I am OHNY is a campaign we began in 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Karen Zabarsky is the Creative Director at Kushner Companies, and an Open House New York superfan. Karen’s been involved in OHNY as an OHNY Weekend site host, and as a participant, having attended not only OHNY Weekend, but also our year-round programs and special events.
Karen first came across OHNY when she was working in business development for STUDIO V. “I was looking for innovative ways to get our projects out there, especially those that were under construction–sometimes the coolest phase of a project!” says Karen. “We ended up giving tours for our project called Empire Stores—seven contiguous warehouses on the Brooklyn waterfront—and it was so inspiring to see visitors’ excitement and fascination with this transforming building. I’ve been an OHNY junkie ever since.”
Thank you Karen, for helping us open new doors for the public and getting involved in OHNY in so many ways!
What do you love most about New York City?
Although its rich history and walkable streets sparked my lust for New York City, it’s the layers of development and ever-changing landscape/hardscape that keep me in love. Old infrastructure inspires new uses, landmarked architecture paves the way for innovative design, and somehow these layers continue to unfold and meld together.
What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
My friend Blake and I had the unparalleled opportunity to visit 4 World Trade while it was still under construction. Being immersed in the unadulterated bones of one of the most iconic projects in the city was not just jaw-dropping; it opened my eyes to the possibility of exploration and the unique connections with the city that OHNY fosters.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
The site of the future Bushwick Inlet Park in Williamsburg! This property holds historic infrastructure from the days of Charles Pratt’s oil empire, including ten incredible 50-foot tall oil fuel containers that look like Richard Serra pieces. You can also access the bucolic Bushwick Inlet from there and see 180-degree views of Manhattan. Let’s lift that chain-link fence, OHNY!
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It’s truly in line with the sharing economy of our generation. So much of this city’s beauty and magic has been made exclusive. OHNY combats this trend and brings the majestic views, the elite designers, the under construction park projects, and everything in between back to the public.
From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.