Jen Galatioto documents news, culture, food and other happenings in Greenpoint on her blog, Greenpointers.
One of the best ways to get a feel for a place is by reading a neighborhood's blog. In our Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger series, we spoke to the writers who chronicle the controversies, preoccupations and happenings of their chosen slice of the city. Now, we're checking in again to see what's changed, what's stayed the same, and what's the story dominating every street corner.
A few things have changed since Jen Galatioto took over Greenpointers, a seven-year-old blog that documents life in the North Brooklyn neighborhood, in 2012. For one, she moved to nearby Ridgewood, Queens, though she still works in Greenpoint. And for another, the blog is now her full-time gig, staffed by more than 20 paid contributors, most of whom live in the neighborhood.
When we last spoke to Galatioto, she lamented the rising rents and rapid development in Greenpoint—which have both kept pace in the intervening year. So is gritty Greenpoint a thing of the past? Below, Galatioto gives us the lowdown.
When you hear about the new TV show Tiny House Nation on FYI Network, you assume it takes place in New York City. Where else do people voluntarily cram their whole lives into one room? But no, a movement to downsize from the typical American home of 2,300 square feet to 500 square feet or less is actually afoot nationwide. Living small is the new living large (though us New Yorkers knew it all along).
Every week co-hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin guide people through a move into a home no larger than 300 square feet, including one with sleeping areas for four adults and another with a recording studio. Here, Weisbarth explains why stuff is your enemy and how downsizing can free up your relationship.
WHO: Actress Edie Falco, who is up for an Emmy this month for “Nurse Jackie,” says she likes to get around New York on an electric bike. We prefer to get around on the electric subway. For $2.50, you get a train ride plus a free sauna just waiting on the platform. Is there a better deal?
A brownstone apartment with natural light would be nice, but $3,000 is awfully steep for Crown Heights.
We'd love to live in a sun-filled brownstone apartment in just about any neighborhood, but Crown Heights also happens to be getting ever more popular with renters. Still, $3,000 a month for a three-bedroomis unusually high for the area, especially for bedrooms that are less than spacious. And given that the price of this apartment has already gone down by $800 a month andthe fact that this floor of the building has never been rented out before, per the listing, you may be dealing with a first-time landlord with unrealistic expectations.
Still, the place could be a good fit for a small family with money to burn (and the energy to redecorate). Our experts — including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin and freelance writers Julie Inzanti and Lambeth Hochwald — weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It.
Who wouldn't want to buy an apartment in the Ansonia?
It’s common wisdom that New York City real estate is a solid investment, which explains why so many foreign investors are buying in. But you don’t have to be a Russian oligarch to take a bite out of the Big Apple. There are plenty of opportunities for domestic buyers to snag an apartment and rent it out.
Q. I live in a co-op with an old, dark kitchen, and I'd like to install lights under the cabinets to make it brighter. What exactly does this job entail? Can I do it myself or will I have to hire someone?
If you're even a little bit handy, this is the perfect DIY job, especially if you're keen to take on your first home project. (You can, of course, hire a handyman, which would probably cost about $200 for two hours of work; it may make sense to go that route if you're already redoing your kitchen cabinets and can lump this in with an existing job.)
We've all wondered about the people who lived in our apartments before us—how much did they pay in rent? what did the place look like then? did anything sinister happen?—and the older the building, the more mysterious its history. If Brian Hartig's work with the Brownstone Detectives is any indication, the truth is even stranger than you'd think.
The service—which offers to dig up the back story of your Brooklyn brownstone, and ultimately, put together the findings into a House History Book for the coffee table—launched in spring of 2013, in part the result of Hartig's research into his own home in Bed-Stuy. "When the house was being renovated, every night I went through and sifted through the rubble, looked under the floorboards, everywhere," Hartig tells BrickUnderground. "I was trying to find as much stuff as I could to tell me about the people who had lived there before."
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