Let’s talk about six: What’s a classic six apartment?

Have you ever heard of a “classic six” apartment? From time-to-time in NYC you might’ve crossed this listing term and found yourself curious as to what it actually means. According to Brownstoner, a classic six apartment is “chic, desirable and great for raising a family”. But what makes this style of living just so appealing? What is it makes a “classic six” one of New York City’s most sought after apartment layouts? 

Let’s break it down.

 

The classic layout

A classic six is a prewar (“classic”) apartment with a certain number of separate rooms (you guessed it – “six”). However that’s not all, it must also include a living room, formal dining room with a window, a kitchen, two full bedrooms and a maid’s room (typically smaller than the main bedrooms and usually located off the kitchen). While a classic six can have any number of bathrooms, oftentimes you’ll find the maid’s room also boasts its own full or half-bath.

A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner
A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner

The “other” classics

You might have come across the phrases “classic five” (lacking the maid’s room), or “classic seven” (which includes an additional bedroom), however, the less common, rare surviving “classic eight” with a room for a second maid, also exists.

Searching for six

According to Brownstoner, “the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are known for having the largest stocks of classic six units in New York, [but] even there, listings are scarce”. Many are in co-op buildings (and occasionally condo buildings) and it’s incredibly rare to find one for rent. 

A good place to start is Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights or Park Slope – places boasting large-scale pre-war apartment buildings.

Apartment appeal

In addition to the obvious, being the sheer size of a classic six, both the fact that they’re so hard to come across and the distinct layout play a big role in the appeal. More or less impossible to achieve in smaller NYC apartments, the layout of a classic six provides both privacy and a feel of openness. How? The kitchen, dining and entertaining/common areas are often separated from the main bedrooms by a distinct hallway. Because of this, these “apartments” actually have a layout more similar to a classic single family home.

The space separation of the maid’s room to the rest of the home, tucked away by the kitchen, is often a favorite of NYC youth who enjoy the privacy and the idea of occupying their own living quarters. Of course, being so close by the kitchen and that endless supply of coffee, this space also makes for a great home office or studio! If you’ve found yourself with a classic six with a maid’s room that boasts it’s own bathroom or half bath too, why not turn it into a guest bedroom?

A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal
A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal

Your pre-war classic six: The 2017 update

Given the original construction date on majority of these apartments, chances are, yours might be in need of a little upgrade. Or perhaps you’re ready to do a little renovating to turn that maid’s quarters into your new home office? You might like to enlist the help of someone like All Renovations – specialists in high-end Brooklyn and Manhattan brownstone renovations. Or Brooklyn-based Creative Renovations – whose past client list includes a number of Brooklyn brownstone landmarks!

Escaping New York noise – soundproofing your apartment

 

Whether you’re relatively new to New York City or you’ve been living here for most of your life, it’s never easy to adjust to the daily (and nightly) grind. No matter how many floors you walk up, street noise, snow shoveling, garbage collection, your neighbors, traffic horns and other noises always seem to make their way into your apartment – particularly when it comes time to sleep.

Of course, “soundproofing” per se generally refers to completely eliminating sound. And for those of you living in NYC, you’ll agree that eradicating sound 100% isn’t exactly possible. That’s why we’ve pulled together 3 handy hints for minimizing the noise getting in to your apartment and dealing with the city sounds around you.

#1 Sealing is believing

 

Yes, that gap between the bottom of your door and the floor really might not seem like much, but it allows for the entry of a great amount of noise. Try using a door seal or draft guard to fill the gap! Not only will this help block extra unwanted noise, it’s a simple and cost effective way to add a little extra insulation to your apartment, helping to trap warm air in in the winter. You can pick up a draft seal from Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $10! 

Image: Bed, Bath & Beyond
Image: Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

#2 A win-win(dow) situation

Do you own your apartment? While upgrading your windows is a step up from purchasing a door seal in terms of the price tag, it’s certainly a worthwhile investment. Did you know with the appropriate glass thickness and the right insulation, some windows can block up to 95% of external noise?

If you’re not sure upgrading your windows is worth your investment, you can check in with an acoustic consultant, or soundproofing specialist, to get their advice. You might like to check out Brooklyn Insulation and Soundproofing or City Soundproofing in Manhattan.

