Photo: Arshi Ansari/Shutterstock

Palimpsest City

by Julie Schwietert Jun 17, 2008

One of my perpetual interests and preoccupations is the loss and capture of great stories. Who used to live in my apartment? What was the corner store before it became a bodega?

The answers may not seem so important in the overall rush and bustle of life, but the stories that are saved open windows into the past that would otherwise remain closed.

A new website, City of Memory, opens lots of windows. An initiative pioneered by City Lore , a group of “cultural activists,” City of Memory lets folks, both storied and ordinary, share their memories and histories about places around New York City.

The site is easy to use and highly interactive. Click on the dots on the map and hear a story about the former Spanish Camp on Staten Island, read one woman’s memories of adolescence in the Bronx, or watch an audio slideshow about an Egyptian entrepreneur’s tough life after 9/11.

Have your own story of the city? City Lore actively solicits and curates stories, but also accepts submissions from the general public. Check out the submission guidelines here.

Community Connection

Make your own NYC story! MichaLola has just written a guide to NYC. The Traveler’s Notebook has a Green Guide to New York City. And I’ve got a few guides that might help you, too: 10 Best NYC Experiences. Period; Top 10 Tips for Navigating JFK; and Discover Lovely Long Island City!

Photo: DewCon (creative commons)

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