«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Hudson Heights

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today this article is exceptionally written in the first person because I personally invite you to follow me to my neighborhood: Hudson Heights. I am Rachel Brunet and I am the director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York. I’m telling you about this little-known neighborhood, maybe because it’s hidden away, up there in Manhattan …

A family-friendly neighborhood

I moved to Hudson Heights in January 2019. A neighborhood that I had absolutely no knowledge of and which, over time, has completely conquered me. Basically, it was the rent prices that drove me to move north to Manhattan. Admittedly, an apartment of over 100 square meters and three bedrooms for less than $ 3,000 does not leave room for too long a reflection. Especially when the express metro is almost right downstairs of your building.

Station 175. “It’s far away,” some friends told me, “it all depends on where you are going,” I retorted. I quickly realized that in less than 40 minutes, I was still connecting my daily destinations. So, no, it’s not too far away. And frankly, in 2020 it was far from nothing …

Hudson Heights is a neighborhood that stretches from George Washington Bridge – itself located at 178th Street – to Fort Tryon. And from the Hudson River to Broadway. A small, secluded haven in Washington Heights, between the Hudson River and Fort Tryon. From street to street, English gives way to Spanish, the official language of this Hispanic neighborhood of Washington Heights. But in Hudson Heights, everything changes. As elsewhere in the city, this district is a joyous melting pot of communities. There are Americans, and many communities from Eastern Europe. There is also a strong community of the Jewish faith. In the course of my urban wanderings, I often come across an image that sends me back to France. Most of the buildings here were built in the 1930s, and some are Art Deco inspired. It reminds me of Boulogne-Billancourt, just at the entrance to the Bois. On Pinehurst Avenue, across from Bennett Park, Hudson View Garden. A residential complex. Inside, small alleys, well-tended grass, a pond with large fish, a flower garden. Absolute serenity. Architecture brings me back to Trouville-sur-Mer. Half-timbering is everywhere.

181st Street is the street for restaurants. Japanese, Italian, Thai, American, there is something for everyone and the prices are very affordable. There is really something for everyone too since there is even Café Bark, a cafe for our four-legged friends … New York will always be New York. On the 181, I have my little habits, between the Thai restaurant Tung Thong 181 and the Japanese restaurant Sushi Yu, my heart is still swinging. Not to mention Le Chéile and its superb pink terrace reminiscent of the Canal Saint Martin. Eight streets to the north, another spot for restaurants and shops. Here again, I’m used to it. Fresco’s Pizza, the best in New York according to my son or Kismat, the Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. But also, my little Ozzie’s supermarket. And hold on tight, I’m constantly discovering French products that are much cheaper than elsewhere in Manhattan. Jams, pains au chocolat, baguettes, brie, this shiny supermarket is my Ali Baba cave.

A little further up 187th Street, an exceptional wine shop, Vines on Pine, with a large selection of wines from all countries. The owner’s joke: tell me “have a good one, kid!”

Manhattan’s highest point

When I think of my neighborhood, I think “up” or “down”. And it’s not for nothing. In Bennet Park, nestled between 183rd and 185th Streets, is a treasure, little known to New Yorkers: Manhattan’s tallest natural point. 265 feet above sea level, the level of the Statue of Liberty torch. Suffice to say that it goes up and that it goes down. What a surprise the first time I found myself at the bottom of the long staircase to 181st Street. For a few seconds, I couldn’t tell if I was in New York or Montmartre.

Bennett Park is the meeting place for parents and children from this very family-friendly neighborhood, but also for older people who come to catch a ray of sunshine in the spring or a little cooler in the summer. It is not uncommon to see a group of musicians there, residents of the neighborhood. Their voices mingle with the cries of the children, each day a little more numerous. A little happier. For the record, this park is built on the site of the old Fort Washington where the Continental Army routed the British troops in 1776.

My pleasure in this area: take Cabrini Boulevard and go up to Fort Tryon. I walk along Birds of Cabrini Woods Nature Sanctuary. The wood is located at the southwest corner of Fort Tryon. A natural sanctuary, it is a favorite spot for bird watching and stunning views of the Hudson and Palisades across the river.

Cabrini boulevard ends at the entrance to Fort Tryon, a veritable urban forest that is home to The Cloisters, but not only! Coyotes, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, snakes, bees, butterflies, and thousands of squirrels share this vast 27 hectare land, in addition to 81 species of birds, including hummingbirds and hawks. At the entrance to Fort Tryon, Heather Garden – many times voted the city’s finest garden – a pathway overgrown with flowers and shrubs, 60 meters above the Hudson. In summer, I often see hummingbirds there … My little piece of paradise …

In a few weeks, I’ll be leaving this neighborhood, life taking me further down in Manhattan, but still near a park. I won’t tell you which one …

Experts Discuss – Hudson Heights

Rental market:

As of January 2021, the average rent for an apartment in Hudson Heights is $1,600 for one bedroom, $2,500 for two bedrooms and $2,995 for a three bedroom apartment.

Sales market:

In December 2020, across Hudson Heights, the median asking price of sellers for available properties was $590,000, up about 3% year-on-year to $672/square foot. The median recorded final sale price is $780,000. This difference is mainly explained by the low number of transactions as a result of the Covid period, which significantly slowed the market in 2020 and therefore reduced the reference sample.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Turtle Bay

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore Turtle Bay — a district located in Midtown East, with Lidia Del Pozo, Senior Business Development Officer, VP at Bank of the West BNP Paribas Wealth Management. She tells us about the neighborhood she has lived in for over a year with her family.

