These days it seems like a lot of the city’s underground is turning into a mall – but that’s not always a bad thing particularly when there’s a conversion of previously underutilized spaces. Many places, like Fulton Center and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (Santiago Calatrava’s “Soaring Bird station”) have taken inspiration from the success of the retail at Grand Central Terminal. Even the long-maligned Penn Station has been gradually kicking out long standing businesses in the hopes of going upscale.
The latest of these transformations is TurnStyle in the Columbus Circle subway station, a $14.5 million private project financed by the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Susan Fine, the principal of Oases RE, which manages leasing (and is behind Grand Central Terminal’s retail spaces). Turnstyle was designed by the firm Architecture Outfit and opened this past weekend.
Image via Crown Finish Caves
There are plenty of curious things stored underground in New York City, but this might be the most exciting since it contains something most people love: food, specifically, cheese. Crown Finish Caves is a underground facility is located in an 1850’s tunnel 30 feet underneath the street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. But they don’t make cheese here, instead, they are in the business of the cheesemaking process, called “affinage”– that is, aging young cheese (called “Green Cheese”). (more…)
Last fall, after the Passover holiday, Streit’s, the oldest family-owned matzo bakery, closed its five-floor factory on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, which it had occupied since 1925. The company itself was founded in 1916. Streit’s had staved off the onslaught of real estate developments in the neighborhood, but it finally acknowledged the need for more space and an upgraded premises. Much of the equipment – including the ovens – dated back to before the second World War, if not earlier.
Though Streti’s is no longer on the Lower East Side, a new documentary “Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” will bring viewers inside the former factory. In addition, on April 20th and 21st, the Film Forum will host screenings and a talk with filmmaker Michael Levine with members of the Streit Family (more…)
Image via OHNY
Since last April, Open House New York has been busy leading tours of some of New York City’s great food hubs, from the massive Hunts Point Food Distribution Center in the Bronx (where we also brought readers to last year) to the posh new all-things-French Le District food hall in Battery Park City. Dubbed The Final Mile, the series of tours and events was a peek into the vastly complex daily charade of producing, distributing and selling the food required to fill the stomachs of over 8 million New Yorkers. The program wrapped up on Thursday with a discussion between several food experts about the future of the city’s gastronomic ecosystem.
991 Fifth Avenue, the American Irish Historical Society
Last Friday, we attended “Polytope,” an immersive food and art event inside the Beaux Arts townhouse that houses the American Irish Historical Society on Fifth Avenue. The event was the brainchild of composer Ricardo Romaneiro and featured the culinary gifts of Columbia University senior, Jonah Reider, who is also behind the secret supper club Pith. Polytope, for those less geometrically oriented, is an object with flat sides that can exist in any general number of dimensions – and the name of the event became clear as the experience unfolded.
Fans of the iconic Greenwich Village speakeasy Chumley’s at 86 Bedford Street will be excited to hear that not only has the liquor license been issued (following a community-supported petition), but also that the whole joint will finally re-open in mid-May of this year. The watering hole shuttered nine years ago following a wall collapse, but co-owner Jim Miller and partner Alessandro Borgognone, an owner of Sushi Nakawaza, are restoring the space. Earlier in February, the New York Times announced the news and the Chumley’s team released a DIY video on Saturday via Facebook showing some of the work. It’s the first peek most people have had of the space since the closing, and despite the home video quality, it’s pretty exciting.