Kitchen islands can take up a lot of space. Justin at Materialicious found this clever idea from Italian kitchen manufacturer Xera: the wood counter slides out, providing a place to sit or work, while exposing the sink and range when opened. Clean up after dinner and slide it back, and the kitchen essentially disappears.
They have designed it as an accessory for a big kitchen, (and rosewood is perhaps not the best choices of wood) but one could imagine a New York version where the entire kitchen is enclosed this way.
The Best Small Kitchen Designs for Cooking Large and Living Small