I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Miquela Craytor first got involved with OHNY while a grad student at the Pratt Institute in 2004, only the second year of OHNY Weekend’s existence. This year, in her role as the Director of NYC Industrial and Income Mobility and Vice President of the Center for Economic Transformation at New York City Economic Development Corporation, she has served as the lead partner on Making it Here, OHNY’s first-ever yearlong thematic series, which has explored how manufacturing occupies space in the city today.
Miquela describes her relationship to New York as being “Like [that of] many—it’s a love/hate thing.” Born and raised in Oregon on a five-acre farm, she moved to the city in the summer of 2000. “In many respects, I loved that environment,” Miquela says, “but felt the missing energy of people and urbanity. I came here recognizing that I would be trading the natural beauty of Oregon for the man-made beauty of NYC.” Thanks to Miquela and her team at NYCEDC for all that they’ve done to make Making it here such a rousing success!
What do you love most about New York City?
I love the diversity: both in the people and the built environment. There is such a spectrum of buildings, people, histories. There are gems that you can come across in any random day. You cannot get that in suburbia.
What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
My favorite neighborhood is Fort Green/Clinton Hill, in Brooklyn. Its diversity of building and people makes it really special to me.
What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
Hosting a tour in the South Bronx on a green roof, sharing the story of the community and a unique project with many individuals who had never ever imagined such a beautiful effort could be in a neighborhood not known for such positive stories. Helping this audience to understand the struggles of a community, and to understand the role that each of them can play in driving change to prevent poor planning. It was a unique opportunity to open peoples’ minds through the direct experience of space/place.
If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
I would go to the hidden parts of Grand Central Station—I’ve heard that you can go into the area above the main concourse.
OHNY is important to New York City because…
It connects New Yorkers to places and to each other in a most unique way that reminds us of the connections we all have through our built environment.
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.