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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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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 

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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 Place.

Of course, like many Village 

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How Did the Pigeon Get to NYC?

One can scarcely think of any park in NYC — or any city, really — without envisioning the ubiquitous pigeon there as well. Despite signs requesting you not feed the birds in adjacent Bryant Park, the library has more than its share of feathered patrons.

But how did this non-native species become the bird most associated with New York City? Pigeons are certainly not indigenous, but they have made themselves quite at home in the Big Apple. In

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties, Part 3 - The Way it Is or Eurydice in the Avenues

Pretend you’re just outside Tompkins Square Park. Enter the park on Avenue A, at 8th Street. Take the windy path through the park towards Avenue B. Okay, now sniff. What do you smell?

You smell dogs.

The Way it Is or Eurydice in the Avenues opens early morning summer in the Park. Three feckless dog walkers stand over the dead body of a girl in a polka-dot dress. Who else is going to find a dead body in Tompkins Square Park? Okay, drug-addicts, probably, but still. Dog walkers. 

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Fifth Avenue From Start to Finish: The 1911 Equivalent of Google Street View

This image is great because you will realize that photo manipulation came long before Photoshop. This policeman is altered artistically. Also, you can spot the Berlitz school of languages, a company that is still making language learning materials today.

There are so many lovely things to see in this collection. Check out the Flatiron Building,

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties, Part 2: Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation

Permanent Vacation opens with a moving crowd of New Yorkers, still dressed '70s groovy. It might be a camera trick, but no one appears to be rushing. The music is slow, diffuse horn and bells. We meet 16-year-old Aloysious Christopher Parker, already dressed '80s rockabilly cool. His body is like a marionette's — all long limbs and loose joints. His voice is like an oboe, and his delivery is like slow air out of a tire. He dances to

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2011 NYC Book Awards

Did you know that there were more than 150 books about New York City published last year? Given this prodigious output, the New York Society Library, in hosting the New York City Book Awards, makes a significant contribution by directing Big Apple lovers to books that "evoke the spirit or enhance the appreciation of New York City." The 17th annual awards ceremony this May was my first, but it won't be my last. This is a literary event I'll surely try catch in the 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About the Newsboys Strike of 1899

This year the musical Newsies got nominated for eight Tony Awards. The popularity of the Disney Broadway show based on the Disney film has led many of our younger patrons to ask about the newsboys and the strike they led in 1899 on which the film and play  are based.

If you are interested in learning more about the strike of 1899 (there were other strikes before and after) simply 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 8: Young Filmmakers and the Seward Park Neighborhood

Don't Shhhh me!.... NOT this time.

We are about to conclude the second season of our Lower East Side Heritage Film Series and for the closer we are ALL TALK.

Along with our now traditional send off (we can call it traditional after the second repetition, right?), the film that started this whole LESHFS, The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves will be projected in all its 16mm glory. I will be orating the original

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The Premise of Meaning: Archibald MacLeish in the Village

Archibald MacLeish was the Librarian of Congress from 1939-1944 as well as an accomplished poet and dramatist. Not surprisingly, he was a huge advocate for libraries. 

He lived at 182 Sullivan Street and his birthday is May 7.

Here’s a great idea! Celebrate his birthday by

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Jane Jacobs and the Hudson Street Ballet

I read Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities years before I moved to New York, back when I wrote for community newspapers in my home state of Delaware. Jacobs wrote sensibly, without pretense. She observed things closely, and drew logical conclusions. She obviously cared about her subject passionately, but her arguments were not emotional. They 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties - "Smithereens" (1982)

I went to high school in the EastVillage from 1983 to 1987. This might sound kind of punk rock. Unfortunately, I totally missed out on CBGB in the late Seventies (see also: Punking Out) and early Eighties. And let's face it, I didn't go inside any real club for most of the Eighties either — I was underage, and too busy studying for the SATs. But I remember how the outsides looked. The streets and 

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Is Private Life Relevant? May Sarton in the Village

May Sarton lived a little bit out of Hudson Park's area at 42 E. 11th Street, but still, close enough. She was a poet, novelist and memoirist. May 3rd is her birthday.

She is credited with saying "the deeper you go, the more universal you 

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