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Real Estate Wire

  • 5 Pointz was once a legendary venue for street art, but today is nothing more than rubble. Why couldn’t the art icon be saved? [Failed Architecture]
  • Construction on Staten Island‘s New York Wheel will start next month. [DNA Info]
  • A duplex penthouse in the celebrity-filled El Dorado has hit the market asking $29 million. The home was once occupied by Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis. [NYT]
  • In Bronx news: The borough saw a record $2.4 billion in residential sales in 2014. [Welcome2theBronx]
  • Look out below! Ice chunks were falling from atop the World Trade Center. [NYDN]
  • The real estate developer that scooped up Vice Media’s headquarters in Williamsburg is buying an adjacent building that houses another media brand. Plans are to put up a block-long office tower on the site. [Crain’s]

Images: 5 Pointz being demolished (L); The New York Wheel (R)

Design, Furniture, Technology

  • By Ana Lisa Alperovich
  • , February 4, 2015

Although our bodies are designed to move, the furniture we possess is usually based on a monofunctional posture. Day to day, we tend to segregate our basic bodily needs and just stare at screens, often forgetting how important it is to keep joints and muscles moving. To compensate for this inertia, we’d like to introduce you to “Segregation of Joy” by Govert Flint. This innovative skeletal seat allows you to take different postures and move freely, and boost your health and happiness, all from the comfort of your chair.

Learn more about this interactive seat

City Living, Greenwich Village, People

  • By Annie Doge
  • , February 4, 2015

Well, at least that’s what one disgruntled Greenwich Village neighbor is hoping. Gary and Addie Tomei, parents of actress Marisa Tomei, have filed a lawsuit against next-door neighbor Sean Lennon, son of John and Yoko, alleging that a tree on his property (153 West 13th Street) has spread its roots onto their property (155 West 13th Street), cracking the stoop, breaking the railings, and coming through the basement floor of their townhouse. Sure, they want Lennon to chop the tree down, but they also want $10 million, according to the Post.

More details on the neighborly beef

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

  • By Stephanie Hoina
  • , February 4, 2015

In a city filled with space-challenged (okay, let’s just admit it, tiny) living spaces, one can only hope the expression “good things come in small packages” holds true. When we took one look at this adorable East Village co-op at 323 East 8th Street we felt compelled to take a little literary license with the well-known phrase because sometimes “great things come in small packages.”

Check out more of this East Village treasure

Daily Link Fix

  • Are independent park managers and private-public partnerships, like we’re seeing with Barry Diller and Pier55, turning public parks into playgrounds for the wealthy? [New Republic]
  • You’re not the only one who eats on the floor in front of the television. Check out this photo series of how New Yorkers really eat in their cramped apartments. [Business Insider]
  • These balcony-based products (New York translation: fire-escape products) will really spruce up your outdoor space. [Core77]
  • Want to learn more about NYC’s terra cotta buildings? Attend this lecture February 17th lecture by Dan Allen of CTA Architects. [NY Landmarks Conservancy]
  • Never worry about getting your umbrella stolen again with this combination locking design. [Yanko Design]

Images: Rendering of Pier 54 via Heatherwick Studio (L); Fire Escape furniture via Rephorm (R)

Polls, Transportation

POLL: Would You Pay More for Better Subway Service?

By Dana Schulz, Wed, February 4, 2015

The MTA’s fare hike will take effect in March, raising the price of a single subway ride from $2.50 to $2.75, and it’s made most New York train riders pretty unhappy. But what if service was better? If those flashing “delay” projections were few and far between; massive platform pileups were a thing of the past; and you didn’t get stuck under the East River for 30 minutes with no explanation? Would you be willing to pay more for service that operated accordingly? We explored this idea on Monday in a piece titled “What Would Happen if New York Let Everyone Ride the Subway for Free?” and now we want to know your thoughts.

Hotels, Interiors, real estate trends

  • By Diane Pham
  • , February 4, 2015

As the city’s war against Airbnb rages on, hotels and bed and breakfasts across the city continue to see their guest numbers drop. But the decrease isn’t necessarily due to the lower costs of Airbnb rentals (although we certainly wouldn’t discount it) but the fact that visitors to our fair city are looking for an authentic New York experience. DNA Info reports that new hotels across the city are looking to recreate the “real experience” of staying in New York by channelling a “more urban” atmosphere with cool perks—bars amongst them—that lure local residents within their towering walls to hang with their guests.

Read more

Cool Listings, Fort Greene, Interiors

  • By Aisha Carter
  • , February 4, 2015

The bad news: you won’t find any chocolate here. The good news: You’ll get a brilliant two-bedroom loft lined with western-facing windows, only blocks from Ft. Greene Park, for just under $1 million. Located in the 1 Rockwell Place condos, which was once a chocolate factory and remains the only true converted factory loft space in all of Fort Greene, this apartment has plenty of character thanks to original wood floors, 11-foot ceilings, and exposed beams.

More pics inside

Featured Story

East Village, Features, History, Restaurants, Union Square

For those of us who came to the city within the past decade, it’s hard to imagine East 14th Street without its stretch of bulky NYU dorms, big-box supermarkets, and mini-chain restaurants. But of course this wasn’t always what the area looked like. In the late 19th century, the area centered around Irving Place, was full of entertainment venues like the Academy of Music, the city’s opera house, Steinway Hall, Tammany Hall, and the City Theatre movie house. And at the heart of it all was a restaurant that catered to both the theater crowd and the German population of the East Village–Luchow’s.

Luchow’s was established in 1882 at 110 East 14th Street at Irving Place when German immigrant August Lüchow purchased the café/beer garden where he worked as a bartender and waiter. It remained in operation for a full century, becoming an unofficial neighborhood and city landmark, until it was replaced by NYU’s University Hall dormitory.

Read the full history here

Policy, real estate trends

  • By Diane Pham
  • , February 3, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio just wrapped up his State of the City address, and in addition to focusing in like a laser beam on affordable housing, the mayor also unveiled a number of additional improvements that certainly had us sitting up straight in our seats. In his address, De Blasio emphasized that his plan would look to creating denser, economically diverse affordable residential communities for not only low-income New Yorkers, but also for chronically homeless vets, seniors and artists. “While the state of our city is strong, we face a profound challenge,” de Blasio said during his speech. “If we fail to be a city for everyone, we risk losing what makes New York, New York…Nothing more clearly expresses the inequality gap—the opportunity gap—than the soaring cost of housing.” The mayor also spoke about the administration’s plan to raise minimum wage and expand public transit, which would include adding more Bus Rapid Transit lines to the outer boroughs, and, most notably, a brand new city-wide ferry system that would serve areas such as the Lower East Side, the Rockaways and Red Hook for the same cost as a subway ride. Keep reading for more highlights.

Highlights from de Blasio’s speech here

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