My 600sqft: A nonprofit fundraiser decorates her Turtle Bay studio with funky, feminine finds

Posted On Tue, May 8, 2018 By

Posted On Tue, May 8, 2018 By In Features, Interiors, Midtown East, My SQFT House Tours, Turtle Bay

6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Turtle Bay studio of Erica Greenblatt, director of development for the Anti-Defamation League. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!

Erica Greenblatt never seems to stay in one place for long. In addition to her love of travel (she has visited 30 countries across 6 continents so far), she has moved 12 times in the last 14 years all over New York City. Most recently, Erica landed on a surprisingly spacious Turtle Bay studio on 54th Street and 2nd Avenue, her first apartment without any roommates. As the director of development for the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization tasked with fighting bigotry, Erica raises funds needed for the group’s education and advocacy programs.

And because of her job, she’s on the move again, headed outside of the five boroughs for the first time in over a decade. Erica moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the end of April, pledging to bring her feminine, eclectic style with her to her new southern pad. Before she left NYC to start a new adventure in the ATL, 6sqft visited Erica and learned about how her love of travel influences her worldly aesthetic, what she describes as her “signature style.”

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’ve been a New Yorker for 14 years now. I grew up in North Jersey with Manhattan in my backyard, then went to NYU for undergrad and grad school. I work for the ADL, a civil rights non-profit organization, as the Director of Development. Essentially, I raise the funds needed to run our critical programs to educate, advocate, and investigate against hate.

When I’m not working, I enjoy: traveling, brunching, hiking, singing late-night karaoke, hosting dinner parties at my pad (not that I’m the best cook but I love to entertain), practicing Kabbalah and meditation, watching live music, exploring new neighborhoods, and going to spin, dance, yoga and boxing classes (thank you ClassPass!).

How would you describe the aesthetic of your apartment?

Modern, eclectic and feminine with a global touch.

A lot of items found in your apartment are things you’ve stumbled upon on your travels abroad. Tell us about your love of travel and where this stems from.

I’ve been blessed to have been born to a traveling family. It’s in my genes! My family has traveled together to Australia, Hawaii, London, Paris, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic and many more spots. I try to visit a new US city and country each year. Last year was Dallas, TX and Cartagena, Colombia. This year will be Detroit, MI, and still deciding which country!

It all stems from my love for adventure: discovering new neighborhoods, learning about different cultures, meeting new people, and trying out exotic cuisines. I alone have visited 6/7 continents and 30 countries. Many, many more to go!

Erica found this beautiful, antique door-turned table from Restoration Hardware on Craigslist

What is one of your favorite pieces in your apartment and what is the story behind it?

I’d have to say that my favorite piece is my dining table. There isn’t much of a story but I’m just proud of how I got it. I’m a little obsessed with everything Restoration Hardware but unfortunately, it’s a bit out of my price range. I came across this beauty on Craigslist and got this RH table – originally an antique door – for a quarter of its original price!

You’ve moved 12 times in 14 years. Why have you moved so many times? Which NYC neighborhood was your favorite?

It’s a little excessive right? Each time was for a different reason though mostly it was because my roommate would either get married or move to a new city. This apartment was the first time I lived on my own!

I’ve lived all across NYC and it is so hard to declare a favorite. But up there is definitely Carroll Gardens, where I lived in 2016. I love the local, authentic and delicious Italian restaurants, the cozy bars, the beautiful townhouses, and the neighborhoody feel.

Erica’s homemade “mood board” matches her personality: bubbly, bold, feminine and ambitious

Your apartment is located in roughly Turtle Bay/ Sutton Place/ Midtown East neighborhood. What are some of your favorite spots in the area?

My area is not the coolest, but it’s a 15-minute walk from work – you can’t beat that! Here are some of my favorite local spots:

Bars and restaurants:

Tomi Jazz – An authentic Japanese speakeasy with live music
Zaytoon – This is my go-to Sunday night comfort food
Brooklyn Diamond – The BEST coffee
Pho Saigon – Authentic and delicious pho
Sofia Wine Bar – Great date spot and great pizza!
The Jeffrey – My go-to for casual drinks and light bites, it has such great energy!
Le Mangeoire – They have a terrific brunch deal and their Eggs Benedict is delicious

Workout spots:

YoYoga – Great variety of yoga classes, all intimately sized
Power Pilates – Their classes are awesome, from pilates to kickboxing to dance classes
Cyc UES – BY FAR my favorite spin class in NYC

An antique from her travel-loving grandmother; a collection of books on policy, art and travel

Speaking of the neighborhood, how did you land in this area? How did you find your studio apartment?

It was such a serendipitous occurrence. After my live-in boyfriend and I broke up, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a place to live. His cousin reached out and told me her friend was moving out of this building and connected me. I had already put in 2 applications at other UES studios through a broker and was about to go through with one but once I viewed this apartment with its high ceilings and space, it was a done deal.

How do you typically spend a weekend?

Friday night – If I’m not at a Shabbat dinner, I’ll usually grab a low-key dinner with a friend or Netflix with a glass of wine.

Saturday – Spin class in the morning, grab brunch with friends after, and spend the afternoon walking around different NYC neighborhoods and window shopping.

Saturday night – I’m either at a party with friends or on a hot date 🙂

Sunday – Pilates or Boxing in the AM, and usually a bunch of errands, including cooking for the week.

Sunday evening – At the movies or spend it at home preparing for the week. Sometimes I’ll take a restorative yoga class, they are amazing energy releasers.

Erica’s photographer-cousin took these photos and gifted them to her years ago

What will you miss most about New York City? What will you miss least?

I will NOT miss the subway, the crowds, humid summers, and tremendous cost of living.

I WILL miss my wonderful friends & family, the endless variety of things to do, authentic Chinese/Japanese/Indian/Thai/Vietnamese food, and walking everywhere.

Sponsored by the ADL,  the book, The Good Fight, illustrates the country’s struggle for justice over the last 100 years. Erica proudly displays it on her coffee table.

Erica’s unique alcohol dispenser, a gift from her sister, is just for show

The Bhagavad Gita quote on wall is featured in the book Eat, Pray, Love, one of Erica’s favorite novels

Will you keep a similar design aesthetic for your new digs in ATL?

Yes, absolutely, it’s my signature style! Though my new apartment is very modern with an amazing open kitchen, I’m bringing everything with me and excited to move my furniture and art around.

I’m also thinking of getting a new wall decal. While I do love that quote on my wall, my new one will be in Hebrew and say “ משנה מקום משנה מזל ” which means, “change your location, change your luck.”


© All images taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft

Tags :

Neighborhoods : Midtown East,Turtle Bay



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