It struck me immediately as I started reporting on Arise, a summer program for youths in West Harlem, what a small world I had stumbled into.
It's 6:30 on a Friday, and it's already dark outside. Six people sit around a long table—not a bad turnout for a muggy day like today. They have gathered at the West Harlem Skills Training Center, a little black awning on the corner of 134th and Amsterdam, for a workshop about obtaining street vendor permits....
Our lawns in the fall and springtime are easy to describe: verdant and idyllic, yet tantalizingly forbidden, much like Augustine’s pears. Come autumn, those grass patches raise some questions, like “Why are they always closed?” and “Did Obama really play soccer on them?”...