You’ve probably noticed the giant letters posted on the windows of restaurants in New York City, and perhaps vaguely understood that these letters are related to the cleanliness of the establishment. But do you know that this grading system works exactly?
The former Ravenswood tobacco plant and the mixed commercial-residential look of the neighborhood near Queensbridge
We recently took a Municipal Art Society tour of Queensbridge, America’s largest operating public housing project, located in West Queens. The Queensbridge Housing Development is one of the 330 developments owned by NYCHA. Queensbridge is divided into two separate complexes – the North Houses on 40th Avenue and the South Houses on 41st Avenue – that together house over 6,000 people in approximately 3,000 apartments. Each of the 29 apartment buildings holds 96 units. You might be surprised to learn that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the biggest landlord in the city: NYCHA owns 178,000 apartments and houses about 5% of the NYC population.
In popular culture, Queensbridge was the childhood home of notable rappers like Nas, Mobb Deep, Marley Mal, Blaq Poet and Roxanne Shante; as well as of NBA player Ron Artest (currently known as Meta World Peace) who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nas, who lived on 40th Avenue, referenced Queensbridge in “One Love” and other songs:
So I comes back home, nobody’s out but Shorty Doo-Wop
Rollin’ two phillies together in the Bridge we called ’em “oo-wops”
— From “One Love” by Nas
What do giraffes and Northern Manhattan parks have in common? The annual Hike the Heights urban trail that connects the Cloisters to Central Park takes its giraffe shape from existing trails and streets that connect Fort Tryon Park, Highbridge Park, Jackie Robinson Park, St. Nicholas Park, Morningside Park, and Central Park. This year, the family-friendly event will take place on June 1st and for the 9th year will draw New Yorkers to explore and celebrate the area’s natural treasures by combining physical activity, art, and fun. (more…)
Shaped like a lobster bathing in the waters of LA Harbor to the Southwest and Long Beach Harbor to the East, Terminal Island is the neglected site of a rich history that unfortunately seems to be unknown to most Angelites today. Conservancy groups like the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Los Angeles Conservancy are now warning that the island’s history will be further buried under new plans by the Port of Los Angeles to demolish some the of the remaining buildings and landmarks that speak to its unique past. In fact, on June 6, The National Trust added Terminal Island to its 2012 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.