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By Brett Malvin | Agent in New York, NY
  • 4 Great Gardens of NYC: Urban Escape

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Parks & Recreation in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  September 4, 2011 11:15 AM  |  7,046 views  |  2 comments

    Sometimes the city life gets to be a bit too much and some time is needed to step away from it all. That's why we've found four gardens in New York City that are close enough to home that you won't have to do much traveling, but enchanting enough to help you feel like you've left the City.

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    The Cloisters Museum and Gardens are thirty minutes from Midtown, but feels like a step back into time. It's location is Fort Tryon Park at the top of a grassy hill. This medieval backdrop has been used for outdoor Shakespeare plays in the past.  With views of the Hudson River, guests can explore not only the museum, but also its lush gardens.

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    If you really want to get lost in a garden, there's no place better than to do it at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. With ongoing exhibitions, classes, and seminars--this garden offers more than just a nice, peaceful day; although you can get that here as well. As one of New York City's historical gardens, New York Botanical Garden gives something extra to visitors and residents.

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    If you're in Central Park, there are many outdoor areas that are filled with greenery. However, there is also the Conservatory Garden which is broken up into three styles; French, Italian and English. The northern French-style features seasonal displays in spring and autumn, the Untermyer fountain, and Three Dancing Maidens sculpture.

    The central Italian garden showcases a large lawn surrounded by Crabapple trees, a jet fountain, and a beautiful walkway with the names of the original thirteen states written on medallions.

    The southern English garden houses a bronze statuary fountain with a boy playing a pipe to attract birds and a girl giving them water to drink. It also encompasses seasonal trees and flowers.

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    If you don't mind the trip, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a must see almost any time of the year. There's so much to do and see with gardens and collections, workshops, and events happening throughout the year. It's no wonder that so many people choose to have their weddings here, with all of the natural beauty that surrounds visitors.

    Whichever garden you like the best, we're always here to help you find a home that's not too far away from one of these gorgeous gardens. Call 877-852-6636 to speak with a representative today!

  • Retailing Deal in the Pipeline at the World Trade Center

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Market Conditions in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  August 29, 2011 3:40 PM  |  7,147 views  |  No comments

    The construction standstill at Ground Zero has become the stuff of legend. The WTC has faced a mountain of red tape since it was first constructed, and the rebuilding effort has faced a similar uphill battle. New Yorkers were skeptical at the news from a couple of weeks ago that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has started negotiations with The Westfield Group to finalize an agreement from 2008 to develop retail spaces at the World Trade Center site. Westfield is a large international conglomerate, with interests in shopping centers around the world. As one of the largest developers of shopping spaces with a portfolio worth over $58 billion with properties on several continents, the company has plenty of experience and capital to ensure the smooth progress of the project.

    Whether their partner will be as efficient is another story. The Port Authority (the public authority that both is and is not a government body, and is one of the biggest powerhouses of the city) is infamous for its glacial pace and tough line negotiations, but it seems that we might see real progress on the venture soon. Construction at the site has developed in recent days, and there is visible progress to be seen through the chain linked fences surrounding the construction site.

    The retail space will be prime retail property both for its location and for its symbolism. Knowing this, the developers have made plans for approximately 360,000 square feet of retail space to be built immediately. Only half of this will be available to shopkeepers, since around 200,000 square feet is reserved for the transit hub designed by Santiago Calatrava, itself a beautiful sight:

    Alison Gregor at the New York Timesis reportingthat renters in the Financial District are already upping their asking prices for rents, with a staggering 36 percent increase in rents since spring 2010. Compared to a rent increase of 2 percent in downtown overall, this is a noteworthy spike.

    Want to live in the Financial District? Care to see what residential properties are available near the WTC and around Wall Street? Why not visit our website or give one of our agents a call at 1-877-852-6636 today!

  • Top 5 NYC Street Foods

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Quality of Life in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  August 27, 2011 6:20 AM  |  7,035 views  |  1 comment

    When most people think of NYC street foods, they think of hot dogs, pretzels and occasionally nuts. But street foods in New York City have come a long way and some might even say they've become an art. You can find just about every food on the street whether it's cupcakes, Greek food, or crepes.

    We've compiled a list of the top 5 street foods in NYC and where to get them! These street food staples are delicious, will satisfy you, and keep you going on to your next adventure for the day.

    First up is what New Yorkers commonly know as "chicken and rice". The intersection on53rd and 6th Avenue where there's a Halal food cart on every corner of the street. It's not called "chicken and rice" for nothing. This is where you'll get the best gyros and chicken or lamb platters you can find on the street. There's a long line for a reason. Whether it's hot or cold out; you'll always see a diverse group of people waiting for some tasty Halal food.

