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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. public housing

    Gale Brewer Ups Legal Fight Against Private Tower at NYCHA Site

    The Manhattan borough president goes back to court to stop new version of Upper East Side luxury housing plan from proceeding without public review.

    public housing

  15. mobile support

    As the Heights Struggles With Opioid Use, Needle Exchange Program Goes Homeless

    The Washington Heights CORNER Project hopes to move into the renovated George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, but for now does its work from vans.

    mobile support

  16. public housing

    NYCHA Scraps East Side Tower Plan in Face of Boro Prez Lawsuit

    The Housing Authority wants to add more market-rate apartments to a tower to be built on land at the Holmes Towers public housing complex.

    public housing

  17. shelter

    State Agency Stalls Billionaires’ Row Homeless Shelter

    Even though a court has ruled that a fully functional West 58th Street shelter has the right to open, a state agency is keeping the doors closed.

    shelter

  18. marketing deal

    Documentary Group Makes the Cut for Long-Empty ‘Mart 125’

    Plans to turn iconic Harlem marketplace into a cultural hub develop as city puts up $13.5 million for the revival of the 125th Street building.

    marketing deal

  19. new life

    Harlem’s African Burial Ground Enters New Phase, With a Promise of Funding

    The city plans to begin an initial search this fall for a nonprofit operator for the memorial site and cultural center honoring local history.

    new life

  20. hope floats

    ‘La Marina’ Owners Lose Hold Over Dyckman Street Docks

    The working marina will be under city control following a judge’s order. The restaurant’s future, however, remains murky as the summer season begins.

    hope floats

  21. jails

    Local Boards Reject Rikers Replacement Jails, But Council Reps Hold the Key

    Local Council members wield the votes that count most. Some say they’re undecided, though behind-the-scenes signs point to an all-but done deal.

    jails

  22. shelter

    A Quiet Welcome for Homeless Women, Blocks from Billionaire’s Row Shelter Site

    The 120-bed shelter, to open next to a W. 52nd St. school, gets a “remarkably generous” greeting from local leaders, the facility’s operator says.

    shelter

  23. anchors away

    City Tries to Sink La Marina Reopening Plan

    The owners of the embattled Inwood hotspot hope to return by Memorial Day. But in bankruptcy court, city lawyers say they want them gone for good.

    anchors away

  24. matter of principal

    How Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Nearly Lost Her Home

    The pol quietly fought a two-year foreclosure battle with her mortgage company over real estate tax payments. Now she’s sharing her cautionary tale.

    matter of principal

  25. shelter

    Homeless Families Win Beds on Upper West Side as Judge Tosses Shelter Suit

    Opponents of a plan to fully convert a prewar West 94th Street hotel into 110 apartments for the homeless saw their lawsuit dismissed on Monday.

    shelter

  26. deal of the art

    Philanthropist Offers City Free Building to Save Doomed Hudson Yards Arts Center

    The owner of Affirmation Arts hopes to dodge the wrecking ball and keep his cultural complex alive by giving it away as a present to New Yorkers.

    deal of the art

  27. ferries

    Developer Floats Ferry Link Between Upper East Side and Astoria

    The Durst Organization’s proposal would extend the Astoria NYC Ferry route to the 90th Street dock in Yorkville – at public expense.

    ferries

  28. shelter

    Judge Tosses Challenge to ‘Billionaires’ Row’ Homeless Shelter

    The W. 58th Street men’s facility has been stalled since neighbors sued in July. City Hall plans to build 90 new homeless shelters across the city.

    shelter

  29. vanishing act

    Lost in Translation: English Language School Honchos Disappear Amid Debts

    The closed school’s leaders ghosted students, teachers and even their credit card processing company – whom they owe $100,000, a lawsuit charges.

    vanishing act

  30. nycha

    More Market-Rate Apartments Eyed for Lower East Side Public Housing Site

    The city envisions a 35- to 45-story high-rise on the grounds of the La Guardia Houses – the latest bid to raise money for NYCHA fixes.

    nycha

  31. calls for change

    What’s the 311? Stranded in New York’s Service Hotline Deserts

    Pockets of the city aren’t fully integrated into the 311 system – even after 16 years. Hardest hit: NYCHA, Battery Park City and Roosevelt Island.

    calls for change

  32. building opposition

    New Snag in City’s Plan for Private Towers in Public Housing Complexes

    Manhattan BP Gale Brewer is suing to stall Yorkville project over skipped review. It marks more woes for the mayor’s “NextGeneration NYCHA” program.

    building opposition

  33. nycha

    Long-Delayed Development at NYCHA Site Pulled After 14 Years

    Talk of affordable housing construction on land at Harborview Terrace in Hell’s Kitchen began with the 2005 Hudson Yards deal.

    nycha

  34. special report

    Dialing 911 Daily: How Mental Health Crisis Strains Neighborhoods

    Alarmed residents near psychiatric hospitals and shelters for the mentally ill help fuel surge in “emotionally disturbed persons” NYPD calls.

    special report

  35. barred

    Locked Out: Jails Critics Say They’ve Been Nixed From Post-Rikers Talks

    The city set up advisory committees and vowed transparency. But opponents say there were kept out of invitation-only sessions on life after Rikers.

    barred

  36. immigration

    Language School Ordered Evicted Weeks Before Stranding Students

    Staff and visa-dependent students at the English-language school ALCC had only four days’ notice before the Midtown institution shuttered.

    immigration

  37. mta

    ‘Imminent’ Domain: Uncertain Second Ave. Subway Plans Have Locals on Edge

    Many in East Harlem are just realizing that early MTA plans to build new Second Avenue stations require displacing hundreds of people.

    mta

  38. immigration

    Visa-Dependent Students Stranded by Closure of Manhattan English-Language School

    Midtown’s American Language Communications Center cancelled classes with no warning, putting hundreds at risk of losing their student visas.

    immigration

  39. vox pop

    Vox Pop: What Can THE CITY Do for You?

    Our reporters scoured the five boroughs — and got our marching orders from dozens of New Yorkers.

    vox pop

  40. nycha

    Manhattan BP Threatens Mayor With Lawsuit Over Public-Private Housing Plan

    Gale Brewer vows legal action against mayor if “NYCHA 2.0” project rammed through.

    nycha