July 1, 2015

Get to Know Chinatown Through These Iconic Cultural, Gastronomic and Architectural Spots

Back in March, we took a look at how Chinatown is predicted to undergo rapid changes within the next decade, transforming it into another haven for hipsters and real estate developers. As of right now, these changes are hard to see–luxury condos like Hester Gardens stand alone among the array of colorful shops and signs covered in Chinese characters. In fact, a past poll shows that readers are equally divided on Chinatown's future. As with all gentrifying neighborhoods, one of residents' biggest fears is that the neighborhood will lose the cultural characteristics that make it unique. With this in mind, we're taking stock of the iconic places that make Chinatown what it is. We've highlighted some of the neighborhood's best restaurants and shops (think Economy Candy and Joe's Shanghai), along with a few standout structures (the largest Buddhist temple in New York City, to name just one) that make this neighborhood unlike any other in the city.
See which places made the list here
April 1, 2015

POLL: Is Chinatown the Next Hip ‘Hood?

Yesterday, we took a look at a Wall Street Journal article that reported on a new crop of shops, galleries, and condos popping up in Chinatown, attracting both a hipster crowd and real estate developers. While developments like Essex Crossing are definitely setting parts of the neighborhood on the gentrification track, other areas are still full of open-air […]

March 31, 2015

Chinatown, Once Unchanged, Now Attracting Hipsters–and Real Estate Developers

"Canal Street is a gantlet of billboards and signs; Courvoisier, Pearl Paint, Bally's Grand Hotel, Salem Cigarettes, Lincoln Savings Bank, Mc Donald's, and signs in Chinese impend on traffic, which is the covered with signs and graffiti itself." A New Yorker article published in 1990 paints a picture of Chinatown that isn’t all that different from the one we know today. Despite its prime location, few developers have eyed Chinatown as a destination for luxury living. As a largely self-sustaining community—many stores don’t even bother with English—it has preserved its cultural fabric even as the city has gone through transformation after transformation just streets away. But all of this is changing. A new crop of shops, galleries and condos is starting to find its way into the neighborhood's depths, the Wall Street Journal reports, and brokers are predicting rapid change for Chinatown over the next decade.
more on changes in chinatown
February 17, 2015

Chinatown Loft by Buro Koray Duman Architects Mixes Tenement Details with Bright, Modern Geometry

If you take a look at the exterior of this Chinatown tenement building located across the street from Sarah Roosevelt Park, you might imagine that the apartments inside are typical cramped railroad-style units with the token exposed brick wall as a selling point. But this unit, renovated by Buro Koray Duman Architects, looks like it could be in a swanky Miami hotel or sunny LA condo. When Turkish-born architect Koray Duman bought the residence in 2011, the 750-square-foot corner apartment was a dark, three-bedroom renovation from the 1980s. He and his firm transformed it into a bright, open one-bedroom loft with bold, sculptural architecture and décor.
Tour the home here
January 12, 2015

Construction Update: One Manhattan Square, Extell’s Mega-Rental Complex in Two Bridges

Groundwork continues on Extell Development's 847-foot-tall mega-rental complex at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. Rumored to be called One Manhattan Square, the project at 250 South Street will bring a staggering 790 luxury rentals and 205 affordable units to a remote section of the Two Bridges/Chinatown neighborhood. The project rises on the former site of a cherished one-story Pathmark supermarket and its sprawling parking lot. While details of the design remain scarce, public documents reveal a two-towered development of 68 and 23 stories to rise atop a three-story podium that will contain 30,000 square feet of retail. Blogger Bowery Boogie uncovered the residential amenity package, which will include two swimming pools, a health club, basketball court, squash court, bowling alley, golf simulator, and 137 on-site parking spaces.
More details on One Manhattan Square
November 5, 2014

$3.58M Forsyth Revitalization Project Will Bring an Elevated Park Off the Manhattan Bridge

If you've ever walked or biked across the Manhattan Bridge, or simply tried to make your way past the off-ramp on foot, you know that it can be a heart-thumping jaunt that often requires expert maneuvering to avoid collision. A new design proposed for a triangular section of land beside the Manhattan Bridge along Forsyth Street could bring some much-needed calm to the frenetic energy of this area. Tomorrow, the Department of Design and Construction will present their plan to transform this elevated space into a public green space that's being likened to the High Line Park.
Find out more here
October 31, 2014

Visit This Quirky Museum Hidden in a Chinatown Elevator Shaft

Looking for something off-the-beaten-path to do this Halloweekend? Mmuseumm might be right up your alley. And speaking of alleys, it's located on Cortland Alley in Chinatown within a single, abandoned elevator shaft. The 60-square-foot Mmuseumm is a modern natural history museum that exhibits contemporary artifacts, illustrating "the complexities of the modern world." Its eclectic collection of everyday items includes toothpaste tubes from around the world and papers left behind in copy machines.  It even manages to fit a gift shop and café in its tiny footprint.
More info on the museum here
September 17, 2014

Gamer Zach Gage Nabs Penthouse with Futuristic Rooftop Watchtower for $3.9M

Forbes' 30 under 30 in video games, Zach Gage, is cashing in on his success. The gamer and conceptual artist just picked up this sweet Chinatown penthouse at 18 Orchard Street for $3.9 million, according to city records filed today. The 28-year old, who has developed games such as SpellTower, Ridiculous Fishing, and Lose/Lose, and been exhibited at venues like the Venice Biennale, the MoMA, and in Apple stores worldwide, seems to not have strayed far from his edgy sensibilities. His new three-bedroom duplex features a rooftop catwalk, some killer lights, and a futuristic watchtower with "a transcendent view of the sunset and cityscape".
Tour the home here