Discussion Thread #1

Good morning, everyone. I hope you had a good Labor Day Weekend. As we discussed last week, here is discussion thread number one. For the full credit of five points submit your response by 11:59 pm Sunday night September 13.

Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village seen from Hunter’s Point South Park, Long Island City

The built environment of New York City is all around us. In 100-300 words tell us of a public building or space in your neighborhood (or in the time you spend within New York City if you live outside the five boroughs) – a school, a library, a park, a housing unit, or something else of your choosing – with which you have had even a passing encounter. Tell us briefly how & when the space came to be, and describe how it impacts your neighborhood and your experiences, good, bad, or indifferent.

You have wide latitude. Chose something that interests you. Please respond directly as a comment to this thread. We look forward to hearing your responses.

(image: Tdorante10, via Wikimedia Commons)

40 thoughts on “Discussion Thread #1”

  1. The Bronx Zoo is one of the places that has made the Bronx very famous. Part of Bronx Park was allotted to New York Zoological society by the City of New York and It was opened in 1899. This brought more employment to the Bronx community and tourist attraction for people to come to visit. It has impacted the community both positively and negatively. It has pumped millions of dollars into the local economy. It opened the door for people to come from all over the world to do field research and the Bronx Zoo has improved our conservation. It has given students from pre k and up the opportunity to visit and learn about the different species in real life. Personally, it gave me the opportunity to have a summer job and meet experienced personnel working closely with the animals. The Zoo has had very few negative impacts in the society, previous years there have been budget cuts that affected the animals and employees, it caused the employees to be laid off and not enough people to care for them.

    1. Michael, this is a very thoughtful post. The Bronx Zoo is indeed such a treasure for New York City and the world. We are fortunate to have it here. This is now 30+ years ago but my best friend’s brother worked there for a short time in the 1980s building the then-new elephant cages. It must have been special working there as a summer job and seeing the animals and people who cared for them up close. Hopefully the layoffs and pandemic will not have irreversible consequences for the institution.

      Thank you for sharing your insights and experience.

  2. Queens borough hall located at 120-55 Queens Blvd has always been an icon of the Kew Gardens community. It produces the largest volume of traffic daily, and the home of many civil protests held in queens, both televised an un-televised. Although I have never really invested much attention this area since its usually very crowded, it has been a huge benefactor in giving back to the community of Kew Gardens. On the rare occasions that I have passed by this building, during a workday. I would usually see lines traveling across the block for paying summons, news vans lining up and down the block and occasionally on the sidewalk, and sometimes what appears to be endless lines on police vehicles both marked an unmarked.

    It has been the home of many famous criminal trials in the criminal courthouse next door, and at night their jail is usually rented out to movie production studios with film trucks coming in and out of their heavily fortified jails at all times throughout the night, with stage lights, lighting up the night skies. So, its safe to say it is usually constantly busy, even during the night. One thing that would immediately catch you eye about this location, if anyone remembers correctly, living in queens during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the Queens borough hall hosts a large monument of what used to be the old red 7 train wagon on the corner of 82nd avenue and queens boulevard. It has since been reconverted into what appears to be a small little gallery which one can go inside and look around. Its remarkably interesting to see and brings back many memories!

    1. Albert, what a concise description of Queens Borough Hall. I’m glad the discussion thread brought back some memories for you. This is a neighborhood of NYC that I have not visited too much and I thought you painted a good thumbnail portrait. It’s funny but when I go to a Mets game I see the borough changing from year to year from the 7 Train window. When the pandemic ends I might make a run out there on some weekend to check out that small gallery you mention. I love small spaces like that and seeing what a community does with them.

  3. Cherry walk was one of the parks that were introduced in the riverside in the 1930s. It starts at 125th and ends near 95th street. Originally it was an old railroad trackway along with a dump area. Usually, it was a place where people went to watch the sunset or even just walk towards the end and back. It was a long rocky trail where most cherry trees grew along the river. Over time, it got more and more attraction leading to renovation and eventually turning into a place where people can run, bike, or walk.

