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A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

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  • A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

    Everyone is familiar with Wi-Fi Hotspots. Recently Google teamed up with the Chelsea Improvement Company to transform all of southwest Chelsea into a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

    GoogleWi-Fi Hotspots are yellow, Coldspots are blue

    On May 29 Chelsea is about to get another kind of hotspot, a free Read-Fi Hotspot.
    From 2pm to 7pm on that date the Uni Project will be coming to Clement Clark Moore Park

    The Uni Project

    The Uni Project is dedicated to expanding a culture of learning beyond the walls of schools and libraries and into public space. We've developed a new tool to do this work: a portable educational environment called the Uni that can be dropped into almost any available street-level location. Part library, part classroom, the Uni provides a place to gather around books and learning experiences, right in the heart of neighborhoods all across New York City.

    Wed, May 29: Clement Clarke Moore Park, Chelsea, Manhattan, 2pm-7pm.

    The Uni will add books and learning to this historic, well-loved park in the heart of West Chelsea. This deployment of the Uni has been planned in partnership with students at the nearby Avenues: The World School, and it will involve the participation of many other Chelsea organizations and institutions, including nearby PS 11, the Guardian Angel School, Hudson Guild, and the High Line. (Map.)

    The Uni Project's Read-Fi Hotspot is only coming for a day. But I've been been thinking wouldn't it be great to have a permanent Read-Fi Hotspot in Chelsea. The Uni Project folks are working to design a permanent Uni and I mentioned to them that it would be a great idea for Chelsea to get one of these.

    Come down on the 29th to show your support. Then maybe we can get a permanent outdoor Read-Fi Hotspot in Clement Moore Park or elsewhere in Chelsea somewhat akin to the one they have in Bryant Park.

    Bryant Park Reading Room a outdoor Read-Fi hotspot that began in 1935

    Bryant Park Reading Room

    The original Reading Room began in August of 1935 as a public response to the Depression Era job losses in New York. Many people did not have anywhere to go during the day, and no prospects for jobs. The New York Public Library opened the “Open Air Library” to give these out-of-work businessmen and intellectuals a place to go where they did not need money, a valid address, a library card, or any identification to enjoy the reading materials.
    The 1935 Reading Room consisted of several benches, a few book and magazine cases, and a table with a beach umbrella for the five librarians who ran it. It operated every day except Sunday from mid-morning until mid-evening. Most of the books were from the New York Public Library’s circulation, but all magazines and trade publications were donated by publishers or individuals. When it rained the books and periodicals were quickly put in a large water-proof chest and readers and librarians took cover. No cards were required – patrons were simply asked to sign in and out. The Reading Room was closed in 1944 due to an increase in jobs and World War II.

  • #2
    Re: A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

    Two for the Price of One!
    A second date has been announced, June 1st, at Penn South Playground. This is the same date and location as the 29th Annual Penn South Flea Market, so if you go to the Uni you can also go to the Penn South Flea Market

    Sat, Jun 1: Penn South Playground, between W25th and W26th St near 8th Avenue .

    The Uni will go to this heavily used playground adjacent to the Penn South Cooperative houses.This is the second of two deployements planned in partnership with students at the nearby Avenues: The World School, and it will again involve the participation of many other Chelsea organizations and institutions that will have an opportunity to meet at the Uni. (Map.)

    Chelsea Uni, a student-run Uni.

    Where: Chelsea, Manhattan (New York City)
    When: Wed May 29 and Sat Jun 1

    Chelsea Uni is a Uni reading room planned by middle and high school students in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and led by the Avenues School. Students will create daylong experiments in creative community building that combine access to books with other civic, educational, and recreational activities. The goal is to meet people, learn something new, have fun, and consider how strategic public installations can create rewarding encounters. A longer-term goal is to document and evaluate the project so it can be repeated by other students and schools.
    In addition to a great collection of children’s picture books for browsing, Chelsea Uni will feature:
    • cubes curated by local schools, organizations, and companies;
    • lessons, lectures, art activities and fun events; and
    • Unimeets, a chance for participating groups to meet, learn from each other, and discuss their passions.
    Cube Curators:
    • Uni Project book cubes
    • Avenues classrooms
    • Avenues 9th grade
    • Future Project students @LAB school
    • Hands on History group at PS11
    • Friends of Clement Moore Park
    • Centre for Social Innovation
    • Quirky
    • Friends of the High Line
    • Various local art galleries
    • Art for Change
    Unimeets hosted by:
    • Kidz Theatre
    • Avenues Drama Club
    • Avenues-led fundraiser making Power Buttons
    • GVCCC general cube
    • Friends of the High Line (tentative)
    • The Story store (tentative)
    • Other companies listed with the GVCCC (tentative)

