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Returning to the Roots of Style: Isabel Toledo in conversation Story by Sherry Mazzocchi Photos by Isaacc Garcia

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o one knew what Michele Obama would wear on Inauguration Day. Several designers were asked to send sketches and garments. But when Isabel Toledo saw the unusually colored lace fabric, she knew it was perfect for the First Lady. “I looked at that swatch and I knew it was going to be that moment,” she said. Toledo, along with her husband and partner Ruben, told Nina Garcia and a rapt audience of 350 people at El Museo del Barrio this past Thurs., Mar. 29th that she asked the Swiss manufacturer to reopen their mill, which had just closed for the holidays, to produce fabric in time for swearing-in ceremony. Ruben said that the color was so different it was difficult to describe. “That was so infuriating. People would ask what color is it? And you can’t name the color.” On Inauguration Day, they were thrilled to see Mrs. Obama wearing what has been called “lemongrass” elegant shift and matching coat. “Isabel said there was no way in the world it couldn’t happen because she felt it,” Ruben said. “That was a gift from the universe to us.” The First Lady regularly wears Toledo’s clothes, as well as other Hispanic designers including Narciso Rodriguez, Maria Cornejo and Maria Pinto.

The Cuban-American designer said that she doesn’t think of her “Cuban-ness” when she creates clothing. “It is so much a part of me that I don’t even realize it.” Her husband agreed, adding, “It’s so much a part of our DNA. Even if you try to be Anglo-American, it comes out Cuban.” Garcia, the fashion director at Marie Claire and Project Runway judge, wore a design by Toledo--a black dress with a shirred fitted bodice and soft pleats. She asked questions about their new book, Roots of Style, and let the two designers soak up the spotlight. In her introduction, Garcia said the Toledoes have an air of magical realism similar to a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. Their lives and their love, she said, revolve around fashion and art, bound by creativity and passion. The magic began in a New Jersey high school, where they were instantly drawn to each other. On a school trip to the Museum of Modern Art, they wandered into Fiorucci’s, a trendy boutique that Ruben described as the daytime office of Studio 54. The sales staff asked about the portfolio under his arm. By the time he walked out, Ruben was selling his artwork at the store. Soon Isabel was selling her work there, too. Her designs were made of burlap, lined with satin. It was beautiful, she said, and it was the only fabric she could afford. The Toledoes have always been considered avant-garde designers, respected in the industry for their formidable talent. Accolades have piled up during their 27-year career,

Nina Garcia (left) interviewed dynamic design duo and partners Isabel (center) and Ruben Toledo at El Museo del Barrio.

including a Cooper-Hewitt Design Award. In 2009, Toledo’s alma mater Fashion Institute of Technology honored her with an exhibit. Style can’t be learned, according to Toledo. “Style is a form of expression that comes from within,” she told Garcia. “Fashion you really apply.” “Fashion is a form of disguise or camouflage,” her husband added. “It allows you to change roles on a daily basis.” Isabel learned to sew as a child and immediately loved it. Altering her sisters’ hand-me-downs was empowering. She said, “That’s when I thought, ‘Oh my God, I can make things that look good on me.’” Her favorite designers, Madeleine Vionnet and Cristobal Balenciaga, incorporate different aspects of design most important to

her—drape and structure. That appreciation of interlocking aspects echoes the couple’s relationship. They work together, finish each other’s sentences and rarely spend time apart. Ruben told Garcia, “We disagree all of the time. Aesthetically, we are very different. We come to an agreement from two different angles.” He said sometimes he doesn’t even like her designs in their early stages. “But there’s a metamorphosis and an alchemy that transforms fashion. The masters have that,” he said, lightly touching his wife’s shoulder. Sonia Fantan and Annie Ramirez, two fashionistas in the audience, compared the couple to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two See TOLEDO p21

Isabel Toledo en conversación: Retornando a las Raíces del Estilo Historia por Sherry Mazzocchi Fotos por Isaacc Garcia

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adie sabía cómo iría Michelle Obama vestida el día de la inauguración. Se pidió a varios diseñadores que enviasen dibujos y prendas. Pero cuando Isabel Toledo vió el material de encaje de un color poco usual, ella supo que sería perfecto para la Primera Dama. “Cuando ví esa muestra de tela, sabía que ese iba a ser el momento”, dijo ella. Este jueves 29 de marzo, Toledo, conjuntamente con su esposo y asociado Rubén, le dijo a Nina García y a un embelesado auditorio de 350 personas en el Museo del Barrio, que ella pidió al fabricante suizo que abriese de nuevo las puertas de su fábrica de tejidos, que acababa de cerrar para las festividades, para producir a tiempo el material para la ceremonia de juramentación. Rubén dijo que el color era tan diferente que se hacía difícil describirlo. “Eso era tan irritante. La gente preguntaría, qué color es ése? Y usted no puede nombrar el color”. El día de la juramentación, ellos se sentían emocionados de ver a la Sra. Obama luciendo lo que ha sido denominado como un elegante vestido suelto “limoncillo” y sobretodo combinado. “Isabel dijo que no había forma en el mundo de que no sucediese porque ella así lo sentía”, expresó Rubén. “Eso fue un obsequio del universo a nosotros”. La Primera Dama viste regularmente las ropas de Toledo, así como de otros diseñadores

Isabel Toledo conjuntamente con su esposo y asociado Rubén, presento su nuevo libro, Roots of Style (Raíces del Estilo) en El Museo del Barrio.

hispanos, incluyendo a Narciso Rodríguez, María Cornejo y María Pinto. La diseñadora cubano-americana dijo que ella no piensa en su “cubanidad” cuando crea la ropa. “Es tan parte de mi, que ni siquiera me doy cuenta de ello”. Su esposo estuvo de acuerdo, agregando que, “Constituye gran parte de nuestro sistema cromosómico. Aunque intente usted ser anglosajón, termina siendo cubano”. García, directora de modas juez en Marie Claire y Project Runway, llevó un diseño de

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Toledo—un traje negro con un corpiño fruncido ajustado y suaves pliegues. Ella formuló preguntas sobre su nuevo libro, Roots of Style (Raíces del Estilo), y permitió a dos diseñadores absorber el escenario. En su introducción, García dijo que los Toledo tienen un aire de mágico realismo, similar a una novela de Gabriel García Márquez. Sus vidas y su amor, dijo ella, giran en torno a la moda y el arte, entrelazados por la creatividad y la pasión. La magia se inició en una escuela secundaria de New Jersey, donde ellos se sintieron atraídos

APRIL 11, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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el uno al otro de manera instantánea. Durante un paseo escolar al Museo de Arte Moderno, ellos deambularon hacia Fiorucci’s, una boutique de última moda la cual Rubén ha descrito como una oficina matutina de Studio 54. El personal de ventas preguntó sobre el portafolio bajo su brazo. Cuando salieron del lugar, Rubén estaba vendiendo su arte en la tienda. En poco tiempo, Isabel también estaba vendiendo su trabajo en la tienda. Sus diseños eran confeccionados de estopa, forrados con satén. Era precioso, dijo ella, y era el único material que yo podía costear. Los Toledo siempre han sido considerados diseñadores de vanguardia, respetados en la industria por su formidable talento. Los elogios se han acumulado en el transcurso de su carrera de 27 años, incluyendo un Galardón CooperHewitt Design. En el 2009, el Fashion Institute de Technology, antigua escuela de Toledo, le honró con una exposición. Conforme a Toledo, el estilo no se aprende. “El estilo es una forma de expresión que viene de dentro”, dijo ella a García. La moda usted realmente lo aplica. “La moda es una forma de disfraz, o camuflaje”, agregó su esposo. “Le permite a uno cambiar el rol diariamente”. Isabel aprendió a coser cuando niña y de inmediato le encantó. Alterar la ropa usada de su hermana la empoderó. Ella dijo, “Fue entonces que pensé, ‘Oh Dios mío, puedo hacer que las cosas se me vean bien”’. Sus diseñadores favoritos, Madeleine,Vionnet Vea TOLEDO p20


A Father’s Day marked by silence and protest Story by Debralee Santos Photos by Isaacc García

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ather’s Day proved a quiet celebration – with a loud message – for thousands of city residents this past Sun., Jun. 17th.

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It was estimated by in Spanish organizers that over 15,000 Vea la versión residents joined together on the holiday in a silent procession en español along Fifth Avenue intended to serve as a rally calling for the Some protestors held end of the controversial police practice hands as they marched. known as “stop and frisk”. Long planned by civil rights groups, unions, community leaders and elected officials, the rally kicked off midafternoon from 110th Street on Lenox Avenue in Harlem and continued down to Mayor Bloomberg’s home at 77th Street and Fifth Avenue. A wide coalition of nearly 300 organizations had endorsed the march, including Jewish, Asian, Arab and gay, lesbian and transgender rights groups; there were also members from the Occupy Wall Street movement, Socialist Workers’ groups, the National Action Network, whose president Rev. Al Sharpton marched front and center, as did the N.A.A.C.P.’s president, Benjamin Jealous, who marched with his six-year-old daughter Morgan. State Senator Other marchers included former Adriano Espaillat. New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, New York City Councilmembers Robert Jackson; Melissa Mark-Viverito; Eric Stevenson; Inez Dickens; Ydanis Rodriguez, and United Federation of Teachers’s president Michael Mulgrew, among others. Protestors walked, as promised, largely in silence. Many held up signs and placards decrying the policy. Some held hands. New York City police officers have stopped almost 700,000 people last year; nearly 90% of those individuals stopped were of Latino or AfricanAmerican descent. Just hours earlier, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took to a Brooklyn church, the Christian Cultural Center, to defend the policy, which he argued has reduced crime, gotten guns off the streets, and saved lives. Still, Mayor Bloomberg acknowledged that the policy has led to distrust by a number of black and Latino residents, who feel unfairly targeted and have charged that the policy amounts to racial profiling. “We believe that when it comes to making stops – to borrow a phrase from President Clinton – the practice should be mended, not ended,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “That work has already begun, and Commissioner Kelly has A protestor made her said that he fully expects the number of way down Fifth Avenue. stops to decline in the months ahead.”

EN LINEA

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The Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network led the march.

One of the placards that called for a change in the stop and frisk policy.

Among those marching were former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson and UFT President Michael Mulgrew (right).

Morgan, the six-year-old daughter of Benjamin Jealous, the N.A.A.C.P.’s President.

june 20, 2012 • Manhattan tiMes • www.manhattantimesnews.com

Councilmember Robert Jackson.

Many protestors brought their children.

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Rangel ekes out narrow victory over Espaillat Incumbent re-elected for 22nd term in Congress

Story and photos by Debralee Santos, Sandra E. Garcia, Isaacc Garcia, QPHOTONYC and Adrian Cabreja

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Those are the number of years over which Jaime Vargas has sought to help his friend seek higher office. “I have been working with Adriano and his campaigns for over 2 decades,” explained Vargas on Mon., Jun. 25th at the campaign headquarters of Espaillat for Congress on Sherman Avenue. On the eve of the city’s first Democratic primary election held in June, Vargas, together with scores of campaign volunteers, sifted through papers, marked posters, and tallied counts one by one. Elections are, famously, about numbers. The number of districts, the number of calls made, the amount of dollars on hand – the number of votes cast. And in the newly redrawn 13th Congressional district, in which Rep. Charles B. Rangel faced his toughest race to date, the numbers ultimately came out in the incumbent’s favor – ending a campaign that had captured national attention as it pitted a scion of the black power elite in his 4th decade of service against a particularly robust challenge from a candidate representing Latino political ascendancy. “I cannot find the words,” said an ebullient Rep. Rangel at Sylvia’s on Lenox Avenue late

Rep. Rangel speaks with reporters before voting in Harlem.