Portrait de Lidia, portant une vest bleu canard et un top blanc, assise dans son appartement de Turtle Bay.
Lidia Del Pozo in her apartment in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

Lepetitjournal.com New York : You live in Turtle Bay. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

The reason I decided to live here is not for the neighborhood itself, but especially for its location in Manhattan. Before moving to New York with my husband and daughter, we took just five days to decide on the neighborhood and apartment we would live in. The Turtle Bay neighborhood stood out for us because of its central location in the city. We thought that it would be the best way to be close to all the city’s points of interest. The other reason, which confirmed our choice, was the proximity of my workplace. Indeed, I work for BNP Paribas Wealth Management which is also located in Midtown, and therefore a few blocks away from home.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

I would say that this neighborhood doesn’t have just one identity. I would be unable to say if this is a residential area only or an office district or an embassy district. Turtle Bay is a bit of everything at the same time: there is simultaneously a neighborhood life, with its small local shops, its small bars and restaurants, nurseries, playgrounds, but also an office district, therefore very lively Monday to Friday, with a lot of people in the streets very early in the morning and during lunch breaks. And in this mixed landscape sits the headquarters of the United Nations and a few embassies that revolve around this majestic building, the most beautiful in the city, in my opinion. Obviously, when General Assemblies take place, the district takes on a new face. The district is then under very strict protection and becomes a little locked down and paralyzed. These few days are not very pleasant but not unlivable either. The organization is quite impressive!

And it’s exciting! That’s what makes this district extremely lively and international.

Rue du quartier, avec des voitures stationnées devant des petites maisons mitoyennes de ville presque symétriques, une à la façade blanc crème et une autre jaune vif.
A street in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

You live near the United Nations Headquarters, where French is one of the official working languages. Do we hear Molière’s language a lot in the streets of Turtle Bay?

Yes, indeed, French is a language that’s heard very regularly on the sidewalks, between two colleagues who go to their office at the United Nations, who we can easily identify in the street because they very often wear their access badge to the building around their neck; or the families I meet when I go to the playground with my daughter, for example. There are a lot of francophones in Turtle Bay. To give a fairly representative example, at the nursery my daughter attends, in her class, out of 10 students, 4 come from French-speaking families! Being able to speak French is of course very practical, especially at first, and always a good way to create new relationships very quickly, although it makes me practice my English less.

Your favorite places in Turtle Bay?

One of my favorite places in my neighborhood is probably the Grand Central Market, which is located on the grounds of Grand Central Station itself. It is a single alley where we find a succession of small stands who offer fresh and good quality products. Despite the fact that it is indoor, the atmosphere is close to that of a traditional market and the merchants are very nice. What I love most about this neighborhood is the fact that it is right on the East River. I am lucky to have a nice river view from my apartment and to be able to witness some really beautiful sunrises. Simple walks along the river are very pleasant and a bit of a change of scenery from the urban, city life.

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

I am not an expert in the real estate market, however what I can say intuitively when it comes to renting, yes it is a neighborhood that I recommend, because it is good to live and as I already have mentioned, it is ideally located in Manhattan to discover the city. Among the other reasons, the proximity to the river, the security and safety brought by the presence of the United Nations headquarters and finally, the very cosmopolitan aspect of the neighborhood. Regarding the purchase of a property, I would evoke the same motivations with the addition of the fact that it is a neighborhood quite popular with expats working at the United Nations, therefore with a certain demand on the market.

If you had to describe Turtle Bay in three words? 

If I had to describe Turtle Bay in three words, I would say that it is lively district, a very cosmopolitan district and therefore conducive to meetings and a multi-faceted district where personal and professional lives mingle.

Vue sur la la skyline de Manhattan au coucher du soleil depuis la rivière.

Experts Discuss – Turtle Bay

Rental market:

In March 2021, the median rent for an apartment in Turtle Bay was $ 2,200 for a studio (-40% over one year), $ 3,200 for one bedroom (flat), $ 4,000 for two bedrooms (-20%) and $ 6,200 for three bedrooms (+ 24%).

Sales market:

At the end of Q4 2020, across Turtle Bay as a whole, the median asking asking price of sellers stood at $ 950k (when the Manhattan average is $ 1M) showing a significant increase in the order of 20% over one year with $ 1,207 / square foot and around sixty transactions over the quarter.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the Upper East Side

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore the Upper East Side, with JC Agid, founder of 37EAST, a media and development consulting agency in the United States, Mexico and France.

View of the sky between skyscrapers in the Upper east Side in New York.

Rachel Brunet for Le Petit Journal New York: You live in the Upper East Side. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

JC Agid : by chance, of course, on a September day years ago. During my first stay in New York, last-minute trip decided in less than 48 hours, with one week to fill between the end of my studies and my job in Bry-sur-Marne. I was waiting on the sidewalk of a street on the Upper East Side, not far from Central Park, for the arrival of a family that a Parisian friend had introduced to me by phone to put me up for two or three nights. I returned two years later to New York and with the exception of one year spent on 113th Street in the Columbia University neighborhood and another at the top of a soulless tower at the intersection of Central Park North and West, I ended up always living in the Upper East Side.

