Let’s talk about six: What’s a classic six apartment?

Have you ever heard of a “classic six” apartment? From time-to-time in NYC you might’ve crossed this listing term and found yourself curious as to what it actually means. According to Brownstoner, a classic six apartment is “chic, desirable and great for raising a family”. But what makes this style of living just so appealing? What is it makes a “classic six” one of New York City’s most sought after apartment layouts? 

Let’s break it down.

 

The classic layout

A classic six is a prewar (“classic”) apartment with a certain number of separate rooms (you guessed it – “six”). However that’s not all, it must also include a living room, formal dining room with a window, a kitchen, two full bedrooms and a maid’s room (typically smaller than the main bedrooms and usually located off the kitchen). While a classic six can have any number of bathrooms, oftentimes you’ll find the maid’s room also boasts its own full or half-bath.

A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner
A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner

The “other” classics

You might have come across the phrases “classic five” (lacking the maid’s room), or “classic seven” (which includes an additional bedroom), however, the less common, rare surviving “classic eight” with a room for a second maid, also exists.

Searching for six

According to Brownstoner, “the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are known for having the largest stocks of classic six units in New York, [but] even there, listings are scarce”. Many are in co-op buildings (and occasionally condo buildings) and it’s incredibly rare to find one for rent. 

A good place to start is Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights or Park Slope – places boasting large-scale pre-war apartment buildings.

Apartment appeal

In addition to the obvious, being the sheer size of a classic six, both the fact that they’re so hard to come across and the distinct layout play a big role in the appeal. More or less impossible to achieve in smaller NYC apartments, the layout of a classic six provides both privacy and a feel of openness. How? The kitchen, dining and entertaining/common areas are often separated from the main bedrooms by a distinct hallway. Because of this, these “apartments” actually have a layout more similar to a classic single family home.

The space separation of the maid’s room to the rest of the home, tucked away by the kitchen, is often a favorite of NYC youth who enjoy the privacy and the idea of occupying their own living quarters. Of course, being so close by the kitchen and that endless supply of coffee, this space also makes for a great home office or studio! If you’ve found yourself with a classic six with a maid’s room that boasts it’s own bathroom or half bath too, why not turn it into a guest bedroom?

A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal
A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal

Your pre-war classic six: The 2017 update

Given the original construction date on majority of these apartments, chances are, yours might be in need of a little upgrade. Or perhaps you’re ready to do a little renovating to turn that maid’s quarters into your new home office? You might like to enlist the help of someone like All Renovations – specialists in high-end Brooklyn and Manhattan brownstone renovations. Or Brooklyn-based Creative Renovations – whose past client list includes a number of Brooklyn brownstone landmarks!

Cream of the Co-Ops

Do you want to know where your fruits and vegetables come from and how they’re grown? Be involved in a dynamic organization? Make new friends? Save some green on your greens? Then it’s time to check out food cooperatives, aka food distribution outlets operated by consumers. In Brooklyn, there are a number of co-ops that provide healthy food, promote economic and cultural diversity, and strengthen community bonds.

 

flFair Flatbush Fare
If only food was always this fresh, fair and fun! The Flatbush Food Co-op is committed to selling wholesome, organic goods, produced in fair and ethical working environments, with a focus on local foods, vegan and gluten-free products. Anyone can shop here, or join, with member-ownership $200 and no work requirement. Member-owners are involved in democratic participation and have access to monthly specials, discounted events, classes and more. The work environment strives to involve and empower employees and create a positive, respectful shopping environment, staffed with helpful and knowledgeable community members.
1415 Cortelyou Road. Monday to Sunday, 6am-midnight.


Sweet Slope Sustenancew
Members only! The Park Slope Food Coop may be a little more exclusive than others, but with over 16,500 members and 15,000+ carefully selected products, we think you’ll want to get involved! Membership is open to all, with a joining fee of $25, and members work once every four weeks in exchange for a 20-40% savings on groceries. The co-op was founded in 1973 by a group of committed neighbors who wanted to make healthy, affordable food available to everyone who wanted it. Working members receive good food at low prices, and have a say in the decision-making process and planning of the organization’s future.
782 Union Street. Monday to Friday, 8am-10pm. Saturday, 6am-10pm. Sunday, 6am-7:30pm.

 

bPick Bushwick
New kids on the block, the Bushwick Food Coop has been serving the community locally sourced and organic foods since 2012. Everyone in the community is welcome to shop at the member-owned coop grocery store, but members get the best deal – a 24% mark-up on wholesale pricing, versus 75% for non-members. Members pay a $50 membership fee and contribute four monthly hours. The co-op is democratically operated, and socially and environmentally responsible, striving to work with farms and businesses that are local, sustainable, fair-trade, organic and ethical. Grocery shopping never felt so good!
2 Porter Ave (The Loom). Monday to Sunday, 10am–8pm.


