Am Illustrated Guide to NYC’s Architectural Styles

Few places are as comfortable with architectural variety as New York, a city that has always reinvented itself, but never thrown away its past. As a result, it boasts one of the liveliest mixes of structures in the world, many of which are marquee examples of their eras. 

Here are 15 of the Big Apple’s many building styles, covering the course of more than 300 years. (And that’s not even including today’s design movements, which we’re still trying to figure out.…) [full article]

Landmark Theaters Selects Hell’s Kitchen

So very excited to see that Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theater chain has selected to locate a new state-of-the art independent film multiplex in Hell’s Kitchen, Mid-town West, Manhattan. This appeals to me as a long time resident of the neighborhood and as a filmmaker, marketer and distributor of independent film.  It’s always great to see investment in independently produced content and the audiences that support it.   Take a look.  I cannot wait for the opening!

Silvercup Studios Expands to Bronx

Silvercup Studios

PORT MORRIS, The Bronx — A Queens based film and television studio opened up its third city location Wednesday in the Bronx.

Silvercup Studios– home to “Sex and the City,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “Girls” – built the $35 million studio complex to meet the needs of New York’s film industry. In 2006, only nine TV shows were based in New York City, but more than 30 film in the city now, according to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting.

“Silvercup Studios is a great New York success story, whose growth and strength parallels everything going on in the Bronx right now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This expansion will help create hundreds of good-paying jobs, generating millions of dollars to local businesses and further build upon New York’s booming film industry.”



Living in Hell’s Kitchen NYC

NY Times Hells Kitchen

Living in Hell’s Kitchen (HK) in New York City over 23 years, I’ve seen the neighborhood change dramatically.  So, when I saw this feature piece on HK in the New York Times, I was thrilled.  As the New York Times points out, many residents affectionately call the area “Hell’s Kitchen” vs. Clinton or MiMA which officials and developers concocted to polish up the area’s seedier past.  No matter what you call it, you won’t find a more diverse, energetic, creative, tolerant and entertaining neighborhood in all of New York City.   And for all you foodies out there, HK’s is home to the international food festival held each Spring on 9th Avenue reflected by the many reasonably priced restaurants and food merchants featuring food from every corner of the globe.  If you’re not already here, you really should check it out.  If you’re interested in buying or renting here, give me a call and I’ll show you some great spots you can call home.   Check out the NY Times video on HK!  

Treasures of New York – Stanford White


I’m obsessed with the stories of New York City and passionate about architecture, so there was no way I could avoid discovering Stanford White who transformed New York City in the Gilded Age.  He was one of the most prominent architects of the 19th and 20th Century, larger than life, a genius, and quite eccentric … his story is a New York story. Dick Cavet hosts an episode of the marvelous WNET series  “Treasures of New York” featuring the life and work of Stanford White. You won’t want to miss this.  [Sotheby’s International Realty]


In Case of Fire Use Stairs


In case of fire use stairs


Very recently, I experienced first-hand a spectacular and unfortunately tragic high rise condo fire where I live in New York City for 22 years now.  It was always a dream of mine to live in a New York City high rise, to have a skyline view on a high floor.  I love it and I’ve always felt perfectly safe where I live and I still do,  even more so now actually.   You’d think otherwise after a 3-alarm fire was ablaze almost right above my head just one floor up and one unit over, right?  My partner and I got out quickly and safely and we’re well on our way to recovering from any material loss, damage repairs, etc.  We were shaken up a lot.  We are fortunate.  Unfortunately, we lost a promising young resident which compels me to share this story.


In addition to being a long time resident, I’m  a board member of the condo association so I’ve attended the emergency late night meetings, I’ve talked with our amazing NYC firefighters and officials, I spoken with residents/neighbors who have questions or who just want to share their personal survival story.  This whole experience has opened my eyes to some very important information that I feel must be shared about what do and not to do in a high rise residential fire as so many owners and renters do not take the information they are provided seriously or even read it.   As real estate professionals, I feel it’s important for us to impress upon our buyers and renters to be prepared, read the safety instructions provided no matter if they’re living one floor up or 90.  This information saves lives.  How we naturally react to a fire seems so very common sense and our instincts kick in to flee.  Surprisingly much of what we think is correct, turns out to be potentially harmful in a residential high rise and, as in my building’s case, fatal.

