15 New Changes to New York Rental Laws in 2019

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019 makes significant changes to the various statutes governing rent regulated and free-market housing in New York, including coops, condos and townhouses. The provisions of the HSTPA became effective on June 14, 2019 with a 30 day implementation grace period.

Rent Regulated Housing:

  1. Vacancy Decontrol is ELIMINATED for rent stabilized apartments. Previously, when a rent stabilized apartment reached a rent of $2,774 and was vacated, the landlord was able to make it a free market apartment but this is no longer the case.

  2. Vacancy Lease Increases (Vacancy Bonuses) are REPEALED. Previously, when a rent stabilized apartment became vacant, the landlord could increase the rent by as much as 20%, but this is no longer the case.

  3. Rent Increases for Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs) are REDUCED. Previously, if a landlord made upgrades to an apartment, they were able to raise the rent 1/40 th of the cost of the improvement, which is 2.5%, there was no cap on improvements. This has been greatly reduced. Now, the cap is $15,000 of improvements over a period of 15 years. The amount of the rent increase is limited to 1/168 the of the cost of the AIA for buildings with 35 or fewer units and 1/180 th of the cost for buildings with more than 35 units.

  4. Rent Increases Based on Major Capital Improvements to the building are REDUCED. Rent increases for improvements that directly or indirectly benefit all the tenants used to be capped at 6% now the rent increases have been reduced to a cap of 2%.

  5. Preferential Rent Adjustments are RESTRICTED. Previously, when a landlord was renting a rent stabilized apartment, they could rent it for less than the maximum (legal) rent, referred to as the preferential rent. However, under the old legislation when the lease came up for renewal, the landlord could increase the rent to the legal rent. Under the new legislation, preferential rents can only be increased by the amount allowed by the Rent Guidelines Board. Once the landlord issues a preferential rent that effectively becomes the rent going forward and can only be increased by the amounts specified by the Rent Guidelines Board until the current tenant vacates. Once the apartment becomes vacant, the landlord may increase to the legal rent.

  6. Luxury Deregulation is REPEALED. Previously, when all the tenants on a lease earn a combined $200,000 for two consecutive years, the landlord could deregulate the apartment, this has now been eliminated.

  7. Owner Recapture is RESTRICTED. Previously, landlords of rent stabilized apartments could reclaim an apartment when they claimed they needed it for their own use. Now landlords are only allowed one apartment, it has to be their primary residence and they have to show an immediate and compelling need to take back that apartment.

New Regulations Applicable to All Residential Housing including Co-ops and Condos:

8. Prohibition on Collecting Future Rent & Security Deposits:

• A landlord can no longer collect more than one month’s rent and one month’s security at lease signing. Landlords are limited to a total of one month’s rent for security.

• They can no longer collect multiple months of rent in advance, which was a common practice for landlords seeking to rent to students or to prospective tenants with bad or questionable credit.

• Riders used as workarounds are not permitted. The law specifically states that riders or separate agreements that do not comply with the new laws are not enforceable.

• For tenants who previously would have been required to pay rent in advance or increased security there are third party lease guarantors such as Insurent or The Guarantors.

• If a landlord has collected more security than one month prior to the law going into effect the landlord must return the additional security at lease renewal.

9. Limit and Return of Security Deposit: Currently, standard REBNY and Blumberg Leases state that the security deposit will be returned after the tenant moves out and/or when the lease expires. Generally, landlords would return the security deposits within 30 days, and in some cases, the rider would be amended to increase or decrease the number of days. Under the new legislation, a landlord must return the security deposit within 14 days after the expiration date of the lease.

10. Tenant’s Right to Conduct an Inspection before Occupancy. The new law states that a landlord must offer the tenant the opportunity to do a walkthrough in order to examine the apartment prior to taking possession. The tenant should document any damage or defect prior to lease start date and provide the landlord with documentation. At the termination of the lease, the landlord cannot make a claim for repairs to those items.

11. Cap on Late Fees. Current Standard REBNY and Blumberg Leases do not mention anything about late fees, but most attorneys or landlords who draft the leases include a late charge. The new laws put a cap on late fees, after 5 days, late fees are limited to $50 or 5% of the rent, whichever is less.

12. Landlord’s Duty to Mitigate Loss. Previously, when a tenant broke their lease, a landlord had no obligation to re-rent the apartment, they could leave it vacant and hold the tenant responsible for rent for the term of the lease. Under the new legislation, a landlord is obligated to make a good faith effort to re-rent the apartment. If they find a new tenant, the old tenant will only be responsible for rent while the apartment was vacant.

13. $20 Limit on Credit Check Fees and Background Check Fees. Under the new legislation, landlords are not permitted to charge a prospective tenant more than the actual cost of the credit and background check, or $20, whichever is less. The law is very clear, no matter who is charging, a tenant cannot be charged more than $20 for a credit report. The tenant must be provided with a receipt showing the cost of the report and a copy of the report.

14. Rental Application Fees.

• Landlords may not charge application fees in buildings that are self-managed.

• Managing agents may collect application fees. Credit check and background fees are limited to a maximum of $20. There is no language in the law stating that a managing agent cannot collect additional application fees beyond credit and background checks.

15. Tenant Renewal/Non-Renewal Notifications. For all apartments, rent stabilized or fair market, the new law requires written notice of rent increase of more than 5% or a notice of non-renewal of the lease. This notice may be sent by certified mail.

• Lease term of 1 year or less must be notified 30 days prior to lease expiration.

• Lease term of up to 2 years must be notified 60 days prior to lease expiration.

• Lease term of more than 2 years must be notified 90 days prior to lease expiration.

Summer Bucket List: 17 Things You Have to Do in NYC This Summer

We've all been there -- summer begins and we set the lofty goal of making it the best one yet, just to have Labor Day sneak up on us.

Not this year.

We've compiled a list of 17 things New Yorkers should add to their to-do list this summer to make sure they take full advantage of the season.

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1. See a Free Movie Under the Stars

Bryant Park's summer film series runs a free movie in the park every Monday through Aug. 21. This year's lineup features King Kong, Dirty Dancing and All That Jazz, just to name a few. Vendors are also on site serving up delicious snacks. The lawn opens at 5 p.m. and films begin at sunset.