    Personally, I use this path almost every time I go out for a run. I would consider this as a place of sanctuary for me because the path is so peaceful especially when you run during a sunset it gives you peace of mind. At the end of the path in 95th, it connects to another part of riverside park where there are restaurants or even parks for dogs. The only negative downside is that since it’s along a highway you can’t really get out until you’ve reached the end or turned back but overall, I would say this place has grown from being a wasteland to a wonderful park where people can exercise and bond.

    1. “I would consider this as a place of sanctuary for me . . . ”

      Keven, what a great line. The Cherry Walk, and Riverside Park more broadly, is a special place. Nearly twenty years ago now my best friend lived on the Upper West Side. I often would visit on Sundays and we would walk north from the West 90s up to 125th Street. It’s funny that you mention the renovation of the 1930s; Robert Moses played a significant role in the park’s development during this period and gave us much of what one sees when there. We have Moses to thank for the park, and also to blame if one will for the highway.

    2. Keven,
      I used to live at 98th and West End, and always ventured to that part of the park. There was a great playground at 95th where we would take our daughter when she was little. Great place!

  4. The Brooklyn Public Library is a historical landmark that is in my area around Bushwick and it was funded by Andrew Carnegie. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929.
    There were some libraries that already existed in the borough but the Carnegie libraries really took the lead in creating more branches within Brooklyn. Eighteen different Brooklyn Public Library’s were built with Carnegie funds. Stone Avenue branch was the first to become famous as the Brownsville Children’s Library which was the world’s first library that committed itself to helping children read. The branch that is located by Park Slope had acquired a new look making it as it once was as the “most pretentious” of the Carnegie-funded branches, as the Brooklyn Citizen described it at its opening in 1906. The Pacific branch, the very first of the Carnegie libraries to be built in Brooklyn faced demolition because of the poor physical shape it was in and since it was next door to one of Brooklyn’s hottest properties, the Barclays Center the attraction had decreased.

    1. “The branch that is located by Park Slope had acquired a new look making it as it once was as the “most pretentious” of the Carnegie-funded branches, as the Brooklyn Citizen described it at its opening in 1906.” –Love it.

      I worked for Brooklyn Public Library in the later 1990s and early 2000s and visited many of these Carnegie libraries, including the Stone Avenue, Pacific, and Park Slope branches you mention here. Many of these old buildings indeed have fallen into disrepair. Carnegie had an interesting arrangement with municipalities for whom he might build a library: he would agree to pay all the construction expenses if the cities agreed to buy the books and hire the staff. Now there are many hundreds if not thousands of Carnegie libraries sprinkled across the country.

      I had a class many years ago now with historian David Nasaw at the CUNY Graduate Center. He was completing a biography of Carnegie and interviewed many of Carnegie’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the research. Andrew Carnegie had given away most of his money to various charities before his death. Nasaw told us in class that the descendants were all very nice and accommodating, but that few if any were actually wealthy because Carnegie had given away his fortune.

    2. Manny,
      They are currently trying to landmark the Pacific Branch. It is a Carnegie and I sincerely doubt any Carnegie would be destroyed now. Any development rights from that branch could be transferred (sold) to an adjacent property. I wouldn’t be surprised if the P.C. Richard site doesn’t snatch up those rights and add a few more floors to whatever eventually gets build there.

  5. Whenever I think of Brooklyn, Prospect Park is the first place that comes to mind. My family always used the park as a simple escape on boring weekends. It is an urban park that connects many neighborhoods in Brooklyn together. The park sits between Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Flatbush, and most importantly Prospect Park Lefferts Gardens, where I grew up. The park was always a 10 to 15-minute walk from my house. In my opinion, the park is very accessible to the public. It first opened in 1967 even though, it was not completely done until 1873. Throughout the years the park was renovated, and several additions were added. I choose Prospect park because most of my childhood was spent in the park. There is a place in the park for everything imagined. For example, the park has multiple running paths, baseball and softball field, areas for fishing, paddle boats, roller skating, ice skating rinks, and open space to spend with friends and family. The park also hosts social events like smorgasburg which is an event that hosts local vendors in one main location. Personally, the park also provided a place for me to go during quarantine when everything in New York was closed to the public.

