March 1, 2021

PPP Loans are currently available through the Paycheck Protection Program, Round 2. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently accepting loan applications from small businesses working with participating lenders for the Second Draw PPP. Eligible businesses may apply for a Second Draw PPP now. Don’t miss out on this essential assistance.

Loan Details

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan.

Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

For most borrowers, the maximum loan amount of a Second Draw PPP Loan is 2.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

For borrowers in the Accommodation and Food Services sector (use NAICS 72 to confirm), the maximum loan amount for a Second Draw PPP Loan is 3.5x average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

What Businesses Qualify for PPP Second Draw

Qualifications that you should be aware of regarding a second draw:

  • Your business has fewer than 300 employees.
  • You can show a 25% revenue reduction during the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 (relative to the same quarter in 2019).

Find a PPP Lender

The SBA site provides two ways to find a participating lender:

  1. Lender Match: this free online tool connects small businesses with SBA-approved lenders. Lender Match Link.

Note: this is not useful for an SBA EIDL loan.

  1. Find a Lender Near You: this free online tool lets you search by zip code for a qualified lender near you. Find a PPP Lender Near You.

During the first round of PPP, most small businesses initially approached banks where they had existing relationships. However, some larger banks like Wells Fargo were unable to service and provide PPP loans to all existing customers. Many small businesses were able to receive PPP loans from more local banks like Republic Bank or Cross River Bank.

Other small business found success through FinTech companies like Lendio. For more on FinTech companies, read here.

When Will the PPP Extension End?

As of now, the 2021 round of PPP will be open until March 31, 2021, or until program funds are exhausted, whichever happens first.

Support for Business Hardest Hit

Congress has included three key provisions designed to support businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

  • Restaurants, hotels, or live venues that fall under a NAICS code starting with “72” can apply for 3.5 times their monthly payroll costs on their Second Draw (use NAICS 72 to confirm).
  • Live Event and Production companies that have been forced to close may be eligible for a special grant.
  • $12 billion have been earmarked for BIPOC-owned small businesses

As of now, PPP Loans are still available from the Paycheck Protection Program, Round 2. Applying for Round 1 forgiveness is simple, if businesses spent the loan on approved expenditures. There is no reason receiving forgiveness for Round 2 will be any more difficult. The money has been made available to help small businesses survive these difficult times. It is well worth the effort to access this funding and support.

September 18, 2020
Office Space Asset Productivity
photo Andrea Piacquadio

It’s becoming evident that office space is a key asset in optimizing productivity. While many industries continue with work-from-home scenarios as a significant portion of employment, the downside of remote work is exposed in new research.

Productivity Decreases as Work-from-Home Fatigue Is On the Rise

Results from a new September study conducted by Vocon, an architecture, interior design, and workplace strategy consulting firm, reveal that work-from-home fatigue is on the rise. Simultaneously, productivity of work-from-home scenarios is decreasing.

In Vocon’s September 2020 Survey, 40% of business leaders reported a decrease in work-from-home productivity (Interestingly, in Vocon’s April 2020 Survey, 56% of business leaders rated remote work productivity as ‘excellent’). One quarter of business leaders (25%) reported work-from-home fatigue.

Research also highlighted employer concerns regarding maintaining a strong corporate culture and keeping employees engaged and connected while working remotely. Virtual on-boarding of recent hires and mentoring new talent is also a concern.

Thomas Vecchione, Principal at Vocon, notes, “Companies across the board have seen remote-work fatigue and a resulting decline in productivity. They are actively seeking to bring their people back to the workplace. However, the new paradigm will include both working remotely and working in an office that has been optimized to support purposeful interactions, collaboration, engagement, training, and company culture.”

Office Space Asset Productivity

The benefits of an office space, small or large, are becoming more evident to employers and employees alike. The workplace facilitates better connection between employees. It allows for more organic collaboration, brainstorming, and easier ongoing development of ideas and project progression. These are benefits we’ve all known instinctively. Now, these benefits of an office space are becoming unmistakably clear.

As savvy businesses evaluate what constitutes affordable office space in this new era of business, the value of an office will be determined not only by its location and cost per square foot, but how it contributes to and amplifies productivity.

About Vocon’s September 2020 Remote Work Survey

Vocon’s study was fielded during the first two weeks of September 2020 among business leaders representing nearly a half-million employees (443,985). Key industries included in the survey are technology, advertising, architecture, design, legal services, engineering, and consulting.

Read more research from Gensler on the benefits of physical office space. Learn more about the advantages of an office.

July 2, 2020

As we have come to realize over the past few months, social distancing isn’t something that comes naturally to us as humans. Nevertheless, it will be an important part of our path to safely reopening our economy. Luckily, many businesses have begun to develop software systems that will help.

Amazon has come out with a new technology called “Distance Assistant,” which helps businesses optimize social distancing as they return to work in person. Distance Assistant uses real-time video surveillance to show if people are properly socially distancing in the workplace. By allowing this software to be free and available to all businesses, Amazon is helping companies achieve a post-pandemic future that puts preventative measures into action, while striving to achieve as much normalcy as possible.

Amazon began to develop this software as they were reimagining workspaces for their own employees. The technology behind Distance Assistant applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to cameras in order to identify high-trafficked areas. The software identifies areas where the CDC’s social distancing guidelines are not being followed.

This tool allows for each person’s physical proximity from others to be observed in real-time. Surveillance video is overlaid with circles around each person on the monitor. When they are adhering to the CDC’s social distancing rules, those circles appear green. However, when social distancing is breached, the circles become red. This can help employers find ways to adjust their current operations so that they can keep their employees safe and remain open.

Amazon offers a demonstration of how Distance Assistant works here.

The software was inspired by existing immediate visual feedback technologies, such as radar speed checks. They modified this idea by coupling depth sensors with machine learning models to allow Distance Assistant to effectively differentiate people from their surroundings and measure the distance between individuals.

Distance Assistant is currently being used in various locations and has recently been open sourced so that it can be adapted for any business to use. It is free to download, and only requires a camera and a computer to operate. Going forward, technologies like this will help businesses reopen in ways that are productive, while also being safe and sustainable in the long run.

Download Distance Assistant here or learn more about it on the Amazon website here.

June 16, 2020


Updated PPP Legislation Gives Additional Assistance

Updated legislation pertaining to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was recently enacted. The new law triples the amount of time entities can take to spend PPP funds received and still qualify for forgiveness. Other important updates are highlighted below.

