November 25, 2019

From 1932 through 1934, Golda Meir, the future prime minister of Israel, worked as one of the leaders of the Pioneer Women’s Organization for Palestine, in its office in the St. James Building, 1133 Broadway. (The organization subsequently changed its name to Pioneer Women in 1939 and is today called Na’amat.).

Golda Meir worked primarily raising funds for the Zionist organization, which was concerned with female participation in the building of Palestine. But this was just one stop on her way to greatness.

For those who experienced life in the time of Golda Meir, no explanation of her legendary stature is necessary.  Younger generations, however, might not realize how powerful a force she was in very dangerous times, when women were given little voice in world politics dominated by men and in a country rooted in patriarchal control.  The title of one biography says it all —The Lioness.

An article on Meir in the encyclopedia on the Jewish Women’s Archive says it best, “Pioneer, visionary, risk-taker, indefatigable fund-raiser, eloquent advocate, she was an activist of the first order, one of the founders of the Jewish state… Presidents and kings found her willfulness charming, while her grandmotherly appearance and plain-spoken personal style endeared her to ordinary people around the world. In her time, Golda was as admired as Queen Elizabeth and as well known by her first name as Madonna is today.”

Born in Kiev in 1898, she migrated with her family to Milwaukee at the age of eight in 1903.  Graduating from elementary school as valedictorian, she had to convince her parents to allow her to stay in school rather than find a husband. (Her father told her that “Men don’t like smart girls.”).

She began attending a three-year program at a teachers’ training college in 1916, but with the establishment of the Palestine state in 1917, she married—under the conditions that she and her husband would move to Palestine and live on a kibbutz.  The climb was not easy. She became expert at breeding and feeding chickens and she was sent by the kibbutz for management courses; she had two children and lived in poverty with her husband in Jerusalem; and finally got a job in Tel Aviv with Histadrut and quickly moved up the ranks to its Executive Committee; during World War II, she took over the leadership of the organization.

The Women’s Organization for the Pioneer Women of Palestine was officially founded in 1925. This early photograph of its leaders includes (L to R, standing): Leah Brown, Goldie Meyerson (Golda Meir), Miriam Meltzer and Nina Zuckerman; (seated): Leah Biskin, Rahel Siegel, Fiegel Berkinblitt. Insert: Chaya Ehrenreich.

With the establishment of the State of Israel and the threat of conflict with the Arab states, she raised over $50,000,000 in the United States for needed defense spending, and she did many other heroic things for the Israeli state, which you can read about here.

After being elected to the Knesset, she became in turn Minister of Labor and then Foreign Minister under Ben Guirion. The description of her term as foreign minister speaks volumes about this woman:

“The only female foreign minister in the world, Golda Meir was also the only foreign minister who had no use for formalities, who flew tourist class, who shocked hotel staffs by handwashing her own underwear and shining her own shoes, and who entertained foreign dignitaries in her kitchen, in an apron, serving them her homemade pastry along with a stern lecture on Israel’s security. She also was a foreign minister who refused to obey the color line in Rhodesia, inspiring a full complement of dignitaries to follow suit, and whose proudest accomplishment was the export of Israeli technical and agricultural expertise to the African nations.”

Although she decided to retire in 1966 due to health concerns and a desire to enjoy life, political events forced her party to prevail upon her to become Israel’s leader in 1969. A devastating loss of life in the Yom Kippur war racked her with remorse, and the people turned on her. Meir resigned as head of state in 1974, but it didn’t end there. After a time, she evolved into an elder stateman and beloved public citizen and her reputation as a philosopher-comedian became a legend. She died on December 8, 1978 at 80, being one of the most accomplished people of the 20th Century.

November 20, 2019
Caffè Marchio

NoMad has choices galore for every occasion from a quick business lunch to a formal night out. There are restaurants, bars and bakeries for brunch, lunch and dinner, where you can find a combination perfectly fitting your desires.  Sometimes in our routine we form habits, but PureWow in a recent article reminds us all to explore the richness of the international choices and innovations of great chefs.

You don’t need to look any further than Kew’s very own building at 1133 Broadway to find La Pecora Bianca, where you can get your fill of Italian classics with a twist, including short-rib and brisket meatballs in a hearty pomodoro sauce and a beet carpaccio served with goat cheese, kumquats, and toasted pistachios. The bright, modern space makes this a cheery spot for lunch or weekend brunch, while still being impressive enough for a night out. Don’t forget to enjoy the broad selection of Italian regional wines and a heaping portion of the decadent tiramisu to really make the meal worthwhile.

If your Italian cravings aren’t satisfied by La Pecora Bianca, then head over to the beautiful Caffe Marchio on 30th Street for a proper latte and a tempting array of pastries and sandwiches. Danny Meyer has captured the spirit of a Roman café so you’ll feel like you’ve taken a brief vacation.  Pop in during weekday afternoons for half-priced coffees that will give you a much-needed jolt to get you through the rest of the day.

Made Nice

Wander two streets down and you’ll find two places with fast service and nutritious foods, ideal for a speedy lunch at the office. Made Nice on 28th Street offers a higher caliber of standard grab-and-go sandwiches, salads,  grain bowls and the famous chicken frites (as well as some self-indulgent Milk & Honey soft-serve ice cream), thought up by the same chef behind the prestigious Eleven Madison Park. KazuNori on that same block, brought to NoMad by Californian sushi company Sugarfish, serves up reliable, well-priced hand rolls in a relaxed counter setting.

For a fancier atmosphere, 28th Street is also home to Quality Eats, with an inventive menu that features tamarind-glazed fried chicken and grilled Nueske’s bacon smothered in peanut butter and jalapeño jelly, as well as classic cuts of steak. Or try out Benno on 27th Street, with an equally creative fusion of Italian and French cuisines prepared under the direction of Michelin star chef Jonathan Benno, formerly of Per Se and Lincoln. Abandon your preconceived culinary notions and sample some American sturgeon caviar served with smoked egg yolks and tater tots for light snacking in their upscale lounge, or enjoy the rabbit confit agnolotti in the spacious art-deco styled dining room.


If you’re looking to share a meal with friends or coworkers in the area, Lamalo on 31st Street has a robust offering of contemporary Middle Eastern spreads and dips, along with freshly baked bread that you will surely fight to keep to yourself, as it is made by the city’s top carb connoisseur — Gadi Peleg, owner of Breads Bakery. Alternately, Atoboy on 28th Street is perfect for a small group that wants to explore chef Junghyun Park’s family-style elevated Korean dishes that change seasonally.

With the wealth of dining options right at your fingertips, NoMad is tastier than ever.  Pick up your week—get out and explore something new today.

