Curbed
best of new york

Best of New York 2021

Reintroducing a 36-year-old New York magazine franchise.
  1. The American Dream Mall Is Ridiculous Yet Not Ridiculous Enough They’ve stripped the dazzle paint from Xanadu.
  2. The Homeless-to-Hotels Program Is Ending, and Nobody’s Ready Advocates fear mass eviction; hoteliers say their businesses are still in crisis.
  3. Eric Adams Gave a Tour of His Apartment; Everyone’s Still Asking Where He Lives It’s a lived-in apartment. That much is clear.
  4. Helmet Laws Are Not What New York City Cyclists Need Right Now Elected officials keep proposing more rules for bicycles and scooters instead of fixing streets.
  5. A Slice of the Sky The supertall 111 West 57th is what the ruling class builds for itself.
  6. The Lower East Side Seniors Who Organized Their Own T’ai Chi Class “T’ai chi helps with memory,” one says. “It’s important, at our age, to keep our minds alert.”
  7. 20 New Yorkers (From Fran Lebowitz to Ron Kim) On Ranking The Mayoral Candidates Fran Lebowitz, Ron Kim, Chelsea Manning, and more weigh in on the mayoral primary candidates.
  8. An Epic New York City Reopening Concert Is Coming to Central Park Who’ll headline? Who cares: We’ll be there.
  9. After MoMA, the Black Reconstruction Collective Plots Its Future in Architecture Its members talk institutional change, practicing refusal, and what comes next.
  10. Weeknight Parties, Weekend Clampdowns, and Angry Neighbors in Washington Square Monday through Thursday, the revelry goes on.
  11. Why Your Uber Ride Is Suddenly Costing a Fortune Driver shortage, customer surplus, and harsh financial reality.
  12. Get Ready for Flat-Rat Summer Rodents and cars do not mix.
  13. Look! Books! The Tired Old Mid-Manhattan Library Gets a Sharp New Renovation An understated top-to-bottom rehab puts open access — and open books — front and center (and a café on the roof).
  14. Buildings Want to Require Vaccinations. The Doormen’s Union Says No. The union, along with many buildings, are encouraging doormen to get the jab. But requiring it for the job is where it draws the line.
  15. The Free Food Pantry Gets the Subscription Box Treatment Wellfare is delivering jackfruit chips, grass-fed turkey jerky sticks, and other snacks and drinks to NYCHA residents in Williamsburg and Bushwick.
  16. Co-working Is Back, But This Time It’s Really Boring Commercial real-estate developers are plowing money in new, utilitarian shared office spaces.
  17. Little Island Won Me Over The tiny public-but-private garden squeezes in a multitude of experiences.
  18. Jaime Lerner Made Your City Better The hugely influential urban planner died this week at 83.
  19. NYC’s Annual Homeless Count Says the Numbers Are Way Down. It’s Probably Wrong. Advocates say the subway shutdown and increased police sweeps likely threw off the numbers.
  20. A Day With New York’s Bird Paramedics During migrations, thousands of birds crash into skyscrapers. And a few volunteer EMTs rush in to help.
  21. 40 Eviction Cases Were Thrown Out Over ‘Wuhan Virus’ Notice Turns out, the courts don’t like it when you alter official notices with racial slurs.
  22. New York’s Storefront Plywood Finds a Second Life Five public art projects transform the material in citywide installations.
  23. Where Did All the Yellow Cabs Go? Nearly two-thirds of New York’s taxis are gone, and a lot of them may never come back.
  24. The City’s Battered, Beloved Playground Animals Are Retiring to Queens How the Parks Department ended up with this peculiar sculptural zoo.
  25. How a Denser Los Angeles Can Still Look Like Los Angeles Where the neighbors don’t want towers, a city competition provides some alternatives.
  26. The Look Book Goes to New York Dress High-school students tried on tulle gowns and sequined A-lines for proms and quinceañeras at the Maspeth boutique.
  27. It Looks Like New York City Rents Have Bottomed Out And will probably stay low for the rest of the year.
  28. ‘There Is a Little Light, Finally’: New York Hoteliers on Recovery A roundtable chat about what the past year’s been like and where this beleaguered industry’s headed.
  29. The BQE Is Still Falling Apart, and There’s No Real Plan to Fix It The outlook is grim for the expressway, but only stopgap measures are underway.
  30. The Lower East Side’s (Not Very Well Known) Black History An exclusive look at the Tenement Museum’s new walking tour.
  31. My Toilet Is My Office In April of 2020, about a month into full-time working from home with her husband and two kids, Niamh Sproul decided something had to change.
  32. Lady Liberty Seems to Want You to Draw Her Like One of Your French Girls She’s ready for hot vaxx summer.
  33. Mapping a Year of Anti-Asian Violence in New York City Behind the alarming numbers with the city’s commissioner on human rights.
  34. What If New York Stopped Knocking Down Buildings? A vast amount of captured carbon would stay where it is.
  35. There’s No One in Charge of New York’s Noisy Helicopters And it’s driving some New Yorkers insane.
  36. Here’s Everyone Running for New York City Mayor (So Far) Meet the twenty-plus candidates.
  37. The UES Battle Over a Blood Lab Is Not About Blood Preservationists and elected officials fear pathogens could escape into the neighborhood.
  38. Riverside Park Is Falling Apart All around the park system, decay is setting in and repair bills are mounting.
  39. A Fairly Exhaustive Oral History of the Still-Wild McKibbin Lofts Four Loko parties, falling maggots, and first-floor strip clubs.
  40. There Are Only 7 Homes in New York City Under $100,000 Despite what a couple of mayoral candidates think the average Brooklyn sales price is.
  41. The Look Book Goes to Sami’s Kabab House During the third week of Ramadan, people gathered to break the fast with Qabuli, lamb shanks, and aushak at the Astoria restaurant.
  42. New York’s First Climate Adaptation Battle Is Here The city wants to bury East River Park to save it.
  43. Subway Crime Is Still Low, But the MTA Wants More Cops. Why? “Generally, when there’s a uniformed presence, people are more likely to behave.”
  44. Everywhere ‘Succession’ Has Been Filming Lately The Plaza, the Mandarin Oriental, the Shed, and a $50 million Beach Lane home.
  45. How the Oldest Family-Run Business in Chinatown Keeps the Lights On “Throughout the COVID year, we had a half a dozen family members here every day. It’s our family living room.”
  46. Could We Really Get a Good Penn Station? Yet another wisp of hope.
  47. What’s a Crown Heights Supermarket Worth? It’s a lifeline to local residents. It’s also a valuable development site. You can guess where this story is headed.
  48. New York Weed Dealers Face a Choice: Go Corporate or Stay Underground “The black market is still going to be there.”
  49. We Asked the Bushwick Piano Building’s Architect: Why? “This client likes unique and interesting designs,” he says.
  50. What Could Governors Island Be? An aquatic botanical garden, a film-set landscape, and more: Four fanciful transformation plans, commissioned by Curbed.
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