May 19, 2020

Everyone’s approach to staying healthy and staying sane is evolving as recommendations and protocols are updated. Unfortunately, after some advice is dispensed, there can be more questions raised than solutions offered. It’s best to consult trustworthy, objective sources and then synthesize what’s best for you in your particular living situation.

Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times has an ongoing series, which is very informative. She speaks with and questions infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists, microbiologists, and other professionals, then reports clear, useful answers. The topics she covers are definitely top of mind for New Yorkers.

In one article, Parker-Pope answered questions about where the coronavirus might be and where it most likely isn’t. Below are a few excerpts:

Precautions after essential trips outside

  • For most people practicing social distancing and making only occasional trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, experts agree that it’s not necessary to change clothes or take a shower when you return home.

Concerns about the mail, packages, and newspaper

  • The risk of getting sick from handling mail or packages is extremely low. As precaution, after handling mail, packages, or reading the newspaper, dispose of the packaging and wash your hands. If you still feel anxious, take guidance from the New England Journal study and let mail and packages sit for 24 hours before handling them.

Viral contamination of hair or beard

  • You should not be worried about viral contamination of your hair or beard, if you are practicing social distancing. Experts agreed that even if someone sneezed on the back of your head, any droplets that landed on your hair would be an unlikely source of infection.

Read the full article here.

Other informative articles from Tara Parker-Pope are:

  • Can I Get Coronavirus From Riding an Elevator? Read full article here
  • A User’s Guide to Face Masks: Read full article here
  • How to Clean Your Home for Coronavirus: Read full article here
  • Have I Been Cleaning All Wrong? Read full article here

As New Yorkers continue to move forward, it is important to stay healthy individually and as a community. Now more than ever, the actions we take and efforts we make today directly impact our shared tomorrow.

May 14, 2020

What is the future of eating out in New York? There are as many opinions and projections about what restaurants will look like as there are restaurants. Erica Adams and Tanay Warekar report on surfacing themes in an article on Eater. Below are highlights:

Delivery: Bringing the restaurant experience home may be the most achievable way in the near future for restaurants to keep volumes at healthier business levels.

Prix-fixe Menus: In order to move patrons through their meal more efficiently, prix-fix dinners may become more the norm. Plus, a more curated, concise menu can lessen the variety of ingredients and prep time required.

COVID Etiquette: Exemplary impeccable service will now include COVID etiquette at the top of the list – things like safety, guest flow coordination, and hygienic attention.

Temperature Checks: Temperature checks of all employees, as well as guests at the door may become more the norm.

Lower-rent Locations: Rent is often a restaurant’s largest fixed cost. Therefore, lower-rent locations may become the more realistically viable real estate for eat-in restaurants that don’t charge a month’s salary for a meal.

Outdoor Dining: Added outdoor dining wherever possible will help with both space for social distancing and better ventilation. Perhaps local zoning laws will be updated to accommodate more of this.

Ghost Kitchens: Establishments are considering ghost kitchens, where prep work is done offsite in order to better achieve social distancing among employees in back-of-house areas.

Virtual Menus: Menus may need to be accessed via smartphones to limit publicly handled materials.

Bar Reservations: The impact on bars, many known for their shoulder-to-shoulder and sidle-up scenarios, may be even harder to imagine. Rubbing elbows with strangers at a bar may need to be reconceived. Barstools every six feet will give watering holes a very different vibe. Drop-in neighborhood bars may start to require reservations and/or memberships to insure a more controlled number within the space.

Read the full Eater article here.

To get a further perspective on the challenges restaurants will face in the coming months, you can review the Reopening Guidance provided by the National Restaurant Association.

Restaurants and eating out have always been a significant part of our culture and social fabric. Though the future of food service is unknown, one thing is for sure: no matter how restaurants evolve, they will continue to be a part of our shared experience.

May 12, 2020

As the world spends more time doing a wider variety of things at home, investments in home offices and strategies for interior design are becoming more invaluable.

Sarah Mendel, principal of Cochineal Design is expert at making any size space work well and look even better. Having wide-ranging experience in residential, hospitality, and commercial design, Cochineal offers a uniquely informed point of view.  Few are better equipped to offer tips on how to achieve a work-from-home space that maximizes space use and looks terrific.

