students broke away from the National Academy of Design and founded the Art Students League of New York to pursue a new and more modern method of art education. What started as a small group of rebellious artists in a 20-foot by 30-foot space, turned into an internationally-recognized, landmarked institution, which continues to set the standard for art training today. In its 144th year, the Art Students League’s mission has remained unchanged since its founding: to spread the language of art to anyone interested in learning.

The nonprofit has been located in the American Fine Arts Society Building at 215 West 57th Street since 1892. A designated New York City landmark, the French Renaissance-style building was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect behind the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota. Ken Park, the director of marketing and communication for the League, recently gave 6sqft a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic building and shared some insight into this storied establishment.

See inside

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Features, Nomad, Where I Work

ICRAVE, Where I Work, Flatiron

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside innovative design firm ICRAVE’s Nomad studio. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

According to the founder of hospitality design firm ICRAVE, Lionel Ohayon, it’s not about the materials used in a project, but the memories created. “I always say, people may hate or like our spaces, but the most important thing is that they remember them,” the Toronto-native told us. Through design, the innovative studio focuses on creating memorable experiences for its clients, a long and varied list that includes the Dallas Cowboys and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The firm’s mission is ingrained in the culture at ICRAVE, a 40-member team consisting of graphic designers, architects, and public relations pros, an office where creativity is fostered through a mixture of collaboration and independence. The open layout of the studio makes this work culture possible, with custom-designed doors and partitions to transform the space into however necessary. On a recent tour of ICRAVE’s studio near Madison Square Park, Ohayon told 6sqft about the firm’s wide range of projects and how his team turns ideas into unforgettable adventures.

See iCRAVE’s studio and meet Lionel

Design, DUMBO, Where I Work

Bjarke Ingels Dumbo, Bjarke Ingels Group, Bjarke Ingels office, 45 Main Street Dumbo

Photos by Max Touhey

Bjarke Ingels Group has certainly lived up to its moniker BIG, with studios in New York, Copenhagen, and London, 17 partners, more than 500 employees, and roughly 50 projects currently in development. To keep up with this astonishing growth, the 14-year-old firm recently moved its U.S. headquarters to a vibrant new space in Dumbo’s 45 Main Street. The 50,000-square-foot office fits 250+ employees and boasts cool features like Brooklyn Bridge views, a private outdoor terrace, chromatized steel doors, and tons of furniture and lighting by Danish brand and BIG collaborator KiBiSi.

Take the tour!

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Design, Features, Where I Work, Williamsburg

Japan native Jun Aizaki started Brooklyn-based CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design 14 years ago when both the design and architecture firm’s Williamsburg location and their portfolio were much different. Today, with more than 15 employees, CRÈME has become a leader in hip restaurant design (think Redfarm, L’Amico, and Mr. Purple), along with more innovative product design such as gourd cups and indigo-dyed furniture. The firm also has a pulse on urban planning projects, such as a proposal to build a timber bridge connecting Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as a master plan of Denver’s Dairy Block. And it’s this combination of cool-factor, outside-the-box thinking, and style that CRÈME embodies in their industrial Williamsburg office space. 6sqft recently visited the firm to take a look around and see their work, as well as to have a chat with Jun. Read more

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Features, Red Hook, Restaurants, Where I Work

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers. In this installment, we’re touring the new ice cream factory of Stickbulb, a sustainable light fixture company. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

This summer, Brooklyn ice cream phenomenon Ample Hills opened NYC’s largest ice cream factory in Red Hook. Founders Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith wanted “to create a place where people from all over the world could come together, share a scoop and learn the magic behind making ice cream.” From a single cart in Prospect Park eight years ago to the new 15,000-square-foot factory, museum, and shop that can produce 500,000 gallons of ice cream a day, Ample Hills certainly has delivered on this goal.

6sqft recently visited the factory and, of course, had a sampling of all the whimsical flavors (including the factory’s signature flavor that is an homage to the Dutch settlers of Red Hook). We also took a tour of the space with Ample Hills’ creative director Lauren Kaelin, who designed the space’s interactive 22-foot-wide map of Brooklyn and educational exhibits. She took us behind-the-scenes in both the ice cream production side and the bakery (Ample Hills makes all its mix-ins by hand) and filled us in on some secrets of the sweet company.

Take the sweet tour

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Features, Long Island City, Where I Work

stickbulb, long island city, where I work

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the new Long Island City showroom of Stickbulb, a sustainable light fixture company. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Before opening their first showroom, sustainable lighting brand Stickbulb had just one wire rack of shelving and one workbench, with their supplies spilling out into the communal areas of their building. They desperately needed more space. The company found it this year in a 10,000-square-foot former steel factory in Long Island City. With its terracotta walls and wooden floors, not only does the new space aptly complement Stickbulb’s modern LED light fixtures, but the former factory gives them enough room to show off how their products are made and the people who make them.

Sustainability remains a core mission for Stickbulb, which was founded six years ago by Russell Greenberg and Chris Beardsley, the creative team behind RUX Design. Using salvaged wood from demolished buildings and dismantled water towers, Stickbulb products always have a story to tell. “The idea is that the customer can trace back the wood that they have in their light fixture back to the original building it was a part of,” Russell told us during a recent visit to the company’s showroom. Ahead, take a tour of Stickbulb’s new space and hear from Russell and Chris on starting the studio, the process behind finding reclaimed wood, and the bright future of the growing company.

See inside

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