    56 st chicken and rice

    If Jamaican food is more your speed, you can try The Jamaican Dutchy on West 51st Street and 7th Avenue. He serves up Jamaican classics like oxtail, curry goat, and jerk chicken. The lines may again be long, but there's a reason this is one of the best street food stops in New York.

    If you find yourself in Jackson Heights, Queens, you must pay a visit to the Arepa Lady. Arepas are a street festival favorite and Maria Piedad Cano's have a cult following. She now has a Twitter account to keep you updated on all the happenings.  If you've never had an arepa, run, don't walk to the nearest arepa cart you can find. The golden brown corn cake is either covered or stuffed with cheese.

    If you're in the mood for something sweet, there's absolutely nothing like the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Douglas Quint and his partner Bryan Petroff took the Mister Softee concept and added their own special twist to the traditional soft-serve ice-cream cone. Toppings like wasabi pea dust, toasted curried coconut, or pumpkin butter; you can probably try something new every time you go! The truck works on a schedule, they might be in Chelsea one week and the East Village the next; so be sure to check the site!

    Last, but not least on our list is Wafels and Dinges. The waffle truck is the idea of Thomas DeGeest who gives customers a choice between a classic waffle or the star Liege wafel, a denser treat that gets topped with dinges or toppings of your choice. You can create a sweet or savory masterpiece or pick from the pre-selected choices on the menu including BBQ Pulled Pork, a bacon-syrup waffle, or a de verdekke (waffle ice-cream sandwich). The waffles are crispy and fluffy and the truck can be found any where from Tribeca to SoHoand everything in between.

    Once you find your dream location, make sure to give us a call to help you find the condothat's right for you! Call 877-852-6636 to speak with a representative today!

  • In with the new architecture critic: Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Quality of Life in New York  |  August 24, 2011 9:12 AM  |  6,362 views  |  No comments

    After the announcement that Nicolai Ouroussoff will be stepping down early last month, it was announced last week that Michael Kimmelman will be replacing him as resident architecture critic for the New York Times. Ouroussoff stepped into the position in 2004 after writing for the Los Angeles Times for several years. Like his mentor Herbert Muschamp, Ouroussoff was a profound lover of cities, and his writings always tried to juxtapose the work of a single architect with the urban landscape and architectural stylings of the neighborhood surrounding the building. He was also a keen critic of overtly flashy experimental buildings that did not stay true to the building's purpose but was by no means a traditionalist. Of course, Ouroussoff had his critics, but I'm not going to indulge in the meta-ness of criticizing a critic.

    His replacement has been writing for the New York Times for quite a while and hasn't (yet) earned many barbs from naysayers. Not to say there won't be time for that, since the architecture critic for the New York Times will forever be facing the electron microscope of the design, architecture, and real estate worlds. We should know what to expect. Already a critic and foreign correspondent for the Times, Kimmelman has written on a number of political, social, and cultural issues across the globe, and the New York Times seems to hope this will make him a loved architecture critic as well:

    He’s a native New Yorker who notes how growing up in the West Village made him “instinctively aware of the tenuous and evolving life of cities, and of people’s stake in how cities change.”  This, he adds, “was when Ada Louise Huxtable was the paper’s groundbreaking and inspired architecture critic.”

    If Kimmelman can give the column the insider's perspective that some believed was lacking in Ouroussoff's work, the Times will be happy. I expect plenty of criticism to focus on his lack of an architectural background, but it still remains to be seen if this isn't actually an asset for the column.

    It's only been six days since the announcement so we have yet to see his first offering, but I expect it to be impressive. With plenty of new developments in the city, there is plenty to write about.

    Do you want to live in one of the architectural gems of Manhattan? Our agents can help. Have a look at our website or give us a call at 1-877-852-6636 to arrange a consultation today!

  • 4 of NYC's Best Rooftop Bars

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Entertainment & Nightlife in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  August 21, 2011 5:23 PM  |  3,441 views  |  No comments

    It always feels like there's something going on in New York City. Whether you're off to work or just spending the day wandering the City, people are always around and you can always feel the hustle and bustle around you. But sometimes you need time to relax. Sometimes you need to have a drink and enjoy the view.

    New York City is known for its rooftop bars and lounges. With sky high buildings, it's no wonder that restaurateurs are taking their businesses to the top - literally. Enjoy my personal list of the six best NYC rooftop bars where you can enjoy spectacular views and a cocktail as well!

    The Kimberly Hotel on the East Side is one such place to do this surrounded by elegance! "Upstairs" is where you'll get views of Midtown thirty stories above street level. With views of the Chrysler Building and beautifully designed indoor/outdoor spaces; you may never want to leave!