November 12, 2019
Via Yimby

Excavation work is in progress at the site for the AC NoMad Hotel by Marriott, which will hold the record for the world’s tallest modular hotel once it is completed next spring. At 26 stories, the building will tower 114 feet over the current record holder, CitizenM’s New York Bowery Hotel on the Lower East Side.

The hotel at 842 Sixth Avenue will feature 168 rooms, a terrace, and a rooftop bar that capitalizes on its coveted height over the New York City skyline. With 100,000 square feet of space, it will stand just to the left of the Noma—a new residential building, behind the new Virgin Hotel, and across the street from the Kimpton Eventi Hotel.

The project was designed by Danny Forster, who has a particular interest in modular design—a method that involves constructing individual modules offsite and assembling the final product at the build site, which is said to be more time- and cost-effective than traditional construction.

Via Yimby

Forster explained modular design was ideal for the project, since it can easily replicate the repeating floor plans and symmetry chosen for the AC. However, not all of the construction will follow this new method. The cast-in-place concrete tower (the building’s central spine) will be made in New York, even as the individual modules will be developed and transported from a factory in Poland. The modules will then be stacked onto the structure as the core is built, allowing for an impressive 90-day turnaround to complete it once it reaches the assembly stage.

This $65 million project is the second hotel developed by the Chun family in NoMad, and it has caught the industry’s attention for its ambitious foray into a technique that hasn’t yet been widely adopted. Our neighborhood will eagerly follow its progress, as the AC could very well be a game changer for New York and NoMad’s hotel industry.

November 7, 2019

We are anticipating the arrival of the 100th Veterans Day parade on Monday to honor the service of the men and women who have fought to ensure our liberties.

Marking the centenary, Donald Trump will give the opening address and lay a wreath at the Eternal Light Memorial.  The memorial is located across the street from 1123 and 1133 on Fifth Avenue and 24th Street. A contingent of five generations of Marines will culminate the event with a march up Fifth Avenue.

We alert our tenants to be aware that there will be larger than usual crowds and likely transport delays throughout the city, particularly in our neighborhood, which is central to the day’s events.

Veteran’s Day Parade and Festival
The following streets will be closed Monday, November 11, 2019 from 10 am to 6 pm for the Veteran’s Day Parade and Festival at the discretion of NYPD.

Broadway between 5th Avenue and 28th Street
5th Avenue between Broadway and 24th Street
24th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue
25th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue
26th Street between Madison Avenue and 6th Avenue
27th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
28th Street between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue

5th Avenue between 24th Street and 46th Street

46th Street between 6th Avenue and Park Avenue

48th Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue

November 6, 2019

Now and Then is a series of articles appearing regularly on our blog to make tenants aware of the rich and colorful history that occurred on the streets of our Manhattan neighborhood.  Once the center of New York social life and national political life, our neighborhood witnessed some of the epic events, firsts, building projects, and celebrities that signaled the beginning of U.S. power and influence.

Today, if you look across Madison Square Park from Kew’s Townsend Building you will see a tall black slab building. It marks the spot where the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded 150 years ago.

In the 19th and early 20th Century, the area around The Townsend and St. James, now NoMad, was the heart of society and national political life. It’s no wonder then that Winston Churchill’s mother was born in the Jerome Mansion on the spot where the black tower stands today. The mansion later became the Union Club, the site of the meeting that brought the Metropolitan Museum of Art to life.

On the dismal rainy night of November 23, 1869, the city’s leaders travelled from all parts of the city by carriage. They included: William Cullen Bryant, the famous American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post, who gave the keynote address; John Jay, president of the Union Club; and the club’s Art Committee. Also attending were officers of the National Academy of Design, the New York Historical Society, the American Institute of Architects, as well as prominent citizens in business and the arts, such as the President of Columbia College, the President of the Central Park Commission, leading architects, and powerbrokers.

These men determined that night that they would move ahead to create a museum worthy of the nation and the city.  Over the next few years, they quickly formulated the legal entity, began a collection, and started to exhibit.   Only 11 years later, on March 30th 1880, the Metropolitan opened its current permanent home—the original red and white Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould building, which is still the core of the museum.  (You can see the exterior of the original museum as a result of the last round of museum expansions and redesign, which made the exterior wall part of the European Sculpture Hall.)

In 1869, the museum had no collection, no money, and no building.  That’s a sobering fact as one walks through the museum today and realizes what a relatively small group of dedicated people can do to affect society’s life—we follow in giant footsteps.

November 4, 2019

We’ve always been convinced that Kew tenants working together can make sparks fly. Tomorrow  evening from 6 to 8 p.m., we’ll see proof of that when Rizzoli hosts a book signing for Heavenly Creatures, a new photographic monograph. The unusual work in the book is by Sally Gall, who is represented by another Kew tenant, Julie Saul Projects. Why not drop by tomorrow night and meet this exciting artist and your fellow tenants?

Sally Gall’s series Heavenly Creatures continues her lifetime investigation of the sensual properties of the natural world: light, air, wind, and sky and our interactions with it. Perhaps Gall’s own words sum up her vision best: “Ordinary textiles such as bedding, towels and clothing filled the canvas of the sky with metaphoric amoebas, sea creatures, swarming birds, blooming flowers. They were like variants of Miro or Klee paintings… I am searching for poetry in the everyday, and the miraculous in the ordinary.”

Gall’s work has appeared in over 70 exhibitions, she has been covered in numerous publications, and she has work in numerous permanent corporate and museum collections, including the Whitney, Bibliotheque Nationale, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim, to name only a few.

We’d also like to take the opportunity of this event to introduce our tenants to Julie Saul. Active in the New York art world for over 30 years, she has mounted hundreds of exhibitions ranging from contemporary work to historical thematic and solo shows with themes ranging from love and intimacy, the moon, X Ray, and botanical images to Morton Bartlett, Luigi Ghirri, and Eugene Bellocq. Thirteen of these have been solo exhibitions of Sally Gall’s work. Today, Julie represents over 20 photographic artists and is focused on organizing and curating shows as pop-ups and at institutions. In addition, she provides consultation on any photographic matter from building to dismantling private and corporate collections.

1133 Broadway
New York, NY 10010

Tuesday November 5
6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

October 30, 2019
Source: RFR Realty

The Wall Street Journal and other sources are reporting that Deerfield Management Company, in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Industrial Development Agency, is creating a transformative $635 million life science campus in NoMad over on Park Avenue South between 25th and 26th Streets.  This is good news for our area, because it will continue to make our neighborhood a magnet for creativity, technology and improved infrastructure.

