Another hi-tech company is opening a branch in SoHo at 375 W. Broadway. Square, which makes devices that allow businesses to accept credit card payments, will now be able to expand to have 250 employees.
As Demetrios Marantis, Square’s head of international government, regulatory and policy work said, “New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, technology, and art — something we do every day at Square as we help local sellers grow their business with simple and beautiful tools.”
Square is based in San Francisco and also has offices in Atlanta, Tokyo and Kitchener-Waterloo.
It might be interesting for other start-ups to know that New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is going out of his way to court hi-tech companies and start-ups. The Governor has been involved in Square’s entry into its East Coast headquarters, offering Square $5 million in tax credits to help facilitate its New York expansion. Similar tax credits are available for other start-ups, as indicated by the spokesperson for Governor Cuomo’s office.
A new hotel in SoHo called Broome is certainly worth a look. Located at Crosby and Broome, this hotel was seven years in the making. They transformed a Federal-style building that used to house a commune of artists in the late 80s into a 14 cozy, fun room. The most beautiful part of the hotel is the five-story atrium café and lobby where everyone enters.
Opened by Vincent Boitier and the Lacovelli brothers, this hotel is a one-of-a-kind stop in the busy New York City world. The building, built in the Federal Revival Style, was completed in 1825, and the renovations have managed to keep the old world look and feel while creating the most modern of amenities.
A startup in Soho is making waves. Canary is a new security gadget created by New York tech entrepreneur Adam Sager that has everyone talking. It’s slightly larger than a soda can and it recently won the most successful fundraising campaign for crowdfunding site Indegogo by raising $2 million.
As Sager told the Daily News, “Canary is the first smart home security device for everyone. It’s the easiest way to connect to your home and look after your pets and belongings.”
Canary has been created by the Soho-based tech startup called Canary and costs $199. It is already on the market and can be purchased for delivery in July 2014 from Canary.is.
Canary was originally funded by the tech venture capital firm Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. As Sager said about their product, “The momentum is very high. Every day we are getting purchases from all over the world.”
For Canary to work, all that you need is a Wi-Fi connection in your home and a smartphone in your hand. You don’t need to install sensors. With its built-in HD video camera and safety sensors that track motion, temperature, and air quality, it has everything you need to keep your home safe and monitored.
If Canary notices that something out of the ordinary is happening in your home, you’ll get a text message or push notification. You can also see live video or recorded events.
If you love whimsical jewelry, you can soon go to SoHo to check it out. That’s because Michal Negrin is opening a boutique location in the SoHo area as of August 15th, along with about two dozen US boutique locations in the next few years.
A native of Kibbutz Na’an in Israel, Michal was always encouraged by her mom to “create her own world.” She “always wanted to think differently,” as she told JNS.org.
In 1988, she launched her first official jewelry collection and her first retail store on Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv. The designs for her first jewelry were taken from her Russian grandmother’s jewelry collection.
Interestingly, the Israeli jewelry industry has moved from the male-dominated world to one focused on women. As Negrin said, “I consider it very good that women have taken the lead in the industry and can express their creativity. Everyone can follow her own design. Israeli women are creating a new language of beauty.”
Negrin’s company includes 60 stores in two dozen countries around the world. You can get your Michal Negrin products in Japan, Israel, Italy, Russia, France, the US and beyond. And now soon in SoHo.
Noam Hanuka, Michal Negrin’s CEO said, “The Israeli shops [in SoHo] are kind of a symbol of Israeli-Jewish entrepreneurs doing business in the city. We are trying to bring the same giving Israeli spirit to the United States. Everything is done according to the ideas of thebrand: open-mindedness, love, tolerance, and respect for other cultures. They say that there is no household in Israel without some piece of Negrin jewelry or some household items—a menorah, earrings, linens—something.”
It’s not always easy to figure out how to preserve a lifetime of talent. The Soho Photographer, D. James Dee, has been working from the redbrick building at 12 Wooster Street since 1981. He’s been working in the New York area since 1974 photographing artwork for galleries and artists – and he’s soon closing up his shop.
Saying goodbye wouldn’t be so painful, if it weren’t for the 250,000 photos, slides and transparencies of artwork that he has in the building. The boxes are a glimpse of New York history from the 1970s to the present. These profiles in history by everyone from Apple to Shapell capture a piece of the city that could be lost. He worked with Soho galleries like Holly Solomon, Paula Cooper, OK Harris and others. He’s had many take a look at his archives including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Getty in Los Angeles and Fales Library at New York University. So far no one has jumped.
As D. James Dee explained, “I just don’t know the right person. It goes in a Dumpster sometime in July if nobody takes it. And I’d hate to see that done, because it has to be useful to somebody.” Time will tell if anyone takes this slice of history.
Charlie Bird, the new Soho restaurant, from Robert Bohr and chef Ryan Hardy is ready to impress. It just opened a few days ago and shows an amazing food section that is split into five categories. These include Raw, Pasta, Small Plates, Vegetables and Large Plates. They focus on Italian flavors as they describe on their website, they have an “Italian influenced, American executed, and entirely New York.”
They are a very inexpensive place to enjoy, with only one dish over $30. Their win list includes a section called “Shameless Plug” which features wines made by sommeliers who are friends of the house. These include Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin and Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food & Wine, in Colorado.
As they describe on their own website,
“The menu comes from New York’s farmers markets, Long Island fishing boats, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travelers with passionate palates. We’ll be crushing seafood, roasted meats, crazy good wine and creamy espresso. We’ll present a wine list broad enough for you to come by and enjoy wine with us every night or, you can be a baller and order something you can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re Italian influenced, American executed and entirely New York.”
The bikes are ready and the stations are in place for the bike sharing program to start in SoHo. But, some people in SoHo aren’t taking to the new Citi Bike racks well.
There are now two bike racks in Lt. Joseph Petrosino Square at Lafayette and Kenmare streets. And, as Sean Sweene of the SoHo Alliance said, “The people of New York will have to view this ugly Citibank advertising in a place formerly reserved, and preserved, for art.”
There have been complaints all around from people saying that the bike stations are on landmark blocks and others arguing that there will be lost parking spots. Recently, people in Greenwich Village were given tickets after a new bike stand was installed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, blowing off the criticism, said on WOR Radio on Friday that the anti-bike criticism “makes good theater.”
9000 bikers will start riding on Monday who have signed up already and the bikes will then be available to the general public starting June 2. An annual membership costs $95 and a day pass is $9.95.