THE MISSION
THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.
Reporting For
New Yorkers

ARTICLES BY: Rachel Holliday Smith

Rachel covers Manhattan for THE CITY. She is proud to have previously worked for WNYC, DNAinfo and NY1 News. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Curbed New York, Gotham Gazette and others. She serves as the editorial adviser to New York University’s student newspaper.

  1. pier pressure

    Future of West Side Piers Hazy as Cuomo Pushes for Action

    The governor wants a sketched plan for Pier 40 and Pier 76 from the Hudson River Park Trust by May. What that may look like is anyone’s guess.

    pier pressure

  2. public safety

    As City Vows New Facade Crackdown, Old Violations Leave Buildings ‘Unsafe’

    More than 300 buildings — including the “Gossip Girl” hotel — lack safety measures following failed inspections, city records show.

    public safety

  3. taking flight

    A Peek at the Nellie Bly Memorial Set for Roosevelt Island

    Artist Amanda Matthews’ sculptures aim to represent faces of “women who had no visibility” that became the heart of Bly’s trailblazing reporting.

    taking flight

  4. clinic trial

    Local Concerns Over Cops Taking Mentally Ill to New ThriveNYC Clinics

    Two precincts in East Harlem and The Bronx will soon start sending people having psychiatric episodes to “diversion centers” they’ll be free to leave.

    clinic trial

  5. community power

    Judge Nixes Inwood Rezoning, Siding With Locals Against Mayoral Building Plan

    Decision requires the city to reboot neighborhood review with consideration of local concerns — including potential tenant displacement.

    community power

  6. community boards

    Embattled Community Board Leader Steps Aside After Bias Case

    Richard Lewis withdrew from the chairmanship of Manhattan Community Board 12 following an investigation that found he displayed gender bias.

    community boards

  7. housing

    Tenants Sue for Repairs at Embattled East Side Public Housing Complexes

    Residents of the Holmes and Isaacs Towers in Yorkville want a judge to correct “years of neglect,” while NYCHA mulls selling air rights to raise cash.

    housing

  8. housing

    Seniors Fight Homeless Charity Pushing Them Out on Street

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson and others vow to aid elderly in the Hell’s Kitchen residence run by a nonprofit tied to pet food magnate Leonard Stern.

    housing

  9. housing

    Manhattan Seniors Pushed Out as Building Goes Up for Sale

    Amid a housing crisis for elderly New Yorkers, reps for The Riverview in Hell’s Kitchen says it couldn’t find seniors to fill the 80-unit building.

    housing

  10. flight plan

    How Bird-Friendly Building Rules Will Fly in New York

    The City Council is set to make the skyline safer for our feathered friends. Here’s how the law will work for new construction and major renovations.

    flight plan

  11. move it

    Locals Sue to Force Tow Pound Off the West Side Waterfront

    A neighborhood group wants more action from the NYPD to make way for an expansion of Hudson River Park on Pier 76.

    move it

  12. class action

    Wall Street Rent Fight Spurs New Class-Action Suit as Landlord Seeks SCOTUS Help

    Tenants in a big Financial District apartment building are pushing for rent-stabilized leases they say are owed in exchange for a tax break.

    class action

  13. curb appeal

    Landlord Looks to Supreme Court in Downtown Rent Overcharge Fight

    Lawyers for Clipper Equity have asked the high court to review a June ruling by the NYS Court of Appeals, which found tenants were due rebates.

    curb appeal

  14. conflict resolution

    Manhattan Community Board Leader Cited for Gender Bias

    Borough President Gale Brewer’s office found Richard Lewis removed women from leadership roles. But he’s not going anywhere.

    conflict resolution

  15. water bill

    How Lower East Side Coastal Plan Braces for Climate Change

    The City Council votes Thursday on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, which aims to save Lower Manhattan from rising waters.

    water bill

  16. pier pressure

    To Expand Hudson River Park, Tow Pound May Finally Get Hauled Off the Waterfront

    The NYPD is evaluating how it could relocate the notorious Pier 76 vehicle lot, making way for the park to grow and raise cash.

