June 12, 2020

Paraphrasing Kahlil Gibran, “Do not seek hours to kill, but hours to live.”  It is easy to see the COVID lockdown as restrictive, but in the right light it presents an opportunity to improve yourself and spend quality time with family. Fitness, music, and general entertainment are all available with the convenience of online social media platforms like those below, see what you can do to make the most out of your quarantine at NO COST.



YogaWorks is offering classes from 60 to 90 minutes on the YouTube accounts of several studios.

Have a little more time? You can find the full schedule here. You can also find them on social media presenting live workouts throughout the week. The social media handle is @yogaworks.

Rumble Boxing

The trainers at rumble Boxing are offering virtual full-body HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts through Instagram live videos each week.  For this week’s schedule, there is a workout on Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT with @aliyahsims and another on Sunday at 12 p.m. EDT with @noahfloods. Check out their social media handle @doyourumble on Instagram to see the schedule for each week.

Women’s Health Magazine

Women’s Health is hosting two live workouts every day on its Instagram page. Each week, they feature several different popular fitness trainers, like Megan Roup and Charlee Atkins. The workouts typically range in length from 20 to 40 minutes and are generally full body and require no equipment. Check out their social media handle @womenshealthmag on Instagram to see the schedule for each week.


The instructors at Energi are hosting daily live workouts at 11 a.m. EDT on Instagram. They post the lineup every week, with classes ranging from HIIT to dance. Try classes from some of the most talented NYC instructors for free – this is your chance. Check out their social media handle @energilife_ for more!

You can also check out other trainers for various workouts/live videos to incorporate into your day or overall workouts for the future: @hannaheden_fitness, @getfitwithgiddy, @olimccann, @coacheugeneteo, @athkeanx



Tune in very Monday night at 10 on NBC to experience the creative process behind the newest songs. In the show, songwriters present their songs to a featured artist and several music legends and receive  feedback on how to improve it. The featured artist choses one person’s song to produce, and the song is uploaded to Spotify immediately after the show ends. Featured artists in the past have included Macklemore, Boyz II Men, and Julia Michaels.

NPR Music

NPR Music is continuing to compile a list of live audio and video streams from around the world with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some will require registration or a subscription, but most will be free. They are categorized by date and genre, so pick out something you like here!


Chris Martin has not had a live video in a while, but there’s no reason why you cannot catch up with his virtual concerts on YouTube like this one. Get insight into the real talent behind the talent with his #TogetherAtHome videos.

James Corden Carpool Karaoke

Do you like singing and driving at the same time? So does James Corden. Catch up with all of the famous pop stars and celebrities he has sung with in his car from Adele and Bruno Mars to LeBron James and Michelle Obama. Check it out on his YouTube channel here.


Having trouble keeping up with the latest singles and albums? The “New Music Friday” feature on your Spotify account can solve that by helping you discover new top hits and superstars.

January 8, 2020

We start off the new year with some great news: St. Sava has posted a construction advisory sign stating that the completion of the reconstruction is slated for Spring 2020.

After the devastating fire on Easter Eve 2016, there was some question as to whether the structure could be saved and given the expense whether it would be restored.  A landmark building, the beautiful St. Sava was designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn in English Gothic Revival style, and originally served as an uptown chapel of Trinity Church on Wall Street.  It was sold by the Episcopal Church to the Armenian Orthodox Community in 1942 and became the Mother church of the Serbian Orthodox faith in America, as well as a social center for emigres.  You can read more about the fire and the history of the church here here.

Photo 1: orthochristian.com / Photo 2: © David Lubarsky – All rights Reserved

The reconstruction has been delicate, much like that at Notre Dame with the structural integrity of the building often in question.  A full review of the work can be found here. Briefly, it started with the hazardous task of clearing out all of the post-fire debris at ground-level—including scattered stone and charred-timber wreckage. Then, the loose and otherwise compromised structural and non-structural materials overhead were methodically removed in order to render the building site as safe as possible, before the actual reconstruction work could begin.

Since then, construction has progressively continued with the installation of steel beams and the placing of aluminum structs across the entire roof.  With this base in place, vertically placed sheets of corrugated metal and sheeting were installed and covered with marine board and an asphalt membrane, all of which is part of the permanent roof.

Photo: © David Lubarsky – All rights Reserved

A new floor has been laid.  The base consists of massive 27” deep steel I-beams to which are riveted sheets of 7” deep corrugated galvanized steel.  This will be covered with a cement base, surmounted by floor heating elements, and a final finishing layer.

It is heartening to see the interior lit at night, albeit with construction lamps and to see the temporary plexiglass windows installed throughout the church.   Soon the doorways will be framed and temporary, substantial metal doors will be installed.  You can read more about the construction challenge at easterndiocese.org.

Donations to help restore this beautiful landmark neighbor, can be made here: orthochristian.com

Saluting our Tenants

St. James Tenant Zivkovic Connolly Architects PC is the architect for the St. Sava Project.
Thanks to St. James Tenant David Lubarsky for sharing some of his documentary photos of St. Sava.

July 25, 2019
Photo by Gross & Daley

Glenn Gissler Design, established in 1987, is an award-winning interior design firm providing exemplary service to a sophisticated and accomplished clientele. Owner Glenn Gissler integrates his training as an architect; a rich knowledge of fine art, design and decorative arts; and an extensive experience to create distinctive residential environments. The firm’s work is regularly featured in magazines, books, and digital platforms.

This month, Glenn Gissler Design is honored to be featured in William Norwich’s new book, Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century, and to have received a nomination for the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. We sat down with Glenn to learn a little bit more about his elegant yet livable style, as well as the design process that makes his work stand out.

At the age of 13, Glenn knew that he wanted to be an interior designer. He went on to study architecture, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts & Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Glenn’s architectural training gives him an edge in the ultra-competitive interior design industry in New York City: He says that it allows him to devise ways to use space most effectively and naturally, while being responsible to history and maintaining integrity in his designs.

When asked to describe his style, Glenn began by insisting that despite his understanding of architecture and design history and his extensive vocabulary in these areas, it is difficult for him to describe his own work. In fact, he says that “style” is not the first thing that comes to mind. In his practice, it’s more about “life-style.” Glenn’s rooms are not showcases, they’re homes, and he believes that his clients are attracted to him for the livability of his designs.

Architecture and Livability

As a child, Glenn remembers looking at books full of pictures of the magnificent mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. He says that for him, they might as well have been palaces in Europe, and he was completely mesmerized. However, he says, “When I finally got to Newport and I went to all of those places, I was as interested in the servants’ quarters as I was in the grand rooms. In some ways, I was more interested because that’s where reality actually occurred and the rest was kind of a stage set.”

