Catherine is a rising senior majoring in English at Princeton University. Her hobbies include running, cooking, and of course, reading and writing. Current items on her bucket list: run a marathon, learn to make macarons, and hike Machu Picchu. Her favorite city is London, though New York and San Francisco also come close.
New York City’s skyscrapers, flashy lights, and “go big or go home” mentality make it easy to forget sometimes that space is precious and scarce in the city. In 2011, the Wall Street Journalreported that rent on East Village spaces under 1,000 square feet can often be $10,000 or less a month—a steal, considering a typical 1,500-2,500-square-foot retail space costs $15,000-$30,000. With the rise in rent is a growing number of tiny food establishments no bigger than a studio apartment. But what these seven places lack in size, they make up for character, from graffitied brick walls to pink naked lady wallpaper, and, of course, delicious food as well.
The name of this West Village wine bar/bistro translates to “salt and fat.” While there’s a lot of both in the rich French food served there, diners wouldn’t fit between the 14 tables if they ate there every day. The cramped space is livened up by graffiti-adorned brick walls, chalkboards, and a brightly-colored tile floor. According to the Daily Meal, it’s the smallest full-service restaurant in the city. (more…)
Wright’s towers surrounding St. Mark’s Church. Source: Architizer.
In 1927, architect Frank Lloyd Wright began plans for three to four all-glass apartment towers in the East Village at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue. The unprecedented buildings, which would have been the first all-glass ones in New York, were commissioned by the Reverend William Norman Guthrie of St. Mark’s Church. Though the modern structure would have towered over the reveredchurch, rent from Wright’s apartments would have provided a much-needed influx of funds for the church. This wouldn’t have happened today though–in 1966 the church was landmarked and in 1984 the St. Mark’s Historic District was extended to include the row houses on 10th Street that would have been demolished with Wright’s plan. (more…)
In 1923, four years before construction on the bridge began, the congregation of the Methodist Church in Washington Heights received news that the church would be razed to accommodate the soon-to-be-built George Washington Bridge. The church’s head, Reverend Christian Reisner, proposed an elaborate solution.
Queens’ Utopia Parkway is more than a Fountains of Wayne album name. Source: Amazon.
Nestled in Queens between Jamaica and Flushing is Utopia, a neat, tree-lined grid that was originally planned as a haven for Jewish immigrants. According to the New York Times, the name Utopia comes from the Utopia Land Company, which purchased 50 acres of farmland in Queens in 1905. The company aimed to provide a less-crowded community for Lower East Side Jewish families. At the time, the land east of 164th Street between near Jamaica and Flushing was open space. The company planned to name the roads in the new community after the Lower East Side streets where its inhabitants used to live, including Essex, Hester and Ludlow.
Can money buy happiness? It’s a cliché question, but one that always needs asking. And as with everything else, happiness may be a lot more expensive in New York.
A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences journal polled more than 450,000 Americans over two years to find out. Researchers found that as people make more money, their life satisfaction and happiness levels seemed to increase. But the rise in happiness is limited. Beyond an annual income of $75,000, income increase has little measurable effect on happiness level.