The New Nolita Cocoron Soba is Just as Great as the Lower East Side Original 

SSPNY Tries Tasty Treats at the New Nolita Cocoron Soba and Discovers it's Just as Great as the Lower East Side Original

SSPNY checks out one of its favorite restaurants, Cocoron Soba noodle shop, at its new location on Kenmare in Nolita.

One of SSPNY's favorite bits of restaurant news last year was the opening of a second Cocoron Soba noodle shop, right on Kenmare, just a couple of blocks from our Nolita Elizabeth Street buildings. Not that the newer Cocoron is really all that far away from the original one over on Delancey. It's just that two Cocorons means more seats (the second is small by normal restaurant standards, but seems palatial when compared to the first); more chef's specials (the two have almost identical menus, but with key differences); more opportunity to dip and slurp what I think are the best soba noodles in town. And it's all super-healthy! If you want to eat food that makes you feel good about yourself, Cocoron does the trick every time. 

SSPNY enjoys the buck-wheat based soba noodles where it is available either hot or cold and with a variety of different preparations that are all more delicious than the last. 
Soba noodles, as you probably know, are the buckwheat-based cousins of the far-more common ramen. They're tough to pull off--sometimes too gummy, other times sadly bland--but the Cocoron chefs know what they're doing: in multiple visits to both locations I've never had anything but a perfect pile of noodles. And for place that's so focussed on a single item, there are a remarkable number of options on the Cocoron Soba menu, so much so that it can even be a bit overwhelming. Do you want your noodles cold (yes please, it's summer), or warm (oh, wait, these are really good too)? Do you want to dip your soba, or pour sauce on top? Are you a vegetarian? Feel like meat? Fish? In the mood to grind your own sesame seeds before eating? If it sometimes seems like each dish needs its own instruction manual, it's because it kind of does... but the friendly, patient staff and goofy, manga-illustrated menu are there to help. It's fun rather than frustrating, and because the Cocoron prices are low you can try a lot of different things with little risk. 
SSPNY decides on cold noodles on a steamy summer evening and gets the Cold Sukiyaki Soba special with a broth of sea kelp, smoking bonito, beef, tempura better and spicy sesame oil.  
 
My most recent visit to Cocoron Soba in Nolita was on a steamy, sticky evening, so I headed straight for the "cold" section of the menu, getting the Cold Sukiyaki Soba special. This was a fantastic dish, the noodles as good as ever, dipped into a broth of, apparently, sea kelp and smoked bonito, filled with chewy strips of beef, tempura butter and spicy sesame oil. A $1.50 surcharge got me a huge poached egg, which I promptly stirred into the mixture. And when you're done with your noodles, the Cocoron folks bring over a watering can of warm water, which your pour into the remains of your dipping sauce for a bonus bowl of soup! 
 
SSPNY wishes they had more sake while enjoying the Raw Octopus appetizer. 
My starters on this night included Cocoron's superb Homemade Silky Tofu, which is somehow equally exciting eaten plain (the texture is just amazing) or spooned into a bowl of soy sauce, grated ginger, flecks of salty seaweed and bonito flakes. The Raw Octopus with wasabi chunks was less pleasurable, not because it was prepared incorrectly, but rather because, as my server warned me, it's a dish best nibbled on when "drinking lots of sake". 
SSPNY hangs out with other Cocoron customers at the new location on the North side of Kenmare Street between Elizabeth and Mott.  
 
The Nolita Cocoron Soba is located in a basically unmarked spot on the north side of Kenmare Street between Elizabeth and Mott. It is open for lunch on Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m., and for dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00. Closed Mondays. Cash only. The Cocoron website only talks about their Delancey shop, and the online menu isn't nearly complete, but here's the link anyway.    
 
SSPNY plans on more meals at Cocoron during its business hours: Tuesday-Sunday noon-3:00 PM and 6:00 PM-11:00 PM. 

Liu Bolin is "Hiding" Again, Now at Soho's Eli Klein Gallery 

SSPNY Explores Eli Klein's Fine Arts Gallery, Showing Liu Bolin's Hiding Exhibition and Other Chinese Artists

SSPNY checks out one of the many jaw dropping pieces of Liu Bolin’s Hiding series exhibit. As seen here, an individual is overwhelmed and pushed behind consumerist society represented by a bunch of cereal boxes.

Unlike what you'll find in Nolita's energetic gallery scene, a Soho gallery-going adventure is generally a fool's quest. With only a few exceptions--the excellent Swiss Institute on lower Wooster comes to mind, and sometimes Opera Gallery has good solo shows--galleries in Soho function mainly as stores, selling brand name artists and trendy styles to tourists. Which is fine, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't exactly make for a particularly compelling art-viewing experience for us locals. 

SSPNY first looks at an artwork from Hiding in California, where  an individual is hidden in front of the iconic Hollywood sign.
 
SSPNY next takes a look at the rapid growth of technology that has consumed many individuals in today’s media culture. This one is not so obvious but if one looks carefully, a person is camouflaged behind the sea of cell phones.
 