Glenn is not a designer that clients turn to for a stage set. “Every building, every home, every apartment has a spirit to it. You walk into a building, and it says something.” Glenn is not one to ignore that message. He believes that designs need to respond to their environment. A Venetian palace or a replica of Philip Johnson’s Glass House might be visually appealing, but when they are constructed without attention to their context, the experience of inhabiting them feels off in some way.

Elegance and livability are guiding principles in Glenn’s design process. Perhaps it is his architecture training, or just the way that his brain is wired, but he is always focused on how to use a space most effectively and naturally. To some extent this may also be because much of his work is in New York City, where he is often designing spaces that need to perform more than one function. He believes that people should be able to use all of the rooms in their homes as a part of the natural course of living their lives. He finds that often times, living rooms and dining rooms are anachronistic. Glenn wants to abandon the feeling of staged rooms, only there for display. When he sees designs that do not take into account how the inhabitants will actually be able to live in them, it baffles him. “In a lot of modern designs, everything is so sleek and bare. I walk in and immediately think, ‘where will these people put their stuff?’ Storage is a key to mental health, and if you don’t have storage, the style of the room doesn’t even matter because you can’t see it.”

Photo by Gross & Daley

Another hallmark of Glenn’s designs is what he identifies as a “half-empty, half-full” approach. “When architects are finished, they don’t want any furniture in the room, they just want pure volume. Many interior decorators, on the other hand, want to have every nook and cranny with something in it. I like to have space for the mind to rest so that the objects in the room actually have an opportunity to breathe and to have greater meaning.”

When Glenn is choosing objects to populate his designs, he makes sure to include a variety from different periods, different cultures, and what he calls “different valuations.” He finds that objects that are visually delightful are more exciting than objects that are simply expensive. Expensive things are not inherently better than inexpensive things and Glenn says that “when they’re together, they are actually in a kind of cultural and historical dialogue that makes each of them more interesting.” A fan of using fashion metaphors, Glenn compares this effect to that of wearing a Hanes t-shirt underneath an Armani suit. It is chic and elegant but more importantly, it is livable.

How Glenn Gissler Design Does It

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Glenn’s practice is that after graduating from RISD, Glenn only spent four years working under other designers before founding his own firm. Not only has he taught himself the ins and outs of the interior design industry over the years, he has also independently developed his unique design process that helps him to achieve the desired results. While his architectural training gave him the solid historical, technical and theoretical basis that is so important to his design process, he has taught himself how to partially shake free from those confines all on his own. “It’s not a theoretical project. You actually have to bring reality into it in order to create something that’s relevant.”

Photo by Gross & Daley

The major key to Glenn’s design process is the relationship that he is able to create with his clients. “I tell my clients that they’re in charge. It’s their place. I don’t live there; I have my own place.” Although he may wrestle with them on certain points because he sees something that he thinks they might not notice, he is focused on making sure that they ultimately know that it is their choice. This means that his clients are involved in the design process every step of the way.

Glenn starts by looking at the floorplan and considering what the apartment can do to accommodate the lifestyle of the tenant. Everything depends on the particulars of the client. Do they have children? Do they entertain often? Do they have tons of books or art? All of these questions help Glenn come up with an idealized floorplan. From there, an artist who Glenn has worked with for years creates perspective drawings so that the client can imagine what the project will look like when it is complete.

Perhaps the most important aspect of these perspective drawings is that they are drafted by hand in pencil. “Today, so many people produce architectural drawings digitally to make it look like they’re real, and I think that’s a bad idea. The reason is, if it’s so real in the drawings, when it’s actually done, you feel like you’ve already seen it and been there. There’s something about our drawings being black and white that allows us to maintain the element of surprise.”

Once the client feels comfortable with the ideal floorplans and the perspective drawings, Glenn starts the process of proposing textiles, light fixtures, art and so on. To sum it up, Glenn says, “We start with the architecture, bring in the personality, add the colors, and make commitments to certain themes – it’s an ongoing process of love.”

Enduring Design for Client Living

Glenn’s ultimate hope is that the finished product is something enduring. He has an appreciation for all of the hard work that his clients do to be able to embark on these projects with him, and he is always conscious to make thoughtful decisions in terms of quality and value. “Some designers do really splashy, trendy projects, and it’s kind of like buying a party dress. Then when you want to wear something else, the party dress is all you have, and you end up feeling overdressed, wishing that you had something a little more understated.” Following his metaphor, Glenn is able to give his clients a closet full of clothes that will last, instead of one fancy ball gown with limited wearing potential.

Speaking of the enduring nature of Glenn’s designs, his work has recently been recognized in two major ways. First, a room that he designed in 1995 is featured in William Norwich’s new book, Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century. Additionally, he was nominated for the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. For Glenn both of these honors came as quite a surprise. Of Interiors, Glenn said that he was unaware that the book was in production, let alone that his project was going to be included. It was only when he was contacted regarding image rights from an on-line magazine reviewing the book that he found out.

The design project was commissioned by the then president of EMI Music Worldwide and his wife. At the time, it was featured on the cover of Interior Design magazine in 1995, along with a six-page spread featuring breathtaking pictures of the whole apartment. The living room, which is the room featured in Norwich’s book, has very grand dimensions: 26 ft. by 26 ft., with 20 ft. high ceilings. Aside from the imposing scale of the room, two key factors guided Glenn’s design process, both of which were specific to his clients’ needs. They loved to travel and needed an interior that would accommodate various cultural artifacts that they had begun to collect in the course of their travels. They also needed an appropriate stage for the frequent entertaining they did with various colleagues in the music industry.

The space was intimidating, but it had character, and Glenn’s clients loved the grandeur of the room. Without taking away from that feeling, Glenn was able to devise a unique furniture plan that optimized the livability of the space. The clients liked clean surfaces, so Glenn’s half-full, half-empty approach was perfect. The furniture had to be strong in order to handle the demands of the room, which allowed for amazing additions such as the ambitious window treatment, which would only be appropriate in a room of this scale. Ultimately, this Upper West Side project perfectly encapsulates the strengths of Glenn’s style and design process. The fact that it has been recognized again, nearly 25 years after its completion is a testament to the timelessness of Glenn’s work.

He does not take the use of that word lightly however. “It’s an enormous compliment to have my work thought of as ‘timeless’. People toss that word around, but for me, it’s less about timelessness and more about being responsible to history; the history of the space I am working in, historical precedent and being cognizant of the time we are living in” Glenn is not interested in novelty that does not stand the test of time, but he doesn’t necessarily believe that timelessness is achievable. “Whatever you build is going to be of the particular time in which it was built.” For Glenn, the most important thing is to maintain an integrity and an appropriateness in relation to the context of the project. This Upper West Side apartment is a clear manifestation of that mission.

