An Irish American in Little Poland

Hughie Reid sitting in the front room of his funeral parlor (Photo: Aleksandra Mencel/NY City Lens).

Hughie Reid loves money. That’s why he went into the funeral business. Becoming an undertaker was not exactly a life-long vocational dream. Reid, now 86, says that as a kid growing up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn what he really wanted was to own a German delicatessen like Fred O.’s, the store he worked at every morning […]

Polish Greenpoint’s Iconic Kiszka


The red awning reads “KISZKA” in big white letters; directly beneath, the words “HOME MADE COLD CUTS” flap in the breeze.  Faded images of different meats displayed in the shop’s window, each labeled by name, serve as a quick lesson in Polish protein. “What kind of kielbasa do you want?” a blonde woman on a […]

Red Hook Grain Silos Play Host to a Music Festival


The hulking Red Hook Grain Terminal has loomed over the mouth of the Gowanus Canal since 1922. Following the decline of the industry it was built to support, its concrete silos have been abandoned for nearly half a century, a relic of Brooklyn’s industrial past. One Saturday in late September, however, music throbbed from within […]

Grimy Greenpoint: The Neighborhood Calls for Another Cleanup


  New cafes, boutiques, and trendy restaurants popping up in Greenpoint lure young professionals to hop on the G train and travel to this North Brooklyn neighborhood.  But while the area looks more polished than in years past, it’s far from clean; trash spills over garbage cans on to the sidewalks and graffiti decorates many of […]

At Center of Contentious Jewish Ritual, Chickens


  On Sept. 16, two Mondays ago, Rina Deych planned to hold a peaceful vigil in Borough Park, Brooklyn, to protest an obscure Jewish ritual called Kapparot. She gathered 16 activists and lined the sidewalk. Soon, she was surrounded by a mob. Young boys, their heads covered by yarmulkes and faces framed by curled payos, […]

HYNES WHO? Many Greenpoint Voters are Clueless about the Race for District Attorney

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes poses in front of the official Hynes mobile with wife, Patricia, after voting at the Shore Hill Housing polling center in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on the morning of the primary. (Photo: Aleksandra Mencel/NY City Lens)

In last Tuesday’s primary, longtime incumbent Charles Hynes ran for his seventh term as Brooklyn’s District Attorney against Ken Thompson, former Brooklyn federal prosecutor. But many voters in Greenpoint couldn’t remember the names of the two candidates running for District Attorney, let alone know that Hynes has held the seat since 1989. “I didn’t vote […]

Red Hook Primary Voters Galvanized by a Local Race


Campaign literature touting mayoral hopefuls Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn littered the sidewalks of Red Hook, Brooklyn Tuesday evening as New York’s primary elections drew to a close. But it was a smaller race, for the district’s city council seat, that seemed to have roused the neighborhood’s civic spirits. This year, the fight for […]

A New Citizen Celebrates Democracy by Working at the Polls


  The polling sites were understaffed. Turnout had been low. The auditorium filled with voting machines felt dry and stuffy. One had to wonder why the door clerk at PS 179 in Kensington, Brooklyn was so conspicuously peppy on Tuesday, primary elections day. “It’s my first election!” Revaz Tatarishvili, 54, exclaimed, his eyebrows raised and […]

SLIDESHOW: Bronx Charity Delivers Holiday Gifts, Food and Cheer To Shelter For The Homeless In Queens


On January 5, 2013, the Bronx-based charity Manna of Life sent teams of volunteers to spend the day with residents of the Saratoga Family Inn in Queens. Erbin Cobian, founder and President of Manna, speaks about the experience. Slideshow: Manna of Life Visit on Jan. 5, 2013 from Jefferson Mok on Vimeo.

SLIDESHOW: Getting to Know Brooklyn’s Local Businesses: The Meat Hook


Butcher James Lumm talks New York City Lens through his job at the Meat Hook and discusses the growing demand in Williamsburg for Organic, hand prepared meat. Amelia Martyn-Hemphill reports.   Meat Hook – AMH_AudioSlideshow from Amelia Martyn-Hemphill on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Dancer Commits to Year Long Campaign

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  In Park Slope, Brooklyn, one dancer has committed to dancing every day for a year to show herself and others the importance of dance in daily life. Not only has her campaign attracted international attention, but it has motivated her to start a weekly class for people who want to dance freely amidst the […]

VIDEO: Brownsville Reflects on Gun Violence and Tragedy


It has been a year since a mother was killed while shielding her kids from gunfire on the streets of Brownsville. But as Sana Bég reports, many residents say the area is just as dangerous as it was then. Video from Sana Bég on Vimeo.

