Play Streets across New York City are transforming neighborhoods, providing new, car-free spaces for kids and families to gather. In Jamaica, Queens, residents have developed a play street adjacent to their already-thriving community garden, and kids are provided an outstanding, nutritious lunch. For a second time, the Uni returned to Jamaica to add reading to the mix. Today’s deployment was funded in part by Transportation Alternatives—we’re working together to support emerging play streets across the city. Thanks also to our terrific hosts, the Dunton Block and Civic Association. Also intrepid Uni Librarian Emily Jacobson.

Scroll down to see a series of photos that demonstrate the “last patron” phenomenon at the Uni—there always seems to be one reader who just doesn’t want to quit.

Uni Jamaica

Rolling to Jamaica, Queens. Throgs Neck from Harlem.

Uni Jamaica

Features of this Play Street: nutritious lunch and all kids wear bright yellow T-shirts.

Uni Jamaica

We like to arrive early. A portable library can be set up in the shade and follow it all day.

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Solved! Kids ask to have their photo taken with the solution. Pride.

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Keep an eye on this kid in the remaining photos. We call it the “Last Patron” Phenomenon.

Uni Jamaica

Librarian Emily gamely agrees that the entire pile of books needs to be read.

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

Uni Jamaica

The portable reading room will close in 5 minutes.

Uni Jamaica

Dedicated librarian. Avid reader. Portable reading room. (Delayed load out-that’s OK, we’ll wait.)

Uni Jamaica

It can be hard to stop reading, if you give kids a chance to start. See you next year Jamaica.

Here’s a new Play Streets page from our partner Transportation Alternatives with more images from Jamaica:

TA Playstreets

Here’s an article in the local news about the Uni in the neighborhood:

DNAinfo-Jamaica article

(Note: this post was published on Sep 25, 2013 and backdated to Aug 23, 2013.)

We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 600 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.
 
For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!