That said, the always-interesting Liu Bolin just opened a solo exhibition at usually-interesting Eli Klein on West Broadway, featuring a handful of his delightful "Hiding" photographs as well as works from a new series, Mask, that uses the form of traditional Chinese opera masks, now plastered with the labels of that country's most popular junk food and sugary drinks. It's all instantly engaging and provocative--the theme of the individual overwhelmed by contemporary, consumerist society is pretty obvious, but well stated--and well worth stopping in to see the next time you're in Soho.                    
 
SSPNY heads to the piece Hiding in New York, where an individual is blended in with the mighty USS Intrepid.
 
The large-scale, high-definition photographs in Liu Bolin's Hiding series (pictured throughout this post) are technically amazing, forceful and clear in their message, and just plain fun to look at. As you can probably tell, to create these photos Bolin (or one of his friends, like the great French street artist JR, below, photos by Rhiannon Platt) stands in front of something iconic, or silly, or beautiful, and assistants paint his entire body to exactly match the background. In addition to the photographs at Eli Klein, the exhibition also has the complete remnants of one of Liu Bolin's Hiding shoots, a "set" of cereal boxes and the clothing Bolin was wearing, post-painting. Very cool. 
 
French street artist JR is being painted by Bolin’s assistants in order to exactly match the background.
 
JR Through the Eye of Liu Bolin features JR as part of the artwork itself, located on West Broadway between Houston and Prince Street, open every day from 1 AM to 7 PM, along with Chinese artists Shen Shaomin and Li Hui.
 
Liu Bolin's Mask exhibition will be on display at the Eli Klein Gallery through July 21. Liu Bolin is located on West Broadway between Houston and Prince and is open every day from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Oh and don't skip the pieces in the downstairs space by two other Chinese artists Shen Shaomin and Li HuiMore info about everything can be found here.  

Does Andrew Carmellini's Glittering "Grand Cafe" Lafayette Live Up to the Hype? 

SSPNY Hangs Out at the Glittering "Grand Cafe" at Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette to See if the Food Lives Up to the Hype. And it Does!

SSPNY tries out the new, much hyped Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette restaurant in NoHo for a taste of excellent food, a lively, good-looking crowd, and a marvelous time at this instant success, which is the third restaurant Carmellini's opened, after The Dutch in SoHo, and Locanda Verde in Tribeca.

It's not really a surprise that Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette landed in NoHo last month with an explosion of excitement and hype. After all, Carmellini's previous restaurants, including The Dutch in SoHo, and Locanda Verde in Tribeca, are among the most popular, consistently celeb-studded spots in town. They also happen to be quite excellent, food-wise. But although Lafayette was a guaranteed instant success--and it has been, packed and lively every night with good-looking folks having a marvelous time--I was wondering if the food was good enough, and the scene genuine and convivial enough, to be considered a neighborhood spot for SSPNY Nolita residents.    

 SSPNY had a terrific supper at Lafayette with a huge list of things to try on their appealing menu, starting with a hefty hillock of chewy and bright Spring Lentils, with chunks of tender tongue and infused with the Indian-food-spice vadouvan for only $8.

The answer, in a word: absolutely. Lafayette not only delivers on its promise of a glittering night on the town--really, the room here is so pretty, the service so effortlessly friendly, your fellow diners so beautiful and smiley, that you can't help but feel like.... ah, yes, THIS is why I love New York--but it also functions quite well as a local favorite, where generous portions and reasonable prices make it easy (and desireable) to become a regular. And it's open all day, with a comfortable, fully-laden bakery and coffee area up front, and a lunchtime-only Brisket Burger that's been getting raves. Basically? Lafayette is perfect, the type of place every neighborhood wants, but only a few receive.   
 
SSPNY next opts out of the entrees and tries one of Lafayette's half-dozen handmade pastas, ordering the Black Fettuccine, chopped full of squid, lobster, scallops, clams and more, on top of ground chorizo, which tastes like eating a big bowl of summer.
 
I had a terrific supper at Lafayette the other night, and can't wait to return to try more things on Carmellini's lengthy and appealing menu. First up was a hefty hillock of chewy and bright Spring Lentils, studded with chunks of tender, well-seasoned tongue (which went nicely with the mustard sauce) and infused with the Indian-food-ish spice blend, vadouvan. For only $8. I loved this. And if you really want to fill up before your entrees, get Lafayette's Frisee Salad, prepared as you'd expect--bacon, croutons, runny poached egg, lots of vinegar--which is huge and addictive and delicious.   
 
SSPNY had an absolutely epic meal at Lafayette complete with a pretty room, effortlessly friendly service, and fellow smiley and beautiful diners, as well as generous portions, and reasonable prices. Not to mention it's also open all day, and has a full bakery and coffee area in front to make this the absolute perfect neighborhood spot.
 
Already sated, I skipped the entrees proper and opted to try one of Lafayette's half-dozen handmade pastas, and was rewarded with a tremendous Black Fettuccine, heavily populated with all manner of crustaceans and cephalopods--squid, lobster, scallops, clams--as well as enough ground chorizo to have an impact. Redolent of sea, it's like eating a big bowl of summer. But even if you already have dinner plans for next five months or whatever, don't skip the Lafayette bakery. Everything looks amazing here, and I can tell you from personal experience that the rich Butterscotch-Coffee Eclair and the gooey, nut-and-fruit-studded Florentine Cookie live up to their appearances. 

