Theses Master's

34th Avenue Oral History: Place-based Storytelling in Jackson Heights

Bartolini, Bridget

This project tells the story of the 34th Avenue Open Street and what it means to people who use it. New York City's Open Streets program closes cars to streets and opens them to people. Besides the expected exercise and socializing, community members have appropriated 34th Avenue as a space for community connection, a resource for mental relief, and, for some, a means of financial livelihood.

The transformation of 34th Avenue into an Open Street has strengthened the local sense of place and heightened topophilic sentiments, helping people feel more rooted in their neighborhood and more connected to their neighbors and the spatial environment. Accompanying the project website ( and multimedia profiles of narrators, this written thesis explores the impact of place on our lives and identities, sense of place, and the value of place-based storytelling.

Keywords: place-based oral history and storytelling, place attachment, sense of place, narrator profiles, journalism, socially engaged art, cultural organizing, neighborhood oral history


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Oral History Master of Arts
Thesis Advisors
Starecheski, Amy A.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
September 6, 2023