Posts tagged ‘neighborhood’

What landmarks/streets/prepositions are in a name?

In New York city, there’s often several parts to a neighborhood’s name, which results in names from cute to completely obscure. Just consider:

SoHo – “south of Houston” Street

NoHo – “north of Houston” Street

Nolita – “north of Little Italy”

TriBeCa – the “triangle below Canal” Street’

DUMBO – “down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” which has a great story for how it was named and also has some great design destinations

BoCoCa – the combined area of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens, which has an Arts Festival happening this month

NoMad – “North of Madison Square Park,” which may or may not be named (depending on who you ask) and which is notorious for being the empty brown square on NYC cab maps

June 16’s daily design idea is what physical characteristics are included in the name for your neighborhood?

Photo Credits
Image by Wikimedia Commons user Quasipalm.


June 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

The season of stoops.

I just moved out of a neighborhood with almost no stoop life to one that’s full of it (and I definitely prefer it this way). As if that weren’t exciting enough, I recently discovered that Absolut Vodka is continuing their Cities Campaign through a new flavor: Absolut Brooklyn, and the campaign’s whole shtick is “Celebrating Brooklyn Stoop Life.”

via the Absolut Brooklyn (PDF) press release (June 3, 2010):

“Designed in collaboration with Spike Lee, the bottle is a colorful depiction of the stoop where the Brooklyn-bred auteur grew up – #165. Harkening back to the decades-long notion that the stoop is truly the epicenter of creativity, culture and community, the bottle serves as an homage to that Brooklyn ideal of stoop life – where memories are made and ideas are sparked through conversation and camaraderie. Other subtle nods include Brooklyn nicknames on the steps of the stoop and a line from a love letter to Brooklyn written by poet/actor Lemon Andersen. In addition, the Lars Olsson Smith seal, never before altered on the iconic ABSOLUT bottle, has been “Spiked” – Lars wears a baseball cap and glasses evocative of Spike Lee.”

Absolut Brooklyn ad.

The best part is that sales from Absolut Brooklyn will help Brooklyn (add Absolut to the list of companies that care):

“As part of ABSOLUT VODKA’s commitment to supporting the Brooklyn community, the brand is donating $50,000 of the profits from the sale of ABSOLUT BROOKLYN to Habitat for Humanity – New York City, an organization dedicated to transforming lives and the city by building quality, affordable homes for families in need. The funds will be dedicated to Habitat’s newest affordable homes project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, scheduled to be completed in 2011.”

June 10’s daily design idea is group traditions are frequently founded in place.

June 10, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

The mixed uses in DUMBO.

This post has been updated to reflect the closing of some businesses and to add a few new ones (thanks Nancy, for the insider info!)

Considering the diversity of goods and tenants in DUMBO’s history, it’s fitting that a range of designers and design retailers are now thriving in this neighborhood.  While I haven’t gotten to spend much time in DUMBO myself, I can tell I’ll be making several visits in the near future.

Some places in DUMBO (like powerHouse publishing) sell books. One place called Zakka sells books and lets you make things (like T-shirts) in their “Creator’s Market.” Through Neighborhoodies, you can design your own hoodie that gets made right there on Jay Street. TRUNK sells clothes, on top of furniture and accessories and sometimes art, just down the block. Journey is also in the “furniture and more” business, though these boutiques all exude a distinct personality. Similarly, spring sells a variety of design objects on top of producing full blown gallery shows. City Joinery (a personal favorite from BKLYN DESIGNS and ICFF earlier this year) calls DUMBO home, as do a number of furniture showrooms: Baxter and Liebschen specializes in Danish Modern, while Czech Kolektiv has Czech Modern covered. And whether or not you’ve ever needed a fancy hat, I do hope you’ll join me in discovering what Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute is all about.

One of our readers also suggests the following:
NOS Shoes for starters, as well as Half Pint Citizens and Pomme (both for the kids). Nancy also says “Dewey’s Candy is a real treat, and there a ton of tiny new pop-up stores in a new “Green Mall” next to ReBar (which is where you should get lunch while you’re here).”

June 6’s daily design idea is you can’t have too many design interests. So satiate them all in a neighborhood like DUMBO, where you can be inspired by dozens of incredible (and incredibly diverse) designs.

Photo by Flickr user PHAR AWAY

This post is part of the Brooklyn Discovery Guide produced by Daily Design Idea. Email us to have your neighborhood featured next!

June 6, 2010 at 10:18 am 3 comments

Walkable is the new Awesome.

The website lets you type in an address and get a score (from 0 to 100) for how “walkable” that address is. Some characteristics of a walkable neighborhood are availability of parks and public spaces, proximity of schools and coffee shops, and pedestrian-oriented planning. It’s not a perfect science, but it can definitely be a helpful layman’s tool. Something like Walk Score can also be helpful for checking if words like “walkability,” “new urbanism,” and “density-driven” are merely being used as buzz words in a new development’s PR campaign.

Even if walking isn’t your preferred mode of transportation, you should still be able to appreciate the value its availability adds to a neighborhood. Just ask David Sucher (author of City Comforts) or Michael E. Arth (the New Urban Cowboy).

May 4’s daily design idea is take advantage of the walkability in your neighborhood. The more people promote walking, the more opportunities will be provided for it in the future.

(By the way, my Walk Score is 98. What’s yours?)

May 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm 2 comments

Density and vertical farming, or New York meets New Hampshire.

I happened upon another good infographic in one of GOOD’s latest contests. This one is by Shane Keaney:

It presents some interesting thoughts. What if all Americans really did live super densely (the density of Brooklyn), in one tiny little state (the size of New Hampshire)? It’s interesting to me to think about being able to physically get to everybody in the country within the day without pre-planned travel. I wonder if the quality of landlords would be better or worse than they currently are in Brooklyn? I wonder what our accents would sound like (or if we’d even have any anymore)? I wonder how vacation habits would change?

I also wonder what would happen in terms of farming and food production… which got me thinking about a different post on GOOD that asked Could Manhattan Feed Manhattan? The video on this post, produced by The Why Factory, shows a gorgeous (silent) video rendering of the vertical space needed to produce all the food we consume on this island. One of the solutions: a 23-mile high vertical farming tower.

March 19’s design idea is consider the theoretical effects of large-scale population density on your everyday life. I’m honestly not sure if I’m for or against the idea of every American living in a New Hampshire-sized bubble. But I do think it would be pretty cool to have 650 feet of vertical farming on my roof.

March 19, 2010 at 10:34 pm 2 comments

Geography and dating.

For most people, geography is an important part of dating. People’s opinions fall all across the map – pun intended! – when it comes to having long distance relationships or how far your willing to travel regularly for dates. In New York, a person’s closest subway lines can definitely play a part their perceived “date-ability”. In a recent GOOD magazine infographic competition, one guy submitted an analysis of his neighborhood in a humorous attempt to figure out why his love life isn’t better:

infographic by Kyle Pfister

Let’s all hope that Kyle’s game improves! In the mean time, March 17’s daily design idea is how does geography relate to the way you date? Or on a broader scale, what does your neighborhood have to do with the non-geographic parts of your life?

March 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

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