There’s a steel wall in the Hudson River that celebrates immigrants, the only place in the United States where heritage can be honored at a national monument. The American Immigrant Wall of Honor first opened on Ellis Island in 1990 to recognize the country’s many immigrants and to raise money for the site’s National Museum of Immigration and the Statue of Liberty. Currently, there are 770 panels engraved with the names of nearly 775,000 immigrants. But spots on the wall are filling up, as the New York Times reported on Wednesday. Just five panels remain empty, enough space for roughly 3,300 names.
No, not that wall
Daniela, from Colombia © Dru Blumensheid
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Dru Blumensheid shares some images from the Queens Museum‘s new exhibit Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
“Statistics do not tell the story of immigration. People do. Women do.” This was the impetus behind the new photo and video exhibit at the Queens Museum, “Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York.” A partnership between New Women New Yorkers, NYC’s only non-profit dedicated to empowering young immigrant women, and artist Dru Blumensheid aka BUMESI, the exhibit features photos and videos of 16 young immigrant women taken in iconic locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Chinatown, all as a way to show “a nuanced and multi-layered picture… of the barriers and isolation they experience, and of the hopes, dreams, and talents they bring with them.”
In celebration of Women’s History Month, 6sqft chatted with Dru Blumensheid about her personal inspiration behind the project, what she learned from the experience, and how she hopes all New Yorkers can benefit from hearing these stories.
Hear from Dru and see her beautiful photos and videos
Photo via WNYC/Flickr
A new data analysis effort from the Washington Post titled “The top 10 places people are moving, and how their choices differ by race” offers some interesting insights into where people are ending up when they come from…elsewhere. Though it’s not the article’s intent, the first thing we notice is that New York City is number one in attracting sheer masses, huddled and otherwise. And the biggest comparable block of hopeful humanity is coming “from abroad.” The attraction factor gets more complex, though, when we adjust for size, looking at the percentage of the overall population the newcomers comprise. In that case, metro areas like Colorado Springs and San Jose move to the top. And what about race? Even more complicated.
To investigate the question, “What is a New York City rat, and where did it come from?” the New York Times checks in with researchers at Fordham University, led by Jason Munshi-South, who have embarked on a rat-tracking study to find the answer to that very question (among others). It turns out that–much like the city’s millions of two-legged inhabitants–the answer is “everywhere,” from Galapagos and Brazil to New Zealand and Japan.
We’re all immigrants at some point
Queens is one of the most diverse places on the planet, and it’s believed that around 500 languages are spoken here. Fifty-nine of these, however, are endangered, meaning that those who speak these languages are the last people on Earth who know them. This number is staggering, considering the fact that UNESCO puts the worldwide number of “critically endangered” languages at 574, which is why artist Mariam Ghani has embarked on a mapping project that explores these disappearing tongues. First shared by Fast Co. Design, The Garden of the Forked Tongues is an online, interactive graphic and an acrylic mural in the Queens Museum, both of which plot colored polygons to represent how the languages are distributed throughout the borough.
All the info
Puzzled at how many conversations about international issues turned to the subject of immigration no matter what the original context might have been, NYC-based entrepreneur and data visualization geek Max Galka created a map showing the flow of immigration to and from each of the world’s nations to better visualize where the patterns really lay.
In addition to topics like terrorism, Brexit, this year’s presidential race and the refugee crisis, according to Galka, immigration was “being mentioned in connection with all sorts of topics I never would have expected.” Finding that the debates on immigration, though sometimes heated, were lacking in factual information, he hopes that his mapping efforts, brought to us via his blog Metrocosm, can provide some real-world context on questions like, “how many migrants are there? Where are they coming from? And where are they going?”
Take a look at the map to see who’s coming and going
New York’s immigration history is a long and complex one, and still today 37 percent of city residents are foreign-born. Using data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey, the NYU Furman Center created this easy-to-read map that shows the top ten countries of origin, how many such New Yorkers there are (each dot represents 500 residents born in the respective country), and where they live (h/t Untapped).
The full map and more info
First spotted by CityLab, these dot maps called Mapping Immigrant America are colorful in two senses of the word. Kyle Walker, assistant professor of geography at Texas Christian University, used census tract data to map America’s immigrant population. The nine countries of origin (Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Southwest Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Canada) are represented with a different hued dot, creating a picture of diversity and ethnic enclaves. With each dot standing in for 20 immigrants, a quick look at a city’s color palette tells a lot about its cultural makeup.
More maps ahead
New York prides itself on its diversity, so it comes as no surprise that we have the second-highest immigration population in the country. But what may be surprising is that the most immigrants–other than those from Mexico–in our state come from China, according to this informative map. In nearby New Jersey and Connecticut, India is responsible for the largest immigrant group.
More on the map here
We often talk about specific neighborhoods’ immigration history–Little Germany in the East Village, El Barrio in East Harlem, or the capital of Jewish America on the Lower East Side. But when we look at the city as a whole, there’s been some pretty interesting immigration patterns over its nearly-400-year history. To visualize this timeline, the data gurus over at Metrocosm have put together an interactive infographic that shows the change in these immigration waves from 1626 to 2013 and how they relate to world events regarding these given countries.