On September 21, 1897 when the Townsend and St. James were brand spanking new, the most famous editorial of all time appeared in the New York’s Sun, in response to a small girl who was told by her friends there was no Santa Claus. Francis Pharcellus Church wrote an unsigned editorial saying:
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.” (The full letter can be found here)
That quote seems to sum up the spirit of Deborah Konigsberger and Hearts of Gold’s Santa Workshop. You may have wondered what was going on in the empty retail space in 1123 Broadway. Deborah and her team were collecting items to give to homeless children and their mothers at Christmastime.
We stopped in one day and were struck by the scale of the operation and the number of packages being assembled. We asked Deborah about the program, and here is what we found out.
The project delivered 400 bags of presents for children 4-6 who are in assistant programs for homeless families.
Each package contained:
Two or Three Toys
A Stuffed Animal
A Candy Cane
A Winter Coat
We were surprised to see that the items were gift wrapped inside the bag for each child. Deborah who clearly understands children, told us, ”After all, the joy is ripping the wrapping off.”
Think about the effort: Everything had to be acquired, separated by gender, age, and size — yes, for each individual child. Then, they had to be sorted, wrapped, bagged and organized by the project the children participate in, and finally delivered. And you think one present each for the 12 people on your shopping list is a lot!
Additionally, not to leave Mom out, the Santa Workshop also provided small bags for each Mom containing a hat, gloves, scarf, along with pampering niceties such as self-care products, and a piece of jewelry.
The project is the brainchild of and is managed by Deborah, a tenant whose shop Noir et Blanc (7 West 25th Street) offers exciting women’s fashion. She also heads the not-for-profit Hearts of Gold and its thrift shop—The Thrifty Hog (11 West 25th Street).
Deborah is the project’s hardest working volunteer—and that is saying something, because she told us how much she appreciates all the time donated by 60 to 70 volunteers who helped. Looking at the few pictures we have of the gift giving, one can see the utter joy Santa Claus brought to the children…, and to the good hearts that made their Christmas so happy.
Hearts of Gold helps homeless mothers and their children transition out of the shelters and into permanent homes. To find about more about its work visit the Hearts of Gold website (heartsofgold.org/).
We’re all so busy and have our habitual routes through the city, so our tenants may not be aware of the new convenience steps away from 1123 and 1133 Broadway. A great haircutting brand—Fellow Barber—opened shop at 1149 Broadway in mid-2019. Have you tried it? As we enter the new year, there is no better time to tune up your look.
Steps from your office you can get a truly professional haircut for $40, assured of both the quality and the ability of the cutters to deliver any cut from the traditional to the latest buzz styles. How can you be sure? Because the founder of Fellow Barber set out to set a new tradition in haircare by making sure that his highly trained cutters provide elevated barbering services.
Sam Buffa has bene quotes as saying that in 2006 when he founded Fellow Barber, there were two options open to guys: pay $90/$100 for a salon cut or go to a local barber for $12 and get a limited range of hairstyles, cut with varying degrees of quality. One couldn’t be sure of what one was getting or how to get what one wanted.
Buffa wanted to change that. He aimed to set up a profession of barbers who would be paid fairly and who would earn that pay by being expert in their trade. So, he selected the best barbers and offered all haircuts at $40. As a result, he raised the overall quality of barbering, increased the barbering wage nationwide, and created new jobs for people willing to master their trade.
Currently, Buffa has eleven locations: three in San Francisco and eight in New York. Each of these shops embody the individuality of its staff and the surrounding neighborhood, while adhering to a common quality standard.
Additionally, Buffa has created a line of grooming products that are paraben and sulfate-free. And made with 100% natural essential oils extracted from herbs, trees, fruits, flowers and other plants that are reminiscent of Northern California’s coastal Redwoods and Southern California’s citrus orchards. Fellow Barber products include clays, washes, styling products, and many more.
Now we can benefit, because the new Fellow Barber shop not only offers all of these advantages, but does so in a lively NoMad-inspired interior with a sociable staff just a stone’s throw away.
So now is the perfect time to set a new image for 2020 and up your game— professionally and socially. Right nearby you can start moving to a tight cut or, as many are, cultivate a long hair look. Buffa says that his savvy cutters can do it all and have the know how to keep you looking terrific during your transition to the new look.
Fellow Barber 1149 Broadway New York, NY 10001 (347) 506-1121
With Thanksgiving so late this year, we find ourselves in a sprint to the holidays, and a very short sprint at that. Rizzoli has come to the rescue with the first installment of its Holiday Gift Guide, featuring a great selection of architectural and interior design books that Kew tenants will find an invaluable help in finding gifts for clients, employees, associates, family, friends . . . and themselves.
