I am OHNY is a campaign we began in 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Jessica Dailey is the Managing Editor of Curbed and has been a longtime supporter of OHNY. She first learned about OHNY when she was an editor at Inhabitat NYC in 2011, and has been covering OHNY ever since.
This year, Jessica participated in OHNY Weekend not only as a journalist, but also as a program partner! Of the 100+ new sites that opened their doors during OHNY Weekend, five private residences were handpicked by Curbed editors, a new collaboration spearheaded by Jessica.
“OHNY opens doors to so many restricted places, and that’s incredibly exciting for a journalist because the sites undoubtedly lead to new stories,” says Jessica. Thank you Jessica for sharing so many of OHNY’s stories, and helping us open up several lovely residences this year!
What do you love most about New York City?
I really love New York’s parks. I grew up in a somewhat rural area, so proximity to green leafy things is a necessity. My two favorites–Brooklyn Bridge Park and Prospect Park–provide totally different experiences. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a stunning feat of modern engineering that weaves together pockets of green space to highlight the city around it, while Prospect Park’s forests, lakes, and waterfalls feel like they’ve existed for hundreds of years, far away from the city.
What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
I always jump at the opportunity to go on behind-the-scenes construction tours of new parks, but by far the most memorable was a trip to the new section of Governors Island in 2013. The tour had to be rescheduled because of thunderstorms, and when the new date finally came, there was still a chance of thunderstorms. It seemed like we were in the clear, though, so the tour went on. But almost immediately after we walked through the Liggett Terrace arch, we heard thunder and saw dark clouds coming our way. It’s quite an experience being on a construction site in the middle of the harbor with a thunderstorm barreling at you! We all got a little soaked in the rain, and had a good laugh about Mother Nature not wanting us to take this tour.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
I’ve always wanted to go inside the Grand Army Plaza arch at the entrance to Prospect Park. I know that this used to be possible, but it hasn’t been an option since I’ve lived in New York. I’ve read that there’s a theater inside, and I’m so curious to find out what it looks like.
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It grants access to so many places that are off-limits to the public. When you can go behind the scenes of new developments and parks, or peek inside private offices and homes, it’s like being let in on a secret and makes you feel more connected to your city.
From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.