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Summer Academy: Learn the Nitty-Gritty of Reporting the City


Earlier this week, students from across the country arrived at 20 Cooper Square for the first of two six-week sessions of The Local East Village’s Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy, a program that gives college and high school students at all levels – from rank beginners to seasoned reporters and multimedia producers – an immersive journalism learning experience for college credit from NYU and the opportunity to get published on The Local.

The first session is underway but there are still places for session two, which begins July 2. See the Hyperlocal Newsroom site for specific details and the NYU summer site for how to apply and register.

It’s Happening: ‘Blowing Minds,’ a Celebration of the East Village Other

East Village Other

From 1965 to 1972, it revolutionized ‘The Good News,’ and shook the foundations of the existing print and visual media. After seven years, it went just as it came – in a hail of livingness. In true American phantasmagoria, it was a legend in its own time.

Initiated by poets, painters, artists, seers, perverts and prophets, it shared its pages with the likes of Buckminster Fuller, Timothy Leary, Robert Crumb, Ishmael Reed, Allen Ginsberg, Lenny Bruce, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Baba Ram Das, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman  – the conspiracy of the 1960s.

The East Village Other had a consciousness which was created. The News needing a shoe-up to come alive was new to an unconscious civilization. It was more than Print, it was Imprint. An indelible biologue, the East Village Other made even The New York Times seem to come alive. Headlines, columns, advertisements, propaganda and prosletyzing made the “form of the newspaper an adjunct of reality . . .”

The above was written by the late Allen Katzman, poet and co-founding editor of the East Village Other, one of the pioneering underground newspapers. Over the next six weeks, The Local will journey back to the East Village of the mid-1960s and early 1970s with special weekend editions, culminating in an exhibit and party on Tuesday, Feb. 28. We hope you’ll join us for “Blowing Minds: The East Village Other, the Rise of Underground Comix and the Alternative Press, 1965-72.” Full registration details for this free event are at, where you’ll soon also be able to find archival material, ephemera, photographs, and EVO issues. Read more…

Farewell and Thank You

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

As my last day as editor of The Local draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have joined our experiment in collaborative journalism over the past year.

Since our launch in September, many of our neighbors have accepted our invitation to tell their own stories about the community that we all share and the blog has served as a showcase for the richness of voices and images and perspectives that makes the East Village what it is. Even more of you have visited the blog or paused to leave a comment in our forums or speak with us via Facebook and Twitter. We are grateful to you all.

The hard work that we have put into the site speaks for itself — and by “we” I mean community contributors, NYU students, and everyone else who has generously shared their talents in this effort.

And happily that work will continue under the exceptional leadership of Daniel Maurer, who on Monday will formally assume the editorship of the blog with all of my best wishes.

To my neighbors and friends here in the East Village, to the extraordinary students whom I’ve had the pleasure of teaching, to my wonderful colleagues at NYU and The New York Times, again, thank you all.

Introducing the Blog’s Next Editor

Daniel MaurerDaniel Maurer.

The Local is pleased to announce that Daniel Maurer, co-founder of the New York magazine restaurant blog Grub Street, has been named the blog’s next editor, effective in August.

“Daniel emerged from a field of well over a hundred highly qualified candidates,” said Brooke Kroeger, the Institute director. “He impressed us with his ideas, his digital sophistication, his passion for this neighborhood, so often featured on Grub Street, and his proven know-how in mining information at the local community level.”

Mr. Maurer was an online producer and editor of nightlife listings at New York magazine before co-founding Grub Street, one of New York’s pioneering restaurant blogs, in 2006. While writing more than 7,500 posts over five years, Mr. Maurer grew the blog’s traffic steadily and helped expand it to five other cities. Grub Street New York was nominated for three James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards — it won in 2008 (for Multimedia Writing on Food) and then again in 2011 (for Group Blog) when Mr. Maurer was chief editor. It has also been nominated for a National Magazine Award and won a MIN Best of the Web award in 2007.
Read more…

Welcoming Our Summer Interns

The Local East Village 2011 Summer IntersTop row (from left) Khristopher J. Brooks, Joshua Davis, Ian Duncan. Second row (from left): Meghan Keneally, Laura E. Lee, Chelsia Marcius.