One of the key reasons NoMad was chosen for this center was its robust transit connections and ease of access.  The campuses proximity to mass transit will be transformative in attracting the city’s top talent according to James Flynn, Deerfield’s managing partner, who commented that location is a common hurdle: “A lot of the sites that are zoned for labs are really hard to get to. One of the things New York needs is talent. It’s got great academic discoveries, but it doesn’t, like Boston, have all the executive talent you need to incubate these companies. Some of the locations that are hard to get to, it’s also hard to attract talent there.”

Deerfield purchased a 12-story structure at 345 Park Avenue for $345 million and is spending another $290 million to renovate the structure.  By early 2021, the 300,000 square foot expanse will be move in ready with laboratory space, research offices, over 200,000 square feet of wet labs, and other cutting edge amenities.

New York’s EDC President and CEO James Patchett sees the NoMad campus as being a perfect solution: “The shortage of commercial laboratory, engineering and computing space has prevented us from developing cures for some of the most pressing medical conditions here in New York and nationally, but with LifeSci NYC we are changing that quickly.”

The building will serve every type of specialist in the healthcare industry.  Scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators will now be able to develop cures and protocols for the management of deadly and debilitating ailments. Patchett also observed, “New York City already has the best research institutions in the world. By investing in this Life Sciences campus to bring new lab space and programming for healthcare and early-stage biotech companies, we can strengthen the City’s position as a global leader in life sciences.”

Now instead of licensing innovative procedures and products to outside companies, local institutions, such as Columbia, Cornell, Rockefeller, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, will be able to incubate these products and procedures into standalone businesses, as institutions in other cities already do.  This means greater local worth, job creation, and enhanced national and international reputations for local institutions.

Source: RFR Realty

The life science campus being created here is part of a 10-year, $500 million effort to establish New York as a top-tier biopharma hub with 16,000 new life-science jobs and up to three million square feet of new space for life-sci companies and institutions.  The announcement of the new campus comes on the heels of another life sciences project Deerfield Management has been involved with in New York. In June, Deerfield teamed up with Columbia University to form a research and development alliance called Hudson Heights Innovations that will be backed by an initial investment of $130 million from Deerfield.

To encourage these developments, the city has provided $92 million in tax incentives over a 20 year time-frame—a sizeable investment that speaks to the city’s overwhelming support towards New York’s broader mission of creating a number of high paying jobs and diversifying the economy in the biotech sector.  It has been reported by that the new campus on Park Avenue South is expected to provide 1,400 jobs.

It’s great to see our vibrant neighborhood become even more diverse while reaffirming the two features of NoMad that make it so vital to the life of New York City—creative and technological energy.

October 23, 2019

From approximately 1869 until 1910, our neighborhood was New York City’s Theatre District. There were at least 14 theatre locations nearby—but many theatres were renamed, reopened, and/or rebuilt in the same location, so the actual number depends on how one counts. Our staff counted at least 29 differently named theatres, but the histories of many theatres are not complete so there may have been at least twice as many during these years.

Koster & Bial’s

Theatre owners and producers came to NoMad during the Gilded Age because of the proximate subway lines, grand hotels and leading restaurants.  Sounds a bit like our neighborhood today.

Augustin Daly

Impresarios such as Steele MacKaye, Augustin Daly, Lester Wallach, and Harry Miner dominated the scene, while actors such as Edwin Booth, putatively the greatest Shakespearean actor of the 19th Century, Sarah Bernhardt, and Eleonora Dusa wowed audiences. New plays premiered that are still popular today, including classics such as The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore all by Gilbert and Sullivan and all of which opened to hugely favorable public and critical reaction.

Fifth Avenue Theatre

Adding to the excitement were the startling new inventions by the likes of Thomas Edison that appeared during this time, changing the theatre-going experience forever (read more).

In fact, it was the very presence of the Theatre District in our neighborhood that propelled the rise of Tin Pan Alley on 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues  The music from those shows feeding the publishers, and the publishers hawking their songs in the local theatres.

Harper’s Weekly Cover featuring Wallach’s Theatre

Sadly, not one of these theatres remain today.  As the city’s wealthy moved their residences uptown, the social center drifted North.  After 50 years in NoMad, the Theatre District followed, moving on to Longacre Square, now named Times Square.  Regardless, it is undeniable that our streets have a historical and exuberant past that, in many ways, echoes the present day character of NoMad.

October 16, 2019

Boulevard Arts is the leading developer of arts-based immersive reality experiences for art, culture and education. The company partners with the world’s leading museums to share their collections through virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology. With unparalleled knowledge of and access to the arts, Boulevard is able to create exceptional, content-rich and user-controlled experiences that make art and culture accessible in everyday life.

Boulevard’s main mission is to educate and encourage inquiry and engagement. Central to Boulevard’s ideology is the belief that access to art and culture and life-long learning are essential to living a well-informed and well-rounded life. The enhanced reality experiences Boulevard offers complement education curriculum across disciplines and open up new possibilities for learning.

In this continuation of our conversation with Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth L. Reede, we were able to get a more in-depth idea of how Boulevard Arts is able to do the amazing work that it does. Learn more about Boulevard’s process and some exciting opportunities on the horizon for this innovative company.

Behind the Scenes

In Part I of our tenant profile on Boulevard Arts, Elizabeth gave us a comprehensive picture of Boulevard’s mission and the education-based ideology that drives it. Elizabeth also spoke to us in detail about the complicated and cutting-edge technology in play behind the scenes, as well as the process her team adheres to when building Boulevard’s immersive reality experiences.

Boulevard provides content for three distinct platforms: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). Each platform is distinct and requires a unique device, so separate technology teams are involved in their development phases. Despite these different requirements, Boulevard’s production process is relatively similar for all three. Using an art gallery as an example, Elizabeth explained what the process looks like. The team goes in with a variety of tools, such as a laser scanner and high-tech cameras, and visually captures all of the information they need. The raw data is then uploaded to the cloud. Simultaneously, Elizabeth’s New York team starts the content development process, which includes researching and writing about the objects included in the experience. Software engineers pull the raw data from the cloud and begin the virtual construction process. At the same time, the engineers are making sure that the renderings are accurate, using the data points to accurately represent the detailing in the frames or the reflections on the floors.

Elizabeth says that it is a constant jockeying. “This isn’t like a manufacturing process where it is passed down an assembly line. Everything is happening at once.” The physical content is loaded in, the voice-overs and music recordings are added, and it all gets mashed together. Then the team starts the quality assurance process. “When we get a build, the whole team starts checking it, and we are essentially trying to break it.” Once the build is ready, it is sent to the client for testing and final approval. All of these steps are important to the production of the high-quality experiences that Boulevard provides.

