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Farewells and Arrivals

Kim Davis PortraitKim Davis.

My last day as Community Editor of The Local East Village finds me looking back on what has been a long and eventful journey. For me, the journey didn’t begin with a phone call from Rich Jones, or even with the friendly interrogation to which I was subjected by Jay Rosen and his Studio 20 journalism class.

The journey, for me, began more years ago than I would like to think, still living in London and devouring everything I could read about downtown New York. The history, the legends, the tales of the artists and poets. Books by Joseph Mitchell and Ronald Sukenick, photographs by Fred McDarrah. I even subscribed to “The New Yorker” – not uncommon, I know, but I used to check “Goings on About Town” and plan what I might do with my evening if only I wasn’t 3,000 miles away. Danny’s Skylight Room at the Grand Sea Palace sounded like the most exotic joint on earth.

Almost 15 years ago, I saw my chance and seized it, moving first to Midtown with a temporary job, before settling in the East Village and beginning the process leading to residency and something like permanence. My daughter was born in New York, has grown up in the East Village, and will have the memory of it always. Call me a romantic, but one day she will realize what a wonderful gift that is.

Although I’ve been a writer of one kind or another as long as I can remember, I could hardly have imagined when I set out on this trip that I would have the opportunity to help edit and even modestly shape a site like this. That will be a great memory for me going forward: like celebrating my green card by going out and buying a Yankees jersey (number 42), this has been another ritual of arrival in the pre-eminent city of arrivals. Thanks to The Local, to Rich and the rest of the team, for giving me this home. And you haven’t heard the last from me.

All the best, of course, to Colin Moynihan in taking this all to the next level.

Kim Davis is the founding community editor of The Local East Village. He blogs at

Meet The Next Community Editor

Colin MoynihanColin Moynihan.

We at The Local are happy to announce that Colin Moynihan, a reporter who during a period of 12 years has written about the East Village for The Times, is joining the blog as its next community editor.

Mr. Moynihan, who has also written for The New Yorker, New York magazine, and The
Village Voice, succeeds Kim Davis, who recently completed a six-month rotation as the site’s founding community editor.

“I’m looking forward to joining in the intrepid journalistic experiment that The Local began five months ago,” said Mr. Moynihan. “The East Village has a rich history and a legacy of great reporting and writing. It will be exciting to be part of a project that will try to contribute to that legacy while helping to write the next chapter in the neighborhood’s history.”

Richard G. Jones, the editor of The Local, praised the depth and breadth of Mr. Moynihan’s journalistic experience.

“We are extremely fortunate to have an editor of Colin’s caliber who brings an understanding of The Times’ standards and values, an innate knowledge and appreciation of the East Village’s distinct culture, and absolutely impeccable reporting chops,” Mr. Jones said.

The Local’s Next Community Editor

The Local is pleased to announce that Colin Moynihan, a reporter who has written about the East Village for The Times over a period of 12 years, will join the blog as its next community editor. Mr. Moynihan succeeds Kim Davis, who recently completed a six-month rotation in the position. We will have more details and a fuller post tomorrow. —The Local

Taking SeeClickFix For A Test Drive

SeeClickFix Page The Local East Village invites you to a Saturday morning group event featuring the use of SeeClickFix to log neighborhood concerns.

On Tuesday, we announced a new collaboration between The Local East Village and SeeClickFix, an organization that offers a variety of platforms to report local non-emergency concerns, such as potholes and broken street lights.

SeeClickFix relies on citizen reporting, and to kick things off, we plan to hold a walk through the East Village to log concerns.

We will meet Saturday morning at 9:30 outside 20 Cooper Square and spend an hour walking the East Village area to report issues.

If you are interested in joining this event, please e-mail me on If you have a smartphone, please download a free SeeClickFix app and bring it with you to log concerns.

We look forward to seeing you there, and please remember that you can log issues at any time on the map page on this site.

You can also post to SeeClickFix while on the go using mobile devices and you can follow posts within the East Village area via @SeeClickFixLEV on Twitter.

Introducing SeeClickFix On The Local

SeeClickFix Page The Local East Village announces a new collaboration with SeeClickFix.

Today we have launched a new feature on The Local East Village – a collaboration with SeeClickFix, an organization that offers a variety of platforms to report local non-emergency concerns, such as potholes,
graffiti and broken street lamps.

Using SeeClickFix, we hope to raise awareness about different issues in the East Village. This collated information is directly available and can be viewed from the East Village watch area on this blog.

You can also use the page to post your concerns about the neighborhood.

Anyone, including local government officials, neighborhood groups and private individuals, can sign up to receive notifications about posted concerns.

As journalists, we also hope to use the information to help us report more effectively on community concerns and draw attention to them.

