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Five boroughs, 300 square miles, 6,375 miles of streets, 8.3 million people... hundreds of neighborhoods. This channel covers the history, culture, people, hustle and bustle and goings-on of New York City.

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More of Our Favorite, Most Absorbing, Compelling, and Pleasurable [True!] Tales of New York City… on Film

A few months ago, the NYPL Milstein Division of United States History, Local History & Genealogy put our collective local history obsessive minds together to bring you a list of our favorite NYC non-fiction books. Now we reveal our favorite New York documentaries. These documentary films best depict New York, either in moments or over lengths of time, providing a capsule of a New York experience.Read More ›

Where in New York is Sesame Street?

Can I tell you how to get to Sesame Street? Well, I can try. You can get to the Sesame Street Subway Stop by the A, B, 1, or 2 trains, which if you check any MTA map, do not intersect at any current station.Read More ›

How to Find Historical Photos of New York City

Researchers commonly seek photographs of places in New York as they once existed in history. HistoryPin.com and WhatWasThere.Com have done admirable work in placing historic photos in their geographic context, however they represent but a fraction of available photos, and associated descriptive metadata can vary in accuracy and precision.Read More ›

Meet Ner Beck, NYC Street Photographer

On view now through August 26, 2014, is NER BECK’s NYC Street Oddities: A Photo Exhibit. Over 30 recent photographs are on display at the Grand Central Branch of the New York Public Library. Ner has had a lifelong interest in overlooked street art found on his daily walks in neighborhoods throughout the city. Also on display are a few select photos of colorful prism-like reflections on windows from another of Ner's collections. Ner recently answered some questions I had about his work, his inspriation and, of course, selfies. Read More ›

A Bronx Week Reading List: May 8-18

One of the unique features of the Bronx is that is has a week dedicated to showcasing and celebrating all its wonderful attributes: history, literature, culture, etc. The Borough President each year has the honor of designating when the 11-day week will occur. Bronx Week 2014 begins May 8 and concludes on May 18. At the Bronx Library Center, we have a wonderful array of programs to highlight the Bronx. Additionally, here is a reading list which is sure to spark your interests in all things Bronx!Read More ›

Branch Special Collections

Several branches throughout the three boroughs have special collections that focus on local history or are of special interest to their respective communities.Read More ›

Memory Circles Bring History to Life at Jefferson Market Library

Jefferson Market Library was alive with the energy of storytelling last Thursday, March 13th as storytellers and interviewers for the Greenwich Village Oral History Project took over the library. It was an evening of Memory Circles, or recorded group oral histories, in which participants talked with each other about their shared recollections on particular Greenwich Village themes.Read More ›

Oral History Project celebration Saturday May 10th

Do you like to meet new people? Are you a good listener? Maybe you are passionate about local history, or the arts, or politics. If any of these describe you, allow me to introduce an exciting new project at the 115th Street Library. Read More ›

I Heard It Through The Grapevine: Reliving the History of Greenwich Village with Author John Strausbaugh

“Greenwich Village is so steeped in history, there are literally a bazillion stories of this, the most famous neighborhood in the world. Coming together in this tiny spec of real estate, people bounced off each other to become the cultural center of the country and the world. I could have written 6 books on this topic,” said Strausbaugh in his opening remarks at Jefferson Market Library.Read More ›

Your Village, Your Story: Jefferson Market's Greenwich Village Oral History Project Begins

On Thursday, November 14, twelve volunteer interviewers sat in a circle in the first floor auditorium at Jefferson Market Library having a dynamic conversation about the nature of memory, open interview questions, and the history of Greenwich Village. This was the first of several volunteer interviewer orientations for Your Village, Your Story: Greenwich Village Oral History Project.

"Why are you interested in this project?" I asked everyone in attendance as an introductory question. Some people were there because 

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Classroom Connections: 'New York, Then & Now' Immigration to Washington Heights/Inwood (Gr. 6-8)

The story of immigration to America is a rich tapestry whose opposing threads, oddly for how much they reject each other's reality, hang together as one. It outrages us and gives us hope in frighteningly equal measure.

