All articles by Devin Gannon

October 2, 2023

How NYC public libraries are fighting censorship

Book bans continue to increase nationwide, with public libraries now a major target of challenges. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were 695 attempts to censor library materials with challenges to 1,915 unique titles during the first eight months of 2023, an increase of 20 percent from the same period last year. Challenges to books in public libraries accounted for 49 percent of all challenges, compared to just 16 percent last year. In response, New York City libraries are launching anti-censorship campaigns directed at young people across the five boroughs and beyond, coinciding with Banned Books Week, which runs from October 1 through October 7.
September 29, 2023

Major flooding disrupts NYC subway service as Hochul and Adams declare state of emergency

Nearly every subway line is experiencing service disruptions on Friday morning as extreme rainfall and flooding slam New York City. In a post on X, formerly called Twitter, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said "there is only extremely limited subway service," with several lines suspended or partially suspended due to water on the tracks. In response to the heavy rainfall and extreme flooding, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency for New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island.
September 26, 2023

Real estate industry leads on return-to-office in Manhattan

Real estate employees are in the office more often than any other office workers in Manhattan, according to the results of a new survey. The Partnership for New York City found that 75 percent of workers in the real estate industry are in their Manhattan workplace daily, compared to 58 percent of office workers in the borough across all fields. However, across the board, the survey found the extent of remote work far less than previously assumed with an estimate of 59 percent as the "new normal" for workers at their desks on an average weekday.
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September 22, 2023

Archtober 2023: 10 best architecture tours to check out

Archtober, the annual festival dedicated to architecture and design in New York City, is just around the corner and it's time to start planning the events, exhibitions, and talks you want to attend. The very popular "Building of the Day" series is back with 31 architect-led behind-the-scenes tours of projects across the city every day in October. Ahead, find 10 public spaces, parks, and museums that made our must-see list for this year, from the eco-friendly pier at Hudson River Park to the newly opened Louis Armstrong Center in Corona, Queens. All of the tours on this list are free or cost $10 to attend and require advanced registration.
our picks here
September 21, 2023

Mayor Adams unveils sweeping plan to create 100K new housing units across NYC

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday unveiled major reforms to New York City's zoning code to make it easier to build more housing across every neighborhood. The "City of Yes for Housing Opportunity" plan could create 100,000 new apartments over the next 15 years by updating restrictive zoning rules. This could mean allowing new homes above commercial businesses and on campuses, accessory dwelling units, office-to-residential conversions, and other proposals to create "a little more housing in every neighborhood."
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September 19, 2023

All NYC businesses required to containerize trash

Roughly 20 million pounds of trash will be tucked away in containers instead of in trash bags piled up on New York City sidewalks next year. As part of the latest effort to curb the city's rat problem, all businesses will be required to put garbage in lidded containers beginning next March, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday. About 25 percent of the city's businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores as well as chain businesses, are currently mandated to containerize trash; when the newest proposed rule takes effect, the requirement will apply to 100 percent of businesses.
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September 14, 2023

A guide to Little Italy’s 97th annual Feast of San Gennaro

One of New York City's most popular street fairs returns to Manhattan's Little Italy neighborhood this week. The 11-day Feast of San Gennaro began in 1926 as a way for immigrants in New York to maintain the Italian tradition of honoring the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius, with a feast every September. While Little Italy has evolved over the last century, shrinking in size from 30 blocks to about nine, the Feast of San Gennaro remains one of the city's best events of the year. Ahead, get a taste of all things Italian with our guide to one of the city's largest street fairs, which takes place September 14 through September 24.
Get the guide
September 13, 2023

See Amazon’s new NYC office at historic Lord & Taylor building

A historic Fifth Avenue department store is now a modern office building. Amazon this week debuted its new digs at the former Lord & Taylor store in Midtown, which was built in 1914 and served as its flagship location for more than a century. After purchasing the building in March 2020 for nearly $1 billion, Amazon hired WRNS Studio to design the landmark as a 21st-century workplace that embraces its fashionable roots. Three years later, in the midst of Midtown's recovery from the pandemic, the renovated building is now home to 2,000 employees.
see it here
September 11, 2023

