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July 17 to August 11, 2023

SUMMER 2023 (4 Weeks)

A summer adventure for 17-19 year-olds engaging with New York City through immersive experiences

For both native New Yorkers and those new to the city- Join us for exciting field-based expeditions, learning about yourself and the city with a community of peers, guided by expert practitioners and partners.

Whether we're exploring neighborhoods through food culture, kayaking the waterfront with climate experts and environmentalists, or biking the streets to examine the city's unique architecture and design- you'll make friends, master new skills, and know the city inside and out. 

Each week we look at the city through a new theme and question:

  • Form of the City
    How do architecture and design shape our neighborhoods, 

    our city, and our lives?

  • Sustainable City
    How do we make our communities more resilient and equitable in the face of climate change?

  • Food Culture and Migration
    How does food culture represent and support the City's diverse communities?

  • City of Art and Culture
    How does art define the City and the City inspire creativity?

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CitySUMMER Description & Itinerary

We explore and interact with NYC together every weekday from 10am-4pm, with breaks for meals, working with our expert partners. Each of the four weeks focuses on a specific theme and question, employing specific skills, experiencing diverse places and inhabiting distinct perspectives. Evenings and weekends are open for personal time and student-directed group activities. For participants 18 and older, dorm-style housing is available


Week 1- Form of the City 

How do architecture and design shape our city?

We begin exploring the origins and organization of NYC.  This introductory experience orients participants in the city and sets them on the path to master how the city works and how to navigate it. We explore NYC’s street grid, transportation network, architecture and monuments, public spaces, diverse neighborhoods, and unique social geography.


Experiences include:

  • Walking Broadway to explore the City's history and geography

  • Riding through the 5 Boroughs on bikes and ferries

  • Mapping and interviewing for a "Neighborhood Biography"

  • Redesigning memorials and monuments to reflect the City's diverse history

Partners include:

  • NYC Transit Museum

  • NYC Department of Transportation- Open Streets Unit

  • local community organizations

  • local architects, planners and urban designers

  • Urban Archive

Week 1

Week 2- Sustainable City 

How do we make our communities more resilient and equitable in the face of climate change?

This week we dive deeply into questions of environmental, social and economic justice and sustainability, by investigating both completed and proposed waterfront and community resilience projects and ongoing plans for addressing housing affordability, new housing and gentrification.


Experiences include:

  • Canoeing the Bronx River to explore the natural and human ecology of the river

  • Kayaking the Manhattan waterfront to evaluate the "Big U" climate resilience project

  • Biking the Brooklyn waterfront to explore "WEDGE" design and the waterfront plan

  • Walking neighborhoods to understand new proposals for affordable housing

Partners include:

  • Waterfront Alliance

  • Bronx River Alliance

  • NYC Department of City Planning

  • local environmental and housing activists

  • New York City Housing Authority

Week 2

Week 3- Food Culture and Migration

How does food culture represent and support the City's diverse communities?


How do traditional ethnic cuisines contain migration history and tell human stories? How can we create a more sustainable, equitable food system? Visiting NYC restaurants and food distributors in Jackson Heights (Indian, Pakistani, West Indian, Colombian), The Lower East Side/ Chinatown (Jewish, Asian, Italian), Harlem (Soul Food and Southern) East Village (Polish, Ukranian) Mott Haven (Mexican) and Arthur Avenue (Italian) we will learn culinary, migration and immigration history, explore local cuisines, evaluate NYC's food system, share family stories, and design a meal and cookbook based on what we uncover. 


Experiences include:

  • Walking The Lower East Side, East Village, Harlem, Arthur Avenue, Flushing Chinatown, Jackson Heights, Mott Haven...

  • Eating at restaurants that represent NYC's ethnic traditions and interviewing chefs, restauranteurs, workers and customers

  • Speaking with purveyors and labor organizers at the Hunts Point Market, entry point for 70% of NYC's food

  • Visiting urban community farms and farmers' markets

  • Designing a meal and cookbook based on what we uncover. 

Partners include:

  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Katz's Delicatessen, Sylvia's Restaurant, La Morada

  • Katzman's Produce, Mosner's Meats, Blue Ribbon Fish

  • food justice and food access advocates

  • GrownNYC

  • Hunter College Food Policy Center

Week 3

Week 4- City of Art and Culture

How does art define the City and the City inspire creativity?

Theater, film, performance, fiction, painting, dance, rap, public art, graffiti, journalism, muraling, pop music, TV, hip-hop- NYC has been at the center of American, and global, cultural production for the last century. This week we explore a variety of media based upon participant interest and currently available exhibitions and performances.


Experiences include:

  • Interacting with public art, street art and current exhibitions

  • Watching currently running performances

  • Speaking with practicing artists and performers

  • Creating a design or performance project for a public space

Partners include:

  • Socrates Art Park​ and various galleries and museums

  • arts activist organizations

  • Leroy Street Studio

  • practicing artists, performers, filmmakers, writers, curators and producers

Week 4
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