Something special happens when you make a place for reading on a stretch of sidewalk for a week. You become a conversation-starter, a neighborhood meeting place. Life histories are told. Long-time or newly budding interests are revealed—say in ships, or photography.
When Tribeca Pediatrics, a 2014 sponsor of the Uni, suggested a week-long residency in front of their office at 409 Grand St, we knew we had to try it. Tribeca Pediatrics knows neighborhoods; they serve 17 of them around the city. Grand St is home to families as well as the elderly and it has a mix of languages and income-levels. The fruit vendor on the corner has been there 20 years.
See photos of our remarkable week below, and more images from our first day here. We were honored to host several classes from Manhattan Charter School and many other kids from the neighborhood. And we were pleased to offer our reading room as a part of national Screen-Free Week, of which we were a featured event.
A heartfelt thanks to our sponsor, Tribeca Pediatrics, and our host, Frank Durant and staff at the 50+ year-old Seward Park Housing Coop. Keep reading, Lower East Side!