Articles in the Reportage Category
100 Results

The Street Musicians of Columbus Park

By Huiying Bernice Chan | July 26, 2016 | Open City

Carrying songs across oceans, these musicians create home and community in New York City.

The Free-Spirited Journey of A Taxi Union Organizer

By Sonny Singh | June 2, 2016 | Open City

From sufism to reggae, from construction work to driving taxis, it has been a colorful ride for one of the co-founders of a taxi drivers union in New York.

Leftover Women

By Yichen Tu | May 13, 2016 | Open City

Three Chinese American women, who are very successful in their fields, are considered failures for one single reason — for staying single past the age of 25.

Fighting to Keep Their Homes

By Rong Xiaoqing | May 6, 2016 | Open City

Tenants of rent-regulated apartments in Chinatown fought back and won a settlement with their landlord, who now must provide safe and decent living condition and stop harassing them.

‘I Am a Sex Worker’

By Yichen Tu | April 27, 2016 | Open City

She migrated from China to the United States, hoping to find a better life. She ended up working in a massage parlor, providing sex to customers.

Why Justice for Akai Gurley Matters

By Rahima Nasa | April 15, 2016 | Open City

The Brooklyn DA wants no jail term for NYPD cop Peter Liang, but several Asian American groups demand accountability for Liang and justice for all victims of police violence.

The Dancing Grannies of New York City

By Esther Yu Hsi Lee | April 5, 2016 | Open City

For the women who dance together at a Chinatown park, every gesture brings them closer together and every step leads them away from the dangers of depression.

An Irish Pub in Brooklyn’s Chinatown

By Liz Chow | March 29, 2016 | Open City

Amid the sea of Chinese characters in Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue, an Irish pub has held its ground despite waves of inward and outward migration.

Men Loiter, Women Cloister

By Chaya Babu | March 16, 2016 | Open City

Who owns public space? Young South Asian women in Brooklyn struggle with the culture that dictates that women have no business outside the home.

We Talkin’ About ‘Back Home’

By Nadia Misir | March 10, 2016 | Open City

The difference between tea and life back home and over here, according to a Guyanese-American family in South Ozone Park.

From Divided to United?

By Rong Xiaoqing | March 1, 2016 | Open City

The current debate over the conviction of NYPD officer Peter Liang is actually a good sign, heralding the growing political maturity of the Chinese American community.

Cha Time at Home

By Sonny Singh | February 25, 2016 | Open City

Cha, chai or te? A Richmond Hill family’s multiple ways of preparing what Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu called “the elixir of life.”

The Forgotten Amerasians

By Enrico Dungca | February 11, 2016 | Open City

Unwanted in their mothers’ country and unwelcome in their fathers’ homeland, Filipino Amerasians are still in search of a home.

When a Small Business Takes a Great Leap Forward

By Michelle Chen | December 15, 2015 | Open City

As Pearl River Mart prepares to close its doors, why the store’s godchild doesn’t want it to be “saved”

Red Plastic Bags All Over Chinatown

By Pearly Huang | November 17, 2015 | Open City

Red is believed to be a lucky color and everyone wants to carry good luck with them. But that symbol of good fortune may soon carry something else: a 10-cent charge.

Too Close to Home

By Nadia Misir | November 10, 2015 | Open City

In Richmond Hill, a neighborhood’s safety concerns are pitted against a city’s effort to bring youth offenders closer to home. And the residents are up in arms.

The Education of an Immigration Lawyer

By Sonny Singh | November 2, 2015 | Open City

How a high school teacher’s advocacy vs. bullying of Sikh students led her from the classroom to the court room.

The Modern Chupa

By Lisa Wong Macabasco | October 9, 2015 | Open City

The Nepalese and Tibetan communities in Jackson Heights mix tradition with modern to keep their heritage alive.

Shattering Silence in Banglatown

By Chaya Babu | September 2, 2015 | Open City

In Kensington, young Bangladeshi activists fight against apathy and inaction in the local community by organizing around the murder of a 13-year-old boy in Bangladesh earlier this summer.

