Below 14: Top Neighborhoods

Some of the neighborhoods below 14th street are often overlooked.  In this article we take a look at some of the recent events that have occurred in Maury County and the Financial District.

A decade ago, Daniel Hartsfield – originally from Columbia – opened Daniel’s Barber Shop on the Square.  Jason Whatley, an attorney from Columbia, was the very first customer to get a haircut in the Maury County shop.  Hartsfield was standing outside his store and Whatley asked if he could “cut his hair right now.”  He had already been looking for patrons for a few hours when Whatley showed up.  They’ve been neighbors ever since, with Whatley in an adjoining building, managing his law firm.

At the time, many people told him that it was great he had opened but they doubted he would make it. But he proved them wrong.  Not only is he still around; he’s thriving.  His barber store is a six-time ‘Best of Maury County’ award-winner, including this year, as voted by readers of ‘The Daily Herald.’

These days many young New Yorkers are choosing to make the Financial District their home. According to a recent PropertyClub report, millennials comprise 67 percent of area residents.   True, Brooklyn is home to 3 million millennials but per capita, the Financial District is booming with them.

Other neighborhoods featured on the top 10 list of housing choices for millennials include: Downtown Manhattan, the Garment District, Long Island City and Soho.

From NoHo to SoHo: Getting Out and About

In Manhattan, there have been a few developments in the cultural/ entertainment sphere.  Here – just for fun – we check out one in NoHo and then on to SoHo!

‘By Name’ is a new café and art hub located at 324 Bowery, NoHo. Offering quite different menu items including cheese foam, matcha mousse, a bento box, bubble tea and more, the eatery has already developed an extremely positive reputation, garnering 4.5 Yelp star rating. 

The café’s opening times are: Sunday-Thursday 10.30am-9.30pm and Friday/Saturday 10.30am-10.30pm.

Over in SoHo, Bumble – a mobile dating app – is opening up an all-day café and wine bar.  Food comes from the Charlie Bird team, with its “organic approach [and] curated menu,” and the café will be named Bumble Brew, featuring yellow decorations and hive branding (think bee) at 47 Prince Street, Mulberry Street.

New York High Line Park

In this video – put together by Touristo (a Turkish tourist) – we take a walk on the High Line Elevated Park.   We get to see one of New York’s more popular tourist destinations, learning a little of the history of Gotham, latest art to hit the area, the eateries and stalls at Chelsea Market and of the course the Hudson River Park.

Local Store Openings

There have been a few new store opening recently in the Manhattan region.  One of these is the increasingly popular CBD store.  A play on words (or letters really) Come Back Daily sells Cannabidiol in various forms. These include:  oral, topical, edible, drinks and vapes and can aid in a variety of conditions from pain, sleep, PMS and more.  Brands that are offered include: Moon Mother, Real Scientific Hemp Oil and others.

Come Back Daily already has a presence in Manhattan.  With two storefronts in the neighborhood, its current goal is to make this third one the “Sephora of CBD…bringing CBD-enthusiasts to a one-stop-shop, and encourage their customers to — as its moniker suggests — come back daily.”

It has now been confirmed that Trader Joe’s will be opening a new store in the East Village.  The exact address is 432-438 East 14th Street. 

And then there is the pop-up Fabletics store in SoHo, featuring a small boxing ring for customers to try out the activewear apparel before purchasing. They can select the items, put them in an e-commerce cart and then go into a store to try them on via the OmniShop system.

New Gallery Opening

Yesterday a new gallery opened.  Situated at 19 Monroe Street, the A.D. gallery is taking the space formerly occupied by the Bible gallery.  It is the brainchild of three co-owner artists:  Philip Hinge, Nick Irzyk and Nicholas Sullivan.

The opening group show, Daisy Chain will have presentations from a variety of artists including: Mitchell Algus, Ennst Yohji Jäger, Maggie Lee, Clair Morey, and Nikholis Planck.  the idea behind the gallery is combination of quirkiness and tradition.  as Irzyk explained:

“Me and Phil’s spaces are on the quirkier side, so we’re looking forward to doing shows that fit in a more traditional space…Phil is tapped into an international network of sorts, so we’re interested in bringing people from outside New York to do shows alongside local artists. For us, this is a totally new venue.”

