The Lights Are Bright Everywhere I Look: Essays & Art about New York City!

News —— May 3, 2024

You may not think that a fifth grade argumentative writing class can deepen your appreciation for the Big Apple, but the uncontainable energy and starry-eyed amazement of the young writers at P.S. 316 in Brooklyn is about to do just that. The goal of the class was to craft essays about the students’ favorite NYC places, analyzing why those places are important to them, as well as to the city, their communities, or the world. The enthusiasm, diligence, creativity and thoughtfulness they displayed during this process embodies so much of what makes NYC special. It comes across in the places they write about and in the way they interact with the world. Through them, we experience the city’s bright lights, natural beauty, vibrant neighborhoods, dedication to community, and the many powerful voices that make NYC the most extraordinary apple on earth.

In these pages, our writers transport you to destinations across the city. Jump up and try to touch the Statue of Liberty’s flame. Take in the amazing (yes, amazing!) aromas of the subway system. Feel your tension melt away at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s koi pond. Play fútbol with your new P.S. 316 friends at Elijah G. Stroud Playground. The sights! The sounds! The pizza! (And more mouthwatering flavors from around the world!) See, hear, taste, smell, and touch New York City in a whole new way.

This NYC sensory explosion is extra special for another reason. In a cross-Brooklyn team-up of super-heroic proportions, the 826NYC students at P.S. 316 collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum and students at P.S. 1. Their mission: cross-town creative correspondence, using writing and art to explore the connections that bring us all together as New Yorkers. Along with essays, this volume contains letters each P.S. 316 class wrote to P.S. 1, and the poetry and artwork PS1 created in response. As you’ll see, they join a long tradition of NYC communities uniting to exchange ideas and create something wonderful.

Are you ready to experience New York City as you never have before? Let’s go!


Get a sneak preview — read Ruby’s essay about the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, “The Smartest Place in NYC.”

Buy the ebook or paperback version of this book via the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.