SSPNY also makes sure that you try Lafayette's Grand Cafe bakery where everything looks delicious,  and the Butterscotch-Coffee Eclair and the gooey, nut-and-fruit-studded Florentine Cookie, as pictured here, are both as good as they look!

 
Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery is located on the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Streets, and is open for breakfast (at the bakery), lunch and dinner, which starts at 5:30. More info and the complete Lafayette menu, here. 
 
SSPNY declares Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery to be a perfect neighborhood spot for SSPNY Nolita residents, located on the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Streets, now open for [bakery] breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Uncle Boons: A Fun, Friendly Neighborhood Place Serving up Traditional Thai Delights 

SSPNY Heads to Nolita for a Taste of Uncle Boons' Traditional Thai Delights

SSPNY heads over to Nolita to check out Uncle Boon’s authentic thai restaurant Located on 7 Spring Street in NYC for a friendly, cozy, and vintage restaurant that serves up traditional Thai cuisine.

I'm always a bit wary of new, easy-on-the-eyes restaurants in so-called trendy neighborhoods like Nolita. Is it just a money grab, an "all-concept, no-feeling" type of place trying to be the next hot spot for weekend scenesters? Or is there real love in the kitchen, and warmth up front? The very good news for Nolita locals: Uncle Boons, opened in April by Per Se alumns Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, falls firmly into the latter category. This is a convivial, comfortable restaurant, with an amusingly over-the-top design sensibility and some seriously good, traditional-leaning Thai food. 

SSPNY first tries out the Mee Krob : a generously-portioned spicy sweetbread dish in which the offal is perfectly cooked, and where the sawtooth herbs and tamarind sauce added exotica, and the crispy noodles which made the dish great and crunchy. 
 
The subterranean Uncle Boons has a cozy feel to it, with three smallish areas all done up with a million old-school photographs and oddball knickknacks. There's the dim, welcoming bar area right as you climb down the entranceway stairs, where you can get beer, wine, Thai snacks and, now that it's summer so why not, a Singhai Beer Slushie for only seven bucks. There's the front dining room, casually outfitted in brick and wood. And there's the Sanuk Sanuk room in the back, which means "fun" in Thai and definitely lives up to its name. 
 
SSPNY next tries out the Khao Soi Kaa Kai: a borderline-fiery, "northern style golden curry" casserole with egg noodles, meat-falling-off-the-bone chicken legs, pickled mustard greens and coconut milk.
 
The Uncle Boons menu is a little pricier than you're used to in this genre--appetizers and "drinking food" priced in the mid-teens; entrees in the low- to mid-20s--but rest assured, this is skillful, creative cooking, using fresh, interesting ingredients. I tried a couple of dishes the other evening, and will certainly be back for more. My starter, for example, was excellent, a generously-portioned spicy sweetbread dish called Mee Krob in which the offal was cooked perfectly, the sawtooth herbs and tamarind sauce added exotica, and the crispy noodles brought a whole lot of crackle to the party. 
 
SSPNY heads to the back of Uncle Boons, which features the Sanuk Sanuk room that means “fun” in Thai. It is perfect for private parties; outfitted with Thai patterned wood walls, mirrored ceilings and provides views of a lush outdoor garden in the middle of the busy Nolita neighborhood.
 
My main dish at Uncle Boons was just as good, the Khao Soi Kaa Kai, a borderline-fiery, "northern style golden curry" casserole with egg noodles, meat-falling-off-the-bone chicken legs, pickled mustard greens and coconut milk. Great stuff. And the staffers were all friendly and helpful, with no trendy-restaurant attitude in the house. A very pleasant experience all around. Uncle Boons is located on Spring Street between Elizabeth and Bowery, and is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday until 12:00 midnight, and on Sunday until 10:00. For more info and the complete Uncle Boons menu, click here. 
 
As you enter Uncle Boon’s, you are immediately greeted with a pub that features a 10-seat bar with views of the rotisserie and charcoal grill. This dimly-lit welcoming area consists of exposed brick walls, which are full of framed prints and photographs illuminated by mismatched chandeliers.

SSPNY Neighborhood History: How the Bowery Went from Dirt Trail to Grand Boulevard to Skid Row to Today's Nightlife Mecca 

SSPNY Reviews a History of the Neighborhood as Bowery Went from Grand Boulevard to Skid Row to Today's Nightlife Mecca

SSPNY heads over to the Bowery for a look back at the city's most colorful and ever-changing street in New York's history. The street predates back to before the Dutch's arrival, in the 1500s, when the moccasins of the Lenape pounded out a path that has a richer history per block than any other 1.5-mile stretch of the city.
 
Is there a single street in this ever-changing city with a longer, more colorful history than Bowery? Well, who knows with absolute certainty... but the correct answer is probably, "probably not". After all, the Bowery as a thoroughfare predates even the Dutch's tenure here, though it obviously wasn't called "the Bowery" back in the 1500s, when the moccasins of the Lenape pounded out a path that went along the same route as today's avenue. And given its remarkable extremes, both of the high and low variety--swings noteworthy even in a city whose core character is constant reinvention--it seems the Bowery would likely have more stories to tell per block that just about any other 1.5-mile stretch of this big, beautiful city.  
 