Interactive Off-Broadway Show

When she found that there wasn’t that much going on for kids and their parents in the entertainment sector in her neighborhood, Rania Ajami – along with her brother Rami Ajami – decided to take action. The result was ‘Pip’s Island’ an interactive show that is opening later this month at the Pod Hotel theater, 400 W. 42nd Street.

It took six years to make this happen. And it cost $20 million and a 10 year lease with hotelier Richard Born who has now partnered with the show that he “instantly fell in love with the concept and the enthusiasm of the principles behind it.”  It is for kids aged 4-10 and features music, puppets, video and animation.  The story is based on a boy and his friends who rescue a magical island from the evil clutches of Joules Volter and his allies.  The idea is for members of the audience to participate in the challenge, earn “sparks” on their light-up wristband and more. 

While right now it’ll just be the play, it is hoped by Ajami and partners that it will later extend to books, games, merchandise and a series.  The story, featured characters and sets fluctuate so it’s more than a one-time event. Tickets are $39 each.

Books Below 14

Tomorrow is independent bookstore day, and booklovers in Manhattan are celebrating along with the rest of the nation. True it’s very easy to get a new book delivered to your door without leaving your home, but there are still many true literary lovers who absolutely thrive on spending an entire day engaged in “an independent bookstore crawl.”

A few years ago Manhattan had a beautiful independent bookstore right on 57th Street.  The Rizzoli store was a six-story townhouse that dated back to the early 1900s, featuring wooden ceilings and chandeliers.  Although it closed in 2014 the Rizzoli store reopened in Madison Square Park, Manhattan and is still full of character.

And then there’s The Dusty Bookshelf which just re-opened (after its closure 2 years ago) in Manhattan. Offering live music and  hot coffee, opening day began with shelves being filled with books and the store making the new space its home.  Until it’s all complete true literary lovers are welcome to go through the boxes to see what might delight them. Open from 9am to 8pm every day, both new and used books are for sale.

Manhattan Guide: Take a Virtual Tour

Alex Hunter from Attaché (the show that gets you in, out, and around some of the world’s greatest cities in under 20 minutes), humorously takes a look at transportation options from New York airports. There are three of these which are all equally bad – but thankfully they are also all slated for major redevelopment in the next decade.  Here we get a review of the various options of getting from the airports to town.  Really good cab system.  The airporter is another option, flat fee $17 each way, free wifi, drops off at Penn Station.

East Village: Infrastructure and Transportation Updates

It seems that there is always construction in New York, in the hope of improving transportation and updating crucial infrastructure.  Finally though – at least along East 14th Street – things are calming down and construction work is due to at least be reduced from 16 to 12 hours according to a recent MTA announcement. This will somewhat ease the noise, dust and inconvenience of work being undertaken on East 14th Street from Ave. B to First Ave where endeavors are being taken to add an L train, elevators and new substation.

In related news, the MTA has been approached by lawmakers to pause work on proposed M14A/D Select Bus Service (SBS) changes.  The request is being made in an effort to connect express service to a supplemental local route.  The idea is to make the bus lines ahead of the L train’s partial shutdown faster.  The way this would be done would be by removing every other one of the M14A/D stops.  According to Carlina Rivera, city council member:

 “The proposed SBS stop spacing is a clear compromise between a local route and a typical SBS route—meaning that an M14 SBS will not have the ‘express’ travel times that other routes have. In fact, there is a successful model for this kind of plan just a few avenues away, where the M15 SBS runs parallel to an M15 local route. The MTA must pursue a similar strategy for the M14 route.”

The Color Factory

The Color Factory in NY is a pop-up art exhibit that explores and displays each color. Housed in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, this exhibit features 16 participatory installations.

Visitors enjoy this multi-sensory experience which includes playing in an enormous ball pit. The Color Factory explores color in a vivid and creative way that’s fun for all ages. They museum has garnered criticism for being an “Instagram museum,” a museum geared towards millennials who visit museums to photograph themselves and share pictures on social media.

Co-founder Jordan Ferney has refuted these claims, stating that her goal “had always been to make something that was beautiful to experience, not photograph.”

The museum also created the Manhattan Color Walk, a unique map of colorful landmarks within Manhattan. The Manhattan Color Walk allowed visitors to explore neighborhoods through its creation of a colorful portrait of this diverse city.