Necropolis: The Bronx and the Politics of Abandonment


1. To withdraw one’s support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert
2. To give up by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, mainly as a result of danger or other impending threat
In your own words, what do you think are “the politics of abandonment”?


Necropolis: The Bronx and the Politics of Abandonment “Bad Numbers”





1. Answer the following question: If you were going to write about your community, what positive and negative things would you mention?

2. Share your answer with a partner.

3. Share with the group what you learned from your partner.

Comments 29

  • Do you think your community is underserved? Why?

    If, yes

    How do you overcome the daily obstacles?

  • I am originally from Nepal. I think my community is underserved because the roads are not pitched, causing a lot of dust in the air which is a major source of air pollution. People don’t get enough clean drinking water.
    However, people have managed to overcome these problems in their own ways. People go around wearing mask so that they don’t inhale all the dust. For water people buy gallons of water from water distributors. The government also distributes water weekly in huge water tankers and people fill their tumblers and containers. Some people even have dug up wells behind their house and use pump to get water from the wells.

  • I don’t think that my community is underserved. of course, there is always something to want and ask for, but in general, especially in terms of an infrastructure, I’m very satisfied. In my tiny neighborhood, one can find a hospital, shopping mall, groceries, supermarkets, restaurants, gyms, medical offices, parks etc.

  • I personally think my community is well off. We have great schools, good and safe parks for the children to play and excellent public transportation. There are regular police patrol in my community and the precinct is not far away. Many taxi services are also available and shopping with fresh fruits and vegetables is excellent.

  • I live in Flushing, Queens and I personally think that my community is not underserved. I believe within the past couple of years, my community has gotten better with litter and our streets got so much cleaner. There’s so many delicious and different ethnic restaurants available and it’s awesome how you can share and eat from different cultures as well. We have many accessible forms of transportation available, such as buses, 7 train and LIRR. I feel safer in my community because we have police cars readily available making sure our neighborhood is safe. Since our community is diverse, we don’t look at one’s own culture differently but equally.

  • In my opinion, I don’t think my community is underserved. There are polices and firefighters station around my area that protect us . The community has easy access to public transportations and public hospitals. Also, there are schools, stores and restaurants are all over my area. It’s actually a good community to live in.

  • My community is Harlem the place where my mother and father met and fell in love. I believe a community is a place you help create. I can’t say that about this Harlem. The future is in the past for me. Harlem today is for the wealthy. Keep in mind it’s very small it goes east river to west river and stops at 110th street.

    Central park is the center of the city that’s why it’s called central park. So it’s easier to get around the city from the center of the city. So gentrification has taken over Harlem now. So in truth I can’t call Harlem my community, that would be down right foolish. Harlem is the place my parents met and fell in love so it has meaning.

  • I like to think that my community is not underserved, but of course, there are areas that can be improved. I have lived for most of my life in the neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, and I have seen positive changes and growth. However, we still lack safety in our corners, parks, etc. Also, my biggest obstacle is the lack of proper elementary schools in Bushwick i feel as if they are neglected based on community race. How I overcome these obstacles is by getting more involved within my daughter’s school, asking questions and finding ways to push her to her full potential. I do not leave the responsibility solely on the school system.

  • My ethnicity is from the Dominican Republic. In my community, I feel that is underserved due to the corruption of politics and selfishness there is towards minorities. How can they start on bettering the community? They can start by providing retirement and a good affordable healthcare system for the elderly and low-income people. Also, provide help to single mothers so, they can further their education. Once this is done I believe there will be fewer crimes in the country.

  • In my opinion my community is well served. Woodside Queens is a safe, quiet, accessible, friendly neighborhood . For example the 61st station is excellent for commuting , you can either take the 7 train and make your way to the city or take the LIRR and spend your day at the beach. The community is also served with a post office, fire station, great public schools and parks where you and your family can feel safe and welcome.

