The weeping willow overlooks the caravan inhabited by displaced. Some trailers in the neighbourhood connect to streetlights, causing intermittent blackouts that can leave residents cold and in darkness during the winter.

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Jewels of The Hole

Gianluca Lanciai | New York, United States

There is a Hole in New York City where the streets have gemstone names but run through a small wasteland.

Once known as 'The Hole' for its underground location, this neighborhood has been renamed 'Jewel Streets', adorned with names like Ruby and Sapphire. Tucked between Brooklyn and Queens, these twelve blocks grapple with daily challenges: flooding, abandoned vehicles, hidden caravans, and boats nestled in the tall grass. Amid the metallic echoes of junkyards and aircraft engines from JFK, the dignity of the residents persists. Drawn by its enigmatic reputation, during my six months in this surreal space I discovered a surprisingly welcoming community. Tales of resilience emerged from individuals like Flex, who has lived in his trailer for more than six years, and Richie, a Puerto Rican who is building his oasis there. As the redevelopment plan called Jewel Street Project gears up to commence in 2024, the anticipation and uncertainty among residents rise. The promised sewage system brings relief, yet the construction of skyscrapers raises questions about the neighborhood's identity and the potential for displacement.

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