urban renewal

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East Village Community Gardens to Host Screenings of National Security Docs

Does government surveillance really get your goat? (To be honest I have never really understood that expression but I am just going to run with it.) Is your ideal evening spent watching documentaries on the deep state? If so, then you’re in luck.

In a new film fest running today through Aug. 5 — ominously titled “Spy vs. Us” — the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) in the East Village takes on national security and the surveillance state. Even better, like last year’s MoRUS-sponsored film and theater festivals, this year’s festival screenings will occur in the lovely environs of several community gardens. Tonight’s opening screening takes place in the roof garden of Alphabet City’s fabled Umbrella House.

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Beneath Baruch Houses, a ‘Rough Block’ Wiped Off the Map

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Demolition in Progress 83-90 Goerck st, Rivington-stanton, 1934-1938. (By NY Tenement House Authority.)

Walk as far east on Houston Street as you can until lines of imposing brick towers shoot up over the river – about 27 acres of them. The streets no longer make sense in context and the lines don’t link up with the grid. It’s like you’ve passed into another city. Instead of the jumble of old-fashioned tenements with ladders hanging out the windows coexisting with storefronts and street life, you encounter 17 almost uniform towers with yards of greenery surrounding them – a luxury of space rarely seen in Manhattan. These buildings are tough, institutional even, with their glazed red brick to discourage vandalism, lines of bars in windows and signs that say, “Welcome to Bernard Baruch Houses” outside each building.
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