NYC’s Atlantic Avenue rezoning plan calls for 4,000 new homes and more open space

The city wants to bring 4,000 new apartments to a stretch of Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue currently home to vacant lots and auto shops. The Department of City Planning last week released the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, a preliminary rezoning framework for 13 blocks of an industrially zoned area that runs through Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, and Bed-Stuy. The rezoning would allow for higher destiny residential and commercial use, with the potential for up to 1,550 income-restricted homes. Following additional community meetings and an environmental review, the proposal could enter the public review process in the spring of next year.
details here
August 31, 2023

Everything you need to know about this year’s Caribbean Carnival in NYC

New York City's West Indian-American Day Carnival and Parade returns to Brooklyn this Labor Day. The festival, which typically attracts over a million spectators, takes over a stretch of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, celebrating the diversity of Caribbean culture with dancing, elaborate costumes, traditional music, and food.
What you need to know
August 28, 2023

$22M Upper East Side townhouse has picture-perfect private garden

A posh Upper East Side townhouse with five floors, over 8,000 square feet, and a pretty, private landscaped garden is available for $22,000,000. Located in one of New York City's most coveted neighborhoods, the 20-foot-wide property at 14 East 81st Street combines classic elements of the city's Gilded Age with a totally renovated interior for 21st-century living. Not even a block from the Met Museum and Central Park, this historic mansion is surrounded by the neighborhood's renowned art and cultural institutions.
see it here
August 15, 2023

569-unit rental planned next to Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Crown Heights

Plans for a 17-story mixed-use project with 569 rentals in Crown Heights are moving ahead. Carmel Partners acquired $233 million in construction financing for the development of the new building at 54 Crown Street, which sits just one block east of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Work has already begun on the complex, which will include both commercial and community space as well as parking for 170 vehicles.
See it here
August 8, 2023

$28M Midtown duplex has epic private terrace and 5-star hotel perks

This duplex apartment offers the seemingly impossible: more than 3,000 square feet of private outdoor space in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Located on the 18th and 19th floors of the elegant Baccarat Hotel & Residences on West 53rd Street, this mansion-in-the-sky, asking $27,950,000, has been gut renovated with top-of-the-line everything and is wrapped by a marble-capped terrace that is surrounded by iconic cityscape. Residents have access to the five-star hotel's amenities, including 24-hour room service, a heated pool, a fitness center, and the notable La Mer spa.
take the tour
August 3, 2023

$899K eco-friendly East Village co-op has a 400-plant green wall

Living more sustainably can start at home, as seen in this East Village apartment. The eco-conscious two-bedroom co-op at 315 East 12th Street features formaldehyde-free cabinets, doors made of recycled plastics, and at the center, a living wall with 400 plants, which purify the air and create a sense of well-being. Asking $899,000, the apartment is efficient, with hidden closets, sliding doors, a Murphy bed, and a dining area with a table that pops up from the floor.
July 27, 2023

400 units of affordable housing approved for 5 World Trade Center

The 900-foot-tall mixed-use skyscraper planned for 5 World Trade Center will include 400 units of affordable housing, a slight increase from the original proposal. After stalled negotiations, the Public Authorities Control Board on Thursday approved the mixed-use development at 130 Liberty Street, which calls for 1,200 new apartments, one-third of which will be permanently affordable to New Yorkers earning between 40 and 120 percent of the area median income. Plus, 20 percent of the affordable apartments will be offered to individuals who lived or worked in the neighborhood on September 11, including first responders and families of victims. Construction is scheduled to start next year, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
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July 26, 2023