Image: Brooklyn Insulation
Image: Brooklyn Insulation

#3 The quick fix: White noise

How does adding more noise to the equation work? Generally speaking, it isn’t the noise itself that keeps you awake or wakes you up during the night, but rather sudden changes in the consistency of noise that jar you awake. White noise creates a masking effect, evening out sudden changes and helping you sleep more comfortably. You can find an interesting read on White Noise by Marpac here

While there are plenty of apps on the market for white noise, a simple table fan will suffice. The hum of a window-unit air conditioner also works great – and will keep you at a comfortable temperature at the same time! 

Image: Marpac
Image: Marpac

A Solo Success

Having roommates can be a dream! They can help you save money on rent and utility costs, be great company, give you outfit advice… or they can be noisy, messy, inconsiderate and an overall nightmare. Living alone is a big move but if you’re in a position to do it, why not? There are a few things to keep in mind though if you’re about to go solo.

 

Monica Wang Photography-39Open Up
Don’t be a shut-in! When you live alone it can be easy to shut yourself in to your own world. This can sometimes magnify any insecurities or regrets, and be detrimental psychologically. Be sure to throw your curtains open every day and let the light in. Open the door and say hi to your neighbors. If you have an outdoor area, make it a place where you can comfortably sit and observe the world. Opening yourself and your home up helps keep things in perspective and reminds you that you’re not actually alone.


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We fully support your decision to trade-in your annoying roommate for a furry friend. Although they may be messier and demand to be fed, we guarantee they’ll take up less room and probably give you more cuddles. Plus, studies have shown that people with pets are healthier and live longer lives! Pets can fulfill our natural need for touch and companionship which can help manage stress and actually lower blood pressure. The perfect way to combat loneliness, they help give your life day-to-day structure because they must be fed and cared for. A canine companion for example needs to be exercised, which can get you outside, and up and moving, improving your own physical health in the process. Check out Brooklyn Animal Care Center for information on adopting or fostering a new furry roommate.


51f5571a74c5b641fa003410._w.1280_h.1280_s.fit_Be Prepared
Humans are social creatures! Don’t be in denial – living alone can get lonely. Get to know yourself and learn what triggers feelings of loneliness, and when these feelings hit, have a plan. Schedule a favorite weekly activity, join a Meetup Group, or embrace the best parts of living alone – wearing your underwear around the house, singing and dancing to Beyoncé. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and practicing self-discipline – don’t stop showering, getting dressed, exercising or start eating poorly just because no one is watching! Learn to cook for one, and have a plan for when you get sick and there’s no roommate or family member around to take care of you. Make sure you’re still spending time with friends and not cutting yourself off from the outside world.

 

Enhance your Environment506b1636d9127e310400169e._w.800.0_s.fit_
You can finally escape from your roommate’s terrible artwork and creepy doll collection and decorate your home to your taste! Make your place interesting to look at. Find items that are visually and tactilely appealing. Don’t hold back! Go above and beyond with decoration. Paint an accent wall and get art. Change up your lighting, bedding, curtains, etc. and rearrange your furniture. Make your home truly enjoyable, comfortable and a place that makes you feel good and that you want to come home to every day. Make your home welcoming to visitors too of course and keep it clean, because as we’ve talked about before, clutter can have a detrimental effect on your well-being and be a major source of stress.

 

Father-Friendly Festivities

This Sunday is all about dad! You don’t have to go far this Father’s Day to treat dad to a special day or night out. Dad deserves the best and you’ll find it in Brooklyn.


13391409_10153811598516925_7416719120440159209_oA Jazzy Hook
Does your dad think he’s a musical maestro? This weekend the Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival takes place for the second consecutive Sunday at Urban Meadow and will feature the rich and diverse sounds of sax, trumpet, trombone and more in a community garden setting. Now in its ninth year, the concert will feature some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world – dad is guaranteed to be impressed! The incredible lineup of cutting-edge music features Jeff Davis Authorities Trio + 1, Matt Pavolka Horns Band, Ari Hoenig Group, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Bobby Previte & the Visitors. Bring dad’s grand-kids because all kids attend for free!
19 President Street. 1-6pm. $10 per person suggested donation.

