Red, Brown And York Restoration Corporation

June 14, 2010

York Restoration ImageYork Restoration Corporation Image

You know?

York Restoration Corporation‘s looking over these two photos, and we can’t remember why we took them. I mean, there’s the color scheme, which I guess is pretty ok, and there’s the storefronts, which remind me that we need to get a Nintendo Wii for the office, but other than that?

I can’t recall.

Sorry everyone!

Restoration Corporations Of New York Salute Our Gift From France

June 11, 2010

York Restoration Corporation Image

No, it’s not the REAL Arc de Triomphe. It’s the York de Triomphe! York Restoration Corporation strolled through Washington Park in Manhattan, arm-in-arm with a beautiful, warm pretzel (with mustard), when we came upon the Arc.

The arch was built in the late 1800s to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Washington’s inauguration as first and arguably baddest (in a cool way) president of the US. Grover Cleveland comes in a close second, I think.

While New York’s arch was modeled after the official Arc de Triomphe in France, ours is only about half as tall (77 ft to 160 ft) and not quite so “Triomphic” overall. But! Ours was made in America! Its inscription reads,

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.” — Washington

YES! The wise and honest restoration corporations can repair anything! Washington was the man. I don’t care how many cherry trees or fake teeth he burned through in a lifetime.

Little-known addendum: my favorite despotic, warmongering, diminutive crackpot, Napoleon, originally wanted a building in the shape of a giant elephant in place of the Arc. Let’s all sigh in relief that cooler heads prevailed.

Arc de Elephant?!?

The Walk-up Lament

June 10, 2010

York Restoration Corporation Photo

They fight the good fight. They stand as tall as they can against their younger brothers. And they’re darn pretty!

These are just a few snaps of the little brick buildings who’ve held their ground against New York City’s voracious appetite for more and more space. They’re a throwback to a different time, and it’s nice to see them here and there as York Restoration Corporation strolls through Manhattan.

One guesses that the majority of these little guys will be gone in another 60 years or so. The relentless progress of time, population, as well as the inevitable contraction of elbow room and space to breathe, seems to signal the impending demise of this type of building. Low to the ground, cheerful as it is simple, it’s probably an unfortunate accident of life that entropy and decay will suck under these happy little buildings.

Unless!

Historic tags! Preservation societies! These are the groups, the banded brothers of nostalgia and walking uphill (in the snow!) both ways to and from school, who can save our brick walk-ups! Perhaps you’ve not reached that age yet, but remember: you, too will age. You, too will succumb to physics and science and yes, even nostalgia.

Remember these cute buildings as they slowly crumble with the passage of time, just as our own joints – knees especially – deteriorate, until we’re both quiet and flat underneath freshly disturbed earth.

At least we’ll have a headstone; who will know that a brick walk-up once lived here?

York Restoration Corporation Image

Every Restoration Corporation Enjoys New York’s Met Building

June 9, 2010

York Restoration Corporation shot of Metlife

This giant, foreboding wall of windows is one face of the gigantic MetLife building (nee Pan Am Building), located slightly above and behind Grand Central Station in central Manhattan.

Strangely enough, it’s not even owned by MetLife any longer. It’s owned by some group called Tishman Speyer Properties, which sounds more like a mom-and-pop apartment leasing venture than a group with the clout to buy an iconic Manhattan high-rise.

York Restoration Corporation is, sadly, not a huge fan. It reminds us of many of the generic Los Angeles sky scrapers, boxy and gray, boring and somewhat of an eye sore. All of that is multiplied, of course, by its location behind Grand Central. It stands out, (somehow gaudily) despite its generic ugliness, a throwback to the utilitarian, almost Modernist, late 60s/early 70s high rise architecture that dominated the day.

Ah well. It is very popular with tenants, supposedly, probably because of its central location and attachment to Grand Central.

Maybe someday we’ll see a replacement, but it’s highly doubtful. The MetLife building is probably here to stay.

A Roof Most Restoration Companies Would Love to Hate

June 8, 2010

Restoration Corporations Admiring a beautiful roof

Wow. That’s… one heck of a roof there.

The restoration corporation involved with that roof would have a bit of a logistical headache on its hands. Nothing impossible, of course, but time-consuming.

But, the chance to work on something that intricate and historic! It’d be a joy to loath that job.

Working on old churches is a personal favorite. I can’t quite shake my Catholic upbringing; standing in a century (or centuries) – old cathedral brings a sense of calm to the job. There’s a smell to it – candle wax, stain for the pews, the must of old books – that reminds me of youth, of being young and cared for, meals taken care of, Nickelodeon back when Nick At Night ruled the evening, and frozen pizzas.

Well, some things stay the same.

There’s an old comfort to old things. It’s nice to be reminded of that now and again.

Seeing Green With York Restoration Corporation

June 7, 2010

Seeing Green York Restorations Corporation

My old friend, Frank Lloyd Wright, once remarked as we were enjoying a spot of tea in Arizona, the setting sun splashing red all over the painted landscape around us: “Doctors bury their mistakes. Architects cover them.”

Not always, old friend!

