In terms of preparing me and my group for the presentation, doing in-class presentations provided a great deal of help. We were able to condense our presentation into ten minutes, and be able to deliver a concise yet thorough explanation of our project. Through getting critiques from our peers, we were able to hone down on our issues in the presentation, and anticipate these same questions that will be asked by the moderators at the presentation. Anticipating counterarguments helped us to shape our argument, and answer the questions that were asked to us with ease and confidence. If me and my group can do the presentation over, we would try a bit harder to stay right on time

Feedback we received centered around focusing on how the public would interfere in the gentrification cycle. It allowed us to see a more clear approach must be given in terms of explaining the role of the residents of Long Island City. Feedback to other groups considered hyper-focusing on the role of education to help the residents of the city. This helped us consider future implications of bettering our research proposal.

Thought provoking ideas that other groups’ research projects centered around was the idea of opening a university to increase self-sufficiency in Red Hook. This would increase apartment buildings that can be afforded by college students, and younger adults. The influx of a university may also bring on a slew of restaurants, cafes, and more commercial businesses. I would give advice to future Seminar 4 students to focus more on a broad view of bettering the future of New York City, and make sure to be thinking of this idea each time you do a lesson during the seminar class. Takeaways from the conference and the experience, I personally feel, should be more centered together. Conferences of this sort allow Macaulay students to meet each other, but this conference did not allow for that. It would have been better to have a conference that was similar to Seminar 3, in which we propped our posters / presentations on display for all the Macaulay students to walk around. Upon a moderator’s request, we may be able to present to them. This would allow us to see and meet more students’ presentations, as this conference mainly sectioned us off into separate rooms to present to a small number of individuals.

This class, however, proved to be extremely insightful and one of my favorite seminar classes. It allowed us to see the city we live in, and decipher the movements behind who truly holds the power in this gentrification era we are prospering in. We are able to see the economic and political aspects of the leaders behind the cycle. This seminar will allow me to utilize the concepts and principles I have learned in the outside world, and inspect the workings of the political and economic background behind the zoning and urban planning changes made in the city.

The Community and Small Businesses: A Vital Relationship

This week’s readings focused on a segment of gentrification that is often overlooked — the implications this urban change projects on small businesses, and industrial centers. Winifred Curran provides an interesting take on the situation, as she begins by stating that she began the research as a way to hone in and highlight the displacement of many small manufacturers, the difficulty of zoning and building violations, and the legality of residential housing surrounding areas that are predominantly industrial based (e.g. Williamsburg, Long Island City, early SoHo). However, through her research, she finds that business owners often tell her about the, “remarkable adaptability, creativity and resistance to the prevailing economic order” (Curran, 875). She mentions important details about the ties that many small businesses and manufacturers have to their community — this results from historical development and the long established social ties they have with members of the community, as well as other business owners they are able to work with locally. It is important to acknowledge these neighborhoods in thriving and economically growing areas such as New York City because they are central to many other big businesses, and help to maintain economic vitality. The article mentions that many businesses are able to carry out their daily needs and duties without complaints from the nearby residents who live near there because they either form close relationships over the many years they have lived here with business owners and are adjusted to this noise and way of life, or because most of the residents are in fact these local business owners.

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Documentation of 65 East 125th Street

The notion of race has played a prominent role throughout the housing and fiscal situation in New York City. Sharon Zukin highlights these factors as major playing fields in the shaping of present day Harlem in her novel, “The Naked City: The Life and Death of Authentic Public Places.” She speaks on the unique gentrification that has played in this area. There are the usual displacement of low income families in replacement for upper middle class residents. Race plays a major role in the shaping of Harlem, however, Zukin makes an interesting note to discuss how there is presence of white families displacing African American families, but also the notion that wealthier African America families are also displacing the original lower income residents of Harlem.

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Blockbusting and Structural Racism

This video is a Part II of a compilation of videos interviewing author Antero Pietila on his novel, “Not in My Neighborhood.” He speaks on the process of blockbusting that surrounded and devastated the area of Baltimore, Maryland. He spoke on how speculators would propagate the racism that surrounded the area during the period of the 1940 and 1950’s.

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Expanding Higher Education

New York University at Bronx Campus, (1894)

The photograph presented above is a still of New York University’s campus in the Bronx location. It is incredibly astonishing to view New York University in this setting — secluded, humbly compact, and located in a predominantly low income borough of New York City. The NYU campus we know of today expands to a large area near Washington Square, and encompasses a dental, medical, business, and law school along with its undergraduate university. In our readings, we have explored how Robert Moses transformed the city of New York in the post-World War II era.

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