Pandemic in New York City

A tribute to a Jackson Heights bike shop, a diary entry from a teenager and a rainbow painted by 4-year-old “Lizzy” are among the items, stories and oral histories being collected by some of New York’s cultural institutions to capture life in the city during the pandemic. With every day in flux and guidance evolving on how to conduct life, researchers, oral historians and archivists say it’s essential to document snippets of the wide range of experiences New Yorkers are having. For full story click here.

Oral history of New York Food

As Marcel Proust so famously documented, it's often the simplest of foods that can carry us back to remembrances of things past. And so perhaps it's not so surprising that, when freelance food writer Anne Noyes Saini began asking New York's elderly residents about their memories of the foods of the city during the early- to mid-20th century, it was humble meals like baked beans and the fruits sold by old-timey wagons that most often came to mind. Saini's project, an ongoing oral history called Forgotten Foods of New York City, is accessible via Soundcloud and was also featured last week on the storytelling site Narratively.  For full story click here.

Hurricane Sandy interviews

When Hurricane Sandy came ashore, it fell to the city’s leaders and the thousands of workers at their command to secure our coasts, to rescue those trapped by water and without power, to help the city rebuild. The Observer spent Monday and Tuesday talking with New York’s top public officials about Hurricane Sandy. These are their experiences in their own words.  For full story click here