Shadow of the Shutter

By Esther Wang | June 18, 2015 | Open City

How Asian small business owners are negotiating community and commerce in Baltimore

Pearls of Wisdom

By Eveline Chao | May 20, 2015 | Open City

When Flushing was a neighborhood of European immigrants in the 1940s, Pearl Chow’s was one of the sole Asian families there.

To Eat, Drink, and Gyaff

By Nadia Misir | May 15, 2015 | Open City

Many of the neighborhood’s roti shops are located just steps from the A train. For Richmond Hill residents, gyaffing and hot doubles can remedy anything the MTA throws at them.

Sikh Teens Spread Awareness + Love in Manhattan

By Sonny Singh | May 1, 2015 | Open City

“…I’d see non-Sikhs…be scared because there were so many turbans around them. I want to end that,” Amrinder Singh explained.

The Spirit of Parshaada [VIDEO]

By Sonny Singh | February 27, 2015 | Open City

Roti is everyday food in Punjabi homes. At the gurdwara, it takes on a new name and becomes a symbol of service.

The Black Poster

By Mei Schultz | February 24, 2015 | Open City

A mysterious black poster sends one Columbia University student down a transnational college application rabbit hole.

Mo’ Momo fo’ the Masses

By Lisa Wong Macabasco | February 4, 2015 | Open City

A momo evangelist introduces foodies to a lesser known dumpling and to the Tibetans and Nepalese who love them.

Childhood in a Can

By Anzhe Zhang | January 7, 2015 | Open City

Time traveling with a drink find in Chinatown

Little Pakistan’s Mission Man

By Chaya Babu | December 12, 2014 | Open City

Community organizing can be lonely work when you’re battling ghosts from a violent past

Poll position

By Pearly Huang | December 1, 2014 | Open City

In neighborhoods where Asian American voters lack English fluency, poll workers are the overlooked links to electoral participation.

Karma on the Half Shell

By Eveline Chao | October 28, 2014 | Open City

Buddhist “mercy releases” have long set animals free in ways that may harm them. Parks and animal protection organizations are working to make it better.

The “Menace” of Mott Street

By Eveline Chao | July 25, 2014 | Open City

I traveled to the heart of the epidemic one day in July to find out for myself what kind of peril we’re in.

The Hustle: Foraging in Forest Park

By Tanwi Nandini Islam | July 16, 2014 | Open City

They tasted like a vanilla pudding—sweet and light. I’d long wondered if these berries were safe to eat, but Chin seemed to be nibbling without worry…

The New Old Neighborhood

By Marwa Helal | July 15, 2014 | Open City

I quickly learn this view has cost this business a lot. Irina remembers all the people who left after hurricane Sandy struck in the fall of 2012. “They lost so much, their homes…and then with the businesses closed, they had no work to stay for.”

The Co-op Rules

By Thomas L. Mariadason | July 9, 2014 | Open City

A Queens couple tries to put down roots in their own community and discovers the unwritten discriminatory rules of real estate.

Spiking Tradition

By Kristopher Kam | July 4, 2014 | Open City

We journeyed over two-hundred miles to play indoor volleyball in sweat-inducing temperatures. That draining, exhausting heat is as much a part of the game as are the unique rules of 9-man volleyball.

The Hustle: Cooking with Asha Foods

By Tanwi Nandini Islam | July 3, 2014 | Open City

“Our samosas are different because we use fresh vegetables and olive oil,” says Saleha Parveen…“We use long bean, cauliflower, cabbage, potato and carrot. Most restaurants just use old oil and potatoes.”

The Doctor Is In

By Susan M. Lee | June 24, 2014 | Open City

I remember the medicine wafting through the apartment–a distinct scent, a heavy, earthy, musky odor that smelled like bark, dirt and dampened roots. The minute the pot would go on, I would retreat to my room where I paced back and forth, in anticipation of a stand-off with my mother.