Earlier, we told you about the arrival of Todd Olmstead, who today starts work as The Local’s assistant editor for digital and community outreach.

We’d also like to welcome the members of the 2011 New York Times/NYU Hyperlocal Digital Reporting Internship class, who start work today.

You will see their faces in our community, and their bylines on our posts and we encourage you to follow them all on Twitter.

The interns are:

And follow The Local on Twitter @nytlev.

Welcoming a Conversation Leader

Todd OlmsteadTodd Olmstead.

We at The Local are pleased to announce the arrival of Todd Olmstead, who today begins work as the news blog’s assistant editor for digital and community outreach.

In this newly created role, Mr. Olmstead will help to facilitate a neighborhood-wide conversation through the blog’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. He will also be a regular presence in the neighborhood and engage with the site’s readers on a one-on-one basis.

Mr. Olmstead is a student in the Studio 20 master’s degree concentration at NYU Journalism where he studies the Web and innovation in journalism. Since coming to NYU, he has served as a community intern at Mashable and managed, home of Studio 20’s Building a Better Explainer project.

A graduate of Colby College, Mr. Olmstead previously lived and worked in Iowa City, where he covered the local music scene. His writing on music has appeared on Crawdaddy, Tiny Mix Tapes, Daytrotter, and his own site. Last fall, he was a member of The Local’s social media team.

“Todd has a natural understanding of the ways that we can use social media to extend the reach of our journalism and we’re thrilled to have him on our team,” said Richard G. Jones, the editor of The Local. “We hope that he’ll be a conversation leader and that he’ll help fundamentally change the way that the blog interacts with its readers in both the digital space and out on the streets of the community that we all share.”

Follow Mr. Olmstead on Twitter at @toddjolmstead.

Your Voices | Cyclists and Local History

Biker, Delancey Street, NYCAdrian Fussell

A sampling of reader reactions to recent posts that have appeared on The Local.

Brendan Bernhard’s recent post on his ambivalence toward bicycles prompted a range of reactions.

Dave, who described himself as a “committed cyclist,” wrote:

“I don’t get the NYC vibe (which is not limited to pizza deliveryemen and bike messengers, by the way) that all bad behavior on a bike is excusable because ‘hey man, I’m riding a bike’. When car and bike meet, car almost always wins. When bike and pedestrian meet, bike can win but at a cost to the rider. Better that we should all be more mindful of the other. And the police should enforce the rules of the road, regardless of the means of conveyance.”

Jody Oberfelder said:

“Everybody should look out for everybody. Share the road!”

Read more…

A New Addition

Stephen BrownStephen Rex Brown.

The Local is pleased to welcome Stephen Rex Brown, who today begins work as the blog’s senior correspondent.

Mr. Brown recently worked as the editor of the hyperlocal news site, Fort Greene Patch. In 2010, he worked for The Brooklyn Paper and won “Reporter of the Year” from the Suburban Newspapers of America.

He taught journalism in Monterey, Calif. to high school students for National Geographic Student Expeditions. As a graduate of NYU Journalism’s Global and Joint Program Studies, he holds a joint master of arts degree in Journalism and Latin American Studies. His work has appeared in The Brooklyn Eagle and The Times and he has held an internship with The Daily Beast.

In addition to reporting for The Local, Mr. Brown will also serve on the faculty of NYU Journalism.

“We’re delighted to have Stephen on board,” said Richard G. Jones, editor of The Local. “He’s a dynamic young talent with a solid grounding in hyperlocal journalism and an appreciation of the innumerable storytelling opportunities in the East Village. Our readers will benefit from his reporting in the field and our students will benefit from his work in the classroom.”

Follow Mr. Brown on Twitter: @LEVStephen.

Write the Neighborhood

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

If you see the phrase “East Village” after a byline at The Local, it means that the article is the work of one of our community contributors. These are people who live or work in the neighborhood, or have strong ties to it, and are willing to report on local news, talk about their interests and passions, or just inform and entertain us about aspects of East Village life. The Local is always looking for writers to join the party. Most of the articles we publish are around 500 to 600 words, but we are also on the lookout for brief, focused telegrams from the street.

You don’t need to be a professional journalist. We’ll provide help in getting your copy into shape if you need it. Interested? For more details, e-mail Kim Davis, The Local’s associate editor ( Add your voice to the choir.