NOTE: If it appears that the SBA website may not be updated with all of the specifics below, details of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility law passed in June can be found here.

Loan Period Extension

Existing PPP recipients can choose to extend the use of funds to 24 weeks (originally 8 weeks) or keep to the existing 8-week timeline.

New PPP recipients have a 24-week period or until 12/31/20, whichever comes first.

Payroll Cost Requirements

Payroll must account for a minimum of 60% of the PPP amount to be forgiven (originally 75%).

Employee Headcount

Recipients have until 12/31/20 to restore workforce levels and wages to pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness (originally 6/30/20).

The new law adds exceptions if entities are unable to find qualified employees or restore business operations to pre-pandemic levels.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to adhere to Rules and Regulations as detailed in the Federal Register.

Repayment of PPP Not Forgiven – Update

NOTE: This is different for Existing PPP recipients and New PPP recipients for the portion of the PPP loan that is not forgiven:

  • Existing PPP loans can be extended up to five years, if the lender and borrower agree.
  • New PPP loans have five years to repay the loan (originally two years).

The interest rate remains at 1% for all PPP recipients.

Payment of Payroll Taxes

The new law allows entities that received PPP funds to delay payment of payroll taxes. The delay can be after entities receive forgiveness of PPP funds (originally this delay was prohibited under the CARES Act and related previous guidance).

IMPORTANT: Be sure to adhere to Rules and Regulations as detailed in the Federal Register.

REMINDER: In order to receive forgiveness, recipients must file the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application after the funds are used.

PPP Funds Are Still Available

For those who have not yet applied for or receive PPP loans, funds are still available. Details for application can be found on the SBA website.

If you are having difficulty finding a lender, explore options here.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act is welcome news to PPP loan recipients, as it increases a recipient’s ability to have most, if not all of the loan forgiven, if updated guidelines are followed and met.

May 27, 2020

New York State recently announced an economic recovery loan program, the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), for small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords (50 units or less) that have seen a loss of rental income. The NYFLF is primarily to provide working capital loans for companies and other entities with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Also, the loans are only available to those who did not receive a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020.

The proceeds are required to be used under the following categories: working capital, inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent, supplies, etc. Loan applicants will be required to detail anticipated use of funds when they apply.

Pre-applications for the NYFLF opened starting May 26, 2020. There are no application fees and collateral is not required. Applicants are also allowed to prepay the loan without penalty. However, priority will be given to industries and regions that have been re-opened; this is not a first-come, first served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries re-open. Prospective borrowers are encouraged by NYS to prepare their pre-applications in advance which will allow them to quickly submit their pre-application once it is announced that its industry and region are phased to re-open.

Brief Details of the Program

Loan Amount

Small businesses and NFPs – the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.

Fixed Annual Interest Rate

Small businesses – 3%.
NFPs – 2%.
Term: 5 years (60 months)


For months 1 – 12: Interest only payments, paid monthly.
For months 13 – 60: Interest and principal payments, paid monthly.

Read all the details here, and pre-apply as soon as possible.

May 22, 2020

Self-Employed and Contractors Take Special Note

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Reports on Fintech PPP Assistance

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports on eight FinTech (Financial Technology) companies offering small businesses access to PPP loans.

Originally, traditional banks were the only lenders offering access to the SBA’s PPP loans. Now, FinTech companies have also been approved by the SBA to accept PPP applications.

It is important to realize that sole proprietors and contractors can apply for PPP.  You can find the details about this and more in an article Self-Employment, 1099s, and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Sean Ludwig shares this important information on U.S. Chamber of Commerce site:

Here are eight innovative FinTech companies now offering PPP loans to small businesses, as well as several FinTech firms that can help you apply for PPP loans.

1 BlueVine

BlueVine, an online lender that has processed more than $3 billion in loans since its founding in 2013, has begun accepting PPP applications. On top of a swift application process, BlueVine says it has “experienced advisors” on hand to answer questions and help with the application.

2 Credibly

Since its founding in 2010, Credibly has issued more than $1 billion in loans to small and medium-sized businesses around the United States. Credibly claims it has simplified the process and only takes “minutes” to apply for a PPP loan application using its platform. It also said it has facilitated more than $500 million in PPP loans to date.

3 Funding Circle

Funding Circle, one of the largest online lenders, has provided more than $11 billion in loans to 81,000 businesses worldwide since its founding. The company is now accepting PPP loan applications and helping provide those loans to small businesses, adding to its already large portfolio. It has also created an easy-to-digest PPP guide that includes a calculator and walk-through of the process.

4 Intuit QuickBooks

Intuit QuickBooks, which is best known for its ubiquitous accounting and payroll software, is accepting PPP loan applications for current customers. Small businesses that are either Payroll customers or QuickBooks Self-Employed customers who filed 2019 taxes with TurboTax Self-Employed can apply and receive a PPP loan from QuickBooks Capital.

5 OnDeck

OnDeck, the largest U.S.-based online small business lender, has issued more than $13 billion in loans to over 100,000 since its founding in 2017. The company has recently begun accepting applications for the PPP loan program. The company also created a COVID-19 hub, which includes information on PPP loans, EIDL loans, local and state assistance options, and other resources for navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

6 PayPal

PayPal, one of the largest FinTech firms in the world, was one of the first companies of its kind to offer access to PPP loans. The company’s initiative has been primarily set up to help current PayPal merchants, but non-merchants can also apply through their portal.

7 Ready Capital

Ready Capital, a real estate and small business lender that has issued more than $3 billion in loans in the U.S., is yet another large player helping small businesses with PPP loans. As of this writing, the company is backlogged with PPP applications, but it may take new applications soon.

8 Square

Square, which has been providing various payment and business tools to small businesses for years, was an early FinTech company to begin offering access to PPP loans. However, the company is focused primarily on helping Square sellers first with PPP loan applications before accepting non-sellers later.

Other FinTech companies helping businesses with PPP applications

A number of FinTech companies are assisting with the preparation of PPP applications and then sending those applications to partner banks that are SBA-approved. These FinTech companies may be worth checking out if any of the above lenders are unable to help or are overloaded with requests:

For more resources and information, check the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site here.