Credit: Isaacc García

on Tuesday evening as he claimed victory. “I’m glad that my community has faith and confidence in me.” With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Rep. Rangel had captured 45 percent of the vote while Sen. Espaillat, who had been seeking to become the first representative of Dominican descent in Congress, received 39.8 percent. Rep. Rangel eked out a narrow victory in a primary election over four challengers in a new district that, thanks to federal

redistricting, included neighborhoods in the Bronx. Among the contenders fended off were Joyce Johnson, a community activist and liquor executive; Craig Schley, a former model and Rangel intern; Clyde Williams, who had previously served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations; and New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat. Sen. Espaillat, formerly a member of the New York State Assembly for over a decade,

was widely considered the most competitive candidate. With years of service in elected office, hname recognition among voters in what was a newly Hispanic majority district, and the support of such former Bronx Borough Presidents Fernando Ferrer, Adolfo Carrion and TWU Local 100, Sen. Espaillat sought to unseat a man whose tenure he claimed had gone too long. “I feel good,” said Sen. Espaillat early on Tuesday morning as he and his daughter prepared to vote at P.S. 98 on West 212th Street in Inwood. “People are energized,” he said. The state senator had reason to be optimistic. Rep. Rangel, who had first been elected in 1970, was an original member of the Harlem “Gang of Four,” who would become the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in Congress. Rep. Rangel’s rise had came to represent the coalescing of African-American political and social power nationally that would lay the groundwork for the presidency of President Barack Obama. But the 82-year-old was dogged by the ethics violations, in which he was found guilty by the House Ethics Committee in 2010 on 11 counts, including the failure to pay taxes, improper solicitation of funds and the failure See PRIMARY p10

Rangel logra estrecha victoria sobre Espaillat El incumbente regresara a su vigésimo segundo termino en el Congreso

Historia y fotos de Debralee Santos, Sandra E. García, Isaacc García, QPHOTONYC y Adrian Cabreja

El Senador Estatal Espaillat habló con la prensa luego de haber votado. Crédito: Isaacc García

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El número de años que Jaime Vargas ha estado ayudando a su amigo a procurar un rango superior. “He trabajado junto a Adriano Espaillat y sus campañas por más de dos décadas”, explicó Vargas el lunes 25 de junio, en el cuartel de campana de Espaillat para el Congreso en la Avenida Sherman. En vísperas de la primera elección primaria demócrata celebrada en un mes de junio, Vargas, conjuntamente con cientos de voluntarios de campaña, seleccionaban entre papeles, marcaban afiches, y hacían reconteo uno a uno. Como es conocido, las elecciones son números. El número de distritos, el número de llamadas realizadas, la cantidad de dinero disponible—el número de votos depositados. Y al final de la jornada, en el nuevo rediseñado Distrito Congresual No.13, en el cual el representante Charles B. Rangel enfrentó su mayor reto, los números resultaron a favor del incumbente—poniendo fin a una campaña que cautivó la atención nacional. En la misma se enfrentaron- el heredero del poder político de la élite afroamericana en su 4ta década de servicio, frente al reto particularmente robusto de un candidato representando la ascendencia política

latina. “No encuentro las palabras”, expresó un Rangel eufóricamente, en Sylvia’s en la Avenida Lenox, tarde en la noche del martes al proclamar su victoria. “Me alegra que mi comunidad tiene fé y confía en mí”. Con el 84 por ciento de los recintos reportados, el representante Rangel obtuvo el 45 por ciento del voto, mientras que el senador Espaillat, quien estuvo procurando convertirse en el primer representante de ascendencia

dominicana en el Congreso, recibió un 39.8 por ciento. El representante Rangel logró a duras penas una estrecha victoria en una elección primaria por encima de cuatro retadores en un nuevo distrito, el cual, gracias a la redistribución federal, incluyó a vecindarios del Bronx. Entre los contrincantes enfrentándose a Rangel estaban Joyce Johnson, una activista comunitaria y ejecutivo de licores; Craig Schley, un ex-modelo y ex interno de Rangel; Clyde

june 27, 2012 • Manhattan tiMes • www.manhattantimesnews.com

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Williams, quien sirvió anteriormente tanto en las administraciones de Clinton como de Obama; y el senador del Estado de Nueva York Adriano Espaillat. El senador Espaillat era considerado ampliamente como el verdadero retador. Y era la amenaza real por sus décadas de servicio en funciones electivas, el reconocimiento a su nombre entre los votantes en lo que fue un distrito de reciente mayoría hispana, y el respaldo de ex presidentes del condado del Bronx Fernando Ferrer, y Adolfo Carrion y laTWU (Unión de Trabajadores del Transporte) Local 100. El senador Espaillat intentaba desplazar a un hombre cuya permanencia alegaba él, ya llevaba demasiado tiempo. “Me siento bien”, expresó el senador Espaillat el martes en la mañana, al momento en que él y su hija se preparaban para ejercer el voto en P.S.98, en la calle 212 de Inwood. “La gente está entusiasmada”, dijo él. El Senador Estatal tenía motivos para sentirse optimista. El representante Rangel, quien fue electo por primera vez en el 1970, fue originalmente miembro del grupo “Gang of Four” de Harlem (Ganga de los Cuatro), y llegó a convertirse en Presidente del poderoso Comité de Medios y Arbitrios ante el Congreso. La prominencia política del representante Rangel vino a representar la fusión a nivel nacional del poder político y social afroamericano, el cual sentaría las bases para la Vea PRIMARY p10

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PRIMARY from p3

Altagracia Quezada, a volunteer for the Espaillat campaign, said the senator had always helped her. “That’s worth a lot, the attention he gives, and that’s why I fight for Espaillat.” Credit: Sandra García

to accurately report his personal income tax. As a result, he suffered censure, was forced to relinquish his Chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee and was saddled with over $2 million dollars in legal fees. Moreover, Rep. Rangel had been hobbled by health problems with his back that led him to forego vigorous campaigning – and caused him to appear often with a cane or walker while on the stump. Voter turnout, traditionally low for primaries, was expected to be even more diminished for the first primary ever held in June – a decision made by the federal courts to prevent the disenfranchisement of military voters and allow for sufficient time to submit absentee ballots for the general election. Approximately only 15 percent of registered Democrats across the city cast ballots. Rep. Rangel’s campaign manager, Moises Perez, the former head of Alianza Dominicana, acknowledged obstacles unique to this campaign. “Rangel was facing a lot of issues this election,” Perez ceded at the celebration held

Jaime Vargas has volunteered on campaigns involving Sen. Adriano Espaillat for over 20 years. “This is what we do,” he said.

Un cartel de la campaña de Clyde Williams en Broadway. Crédito: Isaacc García

Credit: Sandra García

at Sylvia’s. “The biggest difficulty was the fact that this year’s primaries were earlier, [and] held during a time close to vacation season. This, in turn, led to a very low turnout.” Still, those who did appear at poll sites throughout northern Manhattan and the Bronx on Tuesday spoke to a range of motivations that propelled them to cast their ballots. “If the other candidate [Rep. Rangel] wins the election, I will be very frustrated,” said Magdalia Alcantara, as she voted in the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Village on Tuesday in the late afternoon. “It is time for him to go. Enough is enough.” In Washington Heights, near I.S. 52, Maria Martinez was adamant that her vote – and volunteer work – was based not on ethnicity, but on the need for change. “It is not important that he is Dominican,” said Martinez. “We’ve voted for Rangel in the past, and he is not Dominican. However, it is time for a change. Rangel has been in power for forty plus years.” Martinez said she was also angered by the

Rep. Rangel with supporters, including Assemblymember Guillermo Linares (left) and Assemblymember Denny Farrell (right) campaigning in early June on West. 207th Street and Broadway.

presidencia del presidente Barack Obama. Pero el octogenario se vió acorralado ante violaciones éticas, cuando fue encontrado culpable por el Comité de Eticas de la Cámara en 2010, en 11 cargos, incluyendo la evasión del pago de impuestos, solicitud inapropiada de fondos y dejar de reportar de manera precisa su impuesto sobre la renta personal. Como resultado, sufrió la censura, fue forzado a renunciar de la presidencia del Comitá de Medios y Arbitrios, y le costó más de $2 millones en gastos legales. Además, el representante Rangel había estado afectado por problemas de salud con su espalda, lo que conllevó a evadir una campaña vigorosa—y lo obligó con frecuencia a tener que presentarse en la campaña con bastón o un andador. Se esperaba que la participación de los votantes, tradicionalmente baja en cuanto a primarias, se viese más reducida aún por el hecho de ser la primera ocasión que se celebra una primaria en junio—una decisión adoptada por las cortes federales para evitar el privar del derecho al voto a los votantes militares, y permitir tiempo suficiente para someter el voto ausente para las elecciones generales.

Aproximadamente sólo el 15 por ciento de los demócratas registrados en la ciudad depositaron su voto. Hasta Moisés Pérez, gerente de campaña del representante Rangel, quien es el antiguo director de Alianza Dominicana, reconoció los particulares obstáculos de esta campaña. “Rangel estaba se enfrentó a muchas cosas en estas elecciones”, admitió Pérez durante la celebración en Sylvia’s. “La mayor dificultad lo fue el hecho de que este año las primarias fueron más tempranas, [y] celebradas cerca de la temporada de vacaciones. Esto, conllevó a una participación muy baja”. Aun así, aquellos que acudieron el martes a los lugares de votación por todo el norte de Manhattan y el Bronx, hablaron de una serie de motivaciones que les impulsaron a ejercer su voto. “Si el otro candidato [representante Rangel] gana las elecciones, habré de sentirme muy frustrada”, expresó Magdalia Alcántara, al momento de votar en Bronx Van Cortlandt Village al final de la tarde del martes. “Es tiempo de que se vaya. Ya es suficiente.”

Credit: QPHOTONYC

El ex-gobernador David Paterson, quien apoyo a Rangel See PRIMARY p21 10

Crédito: Isaacc García

june 27, 2012 • Manhattan tiMes • www.manhattantimesnews.com

Moisés Pérez, gerente de campaña del representante Rangel. Crédito: Isaacc García

Vea PRIMARY p21

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A new green fleet makes its way uptown Story by Sandra E. García and Isaacc García Photos by Isaacc García

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reen is the new yellow, if you’re only accustomed to hailing cabs of a lemon-colored hue. Or perhaps the new black, should your taxi transport typically be the black livery Lincoln Town cars that are prevalent uptown and in the Bronx. In either case, get ready for a change. The city unveiled the color of the new taxicab for the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan this past Sun., Apr. 29th at a morning press conference at City Hall Plaza that featured a Prius model painted in what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called, “green apple.” The mayor, who attended the press conference together with Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky, New York State Assemblymembers Guillermo Linares, of northern Manhattan, and Carl Heastie, of the Bronx, and members of the livery cab industry, spoke to the color as one that was “attractive and distinctive.” Commissioner Yassky said, “[The color] is very fitting for the new Boro Taxis,” referring to the new name of the taxicabs that will legally be permitted to accept street hails from passengers throughout previously prohibited swaths of northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs. One of the bill’s chief sponsors in Albany

The city unveiled the color of the new “Boro Taxis”: green apple.

was New York State Assemblymember Carl Heastie, who was also present on Sunday. “We are legitimizing a service that has been in the shadows for decades and injecting $1 billion in revenue to our city, at no cost to the taxpayers,” said Assemblymember Heastie at the time of the bill’s passage. “It’s pleasing to the eye, easy to see from a distance and blends well with the urban landscape,” said Commissioner Yassky. “Just as the yellow taxi and the black car were once new services that became a trusted part of their users’ lives, the Boro Taxi, too, will take

its long-awaited place as a part of the city’s comprehensive transportation network.” The debate over expanding legal cab service to all areas of the city was a hotly contested issue all year in Albany and in the city, one that sought to pit the interests of an entrenched medallion industry versus livery cab drivers, bases and business owners in the outer boroughs whose 40 years of service and livelihoods were wed also to the fortunes of others: insurance brokers, restaurant workers, and radio dispatchers. “Without a doubt, there are more than

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100,000 hard-working people and families who rely on this industry,” said Assemblymember Guillermo Linares, who also sponsored the bill in the legislative chamber earlier this year. As he spoke, Assemblymember Linares held aloft a green apple in triumph. “There is a complete line of industries in our community that benefit from this,” he noted. “This will fortify our community, after struggling for so long to have its work legitimized. And so, four months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the legislation that allowed the city to sell new taxi licenses that could respond to the street hails, and just over a week after the TLC adopted the rules that would regulate the new fleet of “Boro Taxis,” what remained up for debate was what to make of the new color. “We went out to try to find something that would be recognizable, that would be distinguishable from the yellow cabs, and that would be pleasing to the eye and fit in with the city,” said Mayor Bloomberg. The commission only very recently decided upon this shade of green, and had done so in consultation Smart Design, a design firm, Smart Design, as well as with NYC & Company. Locally, local residents who would soon be hailing the new cars responded with anticipation. “I like the new color of the taxis!” exclaimed Inwood resident Amilka Vega, who relies on liveries almost 2-3 times a day.