1. Make every square inch count

In its Half Townhouse project, every inch of space was prime real estate. Cochineal saw a hallway as an opportunity to create workspace and storage solutions. Putting amenities in the walk-though area transformed it from a room connecter to something with more purpose and personality. Paneled walls help to define the space and create a cozy, working moment. Pro tip: A table lamp instantly accessorizes a workspace with personality.

Millwork-paneled walls: HenryBuilt; Table lamp: RH Modern
2. Get creative with storage

When we think of design-worthy libraries, we usually imagine halls of mahogany shelves and rows of tables neatly arranged with brass banker’s lamps. In Cochineal’s hotel project, she reinterpreted this imagery to meet the brand’s young and vibrant culture. Custom shelves were laid out in varying lengths and heights and backed with a 3D-textured wallcovering. The traditional study setup is modernized with recycled plastic chairs. Pro tip: Get creative with decorative looking storage and you’ll find yourself better organized with improved aesthetics.

Recycled plastic chairs: Emeco; Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries
3. Give office chairs a whole new look

Traditional office chairs have arms, swivel, and are on casters. Mendel asks, “Why? We aren’t sure either. How often does anyone roll around the office (without hitting a wall)?” and encourages considering other comfortable chair options for a more stylish and sophisticated look. She often uses comfortable, vintage dining chairs. Pro tip: Always sit-test a work chair for comfort before purchasing – it may look good, but you’ll want to be able to sit in it for long periods of time, too.

Chairs: found upstate New York (left); Atelier 2+ (center); Vintage Moller (right)
4. Give yourself a break (space)

Make somewhere your break room or area – your no-work zone when you’re working from home. It can be a drag to sit at your dining room table all day. At the office, you might take a coffee break to stretch your legs. Mendel points out, “at home, it’s important to remember to allow yourself some intentional pauses during the day.” Pro tip: No matter how much space you have, dedicate a comfy chair for long calls or 15-minute breathers.

Chair: Vintage Gigi Radice

Resources like Cochineal Design transform basic living environments into dynamic, purposeful, gorgeous places where you’ll be happy to spend more time. Of course, using tips from the experts and your own ingenuity you can add home office makeover-ist to your ever-growing list of multitasking monikers.


Read other home office tips from:

 

April 30, 2020

This is our second installment of staged performances and semi-staged performance available online. There is nothing like live theatre but some of these performances are so great, you may forget you are at home.

Sweeney Todd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp59V1RW3qk

Those who love Sweeney Todd and can’t imagine performances better than those of Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury or Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris, watch out!  This may change your mind. Emma Thompson serves up a wacky Mrs. Lovett — and who knew she could sing like this? Bryn Terfel, the leading bass in today’s opera world, makes the cross over with menacing power. And there is Audra McDonald, too as the Beggar Woman. The New York Philharmonic plays the phenomenal Sondheim score as you may never have heard it. The musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It has since had numerous revivals, as well as a film adaptation. It’s funny, it’s terrifying, and it is supremely beautiful; it remains one of the greatest musical achievements of the American Stage, advancing the art to an entirely new level.

Into the Woods

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP8fw_LhOOg&list=PLEHuU-_R7wf6oSovpstrjXmqEAOq8KuRJ&index=73

Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their spell over you in Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, directed by James Lapine.  It’s a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after happily ever after. In this most magical of musicals, a baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. It won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason), in a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera (1988).

In the Heights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSKOL4x30GU&list=PLEHuU_R7wf6oSovpstrjXmqEAOq8KuRJ&index=40

In the Heights has music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame). The story is set over the course of three days, involving characters in the largely Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. This is a splendid quality version of the show that took Broadway by storm. Charles Isherwood’s review in The New York Times said that “when this musical erupts in one of its expressions of collective joy, the energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two.”  It was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and won four, including the 2008 Best MusicalBest Original Score, and Best Choreography awards. It has been staged around the world, from Japan to Germany and Peru. A film adaptation of the musical was originally set for release on June 26, 2020. However, it has been delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Little Shop of Horrors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUMNY2lsOKU

A horror comedy rock musical, Little Shop follows the hilarious and gruesome story of a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The music, composed by Alan Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and rolldoo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly, Seymour.”  It won several awards including the 1982–1983 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award. This film of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose’s 2008 production has some wonderful performances and will definitely make you forget your penned up at home.