Photo by Peter Mauss/ESTO

Regarding his nomination for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards, Glenn was equally humble. His nomination is all the more impressive because the nomination process is completely anonymous. “It was a huge thrill and a huge honor. It’s great to have business and clients who appreciate what you do, but it’s also deeply satisfying to be recognized by your peers for your work. Just to know that they’re paying attention.”

What’s Next?

Although interior design is not the easiest profession in New York City, Glenn has fulfilled the dream he first had when he was 13 years old. “I did it, and I am doing it.” Looking forward, Glenn is more excited than ever about what is to come. He says that the reward for success is the opportunity to work harder. It’s a good news, bad news situation. If you are successful, people expect you to do better, and Glenn is up for the challenge. “At the end of the day, the accolades are fantastic, and being in magazines and books is deeply satisfying, but really it’s all about the next project. What’s the next project? What’s going to be deeply engaging? That’s what I’m always looking for.”

On his tenancy in the Townsend Building, Glenn could not be happier with the collegial feeling. He has many friends in the building and always enjoys seeing what his fellow tenants are up to. He’s been in the neighborhood for more than 25 years, and seeing the changes that have occurred over the years has been greatly inspiring to him. “When I first moved to New York, no one went into Madison Square Park. The neighborhood was just empty. Now there’s a spirit to the neighborhood which is very creative.” The sense of the community in the Townsend building is an added bonus, not to mention the breathtaking architecture. Working in a building with such historical significance is a constant inspiration and reminder of the lasting power of successful design. It keeps Glenn looking toward the future for that next engaging project. “It’s a cool building, and I love it even more because of the incredible stairwell. Overall, I think it’s quite remarkable.”

We think Glenn is quite remarkable, and we congratulate him again on his spectacular career and his achievements this year.

Glenn Gissler Design
1123 Broadway, Suite 1100
New York, NY 10010
(212) 228-9880

June 21, 2019
Via InteriorDesign.net

If you think you’ve seen all of the best rooftops in the NoMad neighborhood, think again. Since opening in March, The Fleur Room at the Moxy Chelsea Hotel has been wowing hotel guests, happy-hour drinkers, clubbers, and even celebrities with its stunning 360-degree views, classic cocktail menu, and late-night dance floor—all presented in an atmosphere of sophisticated, timeless New York elegance.

The Fleur Room recently robbed Sky Room of the title of NYC’s highest nightclub, and it has taken full advantage of its perch atop the 35th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow guests to take in the full beauty of the NYC skyline—including stunning views of the Empire State Building. To heighten the experience, the staff raises the garage-style windows to let in the fresh air on warm spring and summer evenings. True to its name—and tipping its hat to the historic Flower District—The Fleur Room welcomes guests to a space filled with floral themes, from the massive bouquet at the entrance to the flora-encased glass tables to the floral-patterned furnishings.

Guests can enjoy the relaxed lounge atmosphere and cocktail menu from opening through sunset, and as evening turns into late-night, the atmosphere turns more celebratory as a DJ begins cranking the music and the dance floor fills with partygoers—illuminated by a spinning disco ball that once hung in L.A. hotspot Vertigo in the 1980s.

Even when the party ramps up, you won’t find the typical “clubby” vibe so often found in NYC’s late-night scene. And that’s to be expected. First of all, The Fleur Room is brought to us by TAO Group and nightspot mastermind Angelo Bianchi; and second, the décor and the views definitely suggest a more sophisticated atmosphere. In fact, the lounge has already hosted well-known visitors such as Mick Jagger, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Mina Cvetkovic, and Chace Crawford, among others, and the hotel staff says more celebrity private parties are already on the books.

Via InteriorDesign.net

So whether you’re looking for a place to dance the night away or enjoy a drink with friends after work, take a walk to the Moxy Chelsea, at West 28th Street and Sixth Avenue, and take an elevator ride to the 35th floor. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

The Fleur Room
Moxy Hotel Chelsea
105 West 28th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 888-1095


Monday: 5:00 p.m. – Midnight
Tuesday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.

June 20, 2019

Enjoy bubbly and bites while beginning to Collect Your AdventuresTM at Jet Set Candy. Get up to 80% off on samples, overstock, display and slightly damaged items.

Wednesday, June 26th
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Suite 218
St. James Building – 1133 Broadway

Jet Set Candy offers Travel-inspired Jewelry that captures the essence of your favorite destinations, featuring luggage tag charms that bear international airport codes, unique moveable charms and much more.

Website: www.jetsetcandy.com
Instagram: @jetsetcandy
Phone:  (551) 579-2375

June 11, 2019
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

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.


Via Eventbrite.com

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

Tickets through Eventbrite

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

Tickets and Reservations via the website

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.


Via Shake Shack

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


Via nycpride.org

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

May 29, 2019

A tenant for more than 12 years, Cindy E. Levitz, L.Ac., Dipl OM, C.SMA, has been in private practice since 1996. She specializes in all types of Acute and Chronic Pain Treatment, Stress and Anxiety Reduction, and Women’s Health Issues.   

Priding herself on making a client’s whole system better, she doesn’t simply treat a particular condition but is committed to reading the symptoms so she can diagnose the internal problems they evidence—the internal problems that must be resolved to produce true healing.  Then she develops a treatment plan tailored to the client personally. 

We sat down with Cindy and we learned a lot about her incredible breadth of knowledge in natural medicine.  We think you will be astounded by some of the conditions acupuncture and programs of nutrients and herbs can treat.

An Unexpected Career Dedicated to Using the Best of Eastern and Western Medicine

As a young person, Cindy was interested in Eastern art, culture, and meditation, and as life happens, she became a painter and a dental hygienist.  Then, at about 30 years of age, something happened that was to change her life.  She began to experience a condition involving episodes of vertigo that occurred without warning and usually lasted twenty minutes to several hours.  The suddenness of the attacks of dizziness left her vulnerable on city streets and made her fearful of driving.  When Cindy had an onset of the condition, she could only correct it by sleeping for two days.  The doctors of Western medicine she sought out for treatment couldn’t be sure of the cause and didn’t have a cure, but categorized it as Meniere’s Syndrome.  None of the medications that they prescribed worked for her.

Finally, after five years of suffering, a friend referred her for acupuncture.  Within three months of treatment, acupuncture relieved the severe attacks, and she never experienced them again. The effectiveness of the treatment was a revelation.  Once cured, she decided to go back to school—weekends and nights—to become an acupuncturist.  That road would lead her further not only into acupuncture but also into the world of natural medicine.