    What does it mean to curate a cube in Chelsea Uni? How do I do it?
    The cube should contain books or anything else (articles, pictures, maps, legos, documents) that speak to who you are/what you stand for/what you want others to know about you as a class, group, or individual. Share your passion!
    As a classroom, select books you read or items you created this year that you’d like to share with others. Be prepared to discuss what you like about these items, or why they’re cool.
    As a company or organization, which books speak to your group’s vision, passion, or field? What is cool or crucial about your field that students or adults might want to know?
    As a gallery, books about and pieces of art would be welcome! You can come speak about them at a Unimeet!
    If you are interested in contributing to the creative community building atmosphere, fill the cube with something else: a game, a map, photos, art, instructions. Our project team can help find an audience for your cube. If your contribution cannot fit into a cube, feel free to suggest a side installation, performance, activity, or art piece– we are determined to consider all options in our effort to create an attractive, fun, multi-purpose installation.
    Cool! How do I sign up to curate a cube?
    Email as soon as you can to get a cube, before they all fill up! Our team will respond within 24 hours. Please email before May 15.
    Beyond curating a cube: Unimeets
    Please consider participating in a Unimeet, a pre-planned appearance at which you can share info about your cube to an interested audience! Many locals might want to learn more about local companies or organizations and the topics about which they’re passionate.
    For Friends of the High Line, a talk about the role you play in community-building would be particularly appropriate. We will find a time with you, post your event on our schedule on the website, and help build energy and audience for that event.
    For classrooms, unit meets can bring together students from different schools to talk about books and ideas they love. It’s a chance to meet on neutral ground, talk about books and simply get to know your neighbors.
    For art groups, it’s a chance to conduct a small-scale public performance, or lead an impromptu installation or exercise.
    For companies, you can share your business inspiration, your crazy entrepreneurial story, your big vision for revolutionizing your industry… or talk about your company in a creative way, based on books that have inspired you.
    What happens at these Unimeets?
    Learning. Discussion. Fun. Exploring. Hanging out. It’s entirely up to you, but project team will connect you with other classrooms or groups to help you plan it out. We have suggestions ranging from simple cube-sharing, to pre-planned activities around a theme that might resemble fun sharing activities from class.
    Kids interested in futuristic cars might meet with employees from Tesla. Friends of the High Line can host an open discussion about the value of unique public spaces. Students at LAB school might schedule presentations or pitches around their Future Project. Third graders will proudly read to each other, and passersby, in public. Sixth graders might play chess with local residents. The possibilities are endless.
    What’s the point of this?
    Working from the original Uni goal of providing a portable public reading space, Uni Chelsea attempts to let students design an experiments in creative community building. So one goal is to consider how strategic public installations can create rewarding encounters. Another student goal is to create a model out of this experience and share it so that any school can undertake similar projects in their neighborhood.
    What are the next steps?
    Just say yes! We will put you on our participant list. Our project leaders will consult with you about your Cube Curation ideas, and send you updates on how the big project is going!



    • #3
      Re: A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

      The Uni Project embodies an " outdoor reading room for kids" for a day. Here's a writeup on it's stay at Clement Moore park on Wednesday.

      A student-led Uni serves Chelsea

      By Sam On May 30, 2013 ·

      On Wednesday, May 29, the Uni went to Clement Clarke Moore Park in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for the first of two deployments organized in conjunction with middle and high school students from nearby Avenues: The World School. For this deployment, students reached out to several other Chelsea-based schools and organizations in an effort to test the Uni as a shared community meeting space.
      It worked!
      • Students from Quest to Learn came to workout in the park, and then stopped to read.
      • Students from nearby PS11′s Hands on History Afterschool Class taught by Chelsea resident Lesley Doyel with PS11 teacher Jessica Griffith, created a Chelsea Historic District cube with a walking guide that detailed Clement Clarke Moore’s life.
      • Friends of the High Line curated a cube.
      • Bob Arnold, known as “Ranger Bob” of Park Chelsea, curated a cube highlighting play and games, and offered a wonderful map of seating and amenities in Chelsea.
      • Avenues students curated several cubes, with favorite books selected by third graders, and handmade books on immigration made by eighth graders, among others.
      • Uni patrons and park visitors were treated to a performance by Kidz Theater.

      Thanks to Avenues students for their role in coordinating this Uni deployment.

      Bilingual Chinese/English books selected by Avenues students to share with the neighborhood.

      Ceramic cookies offered by some younger Avenues students.

      Students from PS11 with their outstanding cube and walking tour.

      Looking for ants to identify…


      • #4
        Re: A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

        Kids brought musical theater: the song here was Aquarius from Hair!


        • #5
          Re: A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

          more spam


          • #6
            Re: A Read-Fi Hotspot For Chelsea

            Chelsea now has its first permanent outdoor Read-Fi hotspot. Revolution Books at 146 W 26th St offers a outdoor reading room. where you can browse and read the books, and purchase them too, if you so desire.