A year ago, the Uni created an open air reading room on a strip of sidewalk at 104th St under the 7 train in Corona. Today, that same space is a NYC DOT pedestrian plaza that hosts cultural festivals (and the Uni) on a regular basis in partnership with Queens Museum.
This weekend, we created a reading room on a similar strip at 90th St under the 7. Could this space be a thriving plaza someday as well? We think this would be a great outcome for New York.
Thank you to our host the 82nd St Partnership and to new Uni volunteers Jennifer and Steve. This deployment reminded me of the early days of the Uni—lots of curious stares, questions, and smiles. It also reminded me why we do this work: the Uni can be a catalyst for inspiring readers, and it can also be a powerful tool for improving public space. We want the Uni to help make Elmhurst residents feel like their public space is safe, inviting, and world-class. And if that space begins to reflect shared values of education and learning, then things will really get interesting for New York.