New York isn’t just a city of neighborhoods — it’s a city of blocks. Each week, Metro picks a corner of Gotham that’s in the news and gives readers a snapshot of what we’ve found.

Signs of life stir among the vacant lots that litter this stretch of Gerry Street.

Some 100 canners redeem their deposit bottles at Sure We Can after saving them from the trash.


Shanghai Stainless Product and Design manufactures and fixes street vendor carts, from hot dogs and Halal to the latest wave of foodie trucks, like Rickshaw Dumplings, NYC Cravings and Van Leeuwan Ice Cream.

“We’ve established a presence here for almost 20 years,” said Ernie Wong, 33, of Shanghai Stainless.

But the city’s controversial plan to rezone 31 acres for housing and retail in this long-designated urban renewal area has no place for the few existing businesses and homes in this industrial pocket where Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant converge. An alternative plan from the grassroots Broadway Triangle Community Coalition calls for even more housing — more than double the city’s proposed 1,850 units.

“We keep losing space because nobody wants this around them,” Anna Martinez de Luco said. “It’s an informal economy. …Half are Chinese men who don’t speak one word of English and can’t go for many jobs.”

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