    1. Shantel, Brooklyn would indeed be such a lesser place were Prospect Park not here. As you point out, the park was built by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1860s and 1870s just after the Civil War. They had been the designers of Central Park and considered their Brooklyn project a greater success because they felt they’d learned from a few mistakes they had made in the creation of the Manhattan site.

      I am glad you have been able to find respite there in Prospect Park during the quarantine.

  6. The Parachute Jump Tower is a structure I see every day on my way to and from work and visit it often as I live nearby. I remember when I was a teenager my friends and I used to hang out on the beach every Friday evening and watch the fireworks against the backdrop of the tower and the amusement park. Now as an adult I like to frequent a local cafe and just watch the lights twinkle and dance as I enjoy a cold beverage. Unfortunately, I did not get to enjoy any of it this summer, but I’m hopeful the next summer will be better. I have also celebrated a few New Year Eves at the foot of the tower, one of which I actually met atop the Wonder Wheel. The Coney Island Alliance hosts its annual NYE celebration with live music, free activities, and if the weather isn’t too cold they open some rides. It’s a relatively small event and certainly beats the Times Square drop, at least I don’t have to wear a diaper 🙂 . At midnight the fireworks begin popping and the tower displays the new date in an elaborate light show which continues for a couple of hours.

    The Parachute Jump was built for the 1939 World Fair and made its debut as the tallest (262 ft) structure at the fair, which was held place at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It consisted of 12 “arms” from which a parachute contraption was suspended; patrons would be hoisted up and then dropped, lightly descending to the ground using the resistance of the parachute material. It was moved to its final location at the Coney Island boardwalk in 1941 and is the only surviving structure of its kind. The Parachute Tower (or Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower as people like to refer to it jokingly) ceased its operation in the 1960’s and has not been used since. For the next two decades there were many plans to renovate, demolish, and revitalize the structure but they were all very costly and the city did not have the funds. Finally, in 1977 it was designated as the NYC Landmark and had undergone many restorations and upgrades. One of the most notable was the installation of 8,000 LED lights which were first lit up at the 2014-15 New Years Eve ball drop and had been displaying themed images and symbols for different causes and celebrations like the US Flag for Independence day ever since.

    1. “Now as an adult I like to frequent a local cafe and just watch the lights twinkle and dance as I enjoy a cold beverage.” –an adult beverage, I assume?

      Anna, what a beautiful and thoughtful post. I love how you trace the evolving nature of what the Parachute Jump Tower has meant to you over the years. We are so fortunate that the tower was never torn down and that it eventually received Landmark status.

      Today is the anniversary of 9/11. I was working at Brooklyn Public Library at the time, and in that summer of 2001 was stationed temporarily at a branch just around the corner from the then-new ballpark. That is of course adjacent to the Parachute Jump. Whenever I see Brooklyn’s “Eiffel Tower” as you call it, I can’t help but think of that now long ago time.

      And yes, I’m sure it is much more enjoyable going to Coney Island than to Times Square on New Years Eve.

      Thank you for sharing.

  7. The Homecrest Library on Coney Island Avenue was a place my family would come every Friday during summers when I was young. The library is apart of Brooklyn Public Library, which was established in 1896 and is the sixth-largest public library system in the United States. The Homecrest Library was relatively small with one floor with one side dedicated to adults and the other half for children. Homecrest started with a large Italian population in the neighborhood, but more people started immigrating from Latin America, China, Israel, Syria, Russia, and South Asia to the neighborhood. The library started to include a large collection of books for all the different cultures in the neighborhood. Today, the library has created many programs for children such as Toddler Time, Reading Is Fundamental, Chess Club, Teen Tech Time, and many more.
    Public schools always required us to read a small variety of books before the start of the new school year to challenge our reading skills. I would always take out a large number of books, and get free books for the number of stamps I had from every visit. At this time, computer games were extremely popular, and children purposely came to play on computers. A Snapple machine was located outside the bathroom, and I always begged my mom to buy some for me at every visit. The adults and elderly were always silently reading from their side of the library. Almost every visit ended with visiting McDonald’s or Burger King. Slowly, my family stopped going to the Homecrest Library because I was growing older and summer reading wasn’t mandatory.