Rizzoli selections are erudite and beautifully produced so they make a gift that bespeaks your own level of expertise and the esteem you hold those on the receiving end. There is a list of the books in the first part of Rizzoli 2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Interiors & Architecture Books, here. To give you a sample of the gems hidden in the list we have highlighted just a few of those we found intriguing.
On Style: Inspiration and Advice from the New Generation of Interior Design, by: Carl Dellatore
Highlighting 50 up-and-coming interior designers, the book discusses the future of decorating. Each profile spotlights a never-before-seen project in striking photographs, as well as an intimate view into the personalities, inspirations, and aesthetics of these members of the new guard. Beautifully laid out, this book introduces a new 21st Century approach to interiors. Don’t let your friends get left behind, but of course, charity begins at home. Price: $60
Bricks and Brownstone: The New York Row House, by: Charles Lockwood
Bricks & Brownstone is a great gift for any New Yorker, but especially for those you know who own their own brownstone, renovate them for clients, or are involved in historic preservation. The first edition of this definitive study, published in 1972, helped revitalize the brownstone style by providing a comprehensive aesthetic and historical overview of real estate and urbanism in New York. This reissue has updated information and new color photographs. Tracing New York’s row houses from colonial days through World War I, this is an encyclopedia of architectural styles: Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Second Empire styles of the early and mid-nineteenth century, as well as the Neo-Grec, Queen Anne, Romanesque, Renaissance Revival, and Colonial Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Packaged in a luxury slipcase, this will be a treasured gift. Price: $85
Rooms with a History: Interiors and Their Inspirations, by: Ashley Hicks
This is a book for anyone on your list interested in the history of interior design and decorating. Hicks discusses his own exquisitely quirky and colorful historicist interiors alongside inspiring designs from the recent and faraway past, including notable rooms and architecture from the Pantheon in Rome and Emperor Maximilian’s tomb in Innsbruck to the Royal Pavilion, Brighton and the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The beautiful legendary rooms and those created by Hicks are captured in ravishing photographs that most everyone on your list would treasure. Price: $60
California Romantica, by: Diane Keaton
California Romantica will make your star-struck friends excited to discuss Diane Keaton in an entirely new light—as a committed preservationist. Featured is Keaton’s former Beverly Hills home, which she thoughtfully restored with designer Stephen Shadley. The book also describes, classic examples of the California Mission and Spanish Colonial styles and their play of light. Striking photography shows this distinctly Californian architectural heritage enhanced with Monterey furniture, California tiles and Navajo rugs. Price: $45
The Well Adorned Home: Making Luxury Livable, by: Cathy Kincaid
Here is book everyone on your list can learn from—the amateur who is looking to refresh his home or the seasoned designer looking to fire her imagination. Renowned interior designer Cathy Kincaid discusses how she creates warm and gracious interiors using carefully nuanced color palettes and attention to detail. Sprinkled throughout is her advice on such topics as selecting the right lighting, ways to showcase blue-and-white porcelain, and suggestions for how to edit one’s home. Price: $50
Italian Renaissance Villas and Gardens, by: Lucia Impelluso
There isn’t anyone you know who wouldn’t relish having this book in their collection. All of the excellence of the Italian Renaissance period is evident in the palaces, frescos, furniture and gardens captured in this book. Magnificent photographs of these extraordinary houses built between the 15th and 16th centuries are accompanied by historical text explaining the origins of each property and notes on special features and artworks. It’s like a mini-trip to the Italian countryside. Who wouldn’t like that? Price: $49.95
The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us, but with Rizzoli’s tranquil atmosphere, amazing selection of books, and convenient location (right at 1133 Broadway), you’ll be able to relax and get most, if not all, of your shopping done in just one trip.
Rizzoli 1133 Broadway New York, NY 10010 (212) 759-2424
Don’t go running around, let the Business Center take care of those irksome tasks. Enjoy the holiday season.
Need to ship packages? We’re right in the building and can provide you the best available rates. Go to a party!
Need stamps or packing materials? We’ve got all that for you right here. Trim your tree.
Have lots of client gifts to messenger around the city? We can arrange delivery at great rates and hold your packages for the messengers to pick up. Enjoy a holiday concert or have a drink with friends.
Planning on doing a mass holiday card mailing to clients and friends? We’re set up to do that for you. Spend time finding THE PERFECT gift for that perfect someone.
Don’t want to worry about receiving packages during the holidays? Sign up for mail receiving now, if you haven’t already.
We’re here for you during the holiday rush, but remember we are always here to help with Printing, Scanning, Shredding, Conference Rooms, and much more.
Happy Holidays and a Prosperous 2020
The Business Center 1133 Broadway, Suite 221 (212) 243-3600 email@example.com
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce the winners of our contest for tickets to Celebrate Madison Square Chefs 2019! Here are the two tenants who were the first to submit the recent accomplishments of their firms.
