Where I Work

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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

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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

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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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Architecture, Art, Features, Interviews, Sunset Park, Where I Work

6sqft’s new 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 Industry City space of Evergreene Architectural Arts, one of the nation’s foremost restoration and conservation firms. 

On Monday evening, the Historic Districts Council will present their 29th annual Landmarks Lion Award to Jeff Greene of EverGreene Architectural Arts, one of the nation’s foremost experts in specialty contracting for both traditional and new, innovative techniques for restoring and conserving murals, ornamental plaster, and decorative finishes. “Jeff has been pivotal in restoring some of New York City’s most beloved landmarks to their proper glory,” said HDC’s executive director Simeon Bankoff. And indeed, this is true; their commissions include the recent restoration of the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room, Brooklyn’s Loew’s Kings Theater, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and the McKim, Mead and White-designed University Club, where the event will be held, and this only scratches the surface of their hundreds of projects throughout the country.

In anticipation of Jeff’s recognition, 6sqft was given a behind-the-scenes tour of EverGreene’s new office and studios in Industry City, where the firm’s master artisans were hard at work painting murals, casting plaster moldings, and researching the history of several upcoming projects. We also spoke with Jeff himself about what inspired him to get into the field (“I ate the crayons before marking the walls,” he says), how preservation has changed since he started the firm in 1978, and what some of his favorite projects have been.

Hear from Jeff and take a tour of EverGreene’s incredible space

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Bushwick, Features, Video, Where I Work

6sqft’s new series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this first installment, we’re hitting up MÔTÔ Spirits, a whiskey-distillery-cum-motorcycle-shop located in the heart of Bushwick. 

Marrying whiskey and motorcycles seems like a lethal combination, but at MÔTÔ Spirits the pairing is a match made in heaven. Founded by Hagai Yardeny, Marie Estrada, and Tim Harney, MÔTÔ isn’t your average whiskey producer: On top of being the first and only distillery in the U.S. to produce rice-based whiskey and jabuka (an apple-based Croatian liquor), their deliciously potent potions are both inspired by motorcycles and concocted in the back of a motorcycle shop! In our exclusive video, Yardeny, Estrada, and Harney take us on a tour of their space and share how, and why, MÔTÔ Spirits has interlaced two unlikely businesses into one extraordinary endeavor.

take the tour here

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Bed Stuy, Features, Green Design, Interviews, 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 take a tour of the Bed-Stuy urban farm Square Roots. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

In a Bed-Stuy parking lot, across from the Marcy Houses (you’ll know this as Jay-Z’s childhood home) and behind the hulking Pfizer Building, is an urban farming accelerator that’s collectively producing the equivalent of a 20-acre farm. An assuming eye may see merely a collection of 10 shipping containers, but inside each of these is a hydroponic, climate-controlled farm growing GMO-free, spray-free, greens–“real food,” as Square Roots calls it. The incubator opened just this past November, a response by co-founders Kimbal Musk (Yes, Elon‘s brother) and Tobias Peggs against the industrial food system as a way to bring local food to urban settings. Each vertical farm is run by its own entrepreneur who runs his or her own sustainable business, selling directly to consumers. 6sqft recently visited Square Roots, went inside entrepreneur Paul Philpott‘s farm, and chatted with Tobias about the evolution of the company, its larger goals, and how food culture is changing.

Take a tour of Square Roots and get the full story from Tobias

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Design, Features, Gowanus, 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 take a tour of the Gowanus studio of Lite Brite Neon. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Among the manufacturing and arts tenants in the Old American Can Factory, a converted six-building industrial complex at the Gowanus Canal, is Lite Brite Neon, which has been described as “the darling of artists and designers.” And after touring their funky workspace/showroom, the description definitely fits. They were founded in 1999 in Brooklyn and have been creating neon art, signage, lighting, and displays ever since, in addition to preserving and restoring historic neon. 6sqft recently got an insider’s look at their colorfully gritty home and spoke to lead designer Wayne Heller about how the company functions and what makes neon unique.

Take the tour here

Featured Story

Art, Features, My SQFT House Tours, People, West Village , Where I Work

Ralph Lee, Westbeth Artists Housing, Village Halloween Parade, puppet maker, mask maker

Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends, family and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Westbeth Artists Housing in the West Village. Want your home to be featured here? Get in touch!

When the old Bell Telephone Laboratories building was transformed to the Westbeth affordable artists’ housing in 1970, one of the original creatives to move in was Ralph Lee, a theater jack-of-all trades who is best known for his larger-than-life puppets and masks. His whimsical creations served as the props for the very first Village Halloween Parade, an event that has since grown into an annual, nationally-known event. Today, his characters from the early days of the parade adorn his eclectic live/work studio in Westbeth, where he still lives and continues to make puppets and masks for his company the Mettawee River Theatre. Ralph recently invited 6sqft into his space, where we got up close and personal with the puppets and were able to see how the magic happens.

Learn about Ralph’s storied career and get a special look at his home and studio

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