Bread + Butter Socialism: A History of Finnish-American Co-ops

By Esther Wang | June 12, 2014 | Open City

Finntown in the 1920s and 30s was a bit like a leftist fantasy mixed with a touch of “Portlandia”…

Flow Nice

By Thomas L. Mariadason | May 7, 2014 | Open City

When poet and First Lady Chirlane McCray (aka “FLONYC”) chose spoken word artist Ramya Ramana to perform at her husband’s inauguration, it took the ceremony—and Ramya’s poetry—to a whole new level.

Arcade Rhythms

By Eveline Chao | April 24, 2014 | Open City

Alex is a skinny teenager with shaggy black hair – almost like a Beatles cut. He comes here all the time, just to play this game.

Conversation Scene in Queens

By Susan Lee | April 21, 2014 | Open City

…Hispanics and Asians are living in neighborhoods together nearly three times as much as they did ten years ago. But how integrated they truly are is a matter of debate…

Budget of the People, By the People

By Esther Wang | April 4, 2014 | Open City

Council District 38, which includes the heavily Asian and Latino Sunset Park, is a testing ground to see whether an experiment in direct democracy can meet its lofty goals…

“Sitting the Month” in Queens

By Amanda Dingyuan Hou | March 18, 2014 | Open City

No showering, no going outside, no drinking cold water–for an entire month. Many women in mainland China observe these rules as part of a traditional health care practice following childbirth.

The Roast Duck Bureaucracy

By Eveline Chao | March 11, 2014 | Open City

About a decade ago, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) began to puzzle over a strange and disturbing sight: whole, roasted ducks, hanging by their necks in the windows of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

All That Glitters…In Sunset Park

By Esther Wang | March 7, 2014 | Open City

The gate, the window guards (all seven of them), the railings leading up to the door, the door itself — all bright stainless steel, and sparkling even on this cloudy day.

Gods and Small Tings

By Tanwi Nandini Islam | March 5, 2014 | Open City

“When times are good, people might go for the Absolut, when they’re bad it’s Smirnoff or Georgi,” says Anil, who runs 1-2-3 Liquors on Jamaica Avenue…

Sound Postcard: K-Town Celebrates “Jinshinbalpki”

By Susan M. Lee | February 15, 2014 | Open City

The drummers were dressed in black and white tunics with colorful sashes and played traditional instruments…

Sundays at the Flea

By Tanwi Nandini Islam | February 1, 2014 | Open City

It’s Sunday morning and there’s a debate underway at the Richmond Hill Flea Market in Queens. At issue: a pair of bejeweled, costume earrings made of faux diamonds and rubies.

A Tiger by the Tail, Part 1

By Thomas L. Mariadason | January 28, 2014 | Open City

In 2012, over half a million stop and frisks took place citywide. Half of these involved persons of color—young men like Nilesh, who are constantly on the lookout for patrolling officers.

Everybody Knew Him

By Eveline Chao | January 26, 2014 | Open City

“He could’ve walked into Harlem and everybody knew ‘im. He could walk into Spanish Harlem, everybody knew him. The gangsters knew him and respected him because he stood up to them…”

The Newsmaker

By Susan M. Lee | January 15, 2014 | Open City

…there was one piece of equipment that made it all possible: a SONY tape player that kept them in operation as if they were 24-hour newsroom. The machine would play ten cassettes one after the other.

A Makeover for Chinatown’s Garment Industry

By Eveline Chao | January 7, 2014 | Open City

Visitors to the address would have found an entirely different scene ten or fifteen years ago. Before it was a fashion headquarters, the building was a garment factory…

Daylight for the Basement: Chinatown Activists Reunite

By Esther Wang | December 10, 2013 | Open City

“…the union guys were really worried. They were literally pissing in their pants…15 minutes later, it seemed like 15,000 women came out of the woodwork. Literally. From the buildings in Soho. They just couldn’t believe it.”

A Middleman for Typhoon Relief

By Skyler Reid | November 18, 2013 | Open City

…incoming donations were piled up two and three boxes deep on the sidewalk.

Vigil in Queens

By Brock Stoneham | November 14, 2013 | Open City

“The typhoon really hit me hard,” she said. “I live in New York, but I’m still Filipino.”