But I moved to different floors, different horizons too. After having lived for a long time in an apartment in one of those little townhouses that line the peaceful streets to the west of the Upper East, a paradise for mice and either boiling hot or icy showers, I settled on the top floor of a huge apartment building near the East River. In front of me, an ambitious view, gigantic even, with the Carlyle, the treetops of Central Park, Columbus Circle, Times Square and New Jersey in constant spectacle.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

The atmosphere ? That of a district without tourists, of a tidy, almost monotonous city. We live in Yorkville, but we don’t visit it. There are little shops here and there, faces that we meet every day, stories that we share. But we are far from the charm of the neighborhoods of Carnegie Hill or Morningside Heights. There is in Yorkville a strange and family quietness and calm brought by the surrounding schools.

You live near the French High school (Lycée Français). Do we hear Molière’s language a lot in the UES?

Like everywhere in New York, you hear all kinds of languages, and sometimes English. Many French families live near the LFNY (French High school of New York) and the high school students a very particular sound bring to this district. This is not a neighborhood where you can show off, on the contrary, you would almost tend to hide there.

Your favorite places, your good places to go or maybe even your habits?

Photo of a warm croissant sitting on a black and white magazine with a creamy coffee, at a coffee shop table.

Les Frenchies, on 75th Street, between York Ave and FDR, the door next to LFNY, for croissants, is the best in town along with another bakery on 78th Street. But in addition to croissants and pains au chocolat, quiches and coffee éclairs, I meet the boss Michèle Saint Laurent and her partner, Aksana Ivaniuk there. All my friends spend some time there with their children at all hours of the day. More than a bakery with its terrace, Les Frenchies has become the small French grocery store in the neighborhood. There is always a smiling, family and happy atmosphere. Les Frenchies are the heart of my discreet village. This has no price. The best address in the neighborhood.

There was another cafe too, with a more American feel, but this one, Beanocchio’s, was an economic victim of Covid19 and closed permanently. I liked its provincial atmosphere.

On 76th Street, almost at the corner of 1st Avenue, Jones Wood Foundry for a long drink at the bar and remake the world with friends.

A little further, Mission Ceviche on Second Avenue and 72nd Street, arguably one of the best restaurants in the area. Right next door, La Esquina and its tacos whose ambiance projects me into the streets of Coyoacan in Mexico City, the village of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Picture of inside a traditional bookstore with walls covered with colorful used books, and a table in front full of books as well.

I also love this tiny — and it’s already a big word — Saturday morning market on 82nd Street between York and 1st Avenue, as long as you are particularly patient in these times of social distancing. A few meters away, on York Avenue, I often stop at the butcher Ottomanelli, thanks to whom I was able to cook veal paupiettes during a full lockdown; a little further up York, I sometimes go to Dorian’s for the pleasures of the sea and holey wallets, and across the street, above all, is the Logos Bookstore, an old-fashioned bookstore — of the resistance itself — where the smell of books and wood dominate, the perfect place to hang out or search for a gift that the owner will wrap for you, a rarity in New York.

Around 3rd Avenue and 76th Street, another butcher faces Sables, the ideal address if you like smoked salmon and bagel brunches. For Sushi fans, Sushi of Gary on 78th between York and First Avenue is renowned for being one of the best in town. Finally, Sotheby’s on 72nd and York Avenue gives a little importance and vanity to these remote streets of the city.

Is this a neighborhood that you would recommend for those who want to buy or rent a place?

It’s up to everyone to make a decision, depending on the New York they are looking for… As far as I’m concerned, my exclusive atmosphere is this exceptional view, at dawn when the sun is reflected on the windows of Manhattan, at the end of the day of course, and at night , when the city seeks sleep in vain.

Each block has its own style and just above 79th is East End Avenue, a bourgeois destination for celebrities seeking discretion.

The Q train, the recent subway line on Second Avenue, brings this neighborhood, sometimes considered the start of a suburb, closer to the rest of Manhattan. Union Square is less than 30 minutes and Carnegie Hall 20 minutes.
 

If you had to describe the Upper East Side in three words?

Chic and unassuming on the Central Park side. Discreet and ambitious along the East River.

View of the Upper East Side from above, with part of Central park showing on the left, and the NYC northern skyline.

Experts Discuss – the Upper East Side

Rental market:

In January 2021, the median rent for an apartment on the Upper East Side was $ 1,900 for a studio (-16% over one year), $ 2,404 for one bedroom (-11%), $ 3,300 for two bedrooms (-2% ) and $ 6,000 for three bedrooms (-4%).

Sales market:

In December 2020, across the Upper East Side, the median asking price of sellers stood at $ 1.4M, down around 2% year-on-year to $ 1,300 / square foot. On the other hand, the recorded sale price is $ 1.1M given the negotiations related to the Covid-19 pandemic in this uncertain context. Note that condos held up more with a median asking price of $ 1.7M for an actual sale price of $ 1.622,000.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

25 Park Row at 34B takes over RENTCafé blog

Take a look at the article about our latest luxury rental listing, unit 34B at 25 Park Row, by RENTCafé blog, introducing you to this magnificent brand new, never lived-in, grand 2 (Convertible 3)-Bedroom and 3.5-Bathroom residence.

Take a seat and get lost in the majestic views from this brand new, never lived-in, grand 2(Convertible 3)-Bedroom 3.5-Bathroom residence at 25 Park Row, the luxury condominium building with the best views of the historic City Hall, Woolworth Building, Manhattan skyline, and the Hudson River, on the border of FiDi and Tribeca in the New Downtown.

Residents may enjoy a 24/7 attended lobby with concierge, and access to a massive Park Row Club, overlooking City Hall Park, including a reading room with fireplace, a private dining area, a 65’ swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa treatment room, yoga and meditation studios, a playroom and a great lawn with outdoor dining terrace.