Doug Jones and John Kureck of Kureck Jones Design won a set of tickets for a very exciting recognition of their work! A home that they designed in Martha’s Vineyard is featured in the cover story in the July/August issue of House Beautiful. Click here to read more.
Susan Rudnick and Robin Kappy were awarded the second set of tickets. Susan is currently on a very successful book tour for her recently published and inspiring memoir, Edna’s Gift: How my Broken Sister Taught Me to Be Whole. Robin has a painting juried into the 41st Annual Open Exhibition in Painting, Sculpture & Graphics at the The Salmagundi Club, which is one of the oldest art organizations in the United States. Look for our upcoming articles on these impressive accomplishments.
Congratulations to our very talented tenants! We hope they had a wonderful time at the event Tuesday night. Don’t forget to send your newsworthy achievements and updates to us here at Kew for an opportunity to be featured on our website.
As we come closer to the midpoint of the summer season, many of us find ourselves hoping that it will never end. Well, if it’s that endless summer feeling that you’re after, look no further than the cover and eight-page spread in the July/August edition of House Beautiful. Featuring a Martha’s Vineyard home that was given a major upgrade by Kew tenant, Kureck Jones, just looking at the pictures will make you feel that bright and joyful summer warmth.
Partners, John Kureck and Doug Jones, founded their design firm in 2004. Since the beginning, they have committed themselves to providing bespoke design services that reflect their clients’ personalities and lifestyles. Moreover, their design process is focused on the individual vision and particular needs of each client. Their mission is visible in the Martha’s Vineyard house, and their ability to achieve their goals is apparent in the trust that their clients place in them. In this case, having previously worked with Kureck Jones, the owners of this particular beach house only visited the property twice during the remaking of their home.
According to House Beautiful, the transformation was enormous. The house was built in the early 2000’s and consisted of a series of small, dark, closed-off rooms. Kureck Jones decided to gut the property in order to open it up and give it an airier feeling. Additionally, the house’s proximity to the beach allowed for panoramic ocean views, augmented by a more open floorplan. They moved the kitchen, added a screened in porch and replaced all 40 of the home’s original windows.
The methods used to brighten up the house include natural ash wood wall paneling and brightly painted floors. Kureck notes that “you can’t paint a room white, and put white furniture in it and automatically have it read as light.” It is the contrast between different colors, light and dark, that create the desired effect, as visible in the beautiful dining room that graces the cover of the magazine.
True to their process, Kureck and Jones were mindful of the specific needs and desires of their clients throughout. Low-maintenance finishes were used on the floors, in the kitchen and on the furniture, all to ensure minimal damage from the wear and tear that comes with frequent entertaining and the sandy return of beach-goers.
Pick up a copy of House Beautiful for a more in-depth look at this newly reinvigorated, joyful summer home. We congratulate Kureck Jones for this recognition, which is undeniably very well deserved
You will not want to miss Fête Home’s summer sale this week. Stop by to view their beautiful collection of tabletop, decorative accessories, pillows, throws and more.
Up to 50% Off
When: June 25th-28th, 2019 — 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: 1133 Broadway, Suite 544
Fête believes that your home should be a sanctuary for celebrations, mood and personality. Your home décor should be reflective of this idea, so Fête designs every product in the hopes of sparking joy, encouraging celebration and telling a story. The products are designed for real life, and their aesthetic is based in elegant and gracious living. This sale is the perfect opportunity to enhance your style, and the best news is that Fête sells only to you, so there are no markups on their effortless prices. It’s time to live, love and celebrate your home! See more at https://fetehome.com.
The newly revitalized art deco building at 1201 Broadway in NoMad will soon have a large new restaurant anchoring its ground-floor retail space. Real Estate Weekly reports that Corner Table Restaurants, the hospitality group behind the success of The Smith, has inked a deal with landlord Williams Equities for 11,000 square feet of street-level and lower-level space to launch what it says will be a “new concept” restaurant.
Corner Table’s decision to open a new venue in NoMad appears to be based on the recent revitalization of the neighborhood as a food-and-drink destination. “It’s been three years since we opened The Smith in NoMad,” says Jeffrey Lefcourt, one of the partners at Corner Table, “and in that time alone, we have seen this area grow considerably as a thriving neighborhood for locals living and working here as well as a central destination in Manhattan.”
Andrew Roos of Williams Equities agrees. “NoMad has become one of the hottest dining and hotel corridors in Midtown South,” he says. “I can’t think of a more exciting addition to 1201 Broadway — and the entire neighborhood — than bringing a new restaurant concept from the creators of The Smith.”