    pier pressure

  17. college try

    Big-Time Builders Line Up for Shot at Prime Manhattan CUNY Property

    “It screams for condos” said a rep for one developer eyeing money-making possibilities on prime John Jay College real estate.

    college try

  18. going national

    Tiffany Cabán Teams With Working Families Party in Transition

    Labor-aligned political group, under fire from Gov. Cuomo, looks to expand influence as criminal justice reform catalyst via rising star Cabán.

    going national

  19. gone phishing

    NYC Census Scam Fighters Gearing Up for 2020 Battle

    The first-ever digital count brings new risks. Among New York’s weapons to fight misinformation: libraries — and buying up URLs con artists covet.

    gone phishing

  20. bitter end

    How Manhattan’s City Bakery Crumbled, Under Weight of Debts

    While doing brisk business in sweet treats, the Union Square institution was embroiled in high-cost borrowing from an industry under state probe.

    bitter end

  21. jails

    What You Need to Know About the Rikers Replacement Vote

    The City Council is poised to OK four new borough-based jails Thursday. But the historic plan’s fate depends on a lot more than shuttering Rikers.

    jails

  22. locked out

    Chelsea ‘Women’s Building’ Backers Break Out of Prison Conversion

    Philanthropists from the Buffett family drop high-profile plans to turn the former Bayview Correctional Facility into a hub for female empowerment.

    locked out

  23. development class

    CUNY Vies to Cash in on Its Prime West Side Real Estate

    A former John Jay College building on Manhattan’s Amsterdam Avenue could make way for a lucrative private tower with new school facilities and more.

    development class

  24. new lease

    Lower Manhattan Tenants Sue for Refunds Over Landlord Tax Break Abuse

    Residents claim 10 Hanover Square owner overcharged them while reaping lucrative benefits. They’re among thousands who may be due years of back rent.

    new lease

  25. flight plan

    City Buildings Kill Thousands of Birds as Council Mulls ‘Friendly’ Facades

    Avian experts say up to 230,000 birds die annually in NYC collisions. Yet city and state lawmakers’ bills to end the carnage haven’t taken flight.

    flight plan

  26. block power

    With a New Clinic on Way, Neighbors Decry ‘Overburdened’ Harlem

    Mount Sinai pledge of no addiction treatment fails to satisfy foes of a mental health facility on a block contending with homelessness and drug use.

    block power

  27. welcome back bill!

    Mayor de Blasio’s Post-Presidential Campaign To-Do List

    From fixing the public housing mess to diversifying schools to property tax reform, the mayor is returning to a pile of pressing business.

    welcome back bill!

  28. welcome back bill!

    New Yorkers Give de Blasio His Marching Orders

    We spoke city residents with strong ideas on where the mayor should focus his energy, post-campaign. Here’s a sampling of responses.

    welcome back bill!

  29. making a splash

    East River Swimming Pool One Stroke Closer to Reality

    The Economic Development Corp. is seeking concepts for a self-filtering pool in on the Lower East Side’s shores.

    making a splash

  30. exclusion

    In Ritzy SoHo, a Crusade to Open the Door to Affordable Housing

    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 300,000-unit program has yet to yield a single new low-cost apartment in Manhattan’s wealthiest neighborhood.

    exclusion

  31. complex situation

    Ex-Gov. Paterson Embroiled in Battle Over His Famed Harlem Home

    The former governor wrote a letter touting expansion project — even as he insists he isn’t taking sides in a fight over historic Lenox Terrace.

    complex situation

  32. double dutch

    Manhattan Pols Second-Guess Mayor’s Plan for Lower East Side Flood Barrier

    Netherlands sea-rise expert launches review of controversial $1.3 billion project at behest of Manhattan borough president and local council member.

    double dutch

  33. law and ardor

    Manhattan DA Vance Gets Ethics Exemption for Donor Review

    To deliver on his pledge to refuse funds from those under probe by his office, Cyrus Vance has government personnel assist with campaign fundraising.