Informative PPP Video Discussion with Barry Moltz

For an informative PPP discussion, Barry Moltz speaks with Ken Burtnick at Paychex to discuss how small businesses can apply through FinTech companies to get a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Paychex works with three of the companies cited above by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

You can hear their discussion here (9:20 long)

Barry Moltz is an author and speaker in small business and entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

It’s Worth the Effort (and Frustration)

More than a few people have been frustrated by the process and even initially denied PPP loans. However, with persistence, many have succeeded in securing this essential financial help. If you feel you’ve hit a deadend or are not receiving response, try another resource.

Specifically, we know a number of small businesses that have been successful in receiving SBA PPP loans by applying through Lendio and Kabbage. The process may be frustrating, but if the loan comes through, it’s well worth the headache and effort.

May 6, 2020

Danny Meyer and the Union Square Hospitality Group are raising money for employees of USHG.  Take a look at the USHG HUGS online auction, which includes some very exciting items and experiences provided by USHG friends and family.  Bid today and support this seriously affected group and the Union Square Hospitality Group.  USHG has made a significant difference in our neighborhood through its community involvement and fine restaurants from Shake Shake to Marta, which have changed the profile of our neighborhood.

These few samples will give you an idea of the breadth of the items on auction:

  • Billie Jean King luxury suite in Arthur Ashe stadium for the US Open day session on Sept. 1st 2020.
  • Noma and a Weekend in Copenhagen.
  • 12 Tickets to the Mets Owner’s Box for a night of baseball with Danny Meyer and Jeff Wilpon.
  • Wine class for 20 at Vini e Fritti.
  • Willie Mays signed photograph (16”x 20”) of “The Catch.”


The auction closes this Thursday, May 7 at 9 PM.
April 21, 2020

On a normal night in New York, we are lucky to have hundreds of entertainment options available — classical music, jazz performances, stand-up comedy, improv, dance, and, of course, Broadway shows.  We all feel like “fish out of water” these days, but you can go to a Broadway show tonight, with some great music and terrific talent.

We’ve collected some favorites, including both staged performances and semi-staged performances available online. We think there is something for every taste and that you’ll enjoy revisiting shows you’ve seen and exploring those you never got to.

Kiss Me, Kate

April 23rd is the day we observe Shakespeare’s Birthday, so you might want to celebrate with this comedy that mixes the basics of the Taming of the Shrew with the backstage love/hate story of the leads Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham. With clever, elegant music and lyrics by the inimitable Cole Porter, this show is filled with thrills, chills and spills as well as driving dance music, such as “Too Damn Hot.”

In 1949, it won the first Tony Award for Best Musical. A stellar cast and particularly fine lead actor/singers make this performance of Kiss Me, Kate one of the best ever. This production was performed as part of the PROMS series in Royal Albert Hall.

Les Mis 

In celebration of Les Misérables’s 10th Anniversary, the PROMS put together a dream cast at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Enjoy the show in the highest quality audio and video possible. This particular version of the musical is breathtaking. Based on the monumental book by Victor Hugo, the story is about the struggle for “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” after the French Revolution. Cast includes Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Philip Quast as Inspector Javert, Michael Ball as Marius Pontmercy, Lea Salonga as Éponine, Judy Kuhn as Cosette, Ruthie Henshall as Fantine, and many others.


Performed as part of the PROMS series in Royal Albert Hall, this landmark American show has rarely seemed as fresh. A young cast with great voices and exceptional dance skills tell the story of love in the Oklahoma territories, with the beautiful music and lyrics of Rogers and Hammerstein. The choreography is thrillingly breathtaking. The musical was a box-office smash when it first appeared in 1943 and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Oscar-winning 1955 film adaptation. Rodgers and Hammerstein won a special Pulitzer Prize for Oklahoma! in 1944.

Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening is a rock musical based on the 1891 German play of the same name by Frank Wedekind. Set in late 19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score. The original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, including Tonys for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor. The production also garnered four Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award. In London, it won four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.


This PBS Great Performances presentation was filmed at the last performance of the original production, and it captures the energy of this modern retelling of La Boheme. In 1996, this original rock musical by a then little-known composer, Jonathan Larson opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Speaking to audiences across generations, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters: love. Its message seems keenly relevant right now.


Passion is the riveting one-act musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. The original cast, appearing in this film, starred Jere Shea as Giorgio, Donna Murphy as Fosca and Marin Mazzie as Clara. The production was filmed shortly after closing and televised on the Public Broadcasting Service series American Playhouse on September 8, 1996. The musical ran a total of only 280 performances, making it the shortest-running musical ever to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. For those who know this musical, it isn’t your typical My Fair Lady, but it is one of the most moving and beautiful musicals ever written and composed, and this incarnation presents it to great advantage with Murphy and Mazzie’s gleaming performances.

The Sound of Music

What needs to be said about the The Sound of Music?  This emblematic musical is an all-time favorite with just about everyone. With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, it is based on the memoir of Maria von TrappThe Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria as Hitler was rising to power in 1938, the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children. Many songs from the musical have become standards, such as “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and the title song, “The Sound of Music.”

Special Recommendation

We think you will truly enjoy this particular version. It is a filmed presentation by the La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts — our hometown high school for the arts. And there are no excuses to be made for this performance – fresh and pretty fabulous for those who have yet to tread the boards down on Broadway. Take a look at what these young people are up to; it is astounding.

(For more performances online, see Catch a Broadway Show Tonight — Part 2)

April 7, 2020

CBS News recently highlighted the extraordinary acts of kindness that tenant Deborah Koenigsberger has been doing with her nonprofit, Hearts of Gold. In a time when newsfeeds are inundated with alarming stories, Koenigsberger’s not only gives hope, it exemplifies how individuals can help make a difference in their local community.

Hearts of Gold’s mission is to work together with homeless or formerly homeless mothers and their children to help them become more confident and self-sufficient as they transition out of the New York City shelter system to permanent homes.

With NYC schools closed during New York’s PAUSE, it’s been a challenge for most parents.  This is especially true for parents who don’t have the luxury of owning a computer they can dedicate to virtual learning – and even harder when there is more than one child at home.

Koenigsberger helped a single mom of three, a freelance hairstylist currently unable to work during New York’s stay-at-home order, who did not have computers for schooling from home.  She gave the family three Chromebooks, which had been donated to the Hearts to Gold learning center – a facility that had to recently close due to the pandemic.

But Koenigsberger didn’t stop there.  After hearing that one of the kids was already struggling in school, she connected the family with a tutor.  Now the family not only has tools for all three children to get school assignments and hand in homework from home, they have a virtual tutor to help out as well.

Beyond education, Deborah Koenigsberger is committed to making sure these families have access to food and hygiene – something more important than ever now that schools are closed.  If families need food, they are encouraged to get in touch with her.