    Rare View Chelsea offers not only a view of the Chrysler Building, but also of the Empire State Building. The wraparound roof offers view wherever you are. Comfy seating and great ambiance at night with candlelit tables will help you leave all the stress of the day behind. Grab a drink or something to eat and just take it all in. Definitely a must for an after work drink and good laughs with friends.

    Press Lounge on the sixteenth floor of Ink 48 in Midtown has the views you want in a casual setting. Take a look at the Hudson River while drinking a specialty drink and enjoying something delicious.

    There's outdoor seating and even a glass-enclosed lounge so no matter where you are; you're sure to be having fun!

    The Delancey has been a Lower East Side favorite bar/rock club that offers an amazing rooftop space with beautiful views as well. A few minutes in line is well worth the wait for benches, fountains, and a view of the Williamsburg Bridge. This may easily be the most laid back rooftop that you can find in the City; so grab a Stella and head straight for the roof!

    Whether you're on the hunt for a posh, upscale rooftop bar experience or just looking for a place to chill out after a hard day at work, New York City has it. Ready to commit? Call 877-852-6636 to speak with a representative to make your own Manhattan dreams a reality!

  • Top 5 Ways to Get Your Ice-Cream Fix in NYC

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  August 12, 2011 7:54 PM  |  1,388 views  |  1 comment

    It's been one of the hottest summers we've had in NYC and everyone's looking for a way to beat the heat. If you're looking for a treat as well as a way to stay cool, check out these unique ice-cream creations right in NYC!

    Everyone hits up places like Pinkberry and Red Mango for frozen yogurt rather than plain boring ice-cream, but artisans around the City are making it hip again to be into the dessert we grew up loving.

    (Photo Kathy YL Chan)Melt Bakery was developed by experienced pastry chef Julian Plyter and Kareem Hamady. They married old-fashioned cookies with specialty flavors that are updated and changed regularly. The duo got their start at the Hester Street Fair and continue to sell their sandwiches at stores, and fairs throughout the City. And if you're enjoying your Lower East Side condo too much to go out; they will deliver to you with a minimum order of a dozen sandwiches from a select menu!

    But they're not the only ones in town offering to deliver you ice-cream to your door! MilkMaid uses local ingredients to create two flavors each month. For a membership fee, they hand deliver the goods right to your door!

    In the West Village, Victory Gardenis the brainchild of Sophia Brittan who wanted to offer something different to NYC residents who were into the frozen yogurt scene. That's when she introduced her goat's milk soft serve ice-cream, featuring interesting flavors like Turkish Delight (Damascene Rose & Mastic with Pistachio).  The healthy alternative is not only good for you, but delicious too! And for those that have issues with lactose intolerance, goat's milk is a great way to get your ice-cream fix without getting sick!

    Amorino sets out to give a taste of authentic Italian ice-cream or gelato. The ingredients are the best quality and there are no artificial flavors. And with locations throughout Europe; we're lucky to have one close by! With flavors like Caramel Salted with Butter and Bourbon Vanilla, who wouldn't want to give them a try?

    If you're really into health and have a restrictive vegan or raw food lifestyle or you just want to eat better; there's even something for you! The Raw IceCream Company is a "ice-cream" made of natural, 100% raw fruits and nuts to create their products.  Not only are the ingredients all natural and good for you, but the packaging is also made with renewable materials. The fantastic "ice-cream" will still keep you cool and is available in stores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    This summer, while you're on the hunt for a sweet way to stay cool, why not give us a call to find you a place to call home? We want to get you as close as we can to your favorite ice-cream place. Call 877-852-6636 to speak with a representative today!

  • Harlem Then and Now

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Quality of Life in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York  |  August 8, 2011 9:37 AM  |  1,539 views  |  2 comments

    Researchers at Rutgers University have created an interactive tool to document and archive historical photos of different urban areas across America. The Harlem section is fascinating, offering photos of different neighborhoods in this ever-changing section of Manhattan. Because there are pictures taken from the same spot over a span of two decades, there is a lot to see and explore; plus, you can use the built-in map to explore different neighborhoods.

    Even a cursory glance makes one thing clear: Harlem has transformed. A mixture of civic pride, urban development projects, government funding, and real estate speculation has completely transformed the neighborhood. This tells us a couple of things: 1. Stereotypes about Harlem that were born out of the 70s and 80s have nothing to do with the area today, and 2. Manhattan is an ever-changing landscape. There's no way to know how the city will continue to change in 10 years.

    Want to see what luxury properties are available in Harlem?

    Have a look on our website or contact one of our agents at 1-877-852-6636 today!

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