“Harlem Street Scene Showing Local Businesses,” 1939, Photographer: Sid Grossman, Street Scenes Collection, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
“A Ballad for Harlem,” the new exhibit now on view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, explores the history of the neighborhood and celebrates Black placemaking in 20th and 21st century America. The exhibit uses photographs, manuscripts, objects, art and sculpture from the Schomburg’s collection to revisit “Harlem’s places, people, and moments—both known and underrepresented—that capture the realities of community and hardship experienced by Black Americans.” Ahead, hear from curator Novella Ford to learn more about the show.
Image via WikiCommons
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we cover everything you need to consider when raising chickens in the city.
In a city where simply finding a balcony large enough for a pot of basil can be a challenge, one may be surprised to discover that chicken coops can be found across all five boroughs. Chickens were once primarily kept by older city residents, including many who come from places in the world where a backyard supply of fresh eggs is taken for granted. More recently, everyone from Park Slope housewives to Bushwick hipsters appears to be embracing the backyard chicken craze.
More on Raising City Chickens
Image via Google Earth.
A planned expansion by Target into several Queens neighborhoods has run afoul of politicians and community groups. The chain store hopes to open new stores in Astoria and Elmhurst by 2022, but activists in the borough have been fighting to stop the new additions, objecting to the fact that they’ll replace mom-and-pop stores and concerned about the effects of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Another concern is that Target’s non-union workforce will replace union jobs, The City reports.
Find out more
Joe Cruz Jr. (right) at the Jalisco distillery
With Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, New Yorkers most certainly have margaritas on the brain. And while we may typically associate tequila with Mexico, a new label here in NYC is bridging the divide between our southern neighbor and local entrepreneurship. Joe Cruz Jr. grew up in Harlem, spending much of his younger years hanging out in the Bronx. After working in the beverage industry for many years, he decided to take a mere $25,000 and create his own “ultra-smooth” tequila right from Harlem. And so in late 2017, YaVe Tequila was born. Not only has the company garnered culinary headlines (it produces the first-ever mango-flavored tequila), but it’s caught the attention of local stakeholders thanks to Joe’s commitment to working with his neighborhood.
Read on for our interview with Joe
“A Group of ‘Lung Block’ Children,” from Ernest Poole, The Plague in Its Stronghold, Tuberculosis in the New York Tenement, 1903. Courtesy of the Department of Records
In 1933, a new development rose on the Lower East Side. It was Knickerbocker Village, the first federally-funded apartment complex in the United States, and one of the first developments that would later fall under the umbrella of the city’s “Slum Clearance” program. The “slum” that Knickerbocker Village replaced wasn’t just any rundown collection of buildings – it was the notorious “Lung Block” between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, bounded by Cherry, Monroe, Market and Catherine Streets, which in 1903, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernest Poole named the most congested and disease-ridden place in the city, or, perhaps, the world. But was it?
“The Lung Block: A New York City Slum and its forgotten Italian Immigrant Community,” a new exhibit opening April 25th at the NYC Department of Records curated by researchers Stefano Morello and Kerri Culhane, will revisit the neighborhood and the immigrant community that called it home. With maps, journals, photos and other artifacts, the exhibit will consider the connections between health and housing, affordability and gentrification, public health and progressive reform, and architecture and the immigrant experience.
Learn more about this community
Photo via CityRealty
The city unveiled on Tuesday its proposal to rezone Bushwick, five years after local residents and officials called on the Department of City Planning to study the growing out-of-context development in the neighborhood. The Bushwick Neighborhood Plan calls for creating and preserving affordable homes, improving public park space, protecting historic buildings, and supporting small businesses. The plan covers 300 blocks, bordered by Broadway to the south, Cypress Avenue to the north, Flushing Avenue to the west, and Trinity and Broadway Junction to the east.
See the plan
Image courtesy of Bookbook.
Independent Village bookstore Bookbook–born Biography Books–at 266 Bleecker Street will be closing its doors on May 15, according to owners Carolyn Epstein and Charles Mullin, who say a rent hike was the final straw in the shop’s 35-year run. The shop was known for its packed bookshelves and browsable book table beneath an outdoor awning. The book-selling pair plan to pop up at various locations, including the Abingdon Square Farmers Market in the neighborhood–but you won’t find them selling books online.
Bid farewell with a big sale
Jake Dobkin was born in Park Slope 42 years ago, and over those years he’s never left New York City for longer than 10 weeks. In 2003, he co-founded the website Gothamist with Jen Chung, which emerged as a popular culture and entertainment blog about all things New York. In the summer of 2013, Dobkin decided to channel his native knowledge and newsroom snark with the column Ask a Native New Yorker. The first installment addressed a question to make any New Yorker shudder, “Is It Normal For Roaches To Crawl Through My Hair At Night?” Since then, he’s tackled everything from amusing annoyances of city life to more serious issues like homelessness, gentrification, and who deserves a seat on the subway.
Dobkin ultimately adapted “Ask A Native New Yorker” into a book, which was just released a few weeks ago. Titled Ask A Native New Yorker: Hard-Earned Advice on Surviving and Thriving in the Big City, it contains answers to 48 new questions on New Yorker’s minds including if public transit will be messed up forever and why we complain so much. 6sqft spoke with Dobkin on why he started writing the column, how it’s changed over the years, and what’s ahead with a new book and Gothamist under the new ownership of WNYC. He also shares the best place to find a peaceful spot in the middle of the city.
Photo via Wiki Commons
Now that Hudson Yards has finally moved from construction site to New York City’s newest neighborhood, it may appear to be a made-in-New York City development. In actual fact, Hudson Yards took its blueprint from a similar neighborhood in Tokyo known as Roppongi Hills, which broke ground in the 1990s and officially opened in 2003. While there are a few notable differences—you won’t find any rice paddies on the roofs of Hudson Yards’ new buildings, for one—the similarities are striking. But in many respects, this is no surprise—New York- and London-based architectural firm, KPF, played a hand in the design of both developments.
Comparing Roppongi Hills and Hudson Yards
Image courtesy of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. Photo by Christopher Lopez.
A housing lottery has opened for 400 spots on the wait list for residential units at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 at 215 East 99th Street in East Harlem. Built in 1899, the limestone-and-brick neighborhood landmark was a school building until 1996. In 2015 it became El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a project that transformed the then-abandoned public school building into a housing complex for local artists with affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for apartments which range from a $731/month studio to a $1,348/month two-bedroom.
Find out how to apply