Since The Smith opened its first location in 2007, the brand has grown to four locations across Manhattan, serving more than a million people per year. The NoMad location of The Smith has grown to be a neighborhood “must” for locals and visitors alike. It will be interesting to see what Corner Table has in store for this new concept expected to open in 2020.
Whatever the concept, it is bound to be a success because it will be located between the new Ritz Carlton and the Virgin Hotel under construction on 28th and 29th/30th Streets respectively.
Most people are aware that June is designated “Pride Month”—a celebration of the diversity of the LBGTQ community. Although nowadays most major cities host parades and festivals to commemorate pride, fewer people remember that the seeds of Pride Month were planted in NYC, with the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. On a hot summer night, the police once again raided a gay bar, a frequent event in the 60s, but that night the patrons of the Stonewall Inn— a bar in the West Village—had had enough. A riot ensued, which marks the turning point for the LGBTQ community and the beginning of a gay movement. Read more on the history of Stonewall here.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, and in honor of the event, NYC is the headquarters for WorldPride2019/Stonewall 50, a month-long series of LGBTQIA+ events throughout the boroughs—all culminating in the largest Pride March in the world on June 30th, which is expected to draw record crowds. It’s a celebration of all the advances the LGBTQ community has seen in the past 50 years and a statement to the world of all that remains to be done, here and abroad.
You can see a full listing of Pride events this month at the WorldPride website, but there are several notable events occurring right here in the NoMad neighborhood.
Love & Lipliner at The James Hotel June 13 at 7:00 p.m.
As an official sponsor of WorldPride 2019, The James New York-NoMad Hotel is offering special WorldPride package rates for the month of June and is celebrating Pride with numerous month-long observances.
In partnership with Stonewall Community Foundation, The James Hotel New York—Nomad will present ICONS — a public exhibit that will feature both people who continue to inspire the LGBTQ movement today and sites of historical significance to the community through boldly colored imagery and wordplay. The featured icons will represent a broad swath of the community and its history organized by the exhibit’s six themes of activism, arts, literature, fashion, nightlife and pop culture, but each will share the common thread of its connection to New York City as a center of LGBTQ influence and a global leader in celebrating sexual and gender diversity.
During Pride, the hotel will feature garments from from FEIGN at 5Phere, the hotel’s retail popup. Created by New York City designers Jon James and Jené Stefaniak, FEIGN is an androgynous collection of gender-neutral clothing in which each piece is conceived around a sentiment instead of a gender.
However, THE can’t-miss event of the month is Love & Lipliner, a celebration of drag featuring performances from top New York City queens Jan Sport, Lagoona Bloo, Jasmine Rice, Rosé, Kizha Carr, Brita Filter, Vix, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine contestant Alexis Michelle.
Guests will learn the historic significance of drag while enjoying a mini-drag makeover tutorial. Six select guests will receive full drag makeovers from the queens themselves. Tickets range from $25 to $225, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Stonewall Community Foundation.
The James New York – NoMad 22 East 29th Street New York, NY 10016
Love & Lipliner Thu, June 13, 2019 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Drag Brunch at Oscar Wilde with Jasmine Rice Labeija Saturdays and Sundays in June
Named for one of the world’s most colorful gay figures, a renowned author, and a noted part-time resident of NoMad during the Gilded Age, Oscar Wilde will be celebrating Pride all month long with a special Drag Brunch each Saturday and Sunday during June.
Brunch will feature a special menu and performances by renowned New York drag queen Jasmine Rice Labeija. Performances begin at 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.. Reserved seating for $25 includes an entrée and one drink, with the option to upgrade it to an “unlimited boozy brunch” with 90 minutes of “free-flow” for $40. Reserve your seating on the website below.
Oscar Wilde 45 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001 (212) 213-3066
Drag Brunch at Oscar Wilde feat. Jasmine Rice Labeija Saturdays and Sundays through June, 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Shows at 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Pride Shake at Shake Shack Available through June 30
Okay, we know this isn’t actually an event. It’s a milkshake. But it’s sparkly, it’s got cake batter and rainbow sprinkles, and it is for a great cause. It’s Shake Shack’s way of celebrating Pride. Proceeds from the Pride Shakes will benefit The Trevor Project, an organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LBGTQ youth and young adults. Stop by the original Shake Shack and pick up one . . . or several.
Shake Shack Madison Square Park
Pride March 2019—June 30
Held every year since 1970, the NYC Pride March is the largest and best-attended march of its kind in the world. The parade begins June 30 at noon, with the step-off right here in NoMad, at the northwest corner of Madison Square Park. This year’s grand marshal groups include the Trevor Project, the Gay Liberation Front, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (a co-founder, trustee and executive director of UK Black Pride, which promotes unity and co-operation among all Black people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent.), transgender activist Monica Helms, and the cast of dance musical POSE. Registration to march in the parade is now closed, but come out to watch and celebrate. Click here to view the parade map.