Read the article:

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the Lower East Side

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “ New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore the Lower East Side, the “LES”, with Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, co-founder of the Chelsea Film Festival, the 8th edition of which will take place from October 15 to 18, 2020.

Yesterday a neighborhood still seen as the dedicated place for immigrants, the poor, tramps and junkies. Today, a chic district, where we party, though perhaps a little less in this era of Covid pandemic. Time and history have shaped the face of the Lower East Side. In New York’s history, the Lower East Side is the “Gateway of America”. It is through this district that the immigrants would arrived the promised land. These narrow streets have seen every wave of migrants fleeing their countries. Moreover, the Tenement Museum, the district’s recognizable symbol, is a real dive into the lives of these families who put their last hope into heading to a new, unknown world. In this constantly evolving district, cultures overlap and mingle. The neighborhood’s heart beats between Allen in the West and Essex in the East, East Houston in the North and Canal in the South.

Le Petit Journal New York : You live in the Lower East Side neighborhood. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

Ingrid Jean-Baptiste : When I arrived in New York in 2010, I moved to Chelsea, which I really like. For the past few years, I have lived in the Lower East Side, which has a very special history. It is in this district that thousands of people immigrated to when they arrived from Europe at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century: Ireland, Germany, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Romania Hungary … There is a real “neighborhood life”, like you can find in Paris or in other European cities, which is appreciable. I was quickly won over by the architecture and ” human-sized” buildings (laughs).

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

The LES, as it is called here, is very pleasant on weekdays, as there is very little traffic. There are many art galleries, unusual restaurants. It is still one of the only neighborhoods in Manhattan which has remained authentic, with very few large retailers, which is becoming increasingly rare in New York. What makes it alive is the intermingling of cultures, which is much more present in South Manhattan than in the rest of the city.

What the community like on the Lower East Side?

The population of LES is made up of different Chinese, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Jewish, Italian origins, due to the many waves of immigration, which makes the area very nice. The district has become, over the years, very trendy, with its art galleries, small shops, restaurants and bars.

Your favorite places, and good places to go?

Mel Bakery, Essex Market, Ludlow House, Whipped Urban Dessert Lab, Bario Chino, Caffe Vita, Petisco Vegano

Is this a neighborhood that you would recommend for those who want to buy or rent a place?

Yes, definitely both options.

If you had to describe the Lower East Side in 3 words?

Authentic, Vibrant, Artistic.

EXPERTS DISCUSS – Lower East Side

RENTAL MARKET:

In August 2020, in buildings with a doorman, the studio found an average buyer at $ 2,900 per month, the 1 bedroom apartments at $ 3,800, the 2 bedrooms at $ 5,450. Without doorman, the rents are then respectively $ 2,350 (studio), $ 2,500 (1 bedroom) and $ 3,100 (2 bedroom).

SALES MARKET:

In the second quarter of 2020, the effects of Covid-19 were felt strongly in this neighborhood, since the number of transactions fell by more than 65% to around thirty. The indicators should therefore be taken with great caution. The latter still indicate a median price of $ 1,728 / sqft (-11% over one year), a median transaction price of $ 1M (-20%), slightly above the median price for the entire Manhattan ( $ 989k, or -25%).

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring TriBeCa

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore TriBeCaTRIangle BElow CAnal Street with Séverine Cohen, Co-founder of the website “Frenchy Moms” and of the Facebook group “Parents of New York and New Jersey”. She tells us about her neighborhood of TriBeCa, on the edge of two other neighborhoods, Battery Park and Financial District.

You live in TriBeCa. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

We left Paris with our two children, very young at the time, almost 8 years ago. After several trips and long exploratory walks around New York City, I happened to find myself in lower Manhattan and discovered this neighborhood. I fell in love with TriBeCa straight away. I am Parisian, I wanted to live in a neighborhood on a human scale with small streets, small shops, green spaces and a real community, I found my happiness in TriBeCa.

You live in TriBeCa, but you feel like you live in three different neighborhoods. Can you explain to us why, when you live in TriBeCa, you also live in Battery Park and in the Financial District?

Oddly, my building has three different entrances and three different addresses: TriBeCa, Financial District, and Battery Park. My daily trips and commute are made in those three districts. My older daughter goes to school in the Financial District, my other daughter goes to school in TriBeCa, and we end our days in Battery Park for play dates. It is very easy to move from one neighborhood to another by walking, and sometimes we even can’t tell the difference between the three neighborhoods. To live in TriBeCa, for me, is to live in three neighborhoods at the same time.

How is life in this neighborhood, its atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

TriBeCa is like a small village full of families with children of all ages, we all know each other: the hairdresser, the ice cream parlor, the local deli, the families … I like being able to say hello to people I know and meet in the street just like in Europe.

You are a mom. How is life with children and a family at TriBeCA? Are there many families?

There are a lot of families with older, younger children, strollers … We like to call TriBeCa the “diaper district”. There are families all over the world. There are no French schools, but in my youngest daughter’s American public school, there is an “after school” program in French. For families, there is a huge choice of children’s activities, gardens, dance lessons, music, swimming, and even a center where families can meet.

You are the co-founder of the group “Parents of New York and New Jersey” as well as the founder of the website “French Mums”. What are your mom’s addresses in your neighborhood? What about wife’s addresses?

I am the co-founder of the group “Frenchy Parents de New York et du New Jersey” with Capucine de Marliave, a mother who lives in Battery Park and whom I met a few years ago while shopping with the children at J.Crew. This really tells you how friendly this neighborhood is! We created this Facebook group to exchange views and opinions between French-speaking families in New York and New Jersey as well as a website with all our family-friendly addresses, in French and in English.