WeWork founder Adam Neumann relists Gramercy penthouse for $32M

Adam Neumann has relisted his Gramercy Park penthouse for $32 million, $5.5 million cheaper than when it last hit the market in 2020. In 2017, the founder and former chief executive of WeWork and his wife Rebekah Paltrow Neumann paid $27.5 million for the duplex penthouse at 78 Irving Place and the unit below it; the couple also picked up two additional apartments on the ground floor for $7.2 million.
Details here
July 21, 2023

New Jersey sues to block NYC’s congestion pricing plan

New Jersey is suing to block New York's congestion pricing program. Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Friday a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, claiming the plan to charge drivers entering certain parts of Manhattan is unfair to Garden State residents. In the complaint, the state said the agencies did not conduct a full environmental review.
Details here
July 20, 2023

Historic NYC restaurant Delmonico’s reopening in the Financial District

A New York City culinary icon is reopening its doors this September. Delmonico's, considered one of the country's first fine dining establishments when it opened in 1837, will once again welcome diners at its original location at 56 Beaver Street in the Financial District. Shuttered since the early days of the pandemic in 2020, the restaurant has since been renovated and features an updated menu created by Chef Edward J. Hong.
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July 19, 2023

Benefits of 421-a tax break extended to Gowanus developers

Developers of certain residential buildings in Gowanus will qualify for a tax break with benefits similar to 421-a, the program which expired last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday. As part of an executive action issued by the governor, projects in the Brooklyn neighborhood that qualified for 421-a before it lapsed but won't meet the 2026 completion deadline would qualify for tax breaks. The order is one of several Hochul announced as a way to spur residential construction after state lawmakers failed to reach a deal on a housing plan.
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July 17, 2023

$15M penthouse loft with multi-level roof deck floats above the West Village

Atop a historic co-op building in downtown Manhattan, this modern light-filled loft feels like a private residence. Asking $14,950,000, the triplex penthouse at 652 Hudson Street measures over 6,100 square feet inside, with an additional 1,500 square feet of outdoor space, which comes in the form of a multi-level roof deck that overlooks the surrounding West Village neighborhood.
See inside
July 14, 2023

Lottery opens for 164 luxury rentals in Mott Haven, from $1,576/month

A two-building luxury rental development in the South Bronx opened a housing lottery this week for 164 mixed-income apartments. Dubbed Estela, the complex includes 544 brand-new units across a pair of buildings at 445 Gerard Avenue, located within a burgeoning stretch of Mott Haven. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 80 percent and 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the apartments, priced from $1,576/month studios to $3,260/month two-bedrooms, with a concession of one month free on initial leases.
Find out if you qualify
June 30, 2023

NYC’s best spots to watch the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks for free

America's biggest and boldest Independence Day celebration returns to New York City for its 47th year. Macy's annual fireworks show will ring in the Fourth of July with 60,000 shells launched from five barges in the East River from East 26th Street to East 40th Street. There are plenty of firework watch parties being hosted across the city, but Macy's has announced seven official viewing locations where you can enjoy the show for free, including spots in Midtown, Long Island City, Greenpoint, and Williamsburg with unobstructed views.
Where to watch
June 28, 2023

Elizabeth Street Garden can become affordable senior housing development, court rules

An affordable housing development can be built on the site of Little Italy's Elizabeth Street Garden, an appellate judge ruled on Tuesday, ending a decade-long battle between housing advocates and garden supporters. The project, dubbed Haven Green, will bring 123 rentals for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income seniors, along with 37 apartments for formerly homeless seniors, to one of the city's most affluent neighborhoods.
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June 27, 2023

Hochul drops office towers from Penn Station renovation plan

The renovation of Penn Station will move forward without the construction of several skyscrapers, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday. The governor's plan to overhaul the busy transit hub originally called on the developer Vornado to redevelop 18 million square feet of the Midtown West neighborhood, including 10 new high-rise office towers, with the tax revenue generated helping fund the station overhaul. Now, Hochul says funding from the state and federal government makes it possible to move forward with the renovation without any development proceeds.
See the plan