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As a foot surgeon, Dr. Neal Blitz explains, “I’m constantly rebuilding the structure of people’s feet to not only function properly but to also look and feel good.” The same, it would seem, applies to apartment hunting. He bought this meatpacking district one-bedroom, because he saw it as a “broken structure with amazing potential that I knew I could rebuild and have it look great.” This is the condition he found it in.

Photo: Axis Mundi

Presto chango! With the help of architect John Beckmann of Axis Mundi Design, all drabness was whisked away and the features Dr. Blitz admired were brought to the fore. “We gutted the entire apartment to the brick,” Beckmann says. “We replaced the kitchen and added a new folded hot-rolled-steel staircase.” Beckmann also installed new Zebrano wood floors and a floating sand-etched glass railing for the second level.

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

These “before” photos show just how much work had to be done. Blitz lived in the 750-square-foot apartment for one year the way he found it from the previous buyer: “I wanted to get a feel for the space, the area, and what I would ultimately want to do for the renovation.”

Photo: Neal Blitz

Blitz worked with Beckmann to design a high-gloss lacquer kitchen. The walnut bar stools are by Norman Cherner.

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

Blitz explains that he asked Beckmann to “clad the brick in order take away the verticality of the fireplace and bring the room downwards—so as not to compete with the window.”

Photo: Axis Mundi

“We created a new mantel and floating ledge of pietra cordosa gray marble,” Beckmann says. He also eliminated all baseboards and added a floating gallery reveal for a sleeker, more modern look. The carpet is from the Rug Company, the Arne Jacobson Egg Chair is from Fritz Hansen, and the glass coffee table is from Ligne Roset.

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

“The space has several unique features that I immediately fell in love with,” Blitz points out. “A giant arched window, twenty-foot ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and an open duplex loft layout.”

Photo: Axis Mundi

Beckmann emphasized the large east-facing window by leaving it unadorned, and created a serene living room with a white palette and bursts of color. The chandelier is by Gino Sarfatti via Flos. The sofa is from Mitchell Gold and the beach photograph is by Laurie Victor Kay.

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

Here is a close-up of the stairs, pre-renovation.

Photo: Axis Mundi

And here they are now. The cantilevered blackened steel stairs add more room to the entrance and, Blitz explains, “the steel takes its cues from the meatpacking hooks and the rail of the High Line.” Of the new floors, he says, “I wanted them to be the focal point to the space—similar to how the cobblestone streets are a focal point for the area.”

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

The master bedroom upstairs is nestled behind the etched glass balcony wall that allows light from the arched window to stream in.

Photo: Mikiko Kikuyama

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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