Shivering from top to bottom, we huddle on the narrow sidewalk outside Participant Inc. gallery on Houston Street in New York City. We are masked. As safely as we can manage from the global flows of COVID-19 (because of the virus, regulations in the city necessitate innovative solutions to the prohibition on crowds congregating inside). We are waiting for the three-part performance by Ron Athey and collaborators Hermes Pittakos, Mecca, and Elliot Reed—Performance in 3 Acts—which is staged in relation to the exhibition I curated Queer Communion: Ron Athey, a retrospective of Athey’s now over thirty year performance art career.
The island of Manhattan is one of five boroughs that comprises modern-day New York City. Joining the neighboring boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, the City of New York was consolidated as such in 1898. While part of a larger whole, “New York City architecture” typically refers to the built environment of Manhattan. Indeed, the iconic image of contemporary New York City is the Manhattan skyline. Its tall buildings have historically been concentrated in the Financial District on the southern tip of the island, and in Midtown, although recent developments have seen these traditional boundaries expand northward and to the outer boroughs. By the early 1700s, the Native Lenape population had largely been displaced by colonists—first the Dutch, who named their community on the southern tip of Manhattan New Amsterdam, and later the British, who again rechristened this area New York. As a result of the near-continuous cycle of demolition and construction that has characterized so much of New York’s history, little evidence of the earliest structures—both Native and European—survives. Yet the Dutch and British settlements laid the ground work for future expansion. With a population concentrated at the southern tip of the island, subsequent development continuously pushed northward. Infrastructure projects like the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883, physically connected Manhattan to then-neighboring city of Brooklyn, and subsequent bridges and tunnels further linked the island to its surroundings, creating a regional metropolis. Because of New York’s significance to national history—for a short time, it was the capital of the early Republic, and in the 20th and 21st centuries it is a capital of finance, media, and visual culture—literature on the city’s built environment is vast. This bibliography thus proceeds from general resources to a chronology that begins in the late 18th century, and continues up to recent developments in the architecture and urban planning that shape the city in the early 21st century.
The spatiotemporal patterns of ground level ozone (O3) concentrations in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan region for the 2007–2017 period were examined conjointly with local emissions of O3 precursors and the frequency of wildfires. Daily 8-h and 1-h O3 and nitric oxide (NO) concentrations were retrieved from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Data. Annual emission inventories for 2008 and 2017 were acquired from EPA National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The number and area burnt by natural and human-ignited wildfires were acquired from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). The highest daily 8-h max O3 concentrations varied from 90 to 111 parts per billion volume (ppbv) with the highest concentrations measured perimetrically to NYC urban agglomeration. The monthly 8-h max O3 levels have been declining for most of the peri-urban sites but increasing (from +0.18 to +1.39 ppbv/year) for sites within the urban agglomeration. Slightly higher O3 concentrations were measured during weekend than those measured during the weekdays in urban sites probably due to reduced O3 titration by NO. Significant reductions of locally emitted anthropogenic nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may have triggered the transition from VOC-limited to NOX-limited conditions, with downwind VOCs sources being critically important. Strong correlations between the monthly 8-h max O3 concentrations and wildfires in Eastern US were computed. More and destructive wildfires in the region were ignited by lightning for years with moderate and strong La Niña conditions. These findings indicate that climate change may counterbalance current and future gains on O3 precursor’s reductions by amending the VOCs-to-NOx balance.