News Story on Little Roy’s Coffee Shop

News Story

INTRO: In August of 2019, a new Little Roy’s coffee shop opened up in the Church Avenue community on Nostrand Avenue between Linden Boulevard and Martnese. The coffee shop chain was first opened in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn in 2017 and has been a big success with the community. As a result, the owner of the chain decided to open up another to see if the success can be repeated. We traveled to the little shop in a big neighborhood to get the scoop. Our reporter, Matthew Hull, has the story. 

Ambi: (Natural sounds)

TRACK: The moment you walk into the coffee shop, you can smell the grinding of the coffee beans and sweetness of the latte’s being made. The barista’s all greet their customers with a smile, even knowing the name of several people in line. The shop seems to be buzzing around midday as people come on their breaks from neighboring companies and also as people come to get some midday work done. The sight of laptops, avocado toast and laughing fills the room. We stop by the counter and ask for a quick interview from Dillion, a barista who has been working there for quite a while. First he speaks on his time at the coffee shop. 

ACT: Dillion: The coffee shop opened three or four months ago. And that’s when I started. Yeah it’s good. It’s-It’s started our slow but people have started to notice since we’re so close to the 2 train, people walk by it all the time. So it’s slowly ramping up. 

TRACK: He quickly steps away to make the coffee of a waiting customer. I, then, ask him quickly to express how he feels about the community

ACT: Dillion: Yeah, people-people are cool.  I-I like the culture of the neighborhood for sure and I think we are trying to maintain that and not in the way of it.

TRACK: As I left the counter in order to let Dillon to get to his final customers as it was nearing the 3pm closing, I noticed a young man who looked to be in college. I politely sat next to him and asked if he could give me just a little of his time after 3pm for a quick interview on his experience with the shop and it’s introduction into the community. He introduced himself as Joshua but declined to give a last name. I first asked him whether or not he lived nearby. 

ACT: Josh: I moved to the Church Avenue neighborhood when I was in third grade and I’m still living there now so it’s been like 10 years since I moved. 

Track: With the controversies surrounding gentrification, i was interested to find out his opinion on whether the introduction of Little Roy’s into the community is a positive or negative one. His answer pleasantly surprised me. 

ACT: Josh: Honestly, I think it’s a positive thing to see a new business join the Church Ave neighborhood. Since I’ve moved, I’ve been seeing the same places every day. Got to a point where I wasn’t even looking at the sides of the sidewalk, I already knew what was on the sides. And now, it’s different and I see more people and I just like the change we are seeing in the Church Avenue neighborhood. It shows that our neighborhood is flourishing and it’s an introduction of new people and that’s always a great thing. 

Track: He mentioned to me that he had class attend soon so I tried to fit in one more question. I asked him about his overall review of the coffee shop and what he thinks of the place. 

ACT: Josh: I think Little Roy’s is a great place. When I first went with my brother, I was shocked when the barista memorized his order, you know? That’s something that I don’t really see when it comes to the places I’ve even gone often. And inside, there’s a lot of work going on. It’s very quiet. The space is very ambient. It’s a good atmosphere.  The coffee’s amazing. The hot chocolate’s amazing. I think that overall, the culmination of both aesthetic and the passion that goes into making the coffee and other items on the menu is truly outstanding and I think it’s a really great place.

Track: After I finished recording, he shook my hand, picked up his bag and left the shop. I sat there for a bit, listening to the interviews I had got. I also had a nice chat with the owner who stated that he also lived in the community and had been looking to expand the shops for quite a while. Unfortunately, he declined a recorded interview but from his confidence, I can tell that Little Roy’s may continue to expand as time passes. 

AMBI: (Street sounds)

Track: From Baruch, Matthew Hull signing off.

Podcast Episode 2

EP 2

MUSIC INTRO

AMBI: (natural sounds and room tone go here)

TRACK: In the first part of this two part series,  we learned about three immigrants and their view of the past and present climate around immigration in NYC. Today we will be exploring Brooklyn Bridge Park which is located on the piers near Brooklyn Heights. The park became available to the public in 2008 as it looked to be a fresh, new safe space for people to come and enjoy themselves. Welcome to the People and Places in NYC and I am your host Matthew Hull. In this episode, we will be hearing from two people, one is a worker named Herold who has recently started working there and the other is a member of the community named Shelton who has lived in Brooklyn Heights for a long time. I, first, caught up with Shelton to ask what it’s like being a part of the community with the park growing over the past few years. The first question I asked him was the frequency of his visits.

ACT: Shelton: I come here several times a week.