Pride March 2019 June 30, 2019 Step-off is at noon at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 26th Street Free and open to the public Parade route here
It sits in an unassuming location on West 28th Street, just upstairs from a wholesale import/export company in the NoMad neighborhood. And yet, its influence on modern theater and the entertainment industry in general can’t be overstated. TADA! Youth Theater has produced such alumni as Kerry Washington (Emmy and Golden Globe winning star of stage screen and television), Josh Peck (of Drake and Josh) and Jordan Peele (one-half of comedy duo Key and Peele, and more recently the Oscar-winning writer/director of the film Get Out).
Offering a wide range of learning opportunities for young talent, TADA! is on a mission to “inspire young people from different backgrounds to be creative and to learn and think differently through high-quality musical theater productions and educational programs.” It accomplishes its mission by hosting several original stage productions per year for children, youth, and family audiences, an array of summer camps, plus an ongoing schedule of workshops, classes, and day camps throughout the year. All of its programs are designed to build creativity, confidence and problem-solving skills in young people, most of whom will take these skills into their daily lives as adults—and a few of which, like Peele, Washington and Peck, will become stars.
The summer of 2019 is shaping up to be a busy one for TADA! Here’s just a sampling of what it has in store, according to its website:
Game Changers—an original musical for family audiences scheduled to run from July 10th – August 1st. (Tickets available here.)
Rising Star Workshops—a series of 1.5-hour intensives for young people to enhance their theatrical skills each Monday evening in June.
Summer Camps 2019—A broad selection of week-long camps for various age groups, held in several locations across NYC.
One-Day Camps—A series of day-long intensives held throughout the month of June.
Open House June 8th, 2019
For parents and children who are interested in learning more about TADA!’s upcoming summer camps and fall classes, the organization invites you to attend a free Open House on Saturday, June 8th. Information for different age groups will be presented as follows:
If you’re looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community, TADA! Youth Theater is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible. Consider supporting our city’s up-and-coming talent with a donation to this dynamic youth theater. Donations can be made online via its website.
TADA! Youth Theater 15 West 28th Street, 2nd and 3rd Floors New York, NY 10001 (212) 252-1619
March 8, 2019 was International Women’s Day, but since 1987, the entire month of March has been designated National Women’s History Month in the U.S. We take this month to celebrate the achievements of American women, but especially to bring awareness to the challenges that women still face in our nation.
In the workforce, for example, the gender pay gap continues to be an issue, and while the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have made great strides in changing the conversation about sexual harassment. Nevertheless, much work still remains to be done, both in creating safe, co-respectful work environments and leveling the playing field with regard to entrepreneurship.
Nowhere is this felt more acutely than here in New York City, which is home to at least 359,000 women-owned businesses generating $50 billion in annual sales. Even though NYC was recently rated by Fortune as the best city in the world for women entrepreneurs, a recent report reveals that only eight percent of NYC women-owned businesses employ more people than the owner, and more than 70 percent of these women owners say they face challenges when it comes to raising capital,forming business relationships and even hiring staff.
For these reasons, in honor of both International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled the following list of resources to support women-owned businesses in general, but especially those who are Kew tenants.
This sub-initiative of NYC’s Department of Small Businesses is a virtual hub of resources for women entrepreneurs. On this site, you can find informative events, connect with a mentor, discover resources for capital, and more, all for free.
New York City goes out of its way to contract for services from minority and women-owned businesses. This program provides information how to get certified as an M/WBE business in order to quality for city contracts.
This membership organization is dedicated to providing platforms for success to help self-employed women and women-owned businesses. Annual dues are reasonable, and they open up a whole array of opportunities for promotion and connection for your business.
This national organization is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S., offering a wide range of resources and support for women entrepreneurs, including educational resources, networking, grant opportunities, and more.
Ellevate is a dues-based business networking community specifically geared toward women entrepreneurs. The New York City chapter keeps a full schedule of meetups, seminars, panel discussions, and small “squads” for mutual support and promotion.
This organization features both an online community/podcast and offline conferences designed to support, inform, and empower women entrepreneurs. The next NYC conference, slated for May 4, 2019, will feature a large roster of speakers discussing entrepreneurship, branding, social media, and much more.
A non-profit organization for the empowerment of women entrepreneurs, the Tory Burch Foundation helps women business owners by helping them connect to funding as well as offering educational programs for women owners in NYC. The Foundation’s one-year fellowship provides more in-depth education and mentoring for a select group of applicants.