My favorite places in the neighborhood: Bonjour Kiwi for the youngest children with great activities in French. Le District, the supermarket with French products to enjoy a pastry by the water. The Ever After store to dress the children. I love spending time at Target just down the road from where I live and Century 21 to find bargains. I also like to relax in a spa at Air Ancien Bath.

Tell us about where you live, what attracted you, what do you like about your apartment?

Like I said, my building has three addresses. It’s a very tall building but weirdly we almost all know each other. I love the view of the Hudson River, it makes me feel like I’m not living in a big city and taking a break.

As a Frenchwoman, do you find a little European side to this district through the inhabitants, the shops, the schools?

What I love about TriBeCa is that everything is on a human scale: shops, schools, businesses. Of course, my building is big, but around me there are a lot of small red brick buildings and small townhouses. The schools are also very European with playgrounds like in France. I love talking to the people in my neighborhood: they all have an accent like me and a story to tell.

Your favorite places in TriBeCa?

In the summer, I enjoy taking a walk by the water in Battery Park, biking with the kids. Fetch food from the Food Court at Brookfield Place and land on the lawns of Battery Park. In the winter, I like to have a family brunch while listening to jazz music at the Roxy Hotel. I also like to walk around the Westfield Mall during the holidays, the decorations there are magical.

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

If you can buy or rent, go for it! TriBeCa is a super endearing neighborhood, I found a real little family there.

How did you manage the quarantine and lockdown in your neighborhood? Does being by the water and in a ventilated neighborhood give you a feeling of security when you are in the midst of a health crisis?

I have always felt safe in TriBeCa. People are very responsible, and everyone in the building wears a mask. I walked around Battery Park to get some fresh air, people were, and still are, very respectful of social distancing and preventive measures and wearing masks.

The TriBeCa neighborhood suffered a lot after September 11, but it has recovered. Next to the 9/11 pools, I love looking at the Oculus Calatrava which represents a bird in flight. I am sure that after the Covid-19 crisis, this district will recover as well as after September 11. New York is strong!

To conclude, what if you had to describe TriBeCa in three words?

Village-like, family-friendly, calm!

EXPERTS DISCUSS – TriBeCa

Rental Market: With an average monthly rent of $ 5,607 TriBeCa rents out much more than the Manhattan average ($ 4,208 / month). TriBeCa’s rent is 33% higher than the Manhattan average. As of June 2020, the average rent for an apartment in Tribeca was $ 3,618 for a studio, $ 4,714 for one bedroom, $ 6,976 for two bedrooms, and $ 9.397 for three bedrooms. The rent for apartments in TriBeCa has decreased by -3.0% over the past year.

Sales Market: In Q1 2020, the median selling price stood at $ 3.337,000, down 25% from a year ago. There were a total of 59 transactions, down 13% from the first quarter of last year. The median price per square foot was $ 1,716, a decrease of -13% year-over-year. In the first quarter, the median Manhattan selling price was $ 1,060,000. TriBeCa stays one of New York’s most desirable neighborhoods.

EXPERTS DISCUSS – Battery Park

Rental Market: With an average monthly rent of $ 5,605, Battery Park rents much more than the Manhattan average ($ 4,208 / month). Battery Park rent is 33% higher than the Manhattan average. In June 2020, the average rent for an apartment in Battery Park was $ 2,681 for a studio, $ 3,585 for one bedroom, $ 5,574 for two bedrooms, and $ 8,264 for three bedrooms. Rent for apartments in Battery Park has fallen by -6.1% over the past year.

Sales Market: In Q1 2020, the median selling price stood at $ 960,000, down 29% year-over-year. A total of 25 homes were sold, which is only a -3% difference from year to year. The median price per square foot in the first quarter was $ 1,254, a -15% year-over-year change. In Manhattan, the median selling price was $ 1,060,000 over the same period.

EXPERTS DISCUSS – Financial District

Rental Market: With an average monthly rent of $ 4,142 Financial District rents less than the Manhattan average ($ 4,208 / month). The Financial District rent is 2% lower than the Manhattan average. As of June 2020, the average rent for an apartment in the Financial District was $ 3,061 for a studio, $ 3,878 for a bedroom, $ 5,516 for two bedrooms and $ 8,068 for three rooms. Rent for apartments in the financial district has fallen by -2.8% over the past year.

Sales Market: In Q1 2020, the median selling price was $ 999,000, a -2% year-over-year change. A total of 69 properties changed hands, up 15% from the same month last year. In the first quarter, the median price per square foot was $ 1,103, a change of -4% year-on-year. The median selling price of homes in Manhattan was $ 1M.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the Upper West Side

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore the Upper West Side with the sculptor Gaelle Hintzy-Marcel who has lived there for four years with her husband, Laurent, and their three children.

You’ve lived in the Upper West Side for four years. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

Clearly, what initially appealed to us was the proximity to Central Park above all, but also to Riverside Park. Another reason why we chose this neighborhood was to be close to our children’s schools; and not too far away by subway from Colombus Circle, where I work, and Chelsea, where my husband works.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

For us, the Upper West Side is above all a green and quiet neighborhood. Traffic is less intense there than elsewhere, and it is rare, except when we are on Broadway, to hear sirens! We overlook a green corridor between two streets, and it is the singing of birds that wakes us up in the morning.