Making a Name for Boulevard

Boulevard has the technology, but, as Elizabeth notes, the process of getting museums and education companies to move forward and innovate is like “pushing an iceberg.” When it comes to these institutions, they are often stuck in their traditional ways. According to Elizabeth, the willingness of art and education organizations to accept cutting-edge technology, as well as their eagerness to incorporate it into their programming, varies from place to place. Interestingly, five years ago, when Boulevard was just getting started, European institutions tended to be more open than their counterparts in America.

That said, the technology advances so quickly that even open-minded organizations tend to fall behind. Museums will throw money at “digital departments,” but, in Elizabeth’s experience, the focus is often on imaging and website design, instead of truly groundbreaking technologies. In fact, in the beginning, Elizabeth often found that she had to educate digital teams herself when it came to Boulevard’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications. However, as these technologies are becoming more mainstream, things are beginning to change. “Now everybody is on board, so we have a lot of projects.”

A major key to Boulevard’s success in this area was reaching out to museums and education companies early on. By opening up the conversation five years ago, before everyone was familiar with these technologies, Boulevard was able to establish a reputation as one of the first in the field. “We were there right at the beginning. Now people know the high quality of our work.”

Nevertheless, even with the increased recognition regarding the advantages of incorporating immersive experiences into their programming and Boulevard’s reputation, museums and educators can still be hesitant.

Luckily, Boulevard is unwavering in its mission to make arts and culture available to all. “We do a lot of traveling in order to build relationships with these institutions. The goal of these kinds of meetings and conversations is to encourage a more open mindset and a willingness to expand their comfort zone.” Major museums and education companies have the power to extend Boulevard’s reach, and, while a great deal of progress has already been made, Elizabeth and her team are not slowing down anytime soon.

What’s Next?

With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, there is a lot for Boulevard to be excited about in the future. Elizabeth’s priority is making sure that the company continues to be right at the leading edge. Boulevard is also focused on making sure that all of the experiences they have created up to this point remain functional. “Nothing becomes obsolete. In fact, we’re going through a major sweep and update right now, so that, in the coming years, all of our programs function as smoothly and as quickly as they do today.”

Another priority for Boulevard is ensuring that its materials are accessible to everyone. A large part of that mission is making sure that people are aware that these experiences exist. “We have this amazing stuff, and people who are ‘in the know’ know about it, but how do we make it prevalent in the larger population?” An exciting opportunity to do just that will take place in fall 2020, when Elizabeth’s team presents their immersive experiences at The Africa Center. It is undeniable that virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies are on the rise, and that Boulevard is on the forefront of this trend in the arts and culture sector.

Overall, Elizabeth is a big fan of what she calls “infinity thinking.” Five years ago, when she started Boulevard with Rob Hamwee, someone had the audacity to tell her that the advances she wanted to explore, and which have already now been made, would never happen in her lifetime. She is not one to tolerate that kind of lack of imagination. Roughly quoting Lewis Carroll, she says, “I like to try to think of at least six impossible things before lunch,” because to her, nothing is really impossible. If the technology doesn’t exist yet, she wants to create it. If it will take a year to create instead of six months, that’s fine by her, as long as she’s surrounded by people who believe that anything is possible.

Remarkably, Elizabeth thinks that, in another five years, all of this technology could be available in a pair of glasses. “I believe that if we do not respond to the demographic as it is today, we will miss a whole generation of individuals who want to work in this technology and have fun with it. If young people are reading Moby Dick, why can’t they learn about it through technology? I don’t just mean reading it online. They can construct the whale coming out of the water in a hologram for you to see. There’s one of my impossible things before lunch.” Elizabeth wants Boulevard to be a part of helping people learn about the things they are interested in, so that they can do the things they love. “Consume the content you want, when you want it and how you want to consume it. That just doesn’t seem impossible to me.”

Why the St James is Perfect for Boulevard Arts

 One more thing that makes the future so bright for Boulevard Arts is its recent move to the St. James Building here in NoMad. The firm’s previous offices in Midtown weren’t the right space for Boulevard’s radical innovation. As Elizabeth commented, “I didn’t like the location. It was stressful, and there was absolutely nothing going on there. It was dead compared to NoMad. The reality is, everybody in the creative and technology industries are down here now.” When Elizabeth saw Boulevard’s current office space in the St. James, she knew right away that it was perfect. “Sometimes you just know. I walked in and thought, ‘this is a real building.’ The entablatures, the designs, the original moldings—I was sold.”

As an added bonus, Elizabeth has found common ground with many of her fellow tenants. “I don’t know how to describe it, but the people who choose to be here are all very similar in how they look at life. Being in the building feels interesting and weird and creative and eccentric—and those things make me feel comfortable.” The supportive, kind and interesting atmosphere of the building is exactly what Elizabeth was searching for, and it provides the perfect environment for Boulevard to continue with its groundbreaking work.

Boulevard Arts

1133 Broadway, Suite 1523
New York, NY  10010

October 9, 2019

Renowned for interiors with strong clean lines; warm, rich palettes; antique and vintage furnishings; and custom upholstery, tenant Robert Stilin is a star of the interior design world.  In a career that has spanned 25 years, his remarkable work has come to grace the homes of the famous, from city townhouses, apartments and lofts to beach retreats and country houses.

Robertstilin 1

Now, Vendome is focusing on fifteen of Stilin’s finest projects in a gorgeous, large format book of 320 pages, with 250 color illustrations.  The photos, by the brilliant interiors, travel and food photographer Stephen Kent Johnson, were edited by Mayer Rus, West Coast editor of Architectural Digest. The resulting assembly of photographs radiates the pure magic that Stilin’s interiors conjure.  Titled Robert Stilin Interiors, the book will be available online and in stores on October 8th.  You can pre-order it here.

Robertstilin 4
Via Robert Stilin

If you don’t know fellow tenant Stilin’s work, visit his website at We think you will see why he has become so renowned.  His interiors have the unique ability to create a multi-faceted, engaging experience while at the same time exuding a casual, comfortable elegance that evoke a sense of serenity.  As the book makes clear, his projects span a wide range of purposes and life styles be it Hamptons country homes, Palm Beach penthouses, modern apartments on the Upper East Side, or a penthouse office for a millennial media company in the Meatpacking District. His is a unique signature, but one that always addresses the needs and tastes of each client.