    law and ardor

  34. jailhouse block

    As Planned New Jail Looms, Baxter Street Braces for Impact

    With close-Rikers plans headed to key votes, the Manhattan jail’s next-door neighbors want answers about what will happen when construction begins.

    jailhouse block

  35. going down

    Downtown Tenants and Landlords Skirmish Over Rent Reset

    As residents learn they’re entitled to rent cuts and refunds tied to a tax break, some landlords try to keep the upper hand.

    going down

  36. shelter

    Halfway Into Homeless Revamp, Work Lags as Hotel Use Grows

    While conversions to permanent housing have helped shrink the number of homeless families, transition to promised 90 new shelters proves slow going.

    shelter

  37. the rent was too high

    More Tenants Fighting for Back Rent After Downtown Ruling

    Residents at one building head for a potential payday as others get ready to join the battle after judge finds against landlords who got tax breaks.

    the rent was too high

  38. 2020 vision

    Counting on Old Uptown Playbook for Citywide Census Success

    In 2010, Washington Heights and Inwood had the city’s best response rate. Officials are looking to replicate the magic amid Census 2020’s challenges.

    2020 vision

  39. the rent was too high

    Tenants of 6,000 Downtown Apartments May Be Owed Back Rent

    A ruling centering on a 1995 tax break deal will allow some Lower Manhattan renters to seek stabilized leases and up to six years of overpayments.

    the rent was too high

  40. anchors aweigh

    La Marina Cleared to Reopen With New Identity and Ownership

    A bankruptcy battle over the uptown venue ends with transfer to the operator of Brother Jimmy’s barbecue chain — and a vow for end-of-summer debut.

    anchors aweigh

  41. rent

    Game Clock Ticking on Affordable Housing at Brooklyn’s Pacific Park

    Local watchdogs doubt the sprawling development that includes Barclays Center will reach the goal of 2,250 low-rent apartments by 2025.

    rent

  42. zone defense

    Two Bridges Falling Down as Judge Knocks LES Towers Plan

    A judge ruled the de Blasio administration was out of bounds when it sidestepped the land use review process for the waterfront megadevelopment.

    zone defense

  43. set sale

    La Marina Closes in on Reopening Under Brother Jimmy’s

    The Inwood waterfront hotspot nears emerging from bankruptcy amid hopes of a late- summer rebirth — if the city’s Parks Department approves.

    set sale

  44. bridge loan

    Foreclosure on $72m Loan Threatens GWB Bus Terminal Developers

    Lenders take the firm behind the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal overhaul to court after alleged default on payments this spring.

    bridge loan

  45. vance's chances

    No Decision From Cy Vance on Fourth DA Term as Challengers Mount

    Several potential candidates are mulling going up against the Manhattan district attorney, who told THE CITY it’s “too early” to say if he’ll run.

    vance's chances

  46. zone defense

    Court Knocks Out Building Block of Lower East Side Stacked Tower

    Local opponents of the Two Bridges project hope setback for developer will buy them time to limit skyscrapers on the waterfront.

    zone defense

  47. nellie flies

    Nellie Bly Memorial in Works for Site of Asylum She Probed

    The journalist who rocked New York with her 1887 exposé will be memorialized on Roosevelt Island, amid a wave of monuments to great women.

    nellie flies

  48. cell plan

    BP Brewer Proposes Women’s Jail for Lockup with Central Park View

    The Manhattan borough president wants Rikers women moved into the Lincoln Correctional Facility, a prime property whose future has sparked debate.

    cell plan

  49. department of correction

    Borough Presidents Demand Do-Over on Mayor’s Planned Jail Towers

    City Planning Commission will consider mayor’s case for Rikers Island replacements — amid objections from borough presidents and community boards.

    department of correction

  50. no parking

    Locked Out: Key Needed for This Unofficial Park in Harlem

    The West 148th Street space is managed by a local nonprofit residents say is often missing in action. Meanwhile, funding woes snag planned fix-up.

    no parking

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