Music Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rroZXCYbqmc&list=PLEHuU-_R7wf6oSovpstrjXmqEAOq8KuRJ&index=102

Featuring book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, the musical’s plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader. He sells band instruments and uniforms to naïve Midwestern townsfolk, promising to train the young members of the new band. Harold is no musician, however, and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. Prim librarian and piano teacher Marian sees through him, but when Harold helps her younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall in love. Harold risks being caught to win her. In 1957, the show became a hit on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for 1,375 performances. It has been revived numerous times and was made into a movie in 1962. This version is the Disney made-for-television version starring Matthew Broderick as Professor Harold Hill and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian.

Still haven’t had enough?  We’ve saved the best for last…

My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies – Full Concert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlBM1ZUBGBg

On a fall evening in 1998, the greatest women stars of Broadway appeared together in a Carnegie Hall review of some of The Great White Way’s finest hits. The songs are vintage classics, and the performances are all superb. Here are just some of the treats you are in store for:

  • Nowadays – Karen Ziemba & Bebe Neuwirth
  • Adelaide’s Lament – Faith Prince
  • Life Upon The Wicked Stage – Anna Kendrick & The Kit Kat Girls
  • Nothing – Priscilla Lopez
  • Could I Leave You – Dee Hoty
  • Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered – Marin Mazzie
  • Falling In Love With Love – Rebecca Luker
  • Love Changes Everything – Audra McDonald
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Nell Carter & Luther Henderson (piano)
  • Fifty Percent – Dorothy Loudon
  • The Ladies Who Lunch – Elaine Stritch . . . and that’s not the half of it.

(For more performances online, see Catch a Broadway Show Tonight — Part 1)

April 28, 2020

Some prognosticators predict that once the country has re-opened for business, more of the workforce will be permanently operating from their homes.  Whether or not a majority of people will continue to work virtually, it seems inevitable that a work-from-home space will become a staple for most every household.

Barry Goralnick, renowned architect and interior designer, has been helping clients to create home offices and work areas since before the pandemic hit.  In recent years, clients had already been asking questions like, “How can I make my dining room more multi-purpose so I can work there during the day?,” “Where can we make an area with a small desk that I can pay bills?,” and “Can we create a place for the kids to do their homework that’s not in their room?”

Increasingly, Goralnick is asked to find more permanent solutions for working from home – functional and aesthetic – including storage, an attractive background for telecommunicating, and places to work that don’t have to be completely cleared away after each workday has ended.

Goralnick offers the following advice, with some tips and resources to help make your work from home situation more of permanent solution.

Keep it Simple

Don’t complicate your needs.  Set up a simple workstation.

These desks are made of simple elements that are attractive and functional – the most basic Parsons desk and a Mid-century or modified office chair. [Left: Desk: West Elm / Hopper Desk Lamp: Currey & Co. / Chair: Chairsh; Right: Desk: CB2]

For those who have not yet gone paperless, now is a terrific time to start filing all documents digitally.  If you’re a paper addict, consider not putting a wastebasket close at hand. See for yourself if you truly need a printout to file in a hanging folder, or if it can all be efficiently digitally filed without the mess and waste of paper. Many larger organizations going paperless have limited the number of available trashcans for paper waste in order go green.

Create Room

Goralnick suggests you might be able to put up a temporary wall from places like Wall – the Partition NY. Post-college students have been doing this for years to increase the number of bedrooms in shared apartments.  Best of all it can be removed when you move out. This solution also cuts through New York’s Department of Buildings’ crazy quilt of regulations and co-op or condo board rules.

In this home office space, Goralnick created a long narrow space by colonizing a sliver of a bedroom. [Davy Pendant Fixtures: Currey & Co. / Storage Boxes: The Container Store.]

Don’t Hit a Wall

Goralnick points out that one of the most common missteps people make when creating a workspace is facing the desk chair into a wall. He advises, if possible, face your desk into a window or into the room.