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FIELD OF DREAMS PARK

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Yes, you can control your Asthma!

See GREEN p13


Una nueva flota verde se abre paso

Historia por Sandra E. García e Isaacc García Isaacc Fotos por Isaacc García

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erde es el nuevo amarillo, si sólo estás acostumbrado a los taxis de medallón.

O tal vez el nuevo negro, si su transporte de taxi suelen ser los autos negros ‘Lincoln Town’ que son frecuentes en el Alto Manhattan y en el Bronx. En cualquier caso, prepárate para un cambio. La ciudad dio a conocer el color del taxi nuevo para los condados fuera de Manhattan y el Norte de Manhattan, este domingo pasado, 29 de abril en una conferencia de prensa por la mañana en la Plaza de City Hall, cuando se reveló un modelo Prius pintado en lo que el alcalde Michael Bloomberg llamó “manzana verde.” El Alcalde, quien asistió a la conferencia de prensa junto con el Comisionado de Taxis y Limosinas, David Yassky, Asambleístas del Estado de Nueva York del Norte de Manhattan Guillermo Linares, y Carl Heastie, del Bronx, y los miembros de la industria de los taxis sin medallón, habló sobre el color como uno que es “atractivo y distintivo.” Uno de los principales patrocinadores de la legislación en Albany fue el Asambleísta Carl Heastie, que estaba también presente el domingo. “Estamos haciendo legitimo un servicio que ha estado en las sombras por décadas e inyectando $1 mil millones en rédito a nuestra ciudad, a ningún coste a los residentes,” dijo Assemblymember Heastie a la hora del paso de la legislación. El Comisionado Yassky agregó, “verde manzana es muy apropiado para los nuevos taxis ‘Boro’”, en referencia al nuevo nombre de los taxis que legalmente se les permitirá a aceptar pasajeros en la calle, previamente prohibido en el Norte de Manhattan y los condados exteriores. “Es agradable a la vista, fácil de ver desde la distancia y se mezcla bien con el paisaje urbano”, continuó el Comisario Yassky. “Al igual que el taxi amarillo y el coche negro fueron una vez los nuevos servicios que se convirtieron en una parte confiable de la vida de sus usuarios, el taxi Boro, también, tendrá su lugar como parte de la red de transporte de la ciudad.” El debate sobre la ampliación de servicio de taxi legal para todas las áreas de la ciudad fue una cuestión muy discutida durante todo el año en Albany y en la ciudad, donde se enfrentaron los intereses de una industria de medallón contra los conductores de taxis sin elllos, bases y dueños de negocios en los condados cuyos 40 años GREEN from p32

“Maybe it’s because they are green, my favorite color, but they are a refreshing sight to see,” she added, “I love the bright modern color and the style of the cars themselves.” Bronx resident Gene Tejada too was excited about seeing the new cars out and about. “We rarely see any yellow cabs in Longwood,” said Tejada. “If they could get these green cabs to come here and it’s a metered ride that’d be great.” For longtime livery cab advocate Cira Angeles, who serves as the spokesperson for the Livery Cab Owners’ Association, the color represented something else: affirmation. “I think that hope has arrived,” said Angeles, owner and president of LA Riverside in Washington Heights. “A spectacular color has been chosen to bring out our men and women who have worked hard for over 40

“Manzana verde” será el color del nuevo taxi que proveerá servicio

a los condados fuera de Manhattan y el Norte de Manhattan.

de servicio y medios de vida estaban ligados a la suerte de los demás: los agentes de seguro, trabajadores de restaurantes, y los despachadores de radio. “Sin duda, hay más de 100.000 personas trabajadoras y familias que dependen de esta industria”, dijo el asambleísta Guillermo Linares, quien patrocinó el proyecto de ley en la cámara legislativa a principios del año. Mientras hablaba, el asambleísta Linares sostenía en alto una manzana verde en señal de triunfo. “Hay una línea completa de industrias en nuestra comunidad que se benefician de esto”, señaló el Asambleísta Linares. “Esto fortalecerá nuestra comunidad, después de luchar durante tanto tiempo para tener su trabajo legitimizado.” Y así, cuatro meses después que el gobernador, Andrew Cuomo, convirtiera en ley la legislación que permitió que la ciudad venda nuevas licencias de taxi, y poco más de una semana después que el TLC aprobara las normas que regulan la nueva flota de “Boro Taxis,” lo que quedaba era escoger el nuevo color. “Salimos a tratar de encontrar algo que fuera reconocible, que se distinga de los taxis amarillos, y que sea agradable a la vista y se integren a la ciudad”, dijo el alcalde Bloomberg. La comisión decidió hace muy poco tiempo en este tono de verde, y lo había hecho con Smart Design, una empresa de diseño, y con NYC & Company. A nivel local, los residentes locales, que years, out of the shadows. I think that they finally have justice because they have been recognized for the work that they have brought to our communities.” The new cars will also have credit card machines, which many livery cabs lack, roof

EL PLAN DE LA CIUDAD PARA LOS NUEVOS TAXIS • La ciudad va a vender 18.000 licencias que permitirán a los conductores recoger pasajeros por todas las calle del Norte de Manhattan y los cuatro otros condados. • Los primeros 6.000 licencias serán vendidos por $ 1.500 (cada una) en junio; cada licencia es válida por tres años. • Los conductores elegibles serán aquellos afiliados con una base, lo que requiere una licencia de base que cuesta $ 3.000. • De ese primer grupo, 20 por ciento de los permisos serán para los vehículos adaptados para discapacitados. • La ciudad de Nueva York ofrecerá 15.000 dólares en subsidios para facilitar el pago de la diferencia del costo en comparación con los no accesibles. • Esos taxis que siguen recogiendo a los pasajeros sin las licencias especiales estarán sujetos a multas y sanciones.

lights to be able to show their availability to potential customers, unique tags to be able to distinguish the licensed cars, and taximeters for a metered ride. The fare and meter hardware will be the same as the machines yellow cabs currently

THE CITY’S PLAN FOR BORO TAXIS • The city will sell 18,000 outer-borough livery hail licenses which will permit drivers to pick up street hails in northern Manhattan and the four other boroughs. • The first 6,000 licenses will be sold for $1,500 each in June, with each license being valid for three years. • Eligible drivers will be those affiliated with a base, which requires a base license that costs $3,000. • Of that first set, 20 percent of the permits will be held for wheelchair accessible vehicles. • The City of New York will offer $15,000 in subsidies to facilitate paying for the cost difference as compared to non-accessible vehicles. • Those cabs that continue to pick up passengers without the livery hail licenses will be subject to fines and penalties.

pronto serían provenientes de los coches nuevos respondieron con anticipación. “Me gusta el nuevo color de los taxis”, exclamó residente de Inwood Amilka Vega, quien depende de los taxis sin medallón casi 2-3 veces al día. “Tal vez sea porque son de color verde, mi color favorito, pero son un espectáculo y refrescante verlos”, agregó, “Me encanta el color luminoso y moderno y el estilo de los coches también.” Residente del Bronx Gene Tejada también estaba emocionado de ver a los vehículos nuevos fuera de su casa. “Rara vez veo algún taxis amarillo en Longwood”, dijo Tejada. “Si pudieran conseguir estos taxis verdes para venir aquí y es un tarifa medida eso sería genial.” Cira Ángeles, quien se desempeña como portavoz de ‘Livery Base Owners Association,’, indicó que el color representa algo más: la afirmación. “Creo que la esperanza ha llegado”, dijo Ángeles, propietaria y presidenta de LA Riverside en Washington Heights. “Un color espectacular ha sido elegido para sacar de las sombras a nuestros hombres y mujeres que han trabajado duro durante más de 40 años. Creo que finalmente se ha hecho justicia, ya que han sido reconocidos por el trabajo que han traído a nuestras comunidades”. Los coches nuevos también tienen máquinas de tarjetas de crédito, que muchos taxis sin medallón no parecen tener, techo lleno de luces para poder mostrar su disponibilidad, etiquetas únicas para ser capaz de distinguir los vehículos con licencia, y taxímetros para un paseo medida. La tarifa e implementos serán los mismos que las máquinas de taxis amarillos actualmente llevan. “Boro taxis” también estarán equipados con dispositivos GPS de localización de vehículos para ayudar en la devolución de los bienes perdidos y para asegurar que los taxistas esten recogiendo a los clientes fuera del distrito central de negocios de Manhattan. “Hoy es un día histórico”, dijo Fernando García, Presidente de la Asociación de Nueva York de Taxistas Independientes. “Después de tanta lucha y esfuerzo, por fin tenemos un coche legal, con un color nuevo y toda su información de licencia sobre el mismo. La comunidad tendrá la oportunidad de conocer que pueden parar ese carro legalmente”. Para otros, el color era razón suficiente para emocionarse. “El nuevo color es fresco”, dijo Tejada, pasajero del Bronx. “Es diferente, al igual que los otros condados son, en comparación con el centro de Manhattan.” carry. Boro Taxis will also be outfitted with GPS Vehicle location devices to aid in the return of lost property and to ensure that cab drivers are picking up customers outside of Manhattan’s Central Business District. “Today is a historic day,” said Fernando Garcia, President of the New York Association of Independent Taxi Drivers. “After so much struggle and effort, we finally have a legal car, with a new color and all its licensing information on it. The community will get a chance to know the car that they can hail legally.” For others, the stand-out color was reason enough to get excited. “The new color is cool,” said Bronx passenger Tejada. “It’s different, like the other boroughs are, compared to downtown Manhattan.” 13

MAY 2, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com


Photos: Isaac García

From FIRE p3

Rafael Frías: a life on Post Avenue

Nada es más T importante que la salud de nuestros niños.