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  • Know your building.  Is it fireproof constructed?   Mine was and it worked!  A 3 alarm blazing fire burned close to 2 hours without breaching the walls, floor or ceiling.  Remarkable.  The apartment next door never saw a flame.  A real life saver.
  • Where are the alarms located, exits/stairwells in your building?  Know this.
  • Stay calm.  Firefighters will tell this is the key difference between life and death.
  • Heading down the stairs is usually not a good idea especially if the fire is below you as stairwells can become chimneys quickly (confused further by elevator signs that say “In case of fire, use stairs”).
  • If there fire is in your unit, make sure everyone is out, get out, close the door behind you even if you think it’s self closing.  This keeps the smoke inside and deprives the fire of oxygen.  Pull the fire alarm!  Knock on neighbor’s doors on your floor and alert them.
  • Read your specific building’s fire safety instructions!  You’d be amazed at how most people do not read and know them or know that they are provided this information with their annual window guard forms in most cases.
  • Call 911, stay in your apartment, wet towels under door, wait for instructions if there’s a fire in your building and you see smoke in the hallway.  A fireman will come get you, if necessary.  911 will call you back with any instructions.  I’m told in a fireproof constructed high rise building, you’re always safest in your own unit where you can maintain some control of your situation.  Think about it.   In your apartment, you can get air from window, go out on a balcony, call 911 vs. being in a smoke filled hallway where you may not be able to see or breath with no where to go, no options. We would not have lost a resident if this had been followed by the two gentleman who tried to escape and lived some 20 floor above the fire. The status of the surviving partner is serious as he remains unconscious.   He has no knowledge that his husband and their two dogs have died.  

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NYC Through The Mad Men Lens



The term “Madison Avenue” became identified with the American advertising industry after the explosive growth in the area in the 1920s.  Today many associate it with the hip and mod 1960’s crowd as glamorized in the hit AMC TV drama “Mad Men” complete with skinny ties, cigarettes and Martini lunches. Today’s realty is that along with the cigarettes and booze, the major ad agencies no longer mainly reside on the famed avenue itself but rather headquarter their digital image spinning wizards of selling all across the City from SoHo to TriBeCa to (gasp) the far West side (Ogilvy).  One thing is for sure, advertising is still uniquely associated with NYC (like Broadway) and the term “Madison Avenue” is firmly planted in minds around the world.





I thought it would be interesting to see how NYC itself is portrayed in advertising so I did a bit of a search and came up with a few fun clips of local and national ads going back to the 1960s to today starting with a fun long form ad created for the 1964 Worlds Fair sponsored by Sinclair gas (I still don’t understand why we’re not living in cities that look like the Jetsons that they envisioned a half century ago!).  Check out the futuristic vision of the world complete with corporate sponsored pavilions (how many you can spot?). Some of my other favorites are the ads for “the lullaby of Broadway” for the Milford Plaza Hotel (about to relaunch completely renovated) and, of course, the world recognized and iconic “I Love NY” ads , a PSA to clean up NY and a fun 5BoroNYC ads featuring NYC filmed on skateboards.




Factoid: According to “The Emergence of Advertising in America” by the year 1861 there were twenty advertising agencies in New York City.

Give me a call for a market review of your home or if you’re looking to buy.  I’m All About New York.



Busting Open The Closet for Charity

Nobody appreciates a good pair of shoes like a real estate agent in NYC – we pound the hard pavement everyday to make the sale happen for our clients. Nice shoes make a big difference in this town but not everyone can afford them, especially if you’re just starting out. To help, FENWICK KEATS Real Estate has partnered with Bottomless Closet for our first ever shoe drive. So ladies, bust out those shoes still in the box that you’ve never worn or have barely worn and bring them over to our Greenwich Village office starting 12/4. Bottomless Closet NYC is a very special organization (especially to me since my gal pal Angelina Lippert is a major force there). They make a real difference for disadvantaged New York City women seeking employment and wanting to be successful. Flats, straps, heels, toes, no toes, bring it! You know you got ’em!
#BOTTOMLESSCLOSET  [ link to opening invite – must rsvp ]