The Upper West Side is bustling with a plethora of family-friendly, casual, and sometimes a bit trendy restaurants. A multitude of bars and cafes too. People stroll in the evening mainly on Amsterdam and Colombus Avenue to go out, settle on the terraces in summer. The sidewalks are wide and traffic is rarely heavy, the atmosphere is relaxed. There are all kinds of deli shops, including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Grestedes, Agostino or Fairway. There aren’t many clothing stores, to find them you would have to go south of the Natural History Museum or on Broadway.

There is a real neighborhood atmosphere, warm, between the florist who also serves cafes – Plantshed – the cafe that serves macaroons – Macarons Parlor – and the Upper West Side Yoga And Wellness yoga center which has created and brought together a real community of very diverse and positive people in the neighborhood.

You are a mom. How is life with kids and family on the Upper West Side? Are there many families?

Life is very pleasant with children there. Proximity to green spaces, calm but also safety. Even young children go to school on their own. The neighborhood is regularly crisscrossed around schools by parents’ associations to ensure safety when leaving schools. There are seldom concerns.

The restaurants are kids friendly, there is even an educational toy store – West Side Kids in Amsterdam on 84th Street. There are also many schools, public and private, there are two French-English bilingual public schools. PS84 Elementary School and Lafayette Academy Middle School. Therefore, many French families have settled in the neighborhood. For children, proximity to the Natural History Museums and New York Historical Society is a must.

For extra-curricular activities, in addition to those offered by schools, there are two famous football clubs, the famous West Side Soccer League, very family-friendly, which offers tournaments run by parents on a voluntary basis, but also the famous Manhattan Soccer Club with bus departures for training just in front of the Upper 90 football store in Amsterdam. There are also plenty of outdoor tennis opportunities in Central Park and Riverside Park, with adult and children’s memberships that are really affordable.

You are an artist. Can you show us this neighborhood with your own words? Is this a neighborhood that inspires you?

In fact, I like the peace, the birds, the greenery and the neighborhood life. I love to walk around the Reservoir in Central Park, and admire the view of the San Remo, a beautiful building with two sister towers that is located in Central Park West. This sight has a special resonance for me, because the San Remo looks strangely like several buildings that we used to see when we lived in Moscow. At the end of the day, when night falls, the view from the north of the Great Lawn, in Central Park, on the midtown skyline is very photogenic. But my favorite corner in Central Park is located on the 86th, at Arthur Ross Pinetum with its pine scents and many birds. It is a great place to do outdoor yoga. Between Columbia and Lincoln Center, the Upper West Side has a little nerd-bohemian side! During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were even small impromptu concerts, groups of musicians of all ages and styles setting up on their doorsteps to give mini-concerts on Sundays to the applause of 7 p.m. This neighborhood inspires me yes!

Can you describe where you live, what attracted you, what you like about your apartment?

I live on 88th Street, between Central Park and Columbus. I occupy, with my husband and 3 children – the eldest one is a student now, he is home much less often, the lower part of a brownstone. It’s like a little house. We enter from the basement, a private entrance only for us. On the ground floor, the living areas open onto our little garden, which is very, very pleasant in summer and winter. As we are on the ground floor, the space is admittedly quite dark, but the garden is like a living room. Upstairs, the bedrooms are brighter. What attracted us? The garden of course with its little shrubs, but also the feeling of living in a house and not a small apartment.

As a European, do you find a little European side to this district through the inhabitants, the shops, the schools?

As a European, I feel good in the Upper West Side. I’m not really trying to find my European benchmarks here, but I appreciate the beautiful buildings of Central Park West, the “human-sized” side of neighborhood life, and getting to know the merchants, restaurateurs and a multitude of people who are in my daily life. We also have a thriving neighborhood social life around schools and activities, with a lot of very different people, which is very cool.

Your favorite places in the UWS?

Plantshed for its flowers and its little coffee. Space Market is our favorite deli, the shops are very friendly, and there is a bit of everything, and everything is better presented there than elsewhere. Bella Luna, our favorite and family-friendly neighborhood restaurant, a place with large windows to let the light in, even in winter, offering simple and good Italian dishes, quick service and an incredible tiramisu! But, there is also The Consulate with its brasserie side, the Osteria Cotta with its cozy bar counter, the small French wine bar Vin sur Vingt, Bodrum and its Mediterranean cuisine, Mermaid Inn and its American dishes, but also Storico, the restaurant of the New York Historical Society for its sophisticated and luminous decoration. For a drink in the evening with friends, the very simple E’s Bar with a room at the back, less noisy, and a terrace in summer, letting a feeling of the old bar from our student years. For a drink in a trendy place, I like to go to the bar at Jacob Pickles, or next door to the Tiki Chick. For pastries, I love Levain Bakery for its cookies to die for, as well as Orwashers Bakery. For yoga, Upper West Yoga and Wellness with the two owners, Stephan and Ingrid, who manage their neighborhood studio with sensitivity and kindness. The list of my favorite places on the Upper West Side is so long … I end it here, with the best Indian dosas at Saravanaa Bhavan!

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

Of course, this is a neighborhood we recommend! But a neighborhood is also a practical choice depending on where you work and where you go to schools, if you have children.

If you had to describe the Upper West Side in 3 words?

Relaxed, calm and lively!

Thank you Gaëlle Hintzy-Marcel for showing us your Upper West Side!

Experts Discuss – the Upper West Side

Rental market:

With an average monthly rent of $ 4,668, the Upper West Side is 11% higher than the average for all of Manhattan.

