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Last spring, Paula Greif and her daughter, Anna, left behind their 4,000-square-foot, five-story townhouse in favor of a 900-square-foot triplex in Cobble Hill’s Warren Place Mews. Despite the radical downsize, the charming cottage is Greif’s dream house.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The mews were constructed in the late 1870s to serve as affordable housing for workers. The brick façades, which have been meticulously preserved, transport you back to the nineteenth century.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Greif personally updated the interiors. She took advice from her paint-expert friend Eve Ashcraft and freshened up the original stairway with Benjamin Moore’s "White Dove." Greif trained as a graphic designer and started her career working in the art department at Rolling Stone. She went on to similar roles for Barneys and Richard Avedon before a stint directing rock videos and TV commercials (in her rock-and-roll days, she used to hang out at CBGB’s and the Mudd Club). About three years ago, while visiting Anne Kennedy Nadin and her husband, Peter Nadin, at their Old Field Farm in Cornwallville, N.Y., Greif began making ceramics and became the farm’s summertime potter-in-residence.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The living room is furnished with a coffee table Greif found at a yard sale in Sag Harbor. She got the armchair from the old Tepper Galleries; the sofa is from Depression Modern. The crafty potter covered both with washable white-cotton slipcovers. The working fireplace provides ambience and warmth on winter evenings.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The dining room boasts a wood table from Joel J. Mathieson Antiques and an armchair and ottoman by Ethan Allen via a Housing Works thrift store.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

A previous owner installed the stone floor, marble countertops, and kitchen cabinets, which Paula repainted gray, another of Ashcraft’s trusty tips. “She said, ‘Don’t fight it, go with it, and chose a color that will blend in with the stone and marble,” explains Greif.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

At dinnertime, mother and daughter enjoy dining al fresco. This outdoor space is part of an open garden alley that used to be paved in cobblestones. The mews still has a villagelike feel. “Everyone has each others’ keys,” says Grief. “We all take care of each others’ pets.”

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Greif’s rescue cat, Ella, enjoying a nap by the bedroom window.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Greif’s office on the parlor floor.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

In a corner of the living room, a papier-mâché papaya rests inside one of Greif’s ceramic bowls. The jug is by her mentor and “clay comrade” Natsuko Uchino.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

A view towards the entrance of the house with an antique doorbell on the left.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Jose Mora (left) North Conduit and McKinley Avenues, Cypress Hills. On September 4, 2006, 11-year-old Mora was on his way to the barber for a back-to-school haircut; that week, he was to start the sixth grade at nearby Junior High School 302. He was struck by a Honda while walking his bike across an intersection.

Jonathan Neese South 4th Street and Roebling Street, Williamsburg. On August 12, 2006, Neese, a bike messenger known as “Bronx Jon,” was struck by a livery cab while cycling from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Sam Khaled Hindy (left) Base of the Manhattan Bridge. On November 16, 2007, Hindy was run over after mistakenly entering a Manhattan Bridge lane reserved for cars.

Habian Rodriguez Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing. On September 1, 2007, Rodriguez collided with a city bus and died 30 minutes later.

Elizabeth Padilla (left) Fifth Avenue and Prospect Place, Park Slope. Commuting to the Brooklyn Bar Association on June 9, 2005, Padilla swerved to avoid the open door of a parked P.C. Richard’s truck. She lost control of her bike and fell underneath the wheels of an ice-cream delivery truck.

Juan Luis Solis East Gun Hill Road and Bouck Avenue, the Bronx. Attempting to pass a double-parked car on June 22, 2007, Solis was struck by a box truck and died of severe head trauma. The truck did not stop.

Jeffrey Moore (left) Chauncey Street and Rockaway Avenue, Bed-Stuy. According to witnesses, on May 29, 2007, Moore was run over (twice) by his girlfriend Jeanine Harrington. She was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon (her Nissan Pathfinder).

Derek Lake Houston Street and La Guardia Place. On June 26, 2006, Lake reportedly skidded on a steel construction plate and was crushed underneath the wheels of a passing truck.

Elijah Armand Wrancher (left) Springfield Boulevard and 130th Avenue, Springfield Gardens. On August 28, 2007, 12-year-old Wrancher attempted to ride his bicycle while holding onto a moving truck. He lost his grip and fell under the truck’s rear wheel.

David Smith Sixth Avenue and 36th Street. On December 5, 2007, Smith was biking up Sixth Avenue when the passenger-side door of a parked pickup truck opened unexpectedly. He was knocked into the path of an oncoming truck.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
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