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Many know Jhoanna Robledo by her prolific byline in real estate, entertainment, health and beyond. But to us at Brick Underground, where she has been editor-in-chief since 2015, and an informal adviser since Brick’s inception eight years ago, she was much more than a talented writer and editor.
A gifted photographer, she chronicled everything—from every nuance and angle of her beloved NYC, to each track meet, concert and holiday involving her three beautiful, talented children. Jho was in constant motion (literally—her running shoes were her favorite mode of transportation), whether it was doing for others—her kids and devoted husband, or her huge circle of friends whom she regarded as part of her extended family. We often wondered how she did it all, and with such grace and generosity of spirit. She was, quite literally, one of the good ones—which made the savageness and swiftness with which her illness overwhelmed her this summer, and took her from us yesterday, all the more shocking.
A graduate of Columbia University's Journalism School and a longtime real estate columnist for New York Magazine before joining Brick Underground, Jho took her role as a journalist seriously, pushing herself and others working for her to report accurately, deeply and inclusively. As Brick Underground’s chief muse, her integrity, curiosity and commitment to social justice ran through her work, whether it was her podcast (a former public radio reporter, she looked to inform New Yorkers about everything from affordable housing to surviving a literal trial by fire) or her exploration of NYC’s status as a sanctuary city. November’s election galvanized her to take action in the way she best knew how, shepherding into existence our Immigrant New York column.
She had an insatiable interest in real estate—from architecture to demystifying the process of renting, buying and living in it. She never tired of poring through listings, in part because as a perpetual NYC renter, she was always on the lookout for the right apartment to buy—one possessing the perfect combination of character, good bones, and family-friendliness—much like Jho herself. Beyond her work, she was a seeker who always pursued her curiosity, from high to low culture, from serious literature and documentaries (she was even producing one for the past few years) to the pages of gossip magazines—and shared what she discovered with others.
Jho’s decency, thoughtfulness, and empathy will live on through her husband, three children, and all who were lucky to know her.
Below, a chance to see the world through her eyes, via photos she took for herself and Brick Underground’s Instagram, comprising just one of her love letters to NYC. True to her instinct to capture oft-overlooked and fleeting moments of beauty with words and images, Jho even saw the view from a recent hospital room as something worth capturing and sharing (final photo, below).
[Update: A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Monday, July 24th at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 152 West 71st Street in Manhattan.]
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