Robertstilin 3
Via Robert Stilin
Robertstilin 2
Via Robert Stilin

Stilin’s work has been featured in several interior design books and in countless articles in top-tier publications such as Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, House + Garden, Traditional Home, Design in the Hamptons, Palm Beach Cottages and Gardens, and Beach, to list only a few.  Named Elle Décor’s top 25 A-List Designers in 2010 and every year since, Robert Stilin was also selected for Architectural Digest’s Top 100 designers list in 2016, 2018, and 2019.  He is an avid art collector and member of the Director’s Council of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Robertstilin 5
Via Robert Stilin

Robert Stilin

New York City
1133 Broadway, Suite 614
New York, NY 10010
(212) 255-1975

The Hamptons

74 Montauk Highway
East Hampton, NY 11937
(631) 329-7141

October 3, 2019
Artstarpt2 01
© Michelle Kappeler 2019

In Part I of our follow-up article, we discussed ArtStar’s growth, its brilliant new office space and how the space helps business. In Part II we will take a look at how the business is evolving, the importance of personal interaction in the art business, and the collaboration opportunities ArtStar has found in the Townsend and St. James.

ArtStar’s Burgeoning Business

ArtStar started purely as an ecommerce company where young collectors could easily access art. They could go online; they could pick something out and customize it. It’s affordable and can be shipped to them.

There is still some of that business but ArtStar has evolved, and now it works with a lot of corporate collections and residential designers. Now 90% of ArtStar’s revenues are from the trade. The firm provides art for public areas in multi-family condos, and it does a lot with hospitality.  Chrissy explained, “We’re seeing the hospitality industry really rebrand. No one wants to be thought of as the typical tan hotel with maroon abstract art.”

They want to be fun, and they want to be seen as fresh, and interesting, and something you want to put on Instagram and social media. Hotels are responding to social media being part of their marketing and organic posts being part of their marketing. The art helps that narrative and gives people something to photograph and put on Instagram.”  ArtStar is also working on many corporate offices. Right now, ArtStar is completing projects with Convene, which is a high-end co-working space. The firm also does art for WeWork and lots of smaller offices. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how effective ArtStar’s newly conceived office space resonates with younger audiences looking for breakthrough edgy solutions and how that converts to sales.

Artstarpt2 05
© Michelle Kappeler 2019

The Internet and the Importance of Personal Interaction and Bricks and Mortar

Whether it is business to the trade or private customers, Chrissy, told us, “We’ve found that ecommerce needs some sort of physical presence. Bonobos was all ecommerce, now they have stores. Warby Parker was all ecommerce, now they have discovery shops. We’ve found that even if you want to be completely online, you do need some sort of physical footprint.”  This is especially true in the art business, where people need to see and feel what they are purchasing and how it will be finished; people see ArtStar’s products in person.

That is why the firm goes to art fairs all over the US, including Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco. Nevertheless, we are seeing more people turn to the internet as a resource to buy art, and we’re seeing people spend more and more money online. They’re comfortable with a higher price-point. The problem is that everything that we do is custom, so, we do not take returns.  We found that the showroom was really necessary so that if you’re a first time buyer, you can come in, see the quality, and trust us. Especially if you’re an interior designer and you’re spending somebody else’s money, you don’t want to make a mistake. So, space is very important to the ArtStar experience, practically, aesthetically, and socially.

A Great Space in a Great Building

Chrissy specifically mentioned that her team loves the sunlight, high ceilings, detailing, windows, security, history of the building, and view of historic St. Sava.

It is important to Chrissy that she is in a Bruce Price building.  “I love him as an architect, and it was just a happy coincidence that he’s the one who designed the building.  Chrissy told us that her home in Tuxedo Park, and while her home was by William Bates, Bruce Price did the whole of Tuxedo Park; he did everything. And this building went up the same year that William Bates did her home.  So, it’s all the same vintage, so that was a super happy coincidence. I thought it was a good luck sign.”

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© Michelle Kappeler 2019

A Place for Collaborating

As mentioned earlier, Chrissy Crawford is open and upbeat.  That may be why she finds so many opportunities to collaborate with fellow tenants.  Besides her work with kinderMODERN, which she lavishes with praise, she has worked with a number of the designers in the Kew buildings.  ArtStar staffers are working with Shawn Henderson on a project in Turks and Caicos. They’re friendly with John Greene. They did a feature on Fawn Galli, who just had her book come out, and it launched at Rizzoli downstairs. She’s awesome.

On the personal side, Chrissy also does Pilates with Amy Nelms on the 10th Floor of the St. James, who was just featured in Vogue. (“kinderMODERN also designed her space, and it’s beautiful,” says Crissy).

Chrissy wanted to invite fellow tenants to drop by, “We would really love it if our neighbors wanted to come by. We’re always hosting people, and we have a trade program.” To get the benefits of the program, Kew tenants can sign up at The KEW discount code good for 15% off, plus free shipping.


1133 Broadway, Suite 314
New York, NY 10010|
(212) 995-5352

September 26, 2019

Boulevard Arts is the leading developer of arts-based immersive reality experiences for art, culture and education. The company partners with the world’s leading museums to share their collections through virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology. With unparalleled knowledge of and access to the arts, Boulevard is able to create exceptional, content-rich and user-controlled experiences that make art and culture accessible in everyday life.

Boulevard’s main mission is to educate and encourage inquiry and engagement. Central to Boulevard’s ideology is the belief that access to art and culture and life-long learning are essential to living a well-informed and well-rounded life. The enhanced reality experiences Boulevard offers complement education curriculum across disciplines and open up new possibilities for learning.

We sat down with Elizabeth L. Reede, Co-Founder and CEO, to learn more about how Boulevard is reshaping the landscape of storytelling and revolutionizing the way the world looks at art and culture.

Image courtesy of Boulevard Arts

What is Boulevard Arts?

According to Elizabeth, the goal of the company, when it first started, was “to be able to make art and culture available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.” The best way to do that is through technology which can be driven off of smart devices of all types. When it comes to making arts and culture more widely accessible, Elizabeth emphasizes that she defines “art and culture” very broadly. “I think of it as pretty much anything that is a manifestation of our human existence and of who we are as people.” While that includes all of the art in the world’s museums, it also comprises the buildings we pass when walking down the street, parks, landscape architecture, and so on. Art and culture should not be thought of as exclusively high-brow concepts. Boulevard seeks to highlight and bring these aspects of humanity into everyday life, and make them interesting and experiential for a wide range of people.

In doing so, the company is focused on adding as much bonus information to its experiences as possible. In the case of museums, this means that when you “visit” a gallery, you are getting more out of this trip than you would from just walking through the space without a curator or guide to explain things to you.