Cindy’s journey has been continuing, resulting in an impressive list of credentials.  Most notably, she has an M.S. degree in Acupuncture and is a Licensed Acupuncturist in NYS, Nationally Certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine (Dipl. OM) and is one of only a small number of Certified Sports Medicine Acupuncture Specialists (C.SMA).  The full list of her impressive credentials can be found here.


The Powers of Acupuncture vs. the Myths

Acupuncture and Eastern medicine are increasingly recognized by an ever broader segment of the  public and Western medical doctors as effective, safe, and valid forms of treatment alongside mainstream Western medicine and other alternative therapies.  Yet, even today, many hold outdated, preconceived notions of acupuncture without really knowing much about it.  Many see it mainly as a “pain reliever,” but speaking to Cindy, we were surprised to find out how extensive its application is and how she uses it to treat a wide range of issues including women’s health, male and female fertility.  Yes, fertility.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world —it was first practiced in China more than 3,000 years ago.  Basically, the principle of acupuncture is that human beings have a natural flow of energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), throughout the body. Good health of body and mind depends on the smooth flow of Qi circulating in energy pathways called meridians. Pain and disease occur when there is imbalance, deficiency, or blockage of the energy.

Acupuncture uses fine, hair-thin filaments at points along these pathways to help unblock and re-balance the body’s natural energy, reestablishing the flow of energy (Qi). It may often appear a bit magical, but the results are emphatically physiological—increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles, resulting in the reduction or elimination of pain and promoting your system’s natural healing abilities.

You’ll find a FAQ on Acupuncture here.


“I Have a Lot of Acupuncture Babies Running Around Out There.”

What a great legacy! Cindy told us that she has effectively used acupuncture, in combination with nutrients and herbs, to promote fertility in both women and men.   Who knew?

In women, she uses acupuncture to: balance hormones; regulate menstrual cycles; adjust irregular periods; encourage better quality egg production; build a proper bed in the uterus; and in general, increase the healthy functioning of the reproductive system to encourage conception, fertilization, and fetus development.  Treatments during the pregnancy reduce the fatigue, stress and back pain while promoting a smoother term. Some women come to Cindy before beginning IVF treatment to enhance IVF’s effectiveness or after they have had unsuccessful IVF cycles to maximize their chances of conception.

On the male side of the equation, Cindy told us that about 40% of the problems for couples conceiving is due to the male’s fertility issues.  Acupuncture can increase the number and motility of sperm as well as the morphology of the sperm cells themselves.

Acupuncture can also help with the issues around conception and birth, too.  In men, it can be used to address erectile dysfunction and libido and, in women, to treat post-partum depression, ease the process and pain during labor, and even correct the position of breech babies.


Women’s Health Issues

Few if any women see our current health system as anything other than a male-dominated, myopically dude industry.  As Cindy points out, Western medicine has basically two solutions to the entire range of women’s health issues: hormones or surgery, both immoderate and risky.

In her practice, she has targeted treatments that address: all types of menstrual issues such as cramps before or during menstruation, irregular cycles, PMS, mood swings, morning sickness, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia, pain and heavy bleeding related to fibroids, cervical dysplasia, PCOS, abdominal distention and bloating, and breast tenderness, as well as back pain, fatigue and nausea during pregnancy.  She even works with midwives to guide them in acupressure methods to ease delivery.


Treating Pain Issues – from Acute and Chronic Back Pain to Serious Sports Injuries

Perhaps the most common reason people seek acupuncture treatment is for back pain, but it is very effective treatment for all types of pain including neck, shoulder, knee and headache pain – as well as the aching pain of arthritis.  Cindy’s approach combines her knowledge and experience of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with biomedical understanding.  As an herbalist and nutritional consultant, she may suggest herbal formulas or nutritionals when appropriate.

When it comes to serious pain from a sports injury, Cindy, as a Certified Sports Medicine Acupuncture Specialist (C.SMA), integrates advanced acupuncture techniques, tuina medical massage, Western orthopedic tests, evaluations and myofascial release bodywork skills to heal patients faster, get them back to their activity sooner, and prevent re-injury.


Addressing Stress, the Underappreciated Effects of Digestive Issues and Other Issues

Stress and Anxiety.  Cindy uses acupuncture, stress reduction exercises and often herbal formulas and nutritionals to successfully treat: stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sleeplessness, and irritability.  Stress blocks the smooth flow of energy in our systems. When acupuncture opens up those blockages, healthy functioning is restored.   One of the things that research has shown is that endorphins, your body’s feel-good bio-chemicals, are released during acupuncture. The effects are cumulative and lasting, which means that acupuncture reduces not only the symptoms of stress, but the stress itself!

Digestive Issues.   We are seeing many more auto-immune problems than ever before; and now we understand that good gut health is key to immunity.  One reason is that we aren’t getting the nutrients we need to help our mind and body get and stay healthy.  In our discussion, Cindy touched on the problems with our food source.  “We try to eat healthy, but our food is coming from depleted soil and much is treated with pesticides and highly toxic chemicals, which we are ingesting. Quite simply, the American diet has greatly compromised gut health and immunity.

If your system isn’t strong, because it doesn’t have sufficient resources, it cannot fight all of the foreign invaders or prevent cell necrosis and inflammation.  And, if in addition to that, the body is already fighting so many toxic elements from the food chain, the body’s immune system can’t deal with all of this, and is overwhelmed.

With acupuncture, diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications she can treat the whole system – body and mind.  Cindy helps guide her patients so they can heal, feel better now, and achieve even greater health as time goes on. Taking just diet as one example: Cindy helps her clients eat better, and recommends specific nutritionals and herbs from an organic farm with replenished soil, thereby supplementing the clients’ diet with nutrients that are missing in our produce.  Such steps combined with acupuncture and lifestyle modifications have been highly successful in improving gut health for her clients.

Other Issues.  There are many other disorders that Cindy treats, including weight loss and smoking cessation, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory conditions and more serious diseases such as auto-immune problems.  You can find a full description of these here.

She even has a certification in acupuncture facial rejuvenation, which is a less costly, safe, comfortable, and a no-risk-of-disfigurement alternative to surgery.  The benefits of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture can be found here.


How Cindy’s Client Base is Evolving 

Cindy points out that over the past 10 to 15 years, more people are aware that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are viable options for treatment, and have seen the success of these therapies.  “People don’t want to get into the cycle that Western medicine so often starts.” Cindy described the cycle, “You begin to go from one doctor to another.  The medications prescribed mainly mask a symptom and often cause side effects leading to other medications.  Before long, a person is taking a list of medications—all the time filling the body with toxins.  There is also an inclination with many doctors, to perform surgery and other invasive procedures, which can often be avoided. People just don’t want to start down that path. They would rather take steps to prevent problems and try natural approaches first – and that’s great.”