Vota por Mí: Campaigns in Translation

By Eveline Chao | November 5, 2013 | Open City

“Once we printed Chinese upside-down and nobody knew it. That was embarrassing!”

Red Hook Revisited

By Jesse Hardman | October 24, 2013 | Open City

We set up a table with hot cider to stave off the chill, and little by little, over the course of three hours, 20 participants came by to strut their stuff…

A “Family” Mission

By Rachel Bryson-Brockman and Elly W. Yu | October 17, 2013 | Open City

“We are not known to the mainstream disabled communities. We’ve been here for 20 years.”

“Happy Hour” for Queens Teens

By Susan M. Lee | September 26, 2013 | Open City

When working with the 12 to 19 year old set, she goes by two simple rules: 1.) Don’t disrespect them and 2.) Stand your ground.

Gifting Confucius

By Eveline Chao | September 19, 2013 | Open City

In the center of the plaza stands a bronze, 15-foot statue of the Chinese sage…In its shadow, a woman with a visor and clipboard is selling shuttle tickets to Foxwoods Casino.

Faking It in K-Town

By Rachel Kim | August 7, 2013 | Open City

In the same way that K-Town serves as a rough rendition of Seoul, these plastic replicas dutifully represent their edible counterparts.

What Separates Welfare from Work

By E. Tammy Kim | July 8, 2013 | Open City

Amid a national conversation about preschool and poverty, low-income New Yorkers are fighting for dignified welfare-to-work and and child care. But will they succeed?

Your Day is My Night: Documenting Shifting Lives

By Kyla Cheung | June 7, 2013 | Open City

Lynne Sachs talks about her film on immigrant experiences in Chinatown shift-bed houses.

The Tenement Life: From Jacob Riis To Beyond

By Kyla Cheung | April 10, 2013 | Open City

“81 Bowery is their home and their only choice for a place to live.”

VIDEO: Immigrants Behind the Wheel

By Jia Guo | March 7, 2013 | Open City

There are 42,000 cab drivers in New York City–and 82% of them are immigrants. Many from them from white collars jobs back in their home country.

Night at Mission Chinese: A Sichuan Food Tease

By Katie Salisbury | March 7, 2013 | Open City

Writer Katie Salisbury goes on a quest to Mission Chinese to check out the monster success of Asian hipster cuisine.

Land of The Beavers: A Conversation With Queens Historian Carl Ballenas

By Rishi Nath | February 21, 2013 | Open City

There are lists of some slave uprisings in the late 1600s. There were gallows next to Beaver Pond.

When The Butcher Cries: A Visit to an Organic Halal Slaughterhouse

By Humera Afridi | February 21, 2013 | Open City

A river of dark, red fluids frothed and pooled over drains. Men in green T-shirts scrubbed the floor with brooms as wave after wave of water washed away the sacrificial blood.

Generation Kimchi: From the Margins to the Forefront

By Carolyn Sun | February 6, 2013 | Open City

Carolyn Sun explores the journey of how kimchi has found its place in America at the tables of Koreans and non-Koreans alike.

Searching for Soca Paradise: An Afternoon With DJ Rekha

By Rishi Nath | January 18, 2013 | Open City

The Basement Bhangra deejay revisits the neighborhood of a legendary Hollis nightclub that flourished in the 90s.

Between the Chifa and the Red Lanterns

By Celina Su | January 16, 2013 | Open City

The costs of ‘hecho en China.’

Photo Essay: The Cross Currents of Flushing, Queens

By Deanna Fei & Jessica Fei | January 9, 2013 | Open City

Sisters Deanna Fei and Jessica Fei capture the many faces of Flushing: a home, a place of transit, a new territory.

Post-Punk, Post-Tehran: Yellow Dogs Perform December 13 in Williamsburg

By Gary Sullivan | December 11, 2012 | Open City

Formed in Iran—and influenced by Joy Division—the indie band had to high-tail out of the Islamic Republic for fear of reprisals. Why the band wound up in Brooklyn.