That being said, Elizabeth also recognizes that for some people, who live in remote areas of the world or who can not visit museums for a whole host of other reasons, just being able to experience art from far-away locations can be incredibly valuable and mind-opening. “It’s pretty awesome for someone who’s never even had the opportunity to think about seeing the British Museum in person be able to put on a pair of VR glasses, pick up their device and ‘go there’. If we’re going to offer that, though, we want to make the immersive experience even better.”

Boulevard’s approach is about providing options. If you want to virtually visit a museum or gallery and simply observe the art, that’s possible. But if you want to learn more and engage with the objects or the environment, that’s also possible. “Each of the experiences is built to be user-driven. You aren’t being dragged around from point A to point B. You might decide to go from point A to point Z, and come back again. We present our users with that choice.” By providing this interactivity and flexibility, Boulevard is able to vastly increase its audience.

Boulevard’s Founding

Boulevard Arts is the product of the intersection between an idea whose time has come, a set of groundbreaking technological advances and an impactful meeting of two avid history buffs, dedicated to the concepts of spreading knowledge and creating learning opportunities.

Elizabeth has a background in business and finance, a life-long interest in technology and a professional history in curatorial work. She also has graduate degrees in both finance and art history. When she was introduced to Robert Hamwee, CEO at New Mountain Finance Corporation, she had been working at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for several years. Their first meeting, which Elizabeth thought might take 30 minutes, ended up lasting for a couple of hours. “Basically what happened was, as we talked, we found many areas in which we were aligned, especially in terms of the importance of education and wanting to share this technology.”

Elizabeth tested the first iteration of the virtual reality experience on a primitive version of the technologies available today (an Oculus system called the DK1), and, even though it was rough around the edges, she was sold. Because the technology was still unexplored, she knew that getting into the industry so early was a huge opportunity. There were still lots of issues to work out, but Elizabeth agreed to continue testing the program as a consultant. For the next two months, she spent time telling various people about this idea of using immersive technologies to democratize access to art and culture. Their reactions were overwhelmingly positive, and three months later – at the end of 2013, she and Rob co-founded Boulevard Arts.

In the beginning of 2014, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook acquired Oculus for over two billion dollars. Elizabeth said that was when they realized, “Wow, this wasn’t just an idea we had. This could really turn into something.” She said that, in many ways, everything just seemed to come together, a coalescence she attributes to shared interests between herself and Rob, accompanied by incredibly serendipitous timing.

Boulevard 4
© David Lubarsky 2019

Boulevard Today

At present, Boulevard Arts offers many different experiences to their users in VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) or MR (mixed reality). Within each of those platforms, Boulevard has created multiple apps. Elizabeth says that, since Boulevard is still a small company, it is constantly adding new content whenever it can. The technology develops quickly, but recent advances in AR software will allow for the experiences to be more accurate. Elizabeth says this is especially exciting because AR has turned out to be the platform that most people can get their hands on. She even compares Boulevard’s AR apps to Pokémon Go, in terms of the size of the audience they are able to reach.

When asked to give an example of one of Boulevard’s apps, Elizabeth told us about a virtual reality experience that brings users to the Wolfson Room at the Courtauld Gallery in London. It features eleven masterworks of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism by Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Gauguin. To give me an idea of how the experience is so much more than a simple “virtual tour,” she explained that users can move around the gallery and zoom in on any work. They can also listen to award-winning author Neil Gaiman narrate the experience. In this way, users are able to learn more about the art they are seeing than they would by simply reading the wall labels. Even more exciting, when users approach Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, they can actually “step inside” the painting. The primary subject of Manet’s work is a barmaid, who is activated to offer the user a series of items within the painting. “She doesn’t speak with you, but she gestures, and it’s all based on where your eye is landing. If you’re looking at the mandarin oranges on the bar top, she will pick one up, and offer it to you.” Elizabeth says, “It’s just magnificent. And, if you turn around, you can actually see back out into the gallery.”

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Image courtesy of Boulevard Arts

Adding to the engagement factor of these experiences are two unique features:

One: A user is provided a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and economic context of the painting. “To see mandarin oranges in a 19th-century Parisian bar…it’s not like there were citrus trees in the middle of Paris. It’s indicative of economic trade and the value of luxury items, like fresh fruit in the winter. Now it’s not just a beautiful painting. The user realizes that the artist is actually sharing something unique about his environment.” These are the details that most people tend to miss when they are simply admiring art in a museum, and Boulevard is dedicated to providing that kind of key contextual information for its users.

Two: Users are given access to objects, documents and cultural artifacts from various collections that they would normally never be able to see or experience in this way. The virtual reality app that Boulevard created with the British Museum is a great example of this. “We built an opportunity for the user to go into the Reading Room at the British Museum. It’s the Round Library, in the center of the museum, that has actually been closed to the public for years. In the experience, a map shows up, and you pick a geographic region to visit. You can see what was being created in China at a particular time in history, what was being created in North America, and so on. You suddenly get this visual comparison across cultures, or across chronologies, if that’s the entry point you choose–and that’s just one of the amazing things that VR technology is capable of.”

A Focus on Education

One of Boulevard’s most promising components is their “virtual field trip.” By using Boulevard’s apps, schools can participate in virtual trips, offering their students the opportunity to experience cultural monuments and landmarks around the world. One of the points on which Elizabeth and Rob first connected in their initial meeting was the importance of education. “Look, I think we all know, if people are educated, their quality of life and what they are able to achieve is vastly enhanced.” Elizabeth insists that even something as simple as grasping the logic of our own urban architecture can make us feel more engaged with our environment and able to understand how our civilization is manifest in myriad fascinating ways within the material world around us.

When it comes to her own sense of cultural appreciation, Elizabeth admits that she didn’t really fall in love with art and culture until the end of high school. “I was always the kid who didn’t want to go to the museum. I wanted to run around and play basketball, or something like that. I was a senior in high school, and I took my first art history class, and that light just went on for me.” Now she’s dedicated to creating similar experiences for as many people as possible. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a life-long learner or someone who has never set foot in any kind of cultural setting. It only takes the smallest bit of interest, and you can truly see that light go on in people’s eyes.”

In Elizabeth’s mind, education is about giving someone a sense of ownership over a thought or an idea. This inspires a natural self-confidence that develops and prompts the person to continue exploring. One of the ways that Boulevard is inspiring that confidence is by partnering with textbook publishing companies. For one company, Boulevard is developing augmented reality activities, which are directly integrated into the company’s course for ninth-grade English. The app includes poetry, Dada collages, historical artifacts and more. Instead of sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture about grammar and composition, students are able to learn those basic skills through activities included in the AR experience. “Thankfully, educators and schools finally acknowledge the research which shows that everyone learns differently and everybody expresses things differently. This technology affords people the chance to learn in the most effective way for them.”