  • I do think my community is underserved. In Brazil, for instance, there is Public Hospital. Even though, some of them are considered high quality around the world, others have poor quality and services. Specially on the mass neighborhoods. Public schools also decrease year by year depending the location. Teachers are do not receive well and have to deal with classes of 35 students, sometimes. In most schools, there is no security guard or strict law against a bad behavior from a student. Brazil is not a country where school shooting is happen often, it rarely happens. However, it is important to keep students safe.
    To overcome the daily obstacles of public hospitals, for example, normally people pay cheap health insurance just for emergencies or try to treat it at home with natural medicine. For education, parents encourage their child to do best and study extra at home. To feel safe, in Brazil, some parents give their 8 or 9 years old children cell phones to take to school and keep them updated during the day.

  • I don’t think my community is underserved anymore, in recent years I feel my community has had changes for the better. For example, now there are cops patrolling the area during most times of the night and day, so I think it does make people feel safer. In my community there is a lot of access to public transportation like trains, buses, even cheap taxis so that’s a positive thing about the area. Also, there are many stores around like markets, fast food, discount/utility stores, delis. and even pharmacies. One thing that I think could be done to improve it, is cleaning the area of litter because there is a lot of that.

  • I live in south ozone park. I’ve lived here all my life. No, I don’t think my community is underserve. My neighborhood consist of everything the residents needs to make it feel like a community. Everything is within walking distance which is a positive for me and most of the resident that lives there. Of course there are things that can be improved like every other neighborhood. The parking situation is a big issue. Im not sure theres a solution for this obstacle, as every home now has two or more drivers and each driver has their own car.

  • Personally i don’t think that my community is underserved. Schools , parks, shops, restaurants and commute is very satisfying, can’t wish for more. Except the certain noisy contingent of people, which i think has mostly cultural background and can’t be changed by someone, same as make some people carb after their dog.

  • I currently live in the flourishing community of Jamaica Queens. We have a diverse population which opens the door to experience all kinds of things. Different foods and customs like types of storefronts and supermarkets. If you want to take a break from all the concrete then you can visit the lush parks. You can spend the day watching a movie, eating delicious foods and taking a stroll through the park. This is all made possible with the services we have like the police and fire stations along with hospitals to support the community if anything should arise. There is always room for improvement but I do not believe my community is underserved.

  • I was born in Dominican Republic, but raise in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York. I strongly believe that East Elmhurst is well served. For as long as I can remember there has always been a form of communication and unity in my neighborhood. The local churches are always providing for those in need and guiding people in the right direction whether it’s for cash assistance, jobs, rehabilitation etc. Like every other community there is always some type of crime activity going on on the dark corners, but for the most part civilians are safe to walk the streets of East Elmhurst. You also have plenty of local stores, supermarkets, restaurants, laundry mats etc.

  • I believe my community isn’t underserved. we have parks, schools, many shops, gyms, restaurants, and public transportation. The only issue i would have is the non stop construction, traffic, and people not picking up after their dog.

  • On my block in Astoria, Queens, the community is very well served. First, the transportation and infrastructure are great and only getting better. The N, W trains come to Broadway and easily connect into Manhattan. Currently, there are renovations under way at each of the train platforms in Astoria. There is also the Q104 bus which runs from Astoria to Sunnyside as well as other buses running to all parts of Queens and Brooklyn. The neighborhood is easily accessible.

    There’s a huge diversity of food: Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Palestinian, Greek, Mexican, Brazilian and more.

    Recently, gentrification has become both a source of conflict in the community–forcing rent to skyrocket and landlords to become nasty to long-standing tenants to force them out. Astoria is a safe neighborhood and only getting safer as more money from yuppies move in. Most local businesses are also thriving, while others can no longer afford the rent with their current business models.

    While gentrification has left some long-standing tenants underserved because of failure of housing protection, it has also provided local business owners to thrive.

  • My community in New York, Roosevelt Island is fairly well served. The infrastructure is satisfactory if a bit limited. We have access to a good school, there are several hospitals and medical centers on the island, an Amalgamated bank and several grocery stores. However transportation could be improved, as we have only the f train and if there is signal maintenance or planned work we are forced to use the tram which is overcrowded with tourists. The q102 bus is unreliable at best, absent at worst. What’s most bothersome though is the lack of a Chase bank and a RiteAid.

  • I feel that my community is underserved because services are rendered but are definitely rationed by financial stature. For instance, children in my community are not zoned to the best schools. To do so the must seek aide from a friend or family member by using their address. Usually these addresses are not directly linked to impoverished, communities. To get food which is not close to spoiling , you must leave the immediate area. This means additional commutes or extended modes of transportation for resources that should be readily accessible to all resindent of the community. Closer, healthier options are in turn infeasible and heavily inflated.