Cindy knows that as we get older, more illnesses can develop.  That is why she is happy that she is seeing lots of patients in their 30s, to prevent health problems and treat issues early, before they get on lots of medications.  They are more open to acupuncture and natural medicine than many older people are. She loves the opportunity to help them with their immediate problems, and help them live a longer, healthier, and more rewarding life.


A Special Offer in Appreciation of 12 Wonderful Years Here

Cindy told us, “Over the years that I have been a tenant, I have seen so many great changes to the neighborhood.  Clients love coming to my office, because they can visit Eataly on the way, go to local restaurants, or sit in the park for a while.  I love the building, too – and my fellow tenants, so many of whom have been patients over the past decade.”

And as a sign of her appreciation, Cindy is offering a complimentary consultation to Kew tenants and 10% reduction on the first treatment to tenants and clients referred by tenants.

Cindy E. Levitz
Licensed Acupuncturist, PLLC
1123 Broadway at 25th Street, Suite 418
New York, NY 10010
(212) 924-8034



May 24, 2019

If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it. Tucked onto a little triangle of land where Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue in NoMad, there stands a 51-foot obelisk, marking a little-known landmark called Worth Square. Between the lush trees of Madison Square Park, the towering Flatiron Building and the surges of traffic at Broadway and Fifth Avenue, there’s a lot these days to distract the eye away from this nearly forgotten piece of New York history. But it is a part of our history, and an interesting bit of history, at that. Let’s explore a few fascinating facts about this NoMad landmark.


Worth Square is an actual grave.

Beneath the obelisk monument of Worth Square lie the remains of General William Jenkins Worth (1794-1849), a decorated war hero recognized for his exploits in the War of 1812, Second Seminole War, and Mexican–American War. (His name is better remembered by his namesake city, Fort Worth, Texas.) His is only one of three private graves on the Isle of Manhattan. The second, and most famous, is Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park. The third private grave—and the oldest—belongs to a five-year-old boy named St. Claire Pollack who died in 1797. His grave, enclosed by a fence, lies not far from Grant’s Tomb and has somehow survived the city’s ongoing evolution around it.


Worth Square is the second oldest monument in New York City.

The Worth Square monument was erected in 1857. The only older monument is the George Washington equestrian monument, created a year earlier, which sits in Union Square Park.


Worth Square used to dominate the landscape.

When the monument was first erected, the surrounding area was peaceful and serene, and the 51-foot obelisk the tallest object in the near vicinity. Now, thanks to “monumental” growth and development of the city around it, Worth’s grave sits at the busy intersection of two of the world’s most famous streets, and the monument itself is dwarfed by the buildings surrounding it.


No one really knows why General Worth’s grave is here.

Worth was born in Hudson, New York, but he had no notable connection to NYC. Worth was originally buried in Brooklyn, but his body was moved here and the monument dedicated with great fanfare, with many considering the dedication one of the most grand funerals in New York City history. The reasons why he was singled out to be honored with a memorial in the heart of Manhattan, especially when many other war heroes had greater ties to the city, remains a matter of conjecture. One theory is that it was a political favor from Zachary Taylor, who had been Worth’s superior during the Mexican-American War and was President at the time of his death.


General Worth’s legacy is not squeaky clean.

Worth was considered a brilliant war strategist, and some of his tactics are still taught at West Point, where he served as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.

But he also pioneered some practices that the Geneva Convention would frown upon today, including the deliberate targeting of civilians and the use of starvation as a tool of war.

Whether or not you’re a history buff or war history enthusiast, Worth Square remains today as part of New York’s “hidden history”—one of many little gems tucked into the mosaic of our ever-changing neighborhood. If you’re out and about, perhaps getting ready to enjoy a picnic lunch in Madison Square Park, stop by Worth Square on your way there and take a look.

May 17, 2019

It’s time again for New York Design Week 2019 (aka NYCxDESIGN)—one of the best times of year for NYC creatives in the design space. Between May 10th and May 22nd, the city will see hundreds of exciting and informative design-related events across all five boroughs. Obviously, there are too many events to attend them all, and it’s easy to get lost among all the choices—so we’ve rounded up a few top picks that our Kew tenant designers might enjoy.


NoMad Design District Night

May 17th, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., various NoMad locations

As Friday, May 17th has been designated “NoMad Design District Night,” you’ll find a variety of celebrations that evening across the neighborhood, starting with a special free cocktail party and conversation at 277 Fifth Avenue from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. After a round of champagne and sweets, enjoy a conversation with architect Jeffrey Beers and Brittany Chevalier, Editor of Luxe Interiors + Design, followed by a tour of the model residences inside 277 Fifth Avenue. Be sure to stop by Arlo NoMad, WANT Apothecary and Luxury Living while you’re out and about that evening. 


SoHo Design District Celebrates NYCxDESIGN

May 18th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., various SoHo showrooms

After enjoying the events in our own NoMad neighborhood on Friday, head south on Saturday to the SoHo District to see the unveilings of new designs in the area’s many showrooms. A map of participating showrooms is available here. Events are free, but some showrooms require an RSVP.



May 18th – 21st, 269 11th Avenue, Manhattan
May 16th – 20th, 274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY

WantedDesign, a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community, is hosting marquis events during NYCxDESIGN at its Terminal Location at Hudson Yards and in its Industry City Brooklyn location. Enjoy installations, pop-up stores and interactive experiences, and make meaningful connections with other creatives. Free for trade registrations; online registration available through their website.


Design Week Store Tours

May 10th – 22nd, various design district neighborhoods

For an insider’s look at some of the top galleries, showrooms and hotels in the city, sign up for one or more of the Design Week Store Tours. Curated by noted connoisseurs and design stars, these personalized tours will help immerse you in leading trends in design to spark your inspiration. Tours are scheduled twice a day for Madison Avenue, Greene Street, Flatiron District and SoHo Design District, at a cost of $85 per tour. Limited availability. Sign up for a tour via their website.


Labors of Love: Great Designers on Creating Books that Showcase Their Finest Work

May 22nd, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., D&D Building, Matteo Gennari Showroom, 979 3rd Avenue #333, Manhattan

Join design book producer Jill Cohen in a conversation with four of today’s leading design talents on the joy, drama and thrill of working with her to create books that give their work a fresh and meaningful presence. Free admission.