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Image courtesy of Boulevard Arts

The Future

Because Boulevard Arts’ story is so fascinating, we wanted to share more about the company’s inner workings, how it has convinced old-fashioned institutions to embrace new technology, and where Boulevard is going in the future.  So check out Part II, which will soon be issued.

Boulevard Arts
1133 Broadway, Suite 1523
New York, NY  10010

September 24, 2019

Lukes 8

To kick-off its 10 year anniversary and in conjunction with National Lobster Day, Luke’s Lobster NOMAD will be serving a special Matt Hyland Lobster Roll starting September 25 through October 31.

Drawing from the Emily chef’s pizza roots, the roll is topped with chopped banana peppers, Italian green olives, and a sprinkle of Portuguese all-spice on top of Luke’s famously sweet and 100% sustainably sourced lobster in a split top, toasted bun.

The roll will be sold for $19 at all NYC locations, and they’ll donate $1 from every roll sold to Slice Out Hunger, working to end hunger here in New York. Visit for more details.

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Luke’s Lobster — Fresh, Succulent, Directly-Sourced, Environmentally Friendly

Luke’s works directly with fishermen to hand pick the best seafood, bring it straight to our own seafood company and then ship directly to our shacks. Cutting out the middleman means better tasting lobster, crab and shrimp for you to enjoy and a fairer price for our fishermen.

Luke’s serves seafood straight from the source, prepared pure and simple, without the filler., and it pairs its seafood with chowders and bisques, Maine-style sides, local desserts, natural sodas, and local microbrews.

Choosing partners who uphold Luke’s commitment to sourcing superior, sustainable ingredients, Luke’s Lobster strives to support other small businesses, many of which are based in Maine or local to the cities with Luke Shacks.

Luke’s Lobster (NoMad)
5 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
(646) 657-0747

Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday 11 am – 10 pm

September 20, 2019

Now and Then is a series of articles appearing regularly on our blog to make tenants aware of the rich and colorful history that occurred on the streets of our Manhattan neighborhood. Once the center of New York social life and national political life, our neighborhood witnessed some of the epic events, firsts, building projects, and celebrities that signaled the beginning of U.S. power and influence.

Walking the busy streets of NoMad today, it is hard to imagine carriage traffic, people fighting in the middle of the street over whether or not alcohol should be consumed, and a 54-year-old lady soberly dressed in black threatening others with a hatchet. Life certainly has lost some of its excitement and charm, but a hundred years ago that was the street scene in our neighborhood.

John L. Sullivan, the bruiser boxing champ, owned a saloon at 1177 Broadway, between 27th and 28th Streets. He certainly was no friend of Carrie Nation, who was famous for breaking up liquor bottles and bar tops with her hatchet in her drive for prohibition. In fact, he had told the press that if Nation ever bothered to stop by his place, he would “thrust her into a sewer hole.”

Whenever Carrie Nation, “The Kansas Saloon Smasher,” came to New York, she always stayed at the Victoria Hotel on 27th and Broadway, a leading hotel at the time. One day on the way back from City Hall, she stopped at Sullivan’s tavern, a half block from her hotel.

It must have been quite a scene as she sat in her carriage in front of Sullivan’s saloon and sent her card up to him. After a while, she was told he was asleep and could not be bothered. She insisted that he see her because “I don’t allow any man to stick me in a sewer hole — not while I have my hatchet with me.” The messenger responded, “Better not ma’m. Mr. Sullivan is a very dangerous man when he’s ‘roused, ma’m.”

Unimpressed, Mrs. Nation replied, “Tell Mr. Sullivan, then, that when I next come to town I will visit him and see if he’ll stick me in a sewer hole. I’ll see him and there’ll be a reckonin’.” Next morning, The New York Times recorded the events. It seems that even the most ferocious fighter of the day was afraid of her and despite Sullivan’s sheepish attempts at bluster, he couldn’t live down the incident.

September 18, 2019
© David Lubarsky 2019

We did a feature profile of ArtStar in October of last year. If you haven’t read it, you might want to check it out. Recently, we made a follow-up visit to ArtStar and a lot has happened since October. We discussed ArtStar’s growth, its brilliant new showroom and how the space is helping business. We’ll cover these in Part I.

We also took a look at how the business is evolving, the importance of personal interaction with clients, and the collaboration opportunities ArtStar has found in the Townsend and St. James. We’ll cover these in Part II.

ArtStar’s Founding and Early Growth

You’ll recall that Chrissy Crawford Corredor founded ArtStar in 2010 to make high-quality art accessible for young, new collectors. She saw there was “a gap in the market between poster-based wall décor and blue-chip fine art,” and in response, she started ArtStar as a pioneering source for contemporary art in that niche. ArtStar’s story from there has been one of increasing success, likely due in part to the founder’s wonderful openness but also very smart planning and positioning.

The company was originally operating on the Lower East Side. The staff loved the space there, but the firm had outgrown the area. Chrissy told us “We wanted to be closer to interior designers, so we felt that the NoMad neighborhood solved that issue. It’s right by the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington, a ton of our clients have offices in this area, and it’s close to other showrooms—so we just thought this was the perfect spot.” ArtStar moved into a 600-square foot space on the 10th Floor St. James building in June of 2018 and found that some designers the firm had worked with before had their offices in the building. Chrissy said, “You see people in the elevator all the time that you’ve worked with.”

A Move Up

ArtStar’s business continued to grow, and the company needed a space where it could host designers and show off more of its collection. Chrissy was very happy with the ease of the transition, “The building has been incredibly flexible in terms of changing space within the building. For me, I’m less afraid to commit if I know that I can go up or down in space without a hassle.” So, in January of 2019, ArtStar doubled its footprint and signed the lease on a new 1,200-square foot space on the Third Floor of the St. James Building.

However, the move wasn’t just about more space. Chrissy wanted to change the entire experience. Having worked with kinderMODERN, which has offices on the 16th Floor of the St. James, ArtStar hired the firm to help design the new space, “because we wanted it to be functional but really playful, and kinderMODERN is great at both of those things.”

While the office design is driven by functionality, it’s handsome, light, open and welcoming. Without physical barriers, the office is divided into three spheres of activity: an entrance/lounge area, a meeting/conference area, and the working area of the staff. Fully open, the office can flow and integrate organically. It’s a great example for other tenants who have considered thinking about their office spaces more strategically and possible solutions ingeniously.