Rafael Frías: una vida en la Avenida Post

Story and photos by Sandra E. García

Rafael Frías, of 67 years of age, apparently killed himself by jumping to his death from the building in which he had lived for decades with his family. He was pronounced dead atMÉDICOS 8:30 a.m. SERVICIOS GRATUITOS O A BAJO COSTO Frías was a beloved husband, brother andEL ESTADO DE NUEVA YORK AUSPICIADOS POR father whose life was deeply connected with Historia y fotos por Sandra E. García the family and neighborhood. Su hijo podrá ser elegible indiferente a su estado de inmigración. Frías lived at 34 Post Avenue in Apartment a tragedia golpeó la Avenida No. 55 for over 30 years. Together with his Post este pasado jueves, 15 de wife, he raised their children there after marzo. immigrating from the Dominican Republic. The scene early on Thursday morning was Rafael Frías, de 67 años de edad, a portrait of stunned shock and grief. aparentemente se suicidó saltando a su muerte “I was surprised,” said Justin Hernandez, desde edificio donde había vivido por décadas Frías’ grandson. “I believe he was depressed. Rafael Frías, shown here in uniform, con su familia. I think it all started after his mother died.” worked as a doorman for decades. Fue declarado muerto a las 8:30 a.m. Members of the family, including his Frías era un cariñoso esposo, hermano grieving wife and daughter, huddled together compensated well with his pension,” she said y padre cuya vida estaba profundamente at the building’s entrance, waiting for the of her brother, who’d worked as a doorman conectada con la familia y el vecindario. medical examiner to arrive. for decades. “I don’t understand why he Frías vivía en el 34 de la Avenida Post en It was reported that Frías was walking his would do this.” el Apartamento Num. 55 por más de 30 años. 5 year-old grandson James to school when he 1-800-662-1220 In front of the building, family members TTY/TDD: Junto a su esposa, criaron sus niños ahí luego said he’d “heard something” on the roof, and cried and called for Frías with anguished sobs. CHILDREN UNDER AGE 19 VISITE WWW.HEALTHPLUS-NY.ORG de emigrar desde la República Dominicana. La left the boy in the stairwell to climb to the His daughter fainted twice. escena temprano en la mañana del jueves fue roof and then jumped. Some neighbors offered small, quiet una imagen de asombro y dolor. His sister Gladys Hernandez could not embraces; others stood helplessly to the side. “Estaba sorprendido”, dijo Justin Hernández, believe he was gone. The sadness that had overcome Post Avenue de Frías. “Creo que estaba deprimido. “He was a retired man that was being was more than anyone could bear. tiMesnieto • www.manhattantimesnews.com january 11, 2012 • Manhattan

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LLAME 1-888-809-8009

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isaacc.garcia@gmail.com

CREDIT: ISAACC GARCIA

ragedy struck early on Post Avenue this past Thurs., Mar. 15th.

Pienso que todo comenzó después de la muerte de su madre”. Miembros de la familia, incluyendo su esposa e hija, se abrazaban en la entrada del edificio, esperando que llegara el médico forense. Se reportó que Frías estaba llevando a su nieto James de 5 años a la escuela cuando dijo que “escuchó algo” en el techo, y dejó el niño en la escalera para subir al techo y entonces saltó. Su hermana Gladys Hernández no podía creer que se había ido. “Era un hombre retirado que estaba siendo bien compensado con su pensión”, dijo ella de su hermano, quien trabajó como portero por décadas. “No entiendo porque haría esto”. Al frente del edificio, miembros de la familia lloraban y llamaban a Frías con angustioso llanto. Su hija se desmayó dos veces. Algunos vecinos ofrecieron pequeños y callados abrazos; otros estaban parados impotentes a su lado. La tristeza que llenó la Avenida Post fue más de lo que nadie podía soportar.


Familias de Veteranos encuentran espíritu y a !Papa Noel! en el Zoológico del Bronx

Historia por Sandra E. Garcia Fotos por Issaac García En un salón lleno de deslumbrantes luces, el hombre de nieve y Papa Noel y la Sra. Clause cerca, el espíritu de las fiestas navideñas era ineludible este pasado viernes, 22 de diciembre en el Zoológico del Bronx. “Ustedes trabajaron duro, y ahora es el momento de decir, ‘Gracias y los respetamos’”, dijo el presidente del condado Rubén Díaz, Jr. a las más de 200 familias reunidas en el Restaurante Dancing Crane del Zoológico. Las familias reunidas eran aquellas de veteranos militares, algunos en sus trajes de faena, hicieron el evento más conmovedor. La risa de los niños llenaba el salón, mientras el presidente del condado Díaz, junto a John Calvelli de la Sociedad de Conservación de Fauna Silvestre y Lenny Caro, presidente de la Cámara de Comercio del Bronx, entre otros, entregaban regalos. Los muchos veteranos que asistieron estaban agradecidos por el apoyo, según Jeans Cruz, miembro de la Cuarta División de Infantería del Ejército, la infantería que ayudó a capturar a Saddam Hussein en Operación Rojo Amanecer en el 2003. “Este evento para mi y mi familia, y para todas las familias de veteranos ahora mismo, es una muestra de apreciación por toda la ayuda que necesitamos”, dijo Cruz. “Este es un buen alivio para nosotros”. Las Navidades fueron bien diferentes en años previos para muchos de los veteranos que vieron combate y/o fueron desplegados al extranjero. El regalo de ver a sus niños de cerca mientras se aferraban a regalos de Hello Kitty y recibían bolas de futbol y helicópteros de juguete era claramente apreciado. Aunque sus experiencias de guerra, según lo compartieron, nunca estaban muy lejos de sus mentes. “Siempre es un sentimiento muy agradable el pasar la Navidad en casa, pero al mismo tiempo tienes que recordar a sus amigos que no regresaron y a sus familias”, explicó Cruz de los agridulces sentimientos traídos por los dias festivos. “Asi que es una calle de ida y vuelta”, dijo Cruz. Mientras John Calvelli, vicepresidente ejecutivo de Asuntos Públicos, señaló, el evento fue una progresión natural de la tradición

anual de recogido de regalos llevada a cabo por WCS del zoológico, junto al presidente del condado. El Zoológico del Bronx ha servido como punto de recolección para juguetes nuevos, sin envolver, donados por miembros de la comunidad, grupos y residentes para distribuirlos a familias menos privilegiadas. “El presidente del condado y yo tenemos un punto débil por los veteranos”, dijo Calvelli, “así es que cuando el se ofreció para llevar a cabo este evento para las familias de veteranos, ¿Cómo podíamos decir que no?”. Este año, el recogido de regalos fue equipado con una generosa donación de William Long, fundador de Bronx Toys, quien ha participado en una serie de recogidos de juguetes para familias necesitadas durante toda la temporada, incluyendo una a principios de semana con Anthony’s Flower Farm y otros comerciantes de East Tremont. Juntos, se unieron para entregar regalos a cientos de niños seriamente y terminalmente enfermos en el Hospital Jacobi. De hecho, junto con la Cámara de Comercio del Bronx, Bronx Toy ha donado más de 30,000 juguetes a niños en el Bronx este año. Los juguetes, llevando las palabras “NYPD” y “FDNY” son en honor al padre de Long, quien recibió un disparo como policía en cumplimiento de su deber. “Vamos a estar colocando 30,000 sonrisas en las caras de nuestros niños”, es como lo describió Lenny Caro, CEO de la Cámara. “Es maravilloso ver a todo el mundo aquí. Estos son niños y familias de veteranos”, añadió Calvelli. Y aunque el evento fue planificado como una señal de apreciación, para muchos veteranos, también sirvió como una refrescante memoria. Jeans Cruz pronunció palabras de ánimo a los muchos veteranos que están regresando a sus hogares. “Mantenga su cabeza en alto y siempre de una mano. Si no fuera por estas personas tratando de ayudarnos”, comentó el, “nosotros no estaríamos aquí”. Aunque algunos participantes tenían una más profunda perspectiva. Maylin Montanez, de ocho años, tenía menos palabras y más alegría navideña. “Me siento feliz de que Papa Noel me diera juguetes”, dijo Montanez. “Me encantan”.

Las familias de los veteranos fueron tratadas con una tarde en el Zoológico del Bronx, en donde les regalaron juguetes por la oficina del presidente del condado del Bronx, Rubén Díaz, Jr., la Sociedad de Conservación de Fauna Silvestre, la Cámara de Comercio del Bronx y Bronx Toys. ZOO from p4

the families of veterans, how could we say no?” This year, the toy drive was outfitted with a generous donation from William Long, founder of Bronx Toys, who has participated in a series of toy drives for families in need all season long, including one earlier in the week with Anthony’s Flower Farm and other East Tremont merchants. Together, they joined to treat hundreds of seriously and terminally ill children at Jacobi Hospital to toys. In fact, together with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Bronx Toys has donated over 30,000 toys to children in the Bronx this year. The toys, bearing the words “NYPD” and “FDNY” are in honor of Long’s father, who was shot as a police 20

officer in the line of duty. “We are going to be putting 30,000 smiles on the faces of our children,” is how Chamber CEO Lenny Caro described it. “It’s beautiful to see everyone here. These are children and families of veterans,” added Calvelli. Jeans Cruz also spoke words of encouragement to the many veterans who are returning home. “Keep your head up, and always lend a hand. If it weren’t for these people trying to help us,” he remarked, “we wouldn’t be here.” Still, some participants had an even more profound perspective. 8 year-old Maylin Montañez had less words, and arguably, more holiday cheer. “I feel happy Santa Clause gave me my toys,” said Montanez. “I love them.”

DECEMBER 28, 2011 • the bronx free press • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com


Junot Díaz talks books, high school, and heart break Story by Sherry Mazzocchi Photos by Sherry Mazzocchi and Isaacc García

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osanna Cuevas, of northern Manhattan, was one of about 200 people who crowded into the Gregorio Luperon High School to hear Junot Díaz speak this past Fri., Jan. 27th. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was in town for a Family Literacy Day event. The afternoon forum, organized by civic group Acción Comunitaria La Aurora, Teatro Las Tablas, Word Up Bookstore, The Manhattan Times and The Bronx Free Press, also featured free books provided by Barnes and Noble. Cuevas brought her daughter, Rossaura, 9, hoping the talk would inspire a love of literature. And much of what Díaz spoke about was directed at parents such as Cuevas. If you are here with children, he told the audience, then you believe in the power of reading. His parents, he explained, would tell him that education was a wonderful thing, but they didn’t act on that idea. When caught reading books, his

The auditorium was filled with local families from northern Manhattan and the Bronx seeking to hear from Junot Díaz, who is the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Photo: S. Mazzochi. mother instead told him to go out and play. Díaz said that no one knows what a child will eventually become—and they shouldn’t be judged quickly. Instead,

Díaz said it’s better to keep ideas about your children flexible and not label them. During his high school senior year, Díaz was absent 130 days. He had a GPA

of 1.7. But his mother never called him stupid or told him he would end up in prison. Instead, she kept saying, “This kid is going to be brilliant.” Because she never condemned him for not doing well in school, Díaz said that created a space for him to change and become an academic and a writer. When a teacher in the audience asked him what would have motivated him—and children like him—to come to school, the answer was revealing. “Remember that person that you loved the most and who absolutely broke your heart?” he asked. “And remember how useful and productive you were the six months after your heart was broken?” Kids in school are getting their hearts broken all the time, by parents, friends or just life. “And then we expect them to be kicking a** in school,” he said. But they need time to mourn. Díaz’s father left their family the same year his older brother got cancer. “There was no teacher in the world,” said Díaz, “who was going to keep me from a dysfunctional heart break in my senior year.” But schools are like stopwatches, he said. If kids don’t mend according to the school’s timetable, they’re labeled as “bad” students. But in reality, they are just sensitive. See JUNOT p12

Junot Díaz habla sobre libros, la secundaria y el dolor en la adolescencia Historia por Sherry Mazzocchi Fotos por Sherry Mazzocchi e Isaacc García

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osanna Cuevas, de Manhattan Norte, estuvo entre unas 200 personas reunidos en la Escuela Secundaria Gregorio Luperón este pasado viernes 27 de enero, para escuchar a Junot Díaz. El autor, ganador del Premio Pulitzer por la Obra The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (La Breve y Asombrosa Vida de Oscar Wao), estaba en la ciudad para un evento del Día Familiar de la Lectura. El foro vespertino, organizado por el grupo cívico Acción Comunitaria La Aurora, Teatro Las Tablas, Word Up Bookstore, Manhattan Times y The Bronx Free Press, presentaba también libros gratis proporcionados por Barnes & Noble. Cuevas trajo a su hija, Rossaura de 9 años, esperando que la charla la inspiraría a amar la literatura. Y de lo que trató Díaz, gran parte estaba dirigido a padres como Cuevas. “Si está usted aquí acompañado de niños”, le dijo él a la audiencia, “entonces

usted cree en el poder de la lectura”. Sus padres, según explicó, le decían que la educación era algo maravilloso, pero no tomaron acción sobre esa idea. En su lugar, cuando su madre le atrapaba leyendo libros, lo mandaba a jugar. Díaz dijo que nadie sabe en que se convertirá un niño eventualmente—y no deberían ser juzgados con rapidez. En su lugar, Díaz dijo que es mejor mantener flexibles las ideas sobre sus hijos y no poner etiquetas. Durante su último año de secundaria, Díaz estuvo ausente por 130 días. Tenía un GPA de 1.7. Pero su madre nunca lo llamó estúpido o le dijo que terminaría en la prisión. En su lugar, ella se mantuvo diciendo, “Este muchacho va a ser brillante”. Dice Díaz, dado el que ella nunca lo condenó por su falta de rendimiento en la escuela, creó un espacio para que el cambiara y se convirtiera en académico y escritor. Cuando un maestro en el auditorio le preguntó qué le habría motivado—y a niños como el—para ir a la escuela, la respuesta fue reveladora. “Preguntó, ¿recuerda a esa persona a quien usted amó más y quien destrozó su corazón totalmente? “Y recuerda, ¿cuan útil y productivo era usted seis meses después de que le destrozaran el corazón”? En la escuela, a los chicos les destrozan el corazón a cada rato -- padres, amigos o simplemente la vida. “Y entonces esperamos que den de patadas en la escuela”, dijo él.