    1. Tiffany, nice post and presentation. Quick story: When I went to work for Brooklyn Public Library in October 1997 eleven of the sixty branches had internet access. Six months later by April 1998 all sixty branches were online.

      I remember doing Reading is Fundamental (RIF) at Rugby back in the day. We had chess time too. It was a lot of fun. I always liked working and going to meetings in different neighborhoods and seeing the different ways the branches worked and whom they served. Good times.

  8. Nathan Weidenbaum (Little Bush) Park in Woodside, Queens has been a place of joy for me as a kid. My sister and I would define this place as “the orange park” or “the camel park” to my parents whenever we started to miss going there. It is a 10-minute walk from my house, but there would be spontaneous moments when my parents would make the call that they were going to take us there and it was a great feeling. In the 1900s, Nathan Weidenbaum was a Woodside resident and he saw a lack of basic amenities (e.g. street signs, lamp posts). Weidenbaum in turn formed Wynwoode Gardens Homeowners Association to bring local improvements to the neighborhood. He served as president for the association for over 45 years, he even brought a local bus service to the area. He retired in 1981 and passed away in March of 1983. A tree was planted where the park stands now in his memory. In 1986 Walter L. McCaffrey and signed by Mayor Edward I. Koch officially named this park Nathan Weidenbaum Park. This park also had a local name called Little Bush Park because it is located across Big Bush Park, but it was separated from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The route of today’s BQE was decided by Robert Moses) in 1945. In 1971 Parks Commissioner- August Heckscher and Queens Borough President- Sidney Leviss agreed to co-sponsor the construction of what is known today as Big Bush Park and Little Bush Parks. The renovation was completed in June 2001 utilizing $1,300,000. The park that stands today includes basketball courts, sitting areas, and swings, benches, decorative pavements and greenery, camel spray showers, donkey animal art, game tables, and water fountains.
    This place holds great experiences because I would never find myself ever wanting to leave. It was always the worst to know that it was starting to get dark out and my parents had to take us back home with our bikes. We had to earn our trip to this park. It had also been a place of comfort for me a couple of years ago, when I had to decide where to go to college and I had gone there as one of my last times to sit and think about my decisions, it felt like a safe place.

    1. Pamela, what a nice mix of the personal and historical. I’m glad they dedicated and named the park after Nathan Weidenbaum, who appears to have made many significant contributions to the community. It’s amazing what one person can accomplish. It seems like you and your family have made the most of the park over the years. I’m glad you have found it a place of rest and contemplation in the hustle and bustle of the city.

  9. Growing up almost everyone has had their childhood park. Travers Park has gone through massive changes which has made me realize I don’t really know much about a place that has given me so many memories. Travers park or Thomas J. Travers Park was named after Thomas J. Travers, who was a well known Jackson Heights Democratic leader. He served as a democratic district leader for Woodside- Jackson Heights for about 10 years, which also include the late years of his death. The city of New York acquired this land by condemnation in 1948. As you’ve previously stated that Robert Moses was one of the main characters in our semester, I was intrigued when I read that Robert Moses, who was parks commissioner at the time, participated in the dedication ceremony of the park. After being renovated in 1995 the ceremony for its renovation was attended by 3 generations of the Travers family.

    1. Giselle, it’s so cool that three generations of the Travers family turned out for the 1995 renovation dedication. It’s interesting that Thomas Travers himself was a player in the Brooklyn Democratic milieu. Moses was of the other party. I’m sure Travers was there at that 1940s dedication. I wonder what their relationship, if any, was and how they got along.

  10. One place in my neighborhood that has been ever-changing is the Rockaway Skate Park at Beach 91st Street. My first ever encounter with it was in 2008, back when I was in elementary school and the obstacles were made out of sheet metal. Me and my friends had never really seen skateboarding in person, so we showed up with a bike & some scooters. Curiosity turned into “nope nope nope” after we pushed the bike into the halfpipe with no one riding & it gave way halfway down.