ICFF 2019

May 19th – 22nd, Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street

ICFF is an exciting trade event showcasing the latest trends in luxury interiors held during Design Week. Over 900 exhibitors from across the globe showcase the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next for luxury interior design. A must for interior designers. Registration and pricing available here.


NYCxDESIGN Awards and ICFF Party

May 20th, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Pier 17, 89 South Street

A premier event of Design Week, the NYCxDESIGN Awards Ceremony takes place between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., followed by a blow-out gala on the pier with live music, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and chef carving stations of Steak, Italian and Mediterranean Fare. Tickets are $100-$150 and can be purchased here.


NYCxDESIGN is just one of the many reasons so many designers flock to NYC, and it’s one of the great benefits of living and working in the NoMad neighborhood. Be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities to explore, connect and be inspired.

May 14, 2019
Via Google by Tom Fortunato

We know how it goes. You’re working away in your office, perhaps losing track of the time. You glance up at the clock. It’s 12:15, you’ve got a 1 p.m. appointment and your stomach is growling. How can you squeeze in a quick lunch and still make it in time for the next thing on your to-do-list?

Thankfully, we have you covered. We’ve compiled a quick list below of where to grab a sandwich in walking distance of West 25th/26th Streets and Broadway, so you can get what you need and get back to business as quickly as possible.


Num Pang Kitchen

Conveniently nestled between the Townsend and St. James Buildings on Broadway, Num Pang, a southeast Asian eatery, offers a menu that is a far cry from the run-of-the-mill sandwich. Choose from tantalizing tastes like Peppercorn Catfish, Coconut Tiger Shrimp, Roasted Cauliflower or Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly. If salads and bowls are more your speed, Num Pang has those, too. But since num pang is Cambodian for “sandwich,”—just try the sandwiches.

Num Pang Kitchen
1129 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
(212) 647-8889


Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.


Hill Country Chicken

Yes, this is a fried chicken joint, but don’t just assume you have to order by the piece (or bucket) and get your hands greasy. Hill Country also has a convenient selection of grilled or fried chicken sandwiches prepared in a variety of styles (and spice levels), so you can grab-and-go at will. Hill Country Chicken also has great sides and country dessert pies. Pop into the shop at Broadway and 25th Street and check them out.

Hill Country Chicken
1133 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
(212) 257-6446


11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily

Via Google


Luke’s Lobster

Craving lobster, shrimp or crab? Walk just around the corner to 5 West 25th Street and satisfy your craving sandwich-style. Luke’s is known across the city for its fantastic lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, and its NoMad location is remarkably convenient. Eat at the high-top tables, take lunch back to your office, or walk across the street to Madison Square Park and make a picnic of it.

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


Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Via Luke’s Lobster


Melt Shop

A quick walk down West 26th Street toward Sixth Avenue brings you to the Melt Shop, which tastes as good as it sounds. It offers almost any kind of “melt” you can think of—and some you haven’t—from burger, turkey and chicken melts to veggie melts to gourmet grilled cheese. Add some specialty tater tots and a shake, and you’ve just reached your calorie count for the day—but hey, this comfort food is worth it.

Melt Shop NoMad
55 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 447-6358


11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Via Melt Shop


Shake Shack

After all—a burger is a sandwich. We just happen to have the original Shake Shack steps from our office doors, in the heart of Madison Square Park, offering some of the best tasting quick burgers you can find, along with hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, shakes and frozen custard. Only one caveat: This location can get crowded in a hurry, so if you’re pressed for time, check their online “Shack Cam” before heading over, or better yet, download their app and pre-order your lunch.

Shake Shack
Southeast corner of Madison Square Park
(near Madison Avenue & East 23rd Street)
(212) 889-6600


9 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily

Via Shake Shack
May 8, 2019

On May 9th, help tenant Deborah Koenigsberger celebrate 30 years of fashion at her store Noir et Blanc and 25 years of giving back to the community by her charity Hearts of Gold.

Deborah is celebrating with a benefit fashion show — #55 Philanthropy in Style.  The event will transform Noir et Blanc into a French salon for the day. You’ll get to see the latest Spring and Summer 2019 fashions from the runways of Paris at an elegant fashion show, featuring:

  • White carpet, photo ops;
  • Bites and specialty drinks;
  • Beautiful items to purchase;
  • AGL Trunk Show; and more…

All of the proceeds from the benefit will go toward providing homeless children with fully loaded backpacks to prepare them for the 2019-2020 school year.

 #55 Philanthropy in Style
May 9th at Noir et Blanc
7 West 25th Street

Two seatings:  12–2 PM and 6–8 PM
VIP tickets $150—Reserved Front Row Seating and Favor Bag
General Seating Tickets $100— General Seating and Memento
All but $25 of your donations will be fully tax deductible.
Please call:  212-627-1750
E-mail Karen at dk@noiretblancnyc.com.

Read more about Noir et Blanc and Hearts of Gold.

May 1, 2019

On May 11, 2019, the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia opens in Venice and runs through November 24th. The 2019 U.S. Pavilion will feature Martin Puryear: Liberty/Martin Puryear: LibertàThe artist is being presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  It mark’s the first time that a public art institution has been chosen for this honor.   It is a testament to the ongoing work of the Conservancy in all areas, particularly in its endeavor to bring significant artworks into all of our daily lives.

The International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is considered the preeminent exhibit of art in the world.  Begun in 1895 and held every two years, La Biennale unveils  dynamic new art to hundreds of thousands of visitors. This year’s Exhibition carries the theme “May You Live in Interesting Times.”

Martin Puryear is a noted American sculptor known for the subtlety and power in his form and the inherent symbolism in his art.  His work has been displayed in special exhibits and permanent collections in some of the world’s most prestigious museums. Many visitors to Madison Square Park will remember Puryear’s art installation Big Bling, which was on public display in 2016.

Martin Puryear’s Big Bling, Madison Sq. Park, 2016; Via the Madison Square Park Conservancy
Freespace, Via La Biennale di Venezia
Via La Biennale di Venezia

The Biennale opens officially on May 11th, but friends of the Conservancy will be in Venice next week for a preview of the U.S. Pavilion Exhibit and other celebrations.  We will keep you up on the news of the event, which will surely bring the park and our neighborhood into the international spotlight.  Please check back at this site for more news as we receive it.

La Biennale di Venezia
May You Live In Interesting Times

May 11, 2019 – November 24, 2019
For more information: www.labiennale.org

April 29, 2019

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


The beautiful Met Clock Tower was inspired by the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square, Venice.  It has been a skyline landmark for 100 years that has seen little change.  One of the last mass clocks in New York City, it makes a huge impression on all of us as we go about our everyday business in NoMad, and nothing could seem less fictional than this monumental steadfast stone obelisk.