Bonus Section: Funding Resources/Investors for Women-Owned Businesses
A number of individuals and firms specifically provide venture capital for women-led businesses. Here are a few to check out:
In the past few years, women entrepreneurs have made great progress to change the gender bias in the business world, with as many as 1,821 new women-owned businesses launching every day. But while women now own as many as 40 percent of all companies in the U.S., most of these women are still “solopreneurs,” and their companies receive about 45 percent less funding than companies run by their male counterparts. Hopefully, with the help of some the resources listed above, those numbers will increase.
This month, we encourage everyone to identify women-owned businesses near you and give them your business as often as possible.
Arthur Brounet, who painted the mural in the lobby of 1133 Broadway, was a leading “decorator,” as he styled himself, of the Gilded Age.
In 1896 when he painted the St. James mural, he was about 28. Ten years later, in 1899, Brounet moved from 678 Lexington Avenue to the St. James, where he was to remain almost to the end of his life, changing rooms several times. Perhaps it was the mural itself that first brought him to the building.
Brounet had arrived in New York from Le Havre, France in 1888 at the age of 20. He was married with three children, who later helped in his business, and he owned his own home uptown in the Bronx or Yonkers. The New York Times announced his death at 75 on February 28, 1941.
We don’t know much more about his life or have an image of him. Brounet’s life was defined by his work, and luckily there is a lot of information about his creations.
It is important to remember that Brounet wasn’t only a muralist, but a decorator, and he was a “decorator” of choice for major architects. He was particularly in demand for theatres, office and civic buildings, banks, and fine homes, among others. As is true of The St. James mural, his work was sought after because it fit so well with Neo-Classical architecture in vogue at the turn of the 19th/20th Centuries. His projects were as diverse as decorating the Riverside Drive chateau of Charles M. Schwab among other residences, many play and movie theatres, and even a splendid courthouse.
We have copies (not ideal) of two ads Brounet placed for his work. They do show rough outlines of his residential projects and indicate his business as including: mural paintings, furniture and cabinet work, draperies and upholstering.
Brounet Murals in New York
Unfortunately, many of the theatres and homes he designed and provided murals for have disappeared over the past 100 years, but some sterling examples survive.
In New York City, besides the St. James mural, there is the Brounet mural in the lobby of the AMC Movie Theatre on 42nd Street. You may recall this theatre was moved over several lots on 42nd Street on March 1, 1998 during the redevelopment of Time Square (yes, the entire theatre). It is putatively the theatre where Abbott and Costello first met and teamed up. Originally known as the Eltinge Theatre, it was designed by master architect Thomas W. Lamb who hired Brounet to create murals for the lobby and auditorium in the “Egyptian” style, likely as a result of their great success working together on the huge 2,267-seat City Theatre on 14th Street (now lost).
Additionally, right here in New York, Brounet decorated the interiors of the Selwyn and Cort Theaters in Eighteenth Century French style. and he decorated theatres throughout Brooklyn, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Two Fine Examples of Brounet’s Work Outside NYC
Should you ever find yourself in Richmond, Virginia or Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania you might want to see the wonderful examples of Brounet’s work that these small cities still assiduously preserve.
Perhaps the greatest trove of Brounet’s extant work is at the beautiful and recently restored Byrd Theatre in Richmond.
Incredible as it may seem today the Byrd Theatre opened as a movie house in 1928, and the interior decoration was executed by Brounet’s studio in New York. There are eleven paintings by Brounet in the theatre (six within the arches in the side walls, two in the front boxes, and three in the foyer), and all are wondrously preserved.
An article on the Urban Scale Richmond website notes that the color scheme of the theatre was also created by Brounet and the murals “undoubtedly” painted by him on canvas in New York and shipped to the theatre. All of the paintings use classical allegories that reference aspects of the drama and fine arts.
Despite Brounet’s interest in the classics, his work here has moved from the strictly classical forms in the St. James mural of 1896 closer to the Neoclassical models of the early 20th Century, which were gaining in popularity when the theatre opened. In addition to the major murals, there are small cartouches and panels around the auditorium by Brounet’s Studio, continuing the theme of the dance begun in the lobby. The Byrd is a cohesive composition, with the murals, cartouches, relief decorations and fixtures by other artists complimenting each other to create a harmonious whole.
The majestic Luzerne County Court House designed by McCormick & French is found in the relatively small rural town Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania. This jewel, also recently refurbished, is filled with fine decorative art throughout, but “The Diamond City” three-panel foyer ceiling, as well as the schemes for the Commissioner’s office, several other offices, and Courtroom 1 were all by Brounet. All of these design works follow his pattern for high symbolism and Neo-Classical forms.
