Inside the Fridges of New York

This is the beginning of a new Micropolis project, exploring the city through the contents of its refrigerators. Consider this a kind of urban anthropology — we’ll be taking you inside some celebrity fridges as well as others across the city. [Reporter: Bifen Xu / Photographer: Roy Beeson]

Name: Shinobu Mochizuki
Age: 43
Lives in: Williamsburg 
Job: Owns Fragile Equipment, a photo equipment business

  1. Sake from my hometown Shizuoka, a prefecture outside of Tokyo. I brought it back from a trip home.  
  2. Handmade jams made by my girlfriend, locally harvested blueberry in PA, great for breakfast with yogurt.  
  3. Pickled ginger made by my mom. I think she pickles with rice vinegar and refined sugar.  She makes it every few months.  I go to Japan once a year to visit my family and if not they send me a lot of food in the mail.
  4. I have a jar of bonito flakes dipped in soy sauce. It’s been in my fridge for 17 years, since I came to the US. I use this is for making rice balls, but it’s never been changed or cleaned. I think it still has some essence of 1995. This is an important condiment to me.  But I like to keep it. It never goes bad. It’s like a gem. It is impossible to go bad. You put the sauce in the middle of the rice ball and then wrap seaweed around it.
  5. I don’t cook often but I like simple things like grilled or steamed root vegetable. Slow cooked miso soup, Japanese curry and mahboh tofu.
  6. Miso paste made by my father. He makes it twice a year, he has his own farm and he uses his own soybeans. He uses a culture called a koji and he mixes it together with the soybeans. I have had this miso for a year. 
  7. I freeze fruit just before it gets bad. Frozen apple is great to eat when it starts melting. Most fruit gets sweeter when you freeze it, like ice wine in Germany.
  8. [in the door, not seen] My homemade Kombucha. Once I prepare the jar, I leave it in room temperature for 4-5 days, and put it in the fridge for further fermentation.
Changes in Kings County Real Estate prices from 2004 to 2012, ie., Gentrification in Brooklyn
Courtesy of Property Shark, we have this handy interactive map of Brooklyn real estate values — specifically, how much more expensive neighborhoods have become over the last 8 years. At the top end:
Williamsburg is up 174%
Fort Greene, Gowanus and Prospect Leffert Gardens are all in the 50-plus % range.
Greenpoint up by 47%
All the gentrification hype of the last decade shouldn’t obscure the fact that some parts of Brooklyn have declined in real estate values. Namely:
Cypress Hills, down 30%
Brownsville, down 12%
East Flatbush, down 22%
Fort Hamilton, down 19%
If you compare the swathes of pink/red to the big patches of grey, it’s hard not to come away with the sense that most of Brooklyn is just creeping along.
Visit Property Shark’s original map to zoom in on neighborhoods.

Changes in Kings County Real Estate prices from 2004 to 2012, ie., Gentrification in Brooklyn

Courtesy of Property Shark, we have this handy interactive map of Brooklyn real estate values — specifically, how much more expensive neighborhoods have become over the last 8 years. At the top end:

  • Williamsburg is up 174%
  • Fort Greene, Gowanus and Prospect Leffert Gardens are all in the 50-plus % range.
  • Greenpoint up by 47%

All the gentrification hype of the last decade shouldn’t obscure the fact that some parts of Brooklyn have declined in real estate values. Namely:

  • Cypress Hills, down 30%
  • Brownsville, down 12%
  • East Flatbush, down 22%
  • Fort Hamilton, down 19%

If you compare the swathes of pink/red to the big patches of grey, it’s hard not to come away with the sense that most of Brooklyn is just creeping along.

Visit Property Shark’s original map to zoom in on neighborhoods.

What’s it like to grow up with a turban in New York City?
I asked Naunihal Singh, a professor of political science at Notre Dame, whose much-circulated essay at the New Yorker examines why the mass killings in Aurora, Colorado received so much more coverage than the shootings at the Sikh gurudwara in Wisconsin.
Singh is Sikh, and grew up on the Upper West Side in the 70s.
"I got hassled so often," he told me over burgers at Big Nicks, on Broadway, "that when I would be walking down the street with friends of mine from high school, they would hear things that people would yell at me that I would completely screen out."
Such as?
“‘Raghead’ sort of stuff. Or ‘sand nigger.’”
Occasionally, he had stuff thrown at him, or guys on Central Park West trying to pick fights, as their girlfriends stood nearby.
Singh learned to walk away. “It hurt my pride,” he said. “You also flip people off.”
In one sense, he said the city was just generally more “aggro” back then, recalling the Jewish friend who “had his face kicked in” on the way to CBGBs. His old Jewish neighbors counseled him to “always be careful about Gentiles.”
9/11 changed some things: he said he’s been much less likely to get harassed by black people than by whites. He reasons that African Americans are simply more skeptical of the war on terror. It’s invariably white people, he said, who call him a terrorist (Chicago) or threaten to pull his turban off (South Bend, Indiana).
What is it about the turban?
"It’s not about thinking I’m a Muslim. It’s this sense about someone being an outsider." A "visceral effect," he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I applaud every time I see a bearded hipster get on the L train out in Williamsburg. I figure the more people there are with beards in society, the less the beard is a mark of difference.”

What’s it like to grow up with a turban in New York City?

I asked Naunihal Singh, a professor of political science at Notre Dame, whose much-circulated essay at the New Yorker examines why the mass killings in Aurora, Colorado received so much more coverage than the shootings at the Sikh gurudwara in Wisconsin.

Singh is Sikh, and grew up on the Upper West Side in the 70s.

"I got hassled so often," he told me over burgers at Big Nicks, on Broadway, "that when I would be walking down the street with friends of mine from high school, they would hear things that people would yell at me that I would completely screen out."

Such as?

“‘Raghead’ sort of stuff. Or ‘sand nigger.’”

Occasionally, he had stuff thrown at him, or guys on Central Park West trying to pick fights, as their girlfriends stood nearby.

Singh learned to walk away. “It hurt my pride,” he said. “You also flip people off.”

In one sense, he said the city was just generally more “aggro” back then, recalling the Jewish friend who “had his face kicked in” on the way to CBGBs. His old Jewish neighbors counseled him to “always be careful about Gentiles.”

9/11 changed some things: he said he’s been much less likely to get harassed by black people than by whites. He reasons that African Americans are simply more skeptical of the war on terror. It’s invariably white people, he said, who call him a terrorist (Chicago) or threaten to pull his turban off (South Bend, Indiana).

What is it about the turban?

"It’s not about thinking I’m a Muslim. It’s this sense about someone being an outsider." A "visceral effect," he said.

“It’s one of the reasons why I applaud every time I see a bearded hipster get on the L train out in Williamsburg. I figure the more people there are with beards in society, the less the beard is a mark of difference.”