    The park was actually built 4 years prior, by the American Ramp Company. Apparently it wasn’t that great compared to other ones in NYC, but Rockaway has a huge surf community, and skating is deeply intertwined with surfing. Having a local destination for “concrete surfing” mattered a lot to people here. They were happy for whatever they could get.

    Then Sandy hit in 2012. All 12,300 square feet of the park were devastated overnight by hurricane winds and heavy flooding. I had completely forgotten about the place by then, but it was a crushing loss for Rockaway’s skaters. (The closest alternative for them was 60 blocks away.) 2 local businesses stepped in and raised $15,000 to build a a temporary replacement out of wood. And it did the job! …Until it didn’t. The wood couldn’t handle the elements well enough, and the salty air from the ocean accelerated the damage.

    NYC Parks started considering a permanent, concrete option in 2015. However, no construction actually took place until the end of 2019. It finally opened 2 weeks ago! 🙂 I switched from e-boarding to skateboarding during quarantine, so this is perfect timing for me, but it’s long overdue for the rest of the community. And the free-flowing, surf-like design perfectly matches the aura of Rockaway (& what the locals have wanted for 16+ years).

  11. The Little Flower Playground located Madison St.& Jefferson St, at Manhattan Chinatown. When I first moved to America, I felt scared and lonely because I do not know anyone here. I was only 12. I locked myself up in the room for a month and then I started going out. I was only able to walk out near the building I was living in. But as I am getting familiar with the area, I walk out further. Until I saw this park. This playground, formerly La Guardia Houses Park, refers to the popular nickname of New York City mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Little Flower. The nickname is a literal translation of the Italian mayor’s first name and an allusion of his small physical stature of 5 feet 2 inches. Chinatown is a noisy area and I don’t quite like it. But this park had fewer people and kids. It got space for kids to play with the sponge floor, it makes you feel comfortable when you walk on it. Later on days, I often sit on the seesaw, swing myself back, and forward, and enjoying my afternoons by watching kids running, others playing basketball, etc. Sometimes I can also be watching other wrestling on the sponge floor. Looks like it hurts but seems like people are enjoying. It was once heaven to me 🙂

    1. “It was once heaven to me.” –great line. Thank you for sharing your experience. I found it very poignant.

      You summarized the provenance of Fiorello La Guardia’s nickname very well too. He was such an important figure in twentieth century New York and American history. We’ll hear more about him in the coming weeks as the semester rolls along.

  12. As an individual who grew up in the neighborhood Sunset Park, there was a lot about the community that distinguished it from a lot of the other neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Sunset Park’s charm was the fact that in a developing city, it’s overall appearance and atmosphere was that of something out of the past and out of time. And while this may not be the case anymore, as a result of the increasing gentrification going on in the area, the neighborhood still has it’s gems that have remained a cornerstone in the district, such as the NYC park, named after the neighborhood itself, Sunset Park. The land for this park was acquired sometime around the late 1800s to early 1900s, and has had various amenities, such as a carousel and golf course, before ending with its modern day look of open fields, pool center, basketball courts, and playgrounds. But it has continuously served as one of the top highlights in the area with its views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

    As a neighborhood attraction, it’s helped bring more individuals to the area, in addition to helping raise the aesthetic appearance of the community setting. This park has also impacted me on a personal level by being a location where my mother would bring my siblings and I from time to time to enjoy the views and the fresh air, in addition to being a safe place for my friends and I to make memorable memories as we explored the area, and strengthened our bond to a level akin to family. Thus as a result, despite living in Queens now, Sunset Park will always hold a place in my life as being the setting to many fond memories.

    1. Dawson, it sounds like you and your family got a lot out of the park and neighborhood. It is a part of the city with which I am not so familiar. I imagine the views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty, as you describe, are breathtaking. Queens has its attractions, but I don’t blame you for wanting to return to Brooklyn with its waterfront views and everything else. Gentrification is such a mixed blessing; it brings new amenities and other benefits, but destroys the feel of old communities. Hopefully Sunset Park can hold on to some of its vibe.