While the Bryant Park film series is one of the more popular outdoor movie events in the city, it isn't the only gig in town. The city also screens free movies all summer long at parks across the city. You can check out the full schedule here.

2. Visit the "World's First Rooftop Vineyard" in Brooklyn

You don't need to leave the concrete jungle to visit a winery. Rooftop Reds bills itself as "the world's first rooftop vineyard," and it's right in Brooklyn. It's located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at features over 150 grapevines, a tasting room, picnic tables, hammocks and outdoor games. You can find out more about Rooftop Reds here.

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3. Hit the Water For a Food Cruise

Enjoy a meal with a view this summer by hopping on an awesome New York City boat ride. NBC New York's Lauren Scala suggests either the Classic Harbor Lineor Manhattan by Sail. Both boats offer themed food cruises and offer a break from the more touristy attractions.

Take a look at more water activities in NYC here.

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4. Take a Dip at the Manhattan Park Pool Party

The Manhattan Park Pool on Roosevelt Island is back for the summer with a new, playful design. You can check out the pool for $35 during the week or $50 on the weekends. The pool is open through Labor Day. More details here.

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5. Enjoy Free Live Music at an Outdoor Concert

SummerStage is a must for live music fans in NYC. The annual series brings a diverse mix of artists and genres to parks and communities across the city at no cost. You can check out the SummerStage schedule here.

For a look at more free summer concerts, check out this list.

6. Hit Up a Rosé Happy Hour

Yes, Rosé happy hour is a thing. Bar Fiori at Langham Place has introduced Rosé Fridays, which will run every Friday through the end of August. The bar will be serving up rosé wines, rosé sangria and more at a discounted price. You can also get your hands on this Rhubarb Sorbetta Rosé if you're looking to cool down on a hot day.

7. Finally Take a Ride on the Cyclone

The Coney Island Cyclone is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, so what better time to take a ride on the iconic roller coaster?

8. Grab Drinks With a View

The only thing better than a cool drink on a hot day is a cool drink with an amazing view of New York City. Here's a look at some of the newest rooftop barsin town.

More great places to get drinks with a view here.

9. Hit the Road for a New York Day Trip

Can't take a vacation this summer? What about a staycation? There are plenty of nearby destinations to head to if you need a break from the busy city life. Take a look at 10 New York weekend getaways here.

10. Get on the Water for Some Free Kayaking

If you're feeling outdoorsy, there are plenty of places to go kayaking for free in New York City. There are options in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. But if you're looking for an even more relaxing setting, you should check out Kayak Staten Island, which is right near the beach.

11. Tour a Local Brewery

It's probably safe to assume that you've heard of Brooklyn Brewery, but did you know there are dozens of breweries across New York City? Find one near you here.

12. Travel Back in Time at the Jazz Age Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is back this summer for the 12th year in a row. The 1920s-themed party is held on Governors Island and has become a summer tradition. It is held two weekends each summer. The first weekend was in early June and the second will be Aug. 26-27. Interested in getting dressed up, listening to live jazz and sipping on classic cocktails? You can buy tickets here.

13. Eat Your Way Through the New Dekalb Market Hall

Dekalb Market Hall has officially opened in Brooklyn and it's touting itself as "a new era in Brooklyn's history as a culinary center." The hall features 40 food vendors, including the iconic Katz's Delicatessen. You can check out a full list of vendors here.

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14. Go Stargazing on the High Line

Stargazing on the High Line is the perfect summer date idea. Every Tuesday through October, the park allows visitors to take a closer look at the stars through high-powered telescopes. The stargazing is free and starts at dusk.

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15. Take a Free Outdoor Fitness Class

The city offers up plenty of free outdoor fitness classes throughout the summer, including yoga, Zumba, PIYO and a variety of dance classes. Check out the full schedule here.

16. Grab an Instagram-Worthy Bite at a Local Food Festival

Good news, foodies. There are plenty of food festivals taking place in NYC this summer, so pack your appetite and your camera. Find a list of various local food events here.

17. Go Explore Art in the Parks

You don't have to pay a dime to take in some beautiful art work in NYC this summer. NYC Parks brings installations and exhibits to many of the city's parks for New Yorkers to enjoy. Put on your walking shoes and check out a full list of the exhibits here.


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Would you rather just look at pretty NYC real estate?

2018 Market Forecast: Tax uncertainty, ultra-luxury prices perk up, mortgage rates remain low

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The past year was marked by political upheaval on the national stage, but for much of that time the seismic shifts in D.C. weren't directly felt in the New York City real estate market. Now, though, following the Republicans' dramatic year-end tax reform package, that's likely to change. How exactly is unclear, and as we'll discuss shortly, is likely to vary widely depending on your specific location and financial situation. 

The nitty gritty of how the tax overhaul could play out in New York housing takes up a sizable portion of our attention here, but other trends are likely to be familiar to anyone who's kept up with city real estate in recent years: rent concessions and price cuts have defined the new development in the upper echelons of the rental and sales markets and are likely to continue as new condos and luxury rental projects continue to finish construction, adding to a market already flooded with comparable apartments. Similarly, the L train shutdown isn't scheduled to begin until 2019, but it has taken up a lot of oxygen in real estate discussions since it was revealed as a possibility in early 2016. In the coming year, though, New Yorkers could see some of the first direct effects of the shutdown on rents. 

It's an old truism that real estate is all about location, but location is a relative concept, which depends in large part on transportation. The L train shutdown is a dramatic example of how transportation is not an immutable variable in the real estate equation. Proving this point further elsewhere in the city, new ferry docks and Citi Bike stations have changed the commuting calculus for tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and may affect prices in 2018.

Here, without further ado, are the big stories we're watching out for in the coming year.

A year of uncertainty

Location may be a bedrock factor in determining real estate prices, but the operative word in looking forward to 2018 is "uncertainty," says appraiser Jonathan Miller of the firm Miller Samuel. "That's sort of the overview of the condition we're in."

A large portion of that uncertainty, according to Miller and other real estate industry pros we spoke to, comes from the GOP tax bill. The legislation is far-reaching, with specific provisions that have drastically different effects depending, for example, on whether you own or are buying a home, whether that home is worth more or less than $750,000, whether you're buying with a mortgage or with all cash, what form your income takes, and much more. In general, though, the changes favor the very wealthy more than the working and middle classes, and even the merely rich.