Subway Employee is Victim of Armed Robberies Plaguing Brooklyn Businesses


Sazzi Islam, 24, is one Subway restaurant employee in Brooklyn who seems to take the wrong shifts at the wrong time. Within the two and a half years he has been working at one outpost in the Cobble Hill neighborhood, he has been the victim of three armed robberies, two of which took place in the same week, just before and after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City.

Brooklyn Community in Fear While Fro-yo Bandit is Still on the Prowl


A recent string of robberies in Brooklyn has left small business owners feeling worried, scared, and vulnerable, as the suspect remains on the loose.  Known as the “Fro-yo” and Ice Cream” Bandit, the suspect has robbed several businesses at gunpoint in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, including a series of ice […]

VIDEO: Brooklyn Businesses take Little Steps of Recovery after Hurricane Sandy

Small businesses in Red Hook, Brooklyn are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Some of them don’t have flood insurance, and are forced too rely on their own funds. Local owners formed Restore Red Hook as a way to raise money and get their businesses up and running again. Nina Ene reports

VIDEO: After Sandy, Local Businesses in Red Hook Work Together to Survive

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Small businesses in Red Hook, Brooklyn are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Some of them don’t have flood insurance and are forced to rely on their own funds. Local owners formed Restore Red Hook as way to raise money and get their businesses up and running again. Even though Sandy may have wiped out their material possessions, it can’t take away their seaside spirit.

After Hurricane Sandy Coney Island Museum at Risk


A banner painted brightly with images of frolicking mermaids, a visual    reminder of Coney Island’s traditional relationship with the sea, was one of just several treasured relics to survive Hurricane Sandy’s devastating floods as volunteers cleared out destroyed antiques from the city’s one and only museum. “It breaks my heart,” said Debi Ryan, 55, the […]

VIDEO: A Bittersweet Election Day for Coney Islanders


Election day was cold but beautiful on Coney Island. Residents were still reeling from the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy and voting was proving difficult. Bethan McKernan reports.    

Determined Coney Islanders Cast Ballots Despite Sandy Troubles

Sandra Rubildo stands outside her home on Neptune Avenue. She spent all day Tuesday clearing mud and flood residue out of her basement before going to vote. (NY City Lens/Bethan McKernan)

Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island was not a designated voting booth until the day before the election. The grounds, on election day, were  still full of storm debris and a huge tree which fell onto the school railings during Hurricane Sandy had not yet been removed. The teachers’ cafeteria was functioning as a storm […]

VIDEO: On Coney Island, Few Escaped Devastating Losses


Since the hurricane hit, nobody is visiting Coney Island for amusement. FEMA tents are set up down the street from the Cyclone rollercoaster, and the walls of Nathan’s hotdog stand are stained – like the rest of the buildings – where the water flooded six feet high. A heavy police presence on the street is […]

Two Men Shot In Park Slope, One Dead


An unknown assailant shot two men in Park Slope in Brooklyn this morning, killing one and wounding the other, police said. Police say a 43-year-old African-American man was shot in the head in front of 326 Butler St. and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other victim, a 33-year-old Hispanic man, was shot in […]

Gunman shoots to death unidentified man, 43, as others exit Brooklyn Night Club

Police vans block access to the intersections of Butler Street and 3rd and 4th Av.- scene of crime.

A man, 43, was shot and killed and another man was injured when a gunman opened fire on them just as people were leaving a club in Brooklyn at about 7 a.m this morning, witnesses said. The victims were discovered in front of 326 Butler Street, Brooklyn; the first with a gunshot wound to his […]

City Bus Drivers Ask for More Security After Attack

Bus driver Mark Salandy and 100 bus drivers gathered on October 1, in front of the MTA's headquarters in Brooklyn in a protest to ask for more security on buses. Mark Salandy was stabbed with a syringe while driving, on September 24.

Mark Salandy, 30, was pulling the B68 bus into a bus stop near Greenwood Avenue and Prospect Park South on September 24, when a male passenger stabbed him in his right shoulder with a syringe. He flung the syringe away, moved back, and pushed the man away from him. But as he was trying to […]

Windsor Terrace Residents Demand “Green Beans, Not Walgreens”

Windsor Terrace residents gathered at Holy Name of Jesus church on 245 Prospect Park West for a community meeting. They are asking Walgreens to include a supermarket where Key Foods once stood, not a pharmacy with “expanded food offerings,” which is what Walgreens claims it will offer.

October 12, 2012 — It takes two buses and 45 minutes for Connie Thompson to have a handful of basic groceries. The 67-year-old resident of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn has a respiratory condition that makes it difficult for her to walk to her nearest grocery store—which is a mile away. She used to walk daily to […]