We would like to invite you to take a look at SeeClickFix on The Local East Village and encourage you to report neighborhood issues.

You can do this from the main map page on The Local East Village. The information you enter there will appear both as a report on the map and on the main SeeClickFix site.

If you have any problems posting or tracking issues, please visit the SeeClickFix help section.

You can also post to SeeClickFix while on the go using mobile devices and you can follow posts within the East Village area via @SeeClickFixLEV on Twitter.

We look forward to hearing what you think most needs fixing in the East Village.

Seeking The Next Community Editor

Kim Davis PortraitKim Davis.

The Community Editorship at The Local East Village was conceived as a rotating position, which means that the end of my term is in sight. Beginning early in the New Year, the next Community Editor will bring his or her own special angle and experience to the task of building a bridge between the Web site’s operations at NYU and the East Village community itself, a project which I’ve tried to put on a firm footing but which is by no means complete.

The Community Editor, as an East Village resident, provides advice and guidance on covering the neighborhood and is to some extent the face of the Web site in the community. Hands-on editorial work is an important part of the job – receiving pitches from community contributors, assigning writers and photographers, editing copy, gently enforcing deadlines and – yes – picking up mistakes. In effect, the Community Editor functions as an additional line editor and serves as an advocate for the blog’s readers, working closely with the site’s editor, Richard G. Jones.

Reporting is part of the profile, too. As an independent contractor, the Community Editor is responsible for providing objective coverage of NYU’s activities to the extent they impinge on the East Village, as well as for developing and writing stories reflecting his or her own interests.

The Community Editor should live within the blog’s coverage area – from 14th Street to Houston, Broadway to the East River – and needs to know the neighborhood and care about it. The editor will be responsible for compiling an aggregation of blogposts each morning and a willingness to run on breaking news stories when needed is a definite plus. The editor should have experience as a writer or editor, be happy to work with a very diverse group of contributors, and be able to make his or her voice heard above the hubbub of producing a daily blog. A working knowledge of WordPress is essential and it also helps to have flexible working hours.

The Local will be accepting applications for the position until Dec. 3. If you’re interested, please submit a resume and cover letter to Mr. Jones.

Kim Davis is the community editor of The Local East Village.

Introducing Our Social Media Team

NYTLEV Twitter PageSeven students at NYU Journalism direct The Local’s social media effort, including our Twitter account.

Here at The Local, we’d like to introduce you to the members of our team who are helping to promote digital innovation on the site through social media.

They are a group of students in the Studio 20 graduate concentration at NYU Journalism and for the past several weeks they have assumed the task of interacting with readers and extending the reach of our reporting through a range of social media, including The Local’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The students are:

  • Blair Hickman @amandablair on Twitter; Ms. Hickman also manages The Local’s Facebook page.
  • Nasry Esmat @nasry; Mr. Esmat handles photo submissions.
  • Chao Li @cli6cli6, who Tweets for The Local (@nytlev) on Mondays.
  • Dave Holmes @david_m_holmes, who Tweets on Tuesdays.
  • Colin Jones @colin_jones, who Tweets on Wednesdays.
  • Chelsea Stark @chelseabot; Ms. Stark is The Local’s Social Media Editor and she Tweets on Thursdays.
  • Todd Olmstead @toddjolmstead, who Tweets on Fridays.

One way that the team has already added value to the blogosphere is through their creation of a series of East Village-related Twitter lists (including a list of neighborhood bars and restaurants).

We hope that you will submit your own ideas for the lists, and send along breaking news tips, interesting photos, and just about anything else that crosses your mind that you can sum up in 140 characters.

The Local and QR Codes

LEV QR codeThe Local’s QR code.

Many New Yorkers have started to notice the odd square bar codes that are popping up on signs and advertisements around the city. These are called ‘QR codes’ which stands for Quick Response. QR codes provide a link between the physical world and the virtual world of the Internet. When you use your smartphone to scan a QR code you are often taken to a website with more information on a product or special offers. So while you use your mouse to click links on the computer you can now use your phone to ‘click’ QR links you find on the street. QR codes have been popular for years in Japan but are just now catching on in the United States.

We here at The Local East Village wanted to know how many people in our community were using QR codes. To find out, over the next several days we will be distributing Local East Village flyers – on brightly colored paper – to local businesses. When the code is scanned, your smart phone visits a site that we run so we can keep a tally of visitors and then is directed to The Local East Village. We are distributing four different versions of our flyer so that we can see how many people are using QR codes in different areas. We’ll publish our findings in a few weeks and share our data with you. If you see one of our flyers be sure to scan it so you can take part.