Las familias pudieron disfrutar de una gran variedad de temas literarios para todos los gustos, padres junto con sus hijos escogían el tema que llamara más su interés, como parte de las actividades del evento comunitario, Día de Lectura Familiar 2012. Foto: I. García

FEBRUARY 1, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com

Pero necesitan tiempo para lamentarse. El padre de Díaz abandonó a la familia el mismo año en que su hermano mayor tuvo cáncer. “No había maestro en el mundo”, dijo Díaz, “que impidiera un corazón destrozado y funcionando mal en mi último año de secundaria.” Pero las escuelas son como cronómetros, dijo. Si los chicos no se enmiendan de conformidad con el programa de la escuela, se les tilda de “mal” estudiante. Pero en realidad, solamente son sensibles. “La única razón por la cual los chicos actúan con rudeza es porque están protegiendo algo muy delicado por dentro. ¿Quién actúa con más rudeza que la comunidad negra y latina? No conozco a comunidad alguna que actúe con mas rudeza que nosotros”, dijo él, “excepto algunas comunidades que están en guerra.” Rosanna, quien llegó temprano y se sentó al frente, dijo que ella se identificaba con los libros de Díaz, especialmente los temas de crecer en un vecindario pobre. Al igual que Díaz, ella proviene también de la Republica Dominicana. Especialmente, le gustan los carácteres femeninos fuertes en el trabajo de Díaz y dice que eran muy reales. “Definitivamente el caracteriza a la comunidad dominicana inmigrante de una manera muy chistosa y vívida”, “Todas mis amistades que leen el libro [Oscar Wao] les ha encantado y juran por él”, dijo ella. Díaz fue su consejero en Syracuse Vea JUNOT p12

11


Disconnected no more: ACDP hosts expos to reach teens

Story by Debralee Santos and Sandra García Photos by Isaacc García

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isaffection, depression, disconnection. A teenager facing any one of these issues might be hard-pressed to imagine that there is a better path ahead, and may despair that there is economic or academic advancement to be had. “We need to talk about these topics. This is not just about being out of school,” said Soledad Hiciano, Executive Director of the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP), the venerable local non-profit organization in northern Manhattan and the Bronx, which is launching a new initiative directly aimed at addressing the needs and concerns of disconnected young teenagers. ACDP will be presenting a Female Teen Expo on April 14th and a Male Teen Expo on April 28th at the Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics in Washington Heights. “This is everybody’s problem,” added Hiciano, who has recruited a number of community partners in the endeavor. Among them are Con Edison and

Young student volunteers from ACDP have been canvassing the neighborhoods to get word about the organization’s youth expos this month.

CUNY in the Heights/Hostos Community College. Workshops at the expo will include topics such as college and career opportunities, pregnancy prevention, mental health, obesity, healthy image, financial literacy, teen dating abuse, leadership and community and many more.

“Nothing is off the table,” said Hiciano, whose commitment to the initiative is broadcast in unambiguously emphatic terms. “We need to take our young people on as what they are: our responsibility.” Hiciano explained that she and others at the organization have long sought to address what she describes as a “desperate situation” in which young teenagers fall

away from traditional school models, drop out, rebel and then are disengaged from paths towards academic, professional and personal development. Even for those that graduate high school, Hiciano notes that many students drop out in their freshman year, as they find that they are academically or financially ill-prepared for the rigors of a traditional college education, “And what we have been asking is, ‘How can we help?’ We have to get involved now and come head to head with these problems,” said Hiciano. She pointed further to a policy brief by the Community Service Society (CSS) titled “New York City’s Future Looks Latino” Hispanic youth between the ages of 16-24 years old are the largest single ethnic group, making up 32.6% of their age group. In the coming years, Latinos are expected to become the majority in the adult age population in New York City. However, Latino youths also have some of the “lowest rates of school enrollment and labor market success,” according to the same policy brief. It is estimated that there are 160,000 Latino and African American disconnected males and females ages 16 to 24 within the city of New York. The expos are designed specifically to address the needs of these disconnected youths. see ACDP p21

Más fácil que nunca aplicar a una Escuela Pública Autorizada en NYC

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hora, es mucho más fácil que nunca el aplicar para una escuela charter. El Centro de Escuelas Charter de la ciudad de Nueva York ha lanzado una emocionante iniciativa. La misma le facilita a los padres a lo largo de la ciudad de Nueva York a que apliquen para las escuelas charter para la fecha límite del 1 de abril. Puede aprender más, y aplicar a más de 120 escuelas charter de la ciudad de Nueva York, con la nueva ‘Common Online Charter School Application’, localizada en la página electrónica del Centro Charter, www.nycCharterSchools.org. Con sólo una aplicación, ofrecida en español, haitiano creol y francés, los padres pueden aplicar a la vez a múltiples escuelas. La campaña de publicidad pública del Centro Charter conducida en colaboración con las estaciones de radio La Mega, Amor y Kiss FM, la Federación Hispana, la Sociedad de Ayuda a los Niños y otras asociaciones (además del Manhattan Times and Bronx Free Press) es el esfuerzo más grande nunca antes visto para propagandizar la aplicación ‘online’. Verifique las páginas electrónicas de las estaciones de radio para obtener más información y para potencialmente ganar boletos para conciertos a través del quiz ‘Charter Schools Myth Busters”.

Cada año, miles de padres de la ciudad de Nueva York reflexionan sobre las alternativas de escuelas para sus niños. Además de las escuelas públicas tradicionales, ahora hay 136 escuelas charter públicas operando en la ciudad de Nueva York, educando a más de 45,000 estudiantes. Las escuelas charter son escuelas públicas gratis que están abiertas a todos los estudiantes de la ciudad de Nueva York. A diferencia de escuelas tradicionales de distritos, las escuelas charter operan independientemente del Departamento de Educación de NY. Estas pueden desarrollar su propio programa académico, escoger sus empleados, y establecer sus propias metas educativas y normas para el comportamiento del estudiante. Las escuelas charter tienden a enfatizar no sólo las materias básicas de inglés y matemática, sino también el arte, la ciencia y el lenguaje. APRIL 11, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com photo:Isaacc Garcia

La fecha Lí mite para aplicar es el primero de Abril

Muchos también tienen días escolares más largos y un año escolar más largo, y en general tienden a ser más pequeñas, suministrando una atmósfera más intima para el aprendizaje. La mayoría de las escuelas charter tienen un fuerte récord de logros, con algunas siendo verdaderamente excepcionales. Para conocer más sobrelos logros de las escuelas charter, usted puede ver su reporte de progreso y calificaciones del: http:// schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/ default.htm#FindPR No pierda la fecha límite del 1 de abril para aplicaciones. Visite www.nycCharterSchools. org para más información. 11

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Making car washes come clean

Story and photos by Sandra E. Garcia

Photo: Isaacc Garcia

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etting paid less than minimum wage, using harmful chemicals without protection and working overtime with no additional pay. Unsafe and potentially illegal, but the way of life for many car wash workers throughout the city. This past Thurs., May 17th, workers at a northern Manhattan car wash who have begun to rally and organize to fight against mistreatment from their employer were joined by local elected officials, community leaders and residents who gathered in a rally to show support for the workers’ fight for fair wages, benefits and job protections. “These workers are mainly immigrants, and are exploited workers. We want to send a message to let everyone know that they are not alone,” said Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, who spoke on 109th and First Avenue, at LMC Car Wash. “Being an immigrant is not a reason to be paid less. What’s happening is that [they] do not know their rights, and regardless of their status, are usually exploited,” she added. LMC Car Wash was deliberately chosen as its owner John Lage, who owns more than a dozen car washes in New York, was recently subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in regards to LMC’s payment policies. The event was organized as part of the Low Wage Worker week of action coordinated

Casimiro Mendes Perez, a car wash worker, called for fairer working conditions. “I just want minimum wage and justice,” he said.

by United New York, and among others in support were New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat, New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, East Harlem Workers, Member of the New York Communities for Change Worker’s Committee, Make the Road NY, United NY, Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center, Mariachi Real de México,

Limpiando los lavados de autos

New York City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (center) spoke at the rally. “These workers are mainly immigrants, and are exploited workers.”

and RWDSU. Some of those present at the rally were also workers at other car wash facilities, and had come in support of those at LMC. “I just want minimum wage and justice,” said Casimiro Mendes Perez, who works at Excellent Car Wash in the Bronx and earns $5.50 an hour.

“We work over 50 hours a week and we do not get overtime,” he added. “We just want what everyone else that works a job in the city gets, that. and some protection against the chemicals we use.” Perez said he has recently begun bleeding from his nose because he uses the “acid,” See CARWASH p23

Don’t know who to vote for in the primary on June 26?

Congressional district rouses clear show of unity from Bronx leaders Historia y fotos por Sandra E. García

Story by Debralee Santos and ecibiendo menos del salario mínimo, Marisol Rodríguez utilizando químicos Photos by productos Marisol Rodriguez, Isaacc Garcia and QPHOTONYC peligrosos sin protección, trabajando

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horas extras sin paga adicional, inseguros y potencialmente ilegal son ronx community leaders and parte de la officials vida de muchos elected have trabajadores joined que limpian a través show de la ciudad. together in a autos declarative

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of unity what they claim Este against pasado jueves, 17 de mayo, empleados un lavado de auto del Norte de Manhattan hasenbeen a politically charged que habían comenzado a organizarse para redistricting would luchar contra elprocess maltrato dethat su patrono, se le unieron ciales electos locales, líderes result in a ofidivided borough and comunales y residentes quienes se reunieron its 1.4 million residents being para mostrar su apoyo a la lucha de los represented by salarios five different trabajadores por justos, beneficios y protecciónof enCongress. el trabajo. members “Estos trabajadores son principalmente

New York State inmigrantes, y son Assemblymember explotados. QueremosPeter enviar Rivera, who has actively inque the un mensaje paraparticipated que todo el mundo sepa no están solos”, dijo la Concejal Melissa Markredistricting discussions in Albany, is critical quien en lahas Callenot 109been y la Primera of aViverito, process hehabló claims fair, Avenida, en Carresidents. Wash. specifically, to LMC Bronx ser un inmigrante no esisrazón paragrabs, que te “The“Elidea that the Bronx up for menos.inLoour que está sucediendo que that paguen the people borough who es have ellos no conocen sus derechos y sin importar staked a claim on raising their families and su condición, normalmente son explotados”, invested making it soWash great, simply be añadióinella. LMC Car fuecan deliberadamente tallied up toyameet thedueño numbers for another escogido que su John Lage, quien es county, is insulting,” said Assemblymember propietarios de más de una docena de lavado de Rivera, represents 76th District. autoswho en Nueva York, fue the recientemente citado el Fiscal General de Nuevaand Yorksustaining referente a “Ourporcommitment to growing política de de LMC. this la borough arepago the same, whether you’re on Westchester Avenue or Southern Boulevard. Our12voting rights should be respected as such.” The concerns of Assemblymember Rivera

