Watch now: Short films about NYC’s pandemic recovery and resilience

June 7, 2023

In 2022, Neighborhoods Now filmmaker Kate Levy captured a critical moment of recovery from the pandemic in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Stories from Neighborhoods Now

Neighborhoods Now was a community-led design initiative to help NYC recover and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in spring 2020 by the Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute, Neighborhoods Now connected community organizations with 200+ designers, engineers, lawyers, and more to support their visions for a more resilient future.

In 2022, filmmaker Kate Levy documented the work of neighborhood leaders and their design teams as they enlivened and programmed public space, provided support to small businesses, and envisioned thriving futures for their neighborhoods. Her series of short films captures a critical moment of recovery from the pandemic in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Watch her films here, then join us on Tuesday, July 25 for a special director’s cut screening and conversation with Kate Levy.

82nd Street Partnership

The 82nd Street Partnership works night and day to support the many immigrant-owned small businesses in Jackson Heights, Queens. The neighborhood was hit hard by the pandemic, but the Partnership is bringing their neighbors back out into the community by enlivening a small local park with music and dance representing Jackson Heights’ incredibly diverse cultures. With her Neighborhoods Now team, Executive Director Leslie Ramos and her colleagues are setting their sights on bigger changes to Jackson Heights’ public spaces.

AAFE & Think!Chinatown

As sleek new contemporary art galleries move into Chinatown, the small nonprofit Think!Chinatown works to showcase the rich, storied culture and creative talent that already exists in the neighborhood. With the support of Neighborhoods Now, Think!Chinatown created a permanent studio space for the first time and launched the wildly successful Chinatown Night Market, which brings thousands of visitors to a previously overlooked plaza.

Bed-Stuy Gateway BID

The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID supports 300+ small businesses in Bed-Stuy’s bustling commercial corridors. With the support of Neighborhoods Now, the BID launched Winter Wonderland, an annual holiday market at Bed-Stuy’s Marcy Plaza that showcases dozens of locally-owned businesses each holiday season. Growing from a small pilot launched at the height of the pandemic to an established annual celebration, Winter Wonderland aims to be a lively community anchor for years to come.

Brooklyn Business Center

The Brooklyn Business Center, part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, offers support for small business operators and aspiring entrepreneurs. With Neighborhoods Now, they launched the Backyard Tourism initiative to spotlight Bed-Stuy’s offerings. This website and campaign features self-guided walking tours to connect Bed-Stuy’s residents and visitors to local businesses and sites of cultural or historic significance.

Community League of the Heights

For 70 years, the Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) has been supporting Washington Heights’ economically disadvantaged residents through affordable housing programs, workforce development, youth education, and much more. With the support of Neighborhoods Now, CLOTH is now thinking bigger about how residents and small business owners can hang on in the Heights in the face of gentrification and displacement.


Since 2001, FABnyc has harnessed the power of artists to fight against displacement in the Lower East Side. During the pandemic, FABnyc turned NYC’s streets into a vibrant platform for visual art, dance, performance, and so much more. With the support of Neighborhoods Now, FABnyc is turning these pop-ups into permanent outdoor arts programs throughout the LES.

Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) is a grassroots organization fighting for racial and economic justice in the Bronx. With the support of Neighborhoods Now, NWBCCC completed a neighborhood assessment to understand the current challenges and opportunities for small businesses and tenants in the immediate vicinity of the Kingsbridge Armory as it undergoes a potential redevelopment.