In New York City, Cold Winter, Warm Hearth

The festive season is over, but fireplace season is just getting started: Here’s how to cozy up to the fire, on the town or in your own home.

Snuggling in front of a roaring fire is perhaps the ultimate indulgence for winter-weary city dwellers, whether sipping a warming cocktail in a cozy lounge or watching the flames flicker in your apartment as you lounge under that favorite old Pendleton. Here are a few of our favorite public hearths around the city, plus a few tips for adding a fireplace to your place:

If you’re not quite ready to install a fireplace in your apartment, make a date with the cozy lobby bar of the Marlton Hotel, at 5 West 8th Street in Greenwich Village.

Fireside Around the City
Classic Jewel Box: Roaring Twenties literary power couple Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald once sipped fireside cocktails in The Beatrice Inn when it was a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Today, the West Village space still boasts two warming fireplaces, including one in the dining room, where you can stay warm while sampling the updated chophouse menu.

Literary Fires: The Upper East Side’s legendary celebrity hangout Elaine’s has been reimagined as The Writing Room, a literary-themed hideaway. It comes complete with a book-filled “study,” where the original vintage black and white tile floors lead to a warming fireplace—just the spot to get inspiration on a winter’s night.

Lounge-y Vibes: Take a seat on a vintage velvet settee in the wood paneled lounge at The Marlton Hotel, and then order an afternoon coffee or classic cocktail to enjoy next to the marble fireplace. It’s easy to see why Vogue called this cozy space in the Greenwich Village boutique hotel “a portal to old world Paris.”

Club Life: When grand flames are in order, head to chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s luxe Midtown eatery The Lambs Club. The expansive dining room boasts an enormous 18th century French limestone fireplace, a gift from architect Stanford White at the turn of the 20th century.

Romance in Brooklyn: The Black Mountain Wine House in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood is perfectly positioned for a wintry night of wine and small bites for two —you can even indulge in gooey fondue in front of its rustic wood-burning fireplace.

Available in stainless steel, brass, and powder-coated black finishes for indoor and outdoor spaces, HearthCabinet’s fireplaces use $8 isopropyl alcohol gel fuel cartridges that last about two hours. (HearthCabinet)

Hearth at Home
For design and practical reasons, a fireplace ranks at the top of many city dwellers’ architectural wish lists.

“What’s special about having a fireplace in your home is that it really elevates a space, centering a room and giving it a sense of architecture,” says Manhattan-based interior designer Wesley Moon. “Plus, it gives you something to look at other than a television,”

Here are some tips for maintaining the home fires in New York City:

Know the Rules: Warming up in the glow of a fireplace in the privacy of your own home certainly sounds enticing. But if you have your heart set on a wood-burning version, you’ll have to purchase a home that already has one. In 2015, New York City prohibited the construction of new wood-burning fireplaces.

Go Ventless: The only ventless fireplace approved for use in New York City is made by HearthCabinet, which uses an alcohol-based gel cartridge that’s like Sterno canister. This allows the fireplace “to give atmospheric warmth with an audible crackle,” according to Arthur Lasky, the company’s president. HearthCabinet fireplaces, such as one used in the landmark restaurant Tavern on the Green, can be transformed to match any architectural style.

Real Details Enhance Faux Fireplaces: If you opt for a ventless model, you will want to style the mantel with photographers, candlesticks and other accessories to make for “a more believable fireplace,” Moon says. But don’t get carried away trying to mimic every aspect of a wood-burning fireplace. Birch logs may add a sense of realness, but tools or other accessories may prove too much. “There’s no need to add more to the design—keep the focus on the flames,” Moon says.


Hamptons Fall Playlist: 9 Great Things to Eat, See, and Do

The summer beach season officially ended on Labor Day, but the East End offers plenty to experience after the weather starts to cool down. Here are some highlights from this fall’s wave of food, arts, and cultural events in the Hamptons (no swimsuit required):

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Apartment of the Future, Small but Perfectly Formed

In parts of the country that aren’t New York City, there is a growing trend called the Tiny House Movement, wherein people take inordinate pride in occupying outrageously small but fully functional domiciles. Living small is hardly a novel concept for New Yorkers, so it takes something pretty special to stand out in a city where kitchens once had bathtubs and fire escapes doubled as spare bedrooms. Apartment 33 at 150 Sullivan Street is just such a place. In an unassuming red-brick walkup, it’s an L-shaped urban riff on the Tiny House Movement: compact even by Soho studio standards but overflowing with innovation.