And similarly, as Miller says, "So much of the tax bill is going against the theory of homeownership and going for being a landlord or an investor."

That said, given the hasty way that the bill was passed, with even legislators who voted for the final version acknowledging that they hadn't read the whole thing, Miller predicts, "We're going to keep uncovering things and finding things out in 2018."

The most obvious standout features of the legislation for New York homeowners are that it limits your state and local tax deductions, including property taxes, to $10,000, and lowers the limit on mortgage interest deductions from $1 million to $750,000. Because New York's city and state taxes are high relative to the rest of the country, and because the city's property values are among the highest in the nation, these changes will mean bigger tax bills for homeowners and buyers, and especially those who own or are buying larger and/or well-located apartments and houses, and those taking out big mortgages. Researchers at Moody's Analytics predicted that the higher tax burdens spurred by an earlier version of the tax bill with similar provisions could decrease sale prices in Manhattan by nearly 10 percent, and even more in high-tax Westchester County and New Jersey.

Miller says that the general idea that prices could go down in those places makes sense, but he and other experts we spoke to weren't ready to fully embrace the prediction of a double-digit decrease. Another possible counter-balancing effect could come from boosted stock prices, Wall Street bonuses, and corporate profits. 

"This is widely believed to be seen as this is not good for states like New York," says Halstead president Richard Grossman. "However if there’s a bright side to something, there’s a lot of people who feel this will be good for the financial markets. The financial markets affect our housing pricing and our local economy."

How exactly remains to be seen, but the decade since the start of the Great Recession, in which wages stagnated as corporate profits recovered, apartment sales prices and rents soared, and developers focused largely on high-end development, could be instructive.

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Good news for some high-end sellers

People with the highest incomes, corporations, heirs, and real estate investors all get tax breaks under the Republican tax bill. Meanwhile, hedge funders afraid that the lower tax rate they enjoy on income that's called carried interest ultimately convinced lawmakers to leave it alone. For this cohort, many of whom were waiting to see what the new presidential administration would mean for their finances before making big purchases, the uncertainty is over.

That's according to Darren Sukenik, a broker for Douglas Elliman who says he deals mostly with all-cash sales in lower Manhattan worth more than $2 million.

"I’m watching out for dancing in the street," Sukenik says about his 2018 outlook. "My clients are jubilant about the tax bill. They're mostly cash buyers. They’re completely unaffected by the change in tax deductibility. The mortgage deductibility is more of a single-family home buyer and suburbs buyer issue."

Tyler Whitman, a real estate broker at Triplemint (a Brick Underground partner) who deals largely with properties in the $2-$5 million range, also predicts that the one percent will be buying in 2018.

"We’re seeing a lot of big contracts getting signed. The tax bill is the talk of the industry right now," he says. Contrary to the general industry belief that the tax bill will hurt New York real estate sales, "I think the super wealthy are going to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes... They’re not going to care so much about real estate deductions because they have so much other money to work with. I think the super luxury market is going to begin to move again."

Sukenik explains that top-end sales activity may have slowed down lately, but it's not for lack of interest.

"It’s much like waiting to get into a hot club and people are behind a velvet rope," he says. "People don’t not want to buy an apartment in Manhattan. They just don’t necessarily pull the trigger in a market that’s shifting."

Now, he says, "There's no more uncertainty. There's a specific group of people who got exactly what they wanted. Those happen to be Manhattan buyers."

This is likely to portend rebounding prices at the top end, brisk competition for prime apartments, and luxury listings spending less time on the market. Encouraging predictions for multimillion dollar sellers in Manhattan, and a message to big-ticket buyers to get in early, before prices spike.

Rising prices for renters and buyers beyond the luxury market

Outside of the city's glossy new towers, sale prices and rents are likely to continue their climb. This is bad news for the bulk of renters and buyers, whose median income of $53,000 is barely above what it was a decade ago, adjusted for inflation. More than half of New Yorkers pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent, and to afford a typical house or apartment not just in the city but in the metro area broadly defined, households have to make six figures.

Grant Long, senior economist for StreetEasy, says that part of what's driving the ongoing price increases is the continued influx of newcomers, young professionals competing for well-compensated jobs among them. Tax bill or no tax bill, he doesn't see that changing.

"Young computer science grads are not going to move to Houston rather than New York City" as a result of the tax bill, he says.

"Your average priced co-op or condo is still moving. Your time on market for anything under $1.5 million is still moving," says Zachary Elias, rental manager for DJK Residential. "People want to buy. It’s still New York."

As a general rule of thumb, your ability to get concessions as a renter or a discount as a buyer decreases, and competition gets stiffer, as you move down in price. Apart from some housing lottery apartments included in big new luxury complexes, and the series of mayor-directed rezonings that critics argue will do little to address existing needs, the development boom of the past several years has not included a substantial number of apartments geared toward the working or middle class, and that shows no sign of changing in 2018.

This is good news for sellers in further out New York City neighborhoods, who, barring an economic downturn, can probably count on continued price increases, slower and steadier in neighborhoods that aren't seeing a lot of change, and more dramatic in neighborhoods undergoing rezonings, new construction, and/or an influx of professionals. For more on where prices have gone up a lot over the past five years and where they're poised to increase most next, see our guide here, as well as StreetEasy's 10 neighborhoods to watch in 2018.

Outer borough/non-luxury homeowners and buyers could feel the tax bill's effects more, even though the mortgage change affects them less

The decrease of the mortgage interest deduction to $750,000 doesn't affect homeowners' existing mortgages, which are grandfathered in under the new tax law, and given that many of the houses and apartments outside Manhattan cost less than that, the change won't impact quite so many homes in the outer boroughs as in Manhattan, where the median sales price is $1.17 million. Still, people in the parts of the city outside Manhattan largely have lower incomes, and more people work regular, wage-based jobs. As a result, the new limit on state and local tax deductions will mean higher property and income taxes for many outer borough and upper Manhattan residents who are working- and middle-class, particularly homeowners, since property taxes are included in the $10,000 deduction limit.

