Where I Work

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Features, Where I Work

Does your design firm operate out of a super quirky loft? Do you run a decades-old family shop or restaurant? Is your office space Instagram-ready? If your business or company has a New York story to tell, 6sqft wants to feature it! We’ll send a reporter out to your place of work for a photo shoot and short interview and then feature it in all its glory for our Where I Work series!

How to submit your home!

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Features, Interviews, Restaurants, Sunset Park, Where I Work

Brooklyn Kura, Industry City, sake NYC, sake Brooklyn, Brian Polen, Brandon Doughan

Brandon Doughan (left) and Brian Polen (right). Photo © Molly Tavoletti for Brooklyn Kura

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 touring Industry City’s Brooklyn Kura, New York’s first sake brewery. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

“It was my first ‘oh, my God’ sake which was made in the U.S.A.” said Japanese-born sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton when he tasted the product of Brooklyn Kura, NYC’s first sake brewery and one of only 15 in the nation. And this is exactly what co-founders Brian Polen and Brandon Doughan strive for. They’re committed to respecting the thousands-year-old Japanese sake brewing traditions, but they also hope to inspire a new interest in this ancient beverage by using unique American ingredients and engaging New Yorkers in the process at their Sunset Park brewery and tap room.

After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Japan and developing a passion for sake, Brian and Brandon teamed up and got to work on their 2,500-square-foot space in Industry City, which combines the functionality of traditional Japanese breweries with a contemporary Brooklyn design aesthetic. 6sqft recently paid them a visit and had a drink in the tap room (yes, we agree with Niikawa-Helton that the sakes are “so soft, so gentle”), got a look at the sake making process, and chatted with Brian and Brandon about their journey, life at Industry City, and how they’re turning New Yorkers into sake lovers.

Read our interview with Brian and Brandon and see inside Brooklyn Kura

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Brooklyn, Features, Restaurants, Where I Work, Williamsburg

toby's estate, where I work, toby's estate coffee

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 Williamsburg cafe and roastery of Toby’s Estate Coffee. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

When you walk into Toby’s Estate Coffee, the smell of freshly brewed coffee hits you immediately. And thanks to the towering roasting machine in the back of the Williamsburg coffee shop (which roasts about 50 lbs of coffee at a time), the sweet-bitter aroma really lingers. While the location on North 6th Street between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue was the first Toby’s in New York City, the coffee connoisseurs have since sprouted to other boroughs, with three cafes in Manhattan and most recently one in Long Island City.

Toby’s, which originated in Australia, has served up specialty small-batch coffee in NYC since 2012, bringing in some eclectic flavors to their roster of roasts. Currently, the shop is offering a Citron Espresso Tonic, with tonic water, ice, handmade citron simple syrup and candied oranges. (We tried it. It was delicious.) On an unseasonably warm day this spring, Toby’s gave 6sqft a tour of its Brooklyn shop, which boasts enough square footage to fit its roastery and cafe, as well as plenty of seating. Ahead, see inside the sunlight-filled flagship space and hear from Toby’s staff on their “roast, record, taste, adjust, and repeat” process that brews the perfect cup of coffee.

See the cafe and learn more about the roasting process

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Architecture, Features, Flatiron, Interviews, 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 Flatiron office of architecture firm FXCollaborative. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

To mark their 40th anniversary, architecture firm FXCollaborative recently debuted their new name (formerly FXFOWLE), along with a slew of big-name projects such as the Statue of Liberty Museum, a nearly 1,000-unit affordable housing development in the Bronx, and Downtown Brooklyn’s One Willoughby Square, which will be the borough’s tallest office building as well as the firm’s new home. Ahead of their big move when the tower is completed in a few years, 6sqft paid a visit to FXCollaborative’s current Flatiron office space to see how these prolific architects make their magic happen, thanks to a behind-the-scenes tour and talk with senior partner Dan Kaplan. From sustainable architecture and office design to equality in architecture and the importance of collaboration, learn how FXCollaborative remains one of NYC’s top firms after four decades.

Take the tour and hear Dan’s thoughts

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Features, Greenwich Village, People, 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.

Read more

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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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