Providing essential services like this is getting harder as most every nonprofit’s resources are stretched.  Funding is always needed, but Koenigsberger tries her best to not let that be an obstacle.  If anyone has time, money, or goods to help this essential support, Hearts of Gold is always open to volunteers or donations.

April 3, 2020

The design community, like every other industry, is dealing with the impact of the changes we’re experiencing globally on a daily basis. Architects and interior designers are working to keep jobs moving forward as best they can. The need to keep aware of important changes in government, industry, and company-specific resources demands that the design community be more dynamic and responsive than ever.

While geared to the architectural and interior design communities, there is information available throughout these resources, which may be helpful to businesses of all types. Look particularly at starred items. (*)

Of course, it is not humanly possible to keep abreast of all changes and tools that might be available.  Here are what some of the design industry’s best-known resources and trade organizations are offering – from the ASID, IDS, AIA, and DFA, to important coverage from Business of Home.


(American Society of Interior Designers)

The ASID has links and resources, organized into categories to help you more easily find what you need.  Importantly, the date each listing was added is referenced in this resource library, so you know how recent the information is.  Go to the ASID site for more on:

  • COVID-19
  • Business
  • Contracts and Insurance
  • Customer Service
  • Small Business Loan Assistance
  • Government
  • Inspiration

* Also, Business of Home reported on a call ASID had with members to go over its 2020 economic outlook report, which was lead by economist Bernie Markstein.  Below is an excerpt of takeaways from Business of Home’s reporting:

  1. Communication and honesty will be key. “If you really are in trouble, you want to talk to clients and see if payments can be accelerated. You can also talk to your vendors, and ask if can you hold off on payments on some items. If you’ve got a banking relationship, talk to your bankers. If you do that, you will have a better chance of survival,” said Markstein.
  2. Think local. A lot of the news will be national, but what matters most is what’s happening in your “neck of the woods.”
  3. Keep half an eye on the markets. Though Markstein sees the economy bouncing back, stocks have taken an undeniable hit. “High-net-worth individuals have been hit hard by the stock market drop; they’re more likely to pull back,” said Markstein.


(Interior Design Society)

IDS is running a Virtual Educational Series of webinars.  Either sign up for future webinars or access the recorded versions of previous webinars.  Below is a sampling of recent and upcoming webinars, which can be accessed at the IDS link above.

  • What You Can Do Now to Stay Focused and Keep Your Business Active
  • 7 Digital Changes to Help Your Business Survive and Be Better Than Before
  • Managing Your Players From a Distance
  • eDesign 101
  • How To Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down
  • Website Essentials to Survive an Economic Recession as an Interior Designer


(American Institute of Architects)

The AIA New York chapter has access to several pertinent resources.  This link, COVID-19 Resources, includes resources for:

  • Remote Work
  • Legal Issues
  • Continuing Education
  • COVID-19 Updates and Best Practices
  • How Architects Can Help

The AIA is offering webinars and CEU classes.  Plus, they have made the Marketplace section open to all.


AEC offers many free self-paced online CEU courses so design professionals can earn credits as time is available.  Below is a sampling of free self-paced courses (a full list of CEU course can be found here):

Course Name: Advances in Plumbing Design for Healthcare
This course reviews innovations in plumbing design and how these designs support trending healthcare needs, including ADA compliance, ligature resistance, bariatrics, infection prevention and ADA code specifications.
1 ASPE CE Hour
Self-Paced version: Whitehall Self-Paced

Course Name: Ligature-Resistant Solutions for Behavioral Healthcare Facilities
Mental illness and substance abuse account for nearly 5.5 million ER visits a year. The purpose of this course is to learn how to design safe, secure, patient rooms and bathrooms in all facilities to save lives.  Attendees will learn about ligature resistant design, how to test for it and why it’s important to make sure all patient rooms and bathrooms follow this guideline.
1 ASPE CE Hour
Self-Paced version: BestCare Self-Paced

Course Name: Gender-Neutral Design in Public Bathrooms
Inclusive design is a win-win for customers and businesses. It shows the business supports the assumption that public spaces should be functional for all users no matter their age, health, or ability.
1 AIA LU CE Hour
1 ASPE CE Hour
Self-Paced version: Neo-Metro Self-Paced

Course Name: Conserving Water and Energy: Electric Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Description:  Universal hot water availability is generally taken for granted. At a time when energy prices and sources, environmental concerns, and water shortages are increasing in significance, it is important to produce hot water in a manner that addresses all these issues. This course explains how electric tankless water heaters (ETWHs) do this while also improving health and safety conditions and reducing costs. The examination includes detailed descriptions of many types of ETWHs and the basic calculations and selection criteria for the most suitable system.
Self-Paced version: Chronomite Self-Paced

*The DFA

(Decorative Furnishings Association)

In an interview with Business of Home, the DFA gives advice to its member vendors.  The advice excerpted below may also help designers with their own approach to issues with orders (read the full article from Business of Home)

  1. Ask the right questions. How can sales reps make a meaningful connection with their clients? “One of the questions I find a lot of use with is: What’s happened since we last spoke?” DFA’s management training specialist Jody Sievertadvised. She encouraged members to ask structured questions—and then to sit back and be good listeners.
  2. Bend the rules. Many members on the call shared stories of designers who had called to cancel or put orders on hold—and for the most part, the members had tried to oblige as long as the piece wasn’t already in production. Firm policies may need to be bent in the coming months, with customer satisfaction as the long game. “Let’s not get so attached to our rules that they override our relationships,” she cautioned.
  3. Get comfortable getting flexible. In these trying times, Sievert suggested that vendors may need to find new ways to support their designer clients—everything from flexible return policies to free storage for orders. The bottom line? Offer solutions. “Ask new questions and figure things out,” she advised. “Say, ‘I may not be able to do that, but let’s try this.’” She also added that those measures don’t have to become an ironclad part of a business: “Here’s something to resist: The idea that if I do this now, they’ll want this forever,” she said. “Put a deadline on it so you’re not beholden to it forever.” 

*Small Business Calculator

Business of Home’s Haley Chouinard recently reported on a ‘small business calculator’ from Faire that helps owners to see the economic impact that a slowdown might have on their business.  The calculator is free to anyone.  Read the full article here from Business of Home 

NoMad Neighborhood Resources

Now more than ever, supporting our neighbors and their businesses is essential.  The spirit and vitality of NoMad is alive and well, even if it’s not being seen overtly on its streets or in its showrooms.  Below are links and how you can best access NoMad neighborhood design resources:

200 Lex – The New York Design Center
All showrooms are working remotely.  Check link above for directory.  If you need assistance finding a specific contact, email for help.