For example, if in 2018 (the tax changes don't apply to your upcoming April filing) you are single, earn $100,000, pay $6,500 in interest on a $350,000 mortgage on your co-op, and pay $11,500 in property taxes, you can deduct the mortgage interest, but the local income and property tax deduction combined will be capped at $10,000, and you will owe $14,330 in federal taxes, according to Market Watch's Trump tax calculator. This is more than $1,000 up from the $13,290 that Koreen Jervis of Korjé Tax Professionals calculates that the same person would pay before the new rules go into effect.

For more back-of-the-envelope math, the New York Times has a similar tax calculator without the homeowner variables, but of course everyone's situation is different, and the only way to really know what the tax bill means for you is to consult with an accountant.

As for the impacts on buying and selling, "For property owners in the outer boroughs it’s difficult to say how things will shake out," Long says.

The National Association of Realtors, a lobbying organization, says the decreased mortgage interest deduction could cause home prices to fall, but that it may also tighten inventory, because some would-be sellers may want to hold on to the benefits of the previous mortgage tax rules. Appraiser Jonathan Miller agrees.

The mortgage interest deduction changes "apply to new mortgages, so if you already have a mortgage, it's sort of dis-incentivizing mobility," he says. "That means tighter inventory in lower price strata, which means lower affordability, more price pressure." 

Beth Gittleman, head of sales for Bohemia Realty Group, which focuses on uptown Manhattan and to a lesser degree adjacent neighborhoods in the Bronx, predicts, "Upper Manhattan will remain strong" sales-wise, "because property taxes are less up here. The write-off on the mortgage is less because the mortgages are smaller."

Translation: If you're looking for a place for under $1 million in the outer boroughs or under $1.5 million in Manhattan, fewer sellers may be offering up their apartments, so prices and competition for those that are listed are likely to increase. If you're looking to sell and buy another place in New York or New Jersey, be aware of the new tax calculus, and consult with a professional on how it should inform your asking price and your purchasing budget.

Wage earners buying apartments for less than $750,000 may be less affected in dollars and cents by the state and local tax deduction reduction, but for middle-class buyers, each of those dollars counts more proportionally than for their well-heeled neighbors in the city. Still, none of the professionals we talked to thought the impact would be enough to actually drive these prices down.

Expect mortgage rates to remain historically low

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed jumbo loan on a New York co-op or condo is 3.75 percent according to Robbie Gendels, vice president and loan officer for National Cooperative Bank (a Brick sponsor), and for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage, 3.5 percent. These are basically in line with where mortgage rates were at the beginning of the fall, and though they're "the highest they've been in a while," the rates are still some of the lowest in over 50 years. 

A recent Federal Reserve rate increase isn't expected to directly impact mortgage rates in the short term. 

"What can affect mortgage rates is changes in the Fed’s forecast," StreetEasy's Long says. "The tax bill pumping a lot of money into the economy and forcing the Fed to respond, to raise rates to keep the economy from growing too fast to control, that could lead to a mortgage rate increase."

On the other hand, he adds, "The only way we foresee mortgage rates going down is in the case of an economic slowdown. Since 2010, we've had the largest expansions in modern history. You can expect that to slow at some point, and then you can see mortgage rates fall."

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Continuing deals on high-end, new-construction condos

Manhattan median sale prices have been drooping since last year, a phenomenon observers say is driven by lackluster interest in new development luxury condos that have been flooding the market in recent years, as well as the smaller size of the apartments coming up for sale lately compared to those built from 2011-2014. The median sales price for new development apartments in the third quarter of 2017 was $2.8 million, down from $3.63 million the year prior, and the average sale discount in the borough was 5.5 percent, up from 2.9 percent in 2016.

Approximately 2,800 new apartments were expected to hit the market in 2017, according to the New York Times, and more is on the way in 2018, much of it high end.

"I think new development is getting oversaturated," says Triplemint's Tyler Whitman. "It comes at such a premium price tag compared to the rest of the market. It’s only new for a couple of years. Buying in a new development right now is a bit like buying a car: it loses value as soon as you buy it."

The tax package's impact on the tax burden of high-price properties is likely to dovetail with the problem of over-supply and further hurt prices for new development, Miller says.

The aforementioned enthusiasm of ultra-wealthy buyers could turn the tide somewhat, but brokers point out that many new luxury projects are being built relatively far from transit, and say that the less distinguishable from other apartments on the market a unit is, the less competitive its pricing will be. 

So for example, "Hudson Yards is a big question mark to me," Sukenik says, referring to the city-within-a-city being built on the far west side of Manhattan. Despite the development's location around a new 7 train station, the 4,000 apartments it includes and the lack of an established neighborhood around it makes it unclear that the condos there will fetch the prices the developers are after when they come online.

"That would concern me," Sukenik says of all the variables.

By contrast, he says that the neighborhoods he specializes in such as Greenwich Village and Tribeca are proven, each with a lot of distinctive apartments, and not a lot of new ones coming anytime soon.

"The safety" price-wise "is always in A-plus neighborhoods," he says.

"People certainly like unique," Halstead head Richard Grossman says. "People like well-located property."

Luxury renters likely to find deals, too

A similar glut of high-end rental buildings has driven many months of rising concessions, and even, lately, actual rent decreases in new development and Manhattan doorman buildings. This trend is likely to continue, at least for part of the year, according to those we spoke to.

"There’s certainly an abundance of supply, and new product is hitting the market every day," Elias says. "I don’t see that gap being filled at least through mid-next year."

The availability of rent concessions and possible rent breaks is especially pronounced in neighborhoods that have an abundance of new construction, such as Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, Elias says.

"I see softening across the market in 2018, with potentially some falls in rents in the high end of the market, particularly in neighborhoods that have seen a lot of construction," he says. "We do not expect to see concessions going away as rents fall. So if a unit is offering two months free and $3,700 for a one bedroom, they're going to offer $3,600 and two months free."

Halstead's Grossman says that he has seen renters becoming excited by continued news about the availability of concessions, and hitting the limits of what they can ask for. 