    In turn to overcome these daily disadvantages, I myself result to carpooling to desired areas where quality equates pricing. Its also forced me to prolong certain task until I can commute to more conducive areas to my liking.

  • Most people in the group associated the well being of their communities by considering their access to public services (schools, parks, hospitals, firehouses, police stations, transportation, etc.) and vibrant private businesses (restaurants, banks, supermarkets, stores, etc.)

    The issues most people mentioned are uneven or unreliable schools, transportation and/or street cleaning, rent increases (gentrification + tourism), non-stop construction, extreme noises, crime, corruption, prejudices on “minorities,” lack of parking, healthy food, and potable water.

  • I moved into my current neighborhood not too long ago. It hasn’t been a year yet since moving day. Corona, Queens seems like it was the best of both worlds in terms of city life and being away from a crowded Manhattan. The people here are very diverse group and I appreciate the mixture of culture that comes with that. Another benefit is the close proximity to the mass transportation. It makes it unnecessary to travel to the city since practically everything is here. For example, there are plenty of option to shop around in nearby malls like Queens Center and Rego Park Center. I really like that Flushing Meadows Corona Park is nearby for me to walk around. The post office is also nearby, on the same block I should say.

    I’m not sure if there are any negatives in living in Corona to be honest. Maybe I will recognize them in due time.

  • I grew up living in the Bronx, and to this day I still do. The Bronx is known for its history, and the many diversities that live in the borough. The Bronx is also known for having some unsafe neighborhoods. The neighborhood I grew up in isn’t one of the best but it also wasn’t the worst. The community in which I live now, I do believe is underserved. On the corner of my block there is always a police presence because of the many shootings that have gone on. I do believe that because we are the more lesser known borough we get put on the back burner and many of the neighbors feel like they are living in a unsafe neighborhood. Besides the shootings, there isn’t enough youth outreach so there are children out in the streets doing what they’re not supposed to be doing.

  • I currently live in the high priced neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. When I first moved here back in 1990 the cost of living was very moderate. Now the price of living is extremely high. It feels like the only want to cater to those who make six figures and better. The rent difference has more than doubled for a studio , one bedroom , two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. I would say that they are trying to change the culture in my neighborhood because it is a transit hub am next to trains, buses, highways and bridges.

    I have been trying to overcome the obstacles by working and going to school , so I can work in a better paying career field of human services.

  • In my opinion, I think my community is underserved because there is a lot of reported crimes and gun violence in the past year. I think there should be more safety an security officer in the neighbourhood. Also the school system needs improvenment there should be more after school programs for kids and young adults.

  • In my opinion my community of cypress hills is well underserved. we have no recreation center to make sure that our youth is safe from the streets or barely any affordable supermarkets around that can serve our good people.

  • i believe my community is underserved because of the amount of resources that my home is lacking. we barely have any recreation centers to make sure the youth has a place to go. we have to many teachers working for a check instead of working to improve student lives and the cost of living is way to hight for a place that lacks to much resources.

  • As I am from Nepal, my country is underserved in many ways. For example, we do not have enough drinking water facilities in the capital of country, as there are many old vehicles running on the road so there is air pollution. Similarly, in nook and corner of the country we are still lacking road transportation and also well manufactured and established hospitals, schools.

  • Fifteen years before gentrification, I would have definitely said yes; my community was underserved because of the limited merchants in closet business district near my home.
    There were no ATM’s or banks close by, mostly bodegas carrying limited items, poorly managed supermarkets and minimal healthy eating options. The neighborhood which is mostly residential basically survived on local merchants and run down establishments who seems as depressed as the community they served. But I managed because food and goods were cheaper than Downtown Brooklyn or Long Island. (Where I used to go shopping) If I needed fresh produce or fresh fish or a larger unit of laundry detergent, it meant renting a car or planning for car service for a trip out of the neighborhood to have my needs met. Or since I worked in Manhattan, most of my doctors, dentists, banking and clothes shopping was done in midtown.

    Do you think your community is underserved? Why?

    If, yes

    How do you overcome the daily obstacles?

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