Turning Point: About this project

Pigeons take flight on Barretto Street in Hunts Point, Bronx (photo by Jessica Bal).

Pigeons take flight on Barretto Street in Hunts Point, Bronx (photo by Jessica Bal).

Hunts Point is one of New York’s most crucial and underserved neighborhoods. Home to some of the largest wholesale markets in the world, the area feeds an estimated 22 million people in the metropolitan region and supplies more than half of the city’s produce, meat and fish. If Hurricane Sandy had struck only a few hours earlier at high tide, the peninsula would have suffered much greater flooding. The area must prepare, as it will only become increasingly vulnerable in the years to come as sea levels are projected to rise.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been promised by the federal and local government to help fortify the markets and coastline, but many residents say they could use more, for the neighborhood’s priorities. Despite significant recovery from the arson and neglect of the 1970s, Hunts Point still struggles compared to other parts of the city. Unemployment rates are high, graduation rates are low and serious health concerns like asthma and obesity persist. Many who don’t know the area still think of it as dangerous or downtrodden.

Residents say the neighborhood has been a vibrant place to live for years. A strong network of community groups have developed to fill in the gaps in service, and many exciting new changes are underway. However, real estate prices in the South Bronx have begun to rise and people are concerned that they may get pushed out.

Our team of reporters from the NYCityNewsService and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, in cooperation with The Hunts Point Express, talked to residents, community leaders, business owners, workers and elected officials to learn more. At this turning point in their neighborhood’s development, they’re doing everything they can to protect their future from outside forces and remain resilient for whatever comes next.


The Fulton Fish Market: A journeyman’s perspective

By Zach Wasser

The Turning Point Team

Team Market

Zach Wasser, team videographer; Cole Rosengren, reporter; Jessica Bal, team photographer

Team Neighborhood

Ashley Lewis, data reporter and visualization; Isabel Riofrio, data reporter; Rajashree Chakravart, reporter; Jack D’Isidoro, video reporter; Michaela Ross, reporter; A.B. Fox, reporter; Maggie Freleng, reporter

Team Future

Erica Davies, reporter; Monica Melton, reporter; Lilly Knoepp, web master; Patrick Donachie, reporter

Team Faculty Advisors

Steve Strasser; Grant Smith