"I think renters are reading about this and some of them are getting emboldened as well," he says. "Some of the things I’ve seen people asking for are very bold—three months free plus a lower rent. I don’t necessarily see them getting that. Some of the tenants are coming and asking for a lot. A lot of owners say, 'Listen, there’s a limit to where I’m willing to go. I’d rather keep it vacant and look for a different tenant.'"

The way the market is going, if you're renting and staying where you are, it couldn't hurt to ask your current landlord for a break when lease renewal time comes around.

"If you are negotiating a lease ask for something," StreetEasy's Long says. "If you are being offered something, ask for more. It’s been a while since the market favored rent in this way. Which isn’t to say that everything’s a bargain."

Transit changes will continue to buffet rental and sales prices—for better and worse

The prevailing wisdom on the L train shutdown is that it will most affect Williamsburg, parts of which rely on that subway line exclusively; that there might be some minor downward sales price adjustments, but nothing too pronounced because the shutdown is temporary; and that concessions and other rent deals are likely to accompany leases that overlap with the 16-month estimated East River tunnel closure period, which starts in April 2019. Also, brokers and analysts say rents are likely to rise in neighborhoods served by nearby train lines such as Greenpoint, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Ridgewood.

Still, some owners may be unable, for whatever reason, to wait till the shutdown is over to sell, and buyers looking for a slight value might get some leverage by shopping during the big repair job (transit officials hope to staunch the commute bleeding with dedicated bus lanes and new shuttle routes over the Williamsburg Bridge).

"The L train shutdown will effect Williamsburg negatively, so buyers can be opportunistic there," says Compass broker Ian Slater. 

On the flip side, Slater sees "lots of room for appreciation" left on the far Upper East Side in the wake of the recent arrival of the Q train extension along Second Avenue.

Similarly, the addition of Midtown and Wall Street ferry service to new parts of Brooklyn and Queens in May have increased rents in the largely transit-starved areas near the new ferry docks, according to a StreetEasy report. The site's researchers found that rents rose about 1.5 percent faster within a 10-minute walk of the Atlantic Avenue, Greenpoint, and Astoria ferry stops when compared to the larger surrounding neighborhoods. Smaller data samples suggested possible similar effects in Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, whereas already premium-priced Dumbo, Williamsburg, and Long Island City were the scenes of no such localized spikes.

Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, says that the Greenpoint ferry is "a huge selling point'" for The Greenpoint, a luxury condo building at the end of India Street, a 10-minute walk from the nearest G stop, but steps from the dock that was built in anticipation of waterfront development in the area.

The addition of Citi Bike stations to Harlem, Long Island City, Astoria, Crown Heights, and Prospect Heights, is also supposed to have been completed by the end of 2017, bringing a more granular but not insignificant layer of commuting options to the mix.


This article was originally posted on BrickUnderground and can be found here: https://www.brickunderground.com/buy/2018-real-estate-forecast

2019 NYC Housing Predictions: What to Expect Next Year

Between a resilient rental market and a bumpy sales market, 2018 was a turbulent year for New York City real estate. As we predicted a year ago, luxury prices have continued to sink, and transportation headaches have played a big role in driving market dynamics. Given that the housing market looks a lot different than it did a year ago, here are six broader trends we see dominating 2019.

The Buyer’s Market Is Here to Stay …

The number of homes listed for sale on the market hit all-time highs during 2018, yet recorded sales throughout the city fell. More New Yorkers — seeking to accommodate a growing family, to relocate, or simply to cash out their investment — will inevitably look to sell in 2019, adding to a market that’s already saturated. These sellers will need to take much greater measures to move their homes.

While the share of listings on the market with a price cut hit its highest levels since the wake of the financial crisis, the average amount of those price cuts (on both a percentage and absolute basis) has not budged. Instead of coming to grips with the fact that asking prices are too ambitious, most sellers are making small, incremental adjustments to attract buyers. This strategy didn’t work in 2018, and isn’t likely to in 2019.

… Unless You’re in Queens

The big outlier in the sales market in 2018 was Queens. Prices there have risen at a consistently faster pace than in Brooklyn or Manhattan, yet remain relatively affordable, with an average listing price of $657,000, compared to Manhattan’s $1.39 million and Brooklyn’s $950,000. Much of the enduring price growth in the borough is attributable to making up for lost time: According to the StreetEasy Price Indices, home price appreciation in Queens has significantly lagged growth in Manhattan and Brooklyn since the end of the 2008 financial crisis. The borough’s performance will likely grow with Amazon’s plans to move into Long Island City, but it was likely to continue anyway, given the number of New Yorkers seeking out the relative convenience and affordability of Queens.

Downtown Is the New Downtown

With interest rates and sales prices high, renting will remain more attractive than buying for many New Yorkers in 2019. We expect competition for rental units in many of the city’s priciest, most central neighborhoods to heat up next summer. Rents in newly chic neighborhoods in outer-boroughs now equal those in many Manhattan neighborhoods: This fall, median rents for 1-bedroom apartments in Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn, and Long Island City exceeded those in Chelsea, Nolita, and the East Village, respectively. Outer-borough new construction may still offer more per dollar in terms of space and amenities, but with roughly similar median prices in many outer-borough and Manhattan neighborhoods, choosing among them has become more a matter of preference than affordability.

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Heading into 2019, Manhattan has higher rent growth than Brooklyn or Queens for the first time since 2012. While areas like Prospect Heights and Astoria have been touted as the new hot thing, in 2019, the popular areas of downtown Manhattan that were ascendent in the 1990s and early 2000s will once again emerge as hot neighborhoods.

Bedlam on Bedford Avenue

Next year will be a trying one for those living along the L train, with the popular commuting line set to shut down for 18 months beginning April 27. We’ve seen the market for nearby rentals steadily weaken over the course of 2018, as longtime residents decamp for more convenient neighborhoods. Nonetheless, StreetEasy user interest in the neighborhood remains high. Myriad replacements for the L train, from electric Citi Bikes to startup van services, are taking shape, but likely all of these modes of transport — including the subway alternatives planned by the city — will strain under the sheer volume of Brooklynites needing them. Our bet is that many in Williamsburg have underestimated the inconvenience of the shutdown. With North Brooklyn rents hovering around the same level as 2015, we think there is room for them to fall.

