Thursday, October 16, 2008

Women in Hip Hop

On October 4, 2008, Harlem's Culture Center invited talented female hip hop artists from across the country to showcase their talents in front of a community of music lovers, artists, and supporters. Here is their story.

Publish Post

New York Tokyo Tag for Adults

After the tourists and business people left for the day, a group of tag enthusiasts and Japanese culture buffs descended on Battery Park for a sunset game of tag. About 13 adults and teenagers scampered around in front of the Clinton Castle in one of the most aggressive games of tag I've ever witnessed. The scene grew heated when runners accused the games organizers of secretly adding another chaser in the middle of the game without telling anybody.

The tag players were ostensibly competing for a free Ipod, but many of them said they already had one and were just trying to recapture their childhood.

In the end, however, it seemed that even an abundance of enthusiasm was no match for real youth. Brian Makito, a 15-year-old student, was the last runner to avoid being "frozen." Unlike the adults, Brian didn't need any elaborate strategy to win. His young, fresh knees let him outlast even his most serious, toughest talking competitor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Slideshow: Billyburg Burlesque

These performers bare more than just their bodies through burlesque. Originally a form derived to parody Italian opera, the burlesque revival of the nineties has fuelled controversy among feminists. Some see it as the same-old strip tease. But others, like the women profiled here, find it the most intimate form of self-expression and empowerment.

Bryant Park Petanque

Every week Bryant Park attracts New Yorkers to play the traditional French game Petanque.

New York Times Great Children's Read

At the 4th annual New York Times Great Children's Read, hundreds of kids gathered at Columbia University and listened to celebrities read their favorite books. But it was a psychedelic modern day version of the Muppet's, Yo Gabba Gabba, that stole the show.

Great Children's Read

At the 14th annual Great Children's Read at Columbia University, New Yorkers of all sizes came together to celebrate a day of singing, reading and buying. The event, held on a beautiful Sunday, was organized by The New York Times, Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library and Queens Library. The event was a huge success and drew immense crowds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New York Times Great Children's Read

At the NYT Great Children's Read, Hundreds of kids listened to celebrities read their favorite books. But "a pshychedelic modern day version of the Muppets" stole the show.

Tasting Wine at Bacchus

Upper West Siders discovered last Tuesday whether they were crisp, bold, mellow or bubbly, as they gathered for a wine tasting event at Bacchus, a wine store on Broadway between 71st Street and 72nd Street. A variety of wines from California, to Tuscany was on display. To taste the wines, all the guests received a Riedel Crystal wine glass that they took home at the end of the evening. Some regulars admitted to having more than 20 of these glasses.

10th Annual Czech Street Festival

New York's Czech community may not be as numerous as other immigrant groups, but a stroll down 83rd Street earlier this month showed that the Czechs in the city still know how to have a good time. On Saturday, October 4, the Czech Center of New York organized the 10th annual Czech Street Festival, a mad stew of traditional and modern music and dancing, plus plenty of food and bottled beer--the latter available only in brown paper bags, provided with a wink and a nod from the man beside the potato pancakes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good intentions, but no safety net

East New York, at the end of the 3 train in Brooklyn, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Over half the population lives under the poverty line, and infant mortality is way above the city average.

This week's financial crisis has created a near-panic for many people this community - no, not the employees of city agencies, not the residents themselves, but people who work at nonprofits. As Lehman Brothers and other firms have folded, it suddenly seems like most of the major sources of charitable funding have dried up overnight.

Some of the nonprofits in East New York are the best in the city, programs that have won praise and major grants in the past. Over the years they've gained a larger and larger role in people's lives. Many of them provide the most basic services: shelter, childcare, furniture, legal help. There are also dozens of churches that provide food, many reporting a drop in their tithing income.

New Yorkers have yet to see what will happen to these organizations and to the people who rely on them.

In a short walk through the neighborhood, you'd come across a huge number of charitable programs, sometimes a few to a block. Here's a cross-section of what's available in East New York and the kinds of things they do:

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The International Express

Since the Subway's first ride in 1913, this line has been known for its diversity. It is the only line in New York that is part of the National Millenium Trail or a group of 16 trails that reflect the history and cultural diversity of America.

So ride along with Mets fans on their way to the last regular season game at Shea Stadium. Or pretend that you are reading a newspaper to overhear conversations in dozens of languages from all corners of the world. On your way from Manhattan to Western Queens you'll see the fluorescent spray painted walls of Long Island City's PS1 museum. At the 74th St., make sure to stop in Little India for best curry in town and the latest trends in saris. On the other side of the railroad you can get an authentic Colombian meal or join the dancing troupes in the annual Hispanic parade.

We did.

Just another rainy Sunday along the International Express.

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