 

Markets with your Makerwallet
Haven’t got dad a gift yet? Brooklyn Makers Market has you covered. The biggest bazaar of Brooklyn-made goods, you’ll find crafts, furniture, knits and more, plus enticing eats to fuel your shopping endeavors. The showcase of creations coming straight outta Brooklyn takes place at the beautiful, historic Williamsburg Savings Bank this Saturday and Sunday. Built in 1875 this architectural landmark is the perfect setting to celebrate creativity and entrepreneurship in the borough. Once you’ve shopped the best of Brooklyn, head across the street to our next pick.
175 Broadway. From 11am. Free.

 

ph_008Steak Out
Does dad love a good steak? What about a GREAT steak? Adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge, the famous Peter Luger steakhouse has been serving superb steak since 1887. Rated the top steakhouse in New York for 28 years and running, the restaurant has earned a Michelin Star and joined the ranks of American classics. The steakhouse serves only USDA Prime, which often represents less than 2% of graded beef cattle. To ensure the highest quality of meat and in keeping with tradition, the meat selection process is performed by members of the family-owned establishment. Dad will love the charm of the beer-hall style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables and waiters in waist coats and bow ties. Call 718-387-7400 to make a reservation.
178 Broadway. From 12:45-9:45pm (Sundays). $99.95 for steak for two.

 

Bowl So Hardbowl
Is dad competitive? This one will be right up his alley! Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg is hosting Father’s Day Family Bowl on Sunday. Book a lane, buy dad a beer, and get your bowl on. Just remember to go easy on the old man – it is his day after all! Art and music activities will be presented by The Rock and Roll Playhouse. The event is all ages, all day and night, so bring the whole family. Acclaimed food will be available by NYC’s Blue Ribbon, as well as local brews and more! When you need a break from striking those pins, kick back in large leather sofas upstairs in the Bowlers Lounge. Game on!
61 Wythe Avenue. 12-3pm. $25 per lane per half hour, $4.95 shoe rental.

The Lord of the Residence

Being in NYC, we know finding great housing can be a challenge to say the least. When you finally do find that perfect apartment (in Brooklyn, naturally), you don’t want to ever let it go! You might feel like the king of the (Boerum) hill, but the real lord of this land is the person you pay rent to, and if they are your best bud, you could be home sweet home forever. Here are some tips for fostering a flourishing landlord-tenant relationship.

 

8-Tips-to-Help-You-Get-Along-With-Your-Landlord-Say-HiNice Advice
This should go without saying, but pile the smile! Be friendly, be honest and be reasonable. Wave hi or stop for a quick chat when you see your landlord. Come holiday time, send your landlord a small gift. Report any problems as soon as possible, because small problems can turn into catastrophic ones if ignored. For minor stuff, DIY! Replace the light bulb or batteries in the smoke detector yourself. Be clean and respectful – be the kind of neighbor you would want to live next to, and the kind of tenant you would want to rent to.

 

Put on a Pro ShowWoman's hand holding a pen writing
How do you behave in the workplace? Are you courteous, efficient, a good communicator? Your relationship with your landlord is an investment, and you should consider your interactions in a professional context. Respect the rules set out in your lease and treat your landlord’s property with care. As with important business interactions, get everything in writing. Try to correspond via email when possible – this will protect both of you and reduce the risk of miscommunication. In the event that something goes wrong, be aware of your rights. There is legislation in place nationwide to protect tenants from discrimination, negligence and other issues that may arise.

 

Apt.-for-rent

Rent Well Spent
A day late really is a dollar short if you get in the habit of paying rent late. Just as a homeowner needs to pay a monthly mortgage, many landlords depend on rental income to fund their mortgages. Late rent is not only disrespectful but can result in late fees, or even eviction. Of course there are legitimate reasons for late rent, and having a positive relationship may mean your landlord is open to negotiation. It is essential to discuss any concerns regarding rent with your landlord ASAP. Always strive to pay your rent on time, if not early!

 

keystohouse

The Company You Keep
If you have a bad track record with landlords, it might be time to consider a building with a management company. Generally these companies have a good reputation and they require good reviews and positive ratings to stay afloat. Although this means living in a larger complex or building with more tenants, management companies usually have more organized and professional systems in place for maintaining and fixing your apartment. Oftentimes they’ll even give you a checklist when you move-in to make sure everything is satisfactory.

 

 

 

BicyCOOL Paths in Brooklyn

May is Bike Month in NYC so it’s fitting to feature a few of the best bike paths in the borough, and with the weather finally heating it’s time to get riding!