Megaprojects Mature

Enormous building projects have been a hallmark in New York City for the past two decades, and 2019 will be a pivotal year for judging whether they’ve lived up to the hype. Big sections of Hudson Yards are slated to debut in 2019, including 15 Hudson Yards, the Vessel and the Shed. New towers will top out in Downtown Brooklyn, as new phases of Essex Crossing hum along.

While the Amazon HQ2 announcement has buoyed developments in Court Square and Hunters Point, 2019’s weak sales market is going to prove challenging for large developments elsewhere. Among them: the relatively remote Two Bridges area nestled alongside the East River, where the $1.8 billion condo development One Manhattan Square slated to open in early 2019 is the first of three large residential towers planned for the area. Similarly, an additional 11 new buildings are due through 2035 in Brooklyn’s Pacific Park, though condo sales at 550 Vanderbilt — one the of project’s most prominent market-rate buildings — were slower than expected and relied heavily on investors listing them for rent shortly after closing. Next year may be make-or-break for these developments, and could determine the fate of other planned megaprojects around the city, including Waterline Square and Bronx Point.

Tech Bros Won’t Buy Condos

Both Google and Amazon have made waves by announcing massive hiring plans in the city. Real estate pros rejoiced, as the influx of highly paid professionals will likely push up the cost of housing, much as its has in San Francisco and Seattle. Sellers hoping to flip their luxury condos to these workers, however, are likely to be disappointed.

The $150,000 average annual salary of a new Amazon HQ2 employee is well above the city median, but still far from sufficient to make a multimillion-dollar condo affordable. Moreover, tech workers who do have the means to buy in the city’s pricer new buildings may balk at prices in excess of $1,000 per square foot for a 466-square-foot studio in Queens — well above those of homes adjacent to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Investors are buying into many high-priced new developments across NYC, opting to rent out the units while betting on future price appreciation, but those bets have become crowded. While diversifying away from financial services is a welcome move for the New York City economy, it’s unlikely to provide a bailout for those speculating on high-priced luxury condos languishing on the market.

51 awesome things to do in NYC in January

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Things to do

Annual Lord of the Rings Marathon Videology Bar & Cinema; Jan 1; free
Bring a sword, a bow, an ax and a hangover to this daylong fan viewing, at which Videology screens all three extended editions of the legendary Middle-earth trilogy. With a total 726 minutes (that’s 12 hours) of screen time to watch, there’s no braver way for you to start your New Year than by surviving this saga. Just try to pace yourself: Not everyone can hold their liquor as gracefully as Legolas does. Rohirrim!

2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Citi Field; Jan 1; various prices
Hockey fans, assemble! The 10th anniversary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be big, especially for Gothamites. The match is between two Empire State teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. What makes this game so special is that it’s being played outdoors: Citi Field is bringing in an ice truck to create a temporary rink. Before the stick smackdown, there’s a free pregame festival for fans with giveaways, food and drinks at Lot F in Citi Field’s parking lot (9am to 1pm).

Thank you for Everything: House of Yes Two Year Anniversary; Jan 5-6; free–$20
Brooklyn disco palace House of Yes expresses gratitude to its regular revelers with a night of jubilant dancing, circus acts and psychedelia. This two-part edition marks the nightlife hot spot's second birthday, so count on especially lively affairs, thanks in no small part to an excellent DJ lineup that includes Eli Escobar and Lauren Flax.

Built Ford Tough Series: Professional Bull Riders; Madison Square Garden; Jan 5–7 at various times; tickets start at $31
Get a taste of the wild west when the top 35 bull riders in the world come to New York City for the PBR Majors. If the bucking bulls aren’t enough of a thrill for you, the massive pyrotechnics show ought to do it. 

NPR’s Ask Me Another The Bell House; Jan 8; $20–$25
Put your brain to the test at this popular hour-long NPR show, in which host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge puzzle masters, audience members and special guests with brainteasers and trivia tidbits. The Mon 8 edition features special guest Elizabeth Marvel.

Shotz Kraine Theater; Jan 8; advance $13 ticket includes a beer, at the door $15
ADD theatergoers get their fill at this manic and magical night, at which six groups of performers each perform original ten-minute plays to live music. This month's edition holds its participants to three rules: each play must include a sport or competition, at least 15 seconds of the "Chariots of Fire" theme song and the line, "You're almost there!" Let the games begin.

Distant Worlds: The Music from Final Fantasy; Carnegie Hall; Jan 13 at 2pm and 8pm; tickets start at $127
Hear the sweeping soundtrack from the iconic Final Fantasy video games performed live by the the Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dessoff Choirs for the series’ 30th anniversary. It’s a surreal experience that serious gamers won’t want to miss.

Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Jan 15; free
At BAM’s 32nd celebration, there's a speech from a notable keynote speaker followed with musical performances by the gospel legends.

Dancing With the Stars; Radio City Music Hall; Jan 18 at 8pm; tickets start at $61
If you tune into ABC religiously for every season of Dancing With the Stars, you have to catch show’s live tour when it comes to New York City for one night only. Several of the show’s professional dancers will recreate favorite routines from the show’s 25 seasons and debut never-before-seen performances.

JP Morgan Tournament of Champions; Grand Central Terminal; Jan 18–25 at various times; tickets start at $165
Squash players have been vying for the Tournament of Champions trophy since 1930, when it was known as the U.S. Professional Championships. Though it has been staged in 17 different cities since, Grand Central Terminal has hosted the tournament since 1999.

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen; Beacon Theatre; Jan 26, 27 at 8pm; tickets start at $114
Real-life best friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen bring their AC2: Deep Talk and Shallow Tales show to the Beacon Theatre at the end of the month. The two TV personalities will share their uncensored thoughts on pop culture, breaking news and much more during the unscripted conversation.

Food and Drink

Fine Wine and Food Fest Exhibition Hall, Long Island; Jan 20, $49 general admission, $65 at the door
Sample more than 150 wines from the New Jersey and New York regions, including the burgeoning North Fork in Long Island. There's also booze from state distilleries, cideries and breweries and bites from LI and NYC restaurants and food trucks.