Greenest Grocerg
You will struggle to find a group of more dedicated members! The Greene Hill Co-Op in Clinton Hill is 100% member-owned-and-operated, only one of three such food co-ops in the ENTIRE country. This work model claims to keep prices low and food quality high. The co-op provides affordable, locally grown, organic food to members throughout the Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights neighborhoods. The 1,300 member-owners invest $175 and contribute at least two and a half hours of work every four weeks. Sign up tomorrow at the Co-op’s open house and save $25 when you register!
18 Putnam Avenue. Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 3pm-9pm. Saturday & Sunday, 10am-6pm.

Make it to Market

One of our favorite things about Spring is the super fresh and delicious, seasonal produce, and luckily for us there are dozens of farmers markets in Brooklyn to choose from. The below are open right now, so do some research on the seasonal specialties, grab a tote and head to market!

 

greenpoint 2

A Green Point
Greenpoint never disappoints, with farmers markets held on Saturdays year-round in McCarren Park. These much-loved markets are enjoyed by the vibrant, growing Williamsburg community and the longtime Greenpoint Polish community. Shoppers mingle with friends and neighbors, bring their dogs to run around at McCarren Park and enjoy live music by local artists and cooking demonstrations by local chefs. Since 1997 this market has stayed true to its loyal customers who are encouraged to learn about featured produce and take home recipes.
North 12th St & Union Ave, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

PSL_CenterLaneSunny_May2014From the Earth, Down to Earth
On Sundays the Down to Earth Farmers Markets land in Park Slope. This is how we to like to start our Sunday mornings! Founded in 2004 the markets include dozens of vendors who sell plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, honey, baked goods, meat, poultry and more. In the market for the freshest of fresh produce? Check the website to see what’s in season. Right now we’re sea’ing seafood and ciders! This weekend (5/15) there will be a textile recycling program from 10am-5pm. The Market is now also open on Wednesdays if you’re planning a mid-week grocery shop!
5th Ave between 3rd and 4th St, Park Slope. Sundays, 10am-5pm (4/24 – 12/18); Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm (5/11 – 11/16).

 

grand army plazaArmed and Delicious
Founded in 1989, the Grand Army Plaza market is appropriately named, and is the grandest and largest Brooklyn market in the Greenmarket program. On Saturdays year-round these markets treat market-goers to a huge array of farm-fresh produce. A mix of shoppers, runners, dog walkers, families, foodies and more from Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and beyond come together to enjoy the numerous stalls. If you’re checking these markets out, why not make a day of it and explore the nearby beautiful Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Public Library or Brooklyn Museum.
Prospect Park West & Flatbush Avenue, Northwest corner of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-4pm (Year-Round).

 

courtelyouCourt-Sell-You
We’re sold on the Cortelyou Greenmarket, located on lively Courtelyou Road in Flatbush on Sundays. Since 2003 market-goers have filled their bags and baskets with specialty Mexican produce and herbs, eggs, chicken, fresh pasta, orchard fruit and juices, seafood, mushrooms, grass-fed beef, goat cheese and locally-grown vegetables. Is your mouth watering yet? Cooking demonstrations, seasonal celebrations, family-friendly activities like singalongs and the open adjacent schoolyard ensures a festive atmosphere, located among a thriving shopping strip in the heart of South Brooklyn.
Cortelyou Road between Argyle & Rugby, Flatbush. Sundays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

 

Let’s Talk About Mex, Baby

Enchiladas, micheladas, empanadas, tostadas…  These are a few of our favorite Mexican things! Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, commemorating the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. The occasion has since expanded into a celebration of Mexican cuisine, culture and music. Here’s where you’ll find the party in Brooklyn. Salud!

 

571551b714385Mexican Sunset
A familia-friendly affair, Brooklyn Recreation will host a celebration of Mexican culture in the Brooklyn community at Sunset Park Recreation Center from 4-7pm. Music, dance, food, arts and crafts and more will be on hand, and the event is completely free! That’s what we’re tacoing about!

 

 


Torti-yas!890
Go slow on the mezcal and keep it classy, literally, at The Brooklyn Kitchen’s Cinco de Mayo cooking party! The industrial-chic cooking store in Williamsburg is celebrating the culinary delights of Mexico with a cooking class from 6:30-8:30pm, featuring tacos, traditional pozole, a tortilla-making station and margaritas. Jalapa Jar will run a hands-on salsa-making workshop. The class is $75 and attendees will receive a 10% discount on everything in the store.

 

fondaFond of this Fiesta
Gourmet guacamole and good times guaranteed at Mexican restaurant Fonda in Park Slope. Open from 3pm, you’ll want to sit in the sun in the outdoor back patio and sip special “Su Casa” drinks with your amigos until it’s time to siesta. Happy hour is from 3-6pm, and from 7-8pm Mariachi Guadalajara will spice things up with live music. Reservations recommended!

 

Never Bean Betterburrito
From Sunday to Thursday Burrito Bar & Kitchen is celebrating Cinco de Mayo! The lively Tex-Mex spot in Prospect Heights will have nightly margarita specials, free raffles and giveaways. Take a creative pic wearing a colorful sombrero and share it to be in the running for a surprise giveaway. $10 admission on Thursday includes a complimentary Avion margarita. You’re encouraged to fiesta like there’s no manana!