Your Voices | On Books and Television

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

A sampling of reader reactions to posts that have appeared on The Local.

Brendan Bernhard’s post about Mast Books on Avenue A and its distinctly East Village vibe resonated with readers.

Amy Bull wrote:

“This seems to sum up the direction “modern society” is taking. Books become artifacts, newspapers a luxury. So what becomes of the tactile pleasures which used to make up our delgihtful every day routines? Morning coffee with the paper and curling up with a book on the couch…”

Michael Hoinski added:

“take your blogs, your mp3s, your kindles, so i can have my trad pubs, my vinyl, and my sweet, glorious hardcovers.”

Readers also responded to Mr. Bernhard’s piece about the CBGB’s era band Television.

Tony B. wrote:

“I’ve never dug Television, though I did love a lot of the music at CBGB. Ned Sublette comes gracefully to mind. Your story, however, gets Television’s appeal across to me.”

Read more…

Galleries Inching Back To East Village

GALLERY.1Mark Riffee There are 23 galleries on Orchard Street between Canal and Houston Streets and 71 total in the Lower East Side.

In the more than three years since to The Times declared, ‘Here comes art,” with the opening of the New Museum space on the Bowery in 2007, the galleries indeed have come to the Lower East Side.

They occupy ground-level storefronts of skinny buildings with wrought-iron fire escapes zigzagging up their front facades on the seven tree-speckled blocks of Orchard Street between Canal and Houston and in the New Museum’s vicinity, too. They teeter on the edge of Houston. When Miguel Abreu opened his eponymous gallery at 36 Orchard Street in 2006, he can remember no more than four or five reputable galleries in the area. By the time the New Museum opened the next year, the Times counted two dozen. Now there are 75.

And the movement is inching northward.

So, East Villagers, is this a cultural revival on the scale of the 1980’s, which spawned the likes of Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Jenny Holzer? It’s hard to ignore the similarities. Like the East Village was, the Lower East Side has become a hotbed of intimate spaces at the bottom of tenement-style buildings run on low budgets by young gallerists eager to be the first to show New York’s freshest talent. The new scene is home to “very idealistic people who believe in the art. And that’s incredibly admirable,” says Pepe Karmel, 55, a professor of art history at NYU and a former art critic for The Times. “There’s really a place for that in the art world.”

Like their predecessors, the participants of this new scene put authenticity above all else. Mr. Abreu, 48, chose his Orchard Street location because adding to the Chelsea “super-market,” land of the “homogenous white cube,” wouldn’t allow any potential for distinction. In the Lower East Side, collectors and gallery-goers can expect to “discover something” and engage in “some kind of conversation with the work,” says Mr. Abreu Read more…

Join Our Blogroll

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Our goal here at The Local is to expose our readers to as many different kinds of blogs as possible – but we can only do so if we hear about them. So we’d like to issue another call for you to submit the neighborhood’s best blogs to our blogroll.

Just visit the comments section below, leave the URL and we’ll consider adding it to the roll.

In Appreciation

The Hyperlocal Newsroom (Spring 2011)The students of The Hyperlocal Newsroom (from left): Claire Glass, Kathryn Kattalia, M.J. Gonzalez, Crystal Bell, Rachel Ohm, Ian Duncan, Grace Maalouf, Greg Howard, Mark Riffee, Kenan Christiansen and Hadas Goshen.

Today, we would like to extend our appreciation to the students and community contributors who have joined our experiment in collaborative journalism in recent months.

They have joined so many others who have shared their talents and energy with the blog. The site could not exist without them – and all of you who read and engage with The Local.
Read more…

Your Voices | Comments on The Local

men playing chess, Wednesday afternoonMichelle Rick

A sampling of reader reactions to recent posts that have appeared on The Local.

Commenting on our post about the rejection of a liquor license application for 34 Avenue A, Mattias questioned the fairness of the panel that approves licenses:

“Business owners should have the right to opportunity; the burden should be one of ‘proof’ and should be on the committee members. A commercial way is just that, commercial; a committee having the final say in such matters is not a free market democracy.”

Brendan Bernhard’s series of “East Village Tweets” continues to evoke wide praise from readers.

Celia Farber wrote: “An inspiring new form, to carry big ideas on these tiny bridges. Keep going.”

