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Tenants To Protest Crown Heights Rent Hikes; OHNY Poems

CROWN HEIGHTS—Tenants are rallying on Sunday to protest potential rent hikes at properties run by Alma Realty (which include Brooklyn Jewish Hospital buildings). The developer is currently lobbying to build a giant residential complex on the Astoria waterfront, which doesn't make anyone feel too sorry about their financial hardships. Elected officials and local housing groups are expected to attend. [CurbedWire Inbox; previously]

AROUND TOWN—For our annual Open House New York giveaway, we asked entrants to write poems about the site they most wanted to visit. We received dozens of entries that would make archicritic James Russell proud, but ultimately, only two could win. The winning poems were odes to the Woolworth Building and FDR Four Freedoms Park. [CurbedWire Inbox]

233 Broadway
by Douglas Smith Land

You're searching for housing in New York today?
There's no room for stalling, nor time for delay.
Let's start with your credit and just how much cash—
You're willing to throw at the pad where you'll crash.

Your friends moved to Brooklyn? That's hard to digest.
Now remember they might be a little less #blessed.
Consider Manhattan before you decide,
That Jersey or Queens will be where you reside.

You'd like an apartment inside Hudson Yards?
Unless you've got big bucks, it's not in the cards.
You'll look to Uptown if tradition you seek,
Or South of 14th street for something more chic.

Cast your eyes down below Tribeca's grid,
If you're smart, it's the Woolworth where you'll place your bid.
Cathedral of Commerce, a gothic homage—
When viewed from afar it appears a mirage.

Of all pre-war buildings, this one takes the cake.
A limestone façade that is void of mistake.
Since 1913, it's pierced through the sky,
While towers have risen and fallen nearby.

Cass Gilbert's triumph, a feat tried and true,
The Woolworth is finally starting anew.
With penthouse apartments all dressed to the nines
New floor plans and layouts with bedroom designs.

Please join my Kickstarter, say you'll support—
My plan to make Woolworth my own Hampton Court.
It's grander than Buckingham, Chartres, and Versailles,
I wish I could glimpse it at O.H.N.Y.

Four Freedoms Park
by Ammiel Simon

Four freedoms forged by F.D.R.
Some claim defines just who we are
As individuals or groups
Or as a nation sending troops
With courage, pomp and purity
To guard human security..

Four Freedoms Park - of thee I sing,
The right to speak of anything
The right to answer my God's call
Or not believe in God at all.
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear
I sing to taunt
To interfere
With those content with how things stand
Because they have the upper hand..

A Franklin Delano is rare,
Loath to haphazardly declare:
"Mission Accomplished" - only to learn
We left behind cause for concern.

And all of us will share the blame
When freedom's no more than a name
Entrusted to a park or tower
For we'll have forfeited the power
That occupies each heart and mind
To better all of humankind.