Sales market:

Regarding sales, the median price in Q1 of 2020 was $ 1,175,000 ($ 1,265 / sq ft), down 3% year on year. To be compared with Manhattan’s median price of $ 1,060,000.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

The New York real estate market as the pandemic subsides

For several months now, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our personal and professional habits. In order to keep the economy going in the face of hardening instructions, particularly with the “stay at home order” announced by the Governor, employees have adapted and have had to find solutions to work remotely. In New York State, even though the pandemic is gradually fading, containment is still required. Nevertheless, the real estate market continues to move forward, pending an official reopening of the sector, expected at the end of June.

An enhancement of outdoor spaces, views and ancillary rooms

This episode of confinement shows new awareness of the quality of life and well-being at home, sought after by the population as a whole. When the confinement orders were announced, many city dwellers left to take refuge in their country homes or in vacation rentals in the nearby mountains or by the ocean. Away from pollution, noise and stress for several weeks, some of them took a taste for peace and serenity. Also, in order to be able to work efficiently in one’s own home, many have set up a functional office in their own accommodation.

This situation benefits holders of property, both for sale and for rent, who have an extra room to facilitate teleworking, an outside space of any kind, an unobstructed view, but also a more natural and pleasant nearby environment: getting away from the workplace thanks to the emergence of teleworking.

New working tools for the real estate sector

Despite the slowing of the epidemic, New York State is still far from returning to “normal life”, even though car (and pedestrian) traffic in the city is beginning to increase again. Throughout the containment, with the ban on physical visits, BARNES New York, like its counterparts, has adapted and developed a range of digital tools such as virtual tours, 3D plans, video and videoconferencing, to best support its clients in the fulfilment of their real estate needs or projects, which cannot be delayed for several months. These new tools have demonstrated their performance and real usefulness throughout this period; but beyond that, a certain efficiency, which is quite sufficient for a contract formalization despite the absence of physical visits.

A real estate market that is gradually recovering

For every crisis that New York has experienced in recent years, real estate has always proved to be a safe haven. Even if the number of transactions and inventory are down compared to 2019, the market seems to be picking up again. It will take a few more weeks to see a recovery to levels equivalent to the pre-pandemic period, or if a new market correction, even modest, and necessarily to the advantage of buyers, is forthcoming. After six weeks of continuous decline in the number of transactions, the number of transactions started to rise again in mid-May, with the first week at over 40 transactions, although still well below 2019 levels (-80%). The same is true for new properties entering the market, with more than 130 new properties (although still 70% below 2019 levels). The bottom of the curve seems to have been reached.

Backlog of new programs

While an individual New York homeowner is rarely in a hurry to sell, the economic solidity of the assets generally allows a wait of several months without the need to drastically reduce a selling price for a quick sale. This is not the case for new developments. Just as much as “resales” in the old one, they necessarily suffer from a deficit of acquisitions. But to this is added a halt in construction (which could finally resume in the coming days), which will delay the anticipated delivery dates of the buildings by the same amount, and thus the collection of 80-90% of the amounts under contract. The recurrent operating and financing costs of these megaprojects make even a limited capital investment extremely heavy to bear; the promoters are all the more conciliatory in their negotiations.

Historically, there was virtually no room for negotiation in the New York real estate market, with even fairly frequent “bidding wars”, where transactions closed above the asking public price. Recently, a small margin of around 5% was beginning to be seen on both new and existing properties. Since the pandemic, this figure has been constant and is expected to increase slightly for a while, especially when it comes to new programmes. The best deals are currently to be found in new developments.

In New York City, Covid-19 is shaking up the real estate market

Over the past several weeks, the world as we know it has changed profoundly. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our society and caused a crisis of rare magnitude. As the months went by, countries became confined and the economy came to a virtual standstill. In the United States, particularly in New York State, containment became mandatory and quickly had many repercussions on the New York real estate market.

Offering new solutions to support customers

Very quickly, it was necessary to adapt to the strict confinement instructions, especially with the “stay at home” imposed by the Governor. Although real estate is considered an essential sector, physical visits are no longer allowed. However, some people have to move in or out; many tenants are at the end of their lease, families have to settle in the coming months, employees are in the process of being transferred, … Thanks to digital tools such as “virtual showing”, 3D plans, video and virtual conferences, BARNES New York, like its New York counterparts, has quickly adapted its processes in order to be able to best accompany its customers in the accomplishment of their real estate needs or projects.

A general halt to construction in progress

Despite a grace period that lasted only a few more weeks, the State of New York has ordered a halt to real estate construction, with the exception of a few strategic projects (infrastructure, social housing, etc.). As a result, the delivery of dozens of new programs, for which the keys were scheduled to be handed over in the second and third quarters of 2020, has been postponed by the same amount. It is still too early to judge the impact on those with later delivery dates, as it could be that “continuous” construction permits will be issued later on to make up for the delays.

For many projects, whose financing structures are highly dependent on delivery times, there have recently been communications aimed at attracting even more buyers, despite this period that might be thought to be calmer. The promoters are offering various offers and discounts, both on tender prices and on acquisition and operating costs, for any new contracts awarded during this difficult period, in order to offset this notorious drop in activity and compensate for the delivery delays already anticipated.

A crisis that generates opportunities for buyers

In line with this rarely conciliatory offer of New York’s new housing programs, and in a context, already before the crisis, favorable to buyers, the impact of the pandemic on New York real estate prices is beginning to be felt, and could be amplified in the coming weeks. And this will continue until the situation is normalised, with reassuring prospects for the medium term.

Historically reluctant to trade, since mid-2019 the New York market has offered trading margins close to 5% in places, due to massive inventory. In recent weeks, we have been seeing transactions with trading above 5%, reaching as high as 10% on some products and even higher.