Amy Bull said: “Who could have thought that the tweet could impose a structure and like Haiku be made an art form?”
Read more…

Announcing a Summer Scholarship


This summer, a young scholar from the neighborhood, college-bound and interested in journalism, will have the opportunity to participate in N.Y.U.’s Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy, thanks to a full $5,000 scholarship.  The newsroom is the reporting engine of The Local East Village.

The Local is reaching out to schools within its coverage area, asking them to identify a high-achieving rising junior or senior, studying and preferably living in the neighborhood, a student who would not otherwise be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Summer Academy is a six-week pre-college program for rising juniors and seniors, being held in the newsrooms of the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at 20 Cooper Square in the East Village from July 5 to August 12.

The course in basic reporting or multimedia skills provides four college credits. As part of the program, there will be a newsroom atmosphere all week, where students can get editorial and multimedia support. A planned schedule is in the making of exciting age-appropriate social and journalistic activities, all covered as part of the program.

The centerpiece of the program is The Local East Village, the news and information site being published for the neighborhood collaboratively by the Institute and The New York Times.

More information and a video about the Summer Academy, can be found here.

Seeking the Blog’s Next Editor

People at a busy East Village crosswalkShawn Hoke

This blog began with an invitation. From our very first post, The Local has sought to bring our neighbors in the East Village into the process of producing news and telling their own stories about their community.

Recently, The Local quietly marked six months of publication and while the wonderful experiment that it represents will continue, my time running the site is coming to an end. In August, after what will have been 20 months of planning, developing and publishing The Local, I will step down to pursue other ventures and to devote more time to completing my doctoral dissertation.

Today, NYU is opening the search for the next editor of The Local. Whoever gets the job will be stepping into a position that is exciting, challenging and rewarding and one that is very much helping to drive the industry-wide conversation about digital storytelling, hyperlocal news and the future of pro-am journalism partnerships.
Read more…

Write the Neighborhood

Alphabet City,East Village,New-York-City-2011-03-20-9Vivienne Gucwa

If you see the phrase “East Village” after a byline at The Local, it means that the article is the work of one of our community contributors. These are people who live or work in the neighborhood, or have strong ties to it, and are willing to report on local news, talk about their interests and passions, or just inform and entertain us about aspects of East Village life. The Local is always looking for writers to join the party. Most of the articles we publish are around 500 to 600 words, but we are also on the lookout for brief, focused telegrams from the street.

You don’t need to be a professional journalist. We’ll provide help in getting your copy into shape if you need it. Interested? For more details, email Kim Davis, The Local’s associate editor ( Add your voice to the choir.

The Local’s Summer Interns

The Local is proud to announce the members of the 2011 New York Times/NYU Hyperlocal Digital Reporting Internship class. The interns were chosen after a national competition and have been selected to participate in The Local’s paid, 10-week summer internship program.

“These are among the most talented and promising student-journalists in the country,” said Richard G. Jones, editor of The Local. “They have demonstrated a commitment to digital storytelling and hyperlocal news. We very much look forward to working with them this summer.”

The members of the intern class are:

Khristopher BrooksKhristopher J. Brooks.

Khristopher J. Brooks is a student in the Literary Reportage master’s degree concentration at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Mr. Brooks, who came to NYU after working as a reporter at the Bristol Herald Courier and the Omaha World-Herald, is a graduate of Central Michigan University. He has held internships at the Associated Press bureau in Louisville, Ky. and the Lansing State Journal. He has also filed on-air reports for WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tenn.

Josh DavisJoshua Davis.

Joshua Davis is the Roy H. Park master’s fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A veteran videographer and editor, Mr. Davis began his coursework at UNC after holding a range of production positions at the Travel Channel, PBS Frontline and A graduate of the University of Maryland, Mr. Davis has taught digital video editing at Rutgers, NYU and UNC. He is also an Apple certified instructor for Final Cut Pro.

Ian DuncanIan Duncan.

Ian Duncan is a student in the master’s degree program in Journalism and International Relations in Global and Joint Program Studies at NYU Journalism. An international student from England, Mr. Duncan is a graduate of St. Anne’s College at Oxford University, where he served as editor-in-chief of Cherwell, a weekly student newspaper. Mr. Duncan, who has also studied at Fukuoka University of Economics in Japan, was a Rupert Murdoch Scholar during an internship at The Times of London and he has also held an internship at The Birmingham Post. Mr. Duncan’s work has appeared on The Local.