In this instance, the client’s primary office request was an open, airy feeling. Goralnick’s solution was to give the office an interior window facing into the living room, which fronts a set of glass doors with a garden beyond.  By doing so, it provides the desired openness and makes a small space feel much larger. This interior window from the home office looks out into the main room, allowing for views of the outside.

Make Your Space Multi-task

In home design, nothing is sacred anymore.  So, make rooms for multitasking.  Whether space is limited or not, make the best use of every room. Previous generations had specific rules for particular parts of the home, meaning rooms were often underutilized – especially the dining room (often a large space), which was only used on special occasions two or three times a year.

This space is the multi-functioning hub of the home for a young family.  The set-up offers all family members a place to work at any time. Built-ins provide a commodious workstation for parents and kids. [Contemporary kitchen with a vintage Italian Mid-century table and chairs / Art above cabinetry is an important piece, and art on the shelves is from the kids’ art classes]

Rethink the Space You Have

See potential in what you already have.  Pull up a chair and get to work.

Originally, this living room/library (above left) was designed to house several collections, including antique books and walking sticks. The comfortable sofa faces a large TV, and the room was mostly used for reading or binge watching. The desk behind the sofa had, up until now, been simply decorative.

In current times, the desk has become a home office workspace for half of the couple. The shelves have been rearranged to accommodate files and supplies, and the computer is connected to the TV monitor so Zoom meetings can be viewed in a large format. This repurposing functions beautifully.

If you are in a smaller apartment, rethink the functions of each part of every room. In a one-bedroom apartment, you might consider flipping the bedroom and living room depending on the layout and what you need to accommodate. This owner moved the seating out of the bedroom corner and moved in a drafting table (above right). It provides just enough space to work. Plus, it’s next to the window for natural light and a view. [Table crafted from a base found in a flea market coupled with a mahogany top]

Do You Really Need a Desk?

Not everyone needs an actual desk.  Think about what you need to do your best work.

Here, a writer who does not need a traditional desk uses a small dining table coupled with a traditional style office chair for the perfect workspace (and it doesn’t look like an office at all).  This intimate office/library also multi-functions as a guest area with sleep sofa.

Knock It Off

This actual home office was created for a couple with twins. The space has a variety of storage options to hide office mess, a magnetic “backsplash” for notes and schedules, under-cabinet lighting, and filing cabinets – all well organized.

Goralnick advises that this type of solution can be easily replicated in cost-effective ways, “One of the best storage resources is IKEA. They have excellent storage solutions that include countertops, files, cabinets with doors, chairs, shelving, and even the under-cabinet LED lighting.”

If you want to up the aesthetic appeal, there is now a cottage industry of companies that make customized and semi-customized doors for IKEA bodies, like Semi-handmade, so you can make it your own.

The future has always held the unknown. As we look forward and inward, solutions to easier living in the days to come may actually be found right at home.

April 17, 2020

Today it’s clearer than ever that we must evolve and re-conceive of how we navigate the world as it continues to change around us. New skills, new tools, and new approaches can help keep us be more dynamic and even better equipped to face the future.

After all of your new daily responsibilities are attended to, if you find you have some downtime, there is no better moment to learn something new. Below are a few thought-starters and resources for online learning.

Build Digital Skills

 More and more of life is now online – personal, social, business, and medical care, to name few. Just think: only weeks ago most people had never heard of, yet alone used Zoom. In a brief time, innumerable people have learned how to use it. Whether it’s learning about a new program or app or mastering an existing program – digital resourcefulness, tools, and skills are key.

Grow with Google

General digital skills are especially useful. Grow with Google is offering free online workshops to learn and develop skills for staying connected and productive while working remotely. Sign up for any or all of the Grow with Google virtual workshops.

G-Suite, Google Drive and Google Docs

Shared documents are becoming more the norm. Explore how to access and use Google Drive and Google Docs. Google can help with the basics of how to work from home with G-Suite or help you learn by industry what might be the best application of this resource for you.

Expand Knowledge of Computer Programs

For most, computer programs like Microsoft Office have untapped capabilities which are only limited by us as users. Up your game, get more out of the programs you have, and become more valuable to your business or organization.

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and more)

Microsoft offers a wide range of online training and certifications for a variety of levels. This training overview might help you find what’s most relevant to your situation.

