Acrylic, Oil & Salt — Who Knew?!

Don’t miss “Pure Now” — a special art exhibit for First Wednesday in June featuring the work of Mimi Saltzman.  The artist’s reception will be June 6th from 6:30-8:30 and her work will be on exhibit until July 27. Please join us for an evening of thought-provoking art, refreshments and camaraderie.

Tortola – acrylic, oil and salt on canvas

Back to the Drawing board

••• The building proposed for 11-15 Leonard was debated at the Landmarks Preservation Commission: “In the end, the yeas and nays among the commissioners cancelled each other out. That means it’s back to the drawing board for the 15 Leonard team, with changes to be worked out with the LPC staff before another presentation at some time in the future, possibly far, far away.” —Curbed (which has photos of the floor plans)

Swimming in Champagne


TRIBECA — Now the champagne set can literally swim in bubbly.

A luxurious new bathhouse has popped up in TriBeCa — with elite amenities that include a $450 per person VIP package with a dip in a champagne-filled bathtub. -KM

VIP Rooms in TriBeCa Bathhouse to Offer Champagne-Filled Tubs

Read more:

Yuya! Not Just for Nail Emergencies!

Yuya Nail Lobby


Who wouldn’t travel for a great manicure?  For years, I’ve been going to the Village for my weekly pampering.  But when my beloved nail salon closed down (wah!), I was forced to go in search of a new spot.  Lucky for me, I didn’t have to travel outside of the our great neighborhood!  Yuya saved the day and gave a great manicure!


Great color selections, great staff and a fantastic finished product — all for $10!


–Lora Dettinger

Scaffold Chic!

Everywhere I turn these days, all I see is nothing but construction. A bit of building re-pointing here, a new condo development there, sprinkled with a side of  road work maintenance. I’m all for sprucing up the neighborhood, but how long will Tribeca look like this?? See for yourself…usual charming streets are being all covered up. – SA

First Rendering of 1 WTC Base

This is the first rendering of how the base of 1 World Trade Center will look up close — a shimmering, richly textured facade on four sides of glass, stainless steel and aluminum. While bickering goes on over the iconic office tower’s crown, its street-level face is just as vital — not only to Condé Nast employees who will move in by 2015, but to the millions of visitors to the 16-acre WTC site.


The “podium” design by Skidmore Owings & Merrill is the end product of a tortured history that included the dumping of an earlier scheme over costs and fears its custom-fabricated glass would too easily shatter.The new image released by the skyscraper’s owners, the Port Authority and the Durst Organization, shows for the first time how its fortified base — a cube 185-feet on each side — will look to people arriving for work.


Preliminary renderings last year suggested a monolithic, corporate-looking wall despite a supposed “pleated” effect. But the image shown here promises a warmer welcome. It is articulated by vertical glass fins protruding from panels of stainless steel slats. The fins will be arrayed in patterns that will vary as they move up the facade.


Perforated aluminum screens behind the steel slats will be illuminated, making the entire tower podium glow by night — a suitable companion to the lit-up base of 7 World Trade Center nearby. Cladding the podium will cost $40 million. Installation is to start in October.


The re-do of the base is the latest chapter in the former Freedom Tower’s complicated saga, including architect David Childs’ original design being scuttled over security concerns and the tower having to be moved from its original site.


Childs then redesigned the entire building. The finished project reflects his work on the soaring octagonal “shaft,” but no longer on its apex or base — a hybrid result it will be left for future generations to judge.


–Jeanine LeNy via

Castle in the sky


Developer Jourdan Krauss has big penthouse plans for his impeccably restored 361 Broadway, a six-story Italianate structure dubbed by preservationists “one of the handsomest” cast-iron buildings in the city. His residential conversion plan calls for topping the 131-year-old landmark with a nearly 23-feet-high, two-story addition easily seen from the street. That could be a hard sell to the city’s watchdogs of historic appropriateness whose approval he is now seeking.


“I’ve had two other approvals for two-story [additions] but they just never sat right with me,” Krauss, president of Knightsbridge Properties, told Community Board 1′s Landmarks Committee earlier this month. “This is something that I think is really spectacular. Maybe you should make a concerted effort to give us a chance on this one.”


Two-story additions have been approved for 361 Broadway in the past, but never built. The first two, approved in 2002 and 2007, were glass structures meant to be moderately visible and mimic the look of a skylight or greenhouse. The current proposed penthouse, by the well-known Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, is also made mostly of glass and aluminum, but makes no pretense of invisibility. The two floors of the addition loom the largest from the south, on Broadway.


“This is a case where we feel that the historic architecture and new architecture work together very, very well,” said Elise Quasebarth, the preservation consultant hired by Krauss to help persuade the committee and, next month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission that the two-story penthouse would be an appropriate fit for the building.


“It respects the original volumes so that you can see the original shape of the building as you go down, and it is detailed in a way to let it appear to float above the building,” Quasebarth explained.


But the community board, which is advisory to the Landmarks Commission, routinely rejects rooftop structures taller than one story.

A southern view of the mockup atop, seen from Broadway.

A southern view of the mockup atop, seen from Broadway.  (more…)

I spy with my little eye…

Construction at 137 Franklin Street has been moving right along. With local Tribeca architects Studio MDA at the helm, I’m looking forward to this mini condo’s finishing product. Prices still are unlisted yet but buyers should note that attached to the property is a 150 year land lease. -SA

Seen & heard

“I heard the space (Industria Argentina) was back on the market,” commented AT on this post about Max moving. I finally got hold of someone at Max, and he said it is indeed true. Max is staying put (although it is opening a Max about the same size in Williamsburg this summer).

First Wednesday with Brian Josselyn!

We had a big success of our First Wednesday!

Please j0in us for our next Art reception on June 6th!

Stay tuned for the details. -KM