- See Who Else Is Listening To The Song You’re Playing – Right Now: Spotify’s new feature Serendipity shows an interactive map of who else is listening to the exact same song you’re listening to right now. Guess you can’t say you have a unique taste in music anymore. Learn more on The Verge.
- Control The Lights of Two Skyscrapers From Your Phone: So your smartphone can basically do anything. New York Daily News reports that with a mobile app you can control the spire lights of two midtown skyscrapers: 1 Bryant Park and 4 Times Square.
- QR Coded Pins Given to Chinese Senior Citizens to Help Them Find Their Way Home: More proof that your smartphone is way too smart. Pins with QR codes filled with personal information like home address, emergency contact and such were given to local elderly residents in China’s Anhui Province to help them find their way home if they get lost. Springwise has the details of this innovative campaign.
- From Empty Tunnel to Awesome Skate Park: Footwear brand, Vans, took over the empty Old Vic tunnels at London Waterloo and turned them into the House of Vans, a super rad skate park and arts venue. Creative Review features the only indoor park in London and its future plans for concerts, art exhibits, film screenings and more.
Images: House of Vans courtesy of Creative Reivew (left); QR badges for Chinese seniors courtesy of Springwise (right)
It looks like Alchemy Properties‘ plan to price the penthouse at the Woolworth building for $110 million has been approved by the New York Attorney General’s office, making it one of the most expensive listings to ever hit the downtown market at $11,700 per square foot. According to The Real Deal, who got a first look at the floor plans, the unit will be called the “Pinnacle” and host 9,400 square feet with about 500 square feet of outdoor space.
More plans and pricing this way
We often think of the street grid as New York’s greatest “master plan.” Officially known as the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, this put in place the original, gridded street pattern that we still know today. But there have been several other master plans that took shape on a smaller scale within the linear configuration of Manhattan. These planned communities were largely conceived to transform blighted or underutilized areas into suburban enclaves or peaceful oases within the big city. And just like the neighborhoods that grew organically among the street grid, these master-planned areas each have a unique character. They’ve also influenced a new crop of developments, currently under construction on the West Side and in Brooklyn.
We take a look at planned communities that historically changed the fabric of the city, as well as those on the horizon
Acknowledged back in June as the most expensive townhouse in Washington Heights, this historic home at 431 West 162nd Street was met with skepticism from local bloggers. They cited its “colorful wall-to-wall carpeting” and the dearth of immediate amenities in the area. But according to city records, the townhouse has sold for $2.38 million, less than $200,000 under its $2.5 million asking price and still higher than any other townhouse in the area. Looks like Washington Heights gets the last laugh here.
Take a look inside the home that beat the odds
There’s no question that indoor/outdoor living is a trend that is alive and here to stay. And when you live in a neighborhood as lively and eclectic as the East Village, it’s only natural to want a peaceful haven that still allows you to enjoy the energy of the city that never sleeps. The owners of this residence were looking for just that. They wanted a seamless indoor/outdoor living space off their fifth floor loft that was conducive to entertaining guests as well as enjoying a quiet afternoon with a book. Enter Pulltab Design who set out to create a home that was both durable and elegant, while accommodating the practical needs of their clients.
Take a look inside this sturdy renovation, here
- Visits to Governors Island may be up, but few businesses are interested in setting up shop there. [WSJ]
- A beautiful Beaux Arts bank on Gates in Bed-Stuy will be turned into apartments. [Curbed]
- With Manhattan prices climbing sky high, investors are turning to Northern New Jersey for new opportunities. [TRD]
- The City Council has approved a plan to construct a mixed-use building in Ridgewood, Queens, where artists would be charged $10 per year to rent part of a 3,000-square-foot community space. [DNA Info]
Governor’s Island (left); Slate Property Group’s Ridgewood development (right)
Can’t you smell the musky cedar just by looking at this rustic dwelling? Located in a rural community on the edge of the Long Island Sound, this Sands Point home was renovated by CDR Studio Architects to both preserve and refine the structure that had been present on the site since 1961.
To achieve this balance, the firm retained the house’s frame, but added large expanses of open windows and a more seamless roofline. The dilapidated skin was replaced with a highly insulated, open-joined rain screen made of cedar boards charred using the traditional Japanese burning method of Shou-sugi-ban, an environmentally friendly way to preserve the timber.
See more of this vision in cedar
The Flux Chair might look like a giant plastic envelope, but it’s actually a surprising seat that can be assembled in about ten seconds. Design by Dutch duo Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten, it’s made from recyclable plastic and comes in eight different colors. Flat-pack, space saving, and durable, this clever product can quickly become a comfortable, graceful seat.
More about this fantastic plastic seat here
- If You’re Not In Brooklyn, You Can’t Be “Brooklyn Made”: This is for all the posers out there capitalizing on the made-in-Brooklyn trend. AM NY reports that the Brooklyn Commerce will now be certifying big and small companies in King County that are “Brooklyn born and made.”
- Restaurants in the Heights History: Brooklyn Heights Blog featured some of the neighborhood’s favorite restaurants. Take a trip down memory lane and see what these eateries looked like back in the day.
- Now’s Your Chance To Become A Tenement Inspector: Head down to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and for $20 you can be a “certified” tenement inspector. Read more about one person’s experience in The New Yorker.
- Watch Where You Step: Brick Underground did some dirty work and find out the neighborhoods that got the most complaints for dog poop. Find out if your nabe tops the life.
Images: Tenement life photo courtsey of Ephemeral New York (left); The JtH Oyster Room by Evan Bindelglass for Brooklyn Heights Blog (right)
It’s no secret that super tall, glassy towers are the go-to architectural style for many of today’s leading starchitects. But environmentalists worry that the huge expanses of curtain wall windows are not very eco-friendly. A new product, though, just might satisfy those on both ends of this debate.
Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a new transparent luminescent solar concentrator that creates solar energy when placed over a window. The exciting part is that the product is totally translucent, so people can still see through the window while the green technology is working. The concentrators can also be placed on cell phones or any device with a flat, clear surface.
Learn more about the solar cells here