 

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We have an endless list of cool Brooklyn facts, and we just discovered something to add! Did you know… the United States’ first ever bike path was created in Brooklyn in 1894 – Ocean Parkway! Although some of the Parkway was cleared in the 1970s to make room for the Prospect Expressway, there are still plenty of trees lining this path, which makes it a lovely, scenic ride from Prospect Park to Coney Island, and generally flat and easy-going. Starting in Carroll Gardens, be sure to do a quick tour of the charming historic brownstones, then hit the path from Ocean Parkway and East 8th Street in Kensington, all the way down to Surf Avenue in Coney Island.


River Rideimage

Views of Manhattan, tours through various neighborhoods, a leisurely ride through the park and a speedy ride through the streets – the Brooklyn Greenway is ride up our alley! Obviously we’re not a fan of a PATH unless it’s in Brooklyn, and this one happens to be one of the most impressive in the city, running along the East River from Greenpoint to Red Hook. Take in the views of the city skyline, and breathe in fresh air while cruising through Brooklyn Bridge Park (be aware that the path in the park can get crowded!). The six-mile path runs from Kent Avenue to the northern end of Van Brunt Street, with plans to extend it through Sunset Park to Bay Ridge. 

 

imageBuckle Up
You’re in for quite a ride on the Belt Parkway Bike Path! Starting from Bay Ridge this waterfront path has a spectacular view of the Staten Island, the Verrazano Bridge and the New York harbor. Pedaling along the coast and through Sheepshead Bay, with the open Atlantic Ocean beside you, you’ll eventually reach Flatbush Avenue. Here you can take a right and continue over the Marine Parkway Bridge, then turn left and head to Rockaway Beach. This is a smooth ride, several miles long with sensational views.


Bridge and Borough Biking91012pulaski

Pulaski and you shall receive! About a month ago the new, improved and much-anticipated Pulaski Bridge Bike Path officially opened, taking cyclists on a safe, scenic tour through three boroughs. Starting in Long Island City, the two-lane, protected bike lane, travels across the bridge, into North Brooklyn. Cycling through commercial Manhattan Avenue then residential Noble Street, you take Kent Avenue down to the Williamsburg Bridge, and then across into the Lower East Side. With stellar views of the Manhattan skyline and a solid workout guaranteed – it is highly bikely you’ll enjoy this one!

Easter in the Brooklyn Burrow

Looking for some local fun family activities this Easter weekend? Leave the hunting up to us, and then your kids!

 

BKB-Easter-Egg-Hunt-2Eggstreme Egg Hunting

Do your little ones race like rabbits through the usual egg hunt and need more of a challenge? Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus is hosting a vertical egg hunt for 4 to 12 year olds. Climbing cottontails will search high and low for eggs and can look forward to a bunch of raffles and prizes.
Saturday March 26, 10am – 12pm. $20 per child.

 

A Hop in the Parkimage

If you’re worried too much of the sweet stuff will result in hyperactive youngsters, then pack a picnic and head to the park. Prospect Park’s Audubon Center is running nature exploration activities where kids of all ages will learn about park animal winter survival tactics, how to identify birds and how to make their own tube of lip balm. Later Lefferts Historic House will host potato sack races, stilts, spoon races and more ($3 suggested donation).
Friday March 25 – Sunday March 27, 12 pm – 4 pm. Free.

 

mcgolrickPut All Your Eggs in this Basket

For a traditional egg hunt in Greenpoint, your chicks will love McGolrick! Kids up to 10 years old can bring a basket and participate in the finding frenzy or meet the Easter bunny and take part in arts and crafts activities. Babies and toddlers will roam in their own eggsclusive area, while older kids search for special eggs with prizes and raffle tickets inside.
Saturday March 26, 12pm. $15 per child, $20 at the door.

 

The Meadow is Always Greenergreen-meadow-farms-easter-bunny

A good time is in the basket this Easter weekend, at Green Meadow Farms at Aviator Sports and Events Center, located within Floyd Bennett Field on Jamaica Bay. The urban farm will host egg hunts, hay rides and pony rides. There will also be a giant hay wagon slide, a petting zoo and the opportunity to meet Whiskers the Bunny.
Thursday March 24 – Sunday March 27, $8 per child.