SSPNY dates back to when the first permanent residents of Bowery, 10 freed slaves and their families,  came to settle and build homes along today's Chatham Square in 1654.
 
The first permanent residents of Bowery, the first to build homes along the route, were 10 freed slaves and their families, who settled near today's Chatham Square (Bowery's southern terminus) in 1654. The Dutch were next, led by Petrus Stuyvesant, who retired in 1667 to his farm--or "bouwerij"--farther uptown, in today's Cooper Square. And then began the rollercoaster... In the 1700s Bowery was New York City's most expensive and elegant piece of real estate, the broad boulevard lined with castle-like mansions, massive banks, spectacular theaters, and the town's most fashionable shops. By the mid-1800s--say, around the time of the Civil War--the tone of things had changed considerably along Bowery, with residents more likely to live in one of the many new flophouses, and the entertainment running more toward cheap beer and the pleasures of a brothel. 
 
SSPNY remembers the next settlers, the Dutch, led by Petrus Stuyvesant who retired in 1667 to his farm uptown in today's Cooper Square. Next, began the 1700s when Bowery was New York City's most elegant and elite piece of real estate with mansions, massive banks, spectacular theaters, and the city's most regal shopping. By the mid-1800s, around the Civil War, the tone on Bowery changed again as most residents began to live in flophouses with entertainment surrounding cheap beer and brothels.
 
The Bowery embraced its gritty side for many decades to come. As the eastern edge of the sensationally chaotic and violent Five Points neighborhood, and home turf to one of the city's first, perhaps most notorious gangs the Bowery Boys, the avenue saw more than its fair share of spectacle. The Third Avenue El, which ran above Bowery from 1878 until 1955, certainly didn't bring any sunshine and flowers to the area. And after the Second World War the Bowery plummeted even further on the city's safety/social scale, when it became our full-fledged Skid Row. In the 1970s and and '80s, the city's punks, artists and all manner of outsiders came to love the decrepitude down here, manifested most obviously by turning an obscure bluegrass music venue into the legendary punk club CBGB's.  
 
SSPNY embraced the gritty decades that followed the Bowery next, as sensationalized, chaotic, and violent Five Points neighborhood also became home to the city's first and most notorious gang, the Bowery Boys. The Third Ave. El, which ran above Bowery from 1878 until 1955 also added to the chaos and danger, while World War 2  only caused the Bowery to plummet further down the city's social scale when it became our full-fledged Skid Row. In the 70s and 80s, punks, artists, and outsiders came to love on Bowery, manifesting a bluegrass music venue into the legendary punk club CBGB's.
 
Beginning in the late 1990s, however, and really exploding in the past few years, the Bowery has, amazingly enough, returned to its 18th-century roots as one the city's most coveted addresses. Trendy hotels (the Standardthe Bowery), jam-packed destination restaurants and bars (DBGBThe WrenPeelsPulino'sPearl and Ashthe GeneralSaxon and Parole, on and on) and funky boutiques make their home here now. And the fact that Bowery straddles the fun, vibrant (and increasingly pricey) neighborhoods of Noho, Nolita and Chinatown to the west, and the East Village and Lower East Side to the east only adds to your options. In 100 years, who knows what it'll be like around here. But for right now, life is good on the Bowery.   
 
SSPNY lastly remembers the Bowery as it makes its return back to its 18th-century roots in the late 1990s, setting up trendy hotels, tons of highly acclaimed restaurants and bars, and even funky boutiques. The best part of the Bowery today is that is straddles the vibrant neighborhoods of Noho, Nolita, Chinatown, East Village, and the Lower East Side.

Pretty Neighborhood Spot Tartinery Nolita Offers Simple, Fresh Food for the Sunnier Days and Sultrier Nights to Come 

SSPNY Eats Simple Fresh Food at the Sunny and Sultry Nolita Spot Tartinery

SSPNY heads over to Nolita's one-stop-dining-shop for a Summery supper of salad. bread, a variety of tartines, and soups at the cute, trendy, lively, and always refreshing Tartinery on 209 Mulberry Street.

When the weather gets warm... and then warmer... and then crazy hot and humid... my craving for a simple supper of salad and bread (and maybe some nice soup?) starts kicking in. In Nolita, with its abundance of cute cafes and trendy restaurants, there are always plenty of options for such fresh, refreshing fare. But for one-stop summer dining in a lively setting, you may want to try one of the many varieties of tartines (and soups) at Nolita's Tartinery.     

SSPNY tries a variety of tartines at Tartinery with thinly-sliced bread and salad-sish ingredients. The menu offers three different kinds of bread, with tons of choices for protein including hams, beef, poultry and fish! This tartine is a Thon Cru, or thinly sliced raw tuna and fennel topped with lemon juice, olive oil, and wasabi Mayo.

