Author Archives: Bryan

Due North Reflection

I’ve spent most of my life living in New York and unlike Cadogan I have never got to observe, absorb, and understand three out of the five boroughs in New York City. Those include Bronx, Queens, and State Island. Though, I have been able to observe what its like to walk through the different neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and through those experiences I have been able to get a better understanding of the city. Out of all my observations there is one that closely relates to Cadogan’s observation walking between the Upper East Side and South Bronx. Though mine is between the two neighborhood I live in. I walk about 6 blocks towards Prospect Park or take two stops on the 3 train towards Manhattan and now I’m in Prospect Heights (Eastern Pkwy- Brooklyn Museum). Or I take the train or walk in the opposite direction at a similar distance and I find my self at the center of Crown Height on Utica Ave. The major difference between these two places is the change in racial diversity and the development that’s been made to the neighborhoods. Cadogan states “Brownstones were beguiling, but you dared not sit on their steps. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone my shade… was more unwelcome on a stranger’s stoop.” When I walk to prospect park / prospect heights I get a similar feeling to Cadogan, it’s as if I must be aware of what I do because someone might be watching. When I walk to Utica Ave it’s a whole different experience there a lot more going on the streets and I feel like I can be myself. When he states “serendipity also exposes our commonalities,” I think he is telling us that when you get to understand other people you realize how similar we are no matter the background we come from.


Rights to the City

Do people have a right to the city? Do longtime residents and businesses have a right to remain where they are?  If so, how should local governments, urban planners, and other decision-makers ensure these rights are maintained?

There is no city without people. People create communities and understand their community better than anyone else. If a community is unsafe, unclean, or tackling any other issue the first voice you hear from is from the residents. There is nowhere better to learn about a community than from those that have seen it grow. This is why I believe people, longtime resident and businesses should have rights when development is planned in a city or community by the government. When local governments, urban planners, and other decision-makers want to developed a community, the first thing they should do is speak with the community. From there they will understand the people of the community, the importance a business has to the community, and how the community holds each other up. The local government may think that adding a high-rise building will help the community grow but in reality, it removes the people and businesses who’ve made and served it. This results in a new community rather one that has been improved. There shouldn’t be officials that are narrow minded, like Robert Moses, in government. People who can’t consider opposing views aren’t fit to serve the people. When development is planned, residents and businesses should have rights to ensure that the changes will help their community.