Main Street Nyc


Main Street NYC: Lessons from the Downturn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There are more than 220,000 small businesses just in New York City-- that’s 20,000 more than five years ago. These are businesses that employ fewer than 50 people each, but overall they provide almost 40 percent of private sector jobs. Some economists say it is these small-time entrepreneurs who drive ...

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Main Street NYC

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Over the past year, WNYC reporters have made repeated visits to six area neighborhoods: the Bowery in Manhattan, 161st St. in the Bronx, Smith St. in Brooklyn, Main St. in ...



Return to Main Street: The Bowery

Monday, November 09, 2009


Last Spring our Main Street NYC series traveled along the Bowery checking in on the health of local businesses and institutions. We visited the Bowery Mission, a decades-old pizza supply shop, and a new eco-friendly home ...

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Return to Main Street: 161st Street

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photos by Ailsa Chang

Photos by Ailsa Chang

The Yankees will play their first World Series in their new stadium this week . In the third installment of our Main Street series, WNYC returns to the shopkeepers on 161st Street in the Bronx, where many ...

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Return to Main Street: Victory Boulevard in Staten Island

Monday, October 26, 2009

This week WNYC returns to Victory Boulevard in Staten Island looking for signs of economic recovery.

Cindy Rodriguez has this feature:

Business owners on Victory Boulevard in Staten Island have differing opinions about whether the recession is over.



Return to Main Street: First Stop, Jersey City

Friday, October 23, 2009

This week WNYC returns to our Main Street NYC series, visiting a block in each of New York City's boroughs (and one in New Jersey) to see how the economic downturn is playing out at the street level.

Jenna Flanagan has this report from Jersey City:



There are 127 Shopping Days Before Christmas

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Christmas shopping is probably the last thing on your mind right now, unless you are a buyer who stopped by The New York International Gift Fair, where store owners met their wholesale suppliers this week. For WNYC's Main Street series, reporter Lisa Chow went to the fair with a Brooklyn boutique owner who has a shop on Smith Street. She found that small retailers who have survived the economic shakeout are cautiously optimistic.

Listen to the whole feature:

REPORTER: Here's the task for gift store retailers this season: figure out what nonessentials are essential. Charles Branstool owns Exit 9 gift stores—one on Smith Street in Brooklyn and another in the East Village. He went to the Javits Center and walked through thousands of booths to meet wholesalers and check out new products.

BRANSTOOL: Ok, this is our top vendor. They have a lot of really innovative and creative items that are sometimes serious, sometimes playful.

REPORTER: Branstool's Brooklyn store manager, Lexie Zimmerman is holding something that looks like a kitchen utensil—soft stainless steel wires dangling from a handle. Turns out it’s a head massager.

ZIMMERMAN: I ordered 720 of these.

BRANSTOOL: 720 units? Can we break that up, maybe into smaller shipments that we stagger?

ZIMMERMAN: No because we’re going to run out. And it's a $7 Christmas present. And we’re going to sell more than 700. I guarantee it.





Main Street NYC: 161 Street Revisited

Friday, June 19, 2009

Selling wine
Manuel Mercedes was confident that his store would withstand an ailing economy and the new stadium. However, now he's not so sure. Mercedes says he wants to sell the store but with proposed new rezoning laws, potential buyers may ...



Main Street NYC: Grove Street, Jersey City

Friday, June 12, 2009

People who live in downtown Jersey City often refer to it as New York’s unofficial sixth borough. It’s just as close if not closer to Manhattan as the so-called outer boroughs -- five to seven minutes on the PATH train. WNYC’s Jenna Flanagan plugs into Grove Street as part our Main Street series to find out how it’s weathering the recession.


Even at 98 percent capacity, the Grove Pointe tower still advertises its availability to the neighborhood. Developer and principal Jonathan Kushner says condos start at $375,000 for a one bedroom and can rise into the low $70,000’s, while a studio starts at $1,600 and two bedroom starts at $2,400.

Residents file in and out of the PATH train station at the new Grove Pointe plaza, in front of the massive tower on Grove Street.


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Main Street NYC: Victory Boulevard, Staten Island

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

by Aswini Anburajan

Victory Boulevard is like a lot of American Main Streets. It was once a thriving downtown area before the development of suburbs drew the middle class community away from urban centers. In recent years a new influx of immigrants on Staten Island has revived Victory’s northern end, ...

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Main Street NYC on The Brian Lehrer Show

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Main Streets project is spending a year looking closely at six blocks around the region. Karen Frillmann, Brigid Bergin, and Elaine Rivera discuss the goals of the project, what they've learned so far, and ...



Main Street NYC: Brooklyn Industries on Smith Street

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The last time I reported on Smith Street, home to many boutiques and restaurants and squeezed between Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, it was January. It was cold. And store managers complained that there was very little foot traffic. This time, I spent some time with one of ...

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Main Street NYC: Flushing

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Most New Yorkers know they can take the IRT 7 train to get to the Mets ballpark and the U.S. Open, but they’re less familiar with a booming neighborhood just one Subway stop after Willets Point. Main Street in downtown Flushing is thriving and its restaurants, retail stores, banks and ...



Main Street NYC: The Bowery, Manhattan - April Update

Friday, April 03, 2009

East Village History Project co-founder Rob Hollander

East Village History Project co-founder Rob Hollander

WNYC's Main Street Project is tracking streets across the city and in New Jersey. Last month, we gave you the first snapshot of



Main Street NYC: The Bowery, Manhattan

Friday, March 20, 2009

WNYC's Brigid Bergin takes us to a five-block stretch of the Bowery, from Houston to Delancey streets. The street is still home some century-old institutions like the Bowery Mission and specialized retail districts for restaurant supplies. But in recent years, an influx of new businesses along with cultural destinations are reshaping the neighborhood's economy and streetscape.
A New Life for the Bowery? by Brigid Bergin

The Bowery Mission was founded in 1879 and has been at this location since 1909.

The red doors open to a chapel where services are held daily. When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, the Mission staff opens the space for homeless men to sleep. The black doors lead to the Fellowship Hall, a cafeteria and kitchen that serves hot meals 365 days of the year. The Mission is privately funded and owns its buildings.


Alejandro Romero, 39, came to the Bowery Mission in July. He is a student in what they call their fellowship program. It's a six month substance abuse rehabilitation program for men. The students live on the upper floors and are required to work full time, doing everything from unloading the food trucks to taking out the garbage.


Herb Curruthers, 56, cooks meals at the Mission. He first came to the Bowery as a client 16 years ago after spending 8 years in jail. He's since gone to culinary school and has become a chef.

Here's Herb's story

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Main Street NYC: 161st Street, The Bronx

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Bronx at 161 st Street, just in the shadow of the new Yankee Stadium, urban planners and developers have begun the process of converting this commercial strip into a global marketplace. A massive proposed rezoning has many long time Bronx residents watching this street closely.

View of old and new Yankee Stadiums

View of old and new Yankee Stadiums

The view of the old (left) and new (right) Yankee Stadium. The old stadium will eventually be torn down.

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Main Street NYC: Smith Street, Brooklyn

Thursday, January 29, 2009

WNYC's Lisa Chow took a walk down Smith Street in Brooklyn, between Atlantic Avenue and Bergen Street, and checked in with some of the folks who work and live there to find out how things are faring at the start of 2009.

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