Have a smart phone but don’t know how to read QR codes? Simply go to your favorite app store and look for ‘qr reader’ – you’re sure to find a number of free programs to use.

Submit Your Videos to The Local

Portrait of An Artist from The Local East Village on Vimeo.

Last week, we told you about our video storytellers at The Local and the space that is reserved for weekly features on the right side of the page.

Over the past month, NYU Journalism’s Bolanle Omisore has explored the world of extreme tattooing, Sarah Tung has described the world of Japanese culture that exists in the East Village and Damon Beres took viewers inside the world of Toy Tokyo.

Other pieces have included Timothy J. Stenovec’s look at a commuter mosque and Maya Millett’s profile of the Social Tees Animal Rescue. In this week’s feature, which also plays above, NYU Journalism’s Steven McCann interviews the artist Andrew Castrucci.

You can find these videos and others at The Local East Village’s Vimeo page.

And if you’re interested in submitting your visual stories to The Local, please contact Kim Davis, The Local’s community editor.

Visual Storytelling at The Local

We wanted to bring your attention to work of our visual storytellers here at The Local.

Along the right side of this page, you’ll find a box that plays videos produced by our community contributors and the students at NYU Journalism.

Each Friday, a new video will begin a week-long run in the space.

This week’s selection (which also plays above), by NYU Journalism’s Maya Millett, tells the story of an institution that is familiar to animal lovers around the neighborhood – the Social Tees Animal Rescue.

A Few More Signposts to Guide You

LoisaidaSarah Tung

We wanted to bring your attention to four features here on the site that we think can help you learn more about what’s happening in our community.

To find the first, just look up. There, on the blue bar at the top of the page, is a new heading “News River.” It opens directly onto an aggregator of links from the East Village blogosphere that was developed by Dave Winer, a visiting scholar at NYU Journalism.

We briefly mentioned a second addition earlier this week: a series of links that provide comprehensive real estate data about the East Village. You can find them if you scroll down the column along the right side of this page or by following these links.

And directly below the real estate links in the right column is a special pull-down menu that provides test score information about public elementary and high schools that serve the East Village.

Below the schools data is the final feature that we’d like to bring to your attention: our pull-down menu of East Village restaurants drawn from data at The Times.

These are just a few more of the collaborative ways that we’re bringing value to the blogosphere through the talents of Mr. Winer and our colleagues at The Times.

Down the Block with Pete Hamill

Pete HamillSteven Hirsch Pete Hamill at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

Earlier today, we mentioned how grateful we are for the strong turn-out at NYU Journalism Thursday night for a talk by Pete Hamill titled, “Down the Block.”

We’re now happy to be able to make available a complete video of Mr. Hamill’s remarks here.
Read more…

Introducing Our Community Editor

Kim Davis PortraitKim Davis.

We’d like to introduce you to Kim Davis, the Community Editor of The Local East Village, and encourage you to contact him if you are interested in contributing to the blog.

Here at The Local we consider our neighbors in the East Village our partners in the journalistic collaboration that is at the heart of this site.

And Mr. Davis, a blogger and a resident of the East Village for nearly a decade, plays a crucial role in that partnership.

If you have a story idea, would like to submit photos or would like to contribute to the site in any other way please email Mr. Davis.

You can also follow him on Twitter @LEVkimdavis.

And we’d also like to remind you that you’re all invited to a celebration of the history of the East Village at NYU Journalism Thursday night where Pete Hamill will discuss ways that storytellers can bring tales from the neighborhood’s past into the present.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. at 20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor with music, food and drink.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Local Celebrates the East Village

Pete HamillPete Hamill.

We hope that you will join us Sept. 23 for a night in which we at The Local, as the new blog on the block, celebrate the rich history of the East Village with a reception and lecture by NYU Journalism’s own Pete Hamill.

Mr. Hamill, a resident of East Ninth Street and Second Avenue back in the day, will discuss ways that storytellers – from student journalists to community contributors to professionals – can bring tales from the neighborhood’s hidden past into the present.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. at 20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor with music, food and libations to follow. Please come.

What’s Local to You?

LEV MAPMatt Panuska

Broadway to the East River, 14th Street to Houston.

That’s how we define the boundaries of the East Village and the coverage area of this blog.

Do you think we’re on the mark or way off? What boundaries would you use to define the East Village?

What’s a Virtual Assignment Desk ?

If The Local East Village, a collaboration between The New York Times and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, is an experiment in online journalism, then one of its most ambitious applications, the Virtual Assignment Desk, is an experiment within an experiment.

Designed as a digital interactive platform that provides readers with a way to suggest stories or volunteer to produce them, the Assignment Desk is an effort to help readers shape The Local’s coverage of news in the East Village.

