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Posts by Michelle Chan

Mean Streets to Green Streets

Thomas Jefferson Park, 1939 Photo: Max UlrichIn the smoldering heat of summer, one of my greatest pleasures has been to find reprieve in New York City’s lush and thriving community gardens. For all the grandeur of the city’s more widely celebrated green spaces like Central Park and Prospect Park, there are hundreds of small-scale urban oases nestled in formerly decrepit lots across the five boroughs.

At one community garden that I visited in Alphabet City, a woman was simmering curry over the communal grill. “I love to cook outside in the 

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Rats with Wings: A Love Story

From the film Keep ‘Em Flying by Renee Fraser and Ann Carol Grossman.© Ann Carol Grossman.

Earlier this week, the view from my kitchen window in Brooklyn yielded a peculiar sight: spread across the rooftop of the building next door were rows upon rows of neatly arranged bread chunks. As a group of pigeons descended to claim their meal, I came to realize that my dear neighbor belongs to a subset of New Yorkers who enjoy the company of pigeons. From the folks who scatter birdseed in the park to devoted

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