Meghan KeneallyMeghan Keneally.

Meghan Keneally is a student in the master’s degree program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Ms. Keneally has held internships at The New York Observer, The Washington Post and The Sunday Times of London. A graduate of Georgetown University, she has studied at the University of Marc Bloch in Strasbourg, France and is also the creator of a restaurant review blog.

Laura E LeeLaura E. Lee.

Laura E. Lee is a student in the master’s degree program at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland College Park. Ms. Lee went to Maryland after earning a law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and working as an attorney and consultant. Ms. Lee, who also earned her undergraduate degree at UNC, currently works as a political reporter for the Capital News Service in Washington, D.C. She also reports for, The Washington Blade and the Prince George’s Sentinel and has held an internship with National Public Radio. Ms. Lee is a member of the bar in North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

Chelsia MarciusChelsia Rose Marcius.

Chelsia Rose Marcius is a student in the Reporting the Nation master’s degree concentration at NYU Journalism. She has held reporting internships at the Chicago Sun-Times and Fox Chicago News and is the editor of Pavement Pieces, an online publication featuring work by Reporting New York and Reporting the Nation students. A graduate of Loyola University-Chicago, Ms. Marcius holds bachelor’s degrees in both journalism and international studies and minored in Italian. Ms. Marcius, who has also studied at The John Felice Rome Center in Italy, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her work has appeared on The Local.

A Familiar Face Returns

Kim Davis PortraitKim Davis.

We at The Local are happy to announce the return of a face that is familiar to many of our community contributors: Kim Davis, the site’s founding community editor, will today begin a six-month rotation as associate editor of The Local. In that role, he will use his deft editing touch to oversee the day-to-day coordination of The Local’s roster of community contributors.

From CBGB to Community Editor

Colin MoynihanColin Moynihan.

Although I was born in Manhattan my first trips to the East Village came as a teenager in the 1980’s when I traveled to the Bowery – CBGB! – and to St. Marks Place, where I spent hours in used record stores and book stores.

Later, in the early half of the 1990’s, I moved to Suffolk Street, a few blocks below what is generally considered the southern end of the East Village, although I always tended to consider the territory above East Houston Street to be the northern zone of the Lower East Side. (There will be more, in future posts, on the nature of geography and labeling of neighborhoods.)  I have lived just south of Houston since then, but my travels and my interests have always extended beyond that borderline.

In the late 1990’s I began writing newspaper stories about the area and it was then that I began to see events not so much in terms of what they meant to me but in terms of how they affected others and how they fit into a historical or cultural context.  Some of my first stories were about local landmarks, squats, the struggles surrounding the future of the Charas / El Bohio community center, the community gardens – during both celebratory moments and times of tension – and the nearly ceaseless battles over real estate and development that have shaped so much of the recent history of the East Village and continue to do so today.  (More, also, in future posts, on that.)

Over the last eight years, I have reported and written more and more about the world beyond the East Village.  But I have never stopped roaming the neighborhood, talking with people and paying attention to what is going on there.

I have also continued to write about the East Village: The departure of a market, a cafe, or a large, eccentric piece of public art; the possibility of privatizing public space; the troubles faced by a mainstay of the local landscape; the tradition of protest and debate; the death of a neighbor and existence as it is experienced on a certain stretch of Avenue A.  To me these are not just interesting stories.  They are narratives of vital concern to the people who cherish the neighborhood’s streets and parks and buildings and sense a connection to the other lives that are lived here. I know that I am not the only one who feels that kinship.

I’m fortunate to be able to start off in this job with the benefit of a solid base established by my predecessor, Kim Davis and the site’s chief editor, Richard G. Jones. (Kim and Rich, thank you.)  And I’m hoping to help continue making The Local a site where people go to read about –– and to write about –– the events and occurrences that make life in the East Village something worth caring about.

To all contributors: I look forward to working with you.  And to all members of the community: consider this an invitation to become a contributor.

Colin Moynihan is the community editor of The Local East Village. If you are interested in becoming a contributor to the site, please email him.