230 Fifth Avenue – New York MarketCenter
Check with individual proprietors (directory in above link).

Check site.

All store associates, as well as customer support teams, are available to help, by phone, email or chat during business hours. And, of course, is open 24/7.

While stores are closed, BoConcept teams remain ready to assist in every way. BoConcept can arrange for a Virtual Design Service, available by video apps (Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp etc.) or by phone. Book here or call the local store.

Dover Street Market
The Dover Street Market e-shop remains open and will deliver orders as usual.  The customer service team can be reached by emailing or calling (212) 604-0010.  The Dover Street Market New York building is closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Direct general inquiries can be made via email at or by phone at (646) 837-7750.

The Ernest showroom will be open by appointment only until further notice. The Ernest team is committed to staying operational and will be working remotely in the interim, and the staff will respond to any inquiries by phone and email and will continue to engage by increasing visibility on online platforms.

kinder GROUND & kinder MODERN
The team is taking online and phone orders; however shipping and production times may be slightly delayed.  Please reach out with any questions.

Lighting, furniture, and accessories. Available online.

Available online.

Available online.

Available online and shipping web orders; possible delivery delays.

March 30, 2020

Last week we posted events taking place online to help fill your evenings during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Here are additional events happening in the coming weeks that you might enjoy and that may broaden your horizons.  We even found an event you can create for yourself at home.  This is only a brief selection of the many offerings available online. If you don’t find something here, do a Google search for streaming events. Whatever your musical and cultural tastes, you are bound to find offerings to make your life richer, while reducing the stress and concern that are natural during the current crisis.

Evenings with Gilbert and Sullivan

As we enter the next weeks of social distancing, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players hopes to bring a little light and levity into these difficult times, with the joyful humor and beautiful music of Gilbert and Sullivan. The company is offering exciting exclusive content each week. This week the troupe is featuring a rousing concert of G&S hits, featuring its intrepid “Wand’ring Minstrels,” backed by Maestro Bergeret and orchestra. And there will be more . . . Check out:

Insider Lists Artists Playing Live Concerts from Their Homes

John Legend and Coldplay’s Chris Martin have helped launch a series of online concerts called “Together at Home,” which is supported by Global Citizen.  Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, and Hozier have also taken part in the series.  Other musicians like Pink, Keith Urban, and Diplo have also posted live performances on social media.  You can find a list of these popular concerts at this link:

Nightly Streaming Opera from the Met

The Metropolitan Opera is continuing its encore presentations from the company’s Live in HD series. Available for free and streaming on the Met website, each performance is available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day.   This week’s schedule is below and you can tune in at this link:

Monday, March 30
Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites
Starring Isabel Leonard, Adrianne Pieczonka, and Karita Mattila, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From May 11, 2019.

Tuesday, March 31
Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Starring Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, and Peter Mattei, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From March 24, 2007.

Wednesday, April 1
John Adams’s Nixon in China
Starring Janis Kelly and James Maddalena, conducted by John Adams. From February 12, 2011.

Thursday, April 2
Verdi’s Don Carlo
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 11, 2010.

Friday, April 3
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles 
Starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 16, 2016.

Saturday, April 4
Verdi’s Macbeth
Starring Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Željko Lučić, and René Pape, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From October 11, 2014.

Sunday, April 5
Bellini’s Norma
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. From October 7, 2017.

NYT: Turn the Living Room into a Stage: Read Plays Out Loud

Take a look at this article by Ben Brantley, in which he suggests a great social activity for the family in this time of social distancing — reading plays aloud. It can be a fun activity that you can all share, and plays may take on new meanings for all when delivered in the context of your family’s relationships.  Here are the plays he suggests:

This is my choice for a first dive into Shakespeare out loud. It’s sinewy and relatively short, and moves as fast a Scottish warrior’s steed on a battlefield. It is also irresistibly lurid, with lots of opportunities to go over the top in interpretation. (Those witches!) It also seems fair to say that all of us these days — who have become weary experts in hand-washing — are prepared to take on Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, in which she endlessly scrubs at hands she imagines are permanently bloodstained.

“Our Town
Thornton Wilder’s portrait of small-town American life in a cosmic context is written in plain and forthright prose that grows in power in the recitation of it. Perfect for those who would just as soon avoid flashy histrionics, and a good choice for families. (An alternative could be O’Neill’s uncharacteristically sunny domestic comedy, “Ah, Wilderness.”)

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
This one’s definitely not for children. But Albee’s immortal, four-character look at marriage as a blood sport (which was to have been staged on Broadway this season, with Laurie Metcalf) has a fierce momentum that can be ridden like a roller coaster. This is the play that the woman I lived with my senior year of college and I would trot out for postprandial entertainment when we had guests for dinner. And no, I do not want to think about what this says about my character at that age.

“The Piano Lesson
Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winner from 1987, set in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression, turns the classic domestic drama into an exploration of the legacy of slavery. It’s the most immediately accessible — and family-friendly — of his plays, and it has a poetry all its own that approaches Shakespearean heights.

“Private Lives
Another favorite from my college days, Coward’s peerlessly urbane tale of a couple who can’t live together and can’t be apart provides an occasion to put on plummy English accents and arched eyebrows. Just the sort of thing to read in a dressing gown, with a dry martini or two at hand. (An alternative: Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite,” a series of comic vignettes set in the hotel of the title, which had been scheduled to open on Broadway this season with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.)

“The Little Foxes
Lillian Hellman’s great potboiler about greed and chicanery in small-town Alabama in 1900 allows plenty of opportunity for camping it up wickedly, and with a Southern drawl to boot.

“Waiting for Godot
For those who are feeling that life is indeed an endless waiting game these days and are brave enough to take on the ultimate literary evocation of that feeling. Not exactly escapist fare, but a lot funnier than you may remember. (An alternative: Parks’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander “Topdog/Underdog.”)

“The Mousetrap’ and ‘Witness for the Prosecution’
For the British mystery lover, these theatrical adaptations of Agatha Christie novels are equal parts cozy and creepy. And the reassuringly stock characters require no special actorly finesse to bring to life. (Ayn Rand’s “The Night of January 16th,” a longtime favorite of high schools, could be an alternative. I played the gangster my junior year.)”