  13. When I first started at city tech I wanted to explore the area that, being from new jersey, I knew relatively little about. So, I just started walking and found the Brooklyn historical society not far from the school. I figured what better place to learn about the area than there. The society was founded in 1863 and the building is a national historical landmark. inside, on the bottom floor they have rotating exhibits dedicated to educating about Brooklyn’s extensive and fascinating history. Upstairs they have a beautiful old library with many old and interesting books. The library is where I would go ton study and do work because its so peaceful and inspiring just to be there. Being able to go there and learn about all the different kinds of history in the area is invaluable because there are a lot of things of display there that I would have never seen or learned about anywhere else.

    1. I love, love, love the Brooklyn Historical Society. I don’t know if you noticed my comment in the Zoom chat yesterday, but I had never noticed the Long Island Historical Society name carved in stone until you showed it yesterday. Of course I was aware of the old name, just not that it was still embedded there in the building. I love stuff like that. It will be interesting to see what BPL does with the site.

      BTW, you’ve mentioned Jane Jacobs a few times. No pressure, but if you’d like to write one of your papers about her and her work we can make that happen. Of course, it will be up to you; if you choose something else, that will be good too.

  14. Russell Sage is the local middle school and playground in the neighborhood I was born and raised in: Forest Hills, Queens. Russell Sage has been a staple in the Forest Hills community since it was opened in 1957. In that time, countless neighborhood kids have graced its halls and spent endless hours having fun under the sun at Russell Sage, including yours truly.

    I chose Russell Sage because it’s the place where I have learned some of the greatest lessons; more lessons were learned in the playground than in the actual school! I still carry those lessons I learned with me to this day (bros before hoes being one of them). Russell Sage is also the place where I forged friendships that are still going strong to this day.

    Nowadays, Russell Sage serves as a time warp that transports me back to awkward but happy days spent playing backyard football games with close friends that are no longer with me today. Whenever I need to slow things down and catch a breath, I like to head over to Sage. Put simply, I love Russell Sage.

  15. Queens Library at Queensboro Hill, it is a small upside-down T shape building that serves as the local public library in Queensboro Hill. It’s not big or fancy like the Queens Library at Flushing but funny enough people will still get confused about the two libraries from time to time just because it’s both on Main street. I don’t know if anyone still appreciates or go to the library anymore, but having the ability to borrow any book from a place as long as you return it in a few weeks is nice, you can even renew your time by going online or going to the library itself, to me it’s very convenient so the library became a spot I frequently visited as a kid.
    The Queensboro Hill library itself is surrounded by two parking lot, to the south and the east. The south one is small and public, the east is bigger but privately own by the nearby restaurant, however, when it snows a lot in the winter you bet that parking lot will be used for a snowball fight. The ground floor of the library has all the basic programs needed: bathroom, children’s reading area, computer rooms, adult reading area, a DVD section, office space, and a storage room. There is no basement or a second floor as I know of when I used to live in the area. From 2011 to 2012 the library was planned to be demolished and change to something else completely, but after students and the librarians got enough people to sign the petition, the plan was instead changed to renovated the building and keeping the exterior the same as always. The renovation took around 5 years, reopening the library in 2016. The reopen library is cleaner, brighter, have a fancy entrance space adding a few places to put bikes, an improvement on the space layout, it’s nice overall compare to what it was before, however, the sad thing is I know a lot of people who sign the petition left the area during the renovation because of various reasons. I do not know if they ever went back to see it after it was complete, but it is nice to see what the old library turns out to be.

    1. ” . . . when it snows a lot in the winter you bet that parking lot will be used for a snowball fight.”

      Such things too play a role in creating community.

      It’s great that they saved the library but bittersweet that many who had signed the petition moved on before seeing its completion. Touching post.