El evento fue organizado como parte de la semana de acción del Trabajador de Baja the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver, Paga coordinado por United New York, y entre drawing up lines that would carve up the otros apoyando estaba el Senador Estatal Bronx. As a result, the borough would Adriano Espaillat, el Concejal Ydanis Rodríguez, th be represented by five different congress Trabajadores de East Harlem, Comité ‘Members members, with only a full congressional of the New York Communities for Change district in the Bronx. Worker’s, ‘Make the Road NY’, ‘United NY’, need to make sure that the Wednesday, May“We 23rd Centro Cultural y Comunal Mirabal Sisters, Congressional constructed closely Mariachi Real de México y RWDSU. 7-9pmreflect what we lines Algunos de aquellos también presentes en have now,” declared New la manifestación lo eran trabajadores de otras York State Room Assemblymember Jose Rivera in the Castle Village Community facilidades de lavado de auto y habían ido en of the 78thof District 110 Cabrini Boulevard (just north 181stin) the Bronx, and former apoyo a aquellos en LMC. Democratic Bronx County Chairman. “In “Yo sólo deseo el salario mínimo y justicia”, this way, the Bronx will continue to get the dijo Casimiro Mendes Pérez, quien trabaja en Invited Guests include: representation that it deserves.” Excellent Car Wash en el Bronx y gana $5.50 And while the Republican Majority Leader la hora. Hon. Adriano Espaillat* and New York State Senator Dean Skelos “Trabajamos más de 50 horas a la semana Ms. Joyce Johnson* had expressed his support for the creation y no recibimos pago por horas extras”, añadió. Hon. Charles of Rangel a Latino Congressional district in an “Solo deseamos lo que todo el mundo que Mr. Craig Schley* address to a gathering of New York Hispanic trabaja en un empleo de la ciudad recibe, eso, y alguna protección contra los químicos que Chambers of Commerce late last month, the Mr. Clyde Williams* utilizamos”. plans drawn up by the Senate are said to have Pérez dijo que recientemente había included no such district. comenzado a sangrar por su nariz porque utiliza Instead, Senate plans would create a nonDebate will be moderated by the League of Women Voters el “ácido”, como el lo llama, el cual se utiliza incumbent district that would be connected para hacer los limpiadores de espuma en esta to Queens, with Latinos comprising less than tienda. El fluido, explicó el, algunas veces hace 45% ofOwners the district. This forum is sponsored by the Hudson Heights Coalition (HHOC), a que su cara se sienta quemada. 501(c)(3) organization. HHOC does not make“The political endorsements, but since Bronx has for too long been short“Le dije al gerente y a lathis secretaria la in the Bronx to call for Marchers gathered past de week our founding in 1993 has held candidates’ forums inand races where thererepresentation,” is a true changed denied proper tienda”, dijo Pérez, quien dijo que todavía no le the creation of a new Latino Congressional district. contest and something Photo: to be Isaacc learned from the field of candidates vying forinthe Garcia added Assemblymember Rivera response ha dicho al dueño. “Y no he tenido tiempo de public’s vote. to the many proposals that would see the ir al doctor porque siempre estoy trabajando”. that thecabeza newde Congressional district Como su hogar, Pérez sabe que suwill States Census. Bronx divided. “We can no longer stand by

Candidates’ Forum for the 13 Congressional District

adversely affect the Bronx appear to be wellThe New York State Assembly and New Vea CARWASH p23 * attendance confirmed founded. York State Senate, as the two legislative Since 1962, federal law mandates that every bodies of the state, are responsible for drawing • negotiating www.manhattantimesnews.com MAY must 23, 2012 • MAnhAttAn decade, each state re-map local, statetiMes up and new district lines. and federal election districts to account for But there has been relatively little population changes as reported by the United consensus to date, with the Assembly, under

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and be used as a sort of junkyard, taking in all the rubbish that other boroughs may want to dump on us.” Little support for the proposals was to be See CONGRESSIONAL p12


CONGRESSIONAL p4

had in the Executive Chamber, as Governor Andrew Cuomo had signaled repeatedly that he was prepared to veto the district boundaries proposed by the legislature. This past Mon., Feb. 27th, LATFOR, the joint bi-partisan task force charged mapping new lines, announced it had not come to an agreement. Magistrate Roanne Mann, a federal judge in Brooklyn, was then appointed to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries by March 12th. Aided by Nathaniel Persily, a redistricting expert and professor at Columbia Law School, Judge Mann will act as “special master,” and will draw lines for New York State’s 27 Congressional districts (down from 29) in two weeks. Time is of the essence, as Congressional candidate petitioning is set to begin March 20th. In response, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. sent a strongly worded letter to Judge Mann this past Fri., Mar. 2nd. “For months, there has been countless speculation and innuendo concerning the future of our City’s Congressional districts,” wrote President Diaz. “Almost all of this discussion has revolved around carving up the Bronx in order to benefit other counties.” The letter was notable for both its unequivocal language, and also for its being signed by 18 Bronx elected officials representing the Assembly, the Senate and the City Council. All made clear that the Bronx’s

leadership was united in opposition to having the borough dissembled in order to lend weight to other counties. “Over the past few years, the political leadership of the Bronx has been united as never before, and we remain united on the issue of redistricting,” stated the letter. “We will not stand for any Congressional redistricting plan that dilutes the voting power of the Bronx for the benefit of another county.” And so the discussions, and wrangling, will continue. Some advocates of the new district are prepared to pursue their case in court. As the Bronx leadership argues for a new congressional district that would not carve

Photo: Isaacc Garcia

the Bronx into separate pieces, community residents and leaders from northern Manhattan and the Bronx marched together this past Sun., Feb. 26th to make a similar demand: the creation of a third Latino Congressional district in New York. “We need more Latino representation in Congress,” said Gabriela Rosa, a member of Community Board 12 and one of over a hundred that marched from West 207th Street and Broadway, across the University Heights Bridge, to Devoe Park on Fordham Road in the Bronx. “If you compare the population that we [Latinos] have to the representation that we have, it’s not balanced,” added Rosa.

A host of elected officials from throughout northern Manhattan and the Bronx have sought to have a new Latino-dominant Congressional district created in New York State, arguing that such a district would properly reflect the corresponding increase of Latinos noted in the 2010 Census data. Latinos are the city’s largest minority group at 29 percent of the total 8.1 million population. The voices calling for the district include New York City Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Robert Jackson, both of northern Manhattan and both at this past Sunday’s march. “The Latino community is saying we have the numbers to elect a third member to Congress,” affirmed Councilmember Rodríguez in front of marchers at Devoe Park. Currently, there are only two Latinos representing New York in Congress: Rep. Nydia Velázquez and Rep. José Serrano. Many have argued that two congressional seats are not enough. Mayor Bloomberg, at an event in Washington Heights honoring Dominican heritage this past Mon., Feb. 27th, also voiced support for a new Latino Congressional seat, as have a number of those looking to replace him in City Hall in 2013: New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson. Jazmin Alemán, a Dominican Bronx resident who works in Washington Heights, joined the march because she believes See CONGRESSIONAL p20

Distrito congresional provoca demostración de unidad entre líderes del Bronx Historia por Debralee Santos y Marisol Rodríguez Fotos por Marisol Rodriguez, Isaacc Garcia

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os líderes comunitarios y oficiales electos del Bronx se unificaron esta pasada semana en una demostración declarativa contra lo que ellos alegan ha sido, hasta la fecha, un proceso de redistribución distrital politizado que resultará en un condado dividido donde el 1.4 millón de residentes podrían ser representados por cinco diferentes miembros del Congreso. El asambleísta del estado de Nueva York Peter Rivera, quien ha participado activamente en Albany en las discusiones sobre la redistribución distrital, es un crítico del proceso, alegando que no ha sido justo, específicamente para los residentes del Bronx. “La idea de que el Bronx está disponible, de que la gente del condado quienes han establecido récord en criar a sus familias y han invertido en hacerlo tan bien, puedan ser simplemente calculados para equiparar las cifras de otro condado, es un insulto”, dijo el Asambleísta Rivera, quien representa el Distrito 76. “Nuestro compromiso para aumentar y

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Asambleísta Estatal José Rivera.

sostener este condado son una misma cosa, ya sea que este usted en Westchester Avenue o en Southern Boulevard. Nuestros derechos como votante deben de ser respetados”. Al parecer, las inquietudes del Asambleísta Rivera con relación a que el nuevo distrito congresional afectaría de manera adversa al Bronx parecen tener fundamento. La Asamblea Estatal y el Senado del Estado de Nueva York, como los dos cuerpos legislativos del estado, son los responsables de diseñar y negociar los límites de los nuevos distritos.

Pero hasta la fecha ha habido relativamente poco consenso con la Asamblea, bajo el liderazgo del Presidente Sheldon Silver, estableciendo límites que repartirían la población del Bronx y como resultado de ello sería representado por cinco diferentes miembros del Congreso, con un sólo distrito congresional completo que estaría en el Bronx. “Necesitamos asegurarnos de que las líneas congresionales construidas reflejen lo que ahora tenemos”, declaró el Asambleísta del estado de Nueva York José Rivera del Distrito 78 del Bronx, y antiguo Presidente Demócrata del Condado del Bronx. “De esta forma, el Bronx continuará teniendo la representación que se merece”. Y mientras el Líder de la Mayoría Republicana y Senador el Estado de Nueva York, Dean Skelos había expresado el mes pasado su respaldo a la creación de un distrito congresional latino durante un discurso ante las Cámaras de Comercio Hispanas de Nueva York, se dice que los planes delineados por el Senado no han incluido tal distrito. En su lugar, el Senado tiene planeado crear un distrito sin incumbente que estaría conectado con Queens, y en el que los latinos serían menos del 45% del distrito. “Durante mucho tiempo, el Bronx no ha estado recibiendo trato justo y se le ha negado la representación adecuada”, agregó el Asambleísta Rivera en respuesta a las muchas propuestas que verían al Bronx dividido”. Ya no podemos más estar observando el ser utilizados como una especie de solar de chatarra, recibiendo todo el desperdicio que otros condados quieran lanzarnos”.

MARCH 7,, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

Poco respaldo se recibiría para las propuestas en la Cámara Ejecutiva, cuando el Gobernador Andrew Cuomo había señalado repetidamente que estaba preparado para vetar los límites del distrito legislativo propuestas por la Legislatura. Este pasado lunes 27 de febrero, una vez LATFOR, la fuerza de trabajo bi-partidista que lanzó las nuevas líneas cartográficas, anunció que no había arribado a un acuerdo. La Jueza Roanne Mann, de la Corte Federal en Brooklyn, fue designada para trazar los linderos para el 12 de marzo. Dentro de dos semanas, y asistida por Nathaniel Persity, un experto en redistribución distrital y profesor de la Escuela de Leyes de Columbia, la Juez Mann actuará como “maestro especial” y trazará las líneas para los 27 distritos congresionales del Estado de Nueva York (reducidos de los 29 existentes). El tiempo es esencial, ya que la campaña para peticiones de un candidato congresional está fijada a iniciarse el 20 de marzo. Como respuesta, este pasado viernes 2 de marzo, el Presidente del Condado del Bronx Ruben Díaz Jr. le envió una fuerte respuesta a la Jueza Mann. “Durante meses, han habido incontables especulaciones e insinuaciones con respecto al futuro de los distritos congresionales de nuestra ciudad”, escribió el Presidente Díaz. “Casi toda esta discusión ha girado en torno a dividir el Bronx a fin de beneficiar a otros condados”. La carta se destacó tanto por su lenguaje Vea CONGRESSIONAL p20

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A new home announced for largest provider of free legal services Story by Marisol Rodríguez and Debralee Santos Photos by Isaacc Garcia

Today is really a glorious day for the Bronx,” said Borough President Ruben Díaz Jr. as a bright sun beamed down upon the crowd gathered on 149th Street and Brook Avenue, the site which will soon house the new offices of Legal Services NYC-Bronx.