© Michelle Kappeler 2019

Lounge Area

Here ArtStar can host people and have coffee or drinks. It is a great space for designers who want to come in for a happy hour or to bring in a client and sit down comfortably and learn about ArtStar. Upbeat furniture sourced by kinderMODERN, and a fun, custom cocktail table by Concrete Cat make the area relaxing and lively. Chrissy mentioned, “Concrete Cat is another company we couldn’t have found on our own. kinderMODERN brought them to us. They’re out of Toronto, and you can pick your pallet, and they make tons of fun concrete stuff. They’re completely wild, and it’s so fun.”

Besides making clients feel at home, the lounge area also provides the opportunity for ArtStar to display its latest finds. “The Wall” in the lounge area changes every two months or so to highlight the season and new trends. While Chrissy had planned to do this seasonally, the firm is doing it faster than that, because the works are selling off the wall.

At the time we visited, Chrissy described The Wall as it was then constituted. “This is our summer look, and these are new artists that we’re working with. We wanted to do a lot of soft clouds, sunsets, beach themes, and bathing suits. For example, here we have a piece showing a new condo on a beach in Spain. Over there on the top left, there is a new Italian artist we’re working with. She’s out of Sicily, so we have the little girls in the bathing suits with ice-cream, and she also did the girls in the helmets who are also in swimsuits. She shoots for Vogue Italia and a bunch of great publications. The pictures are kind of sexy, but you can tell they’re shot by a woman. They’re not overtly sexy; they’re playful. We were going for a summer vibe.”

Aside from The Wall, there is a creative corner just as you enter the office. ArtStar changes it over once a quarter, and it is dedicated to new featured artists. Chrissy explained, “Right now we’re featuring two artists that have collaborated called Robyn Blair and Name Glo. Both of their work was just featured in Architectural Digest. We did a collaboration with them, and they’re going to be collaborating with Bergdorf’s in February: they’re going to take over the Bergdorf store. We launched them with that collaboration. I don’t know who our next artist is going to be, but we are getting ready soon to change it over. Then, when we change it over, we’ll do an open house cocktail party for the building.

© Michelle Kappeler 2019

Meeting/Conference Area

Across the room is a welcoming conference area, where the light and art continue. If a designer wants to come in and lay out blueprints, and see the samples that ArtStar has stored at the office, the ArtStar staff makes the conference table its workstation. It is convenient because we can look at plans and pull samples of art, frames, and mats right from the adjoining wall unit, and then, we can start to specify orders. This is a great area to host the client who wants to come in and get work completed.

Chrissy was particularly proud, as she should be, of the cunning wall unit kinderMODERN designed for sample storage. The outside presents a beautiful, clean, modern cabinet. However, once the doors are opened, various sized drawers are revealed that are custom-made for matts, frames, prints, and so forth. The storage unit is free-standing and comes apart. It’s totally flexible and like the rest of the ArtStar office it is designed with growth and adaptability in mind. The wall unit is actually six different cabinets from Ikea beautifully enveloped in the case built by Reform, yet another kinderMODERN recommendation. Reform is out of Brooklyn and specializes in making custom facades for Ikea cabinets. Chrissy noted that “You can do different finishes, and they’re very high-end. We did a pink-nude finish, and we love them. It all comes apart; everything comes off, so it’s not a commitment forever.”

© Michelle Kappeler 2019

Staff Working Area

Then the third part of our showroom is the team’s desks, which are integrated around the conference area. The space isn’t confined so ArtStar can reapportion it as needed, if there is a new employee to be accommodated.

ArtStar’s Appreciation of the Importance of a Welcoming Space

Chrissy told us, “What we find is, unless we have a personal connection, we don’t really get the principals in here, but we do get the junior designers. They love a free lunch, and they love a free drink. They’re the ones that are open to new resources. The principals have their people they’ve worked with for years, but the younger designers are the ones that will say, ‘Okay, let’s try a new vendor. I found this; I was out, and I found that.’ Working with the juniors is really helpful for us. They’re more open to our pitch.”

On entering the space, one gets a sense of how successful Chrissy has been in creating a place where you want to be and where you want to come back to; and she is always looking for new ways to use it to broaden her community. “We try to use the space for happy hours, and we’re having a dinner party in here for our top designers—we just try to think of different ways to utilize the space.“


1133 Broadway, Suite 314
New York, NY 10010|
(212) 995-5352

August 27, 2019

Now and Then is a series of articles appearing regularly on our blog to make tenants aware of the rich and colorful history that occurred on the streets of our Manhattan neighborhood. Once the center of New York social life and national political life, our neighborhood witnessed some of the epic events, firsts, building projects, and celebrities that signaled the beginning of U.S. power and influence.

The oldest United States corporation is located at the corner of 29th Street and Fifth Avenue.   Remarkably it’s not a multinational corporation, a large oil company, or sprawling railroad; it is “America’s Hometown Church”—Marble Collegiate Church.

In 1628, four years after the founding of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, Reverend Jonas Michaelius arrived from Holland to organize the Dutch Reformed Church (now known as the Collegiate Church). The first worship service was conducted in a gristmill on what is now South William Street, when the entire population of the city was less than 300. The first church elder was Governor Peter Minuit, who had recently purchased Manhattan Island from the Native Americans. Peter Stuyvesant, Director General of New Amsterdam, led worshippers to Sunday service.

When the British took over the city in 1664 and renamed it New York, they allowed the Dutch Reformed Church to continue its worship traditions. King William III granted the church a Royal Charter in 1696, making the Collegiate Church the oldest corporation in America. It is also the oldest Protestant organization in North America with continuous service for 382 years.

The current building, named “Marble” for its construction out of solid blocks of marble shipped down river from a quarry at Hastings-on-Hudson, was begun in 1851 and completed in 1854. When it was built the church was outside the city limits so the cast iron fence, still around the church today, was erected to keep cattle out of the churchyard. Marble Collegiate’s bells have tolled the death of every president since Martin Van Buren in 1862.

From the middle of the 20th Century until today the church has had a prominent role in the nation’s life. Norman Vincent Peale led the church for 52 years and was one of the most influential religious figures of the 20th Century, authoring 46 books, including the inspirational best-seller, The Power of Positive Thinking.

President Richard M. Nixon was a close friend of Peale’s, he attended Marble Collegiate, and his daughter Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower there in 1968. Pearle was also the reason the Trump family came to Marble Collegiate Church. Peale officiated at the first marriage of Donald to Ivana Trump in 1977. Lucille Ball married her second husband Gary Morton at Marble Collegiate, and Liza Minnelli married her fourth husband David Gest in the church on March 16, 2002 before a star-studded crowd and with Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor as witnesses.

Besides being the first corporation in the country, Marble Collegiate was the first church building in America to install hanging balconies without visible supporting pillars and the first to use closed-circuit color television for overflow worshipers.