Sometimes, adding a bit of green can add some excitement to the plodding sameness of an area or, especially if the ivy’s allowed to grow and spread, add some consistency to a desultory progression of architecture.

Dangers exist.

If your stucco or brick isn’t sound; if your cement and lime sealant isn’t true and pure, that creeping ivy can (and usually will) find its way in the imperfection(s) and start to cause hell in your wall. Newer structures, for the most part, don’t have to worry about this.

Wooden structures, it seems, inevitably fall to the creeping insistence of ivy. Whether it’s imperfections in the grain (ivy will force its way in the grain and then break apart the board from the inside, causing dry/wet rot), tearing apart seams (ivy will grow in-between the boards and grow… and grow… until the boards are suddenly cockeyed and unstable), or sheer weight (ivy grows until it weighs enough to collapse the structure), ivy’s been known to literally tear apart wooden structures.

But don’t let that get you down! Ivy, like a good dog, just needs to be trained. With a little effort and a month-to-month check-up, you can make sure your ivy’s going where it needs to go. It requires a little patience, but ivy can and will grow to cover just about any surface you train it to.

Give ivy a shot; just make sure your structures are sound, your surfaces are tight, and your schedule allows for a little oversight. Your building can look like Wrigley Field’s walls in no time!

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation

York Restoration Corporation Grooves on a Classic Building

June 4, 2010

York Restoration Corporation

Mmm. That top floor. Creepy, right? Like something from Hitchcock’s classic, “Psycho.” Looks like there ought to be the faint outline of a cross-dressing, murderous, hotel-running Anthony Perkins looking out onto the street.

Not to denigrate the building! It’s a classic building. You know it’s solid, if a little dingy, and probably filled to its rafters with locals who’ve lived in the same apartment for 32 years. They who nod in the hall as they pass one another, occasionally share exciting family news, live with two cats and a cockatoo, eat too much salt, hoard the razor-thin ovals of nearly used-up soap bars inside a plastic bag under the sink so that, a few months and many bars of soap later, those little leftover soap slivers can be packed together to form a “new” Voltron soap bar.

This building says, “buy local.”

“Never try to lift more than you weigh.”

“Cut up all but one of your credit cards, then put that last credit card in a shallow bowl of water. Stick that in the freezer. Whenever you get the urge to buy, pull it out and wait for it to melt. Chances are, the urge to buy will’ve subsided by the time it’s completely unfrozen. Win!”

“Take your date for a walk and a picnic in the park rather than dinner and a movie. Unless you can’t hold a conversation. In that case, always suggest movies. If all else fails, ask a lot of questions and pray you’re attractive.”

Yes, I’d take that sensible building. If it were a woman, and I were dating, I’d have no qualms about taking her home to mother (so long as she cleaned up a bit beforehand.)

And she weren’t the female Anthony Perkins.

A faceless building needs no makeup

June 3, 2010

York Restoration Corp Faceless Building

York Restoration came upon this construction the other day and snapped a photo. It’s so exciting to see fresh construction, especially on an island like Manhattan. The possibilities! The pomp! What life must you lead to live in a penthouse suite? A 8th story brand-new 2-bedroom?

Already, in this skeleton of a building, you begin to imagine the layout, the floor plan, where the master suite will go, what size bed the new owners could fit, where the sectional couch should go, shelves, books, plants, cats, new cutlery from your in-laws, scuba vacations in the Keys, hardwood floors and wall-to-wall carpeting; in the imagining, you inevitably substitute yourself – how can you not? – as “new condo owner” and see a new life filled with new things (not the least of which is this giant condo).

It’s guilt-free escapism, and it’ll cost you the price of a short stroll around your neighborhood.

Indulge.

Oh, to live in an apartment like this…

June 2, 2010

York Restoration Corporation Great Architecture

Don’t get us wrong – we here at York Restoration Corporation love our apartments and condos and little homes in and around Queens. Some of us even have a little back yard for our dachshunds to play in, or a little patio attached to our little apartments. We’re generally happy with where we are, if not so excited about the little bit of square footage we’ve for furniture, guests, and closets. And the like. Yes, York Restoration Corporation is pretty pleased with life, in general.

But! These apartments? Wow.

It’s hard to imagine living a life with so much natural light lighting our days and evenings. Look at those walls of windows! It’d be great to spend an evening reading some non-fiction – say, a biography on Herbert Hoover – while the streets below teemed with harried New Yorkers, scrambling to and from jobs and lives, most of which could never imagine how much nicer it is to live with an entire wall made out of windows.

Ah, well. This building is one of our recent favorites, here at York. We’re in love with the odd architecture, the spacious floor plans, and, of course, the windows.

Well played, apartment dwellers. You win this imaginary round.

On The Job With York Restoration Corporation

June 2, 2010

York Restorations Corporation At Work

It’s almost Summer and York Restorations Corporation is hard at work making the city look beautiful. We make sure the job is done with great care and quality to make sure the restoration process of any building we work on in New York City so that it looks like it was built just yesterday. You can find us anywhere in the NYC region, from Central Park to Flushing and everywhere in-between.

Today’s post is brought to you by York Restoration Corporation