As Brantley says, “Most of these plays are available for download online. One warning: This kind of project can affect the way you talk. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying “methinks” (if you’re doing Shakespeare) or calling people “dahling” (if you’re reading Coward). But, really, what’s wrong with bringing a little flash to everyday conversation at a time of stay-at-home monotony?”

Streaming Classical Concerts

The great concert halls around the world are empty, and although the vast majority of performances have been cancelled, there are streaming events galore.

World Concert Hall: Every Online Concert in This World — Streaming classical concerts from the musical capitals of the world from Rome to Berlin and Tokyo, this site is offering a 30-day free trial:

WKAR List of Live Streaming Concerts — Has one of the most extensive lists of streaming concerts and vocal events worldwide, including performances by perennial favorites such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Lang Lang, Berlin Philharmonic, Joyce DiDonato, Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra, and more.  Link:

March 26, 2020

All of us are experiencing dramatic changes in our daily routines and the news can be paralyzing, but only if we let it. Now is the time not to freeze in place, but to make the most of every opportunity we have to prepare for the coming months and minimize the impact of this crisis on our lives and businesses. Here are five things every business owner or manager might do to keep their businesses moving forward successfully during the present challenge.

Make Sure Your Customers Know You Are Operating and How You Might be Able to Help

Continue to nurture the relationships you have in place, whether they’re with clients or customers.  Find out what their situation is and let them know yours.  Talk realistically about what can continue to move forward and what may need to move forward at a future date.  This is the time to make clients feel reassured and that they are well attended.  Let them know that we are all working through this together.

Be sure to do a pulse check to not come off too callous or mercenary – you know your clients best, so trust the relationship you have in place to help guide you.

If your business lends itself to online communications, consider the following, which can be accomplished virtually:

Blog updates: If you have a website with a blog, you can let customers know that regular updates will be posted as you have salient information.

Social Media: Continue social media efforts across all platforms or initiate them, if you don’t have them in place.  People are now more virtual and are probably more motivated than ever to follow and stay connected.

eBlasts/eNewsletters: These can go out as frequently as you feel needed – daily, weekly, monthly.  Tools like ConstantContact or MailChimp are easy to learn/use, if you don’t have them set up already.

Getting the word out about what’s new, unique, or different in your business is especially important in times of change.  Your consumers need to know that you are still viable and why they should be paying attention to, using, or buying what you offer.  

Address Things That Never Make It to the Top of Your To-Do List

Now might be the right time to take care of things that always seem to get pushed down on your To-Do List.  These can range from 30,000-foot level strategic planning to administrative/organizational tasks.  Below is a list of thought-starters – you can decide which will be most productive for you and what will help you feel better in control in these rocky times.

  • Strategic Planning for the Future
  • Developing New Ways of Packaging Existing Products and Services to Address Changing Client/Customer Needs
  • Developing Business Marketing Strategy
  • Exploring New Target Markets
  • Evolving/Adapting Product Services and/or Developing New Products/Services
  • Finding and Researching Potential Suppliers/Prospects/Employees
  • Exploring and Implementing New Business Technologies: e.g., CRM software
  • Catching Up on Administrative Tasks
  • Analysis of Possible Organizational Changes for Improved Performance

Stay in Touch with Your Peers

Talk to your business peers about measures and initiatives individual businesses are taking to deal with shocks to their business. Business owners are connecting via conferencing services like Zoom or good old conference calls to talk candidly about issues they’re facing.  While specific solutions discussed may not apply directly to your business, general principles or approaches may apply and you might adapt them to your situation.  Plus, it may help you feel like you’re not weathering the storm alone.

You may find you’re able to speak to your business peers differently than you would with your employees, friends, or family.

Speak with Your Employees

Check in with your employees to see how they are doing – both personally and in the context of your business.  They will appreciate that someone is interested in their wellbeing and paying attention to them.  If they raise challenges or issues they are currently facing, you don’t have to offer immediate solutions.  Listening and being heard can be the beginning of a solution.  As you check in with employees, you may hear recurring themes, which could help you know where to focus (and may be something to discuss with your business peers). You can also set realistic expectations for future goals. 

Keep Networking

Regardless of the industry we are in, we are all in the relationship business.  Networking will continue to be part of the lifeblood of business.  If your primary form of networking has been in-person meetings – coffees, lunches, cocktails, dinners or sales calls and trade shows – find ways to continue these types of networking.

  • Schedule a Facetime coffee
  • Host a virtual lunch-and-learn via Zoom – either everyone provides their own lunch or have food delivered, if delivery is available in your neighborhood
  • Take someone to a virtual event (like The Jazz Gallery’s Happy Hour Zoom sessions with jazz musicians on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
  • Meet for cocktails online

Last, but not least, take care of yourself physically and mentally.  Don’t binge on coronavirus coverage.  Reach out to friends if you are feeling alone, find a quiet space if you need personal time, and develop alternate exercise programs.

You are at the heart of your business and the engine that helps to keep it running, you need make sure the engine is well taken care of.

March 24, 2020

(Read an update to this post here)

While music may not cure what ails our world today, it is an incomparable touchstone, expression, and entertainment for people across the globe.

New York’s cultural venues and talents are finding ways to fill the airwaves with a variety of programming.  Many Broadway artists have gone hyper-local, broadcasting from their living rooms and even wash basins (unplugged has never been more plugged in).  Larger arts organizations, like the Metropolitan Opera’s Nightly Streams, Carnegie Hall’s “Watch and Listen,” and the 92nd Street Y’s “Archive of Concerts and Talks” are now available online.  NPR’s Lists of Daily Schedules of Streaming Concerts (from jazz to classical, electronic, experimental, American, and more) reach beyond New York. While globally venues like Germany’s Wiener Staatsoper offer daily online streaming broadcasts of opera and ballet.

Below is a sampling of what just might be your evening’s entertainment.

Living Room Concerts

From Broadway World — Performers sing their favorite tunes from current Broadway hit shows from their homes.

Nightly Met Opera Streams

Though the Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the remainder of its 2019-2020 season, its presenting encore presentations from the company’s Live in HD series. Available for free, streaming on the Met website, each performance is available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day.

The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.  Go to the Metropolitan Opera website for more information and to see the operas:

A reminder, for people who don’t like opera: These works are almost always as much a treat for the eyes as much as the ears.