In the company of elected officials and Legal Services staff and clients, Jennifer Levy, Esq., Project Director of Legal Services NYC-Bronx, announced major headway for securing state and city funding for an estimated $9.4 million development that will both increase and modernize office space at a press conference held this past Fri., Mar. 23rd. Legal Services NYC-Bronx is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the borough and the largest Legal Services office in the City. “For years, we have been searching for an office that is large enough for our seventy person staff, for all of our clients to receive services in confidential and dignified surroundings, to hold community meetings, and that is fully ADA accessible,” explained Levy.

“It’s good for the neighborhood, but more than that, it’s good for justice,” said New York State Senator of the 36th District Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

The initiative to move Legal Services in the Bronx to new offices, which began almost four years ago under the leadership of Steven Telzak, former Project Director of Legal Services NYC-Bronx, edges ever closer to materializing with the support of elected officials such as the Bronx delegation of the New York City Council, New York City Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Annabel Palma, Bronx Borough President Díaz, and New York State Senator

José Serrano, who have pledged to advocate for funding totaling $6.4 million. “Legal Services NYC-Bronx is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the borough; touches the lives of more than 10,000 people; and helps to bring more than $7 million into the homes of low-income Bronx residents through their outstanding advocacy work. This is why supporting LS NYC-Bronx’ work to find a new home is something those of us in government must

do,” said Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo. “Legal Services NYC-Bronx has a long history of providing top-level legal assistance in our borough,” added Councilmember Palma. “This new development clearly offers a win-win in that it will provide Legal Services NYC-Bronx with the space they need to function while helping to revitalize the area around the Hub.” Additional monies needed for the project will be raised through private funding, according to Levy. The announcement was met with excitement, not for the benefits the new space will provide to Bronx residents alone, but also for the symbolic nature of the work undertaken by the organization. “It’s good for the neighborhood, but more than that, it’s good for justice,” said New York State Senator of the 36th District Ruth Hassell-Thompson. And New York State Senator Jeff Klein, who has partnered with Legal Services NYC-Bronx to address the issue of home foreclosures for Bronx residents, also cheered the news. “With the Bronx having the second highest number of foreclosures in the state, this new space will allow the more than 8,000 families possibly facing foreclosure to receive guidance and legal representation in a safe and comforting environment,” said Sen. Klein. “I am proud to work with them See NEWHOME p10

Anuncian nuevo hogar del proveedor de servicios legales

Historia por Marisol Rodríguez y Debralee Santos Fotos por Isaacc García

Hoy realmente es un día glorioso para el Bronx”, dijo el presidente del condado Rubén Díaz Jr. mientras un brillante sol brillaba encima de la multitud reunida en la Calle 149 y la Avenida Brook, el lugar donde se albergarán las nuevas oficinas de Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx. En compañía de oficiales electos y empleados y clientes de Servicios Legales, Jennifer Levy, Esq., directora de proyecto de Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx, anunció importantes avances para asegurar fondos estatales y de la ciudad en un estimado de $9.4 millones que aumentará y modernizará las oficinas, dijo Levy en una conferencia de prensa llevada a cabo el pasado viernes, 23 de marzo en el lugar. Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx es el mayor proveedor de servicios legales civiles gratuito en el condado y la oficina de Servicios Legales es la más grande en la ciudad. “Por años, hemos estado buscando una oficina que fuera lo suficientemente grande para nuestros setenta empleados, para que todos nuestros clientes reciban servicios en un entorno confidencial y digno, hacer reuniones comunales y que sea completamente ADA accesible”, explicó Levy. La iniciativa de mover

El nuevo lugar casi doblará el tamaño actual de Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx, ofrecerá nuevo espacio verde y proveerá accesibilidad ADA y capacidad de servicio para sus clientes.

Servicios Legales al Bronx a las nuevas oficinas, que comenzó hace casi cuatro años bajo la dirección de Steven Telzak, antiguo director de proyectos de Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx, está casi por materializarse con el apoyo de oficiales electos tales como la delegación del Bronx en el Concejo de la ciudad de Nueva York, las Concejales María del Carmen Arroyo y Annabel Palma, el presidente de condado del Bronx Díaz y el Senador Estatal José Serrano, se han comprometido a abogar por fondos totalizando $6.4 millones. “Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx es el proveedor más grande de servicios legales civiles gratuito en el condado; toca las vidas de más de 10,000 personas; y ayuda a llevar más de

$7 millones a los hogares de residentes de bajos ingresos en el Bronx a través de su sobresaliente trabajo de defensa. Es por esto que apoyar LS NYC-Bronx para encontrar un nuevo hogar es algo que algunos de nosotros en el gobierno tenemos que hacer”, dijo la Concejal María del Carmen Arroyo. “Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx tiene una larga historia de proveer asistencia legal de alto nivel en nuestro condado”, añadió la Concejal Palma. “Este nuevo desarrollo claramente ofrece una ganancia que le proveerá a Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx con espacio que necesitan para funcionar mientras ayudan a revitalizar el área alrededor de la comunidad”. Dinero adicional que

MARCH 28, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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se necesita para el proyecto será recaudado a través de fondos privados, según Levy. El anuncio fue recibido con entusiasmo, no por los beneficios que el nuevo espacio proveerá a los residentes del Bronx, sino también por la naturaleza simbólica de la labor realizada por la organización. “Es bueno para el vecindario, pero más que eso, es bueno para la justicia”, dijo la Senadora Estatal del Distrito 36 Ruth Hassell-Thompson. Y el Senador Estatal Jeff Klein, quien se ha asociado con Servicios Legales NYC-Bronx para dirigir el asunto de las cancelaciones de hipotecas de hogares a los residentes del Bronx, también se alegró de la noticia. “Con el Bronx teniendo el segundo número más alto de ejecución de hipotecas en el estado, este nuevo espacio le permite a las más de 8,000 familias que pueden enfrentar ejecuciones hipotecarias, recibir orientación y representación legal en un ambiente seguro y acogedor”, dijo el Senador Klein. “Estoy orgulloso de trabajar con ellos ya que continúan proveyendo representación legal asequible a todos los residentes del Bronx en necesidad”. Triangle Equities fue seleccionado como el desarrollador del lugar en la Avenida Brook el año pasado y comenzará la construcción del sitio de uso mixto, el cual incluirá espacio comercial y una escuela, además de la oficina de Servicios Legales. Se espera que el trabajo en el lugar comience dentro de los próximos meses y sea completado a finales del 2013. Ver NUEVO HOGAR p10 3


FAMILY from p16

their “special place.” Hernández is also working with the students at nearby P.S. 114, her alma mater. Through her teaching, she seeks to provoke students to think of art as a tool to create change in their own community. Third-graders at P.S. 114 have brainstormed as regards their project in Mullaly Park, which they say is often filled with garbage. To start the process of cleaning the park, students will be designing garbage bags to encourage visitors to recycle. “If we just make fabulous looking garbage bags, maybe it will attract people to recycle,” said Hernández. Another Bronx artist, John Ahearn, has also been working with children in the Head Start Program at the Freedman House through the medium of plaster. Under Ahearn’s guidance, the children created plastered replicas of their hands and arms, which are on display at the No Longer Empty exhibit. Bronx Children’s Museum Executive Director Carla Precht pointed out that while many artists were inspired to create work relating to the history of the building, Ahearn was inspired by what he sees as the building’s future. “To him, the future of the building is the children downstairs in the Head Start program,” said Precht. In September 2011, the Bronx Children’s Museum opened its first exhibition, “River on the Go,” aboard a bright purple bus, within which is a multisensory exhibit of the Bronx River. FAMILIAR de p16

estudiantes de la cercana P.S.114, su alma mater. Mediante su enseñanza ella provoca a los estudiantes a pensar sobre el arte como una herramienta para crear el cambio en su comunidad. Los de tercer grado en P.S. 114 generaron sus ideas para su propio proyecto en Mullaly Park, el cual ellos dicen esta frecuentemente lleno de basura y donde sus padres no consideran es seguro para ellos poder jugar. Para iniciar el proceso de limpieza del parque, los estudiantes estarán diseñando fundas de basura para motivar a los visitantes a reciclar.

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Precht said the focus on the river came out of conversations with early childhood teachers and directors in the Bronx who found science to be an important educational focus. “We asked what would augment curriculum, and science was big,” said Precht. While the museum, which will be located in Mill Pond Park in the South Bronx, will not open immediately, Precht said its vision is already established and closely connected to a philosophy she developed while working

at the Union Settlement Association in East Harlem. “You work with the family, and you see a family in terms of the community,” said Precht. “We’re involving the community in the development of the Children’s museum, while having a total respect for family.” Bronx resident Katina Burnett brought her daughter Sydney to Family Day after hearing about it from the Bronx Community Charter School, where Sydney is a firstgrader. For Burnett, the arts and crafts workshops

Katina Burnett brought her daughter Sydney to Family Day.

gave her ideas on easy-to-do projects she can replicate at home. “Art can be a little intimidating for someone who isn’t artistic, so to find ways that you can do things that are simple, easy and inexpensive is really great,” she said. Burnett is also convinced of the importance of the Children’s Bronx Museum opening its doors to the families of the Bronx. “With art being eliminated from schools, I think it’s important to have other outlets for kids to express themselves artistically,” she said. “Having an actually museum where kids can go to and participate in art is fantastic.”

“Si hacemos que las fundas de basura se vean fabulosas, tal vez ello atraerá a la gente para que recicle”, dijo Hernandez. John Ahearn, otro artista del Bronx ha estado también trabajando con los niños en el Head Start Program en Freedman House mediante el yeso. Bajo la orientación de Ahearn, los niños crearon réplicas en yeso de sus manos y brazos, las cuales están expuestas en la muestra No Longer Empty. La Directora Ejecutiva del Bronx Children’s Museum Carla Precht destacó que mientras muchos artistas se inspiraron a crear trabajos

relativos a la historia del edificio, Ahearn se inspiró en lo que él ve como el futuro del edificio. “Para él, el futuro del edificio lo son los niños quienes están en el piso de abajo en el programa Head Start “, dijo Precht. En septiembre del 2011 el Bronx Children’s Museum abrió su primera muestra River on the Go, en un autobús color morado brillante, el cual tiene en su interior una muestra multisensorial del Bronx River. Precht dijo que la atención al rio surgió de conversaciones con maestros y directores de temprana edad del Bronx, quienes consideraron que la ciencia es un punto educativo de importancia. “Preguntamos que aumentaría el curricula y la ciencia resultó ser importante”, dijo Precht. Mientras tanto, el museo, el cual estará localizado en Mill Pond Park en el Sur del Bronx, no abrirá de inmediato, Precht dijo que su visión esta ya establecida e íntimamente conectada a una filosofía que ella desarrolló mientras laboraba en Union Settlement Association en East Harlem. “Usted trabaja con la familia y usted ve a una familia en términos de la comunidad”, dijo Precht. “Estamos involucrando a la comunidad en el desarrollo del Museo de los Niños, al tiempo que guardamos un respeto total por la familia”. La residente del Bronx Katrina Burnett trajo a su hija Sydney al Día Familiar luego de enterarse sobre ello por la Bronx Community Charter School, donde Sydney cursa el primer grado. Para Burnett, los talleres de artes y manualidades le dieron ideas sobre proyectos

fáciles de hacer que ella puede repetir en su casa. “El arte puede ser un poco intimidante para alguien que no sea artístico, por tanto, el descubrir que usted puede hacer cosas que son simples, fáciles y baratas, es realmente fabuloso”, dijo ella. Burnett está convencida también de la importancia de que el Children’s Bronx Museum abra sus puertas a las familias del Bronx. “Con la eliminación del arte de las escuelas, yo pienso que es importante el tener otras instalaciones para que los niños se expresen artísticamente”, expresó ella. “Es fantástico el tener actualmente un museo donde los niños pueden ir y participar en el arte.