A tartine is basically a long, thinly-sliced piece of bread piled high with salad-ish ingredients. There are at least three kinds of bread from which to choose here at Tartinery Nolita, but you should definitely fork over the extra buck-fifty and get the sourdough they import from France. A tougher choice will be which tartine to get, because there a LOT of options on the Tartinery menu. You'll find all the expected proteins--various hams, beef and poultry, many fishes--as well as several vegetable-based options. 

SSPNY first orders the the soup at Tartinery. The Butternut Squash soup, or Potage de Potimarrow is a great option, as well as the Bouillon de Poulet or chicken soup, as seen here.
 
 But before you get there, start with some soup, which, frankly, was the best part of my meal the last time I ate here. The Butternut Squash soup--sorry, the Potage de Potimarron--was thick and earthy with just the exact-right hit of nutmeg; the Bouillon de Poulet (aka, Chicken Soup) was basic, hearty, and bright. For our tartine course, my companion and I split a Thon Cru, which featured thinly sliced raw tuna and fennel, topped with lemon juice, olive oil, and wasabi mayo, as well as a Ratatouille tartine, which featured everything you'd think it would: eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. 
 
SSPNY lastly tried the Ratatouille tartine at Nolita's Tartinery which was good and featured eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and more!
 
Both were fine, the ingredients fresh (if a little too refrigerated), and priced low enough to moderate expectations. There's not a lot zing going on at Tartinery, but it's not a bad neighborhood option for a casual meal. Tartinery Nolita is located on Elizabeth Street just south of Spring, and is open daily from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight. More info and the complete Tartinery menu here.   
 
Tartinery Nolita offers French cuisine with fresh ingredients, at a low price, giving people a great casual meal option in their neighborhood. Tartinery Nolita is located on Elizabeth Street just south of Spring, open daily from noon to midnight.

The New Museum's Ideas City, a Four-Day Festival of Art, Education, & Community Activism, Takes Over Downtown Starting May 1st 

SSPNY Heads Downtown for New Museum's Ideas City, A Four-Day Festival of Art, Education & Activism Starting May 1st

SSPNY caught its first Festival of Ideas for a New City put on by The New Museum just two years ago as dozens of workshops and performances filled the streets with nighttime projections all around Nolita, and inside the New Museum itself.

Two years ago The New Museum organized the great Festival of Ideas For a New City, which included nighttime projections all over Nolita (and all over the New Museum itself), dozens of workshops and performances, and a huge street fair that sprawled throughout the Lower East Side. It was probably my favorite thing that happened in this town that spring. All pictures in this post are from then. I was so disappointed when it didn't materialize last year.

SSPNY was disappointed the show and street fair wasn't out again last year, but beginning May 1st, The New Museum is coming back and having it renamed Ideas City, to welcome back 4 more days of overwhelming things to do and try, at what was conceived as a bi-annual springtime festival.

But now, excellent news, the whole spectacle is back, slightly reconfigured, maybe bigger than before, and renamed Ideas City! Turns out it was conceived as a bi-annual festival in the first place, so it arrives next month exactly on time, starting on Wednesday evening, May 1, and running almost continuously through late Saturday night, May 4. There's no way to see and do it all, and even planning my weekend at Ideas City feels overwhelming--there's SO much going on--so I'm probably going to just show up and wing it. There do seem to be a few must-do, however...

SSPNY will check out the Untapped Capital theme at this years Ideas City, based around under-recognized and utilized resources, and surpluses that must be harnessed as the catalysts for change, introducing Joi Ito, the Director of MIT Media Lab to give the keynote at this years' festival on Wednesday night at Cooper Union's Great Hall. To guarantee access to all workshops and panels, make sure to buy a $50 Festival Pass.

The theme at Ideas City will be Untapped Capital, which the organizers describe as  “under-recognized and underutilized resources and surpluses that can be harnessed as catalysts for change.” It'll be interesting to hear what Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Lab, has to say about that in his keynote address, on Wednesday night at Cooper Union's Great Hall. Though to ensure attendance there you'll probably need to buy a $50 Festival Pass, which guarantees access to all the workshops and panels.

Most of the Ideas City festival is totally free, including the Saturday night festival-capper, Change of State, where Nuit Blanche New York is going to throw a series of projections onto the New Museum's facade. The Ideas City festival runs from May 1st to the 4th, both organized and anchored by the New Museum on Bowery Street between Stanton and Rivington Streets.

The majority of Ideas City festival is readily accessible, however, with or without a pass, and totally free. Such as the Saturday night festival-capper, Change of State, for which the folks at Nuit Blanche New York are going to once again throw a series of projections onto the New Museum's Bowery facade. The Ideas City biggest draw, Street Fest, goes on all day Saturday, with some 125 “artists, architects, poets, technologists, historians, community activists, entrepreneurs, and ecologists” setting up booths and painting murals and staging all kinds of wild performances along Bowery and its environs. And on Friday night 14 different artists will be re-muralizing those store gates on Bowery, so stop by and say hi on your way home.  

SSPNY lastly checks out by far the biggest draw to Ideas City, the Street Fest, that goes on all day Saturday with 125 different artists, architects, poets, technologist, historians, community activists, entrepreneurs, and ecologists, setting up booths, murals, and stages of all kinds to give you a wild performance along Bowery Street, while on Friday night 14 different artists will be re-muralizing those store gates on Bowery.

