Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Must do: Visit Ace Hotel – Drink Stumptown Coffee

Just last month my boyfriend discovered in the Garment District (29th and Broadway) that there is a Stumptown coffee shop!  We were both very excited as we were introduced to the magnificence that is Stumptown coffee on our last vacation to the Seattle and Portland area.  In Seattle there has been a battle between Stumptown and Starbucks and I think everyone agrees that Stumptown takes the cake.  It’s always roasted locally and it’s always delicious. . . not burnt like the other stuff.  The Stumptown in Manhattan is also locally roasted, (of course) in Red Hook Brooklyn.  I guess they have been open for over a year now, but I’m hardly ever in that nook of town so without having previous knowledge of the company I may have never even found it.

The coffee shop is located inside of the grand Ace Hotel and coffee customers are more than welcome to hang out in the hotel’s lobby as there are no seats in the shop.

The other real gem about this find is the architecture and interior design of both the hotel and the coffee shop.  when you turn the corner from Broadway  on to 29th street, you feel as though you’re walking into a completely different neighborhood in another era.  On the north-side of the street is one of the last Second empire, cast iron buildings left mostly in tact in NYC and on the south-side is the beautiful (I think restored), Breslin Apartments building that is the sight of the Hotel.

I have to step back and take a moment to discuss the cast iron building, the landmarked Gilsey House is a former grand hotel (1872-1911), the first to offer telephone service to guests. It was noted for its bar made of silver dollars, and was a favorite of Diamond Jim Brady and Oscar Wilde. Converted to housing in 1979 it’s still a beautiful sight to see.

As I was saying before though, the Ace Hotel is by this amazing poser design couple/duo that is Roman & Williams. They are so inspiring and talented it makes my heart bleed when I look at their work sometimes. I know that sounds really dramatic but, seriously look at that rendering!

The design of the place is so successful, because my first experience was great, not only because of the taste of Stumptown coffee, but also because the building’s atmosphere and environment.  Standing in that coffee shop I felt as though I was transported back to Portland.

The other night while visiting my brother, his partner was showing me inspiration images for the shelving unit that they’re planning on building.  I thought the images looked very familiar and when I began telling them about Stumptown, and the decor I had to show them a picture of a light fixture that I had snapped on my phone. Well lo and behold, the inspiration images were pulled straight out of the Ace Hotel!  To make a long story short, you must try to visit this place when you’re in the city. It’s just so beautiful and inspiring, and tasty.

{The infamous light fixture}

I also found this video about Roman & Williams on their website.  It was shot by “The Scout” for some reason I can’t embed it into my post, but the images and what the designers have to say is wonderful and entirely worth the ten minutes to watch. So please check it out. Here is a quote from The Scout about the video:

‘”It’s a shame to only have dreams at night. You should have a few opportunities during the day.” This wistful quote from Stephen Alesch speaks volumes about the spaces he and Robin Standefer create as architects and designers. Their firm Roman & Williams, is named for their grandparents, paying homage to another era. Together, they draw on the evocative moods, textures, and meaningful objects that linger somewhere between past and present. Their work is infused with memory and allows participants to connect with a more romantic and important time.’

Along with the video, the can catch the studio visit here: The Scout- Roman & Williams Studio Visit

Video Link

Websites:

Roman & Williams

ACE HOTEL

NY times article about Stumptown

Photos via:

The Architects Newspaper – Douglas Lyle Thompson

NY Architecture Images site

Flickr, Man Seeking Coffee, and Hotel Chatter.

favorite sweets

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Filed under Food, New York

The New Old?

More like old news.  I feel like everyone is mixing and matching new pieces with old ones.  It’s just better that way, better on our budgets and better on the spaces.  No one wants a place that’s all Ikea or all grandma’s plastic covered sofas.  We want a mix.

photo credit: The Selby

My friend told me to check out this New York Magazine article, Home Design 2010: The New Old by Wendy Goodman.  Needless to say she was a little bummed because she’s doing ‘Neo-English’ too!  She just doesn’t have the exposure or the money like Rita Konig.  Well neither do I, us usual people have to design our spaces ‘on a dime’ or a couple thousand when you add it up later, but we’re definitely not going to be able to keep stopping in MecoxCalypso Home and John Derian for our interior design needs.  Either way, her apartment is cute and similar to both of our tastes and she was the editor-at-large for Domino, so one can’t hate too much.

photo credit: The Selby

I guess what bugs me is that not all of us can get our furniture upholstered in Pierre Frey fabrics or live in a 700 sq. ft apartment in Greenwich Village.  That is why I enjoy the NeoVictorian‘s home a bit more.  It seems like a lot of their pieces were flea market finds and their dog is really cute too.