New York Post Subway Photo: Is Ki Suk Han’s Last Moment Just Another Cheap Thrill?

By Sukjong Hong | December 7, 2012 | Open City

After the family saw this photo, ‘they couldn’t sleep.’

Lakshmi’s Night: A Muslim Woman Honors Diwali

By Humera Afridi | November 28, 2012 | Open City

I recall the monkey god’s gaze at the Ganapati Temple and my own impulsive desire to offer him a coconut.

Anatomy Of A Fuel Shortage: The Hess Station on Liberty Avenue in Queens

By Rishi Nath | November 19, 2012 | Open City

From Libya to Liberty Avenue, Hess was making a killing.

Diwali 2012: The Festival of Lights After Hurricane Sandy

By Hasanthika Sirisena | November 14, 2012 | Open City

In Jersey City’s India Square, the Hindu holiday is tempered and celebrated privately.

The Democracy of Patience: Inside a Polling Station in Queens

By Humera Afridi | November 7, 2012 | Open City

“Romney is very hostile.”

Scenes From Sandy: South Queens Recovers, Slowly

By Rishi Nath | November 3, 2012 | Open City

Dispatch from Far Rockaway and Jamaica in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Post Sandy, Day 4: Hester Street in Lower Manhattan

By Ken Chen | November 2, 2012 | Open City

Community organizers distributed supplies and canvassed buildings for two days before FEMA showed up to offer aid.

In Sandy’s Wake, New York’s Landscape of Inequity Revealed

By Michelle Chen | November 2, 2012 | Open City

New York will survive Sandy, but so will the city’s persistent inequalities and environmental precarity.

Hurricane Sandy: The Storm’s Impact on Immigrant Workers and Organizations

By Sukjong Hong | November 1, 2012 | Open City

For outer borough residents and the linguistically isolated, the future is less clear.

Is Access to Affordable Food a Human Right? On the Closing of Lower Manhattan’s Pathmark

By Anelise Chen | October 26, 2012 | Open City

If the grocery store is going to be saved, it will need to happen now.

VIDEO: Classic Coffee Shop, Thirty-Six Years on Hester Street

By E. Tammy Kim | October 25, 2012 | Open City

Meet Carmine Morales, the Lower East Side’s last everyman.

Ghetto Qu’ran: South Jamaica Through The Life Of 50 Cent

By Rishi Nath | October 16, 2012 | Open City

In a way, Curtis Jackson is a link to the era of black American immigration to South Jamaica, the violence that befell those who came, and the strange marriage of drugs and music that followed. He may be the last.

“Coffee Is Like a Painting,” Says The Most Fascinating Barista in Queens

By Gary Sullivan | October 5, 2012 | Open City

The best French-pressed coffee in town is brewed in Elmhurst. No, really.

The Story Behind Great Taste’s ‘Five Dumplings for a Dollar’ Deal

By Anelise Chen | October 3, 2012 | Open City

This Sunset Park eatery is known for dishing up the best dumplings in New York City. So why is its owner, Mr. Chen, barely breaking even?

New DREAMs: Jeff, 20

By E. Tammy Kim | September 17, 2012 | Open City

“My parents never hid the fact that I was undocumented.”

Art Rock City: Looking for a Boulder in Flushing Meadows

By Herb Tam | September 7, 2012 | Open City

It’s the second largest park in New York City, and it hosts the U.S. Open. But when the world isn’t watching, what lies beneath the park’s borders—and what does it say about Queens?

Wal-Mart in Los Angeles Chinatown

By Sukjong Hong | August 29, 2012 | Open City

How the retail behemoth’s bid to establish its footing downtown is raising questions about the future of Chinatown and the city as a whole.

Photographs: The Captain Briggs Farmhouse in Queens

By Katherine Zhang | August 28, 2012 | Open City

Back in 1830, Richmond Hill was a farm.

Flushing Dance Teacher: ‘We Have Our Priorities Wrong’

By Sukjong Hong | August 22, 2012 | Open City

A defender of traditional Korean arts refuses to give up.

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