Nowhere is this truer than New York City, a city of extremes in every sense. The community known as Washington Heights/Inwood originally spanned from 135th Street north to the top end of Manhattan Island, surrounded by the Hudson River on the west and the East River with Spuyten Duyvil's deadly currents in between. Its land is the highest ground in 

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A Public Health Career in Two Years: Community Health

What is Public Health?

If you've ever had a vaccination, assumed the water from your tap is safe, taken your baby to a clinic for a checkup, expected the restaurant you eat in to be clean and safe, been screened for tuberculosis, HIV or a sexually transmitted disease, wondered how to avoid getting Lyme disease, or what to eat to stay healthy, then you've been touched by the efforts of public health employees.

Public health protects and improves communities by preventing epidemics and the spread of disease, promoting healthy lifestyles for children and 

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Modern-Day Slavery: Stories about Human Sex Trafficking and Comfort Women

During World War II, when the Japanese invaded and occupied Shanghai, Nanjing and other coastal cities of eastern China, they looted, intimidated, and massacred millions of people to prove their imperial strength and mercilessness. Many children and women were raped and killed during the invasion; towns were burned to crisp and lives were forever changed and destroyed.

Five years ago, my parents told me that my grandmother had endured such a horrific event when she was in Fuzhou, the 

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The Woolworth Building: The Cathedral of Commerce

April 24th sees the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of the Woolworth Building, at 233 Broadway. In 1913 the Woolworth Building was the tallest inhabited building in the world, and would remain so until the opening of the Chrysler Building, in 1929. The Milstein Division's collections include a series of photographs, taken by the photographer Irving Underhill, that chart the building's construction. This post looks at those photographs, and at the man who commissioned the building's construction, Frank W. Woolworth, and its architect, Cass Gilbert.

The term 

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The Art Underfoot: NYC Manhole Covers

Art can be found in many places: on the walls at home, in museums and galleries. We walk through New York City and cities around the world looking at buildings, parks and street life, rarely looking down. But there is also art underfoot! Take a look at manhole covers. Manhole covers have intricate designs and other uses. Manhole covers may be a lost forgotten art.

Manhole covers protect people from falling down below, but manholes serve as a vital passageway to subterranean conduits for water pipes, telephone communications, electrical power and other 

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Catching the 7 Line: The International Express to NYPL!

7 Train by Scott Beale on FlickrApril is Immigrant Heritage Month. In New York City, April 17th to 24th is Immigrant Heritage Week. In honor of both celebrations of Immigrant Heritage, this blog will focus on the multiculturalism of the 7 train.

If you live in Queens, New York, and you work in midtown like me, there might be a possibility that you often take the MTA train to work, particularly the

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Fiction Atlas: Harlem in Children's Fiction and Picture Books

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. This week I thought I'd tackle another famous neighborhood of Manhattan, but now we're traveling uptown to Harlem.

Originally founded by the Dutch in 1658, it was named after a Netherlands village (Haarlem). The character of this stretch of Northern Manhattan, however is most known as a center of African-American commerce and art and residence. 

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Fiction Atlas: The Lower East Side in Children's Fiction and Picture Books

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. I thought it might be useful to kick this series of posts off with a very local list. Working here at Seward Park Library, nestled on the Lower East Side, I get to experience the neighborhood first hand, and see it changing around me. The rich history and long memories of those who grew up on these streets has been the 

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Learn About Astor Place with New York City Explorers

Fall is a wonderful time to be in New York City. Take advantage of the cooler climate by exploring all NYC has to offer! Saturday September 15, the Ottendorfer Library will proudly present the New York City Explorers. This wonderful duo will give a brief 30 minute lecture at the library before bringing you on a walking tour of historic Astor Place.

Ever wonder who this Astor fellow was and why his name is everywhere in New York? Astor parlayed his fur-trading fortune 

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The Sweetness of Twisted Apples: Sherwood Anderson in the Village

Sherwood Anderson is special to Hudson Park because I believe, I hope, that he used the branch. After all, he lived right across the street at 12 St. Luke's 

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