The other kinds of design featured in this article are: NeoFormal, NeoCountry, and NewVersailles, you can read the rest here: Home Design 2010: The New Old.

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Filed under Apartment, New York

Rowhouses

Photo Credit: Time out New York

If anyone is as big as a nerd as I am and is interested in learning more about NYC’s Rowhouses please see the attached New York City Rowhouse Manual.  You can print out the pages and carry them around with you as you try to guess the styles of Rowhouses that are scattered around the city.

Great neighborhoods to check out are: Greenwich Village, Lower Brooklyn (Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Boreum Hill, Fort Greene etc.) the Upper East Side, and Chelsea.  The two photos below are taken of buildings in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, gorgeous right?

Photo Credit: Lumierefi’s Flickr

My favorite streets on the Upper East Side are 92nd and 93rd between Lexington and Park Avenues. There a few 19th century wooden clapboard houses that still remain are some of the oldest int he district.  They just make me so happy when I see them. This sorry photograph was taken of one of the houses on my iphone. The 128 East 93rd street address built in 1866 looks to be a combination of the Italianate and Second Empire Styles.

In Greenwich Village you can find one of my favorite houses in the city.  The “Weathermen Townhouse” or Langworthy Residence located at 18 West 11th Street, designed by Hardy Holzman Pffiefer Architects in 1972, even though it was erected pretty recently (1970s), it has a bit of history in its design that makes this building a popular tourist stop within the historic district.  This house was originally built in 1845, alongside three other townhouses on the block that were built by Henry Brevoort Jr.

No photo credit unfortunately, this is photo I took of a photo at the architecture center in soho.

This building is a great example of contemporary design that keeps the integrity of the historic context.  The New York Observer wrote a story on this building, “On first glance, all of the five-story townhouses lining West 11th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues blend together, lending the block the same charming and unaffordable air of any other Greenwich Village.”  The article continues to describe the sharp architectural differences that this building has as its first and second floor windows sharply jut out past the other facades of the neighboring buildings,  “The starkly modern building begs to be recognized, for its incongruity and its history,” which makes the design decisions of Hardy Holzman Pffiefer so well conceived.  This building’s reconstruction was due to being accidentally detonated when five members of the radical Weathermen group used it as a makeshift bomb factory.

One can see the intentions of the architect, because upon viewing, there is a feeling of an explosion.  The design is further enhanced as the architect preserved the historic character of the block, by keeping the original sightline, ground line, materials and stoop style in tact.  The scale is completely in keeping with the other buildings on the block as it holds the same amount of stories and bays as its neighboring buildings.  The new features are different enough from the historical ones in the other buildings that it keeps the integrity of the property and its environment

photo credit: wired new york

The last thing I would like note is there is this beautifully inspiring blog called A Brooklyn Limestone I have no idea what this woman does for a living, because their home is beautiful, they’ve done a great amount of renovating within the past two years (using all high end materials and appliances) and they’re always traveling to exotic and exuberant places and all of her photographs are beautiful.  Its pretty intriguing.  I absolutely love her kitchen.

photo credit: Mrs. Limestone


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Filed under Apartment, Home, New York, Travel Tours

Rainy days make me think. Maybe too much.

Wow, I never realized how hard blogging would be. Especially when you’re trying to write about something interesting and not so narcissistic. Which is what I have been working on for the past few days.  Recently, my boyfriend and I booked a trip to Seattle and while searching for interesting places to shop and things to do, I found it really hard to find what I was looking for.

These struggles caused me to be more self-critical of my own blog.  What am I?  As there are boundless shelter blogs out there, I almost find too many inspiring blogs to keep up with.  That is why I’m not going to focus on my shelter, but more on my city.  I know there are people out there are looking for the “Real” New York things to do.  I am going to embark on a series of installments that will guide us through the things that one can do . . . for fun, in New York City!  Such miscellaneous things may include: thrift store shopping, drinking coffee, walking your dog, vegetarian restaurants, grocery shopping, places for have  happy hour, museum days, furniture shopping, fabric shopping and even craft shopping.  I’m sure I’ll think of more ideas along the way, which will lead me off my path a little, but I promise it will all tie in and make sense! And of course, all the while, I will still be adding updates of my apartment’s progress, because a big part of living in NYC is making your only 500 sq. ft. work for you.  Well I hope you enjoy my perspective of New York City and thanks for stopping by!

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