SummerStage, July 13-25 

This week, you can boogie down in St. Mary’s Park to performances from Latin soul stars including Johnny Rivera, Joe Bataan, and Tito Rojas. St. Mary’s is located in the Mott Haven neighborhood in the Southwest Bronx and is accessible via the 2 train to 3rd Avenue & 146th Street, 6 train to E. 143rd Street & St. Mary’s Street or the Bx15 to 146th Street & Willis Avenue. 

If you are in need of relaxation, #TheBigQuiet returns to Central Park for a mass meditation on Wednesday, July 13. Tickets are available online – http://bit.ly/29VT2uj . All proceeds benefit City Parks Foundation.
Don’t forget about the upcoming SummerStage Benefit Concerts – these shows help to support over 100 free events in parks across the five boroughs. Tickets are on sale for Mass Appeal: Live at the BBQhttp://bit.ly/29VT2uj – on July 25 hosted by Nas featuring performances from Ty Dolla $ign, Danny Brown, Machine Gun Kelly, AraabMuzik, and loads more. 
Time to get to the parks! 

Living in the East Village

East Village apartmentA popular area for the past 50 years or so, especially for young crowds, the East Village is touted as one of the more accessible neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan.

Its reputation as the early hub for punk music and the current artistic vibe in this neighborhood has people willing to pay Manhattan rents to live here.

Here are some data points on housing in the East Village:

  • Home prices decreased by more than 30% year-over-year in March and April; the median price in April was $767K
  • The median rent in March and April reached $3,450, slightly more than on the Upper East Side
  • 82% of all housing units built in the East Village are rentals, a far higher percentage than the one for all of Manhattan (67%)
  • The smallest home in the neighborhood spans only 250 square feet, yet sold for $500K back in 2006

The East Village is known for unusual boutiques, small family restaurants and a great bar scene. So, students and young professionals feel at home here – actually, half of the population is younger than 34 years old. A third is made up of family households and there are still many die-hard fans of the neighborhood that have stayed here for decades.

East Village Renting is the norm in this neighborhood. There are 33,240 housing units in the East Village – 82% of the available housing stock is rentals. As more and more people turn to renting, either by choice or forced by the high costs associated with home ownership, rental apartments in the area are in high demand. The rapid changes in the market and a local culture of transient living constantly bring new faces to the neighborhood, contributing to residents’ feelings of being taken over by outsiders.

Being priced out of the rental market is a legitimate concern in the East Village. The average one-bedroom flat rented for $3K in April, and half of all size apartments cost more than $3,450 per month. In fact, the median rent just topped that of the Upper East Side! If you take a look at the impact on household budgets, it means that the median household is looking at spending at least $40K per year on housing, if they’re lucky. The good news is that, at this rate, rents are rising more slowly than in most of Manhattan.

Across all types of properties, condos, co-ops and townhouses, the market has been particularly favorable for East Village buyers lately. March and April saw prices fallen by more than 30% compared to spring of 2015. The median home sold for about $770K in April, whereas the median home price for all of Manhattan was a little over $1M. New developments going up in the neighborhood are bringing in the wind of change, and with it, higher prices – $2-$3M per unit – and a whole new class of buyers.

East Village has a casual and quirky vibe, which is exactly what has kept young people coming in for decades. Historical veneer and new century design, luxury condos and shoe-box rentals coexist just fine in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan. When it comes to the cost of living, however, the neighborhood is catching up to other Lower Manhattan areas. Most rentals are expensive but buying a home here is still cheaper than in many other Manhattan neighborhoods.

 

 

Sources: Propertyshark, Citihabitats, Yardi Matrix.

Cooper Hewitt Spinning Chairs

Cooper Hewitt Spinning Chairs

If you wander by 5th Avenue and 90st you can’t help but see Cooper-Hewitt’s beautiful lawn. Although we do visit the inside of the museum – the stunning Carnegie Mansion – last week we visited the outside of the museum. In particular we took the time to take a spin in the fabulously designed Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick and his team, Heatherwick Studio.

No charge to walk into the garden – entrance on 90th Street – and enjoy a spin or relax the shade.

 

To recover from our dizziness and always game to fully use any patch of grass, we enjoyed a game of running bases – there is always a ball in someone’s pocket!  Thankfully the guard was amenable 4 loud people enjoying the lawn!

Isaac Mizrahi Exhibit @ The Jewish Museum

A few weeks back on a rainy spring day, getting stir crazy from being indoors too long, the kids and I hopped in a cab and headed across town to to see the  Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History exhibit. I knew the visit might not be a hit with all the children but my strategy, with kids, is to always keep the museum visits focused and short and then everyone usually enjoys the experience.

The core of the exhibition features iconic designs from the Isaac Mizrahi New York clothing label (1987 – 1998), the “semi-couture” collections (2003 – 2011), and the line for Target (2002 – 2008) – the first designer partnership done with that store. The show is comprised of 42 “looks” that include clothing, hats, jewelry, shoes, accessories, and costumes for the theater, the opera, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Read more

OLDNYC App

OLDNYC App

In May 2015, Brooklyn-based developer Dan Vanderkam launched  OldNYC  providing history and NYC fans a new way to experience NYPL’s Photographic Views of New York City collection and discover the history behind the places New Yorkers see everyday.

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New York City’s Plastic Bag Bill

plastic bag in treeIt’s the worst part of fall and winter. Once the leaves fall off the trees, the plastic bags caught up in their branches are exposed creating an eyesore that is particularly noticeable in the urban landscape.

Well, come this winter, we may see less of this mess. Soon those bags will cost a nickel in New York City.  The NY City Council has voted 28 to 20 to require certain retailers to collect a fee on each carryout bag, paper or plastic.

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Artexpo New York is this Weekend!

Art Expo NYC bannerThis almost got by me this year!

At Artexpo New York you’ll find more than 400+ innovative exhibiting artists, galleries and publishers from across the globe, showcasing exciting original artwork, prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, giclee, lithographs, glass works and more—all under one roof.  So, if you need to fill that big empty spot over the sofa, this is the pace for you!

The event is held at Pier 94, 135,000 square feet of uninterrupted space. Perfect viewing!

Saturday, April 16th: til 7PM
Sunday, April 17th: 10AM – 6PM

Pier 94Art Expo NYC
711 12th Ave (55th Street & the West Side Highway)
New York, NY 10019-5399