Tuesday, March 24
Wagner’s Das Rheingold
Starring Wendy Bryn Harmer, Stephanie Blythe, Richard Croft, Gerhard Siegel, Dwayne Croft, Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens, and Hans-Peter König, conducted by James Levine. From October 9, 2010.

Wednesday, March 25
Wagner’s Die Walküre
Starring Deborah Voigt, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Stephanie Blythe, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel, and Hans-Peter König, conducted by James Levine. From May 14, 2011.

Thursday, March 26
Wagner’s Siegfried
Starring Deborah Voigt, Jay Hunter Morris, Gerhard Siegel, Bryn Terfel, and Eric Owens, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From November 5, 2011.

Friday, March 27
Wagner’s Götterdämmerung
Starring Deborah Voigt, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Waltraud Meier, Jay Hunter Morris, Iain Paterson, Eric Owens, and Hans-Peter König, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From February 11, 2012.

Saturday, March 28
Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Starring Annette Dasch, Johan Botha, Paul Appleby, and Michael Volle, conducted by James Levine. From December 13, 2014.

Sunday, March 29
Wagner’s Tannhäuser
Starring Eva-Maria Westbroek, Michelle DeYoung, Johan Botha, Peter Mattei, and Gunther Groissböck, conducted by James Levine. From October 31, 2015.

Carnegie Hall Watch & Listen

Listen and watch concerts and talks from Carnegie Hall, including performances by the great soloists, orchestras and instrumentalists from around the world.

92nd Street Y Archive of Concerts and Talks

The 92nd Street Y has made its archive of performances — from concerts to talks — free for the public.

NPR Lists Daily Schedule of Streaming Concerts

Check out NPR for a full range of concerts available each day from jazz to classical, electronic, experimental, Americana, and more.

Opera from the Wiener Staatsoper

The Wiener Staatsoper continues to play daily online, worldwide and it’s free.  Experience great opera and ballet at home.  Wiener Staatsoper broadcasts recordings of previous opera and ballet performances daily via its streaming platform

This online programme will even follow the originally planned schedule at the house, with a few exceptions only. Streams for most operas begin at 7 p.m. Central European Time — 2 p.m. ET (Gotterdammerung begins at 5 p.m. Central European Time — 12 p.m. in ET) and remain available for 24 hours.

March 24
L’elisir d’amore

March 25
La Cenerentola

March 26

March 27
Le Nozze di Figaro

March 28

March 29
Roméo et Juliette

March 30
Le Nozze di Figaro

March 31
L’elisir d’Amor

April 1
Die Frau Ohne Schatten

 April 2
Peer Gynt

February 3, 2020
Photos by Michael Moran / OTTO

If you’ve missed it, you should get over to the former TekServe space at 119 West 23rd Street and experience Poster House, the first U.S. museum dedicated solely to the poster.  This unique museum, right here in our NoMad neighborhood, not only has a terrific collection of over 7,000 examples of poster art including works by icons such as Milton Glasser and Shepard Fairley, but also the space is a stunner.  The museum design by tenant LTL Architects won the prestigious AIA NY Honors Award in the Interiors category.

New York, with its long relationship with advertising and design, did not have a public institution dedicated to the display of posters.   To fill this long-acknowledged gap in in the city’s cultural landscape, Poster House was founded in 2015, and after several years of planning and construction, the museum opened its doors on June 20, 2019.

Poster House’s collection contains examples from the earliest appearance of posters in the late 1800s, to their present-day use, and it’s the museum’s mission to engage and educate all audiences by investigating this large format graphic design medium and its public impact.  Perhaps no art form has such a tight bond with the public—in their presentation of new products, ideas, entertainment announcements, social developments, political movements, and more.  To get an idea of the range of exhibits at this great new resource, take a look at their past, current and upcoming exhibitions here.

The old TekServe space has been completely reimagined by LTL Architects to remind visitors that posters are supposed to be outside.  The first floor gallery extends through the length of the building, so as you walking down the length of the gallery, you get the sense of being on a street.  This effect can easily be imagined as one looks at the photos of the space.

Photos by Michael Moran / OTTO
Photos by Michael Moran / OTTO

LTL also designed the space to include several interactive spaces appealing to a range of ages, such as a Layer Station that breaks down a poster into the separate stages of its color printing, a full-wall whiteboard featuring a city street scene to be colored by visitors, and even a design-your-own poster digital experience.

LTL’s sleek design incorporates beautiful original features of the century old building such as exposed brick walls, barrel vaults, and cast-iron columns— harkening back to times closer to the early days of poster art.   We think you will find the overall effect of the 15,000 square foot space exciting and engaging—it’s a great collection in architectural gem.

Photos by Michael Moran / OTTO
January 20, 2020

Perhaps one of the most famous quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom we celebrate today, was, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Lauded as one of the greatest sopranos of the 20th Century, Leontyne Price was also an intelligent woman with a strong character. Unfortunately, her early career was unquestionably stalled by the color of her skin, but on this day in particular, it is important to see how eventually her talent, dedication to work,  and character overcame bigotry and led her to a career as a leading performer at the Metropolitan Opera and most major opera houses around the world.

After years of singing and playing accompaniment for church choirs, Ms. Price thought she might be a music teacher, but others realized her voice was extraordinary and helped her to a Julliard scholarship. In 1948, when she entered Julliard the world was a sad place.  It would still be another seven years before the Metropolitan Opera signed its first black singer, Marian Anderson.  There weren’t a lot of opportunities for a black classical singer, so Ms. Price spent an inordinate number of years singing Porgy and Bess across America and Europe.

Then she started to arrive. In 1956, Ms. Price became the first African American in a leading role in a televised opera, singing Tosca.  She developed a close working partnership with Herbert Van Karajan, a famously difficult and demanding conductor who saw her as “the artist of the future.” They worked for many years together. She was the first black woman to sing at La Scala in Milan, and then at the MET she commanded the role of Aida from her debut in 1961 until the last time she sang it 25 years later in the 1984-85 season. She was “Musican of the Year,” on the cover of Time, and Kennedy Center Honoree. The crowning moment of her career was when she was asked to star in the inaugural production at the new Metropolitan Opera House. All the while she won acclaim and added more and more difficult roles to her repertoire.  She frequently was asked to entertain at The White House, and she even wrote the children’s book version of Aida that became the basis of the Broadway musical. On September 30, 2001 at 74, she performed at a memorial for 9/11 victims in Carnegie Hall, singing “God Bless America”— unaccompanied.