Many New Yorkers recognize Open House New York for its annual OHNY weekends, opening up some of New York’s richest architectural gems to the public—but fewer people realize this organization holds a number of different programs year-round. Among the most intriguing is its Urban Systems series, a program which takes a year-long look at different aspects of the infrastructure and systems that keep this amazing city functional. The latest in the series, “Spaces of Justice,” explores the architecture and infrastructure of NYC’s justice system and joins the ongoing conversation about the future of this system. In this second installment of our spotlight on OHNY, we talk to Executive Director Gregory Wessner about the details and highlights of this remarkable program.
Your 2018-2019 Urban Systems series is Spaces of Justice – can you tell us more about the program and its importance?
“Open House Weekend is obviously what we’re best known for, but throughout the year we try to use the Open House platform to look at issues in the city that have some kind of critical importance. With Spaces of Justice in particular, there have been a lot of conversations and debates around the future of Riker’s Island and related topics. The crime rate in New York City has dropped dramatically over the past 30 years—by some estimates, upwards of around 80 percent. Considering this drop in crime over the years, along with other factors, the fact is we have a criminal justice infrastructure that was designed and built for a different time. Given the openness to thinking about new ways of handling these kinds of issues, given the debate around Riker’s Island, and given the drop in crime, we thought it was a good opportunity to ask questions about what justice looks like in New York City today, and what it could look like moving forward.
I think that’s what is powerful about OHNY, because it’s taking people into these spaces. Sometimes they’re beautiful buildings that are historic and lovely and wonderful to appreciate. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the architecture, but it has to do with how those spaces function within the city. The Spaces of Justice series takes a look at these spaces that are obviously critically important to the health of the city and say a lot about our values as a community. The series is about getting people in to see what the spaces of justice look like, and at the same time, starting a bigger conversation about what they could be as we go forward. There’s a lot of conversation not only about closing Riker’s Island but also what could replace it, including this network of borough-based jails that the mayor is talking about. Ultimately, to have these kinds of conversations, we need to be informed. That’s what we’re trying to do: to deepen that conversation so we all have a better understanding of what all of this means, what it looks like and how we make choices about the future.”
What have been some of the high points and key takeaways of the series so far?
“Honestly, every single program has been incredibly powerful. It launched in May with a presentation by the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Elizabeth Glazer. She gave a broad overview of where the city is right now. She explained the past three decades’ drop in crime, where we’re at now, and what this means for the future. The drop in crime is why we can even talk about closing Riker’s Island. As bad as Riker’s is, the daily population there is half of what it used to be, so it really opens up possibilities for doing something innovative and more humane.
Every program has been amazing. We did a screening of a documentary by Bill Moyers about Riker’s interspersed with a panel discussion on the topic. Two of the panelists had been incarcerated at Riker’s, so hearing their firsthand experience made this the most powerful program I had been to in my entire life—and I don’t say that lightly. It really opened everyone’s eyes to just how bad things are. We talk about injustice around the world. We think New York is this beacon of liberty, freedom, and openness, but right in the middle of the East River, there’s what is essentially a horrifying penal colony.
Another key part of this series were the places that we went to that are operated by the Center for Court Innovation. There is a lot of really innovative and interesting work being done around issues of social justice and how to address crime, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. It was a sort of back and forth between seeing, at the one end of the spectrum, how bad some of the conditions are, but at the other end, the amazing people in this city that are doing inspiring work. It gave everyone a sense of optimism about the possibilities for the future.”
How much longer will the program run?
“The people who did the Bill Moyers documentary are doing a follow-up documentary which is in production right now. It’s about not just the plans to close Riker’s, but also the plans to replace it with this network of borough-based jails. I’m told that the documentary is supposed to be done by mid-March, so we would screen that documentary with a panel discussion, and that would probably be the last program we do for this series, leaving the public with the question: Where do we go from here?”
What can you tell us about the next Urban Spaces series?
“We are working on it right now. It will deal with the issues of transit and transportation—a topic I think everyone will appreciate. The inspiration had a lot to do with the L train construction plans, but the truth is the entire subway system is a bit of a mess. Remember when they were calling it the summer of hell? When that happened, I think everyone began to realize, ‘Oh, the city can’t really function without a functioning transit system,’ and you begin to realize how it impacts everything.
At the same time, there are so many interesting things happening in the transit world—things like CitiBike, Uber and Lyft, the New York City ferry system and so on. So, the series is going to look at how we move around the city. We have an aging infrastructure, but, at the same time, we have all of this innovative technology coming down the line, so we’re looking at how all these things work together. It should be fun.”
If you’d like to learn more about upcoming OHNY programs, including Urban Spaces, you can receive regular updates by joining their mailing list via their website.
