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Will Nunziata’s recent judgmental map of Williamsburg is the latest attempt at breaking down NYC’s neighborhoods into as many generalizations as possible while offending/making us laugh. We covered a city-wide judgmental map a few months ago and a Manhattan version before that, but what makes Nunziata’s latest work so memorable is its glorious, block-by-block level detail. No corner of the neighborhood is spared from his hilarious set of labels. Even an “odd smell” at the corner of Humboldt and Skillman Avenue is pointed out (although one commenter insists the smell is in fact at Humboldt and Conselyea).

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Acumen formerly Pfizer BuildingPfizer plant facade

Among the columned hallways and warehouses of the 6,600 square foot complex that once headquartered pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, an ecosystem of local manufacturing and food production companies is thriving. Sculptors and kite-makers work alongside chocolatiers and whiskey distillers in an environment that breeds collaboration and innovation.

Yet only five years ago this massive structure, located along Flushing Avenue in South Williamsburg, sat vacant following Pfizer’s departure after over 150 years of occupancy. Faced with an uncertain future, battled over by politicians and developers, the plant somehow evolved into the eclectic mix of industries seen today. To capture the plant’s full transformation we must look back to 1849, when Charles Pfizer opened up his company’s original headquarters in Williamsburg. (more…)

Hunts Point Landing-The Bronx-Greenway-NYCHunts Point Landing, image via Urban Engineers

Far from the hordes of people that crowd New York’s more popular beaches are a host of lesser known parks offering waterfront access and panoramic views. The city published a map of all of New York’s public waterfront space, but we’ve picked out some of the most interesting from each of the five boroughs. Check them out before the summer weather disappears for good.

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Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens.

We’ve often thought that if you love food you should just move to Brooklyn—the way a lover of Thoroughbreds should move to Kentucky or a lover of surf to California. Brooklyn Eats, the annual food and beverage trade show hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, showed on June 27 just how sound that impulse would be by offering the borough’s full range of food possibilities, from serious farming to frivolous (but fabulous) ice cream and cupcakes.

Brooklyn Eats

“We are farmers that live in apartments. We see green fields where others see rooftops,” announces Gotham Greens’ website, baldly appealing to local patriotism—and so they should. Brooklyn’s rooftop farms and greenhouses are becoming one of the wonders of the urban world. Did anyone predict urban agriculture could be profitable before 2010, when the Brooklyn Grange opened its soil farm on the roof of a 43,000-square-foot building in Queens, and Gotham Greens built its commercial-scale greenhouse on the roof of a warehouse in North Brooklyn? Using hydroponic technology—nutrient-rich, reusable water instead of soil—Gotham Greens has since opened a greenhouse on the roof of the Whole Foods in Gowanus, and will soon operate a third in Jamaica, Queens.

“We concentrate on perishable crops,” says Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens, especially the lettuces that must be shipped long distances, from Latin America and California, and the herbs that are so treasured by today’s cooks. In place of long-distance transport, they simply carry the products down from the roof, converting “food miles to food footsteps,” says Gotham Greens co-founder Viraj Puri.

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Barcade-Beer-List-Untapped-Cities

We’ve already seen two of the more unusual themed bars: The Slaughtered Lamb in Greenwich Village and The Way Station in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Now, let’s look back at those two quirky bars, and we’ll show you two new ones in a roundup of some eccentric places to nerd out with some drinks.

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Kara Walker's immense, sugar-coated sphinx measuring 75.5-feet long, 35.5-feet high, and 26 feet wide Kara Walker’s immense, sugar-coated sphinx measuring 75.5-feet long, 35.5-feet high, and 26 feet wide

There are those who think the Empire State Building, in all its Manhattan exuberance soaring towards the sky, is the apt symbol for New York. But a choice that may be truer to the very essence of our city, as it was and as it will be, is the Domino Sugar Refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Sugar helped make New York rich, dominant, and powerful in the mid- to late 19th century, when its production was Brooklyn’s most important and innovative industry, until the 1930s, when, like much in New York, it declined precipitously. In many ways, what happens with the development of the Domino site—prime real estate on the Brooklyn waterfront—will tell us a great deal about our future.  (more…)