Excel

More specifically, Learn Excel Now offers live e-training and self-paced online training for Excel. Courses are aimed to help increase productivity and gain new insights from data. If paid learning is not in your budget, they have a library of free content and resources with commonly requested templates.

Upgrade Your Social Media

Social media has become even more influential in how we communicate with customers, clients, and the world at large.

One online course for Social Media Marketing is offered by Learn@Forbes, an alternative to traditional online schools. Forbes Media and a global network of educators and executives are behind the courses offered. Courses can be taken at any time on any schedule. It offers a 14-day trial to access many courses for free.

Develop Website Skills

There’s no better way to learn than by doing. Try building your own site for an idea, service, or product you want to share with the world. In no time, you’ll be far more expert.

You don’t have to be a computer programmer to up your website savvy. Programs like Squarespace, Shopify, and Weebly are among some of the most-used and most popular. Format may be better for online portfolios, like photographers. They are very user friendly.

There are more sophisticated offerings like WordPress – its basics are not difficult to learn. If your site or your company’s site uses it, WordPress offers free learning on How to Get the Most from WordPress.

Improve SEO

 No one has THE answer on how to best approach SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But resources and tools like SEMrush can help improve your site and product search. An upcoming free course offered by SEMrush on improving your site’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) can be accessed here.

Industry Specific Educational Opportunities

There are more industry-specific learning resources available, too. Below are just a few:

RESTAURANTS & FOOD SERVICE

The Restaurant and Food Group is offering a webinar series: Resetting the Table During the COVID-19 Crisis, in which they webcast discussions on changing leadership strategies and operational solutions for food service.

The National Restaurant Association offers free webinars and free podcasts on a variety of topics, including Practical Health for the Food Service Industry, covering tips and tricks for managing your own mental health as the industry moves through this time.

INTERIOR DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE

IDS is running a Virtual Educational Series of webinars. Access recorded webinars when the time is right for you. Sample webinars include:

  • eDesign 101
  • Website Essentials to Survive an Economic Recession as an Interior Designer
  • 7 Digital Changes to Help Your Business Survive and Be Better Than Before
  • What You Can Do Now to Stay Focused and Keep Your Business Active
  • Managing Your Players From a Distance

AEC offers many live webinar courses or free self-paced online CEU courses so design professionals can earn credits as time is available. A full list of CEU courses can be found here. Courses can be easily searched by the following categories:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Maintenance

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Brushing up or expanding your skills with key programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat can only make you more useful and better able to express your vision.

Below are a few places to explore learning:

Of course, you know what interests you most and what might best help feed your soul, your career, and your vision of the future you. So Google away and find what’s right for you. When so much of the world seems closed around us, keep your mind open and active to a world of new ideas.

April 14, 2020

Adapt, personalize, and optimize. Today, more than ever, we are taking the tools that we have and are redefining ourselves, our work lives, and our homes to find productive ways of moving forward. Award-winning interior designer, Glenn Gissler offers tips and insights with examples from his own design projects to help make your work from home situation the best it can be.

Gissler acknowledges that many of us never foresaw or wanted to work from home. Now a majority of the population is thinking about what working from home looks like, how it feels, and how it manifests itself in daily life. Some are finding out that certain tasks, like drafting, may actually be more proficiently performed from home. While others face the challenge of distractions such as routine chores, pets, other family members or inefficiencies imposed from not having central office access.

Looking forward, even bigger questions come to mind for Gissler. What would it look like if we didn’t go into an office five days a week? How do we psychologically delineate between work life and home life when they both occupy the same environment? Is it a change in lighting, scent, music that helps set boundaries or create differences so that home can be a sanctuary at one time and a place of business at another? Looking to the future, it’s inevitable that boundaries will be continually evolving.

For now, these larger questions will remain unanswered. For some practical solutions right now, Gissler looks at projects he has done for clients over recent years, before the pandemic, and extrapolates tips that may be useful as we all approach working from home.

Make Your Space Multitask

You’ve been multitasking for years, so why shouldn’t your rooms? Gissler encourages everyone to think differently about their existing surroundings and how they might function.

