Every weekday over 200,000 people use the “L” train to shuttle between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and now, talks of a shutdown could mean that all of them would need to find another way to get around. The reason? The tunnel linking the two boroughs has needed repairs since Superstorm Sandy flooded the city in 2012. And while another option is on the table, that plan would take twice as long as a full tunnel shutdown and drastically reduce service on one of the city’s busiest subway lines. Vincent Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, is on top of this story and joins us tonight to break down both options and tell us what a shutdown could mean for the city.
Brooklyn is the largest of New York City’s boroughs, and it’s caught a lot of flack for being the freshly-gentrified home to New York City’s hipsters. But tonight in this special episode of MetroFocus, we’re only showing you the best of the borough from Coney Island to Bushwick.
The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. The Wildlife Conservation Society oversees it and four other zoos in New York, and now this beloved aquarium is getting a face-lift. So what can the city’s marine-life-lovers expect from the changes? Cristian Samper, President and CEO of The Wildlife Conservation Society gives us a preview.
Meryl Meisler first stepped off the subway at the intersection of Myrtle and Wyckoff Avenues in December of 1981. She was about to start a full-time job as a public school art teacher in the neighborhood that hadn’t recovered from the riots four years earlier. Instead of letting devastating scenery get her down, she started a photo project in which she took photos of the people and places that celebrated the spirit of Bushwick. For decades, she kept her photos to herself, but in 2007, she started showing them in galleries, eventually pairing these photos with pictures of the disco era snapshots she had from 1970’s disco clubs. She tells us about her book, A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick and we get a glimpse of the Brooklyn she saw in 1981.
Trailer parks. Beyond the stigma and the stereotypes, for families who can’t afford a traditional home, they can be a lifeline worth fighting for. That’s why neighbors from a Long Island trailer park in Nassau County recently banded together to stave off eviction and save their homes. Their struggle is the subject of a Newsday documentary, The Last Trailer Park. Tonight, as part of our ongoing initiative, “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America,” we take a look at the film and speak with its producer.
Tonight, we also delve into an epidemic impacting thousands of Americans across the Tri-State every year: eviction. Harvard University professor Matthew Desmond gives us a firsthand look at the harsh realities of living in a trailer park. The sociologist made one his home for about half a year and watched as families were evicted and forced into shelters. Desmond took thousands of pages of notes as he chronicled their stories. That research has been called “the most comprehensive, detailed data on American urban poverty, housing and eviction” and is now the foundation of his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
She was one of the more than fifty women featured in The New York Times’ recent expose about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s treatment of women. Barbara Res was the lead engineer on the Trump Tower project, and now she’s sharing her experience working for the billionaire businessman. In light of some of Trump’s more controversial comments, how does she feel about her former boss seeking the highest office? Earlier this month, the New York state legislature passed a bill to raise New York’s minimum wage from $9 an hour to as much as $15 an hour. But how much you make may all depend on where you live in New York. Upstate workers will only reach $12.50 an hour, and that increase won’t be met until 2021. Though the legislation has been hailed as a victory by many in the state and around the country, for some low wage earners and small business owners, the pay increase comes with a dose of uncertainty. Jenna Flanagan has the story. Next, for 70 years, the non–profit Northside Center for Child Development in New York City has been an important resource for making sure children and families that are touched by mental illness have access to the support, acceptance and enrichment they deserve. For National Mental Health Awareness Month, ABC News correspondent and anchor Deborah Roberts, who supports the non-profit, and Dr. Thelma Dye, the center’s executive director, share how they are working to overcome the stigmas associated with mental health conditions. Then finally,over the course of a handful of months, New York Magazine reporters went to one block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. They knocked on every door, crashed the block party, and hunted through public records to track down and interview over sixty current and former block residents. The results not only revealed the transformation of the people there, but also the history of a single neighborhood over the past 135 years. Senior Editor of New York Magazine Genevieve Smith shares their story.
Gentrification. The word has become ingrained in our society as it spreads across the country. As gentrification changes the nature of cities across America through displacement of long-time residents, a new short documentary Degentrify America, which is part of the Take 5: Justice in America series from AMC Networks’ SundanceNow Doc Club, looks at this trend’s impact closer to home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This past March there were 60,000 people in New York City’s homeless shelter system. Over 23,000 were children. Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is the head of the city’s largest shelter organization called Women in Need, and invited us to look at how they are helping families rebuild their lives. Next, he’s been to the moon and back, but now he’s taken one giant leap onto MetroFocus. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin continues to explore and advocate for space travel 46 years after the Apollo 11 mission landed him on the moon. We meet Aldrin in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the deck of the Intrepid Museum where he opens up with us about his famous journey, and talks about the lessons he’s sharing in his new book No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked On The Moon. Finally, the Big Apple is home to a variety of exotic wildlife, and we’re not talking about pigeons and rodents. You might not think wildlife when you hear New York City, but endangered animals inhabit the surrounding waters and face constant danger. Cristián Samper, the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, shares what the organization is doing to ensure their survival.
Gentrification. The word has become ingrained in our society as it spreads across the country. As gentrification changes the nature of cities across America through displacement of long-time residents, a new short documentary Degentrify America, which is part of the Take 5: Justice in America series from AMC Networks’ SundanceNow Doc Club, looks at this trend’s impact closer to home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.