The Ideas City festival runs from May 1 to May 4, and is organized and anchored by The New Museum, on Bowery between Stanton and Rivington Streets. For a complete list of Ideas City locations and calender of events, see the massive website, here.   
 
SSPNY also caught the Idea City's workshops and performances that lined their huge street fair sprawled out across the Lower East Side, which is hands down the coolest thing in the city to check in the Spring.

LI Families Displaced by Sandy Put Up in Luxury Apartments on Upper East Side for Free 

Hurricane Sandy moved them out — kind-hearted New Yorkers moved them on up.

Three Long Island families displaced by October’s hurricane have been put up in posh Upper East Side rentals ever since — for free.

The luxury 1-bedroom digs, which typically rent for $2,500 per month, have been a godsend to the families — whose lives were derailed by flood damage.

Surge waters flooded the first floor Long Beach home of Jerry Springer Show producer Lacy Edwards and her police officer husband, Brian.

When they heard through a friend that they could stay in a luxury rental for free, they were floored.

“It was unbelievable. We couldn’t pass it up and moved in right away... it really helped us a lot,” said Lacy. “There are really no words to describe how it made us feel. It’s overwhelming.”

They’re planning to rent a home in Long Beach next month so Lacy, who is expecting her third child in February, can be closer to her doctors.

“The stuff we lost were material things,” she said. “At the end of the day, it can all be replaced.”

Another two families stayed in the apartments only until recently, allowing them to get back on their feet.

That includes Erin Joyce, an accountant, who moved with her husband and 1-year-old son into a new Long Beach home one day before the storm — and were forced to evacuate from it the next day.

“We bought a house that didn’t need any work but within a couple of days it became a fixer-upper,” Joyce said.

And Antoinette Diamond and Anthony Borello lost all their possessions from their Long Beach basement rental in Sandy’s storm surge — including everything they were gathering for their upcoming wedding.

“It felt so good to take a hot shower and go to sleep in a bed,” Diamond said.

The pair recently moved in with Borello’s grandmother.

The apartments belong to the real estate investment firm Stone Street Properties, which was founded last year by Rob Morgenstern and Jeff Kaye.

“We talked about donating – money or clothes, but what we have are bricks, heat and water,” said Morgenstern. “All of a sudden that became a commodity.”

Kaye’s parents live in a Long Beach neighborhood that was ravaged by the flooding — which brought the plight of displaced families closer to home.

“It’s like a war zone out there. People’s homes were ripped to their foundations,” he said. 

Read the Article Here!

Stone Street Job Opportunity 

Stone Street Properties LLC is one of the fastest growing Owner / Landlord / Development firms in Manhattan.  Stone Street is looking to add an intern for a 3 month position which may grow into Permanent Paid Analyst / Associate role. 

 

Stone Street Properties owns and operates over 700 multifamily units in Manhattan’s best neighborhoods and are continuing to grow rapidly.  This role will span the scope of the multifamily development process.  It will include but not be limited to:

 

•  Working directly with Property Managers to oversee current portfolio and ongoing unit renovations.

•  Communicating with existing tenants

•  Assisting with underwriting of new deals

•  Sourcing New Transactions

•  Assist in the maintenance of the rent regulated segment of the portfolio

•  Touring existing properties and learning how to create / find value in each unit

•  Assist in social networking, marketing, and other aspects of brand development

•  Assisting with marketing of free market apartments

 

We are growing very quickly and need a candidate with talent, a professional demeanor, and an attitude to take on anything thrown at you.  This is an amazing opportunity to join our firm as we continue our rapid growth.

 

Our office is located in Midtown in a class A office building.

 

Send resume and cover letter to info@sspny.com

Stone Street Closes on NOLITA Portfolio.  

SSPNY Closes on NOLITA PortfolioJeffrey Kaye and Robert Morgenstern of Stone Street Properties and 260-268 Elizabeth Street

Hot on the heels of a recent $73 million acquisition, real estate investment firm Stone Street Properties has closed on another five-building portfolio for $33.5 million, the company’s founders Robert Morgenstern and Jeffrey Kaye told The Real Deal today.

The portfolio of buildings is located at 260-268 Elizabeth Street; it is composed of 48 residential units as well as five ground-floor retail spaces. Tenants include Billy’s Bakery and Area ID, a design and interiors boutique.

‘This deal just made sense,” Kaye said. “This is a gem that we found in Nolita. Anytime we find these kinds of buildings in this type of A-plus location, we move very, very quickly.”

Investor and asset management firm Meadow Partners is Stone Street’s equity partner on the deal.

The seller was a conglomerate of investors managed by Marolda Properties, according to public records. A representative for Marolda was not immediately available for comment. Marolda had owned the property since 1998, records show.

Edmund Levy of Cornerstone Property Group represented the seller in the deal. Stone Street did not use a broker.

As previously reported, Stone Street closed on another big deal earlier this week, buying a 16-building Manhattan and Brooklyn portfolio from landlord Robert Koppelman. The company manages its portfolio in house and aims to add value to its holdings by renovating its buildings.