Cassoulet Cook-Off The Brooklyn Kitchen; Jan 20, $45
It's a bit of an odd pairing for the beer-soaked pub Jimmy's No 43 to sponsor this French comfort-food cook-off, but hey, it's now in its 10th year. New and returning chefs gather to cook different versions of the slow-cooked white beans and meat dish for lucky guests to eat. 

Cochon 555 SECOND floor; Jan 21, $130 general admission, $200 VIP
Pig out at this festival where five notable chefs have one week to prepare a 200lb pig from a local family farm and present it to a panel of judges and participants whose tastebuds determine which one will to be crowned the Prince or Princess of Pork.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival The Tunnel; Jan 27, $99—$229
The ninth annual fest wants to "put a little south in your mouth" with the big three down-home staples of beer, bourbon and barbecue (not to mention there will also be bacon, biscuits and bluegrass). Indulge in all-you-can-eat and drink from NYC and southern chefs while listening to live music and mingling with other southern stans.

Speed Rack Melrose Ballroom; Jan 7, $25
Drink 25 different cocktails made by all-female bartenders from around the tri-state area. And you're getting drunk for a good cause, the speed-based competition raises money to fight breast cancer.

Comedy

Cole Escola: Help! I’m Stuck Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; Jan 2-3, Jan 5; $15 plus $12 minimum
Some stars are made to shine over New York, and in the case of the Cole Escola, the disturbingly talented character incubator was meant to rule downtown. Witness the Difficult People star as he unleashes new and beloved characters like "Oh, Jeremiah" and broken-down cabaret legend Maven Crawford in this demented solo show.

The Roast of Your 15 Year-Old Self Baby’s All Right; Jan 9; $10
If you can’t hate yourself, how in the hell are you going to hate somebody else? Comedians exorcise their shame over their teen years through scorching receipts of the hair, music and bad kissing that once defined them. Alise Morales—NYC’s loveliest roastmaster—welcomes Marcia Belsky, Akilah Hughes, John Everett Trowbridge, Dylan Marron, Chris Burns and Ziwe Fumudoh to take deep, dark looks into their high school diaries.

The Exhibition Public Hotel; Jan 13; $10
While we're always down to see familiar faces performing comedy at dimly lit, unheated Bushwick bars, sometimes it's nice to go fancy. Badass buddies Mary Beth Barone and Michael Cruz Kayne invite you to the Public Hotel for this well-curated get-down for the cool kids. The opening edition boasts Aaron Jackson, Drew Michael, Mitra Jouhari, Rae Sanni, Gina Yashere and Patti Harrison. Stay after to mix it up with performers, hotel guests and fans at a free party.

DoublePlusGood Comedy Show Salzy; Jan 17; $5
For true comedy connoisseurs tired of seeing their favorite comics squeeze their sets into five minutes, this monthly showcase provides full-length sets and a chill atmosphere for diverse acts to thrive in. At the December edition, host Ben Asher curates a stellar lineup including Aparna Nancherla, Sharron Paul, Jacqueline Novak and CW Headley.

Go Ricki! Q.E.D; Jan 17; $8
Hosted by comedian Matt Smith McCormick, this outrageous show gives an affectionate nod to the queen of riotous daytime talk, Ricki Lake. Watch as Brantley Brice, Alex Broome, Lauren Hope Krass, Chrissie Mayr and Sydnee Washington bring their most deliciously catty material for this month’s theme, “I’m Getting Plastic Surgery and You Can’t Stop Me!”

LGBT

The Late Late Show at Hardware Bar; ongoing; free
Marti Gould Cummings—one of the sharpest drag MCs in town—reigns supreme over this weekly getdown at Hardware, featuring guest diva performers, drink specials and beats from DJ Kiki Darling.

Cafe con Crema Saturdays Boxers HK; ongoing free
Hell’s Kitchen mixes up the crowd at this weekly Latino night, at which DJ Alex spins Top 40, Latin jams, R&B, house and hip-hop while host Monica Monroe introduces special guests on the main floor. Head downstairs for some dirty dancing and old-school vogue battles (after 1am).

Lesbo-a-GoGo The Stonewall Inn; ongoing; free
Gay ladies pack the upstairs dance floor at Stonewall for this Friday night party featuring cheap drinks with visiting guests rotating on the decks.

Hot Rabbit Drom; ongoing; $10
One of our favorite parties in NYC continues its total domination of Friday nightlife with a new residency at Drom. Step into a wicked, wild arena for women-identifying revelers and their queer buddies, featuring aerialists, dope DJs, late-night food and drink specials and go-go dancers of different genders ready to entice you.

M U T H U R Alphaville; Jan 5; $10
The fabulously satanic Chris of Hur unites with buddies Lee VaLone, Macy Rodman and the Sis Privilege Band for a rowdy night of punk and riotgrrrrl dancing and performances with a no–lip-synching policy. Prepare to watch a lot of bearded drag queens belt it out for real.

Film

Insidious: The Last Key
With Get Out, Split and The Purge behind it, low-budget horror studio Blumhouse can do no wrong at the moment. Its supernatural horror franchise Insidious is back with a fourth installment and will probably make a zillion dollars. Jan 5

Proud Mary
Female African-American action heroes have been few and far between lately. Hidden Figures’ Taraji P. Henson fills the void as an assassin who meets a young boy and discovers that life isn’t just about neutralizing targets. Jan 12

Den of Thieves
A hard-bitten group of robbers target the Federal Reserve Bank in an L.A. heist thriller that features Gerard Butler and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. 50 Cent is their co-star rather than the amount of money they get away with. Jan 19

Forever My Girl
Happy Death Day’s Jessica Rothe swaps horror for an indie romance in which she plays the jilted bride of a country superstar. The pair reconnect when he returns to his hometown, but will forgiveness follow? Spoiler: probably. Jan 19

White Boy Rick
This gritty crime drama from Yann Demange—recently linked with directing the next Bond movie—tells the true story of Detroit resident Richard Wershe, Jr., who became an FBI informant at age 14 and a cocaine kingpin soon after. Jan 26

Music

RJD2 Brooklyn Bowl; Jan 3; $22
The turntable whiz brings dense, party-fueling beats to Brooklyn Bowl for a surefire dance party.