In this project, a room that has already been acting as dining room and library now multitasks as a home office. One end of the dining table serves as home office, while the other end still makes a great setting for family meals.

Make Room In Any Room

When creating a work-from-home space, a separate room is not a must-have to establish a successful workspace. Sometimes a “corner office” does the trick.

Gissler designed a Brooklyn Heights brownstone with a home office set up in a living room corner.  He notes, “A large window gives plenty of light throughout the workday and into the evening. The Mid-Century desk by Jules Leleu and a pair of leather-wrapped Jacques Adnet chairs offer style and function.”  A well-designed table and chairs help this “corner office” blend into the overall living room design with panache.  Simply putting away small work accessories and closing or stowing a computer can close the office – mentally and aesthetically.  That way, when the room is used for entertaining, Zoom cocktails, reading, or binge watching, the work-like function of the home office does not intrude.

Accommodate New Office Mates’ Needs

Home offices are not just for parents. By sharing an office with children studying from home, parents can set an example of good work habits while keeping an eye on youngsters (possibly easier said than done, but a parent can dream).

This mother/daughter office includes a room-long workspace surface in galvanized steel, with a purple pin-up space and display ledge. Gissler painted the child’s original blond wood furniture with durable glossy oil paint for a more playful appearance. The striped flooring from Marmoleum makes cleanup after messy school projects (or spilled coffee) easier.

Though this particular room is a discrete office space, the idea of setting up a work-school space in any home might be useful to consider. It gives each family member a personal workspace that’s all their own.

Double-up with a Partners Desk

Households with two people now working from home can get double the bang from the home office setup with a partners desk.

An Upper East Side project of Gissler’s (left) includes an antique French 1940’s cerused oak dining table, which acts as a multipurpose partners desk. A home office in a Greenwich Village townhouse (right) incorporates a custom partners worktable. Storage provided by wooden file drawers and open bookshelves is supplemented with an antique stepped Japanese Tansu cabinet.

Of historical note, when Prince Albert’s desk was moved into Queen Victoria’s office, it was considered a significant development.  Within months of their marriage and during Queen Victoria’s first pregnancy, Prince Albert’s writing desk was placed side-by-side with hers so that the two could work together, which by most reports brought them closer as partners in government and their personal life.  If it’s a constructive solution for the royals, it may be worth considering.

Make Display Pieces Function

Furnishings that may have previously been used for decorative display can help make every bit of space more useful.

This Greenwich Village home houses a Donald Judd desk with chairs that are not only for show. Gissler smiles when pointing out that while the chairs may not be ergonomic or ultra-comfy, they keep people alert as they get the job done (plus they’re good for the posture).

Appreciate What You Have

For those who already have a home office in place, appreciate what you have. The same goes for those with a spare room, empty corner, or free end of a table.

This Gissler-designed home office features a Kofrard Larsen desk (circa 1960) combined with a ‘Clayton Chair’ upholstered in leather. It makes a commanding control center for working from home.

There are many more things to think about when redefining a home as a primary place of work. If you want, you can tap into a design professional like Glenn Gissler. Most of all, in times like these, make the best of what you have and try to keep a positive outlook. Change is something we can’t control – how we adapt definitely is.

March 16, 2020

Today, NoMad is proud to celebrate the birthday of the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, after whom Madison Square and the adjoining Madison Avenue were named. In the haze of passing time, we can often forget how much we owe certain history-making men and women. Madison is certainly a person the country was fortunate to have at a time when it needed him most, and we are indebted to him for securing our basic rights.

“Father of the Constitution”

Madison is remembered for playing a pivotal role in creating some of the documents that served as the cornerstone for American democracy and the values we still try to uphold today. Referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” many have singled him out as the most influential of the Founding Fathers. He is particularly credited with designing the political model that allows for both local governments at the state level and the overarching federal level — a model some historians have also called “the most influential American idea in global political history.”

Madison was also largely responsible for establishing the U.S. Bill of Rights, as he used his extensive knowledge of history and other bills drafted around the world to push for amendments that would preserve individual rights. Despite initial opposition from Congress, which was reluctant to continue modifying the newly finalized Constitution, Madison wielded his persuasive powers to garner support for the bill.