Interestingly, artists see things differently, especially when they happen to encounter something out of the ordinary.  That’s what happened one afternoon when Murray Leinster looked out of the window of his office in the Flatiron Building early in the 20th Century.  He noticed the hands of the mass clock on the new Met Tower going counterclockwise, as though time were going in reverse. Workman in the tower were simply resetting the clocks.  We might have not even noticed.  Leinster, however, was inspired by this simple event to make the Met Clock Tower the protagonist in a science fiction thriller.

In “The Runaway Skyscraper” a seismic event causes The Met Life Tower (called Metropolitan Tower in his story) to crash back through several thousands of years. Suddenly, the inhabitants of the 20th Century building find themselves surrounded by a wooded, pre-Colombian Manhattan inhabited by Native Americans.

The story traces the trip back in time, the long-lost world the modern’s find surrounding them, and, the attempts to get the building to return to the present day.  The engineer Arthur Chamberlain is not only the hero who propels the tower back to the modern era, but he is the main love interest of the story, who wins his girl by his achievement.

The writing might not be classic, but the description of the tower’s trip through time is ingenious and there are some wonderful ideas and beautiful passages, such as this one:

“A bright moon shone overhead and silvered the white sides of the tower, while the brightly-lighted windows of the offices within glittered like jewels set into the shining shaft. From his position on the ground he (Arthur) looked into the dimness of the forest on all sides. Black obscurity had gathered beneath the dark masses of moonlit foliage. The tiny birch-bark teepees of the now deserted Indian village glowed palely. Above, the stars looked calmly down at the accusing finger of the tower pointing upward, as if in reproach at their indifference to the savagery that reigned over the whole earth.”

That is undeniably a description of our clock tower.  Passing the tower some night as it rises from the park, we may very well experience this image and its poetic symbolism firsthand.

“The Runaway Skyscraper” first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy, America’s first pulp magazine published from 1882 through 1978. It’s really worth a read in its entirety at Project Gutenberg.

April 24, 2019
Via Finery

Finery is a great example of the type of innovative, bold, energetic spirit we see in so many Kew tenants. 

Growing out of personal need, Finery is the brainchild of Whitney Casey and Brooklyn Decker.  Faced with a real issue that they knew affected many women — assembling looks from their closets, they resourcefully found the app technologies to solve the problem.  That wasn’t enough for them; they moved on to expand their product offering to allow users of the app to catalog their closet easily, get suggested combinations, and to find new clothes from retailers online to augment what they have.

Recently they gave us an insight into this exciting concept.


We use our smartphones for nearly everything these days—from ordering clothes to ordering takeout; from monitoring our body fat to monitoring our pets when we’re away; from adjusting our thermostats to chasing down little cartoon monsters in Central Park. It seems we should be able to use our phones to organize the messiest space in most people’s homes—the closet.

Now, there’s an app for that—Finery.

“Finery is a digital wardrobe,” explains Whitney Casey, one of the company’s co-founders. “We like to say it’s like your closet in your pocket.”

Finery is an app that helps users:

  • Keep track of the clothes in their closet;
  • Create looks and styles from those items based on how others are wearing them;
  • Fill in styling gaps with recommendations and wish-list picks; and
  • Connect seamlessly with their favorite online sources to buy those new items.


How this Exciting Business was Born and Evolved

Whitney says the seed idea for the company came out of personal experience. “My best friend Brooklyn Decker and I used to send each other pretty much all of the items in our closets,” she says. “She would take a screenshot of something she just bought, and be like ‘Do you think I should wear this?’ And pretty soon, I started having so many images from her closet and she had so many from mine that we thought, ‘This is so crazy that we don’t have our closets on our phone. How is that possible?’ We both shop mainly online, so we looked into what kind of technologies exist that are not in this space but are used in other spaces.

“At the time, I was using an app called TripIt, which basically organizes all your travel plans in one place using your confirmation e-mails. So, we thought, if that could exist, then something like it could be made for retail.”

“After starting small, Finery evolved quickly over the next few years. “The look of it has completely changed,” Whitney says. “When we first had no money, Brooklyn and I were just drawing it ourselves, and we would have one graphic designer take what we were imagining and make it. After we raised some money, we hired a professional team and we built our team to 19 people. The functionality of the app is a lot better, too. At first, it took eight minutes to upload your closet. And now it takes 30 seconds. I imagine, will be even faster as we scale.”

“One of the greatest advantages of the company’s growth,” Whitney says, “is that we could move Finery out of the coworking space into our own permanent offices as a Kew tenant. “Once you make it out of a coworking space, you feel like a real company,” she says. “You have a real home, this is a real lease. We graduated. When you go to a coworking space, you try to have your brand-new company, but you’re really in their culture. It feels like our culture is here now. That’s what’s so cool about being here. We have our own little mini-fiefdom in here.”


Simplifying the Process of Cataloging Your Closet

While there are other fashion and wardrobe apps out there, Whitney says one of the key differentiators of Finery is the technology they developed to help users populate their digital closet in seconds using e-mail receipts, rather than painstakingly, entering one item at a time.

“It’s great to think of having your closet on your phone,” she says, “but if you have to take a picture of everything in your closet, and then write what it is, and where you got it, and what the price was, and what size it is, it is overwhelming.   We knew there had to be a better solution.

Three years ago, we started working on this, and we got a patent on how we actually get the data into your closet via e-receipts and merging your store accounts. You sign up with Finery using whatever e-mail you shop with, and within 15 seconds, everything you’ve ever purchased online from that e-mail address gets populated into your closet. And you can add multiple e-mails.”


Via Finery

Helping You Choose Styles and Suggesting Additions to Better Use What You Have

Whitney points out that Finery not only manages your wardrobe, but it helps you make style choices using the clothes you own—a function that is set to expand greatly in the next few months with a new feature called “Unlimited Styling.”

“We basically took every feature that you would possibly use on a bunch of different products and put them into one,” she says. “So not only do we get all of your items into the digital closet, we also let you style them, and then we style them for you.

“The new product that we’re about to release, which is really cool, is Unlimited Styling. So, if I buy a sweater online, it immediately is put into my closet. I can use our styler to create outfits from it on myself.  I can also see how influencers wear the sweater. But with Unlimited Styling, we will take this sweater and put it with all combinations in your closet and with items that you could potentially own or you could buy. It’s really great to be able to see this sweater and have unlimited ideas on how to wear it.”

How does the app “know” how to create styles at this level? Whitney says it’s a combination of human experience and an advanced algorithm.