Luxury real estate as a safe haven

While the constant, and recently exacerbated, fluctuations in the stock markets have once again demonstrated the structural inconsistency of such investments, the real estate market continues to show a certain robustness tending to reassure the medium- to long-term investor. The US economy, the strength of the dollar, and the rare robustness of the New York market in particular, make luxury real estate investment a singularly attractive safe haven. Historically showing an annual appreciation of 3%, a one-off slowdown is certainly expected, but it is not expected to last more than two or three quarters, with a resumption of growth in value terms by the end of the year.

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Carroll Gardens

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore Carroll Gardens, a Brooklyn neighborhood, with Laurène Hamilton. Yesterday an auditor in finance, the young mother is now a tourist guide and founder of her own company. She shows us around her neighborhood – where she lives with her husband, a computer specialist, and their two young children – with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.

Lepetitjournal.com New York : You live in Carroll Gardens. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

Laurène Hamilton : I was looking for a safe and family-friendly neighborhood which also offers nightlife, within reasonable distance of Manhattan. I liked that balance better, because I remain a very urban person. I prefer to live in a small space and be able to have access to an outdoor environment that inspires me.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

The atmosphere is very intimate, like a small village, with lots of local and independent shops. It is a charming, green area – hence the name – quiet but lively at the same time. You may come across families, singles, couples, and even actors like Neve Campbell. People are laid back but not neglected. Once inhabited mostly by Americans of Italian descent, some establishments still offer Italian products to die for. For example, the Monteleone pastry shop on Court Street sells all kinds of biscuits made with powdered almonds. Try the Rainbow cookies, they are to die for. Another example of a neighborhood institution: Caputo. People buy their bread there daily, and you will be called “Honey”. For history fans, check out the Mary of the Stars Church where the famous Al Capone married in 1918 at just 19 years old! From Carroll Gardens, you are close to Red Hook for a walk, in the middle of industrial warehouses with incredible views of Staten Island or even lower Manhattan.

In the evening, listed establishments like Barely disfigured, where you can have a drink on the four-poster bed, or Ugly Baby, an incredible Thai restaurant, also attract young people to feed their stomachs and their Instagram posts. Who knows, if you are really motivated, you too will line up at Lucali to eat one of the best pizzas in New York?

You are a young mom. How is life with children at Carroll Gardens which obviously appeals to families a lot?

We love it! The neighborhood is full of places for children. Life is pleasant there and our family traditions take root here. Sometimes we sit on stoops – brownstone steps – to eat a pain au chocolat while watching the passers-by. Children love it. When I come home from the nursery, my son says hello to the Caputo’s baker. We often meet acquaintances and we walk side by side chatting. In rainy weather, the Planted café is ideal for getting out of your home and keeping the children busy with a dedicated playing space. Next door, they also have a zero waste shop. In summer, the fountains in the parks attract all the neighborhood toddlers. Seasons pass and lovely memories remain. Carroll Gardens is an inclusive and tolerant neighborhood on a human scale. You will come across elderly people, young people, families, LGBT community, etc. You can feel the openness in the interactions people have with each other or even in the neighborhood’s social network groups. Help is palpable when a neighborhood family is in difficulty.

You are a tourist guide. Can you tell us about the best route to take to discover this district?

I love my neighborhood so much that I’m working on planning a special Halloween tour. Last year with my clients, we even celebrated Halloween together. All the inhabitants were out. Neighbors shared a bottle of wine on the stoops while handing out sweets during the traditional “trick or treat”. It really is a friendly neighborhood. Here is an idea of a route to soak up its atmosphere.

As a Frenchwoman, do you find a little French side to this district through the inhabitants, the shops, the schools?

Yes ! We hear a lot of French speaking. There are several schools that offer courses in French. The best known, being the public school PS 58, which has a bilingual program (beware the zones are changing) or the International School of Brooklyn (ISB), a private school which offers a program with French. During the French presidential elections, it is in those premises of the ISB that we will vote. You quickly find your way around French people at the best of times even if we don’t know each other personally. It is not for nothing that this district is nicknamed Petite France (Little France). Thus a mini French supermarket, Le French Tart Deli, recently opened: there are calissons, traditional French bakery, jams and all these products that remind me of my childhood in France. The La Cigogne restaurant offers Alsatian specialties in a warm atmosphere around a wood fire in winter. Perfect for enjoying a Flammekueche or spaetzle.

Your favorite places in Carroll Gardens?

My favorite coffee shop: Planted, for the Zen and natural atmosphere of the café: pretty wooden tables surrounded by plants, no loud music, a zero waste commitment and in support of the LGBTQ community.

For an exotic coffee: Le Petit Café, built around trees in a Zen setting.

To consume smart: Books are magic, a small independent bookstore that organizes book presentations with writers.

To work on your computer in peace while sipping a soda: Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Gersi : For an Italian dinner with a neo-American twist or a brunch, I recommend this restaurant. Take a seat in their backyard, just divine! Many establishments in the area have landscaped gardens in the back, so in the summer everyone eats out.

Kittery : For a good lobster roll with a glass of white wine on the terrace.

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

It all depends on the person’s perspective. If the goal is to make short-term capital gains, I don’t think this is the best neighborhood, because its reputation is already established. Carroll Gardens continues to attract for sure. If on the other hand you are planning on the longer term side, buying may be a good option. Renting is often a good first step. People usually end up liking my neighborhood and tend to stick around for the long haul.

Thank you Laurène !

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

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