Even with all of the racial hatred we see in 2020, if you weren’t alive back to the 50s it is hard to imagine how enormous, Ms. Price’s achievement was. Yes, she had a tremendous, gorgeous instrument, but it takes a great deal more, and she used her intelligence to raise her performances to the highest emotional and artistic level. Perhaps just as importantly, she never forgot her upbringing, her family and who she was as a person. At the end of recitals, she always performed “This Little Light of Mine — I’m Gonna Let it Shine,” which seems to say a lot about her humility and how she felt about her role in making the world a little more civilized.

Ms. Price avoided the term African American, preferring to call herself an American, even a “chauvinistic American. In a television interview he summed up her philosophy this way: “If you are going to think black, think positive about it. Don’t think down on it, or think it is something in your way. And this way, when you really do want to stretch out, and express how beautiful black is, everybody will hear you.”

We will leave you with two recordings on YouTube, one of Ms. Price singing the popular Gershwin tune “Summertime” and a recording of “O patria mia” from Aida, which some believe has never been sung as well by anyone else. The visual technology of the time isn’t ideal, but the voice and sound are wonderful. The soul is immeasurable—a manifestation of her character.

We are still far from Dr. King’s goal, but there are some stalwart souls that make us realize how different — and how much richer — the world would be if only we would be truly just.

Leontyne Price maintained an office in the St. James Building for many years, and her kindness to Kew staff members is still remembered.

December 13, 2019

We have told you about the remarkable rare book shop and tenant Pryor-Johnson Rare Books, ABAA in an earlier post. If you are looking for a great gift for the literary, artistic or otherwise erudite people on your list, Pryor-Johnson might be your one-stop shopping destination this holiday season—particularly as Kew tenants will get a 10% discount from now until the end of December.

Here are some selected books from the Pryor-Johnson collection to give you a sense of its rich offerings.  There are art and design titles particularly appropriate for holiday giving, but you’ll also find a vast range of books, from art and photography to signed first editions, poetry and Beat literature (much signed), limited editions, books about books and a wide selection of antiquarian books, from English literature to religion, history, natural science and cookery. Gift cards are also available for the truly difficult-to-shop-for.

More than gifts for book lovers this is a place to find gifts for those who love life and all the discoveries yet to be made.


An Incredible Collector’s Item Bringing Together Stein, Thomson and Picasso

Gertrude Stein (words) and Virgil Thomson (music). Picasso. [New York]: JHW Editions, [ca. 1997]. Numbered 82 of 300 copies.

Finely printed on Rives BFK and Arches Wove paper by the Stinehour Press. Four homages to Picasso: three by Stein and one, musical and represented by a CD, by Thomson.

Presented in a red cloth clamshell case, printed in gold. An extraordinary collaboration across time of three of the twentieth century’s most idiosyncratic artists.


18th Century American Decorative Arts

Perfect for the Interior Designers and Historians as well as the Art Lovers on Your List

Edwin J. Hipkiss. Eighteenth-Century American Arts. The M. and M. Karolik Collection… Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 1941. First edition.

A landmark text in the study of American decorative arts. Maxim Karolik, a Russian émigré, married Martha Codman, a Boston Brahmin, scandalizing Boston society. Richly illustrated and amply described, this collection, donated by the Karoliks, forms the core of the American decorative and fine arts collection at the MFA, which built a new wing to house it.


Jardins des Médicis

A Stunning Review of Italy’s Most Beautiful Gardens

Cristina Acidini Luchinat (ed.). Jardins de Médicis. Jardins des palais et des villas dans la Toscane du Quattrocento. Milan: Actes Sud/Federico Motta Editore, 1997. French edition, translated from the Italian.

A work as scholarly as it is decorative, comprising the surviving gardens of the palazzi of the Medici in Tuscany and the works of the artists in the Medicisphere, from Paolo Uccello to Botticelli and Michelangelo. Sumptuously printed, this may be the loveliest book with footnotes. Presented in the publisher’s slip-case.



A Sumptuous Collection of the Work by One of the 20th Century’s Most Sensuous Photographers

Valentine Lawford. Horst. His Work and His World. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. First edition.

Now scarce and quite desirable, this is the great monographic treatment of the twentieth century’s most iconic portraitists and fashion photographers. Simply put: he shot everybody. Lavishly illustrated and with a list of acknowledgements from Brooke Astor to Diana Vreeland, this book is without equal.


The Work of John S. Sargent R.A.

The First Major Survey of the Works of One of England’s Greatest Portraitists

J.B. Manson and Mrs. Meynell (introd.). The Work of John S. Sargent R.A. London: William Heinemann/New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1927. First edition, limited; numbered 256 of 360 copies.

Sargent, the greatest Edwardian portrait painter, had died only two years prior to this publication, making this the first major retrospective of the society artist par excellence. Luxuriously illustrated with tissue-guarded engravings, books of this scale are no longer attempted.


An Illustrated History of English Plate

The Rare and Definitive Work on English Silver for the Curator or for the Enthusiast

Charles James Jackson. An Illustrated History of English Plate Ecclesiastical and Secular… London: Country Life & B.T. Batsford, 1911. Two volumes. First edition.

The staggering and definitive work on English silver from its earliest examples through the Georgian period, the product of years of research and indefatigable erudition. With a colored frontispiece, seventy-six photogravures (engraved photographs) and a further fifteen-hundred illustrations. A reference work without parallel, luxurious in line with the quality of its subject.


Luca & Andrea Della Robbia

A Seminal Text for All Renaissance Men and Women

Maud Cruttwell. Luca & Andrea Della Robbia and their successors. London: J.M. Dent & Co./New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1902. With over 150 illustrations. First edition.

Cruttwell ranks as one of the greatest art-historians of the turn of the century. She began as Bernard Berenson’s housekeeper (!) and went on to write what remain some of the standard works on Italian Renaissance artists: Donatello, Pollaiuolo, Verrocchio and others. Her sharp eye is matched by her sharp prose style, neither of which is matched by the art-historians of today.


You’ll find these but many more treasures, including first editions and autographed works that perfectly fit the special people on your list—no matter their interests in medium or period — poetry, design, fiction, classic, Elizabethan, modern.  Stop by, and have a chat (and a drink!) with David and Jonah.  They will remind you how civilized the world and shopping can still be.

Pryor-Johnson Rare Books, ABAA
1123 Broadway, Suite 517
New York, NY 10010
(212) 452-1990

Hours: Monday–Saturday 11–6, or by chance or appointment