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6 New York City Homes with Brag-worthy Amenities

With all of the new construction popping up around NYC, developers are focusing more and more on amenities that will give their particular building an edge. From parking and pools to ping-pong tables and other amenities, these urban pads have some uncommon selling points worth exploring.

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This Week at Home: Wine Down

What a week. Every week. But summer Fridays don’t just mean starting the weekend early, they’re also a chance to decompress with a glass (or two) of wine. (Thankfully, science says it’s good for your brain.) Here are some ways to explore the world of wine, from sourcing the countertop decanter of your dreams to learning everything you wanted to know about your favorite varietals.

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High Rise Views Off Billionaire’s Row

Thomas Di Domenico takes us on a tour of a private residence inside Worldwide Plaza in Midtown West. This corner unit boasts an expansive layout with open South and West exposures, showcasing impressive city and Hudson River views.

Top 12 questions New Yorkers ask their mortgage bankers

Breaking down the 12 most frequently asked questions from New Yorkers ready to buy a co-op or condo.

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What does it mean to have an accepted offer?

So you’ve found the perfect apartment, made an offer, and, it’s been accepted! Now what??

Almost everywhere outside of NYC, an offer to purchase is accompanied by a “binder” — good faith money which binds the parties to each other if the seller accepts the offer. But NYC has no binder procedure, which means an accepted offer is not binding for either party. In fact, the period from accepted offer to fully executed contract may be the most stressful part of the whole process.

So what happens once you have an accepted offer in NYC? The short answer is that the attorneys take over. They negotiate a contract while the buyer’s counsel performs their due diligence. The workings of this may vary, but essentially, once the seller accepts an offer, the brokers put together a Deal Sheet, which is sent to the attorneys in order to specify the negotiated terms of the transaction. Due diligence involves reviewing information about the building, such as the Offering Plan with amendments, financial statements, and board minutes. (This process is typically done in lieu of a property inspection and reviews the entire history of the apartment and building.) The buyer’s attorney will also order a title report.

This process of due diligence and contract negotiations usually takes 5 – 10 business days. When the contract is finalized, it is first signed by the buyer who provides a 10% deposit to be kept in escrow, then it is signed by the seller and returned to the buyer’s attorney. The contract is not fully executed until it is received by the buyer’s attorney.

So what could go wrong? Depending on the market, there may be major risks to one or both sides before the contract is fully executed. For sellers, a buyer may back out for any reason including bad findings during due diligence or simply that they changed their mind, which may mean having to re-market the property that has now sat on the market for a few extra weeks.

In today’s market with supply so low, the vast majority of the risk is to buyers. When dealing with high-demand properties, more often than not, buyers are being outdone. That is, while the attorneys are finalizing the contract, a stronger offer comes in, beating out the original offer.  Buyers have to understand that it is not unusual for the listing agent to continue showing the apartment and hold open houses until the contract is fully executed. So new players might enter the game at the last minute.

Our job as Real Estate professionals is to manage these expectations and prepare buyers and sellers for the very real possibility of varying levels of risk. The role of the attorney is thus critical to the process. The difference between turning the contract around in 5 days versus 8 may mean tens of thousands of extra dollars toward the purchase price or losing the deal altogether.


Luxury Living on the East End

Live magically in this 10 room designer residence featuring sweeping river and city views from every corner. The 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home with planted outdoor terrace boasts stunning details throughout. The classic elements combined with the open floor plan creates a unique luxury property of grand proportions. This home’s flex footprint has the ease and capability of handsomely incorporating up to 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths with gracious flow. Now Offered at $4,495,000

What Tax Breaks Can I Get as a First-Time Homebuyer?

If you’re a first time home buyer, you’ll want to check out these tax breaks you may qualify for! Apartment Therapy is breaking them all down in the link below.


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