We have Madison to thank for the freedoms of speech, religion, press, and more that we enjoy today and now regard as essential to our society.


As a final proof of his dedication to the country and its Constitution, Madison is also known for having written some of the most important articles within the Federalist Papers, which he co-wrote alongside Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The Federalist Papers have played a central role in informing court decisions regarding the intent of the Founding Fathers and how the Constitution should be interpreted. To highlight a single example, his essay Federalist No. 10 argues for making the U.S. into a widespread republic and maps out ways to prevent an unjust “tyranny of the majority” over underrepresented minority groups. He was clearly a man ahead of his time, as this issue is one that our modern politics still struggle to implement effectively.

A Leader to Admire

Even beyond his value as a driving force behind the country’s ideology, Madison is admired for putting his theories into practice during his tenure as president. He did his utmost to follow the principles he helped outline in the Constitution, including maintaining a healthy system of checks and balances that kept his power within reasonable limits and held his office accountable for its decisions — all while guiding the country with steadfast resolve through the War of 1812 against Great Britain. Without a doubt, he was an ideal leader for times of crisis and volatility, and one can only hope that our country’s future leaders will be mindful of his example.

In the midst of the current global uncertainty and fears about the future, it is more important than ever to remember and honor the bedrock of our nation and those essential to molding our resilient spirit. To end with the words of historian Garry Wills, “Madison did more than most, and did some things better than any. That was quite enough.”

February 27, 2020

Kew is pleased to announce that starting March 1, Mulligan Security will be tending to our buildings at 1123 and 1133 Broadway as part of our continuous efforts to keep our tenants as secure and satisfied as possible. 

Mulligan is a family-owned New York-based business that emphasizes its hands-on approach to serving its clients. With more than 1,400 employees, 50 clients, and oversight of 100 different properties, the company’s 25-year track record speaks for itself. As an added bonus, it has a proven history of working with established property managers, including Brookfield, CBRE, C&W, and RXR, making us confident it has the relevant experience to not just meet, but even anticipate our needs. 

Tenants can rest assured knowing that Mulligan offers top-of-the-line personnel and security. Its services were certified as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology under the Safety Act by the Department of Homeland Security — the first regional company in the state to receive this prestigious designation. 

Its employees, many of whom are former NYPD, FDNY, or federal law enforcement officials, go through Mulligan’s own licensed security guard training school with associated Fire Life Safety training to keep their skills up to the firm’s high standards. In fact, its training was so well received that the company was asked to be among the six organizations that helped develop New York State’s mandatory courses for becoming a licensed security officer. 

Mulligan’s strength also lies in the reliability of its security force.  You never need to question employees’ professionalism or dedication to their jobs.  The company ensures this by attracting the best people in the business and keeping them satisfied; it makes sure to offer workers comprehensive benefits, including excellent health and life insurance, paid holidays and vacation days, and 401k matching. 

In light of its extensive background and accomplishments in the industry, we are certain that Mulligan is more than qualified to provide top-notch, professional safety services for Kew’s buildings. 

A Special Tenant Advisory

We have confidence that our new team will enforce building policies as outlined in our Tenant Guide.  To make sure there are no difficulties, we want to remind our tenants that everyone entering the building must have an ID Check.  To make this quicker and simpler for tenants, we have provided Tenant ID Cards.  By showing this to the guard you can avoid any delay.

Many of you have been in the building for a long time and the former guards recognized you.  Naturally, this will not be the case in the coming weeks, please be aware that you should carry your ID Card whenever you enter the building to avoid any holdup on entering. Especially remember to take it when you run out for coffee or to pick up lunch.

If you have lost your ID Card or need a new one, please contact Yessy Ortiz in the Kew Management Office (212) 255-3346.

January 7, 2020

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
  • Two Books
  • A Stuffed Animal
  • A Candy Cane
  • A Winter Coat
  • A Hat
  • A Scarf
  • Gloves

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/).

January 3, 2020

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

fellowbarber.com

Hours:
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

December 10, 2019

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

rizzolibookstore.com

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

 

 

December 5, 2019

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
center@kewmanagement.com

kewmanagement.com/business-center

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m – 6 p.m.

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.

July 17, 2019

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.

July 11, 2019

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