  16. Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, there was always this old abandoned theatre on Flatbush Avenue. For years I created my own assumption, that this old movie theatre caught on fire years ago and was just left there as a piece of history. Thanks to this class, I actually got to find out some information about this theatre that is known today as Kings Theatre.
    Formerly known as Loew’s movie theatre, King’s first opened in 1929. It was known as one of the five “wonder theatre’s” in NYC. This theatre provided entertainment such as musicals, plays, live stage shows, and was even used for graduations. This theatre was opened until the year 1977. The city was approved ownership of the building in 1979. Within the many years of neglect, the building deteriorated and was vandalized. After a little over 30 years, in 2010 the city decided to do a full renovation to the theatre. This led to the re-grand opening in February 2015. The theatre has been used for plays, show casings and concerts for Brooklynites. It is unfortunate that I haven’t gotten to see a show yet but hopefully within due time, I will be able to support my community and see the great walls of history.
    In my opinion , I love the fact that Brooklyn has yet another positive monument. However I feel the the King’s theatre has brought pain for the Minorities of the community. Minorities were already forced to move out because rent was too high. Gentrification was and is still happening at its best, causing the rent and businesses within the area to continue rising. King’s theatre added fuel to the fire when it comes to minorities and the many setbacks.

  17. I live in Park Slope about seven houses down from Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza. There are many public buildings, monuments, and spaces, near my house about which I could write, but for this assignment I will write about the Central Public Library on Grand Army Plaza. When the City of New York (Manhattan), the City of Brooklyn, and the counties of Queens, Bronx, and Richmond consolidated to form Greater New York in 1898, both the Brooklyn and Queens libraries chose to retain control of their systems rather than have them controlled by the New York Public Library. The main branch Brooklyn Public Library was located in Brooklyn Heights, and in 1906, architect Raymond F. Almirall was chosen by Borough President Bird Coler to design the new Central Library fronting Park Plaza (renamed Grand Army Plaza) between Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway. The choice of that particular site was very controversial; at that time, the Institute of Arts and Sciences (later the Brooklyn Museum) was under construction on Eastern Parkway in what was conceived by its boosters as the new Brooklyn cultural center. However, while having a prominent site on the Plaza, the new library would be neighbored by a reservoir (now Mt. Prospect Park) that was deemed utilitarian and an inappropriate backdrop for a cultural monument. Despite the ongoing disagreement, ground was finally broken in 1912 on a monumental Beaux-Arts inspired building, but construction quickly came to a halt with the onset of World War I and the flu pandemic. Work resumed in the 1920s and the Flatbush Avenue was completed in 1929 only to be boarded up because of the Great Depression. In the late 1930s Borough President Raymond V. Ingersoll, for whom the building named, had the Almirall wing largely dismantled and hired the firm of Githens and Keally to design a new Art Moderne building that we see today.
    The building has a monumental presence on the Plaza, setting back from the corner on a large stair plaza. The building serves as the main research library for the Brooklyn system that accommodates everyone from scholars to children. On the weekends it is a hub of activity, attracting visitors to its gracious indoor and outdoor spaces.

  18. I live a couple of of blocks down from a park known as highland park that is close to a a main road known as the Jackie Robinson today . It is located in Cypress Hills Brooklyn east New York. This park completes me as a whole, its where I spent a lot of my time becoming who I am today. I learned lots of my social skill meeting lots of fellow peers in the neighborhood. The park was broken into 3 parcels, one parcel is the playground space that contains basketball courts, tennis courts baseball field and play area for little kids, another parcel contains a space of entertainment/ social space where people can socially meet up and hang out barbeque, with a moshpit of different cultural music in the air especially during the summer time, the last parcel contains a massive reservoir with a 1.5 mile radius path way for people to jogging, walking, and cycle safely. The reservoir was developed in 1858 which was a main water source in the surrounding are of Brooklyn. Highland park was designed by a major landscape architect that has done multiple projects in New York city known as Olmsted partnered with Eliot.

  19. My place of interest is the Taste The Tropics USA which is a Caribbean inspired ice cream store that provides many flavors of various sizes. Entering this store, you’ll first see a variety of flavors to choose from, then you’ll see the extras such as ice cream bars, popsicles, etc. There are also a selection of ice cream cakes to select from. It attracts many people as they are known for top quality flavors compared to the competition. Not only are their flavors top quality, but the sizes of ice cream or ice cream cake you can buy are bigger than the average products sold else where at a affordable price which keeps their customers coming.

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