SSPNY NEWS! Stone Street Properties Acquires 16 Buildings in $73 Million Dollar Deal in Murray Hill & Downtown Brooklyn 

Stone Street’s Jeffrey Kaye and Robert Morgenstern and 234 East 33rd Street

Stone Street Properties, a real estate investment firm founded last year by Jeffrey Kaye and Robert Morgenstern, has closed on a deal for a 16-building Manhattan and Brooklyn portfolio composed of 300 residential units, the founders told The Real Deal today.

The deal for the portfolio, made up of 14 Manhattan buildings and two properties in Brooklyn, closed yesterday for $73 million. Paul Smadbeck of Massey Knakal Realty Services brokered the deal on behalf of the seller. Stone Street did not use a broker.

HIG Realty Partners, a Florida-based investment firm, is Stone Street’s equity partner is the deal. Stone Street’s principals declined to comment on the structure of their partnership. The transaction is one of HIG’s first in New York.

“There was a tremendous amount of competition until we signed a hard contract deposit of $7.3 million,” Kaye said. “Massey Knakal was about to take it out to the market. We preempted the market by signing the check within days.”

Although the founders declined to comment on the identity of the seller, they said he was a “long-tem family owner and operator,” who was “retiring by selling this portfolio.” Public records reveal the seller as longtime Manhattan landlord Robert Koppelman. Koppelman has owned the majority of the portfolio’s buildings since the 1990s, records show.

With this acquisition, Stone Street has almost doubled its holdings. The firm now owns approximately 750 units across 28 buildings citywide, its founders said. Last year, Stone Street acquired a portfolio of five rental buildings in the East Village and on the Upper East Side from Icon Realty Management. That deal was valued at $90 million.

In Manhattan, the new 16-building deal includes properties located primarily in Murray Hill, on the Upper East Side and in the East Village. They are 101 MacDougal Street, 104 East 7th Street, 438-440 East 13th Street, 236-236 East 33rd Street, 410 East 64th Street, 319 East 78th Street, 233 East 82nd Street, 310 East 83rd Street, 325 East 83rd Street and 504 East 88th Street. The Brooklyn properties are located at 354-356 State Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

As previously reported, Stone Street manages its properties in-house, aiming to add value by reconfiguring and renovating apartments.

Job Description - Seeking Administrative Assistant at Stone Street 

Administrative Assistant

Company Description:

Stone Street Properties is a full service real estate firm that owns, operates and manages multi-family properties in New York City.  Stone Street owns a diverse portfolio of properties in some of New York’s most desirable neighborhoods including Greenwich Village, West Village, East Village, Nolita, Murray Hill, Upper East Side, and Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill.  Our properties are located in vibrant neighborhoods, with close proximity to transportation, restaurants, shopping, entertainment venues, and cultural institutions. 

 

Job Description:

Stone Street Properties is looking for an Administrative Assistant.  The position will work closely with all staff members and will be responsible for administrative duties, scheduling appointments, tenant interaction, accounts payable and accounts receivable.  The position will work as part of a cross-functional team and will be exposed to the NYC commercial real estate industry.  The position has potential for strong opportunities for advancement within the firm.

This is a paid full-time position located in Midtown Manhattan.  Regular business hours are 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. 

 
Qualifications:

  • College degree preferred
  • No experience in real estate necessary
  • Work experience in a similar position on a full- or part-time basis preferred
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook and Word
  • Strong interpersonal/communication skills
  • Must be well organized and detail-oriented
  • Salary – commensurate with experience

 

Stone Street Properties is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Stone Street Properties is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity. Applications are considered for all positions without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or any other status protected by applicable law. Stone Street Properties encourages all qualified applicants to apply.

NYC rental apartment living: A love story 

SSPNY Presents: A love story about rental apartment living in NYC

With Manhattan apartment sale prices hitting record highs this year (overall, third quarter sales are up almost 10% since last year; the median price for a Manhattan apartment, if you include both condos and co-ops, is now at $868,000, with the average reaching more than $1.3 million), does going the rental route suddenly make more sense than ever?SSPNY Presents: A love story about rental apartment living in NYC at Stone Street Properties at The Cooper at Cornelia Street

Especially with mortgages still tricky to obtain, and co-op boards acting ever more picky and ruthless in their scouring of your financial data? Well, I certainly think so... but, full disclosure, I have ALWAYS rented here in New York City, in two boroughs, several different neighborhoods, more than several different apartments, and across more years and life-changes than I'm willing to admit here on the internet.

SSPNY rental apartment living: A love story about renting in NYC at Stone Street Properties at The Charlotte at Christopher Street

SSPNY rental apartment living: A love story about renting in NYC at Stone Street Properties at The Charlotte at 102 Christopher Street in West Village

So why is someone who loves this city so much (me) so reluctant to "settle down" by buying a place? The glib answer: freedom. I love having the option, every year or two (depending on the length of my lease) of moving someplace new, whether a few blocks away, or into a completely different part of town. Constant change is one of the core, defining characteristics of New York City (that, and commerce), since, really, the days when the Dutch ran things and the place was, like, twenty blocks big, and that continues to be true right up to today. And all signs point to, if anything, even more accelerated growth in the years to come, with blocks, and whole neighborhoods, changing their look and feel in ways that are often hard to predict, and which you may or may not like. I loved living on the Upper West Side when I did, ditto the East Village, and Park Slope in Brooklyn fit nicely for awhile, and who knows where I'll wind up next. But I'm glad I haven't had to to go through the lengthy, expensive buying/selling process every time I've wanted to go somewhere new. Moving's hard enough work as it is, thank you very much.