TRACK: He had his friend with him also but he was from Connecticut and didn’t want to be recorded. I, then, continue to ask him what it’s like on a typical day at Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

ACT: Shelton: Well… you know, I- I assume you’ve been out here also. You know how it is in the summer, it’s like crazy, people cooking out and that kinda thing. Most-Most days you have it to yourself, like this right? So I would say… Where we live is on Warren Street between Hicks and Columbia and when it’s warm, people park their streets so that they can walk down here. There’s a lot of foot traffic, people making their way down Atlantic or whatever.

TRACK: As he talks, you can see the smile on Shelton’s face and the joy in his heart. You can really see what the park means to him. After explaining what it was like being a member of the community during the rise of the park, Shelton then goes on to estimate how much he has seen the park grow over the last 10 years.

ACT: Shelton: I-I think it’s got like 50% more popular year after year. It seems like the crowds are getting bigger. People coming down our street to get here. I’d say it’s more and more popular every time. It was kinda like the best kept secret for a while. And now I think it’s kinda like a destination for a lot of people. 

TRACK: Not wanting to hold him up much longer due to the rain and the look on his friend’s face seemingly wanting to go, I, finally,   asked Shelton to elaborate on what the park means not only to the community but also to him and his family throughout the years.

Track: Shelton: Well that’s a good question Matthew. I’ve lived here since 2005, over there right on Columbia. And so, we sorta saw this get built right? Before obviously when the-the park was down in Dumbo, there was that. But when we first moved to that apartment, now that’s  14 years ago. We didn’t have access to the water, uh- alright, cause it was just the piers. Just the industrial piers, right? We live in a small apartment, I have an 18 year old kid. He was, you know, that much younger, 14 years ago, whatever. So really this has kinda been our backyard since it’s been open, you know what I mean? Like without-with, in an apartment without a yard, all of sudden now we have all this to come to and barbecue and do that. So it’s been p-pretty meaningful for our family being cooped up in a little, you know, really dinky apartment.

TRACK: After this, we went on to exchange contact information as he told me he was an artist and a photographer here in NYC. As I stood over the pier, seemingly unable to get interviews, I turned and I looked and I see a standard golf cart driving.  I waved it down and asked if they can stop for just a second to give me sort of a perspective on what it’s like being a maintenance worker. His name is Herold and he currently works as part of the park maintenance crew. I asked him to give his perspective  of what Brooklyn Bridge Park means for Brooklyn as a whole. 

ACT: Herold:  Well to me, I think, Brooklyn as a whole, Brooklyn Bridge Park is the best part of brooklyn. One of the best parts of Brooklyn because this park itself, we have about five million visitors coming to this park every summer. Tourists, people in the neighborhood, people from my neighborhood, your neighborhood, want to come here and have a beautiful picnic, barbeque because we have the waterfront. There’s no other park with a waterfront in Brooklyn but us. Um, it’s always clean down here as you see it, right now. Everyday we clean this, everyday, seven days a week, two shifts per day, eight hours a day. So we have the cleanest and the best greenest park in the world.  Well, in Brooklyn. 

TRACK: Brooklyn Bridge Park is still growing and judging by the interviews in this episode, it will continue to be a staple in the community for years to come. As Shelton said, Brooklyn Bridge Park has been sort of a backyard for many people including myself. I went to school almost up the road at Packer Collegiate Institute where we utilized the park   for soccer practice and other activities. From Smorasburg taking place, to celebrities coming to play basketball and soccer to the Volleyball court, Brooklyn Bridge Park has become an unexpected rock within Brooklyn and I fully expect it to grow and flourish throughout the years. For anyone listening to this podcast, I really recommend seeing the park for yourself. It is easily accessible by train such as the 2,3,4,5 or even the A,C,E. All it is, is a walk down Joralemon and you get to see the beauty of not only the neighborhood but the journey it takes to get to this park. As you walk along the park, you will have a lot of time to think, take in the environment and really see a new part of Brooklyn that you might have not seen before. I am your host Matthew Hull and I really hope you take a stroll down Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

Pitch for Final Podcast Project

For my final podcast project, I want to explore the growing community at the Piers in the Brooklyn, New York. With the additions of parks and attractions to the pier, people from all over New York travel to experience it. Reporting on what drew them to the park and how they have watch it evolve over the years could be a great story to tell.

Podcast Pitch

For my podcast, I will be interviewing a friend of mine named Tay-Shaun Lawrence about his experience being an African American male at a high level PWI(college) and how his experiences throughout private school in NY(middle school and high-school) helped prepare him.