Certain architectural styles define the essence of New York City, such as Art Deco, Italianate, Post-Modern, Deconstructivism, Beaux-Arts, and Gothic Revival. Our five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is reflected in how homes are built, designed, and updated by their owners.
Since 1985, our annual “Best of New York” issue has named standout services, unique shops, and special spots in dozens of categories. Now that Curbed is part of New York’s family, we have reimagined “Best of New York” as an ever-expanding resource that could rival Yelp in usefulness but feels more like a secret Google doc that gets passed among friends. To find the places recommended on these lists, we polled hundreds of stylish and savvy New Yorkers and begged them to tell us their go-tos. The result: our own Yellow Pages, containing only excellent places.
Architect Peter Feigenbaum found Jonathan Barsness’s name on a painter forum on Brownstoner. A litany of positive reviews (from one: “does good work — and I’m fussy”) convinced Feigenbaum to book him to repaint a spare room in his Williamsburg apartment. The walls had “a lot of patch marks and chips and were an especially ugly color: mustard yellow,” says Feigenbaum. “After Barsness came, all the old crusty bits miraculously disappeared, and the questionable paint-color choice was replaced with relaxing grays.” Barsness’s precision and (relatively) low pricing (small rooms, like a nursery, start at $500, while a bedroom in a brownstone with tall ceilings and historic molding may start at $2,000) mean his customers tend to come back over and over — like Feigenbaum. “He doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding,” he says. “I’ll hand him a swatch, leave him a key, and he takes it from there.”
Certain architectural styles define the essence of New York City, such as Art Deco, Italianate, Post-Modern, Deconstructivism, Beaux-Arts, and Gothic Revival. Our five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity is reflected in how homes are built, designed, and updated by their owners.
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