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Features, holidays

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , December 9, 2014

New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree via Mille Fiori Favoriti

Last week, we took a look back at the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to mark the annual lighting celebration. Though this is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, many of us jaded New Yorkers would rather not deal with the crowds and traffic jams that come with visiting Rock Center. So as an equally festive alternative, we’ve rounded up some of the other huge trees illuminating the city this holiday season.

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6sqft gift guide, Design, Products

  • By Diane Pham
  • , December 9, 2014

If you’ve got someone on your gift list that’s overworked, under-caffeinated and looking for a better way to get their fix (this is New York, after all), look no further than Wacaco’s Minipresso as the perfect present. This portable hand-held device is a godsend for those who frequently need a boost but don’t have the time to wait in long coffee shop lines—or simply for those with a more discerning taste for the finer grounds in life.

More on this cool high-caf design here

Real Estate Wire

  • There’s a brand new Apple store coming to Williamsburg right along Bedford Avenue where the Bagel Store and Kings Pharmacy used to be. [NYP]
  • The city’s most expensive rental, a $500K doozy at the Pierre, has found a taker. [WSJ]
  • A look at the benefits of living in a NYC home that hasn’t been landmarked. [NYT]
  • A One57 unit sells at a 20 percent discount. [TRD]

Images: The site of Brooklyn’s future Apple Store(left); The $500K/month rental at the Pierre (right)

Design, Greenpoint, Interiors

  • By Rebecca Paul
  • , December 9, 2014

We love Greenpoint. We also love great design, and this beautiful townhouse brings those two fabulous things together. From the design team at WeDesign WeBuild, the interior of this home is a fresh approach to color, texture and light. With subtle Scandinavian-style touches, warm natural elements, and crisp white walls, this home could easily turn any self-professed Manhattanite into a happy Brooklyn dweller.

Take a look around

Architecture, Green Design

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , December 9, 2014

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and all we can think of are sunnier days. Before people knew the health risks of tanning beds, they were a welcome cure for the winter blues, and a new, first-of-its-kind, all-glass modular structure could be just the safe replacement we’ve been looking for.

The Photon Space was recently launched on Crowdcube, a British crowdfunding platform, by the Photon Project, a group of innovators in the fields of architecture, technology, engineering and design, along with scientists at Oxford University. It is a 147-foot compact living space that takes into account the health benefits of exposure to natural light. The distinguishing element of the Photon Space is its intelligent glass architecture, which can change in an instant from transparent to opaque.

More on the structure ahead

Architecture, Green Design, Major Developments

  • By Diane Pham
  • , December 9, 2014

Since the opening of One World Trade Center just a few weeks ago, the world has been in an uproar over the design and the incredible cost of making New York’s tallest tower a reality. But one feature that we all seemed to have forgotten was the promise that the tower would be the greenest building in America. A recent City Lab article looks at what went wrong, and why, in a race to meet contractual obligations to its anchor tenant, Condé Nast, the development dumped a major part of its plans to go green, currently leaving the building in a state of noncompliance.

Find out more here

Daily Link Fix

  • Looking for the ultimate NYC-themed holiday gift? The CityStore sells quirky urban treasures like manhole cover floor mats and FDNY dog coats. [Daily News]
  • Check out this Greek Revival Sag Harbor home, filled with whimsical touches and seaside décor. [Domaine]
  • Here’s a fun map of all the remaining gas stations in Manhattan. [Untapped]
  • A City Councilman is proposing a bill that would limit the number of lights kept on in commercial buildings at night. [Capital]
  • How can cities like New York become even more bike friendly? Take a look at the ten points of bicycling architecture. [Arch Daily]
  • Avenue A is getting “the world’s smallest screening room.” [EV Grieve]

Images: Gas station via Théo La Photo via photopin cc (L); NYC at night via thezartorialist.com via photopin cc (R)

Celebrities, Greenwich Village, Interiors, Recent Sales

  • By Annie Doge
  • , December 9, 2014

After initially listing her Greenwich Village penthouse for $11 million in July 2013, Rosie O’Donnell has finally sold the chic four-bedroom home for the substantially lesser amount of $9 million, according to the Daily News.

O’Donnell bought the duplex apartment at 130 West 12th Street, part of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital complex, for $8.09 million in the summer of 2012. She then redecorated it with a combination of artsy, modern, and elegant furnishings. In addition to benefitting from Rosie’s design sense, the new owner will also get to take advantage of a 435-square-foot private terrace and views of both the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center.

Take a look around the penthouse here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper West Side 

  • By Aisha Carter
  • , December 9, 2014

About two years ago, this impeccable pad on Central Park West sold for $4.3 million. Today, after an extensive gut renovation, the apartment is back on the market asking $8.495 million—nearly twice its initial price. But that 50% increase includes a Workshop/APD redesign, complete with “museum quality finishes” and only the finest craftsmanship. The finished product evokes a sense of calm sophistication in a supreme duplex with partial views of the city and Central Park.

More pics right this way

Policy, Soho

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , December 9, 2014

Soho via CityRealty

By definition, a Business Improvement District (BID) “is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development, and promotion of their commercial district.” Typically, they’re implemented in neighborhoods that need an economic boost, so Soho would seem like an unlikely candidate.

Ever since the neighborhood’s artist lofts were replaced with designer boutiques, residents have struggled to deal with the “mall-ification” of their home. And when the Soho Broadway BID was presented, local activists opposed it, citing that commercial activity was already bursting at the seams, and it was the residents who needed assistance. Now, after nearly four years of debate, the BID is moving forward, but with a decreased budget and an equal commitment to both residents and businesses.

More details ahead

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