New York is famous for its blistering pace of life. In a city where everyone and everything moves quickly, One Hour Framing Shop fits in perfectly. Normally, a frame shop can take several weeks to frame items, but Waseem - the manager of the store - and his team can finish nearly every item in under a day. “Only in a place like New York is our work possible. That’s the beauty of New York. That’s what makes us an iconic store,” Waseem said.
The shop first opened in 1983 and has been a staple on 40th Street ever since. In speaking with Waseem, Manhattan Sideways team member Jon learned that he has been here since the beginning. Working at a framing shop has its perks, Waseem explained. As the go-to shop for producers of New York-based movies and television shows, he hears about the latest in entertainment well before everyone else.
Almost every store on the street has changed since it first opened, but Waseem believes that One Hour Framing has been able to thrive by cultivating plenty of relationships with the businesses surrounding it in Midtown. He rattled off a list of more than a dozen large companies that utilize their services. Waseem knows all of his customers personally and has become friendly with many of them. When Jon stopped in, the president of a top investment firm, a regular customer, came by and started chatting with Waseem. It immediately became evident to Jon why people keep coming back; Waseem makes sure to remember personal details about his customers, and will always deliver what they want when they want it. As a testament to just how loyal his customers are, he revealed that many drop off gifts for him during the holiday season. “I’ve met a whole range of people. While some of them are really rotten, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of good, lovely people.”
Known as Bryant Park Place today, this Renaissance Revival structure was originally built by Andrew Carnegie, in 1907, to house the Engineer's Club, a professional group of men who were creating an important niche for themselves in the world of business. It was Mr. Carnegie's strong desire to pay tribute to "ordinary men doing extraordinary things. " Members included President Herbert Hoover, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Today, No. 32 is completely residential, with Royce' Chocolate and Gotham Beauty Lounge located on either side of the stunning lobby. The exterior of the building remains almost the same, with its magnificent entryway and white stone facade.
A marriage of Mexican and barbecue, the bursting flavors of Mexicue set it apart from other mobile eats during its beginnings as a food truck in 2010. In 2011, the energy and vivacity of the original endeavor were carried over to a brick and mortar location on Seventh Avenue, and in 2014 Times Square became its third location, with continued plans for expansion. Great smells awaited me when I first stopped in one summer afternoon to find out what the buzz was about. Apart from the inviting wooden slab booths, the innovative menu, and the dynamic bar (which hosts weekday happy hours from 4pm to 6pm) what made me return for dinner that night was the charisma of the staff. From hostess to waiter, all members were devoted to ensuring a comfortable experience for their guests with bubbly smiles and relaxed attentiveness. Among other hits, the burnt ends brisket bowl has garnered quite a following with a base of award-winning chili, tortilla chips for crunch, and house-pickled jalapeños for a little kick. The empty bowl, after Manhattan Sideways members were done with it, assured me it was something special. What provoked my own interest, however, was the kale and quinoa bowl, an interesting listing on the menu that made sense at first bite, a perfect flavor combination of spicy Mexican and smoky barbecue.
At times, living in Manhattan can become a bit chaotic – and it is at this moment when Muji feels like a breath of fresh air. So different from our busy and cluttered apartments, Muji is the epitome of minimalist class. There is no rhyme or reason to what items are carried and yet while there are a million trinkets to browse through, the atmosphere remains effortlessly crisp and clean. Everything is made in neutral colors and simple materials, and labeled with clear descriptions. After wandering around, I suddenly had the urge to go home and clean everything out of my closet and start fresh. The store has a calming and almost meditative effect on people. The vast variety of items includes furniture, clothing, home goods – and yet everything feels unified. Some of the hidden treasures can be found within the office supplies – pens that glide beautifully across the page and notebooks that rival moleskin for utility and sophistication, but at a fraction of the price. Even the clothes are in soft, soothing colors, but made from fine fabrics and sold at very reasonable prices. Step inside to escape the bustle of the city, and do not be surprised if you leave with a new toothbrush or a pair of slippers.