SSPNY rental living: A love story about Stone Street Properties apartments in NYC at  at The Seville at 11 Cornelia Street in the West Village

There's another aspect to the freedom thing too. In a rental apartment, if there's a problem with the plumbing, or the fixtures, or the lawn (yes, rentals sometimes do have outdoor space), or the roof, or any other part of my home's infrastructure, I don't have to worry about it, and find some contractor, and lay out a bunch of money to have it fixed. That's what the my trusty super's for! And no matter how much I may love (or, sometimes, just like) whatever apartment I'm in, my REAL home will always be New York City itself, in all of it's crazy, beautiful, diverse, enegizing glory. NYC's excellent public transportation--not to mention that this is such a great walking town--means that as long you live near a subway station, pretty much everywhere else you'd want to go is readily accessible. For example, all three of Stone Street's West Village properties, in addition to being located in one of the prettiest, most exciting neighborhoods in the city, are all within easy walking distance of the A, C, B, D, E, F, M, 1, 2, 3, L, R, N, Q, 4, 5, and 6 trains. Which, obviously, can take you to a lot of different places.

Welcome to SSPNY. The Stone Street Experience!  

More often than not in New York City, we find a rental apartment, move in, pay our rent and go about our business.  Rarely do positive relationships develop among landlord and tenant, but that is about to change. 

StoneStreetNY, SSPNY, Stone Street Logo

We want to introduce you to interactive living.  Stone Street Properties wants to invite you into our city, our neighborhoods, our properties, and the Stone Street Experience.   We will be sharing some of our favorite new and classic restaurants, shopping, and culture in your area.  We’ll also try to update you on any deals or city-wide information you’ll find interesting.  Finally we’ll keep you abreast of the progress Stone Street is making in adding new properties to our growing portfolio in Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side, and soon the East Village, Nolita, Murray Hill.     

 SSPNY StoneStreetNY Luxury NYC Apartment Rentals Map

Not only do we want to provide you with a beautiful place to call home, but also help you to really experience New York City and your neighborhood.   

 

We’ll be sending each blog post out on facebook & twitter, so ‘like’ us and ‘follow’ us,

or check out photography of some of some of our great neighborhoods.

SSPNY StoneStreetNY Luxury NYC West Village Rentals The Seville at 11 CorneliaSSPNY Luxury Upper East Side Rentals The Emma at 344 East 85th Street, Stone Street Properties

Enjoy a new renting experience.  The Stone Street Experience!    

Stone Street Properties Acquires 5-Property Manhattan Portfolio 

Stone Street Properties, a real estate investment firm recently formed by Gotham Organization alumnus Jeffrey Kaye and former Gumley Haft Kleier broker Robert Morgenstern, has acquired a small portfolio of five rental buildings in the East Village and the

Stone Street Properties Featured in 100th Issue of The Real Deal 

Long-time friends Robert Morgenstern and Jeffrey Kaye had often thought about leaving their respective jobs and going into business together.

Morgenstern, a real estate broker, and Kaye, a vice president at the Gotham Organization, dreamed of starting a real
estate investment firm, and as 2010 drew to a close, they felt the time was right.

“Nothing had been trading for months prior, and suddenly things started to
move,” said Morgenstern, who is married to broker and “Selling New York” star Sabrina
Kleier-Morgenstern. “We had access to some off-market deals. We could get them done
where no one else could.”

In January, they launched Stone Street Properties. Named after historic Stone
Street in the Financial District, the new company will own, operate and manage multi-
family buildings. Last month, Stone Street closed on it first acquisition, paying $32.6
million for 85 residential units in three West Village rental apartment buildings: 7
Cornelia Street, 11 Cornelia Street and 102 Christopher Street. The goal is to launch a
line of high-end buildings, branded as being part of the Stone Street portfolio.

“We’re taking these under-managed, under-serviced buildings and creating a
luxury brand,” said Kaye, who managed development projects and cultivated new
business while at Gotham.

View Story

Stone Street Properties Featured in New York Post Article 

In an all-cash deal, two West Village apartment houses were sold for $32.6 million to Stone Street Properties.

The five-story walkup at 100-102 Christopher St. between Bleecker and Bedford Streets has 37 apartments and three stores and was built in 1920.

The five-story elevatored property at 7-11 Cornelia St. was constructed in 1900 and has 48 apartments and two stores along with a charming carriage house.

Seller Ioannis Danallis owned the buildings for 13 years and hired Laurence Ross, Christen Portelli and John Goldflam from the Highcap Group to market them.

With total income of $2.7 million and a net operating income of $1.9 million, the sale was completed at an income multiple of 12 and a 5.8 percent cap rate.



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