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Walking on Pins: New York Housing Complexes

Walking on Pins: New York Housing Complexes

Queensbridge Houses Avi Avnair

“If you ain’t never been to the ghetto, don’t ever come to the ghetto/ ‘Cause you wouldn’t understand the ghetto, so stay the fuck out of the ghetto,” said Treach on “Ghetto Bastard.” Even though Treach is from New Jersey, he knows how treacherous public housing can be. Housing complexes, or the projects as you might know them are an institution to New York. In the history of real estate in the city, they are the behemoths of architecture associated with the Rotten Apple as the places where people literally live on top of each other. These close quarters controlled by the New York City Housing Authority, is a system designed to provide adequate living at subsidized rates for mostly low income families. They may seem functional on the outside, but to those living in these high-rises they are a hopeless trap to thousands of blacks, and latinos dealing with poverty, violence, and drugs plaguing the place they call home. Yet the pressure of these obstacles hasn’t kept many down, specifically the dynasty of rappers who are oral historians of the projects. We know a few years back, the cats at UNKUT.com profiled the most notorious of housing complexes, but we’ve added a few facts and links to find your way there, if you were so brave.

MANHATTAN
East Harlem Taft Houses New York City
Taft Houses | 1385 5th Avenue – Manhattan, NY
Notable Residents: Jim Jones

Polo Grounds Housing Complex
Polo Ground Towers | Frederick Douglass Boulevard – Manhattan, NY
Notable Residents: Ron G

Dyckman Houses New York
Dyckman Houses | Manhattan, NY
Notable Residents: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Building Notice: Manhattan has 103 developments with 53,830 apartments

QUEENS
Queensbridge North Houses
Queensbridge Houses | Vernon Blvd – Queens, NY
Notable Residents: Marley Marl,Cormega, Poet, Hot Day,Littles, Capone, Nas, Mobb Deep, Ron Artest, MC Shan, Craig G, Roxanne Shante, Tragedy Khadafi, DJ LES, Jappy Jap
Building Notice: Queensbridge North/South Houses, the largest public housing complex in the United States.

Baisley Park Houses
Baisley Park Houses | Guy Brewer Blvd – Queens, NY
Notable Residents: The Supreme Team, Pharoahe Monch, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks
(peace to @bdotTM for the heads up!)
Building Notice: Queens has 26 developments with 17,500 apartments

Ocean Bay Apartments Queens New York
Edgemere (aka Ocean Bay Apartments-Bayside) | Almeda Avenue – Queens, NY

BROOKLYN
Marcy Projects Brooklyn, NY
Marcy Housing | Park and Marcy Avenues – Brooklyn, NY
Notable Residents: Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Sauce Money, Jaz-O

Pink Houses
Pink Houses | Linden Boulevard – Brooklyn, NY
Notable Residents: Uncle Murda

Brownsville Projects Brooklyn
Brownsville Houses | Sutter Avenue – Brooklyn, NY
Notable Residents: Agallah, Masta Ace, Sean Price and Mike Tyson


Walt Whitman Houses | 130 St Edwards St, – Brooklyn, NY
Notable Residents: ODB, Dana Dane, Just-Ice, Raekwon
Building Notice: Brooklyn has 100 developments with 58,334 apartments

STATEN ISLAND
Stapleton Houses Staten Island, NY
Stapleton Houses | Gordon Street – Staten Island, NY
Notable Residents: Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Trife Da God, Shyheim and GP Wu
Building Notice: Staten Island has 10 developments with 4,431 apartments

BRONX
Bronx Soundview Housing Complex
Soundview Houses | Seward Avenue – Bronx, NY
Notable Residents: KRS-One, The Jazzy 5 MC’s, Lord Tariq and Big Pun

Patterson Houses Bronx
Patterson Houses | Third Avenue – Bronx, NY
Notable Residents: Showbiz, AG, Percee P

Forest Houses Bronx
Forest Houses | 101 Trinity Avenue – Bronx, NY
Notable Residents: Fat Joe, Lord Finesse, Diamond D
Building Notice: The Bronx has 98 developments with 44,179 apartments