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August 2015
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October 2015

Urban Landscape Designers are Busier Than Ever

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Inside the Interior Foliage Design greenhouse

Since 1733, when Bowling Green was established “for the beauty and ornament of the said street as well as for the of the inhabitants of this city,” greenery has been appreciated for its immediate and long term benefits to New York City’s residents and properties. Street landscaping, according to a comprehensive Department of Transportation design manual, decreases energy costs, subdues street noise (“providing health and psychological benefits”), attracts customers to nearby businesses and increases property values.

This is not news, of course, yet these days developers, building owners and tenants have renewed interest in landscape design.

“We are very proud of our landscaped roofs at 250 Hudson Street and Symphony House (235 West 56th Street), as well as our straight, extensive green roof systems at 255 Greenwich Street,” said John Resnick, on trend to say the least. Landscape architects, designers and gardeners are bustling with requests for green roofs and rooftop gardens, green walls and vertical gardens, terraces, sidewalks, atriums, lobbies and every other imaginable space.

“Landlords realize this is attractive,” said Stuart Schechter, the owner of Interior Foliage Design, recalling the creation of the plant-filled 277 Park Avenue atrium in the early 1980s. “Plants and flowers are part of marketing. Outdoor spaces can reflect what’s inside.”

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The Family Business: NYC Water Towers

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From most everywhere in New York City an upward tilt of the head offers an appealing view, a sight you cannot replicate anywhere else. Not the skyscrapers and spires—even though, yes, they are standouts indeed—but something more uniquely New York City: rooftop water towers.

Their likenesses and silhouettes appear in countless works of art and the towers themselves—also called tanks—have even served as canvases, too (check out The Water Tank Project, a global clean water awareness campaign supported by more than a dozen members of the real estate industry). That said, visual stimulation is just a byproduct when it comes to these structures so vital to New York City life.

“A lot of people think they are out of service or abandoned, but they serve a vital need,” said Henry Rosenwach, the 26-year-old scion of the Rosenwach family whose name is synonymous with this New York phenomenon. “Until water is gone people don’t care. It’s such a simple thing.”

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First Look at the Broad, L.A.'s Newest Architectural Marvel

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This Sunday, September 20th, more than five years after work began, L.A.’s new contemporary art museum -The Broad- will open to the public. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro the $140-million, 12,000-square-foot building houses some 2000 works of art that comprise Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection.

“We were essentially building a warehouse that happened to have gallery space,” said Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Kevin Rice, project director. “So we decided to use that as a protagonist. Instead of putting storage in the basement we put it in the middle, as an element you’re always moving around, under, through.”

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Dinner with Djokovic

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What Djokovic Didn't Eat (this is his plate)

If you know anything about tennis, you know you always RSVP “yes” to invite-only events involving top-ranked players and wine.

That’s how I ended up sipping (read: drinking from an ingenious funnel-cup attachment to a mini Moët bottle) champagne with Roger Federer (read: he was not drinking and also in a private pen). And, later that night, how I ended up tipping a cabbie 200 percent (see: funnel-cup; don’t see: touch-screen extra zero). And it’s also how I ended up sipping pinot grigio and cabernet sauvignon with Novak Djokovic (read on).

Three days before the start of the U.S. Open, the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s singles tennis player and the tournament’s top men’s seed was holding court in a private space at the Astor Center, teaching a cooking class. Obviously. Famous for the five-year-old diet (no gluten, no dairy) that’s credited with catapulting his career, Djokovic takes his eating seriously. Even—or perhaps especially—when he’s aiming for his third major title of the year.

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spices smell delicious

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Say Grace: Gabriel Kreuther at the Grace Building

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42nd Street Entrance

This June, the Grace Building (1114 Avenue of the Americas), designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the early ’70s, welcomed what many consider the most ambitious new restaurant in the city: Gabriel Kreuther, which is named for its chef. Ambitious here means fine dining, a category all but forgotten in today’s comfort-cheap food frenzy. And all it took to remember was a group of out-of-town private investors represented by Eben Dorros, president of a Jackson Hole, Wyo.-based bakery with a location in Chicago.

Mr. Dorros, who holds both a masters in music and film composition and a MBA in music business from NYU, said he and his partners set out to create something special in New York. “Gabriel’s style is unique in of itself, so the concept was simple: share Gabriel with the world and not under the umbrella of another concept.”

Mr. Kreuther came to New York City in 1997. He worked his way from sous chef at La Caravelle to chef de cuisine at Jean-Georges before taking the executive chef role at The Modern, the position he’s most known and lauded for. Fans will recognize Alsatian themes in the new restaurant’s menu. Think French and expect sauerkraut and tarte flambee.

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