Assignment 16 “What I love about my neighbourhood” & “discoveries”


  • Practicing the preliminary interviewing process – Empathy – Step one of Design Thinking Method
  • Practicing how to document the feedback
  • Practice what information can be learned from a positive interview about the neighborhood

Step 2: Instructions

  1. Interview minimum of three people from the neighborhood you selected to focus on
  2. Focus your question towards the positive aspect they find in their neighborhood.
  3. Use the General interview guide approach (Some general areas of information are collected from each interviewee; This provide more focused than the informal approach, but still allows a degree of freedom and adaptability in getting information from the subjects)

Step 3: Documentation methods

Writing notes, voice recording, video, pictures


Initially I started my route from the university centre directly to Union square to take the 5 (Eastchester -dyre) as shown bellow, however arriving at the stop I didn’t take the bus to central Harlem. I started my journey by walking from that specific subway stop and covering as many different blocks as I could. Eventually I made a circle and ended up on the west side of Harlem having to take my subway from the 125 Street Station.

Right off that stop I started walking along one avenue to eventually make a big square around the neighbourhood in order to find where the graffiti art was. Along the journey I drew on my map the spaces that contained most of the art I was looking for. I found that those places were mostly public but more specifically public spaces addressed from stores, malls and restaurants as opposed to apartment buildings and playgrounds. Upon each of those places I recorded the type of art I saw, it wasn’t always graffiti, some of it was painted and even documented upon the purposes of that art.

Upon my discoveries around such areas I decided to conduct my interviews and collect my findings around such art. Part of the decision was also getting to know if people around Harlem knew about the art or if it was related to their pride and love for their neighbourhood. Unfortunately the result of my research wasn’t completely related to my predictions. As I analyzed and listened to what the people I interviewed had to say I noticed there’s mostly a greater preference to Harlem related to the affordability of the place. Some even mentioned having to move away from the gentrification in Brooklyn and chose Harlem due to its lower prices. Others said they’re likes were related to the sense of community that had been built around the neighbourhood for decades, others didn’t even like it at all. They’d complain about the drug related issues that were prominent in the area.


Interviewee 1 (354 W 125th St 3):

The first people I interviewed were an old couple that had lived for quite a while already in Harlem, I asked them about the art they said they it didn’t do much for them because they’re into Jazz and that aspect of the neighbourhood isn’t as prominent as it used to be. Furthermore I also asked them what is truly left that they enjoy out of the neighbourhood and they mentioned the cost affordability, they emphasized that for people of their age without much savings it’s hard to even look out for something they prefer because so many place a getting gentrified and the prices are rising.  The interview I added below is only a the first part of our conversation, him and his wife later expanded on their disapproval of the new culture with regards art both visual and musical within the neighbourhood.


Interviewee 2:

Before he allowed me to interview him about his neighbourhood, being part of the majority as an African American in Harlem this man had a different perspective on the positivty the neighbourhood should rely on. Before I could record he mentioned being able to be part of a greater group of people who communicate and establish a sense of uniqueness in Harlem. Unlike others who mentioned the costs and the art this one was more grateful for the sense of community.


Interviewee 3:

This last interviewee I got to talk with was a young lady, before I could record her complaints she first mentioned that the affordability of Harlem was one of the main reasons why she stayed in the area. I later discovered as displayed in the recording that she very much dislikes the place because of all the issues related to drug use in Harlem, she said that if she could change anything that would be it.

To listen to the recording copy the link below in your browser:


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