“The Local East Village is about experimenting with innovative means of producing quality journalism in and about our own community,” said Brooke Kroeger, director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. “Making it easy for community members to participate in this project is just as high a value. One of our major purposes in taking on this project is to have an in-house professional-level laboratory for journalistic innovation.” Read more…

The Day: A Primary and Your Voices

Shepard Fairey Sophie Hoeller

Good morning, East Village.

Today is primary day in New York and, in case you missed it, one of our first posts contained a summary of some of the major races and a link to help identify your nearest polling place.

In other neighborhood news, EV Grieve has an eye-opening post about the ongoing dispute over the Sin Sin Lounge, on Second Avenue and Fifth Street.

The Local’s arrival in the neighborhood prompted a considerable amount of discussion. The perspectives in the conversation have ranged from friendly to neutral — to not so neutral. In any case, we appreciate the reads by our neighbors and our neighbor blogs.

One of the most interesting posts related to The Local was this one by Curbed NY, which prompts us to encourage you to please nominate your suggestions for our blogroll. We should also note that you can access the blog at an abbreviated URL,

About The Local East Village

YellowBuildingRachel Wise

On its face, The Local East Village is a collaborative experiment between a learning institution, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and a newspaper, The New York Times — but it’s much more than that.

The Local has been conceived and designed to help foster a journalistic collaboration with a third partner, our neighbors in the East Village. The site is designed to reflect our community, report on its issues and concerns, give voice to its people in a wide-reaching online public forum and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves.

Our coverage area — which extends from Broadway to the East River, 14th Street to Houston Street — is home to roughly 70,000 people and features a sturdy and robust blogosphere. What can we contribute? A healthy respect and appreciation for our neighbor blogs; the academic and intellectual resources of NYU; the vast journalistic experience and high professional standards of The Times; and a commitment to do our best to reflect the richness and texture of life in the community we share.

We hope, too, to provide innovation: For years now the lines between those who produce news and those who consume it have become increasingly blurred. And so we hope to bring our readers even more into the process of producing news in ways that few other sites have tried before.

One of those ways is through the Virtual Assignment Desk, an application produced by students at New York University and which makes its debut on this site. It is designed to provide readers with a seamless, intuitive tool for interacting with the process used in producing and shaping news. Those who use the desk can identify stories that they would like to see covered or volunteer to cover assignments themselves.

Read more…

Welcome to The Local East Village

east villageJenn Pelly The East Village.

For much of the past year, The New York Times and the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University have been working to bring you — our neighbors in the East Village — this experiment in journalistic collaboration.

As we launch The Local today, know that what you are seeing is not the culmination of that work, but rather the beginning of it. And so we start with our most important task, extending an open invitation to everyone in our community to participate in our site, which is designed to provide news, offer a forum for perspectives and opinion and promote a neighborhood-wide conversation about the issues that mean the most to us in this community.

You’ll see posts about some of those issues today — stories about culture and politics, the voices of established neighborhood institutions and those that are emerging — that will give you some idea of what we’re about as a site.

We’ll talk more about the The Local’s mission later today, but first I’d like to introduce you to some of the people behind the site and invite you to engage with us all.

I’m Rich Jones, the editor, and a former reporter at The New York Times who is now a visiting professor at NYU. I consider myself a storyteller in the tradition that puts the focus on the story and not the teller. So in the days and weeks ahead, my voice will recede from the site and be replaced by all of you telling your own stories about our community.

Some of you have already met Kim Davis, our community editor, who is an important liaison between the site and our neighbors.

Mary Ann Giordano, a deputy metro editor at The Times, is a coordinator of The Local blogs under whose guidance we will produce the site. Jim Schachter, an associate managing editor at The Times, will also play a key oversight role.

At NYU, the project has been led by Brooke Kroeger, the director of the Carter Institute, and Jay Rosen, whose students and faculty colleagues in the Studio 20 concentration, especially Jason Samuels, have played a crucial research and development role in laying the foundation for the site.

Many of the posts will be contributed by the students in the Hyperlocal News class, which is led by Yvonne Latty, Mary Quigley and Darragh Worland, and recognition should be given to the support provided by the larger community at NYU, including students, professors and administrators in journalism, at the Stern School of Business, at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, as well as from our deans of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Jess Benhabib and Dalton Conley. The project has also benefitted from the good offices of NYU Provost David McLaughlin and President John Sexton.

And, of course, I must acknowledge the most significant ingredient in our collaboration — you. Ours is one of the most distinct neighborhoods in New York — full of color and energy, heart-wrenching sadness and unexpected humor and uncommon grace. In other words, it is a wonderful place for us to tell stories.

Let’s all get to work.