“For the past three years, we’ve looked at 2.8 million outfits that were made by humans on our platform,” she says. We’ve been basically trying to figure out how you put items together, and what patterns go best together, and essentially, how women decide what to wear. One, we look at the weather. Two, we look at what are we doing that day. Three, we look at comfort. Four, we look at how we’re feeling that day. Figuring all that out at first seems daunting, but we spent all this time gathering that data from women using the platform. So, humans built it, and now an algorithm will take it and scale it.”


An Idea that Women Needed to Conceive and Make Happen

Whitney feels one of the best things about Finery is its universal appeal, especially for women on the go. “A lot of people think apps like this are for really fashionable people, but our drive was to build something that everyone can use,” she says. “Every woman gets dressed, and the average woman will spend eight years of her life shopping, and two years deciding what to wear. Two years! And that’s even if you don’t care that much. If you do care, it’s so much more. Your closet should be on your phone.”

Since the challenge of choosing what to wear is so universal, the question is why no one has utilized technology to solve the problem before now. “It’s most likely because there are hardly any women in tech,” Whitney surmises. “If you are a man in tech, chances are you don’t necessarily really care about your closet. So, it really takes that kind of magical moment where a woman, maybe who isn’t in tech, decides that there is a pain point and a problem that women really need solved, and then finds people who can solve it. And that’s what we did.

April 19, 2019
The Grand Tetons, Wyoming

From its beginnings in 1970 when 20,000 Americans marched for the environment, “Earth Day,” now in its 49th year, has mushroomed into a worldwide movement. Now, nearly 200 nations dedicate each April 22nd to raising awareness of the need for environmental protection for the planet and sustainability of resources. As the effects of global warming have become more pronounced in recent years—and with scientists worldwide sounding the alarms about the need for fundamental changes in our behaviors, Earth Day is a greater reminder of our responsibilities than ever before.

The good news is that everyone can take positive steps toward environmental friendliness, a lowered carbon footprint, and a “greener” lifestyle. It’s not just the job of industry and big business, it starts with each of us. In observation of Earth Day 2019, here are a few things we can all begin doing today to protect the planet.


Take Steps to Become as “Paperless” as Possible

Perhaps easiest and most widely accepted is paper conservation. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with needed fresh oxygen. We can save trees and prevent the plundering of huge forests by reducing paper usage. Almost every bill or invoice can now be processed, sent and paid online—both bills you pay and bills you send. Also, by going paperless, you save the chemicals and energy needed for processing paper and printing it, as well as the fuel it takes to deliver a paper bill to our mailboxes.


Reduce Our Use of Plastics

Society is either not as mindful of plastics or unaware of the lasting damage plastic waste has on the planet’s environment. Plastic waste is one of Earth’s most significant pollutants, mainly because it is not biodegradable. The oceans are filling up with about nineteen million pounds of plastic per year. This waste not only presents a biohazard for sea life, but also making its way into the bodies of the fish that we eventually ingest.

We can help turn the tide by avoiding the use of disposable plastics whenever possible. If everyone avoided using plastic straws, cups, plates, bottles, and plastic bags a tremendous difference could be made in a short time. (Soon, NYC will be doing its part by outlawing plastic bags throughout the city.) One of the greatest challenges in this area is the exploding use of plastic in water bottles; water lovers should consider getting a water filter as an alternative to bottled water and other drinks.

When using plastic items, we should remember to put it in the recycle bin when finished, rather than throwing it in the trash.


Conserve Electricity at Home and at Work

If we can stand to turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees in summer—and down a couple of degrees in winter—we’ll not only save on energy bills, but we’ll be reducing the use of fossil fuels. Also, switching from incandescent to LED lights, turning lights off when leaving a room, and turning off electronics at the end of the day can make a huge cumulative difference.


Bike, Walk or Use Public Transportation

NYC is one of the few places in the nation where people don’t have to have a motor vehicle to get around. We can use this to our advantage by walking or biking short distances, and by using public transportation whenever possible to reduce our carbon footprint.

There’s plenty more we can all do to help the environment. Earthday.org has a list of 46 additional helpful tips, all of which are practical and fairly painless to implement. Check them out.

Obviously, each of us alone can’t save the planet by being environmentally conscious only one day a year—it must become a lifestyle for all of us. However, let’s allow Earth Day to renew our awareness of our planet’s greatest needs and renew our own resolve to do our part, in our daily lives and in the political sphere, to help advance the campaign for a healthier Earth.

April 8, 2019
Via AKC, Photo © Jaime Rojo

If you arrive in NoMad via the F or M trains at the newly renovated 23rd Street Station, you’ve no doubt noticed some new additions to the walls—specifically, an 11-mural mosaic installation by Chelsea-based artist William Wegman. What you might not know is that the installation itself was executed by a Kew tenant, architectural glass/mosaic studio Franz Mayer of Munich.

The MTA commissioned Walter Wegman, a photographic artist celebrated for his portraits of his Weimaraner dogs, to create the 23rd Street art installation. Collectively named “Stationary Figures,” the murals depict Wegman’s Weimaraners, Flo and Topper, in a quirky set of poses, including wearing human clothes as though they were commuters waiting for the train. “I wanted to create portraits of individual characters, people who you might see next to you on the platform,” explained Wegman in a statement.

Via CityLab © Patrick J. Cashin/MTA
Via CityLab © Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

Franz Mayer of Munich, which has its New York office in 1123 Broadway since 2014,  was asked to convert the photographs into mosaic form and install them in the subway station. The entire process took two years from start to finish, including about six months to fabricate the glass pieces.

Via 6sqft
Via 6sqft

“Stationary Figures” is only the most recent MTA mosaic project of Mayer, whose handiwork can be found in Vic Muniz’s art installation at the new 72nd Street “Q” Station and in the inspired installation “Under Bryant Park” designed by Samm Kunce in the crossover from the 6th Avenue line to the No. 7 train station at Fifth Avenue. Mayer has created a number of other art works in the subway system as well.

Left: Ellsworth Kelly Chapel; Right: North trancept of Covington’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Franz Mayer of Munich is celebrated globally for its mosaic and stained glass work.  Since its founding 150 years ago, the company has designed and installed stained glass in over 100 churches.  Additionally, Mayer has created works of art for private venues, corporate headquarters and public spaces around the world such as  Kazakhstan’s Pyramid of Peace to New York City’s own Staten Island Ferry Terminal to the Ellsworth Kelly Chapel. The firm’s art creations range from traditional work to technically challenging, modern projects. So esteemed is the company that it has even been called on to restore the mosaics at Pompeii.

Clifford Ross Austin Wall in U.S. Federal Courthouse, Austin.

Our congratulations and thanks to Walter Wegman and Franz Mayer for making the 23rd Street Station a marvelous place to wait for a train.