Winter Jazzfest Various locations; Jan 10–17; prices vary
This annual festival, which celebrates NYC’s local jazz scene and brings in talented musicians from around the world, takes over several downtown venues for a can’t-miss week of cutting-edge sounds.

Say Anything Irving Plaza; Jan 14, 15; $23
Frontman-songwriter Max Bemis has a knack for transforming his neurotic woes and exceedingly dirty thoughts into an ongoing alt-rock opera that's brash, barbed and frequently hilarious.

Destroyer Brooklyn Steel; Jan 27; $25
Idiosyncratic Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Bejar brings his dynamic, mature interpretation of ‘80s soft-rock—full of smoky, monochrome synths, cryptic murmurings and muted sax lines—to Brooklyn.

Tennis Brooklyn Steel; Jan 23; $20
The husband-and-wife vintage-pop duo marry sun-soaked rock & roll sounds with ’60s girl group shimmer on its newest album, Yours Conditionally.    

Dance

The Shanghai Dance Theatre: Soaring Wings—Journey of the Crested Ibis at the David H. Koch Theater; Jan 5–7; $37–$107
Directed and choreographed by Tong Ruirui, whose work reflects a commitment to traditional Chinese dance, this lavishly costumed piece explores the relationship between human beings and nature, as reflected in the history of an endangered species of bird.

American Realness 2018 at Abrons Arts Center and Gibney Dance; Jan 9–16; $25
This downtown festival pushes our ideas of performance forward, usually by means of avant-queer and dance-theater works. This year the roster includes new works by Moriah Evans, keyon gaskin and Marissa Perel, Neal Medlyn and many more.

American Dance Platform at the Joyce Theatre; Jan 9–14; $20–$55
The Joyce presents its annual showcase for dance from across America. Eight companies are paired off into four programs; troupes that have performed at the venue before are matched with ones that are making their Joyce debuts, like the hula group Hālau O Kekuhi.

New York City Ballet Winter 2018 at the David H. Koch Theater; Jan 23–Mar 4; $30–$185
NYCB returns to Lincoln Center with a six-week lineup that includes multiple collections of dances by George Balanchine and, just in time for Valentine's Day, Ballet Master Peter Martins's Romeo + Juliet.

Lumberyard in the City Winter Festival at New York Live Arts; Jan 25–Feb 10; $25
Lumberyard's third annual winter festival of dance and theater begins with a rare New York appearance by Kei Takei and her Japanese company, Moving Earth Orient Sphere, who present a solo from 1974's LIGHT Part 8 and the U.S. premiere of LIGHT, Part 44 (Bamboo Forest).

Theater

Under the Radar at various locations; Jan 4–15; $25
The Public Theater presents edgy new works in its top-notch annual festival. Among the international offerings are shows by Andrew Schneider, Adam Gopnik, Split Britches, Roger Guenveur Smith, Motus, Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, Satoshi Miyagi and Nature Theater of Oklahoma.

Cardinal at Second Stage Theater; Jan 9–Feb 25; $30–$109
In the world premiere of a play by Greg Pierce, a woman's plan to literally paint her town red leads to rivalry and conflict among the local residents. The cast, directed by Kate Whoriskey, includes Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Becky Ann Baker (Girls) and Adam Pally (The Mindy Project).

Miles for Mary at Playwrights Horizons; Jan 11–Feb 4; $40–$65
The Mad Ones' bittersweet comedy, about high-school faculty members organizing a 1989 charity telethon, stuns us with period particulars and cleverly conceals its plot under a welter of naturalistic conversation. Pure delight in 2016, it now returns for an encore run.

Hangmen at Atlantic Theater Company; Jan 18–Mar 4; $70
Irish shock dramatist Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman) returns to the Atlantic with his first new play to hit New York since 2010. The story focuses on a Northern English executioner (Mark Addy) on the day the U.K. abolishes hanging; expect gallows humor.

Jerry Springer—The Opera at New Group; Jan 23–Mar 11; $40–$125
Fifteen years after its U.K. debut, Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee's outrageous, extravagantly profane musical finally gets an Off Broadway run. Terrence Mann (Les Misérables) plays Springer, the ringmaster of the 1990s' trashiest talk show, and Will Swenson (Hair) plays Satan.

Art

“Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell's Homage to Juan Gris”
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Jan 23–Apr 15, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
As the 2016 election demonstrated, the United States’ culture wars, and the battle over identity politics, is far from finished. With developments like the ban on transgender people in the military hanging in the air, New Museum has assembled an intergenerational roster of more than 40 contemporary artists whose works explore the perennially contested issue of gender fluidity.

“Before/On/After: William Wegman and California Conceptualism” Metropolitan Museum of Art; Jan 17–July 15, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free  
With the help of his canine collaborator Man Ray, William Wegman deflated the pretension of Conceptual Art with lo-fi videos and photos documenting the various performative shenanigans—starring the aforementioned Man Ray—produced in Wegman’s studio. The tongue-in-cheek tone of his work was in keeping with the overall vibe of SoCal Conceptualism, revisited here in this show pairing Wegman with some of his L.A.-based contemporaries.

Laura Owens Whitney Museum of American Art; through Feb 4, $22; seniors, students $18, 18 and under free
No one does meta better than L.A. artist Owens, whose Pop-slash-abstract paintings play Scrabble with art history and taste. This midcareer roundup of her work is the most comprehensive to date.

“Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World” Whitney Museum of American Art; through Jan 28, $22; seniors, students $18, 18 and under free
A former member of the American Indian Movement, Durham began making art in the ’80s in NYC as one of the first artists to inject identity politics into contemporary art. This show looks back at his career.

“Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); through Apr 1, $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. For discounts, order tickets in advance at moma.org. Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free
Forty years ago, dirt-cheap rents and an edgy vibe lured arty types to swarm downtown venues like CBGB’s and the Mudd Club. One such place was Club 57 on St. Marks Place, which hosted evenings “Monster Movie Club” “Name That Noise: A Punk Rock Game Show,” and attracted artists and performers such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, John Sex and Ann Magnuson. The scrappy venue is now the subject of this MoMA retrospective, which looks back to a moment when New York was dirtier and more dangerous—but also more alive with creative possibilities.


This article was originally posted by Timeout NY and can be found here: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/news/51-awesome-things-to-do-in-nyc-in-january-122117