Here in NYC, the dead of winter can be one of the most challenging times of the year when it comes to morale and momentum at work. During the months between the end of the holidays and the start of spring, there’s not a lot to look forward to on the calendar, and the short, cloudy days affect our mood. (The recent bitter cold spell from the polar vortex certainly hasn’t helped either.) You and your teammates may be feeling a decrease in energy coupled with a general feeling of claustrophobia or even mild depression. Long-standing clients can become unsettlingly silent during these months, too.
What can you do to combat the winter doldrums and help get energy levels back up? Let’s explore some ideas on two fronts: boosting employee morale and improving client engagement.
Boosting Employee Morale
You might try one or more of the following ideas to restore staff morale and momentum.
Hold a brainstorming session. Involving members of your team in your company’s creative process is one of the best ways to generate excitement and engagement. Consider having one or more team meetings, in which employees can bring ideas to the table about growing the company, enhancing your brand, or developing an innovative solution for a client, etc. Encourage and support creativity wherever you can. Your team have some great ideas that might actually benefit your company and clients in the process.
Brighten the work space. If you’ve been thinking about updating and redecorating the office, now may be the perfect time to do it. Consider accenting walls or furnishings with cheery colors.
Plan a company outing. Socializing after work is a great way to boost morale and bond with your team. Even planning a simple dinner can go a long way with your team this time of year. If you want to up the ante, try a comedy club, or maybe someone can score cheap tickets to an art installation, a Broadway (or off-Broadway) show or a sports event. (This is NYC, after all.)
Improving Client Engagement
The winter months can affect your clients as well as your employees. You may start to feel distant or disconnected from your customers, and it’s likely not your fault. If you’re concerned that this seasonal apathy might cause your customers to lose interest and look elsewhere, here are some ideas to re-engage them.
Announce a value-adding improvement to your product or service. The best way to maintain client loyalty is never to stop innovating. Always look for new ways to create exceptional value so your clients never feel the need to shop your competition. What inexpensive improvement can you make to your product or service to make it more valuable—without upselling it? Examples: New client portal, newsletter, survey – how can we serve you better? Also, a special e-mail announcing awards or an especially successful case study.
Offer a special promotion. This could be anything from a new loyalty program to a “Valentine’s Day discount” because you love your customers so much. Maybe you can launch a campaign that rewards your clients for referring new business to you. The actual promotion doesn’t matter as much as the idea of having one; it keeps you on your customers’ minds and conveys the idea that things are happening in your company.
Schedule a customer appreciation event. Consider doing a customer social—a no-obligation, no-hard-sell gathering just to thank your customers for their loyalty. Appetizers, wine, door prizes and even a bit of live music may be well worth the investment to keep clients engaged for the coming year. A lunch with the staff in the office is a great way to put a face in the minds of your clients, It helps your clients to know the people you work with everyday and binds customers closer to your staff and company.
Here’s the good news: Spring is coming. It always does. By being proactive with your team and your clientele during the winter doldrums, you can make it to April without missing a beat.
Early in January, we shared the difference between goals and resolutions and encouraged readers to set some reachable goals for 2019. Right about now, chances are you’re either making great progress on those goals or on the verge of abandoning them. If it’s the latter, don’t be too disillusioned with yourself. We’ve all been there at one time or another; it’s part of human nature. Setting goals is the easy part—sticking to them is the challenge. The key to staying on top of your goals is to exercise discipline, remember it’s a matter of developing new good habits, and keep revisiting your goals throughout the year. Let’s explore four tips for helping you stay focused on your 2019 goals.
Remember Why You Set the Goal
Don’t just recall what you want to achieve; think about what prompted you to set the goal in the first place. Your “why” is your motivation, and that’s what we’re looking for here. You know what you want—you just have to reclaim your motivation from time to time. When you’re tempted to slack off, refocus your attention on why you want to reach this goal. It will give you the extra push you need to stay on track.
Track Your Progress
One of our earlier recommendations for goal-setting was to set up “markers” or milestones throughout the year for you to measure your progress. Stop and evaluate where you are on your timeline; have you reached your first milestone yet? If you’re behind, don’t berate yourself and don’t get discouraged. The idea here is to keep the goal top-of-mind, so you keep working toward it and don’t forget about it.
Find an Accountability Partner
If you haven’t already done so, find someone you trust, share your goals with them and ask them to follow up with you. Just verbalizing your goals to someone else helps make you somewhat accountable, but if you ask them to hold you to account, you’ll have an even better support system.
Don’t Give Up – Refresh Your Focus
Most importantly—don’t give up, even if you have already fallen behind your own expectations. The year is still young, so now is the perfect time to remind yourself of your goals and refresh your sense of focus. Keep revisiting your goals throughout the year, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful and productive 2019.
Keep thinking about how rewarding it will be and how great you’ll feel about yourself when you look back on what you’ve accomplished when 2020 is on the horizon.