MAY 16, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Bridging art and community: Bronx Children’s Museum hosts Family Day Story by Marisol Rodríguez Photos by Isaacc García

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ith no permanent home yet, the Bronx Children’s Museum has continued to actively engage children and families of the borough through the arts, most recently during “What is Art?” Family Day at the Andrew Freedman Home, located near 167th Street and Grand Concourse, on Sun., May 6th. In collaboration with No Longer Empty, an arts organization dedicated to widening the audience for contemporary art through utilizing abandoned spaces in communities throughout the city, the Bronx Children’s Museum hosted an afternoon of arts and crafts, including a bird and fish making station and a community mural where children used their imagination to draw images related to paradise, a theme inspired by No Longer Empty’s current exhibit This Side of Paradise at the Freedman Home. In his will, Andrew Freedman left money to provide lavish care for formerly wealthy elderly whom had lost their wealth, either as a result of the Great Depression or wars in Europe, explained No Longer Empty Project Manager Lucy Lydon. Lyndon noted the parallels between the former residents of the mansion and

campaign, which she described as an initiative to connect artists directly to the community through socially-relevant artistic projects. “We want to give the license to the artist to be the spokesperson for their own work and be a part of creating projects with the kids,” said Hernández. The Bronx Children’s Museum has also collaborated with the Head Start program of Bronx Works, located across the street from the Freedman mansion. Facilitated by Hernández, the children are creating their own paradise in the form of a 3-D structure with a façade of puzzle pieces visually depicting what students would bring

The day was organized, in part, by (left to right) Luisa Escalera, Carla Pretch, Carmen Julia Hernandez, Natalie Wood

the current residents of the surrounding neighborhood. “The home had all these people who were culturally very rich, but maybe didn’t have a lot of money,” she said. “We saw lots of parallels in the Bronx. It’s a diverse borough and culturally it’s very rich.” Bronx Children’s Museum program manager and performance artist Carmen Julia Hernández, who grew up two blocks

from the Freedman mansion, remembers accompanying her parents to the home, where they had to go to pay rent in the early nineties. Among the many uses the home has served is as a current site of a Head Start program, which has its space in the basement. For the past couple of weeks, Hernández has been working with the children of the program as part of the “What is Art?”

Moussa See FAMILY p22

Entrelazando el arte y la comunidad: El Museo de los Niños del Bronx auspicia un Día Familiar Historia por Marisol Rodríguez Fotos por Isaac García

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in local permanente aún, el Bronx Children’s Museum (Museo de los Niños del Bronx) ha continuado involucrando de manera activa a niños y familias del condado por medio de las artes, de manera más reciente el día 6 de mayo, con el Día Familiar ¿Qué es el Arte?, en el Andrew Freddman Home, localizado cerca de la calle 167 y Grand Concourse. En colaboración con No Longer Empty (Ya No Hay Vacio), una organización artística dedicada a ampliar la audiencia del arte contemporáneo mediante la utilización de espacios abandonados en comunidades a todo lo largo de la ciudad, el Museo del Niño del Bronx auspició una tarde de artes y manualidades. Entre las actividades presentadas habia una estación para hacer aves y peces y un mural donde los niños hicieron uso de su imaginación para dibujar imágenes relativas al paraíso, un tema inspirado por la actual muestra This Side of Paradise (A Este Lado del Paraíso) fue presentada por No Longer Empty en Freedman Home. En su testamento, Andrew Freedman dejó dinero para proporcionar espléndido cuidado a los envejecientes quienes fueron acaudalados y habían perdido sus fortunas, ya fuere como resultado de la Gran Depresión o las guerras en Europa, explicó Lucy Lydon, Gerente de 16

Proyecto de No Longer Empty. Lyndon destacó los paralelos entre los antiguos residentes de la mansión y los actuales residentes de la circundante vecindad. “El hogar tenía a todas estas personas quienes eran muy ricas culturalmente, pero que quizás no tenían mucho dinero”, dijo ella. “Hemos visto muchos paralelos en el Bronx porque es un condado diverso y es muy rico culturalmente”. La gerente de Programa con el Bronx Children’s Museum y la artista de presentación, Carmen Julia Hernández, quien creció a dos manzanas de la mansión Freedman, recuerda haber acompañado a sus padres al hogar, donde tenían que acudir a pagar la renta a principios de la década de los noventa.

Rohem Nyany con su hija Marietoy

Clive

Irónicamente, la mansión es ahora la sede del programa Head Start(Inicio Temprano), el cual tiene su espacio en el sótano. Durante las últimas dos semanas, Hernández ha estado laborando con los niños del programa como parte de la Campana What is Art? (Qué es el Arte?), lo cual ella describe como una iniciativa para conectar a los artistas directamente con la comunidad mediante proyectos artísticos de relevancia social. “Queremos dar la licencia al artista para que sea el vocero de su propio trabajo y sea parte de la creación de proyectos con los niños”, dijo MAY 16, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Hernández. Bronx Children’s Museum ha colaborado también con el programa Head Start de Bronx Works, localizado al cruzar la calle de la Mansión Freedman. Facilitados por Hernández, los niños están creando su propio paraíso en la forma de una estructura en 3ra dimensión, con una fachada de piezas de rompecabezas representando visualmente lo que los estudiantes traerían a su “espacio especial”. Hernández labora también con los Vea FAMILIAR p22


“Las conversaciones del Bronx: Historias del Bronx” trae a casa a los narradores Historia por Adrián Cabreja y Sandra García Fotos por Isaacc García

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l viernes 27 de abril, el Museo de Arte del Bronx fue el anfitrión de “Las conversaciones del Bronx: Historias del Bronx”. El evento fue destinado a compartir cuentos, poemas y música sobre el condado, y marcaba el cierre del Mes Nacional de la Poesía.

Años de Incendio”, una colección de poemas que describen sus experiencias dentro del Bronx, y los cambios que se produjeron en el Bronx desde 1960. Los miembros de la audiencia también se unieron durante la noche para recitar sus poemas y contar sus historias. “La poesía es algo magnífico para uno expresarse. Cuando leo una poesía o cuando

Al frente estaba la poeta, escritora y artista de la palabra Caridad De La Luz, también conocida como “La Bruja”. Ella animó a los muchos reunidos en la audiencia a contar sus propias historias sobre su condado predilecto. De la Luz ha ofrecido numerosos conciertos, incluyendo en la cadena Telemundo y la serie de HBO “Def Poetry Jam”. Esta noche, ella leyó un poema inspirado por Langston Hughes, “Yo también soy negra.” (“I, too, am black.”) Otros poetas y artistas que hablaron de sus recuerdos y relatos del condado fueron C Debra Thomas, Zeolla Angelo y Michelle Tokarczyk. La Profesora Michelle Tokarczyk del Colegio Gaucher, nació en la sección de West Farms en El Bronx. Cuando era niña, se mudó a Queens. “Con pesar”, ofreció Tokarczyk, con un toque de lamento. A pesar de que ya no es un residente del Bronx, dijo que mantiene su amor por el condado. Tokarczyk leyó una serie de poemas de su próximo libro a ser publicado titulado “Los

puedo crear mis propios poemas, me siento muy bien y segura”, dijo Teshia Kitts. “Creo que todos deben usar la poesía. Es bueno para el alma “ Para más información sobre los programas del Museo del Bronx, visite www. bronxmuseum.com.

“Bronx Talks: Bronx Stories” brings home Adolescent Health & Wellness Center the storytellers Story by Adrian Cabreja and Sandra García Photos by Isaacc García

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Tokarczyk. Professor Michelle Tokarczyk ofHealth Gaucher A Division of Urban College was born in the West Farms section of the Bronx. As a young girl, she moved to Queens. “Regretfully,” offered Tokarczyk with a touch of rue. Though she is no longer a resident of

the borough, she said

she kept her love of the Plan, Inc. borough close.

Tokarczyk read a series York 10459 960 Southern Blvd, Suite 2 Bronx, New of poems from her soonn Fri., April 27th, The Bronx book (Above Rite Aid to-be-published Pharmacy) Museum of the Arts was host titled “The Arson Years,”

to “Bronx Talks: Bronx Stories” an event aimed atCare sharingServices stories, Health for Teens poems and music about the and borough, and Young marking theAdults close of Ages 13-21 - Routine Well Care National Poetry Month. - Walk-in/Sick Visits

At the helm was poet, writer and spoken - Immunizations word artist Caridad De La Luz, also known as -“La Bruja.” School/Camp/Sports Physicals She offered encouragement to the - Reproductive Health many gathered in the audience to tell their own - Nutrition “Bronx stories.” Counseling De la Luz, who Screenings/Referrals has performed - Mental Health extensively, including on Telemundo and - HIV“Def Testing HBO’s Poetry Jam, read from her Langston Hughes-inspired poem, “I, too, am black.” Monday—Friday: 9 am—6 pm “I’ve been stabbed in the back Saturday: 9 am—1 pm For being too much of this and not enough of that Have to what exists718-589-4755 Callbeen for compared an appointment And have been told how much I lack You may not know it now But, it’s a fact I, too, am black.” Other poets and artists who spoke of their MAY 2, 2012 memories and tales of the borough were C Debra Thomas, Angelo Zeolla and Michelle

a collection of poems that describe her experiences Youth Development within the borough, and the changes that occurred Program for Teens Ages 12-18 in the Bronx since the - Educational/Career Support 1960’s. Audience membersService - Community also joined in during the Computer Lab Access evening to recite their poems- Mentors and tell their stories. - Youth Leadership “Poetry is a grand - Field Trips venue for one the express - Health themselves. WhenEducation I read poetry- Support or when I create Groups my own poems, I - Life Skills feel great and secure,” said Production Teshia- Media Kitts. “I think everyone should Literacy use - Financial poetry. It is good for the - Nutrition soul.”

information call 718-542-5555 x 3302 ForFor moremore information on “Bronx Talks: Bronx Stories” and other Bronx www.urbanhealthplan.org Museum of the Arts programs, visit www. Caridad De La Luz • THE BRONX FREE PRESSbronxmuseum.com. • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Vea STORIES p11

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A serious arts festival, and the stuff of dreams Story by Laura Gabby Photos by Isaacc García

Even after four years you don’t get used to this,” Cristopher, a senior in high school and a member of the Bronx Art Collective, told the crowd at DreamYard’s Out of School Program Festival on Friday evening.

“You don’t get used to standing here and talking about your art.” But talk the teens did. About the process of creating art. About their favorite mediums. About what inspired their work. About collaboration. This past Fri., Mar. 4th marked the second year the Out of School Program has held a festival for the youths in the program to showcase their creations, from a year’s worth of work on Saturdays and after school. Despite its name, this was not the average program celebrating its end-of-the-year party. This was a true artists’ gala, emerging from a rigorous, but nonetheless free and open youth-arts program in the Bronx. It was patent in the skill of the work and evident in the thoughtfulness with which the young artists gave to their presentations. It was marked by the gravity the pieces held for the audience members. The festival took place over the course of three days, and included performances and presentations by the Bronx Poetry Project, the Rhyme Factory, the Bronx Acting Ensemble, the Bronx Art Collective, and the Action Project, all groups part of the Out of School Program. “What’s really nice is to see, since we’ve been around for so long, is to see alumni coming back. And that’s exciting to see that they’re still committed and coming to performances,” said Evelyn Bojorquez, the Associate Director of Out of School Programs. “I just like the road it’s taken. You feel that

Evelyn Bojorquez

it’s connected to the community. You can get off the bus and bump into 10 people you know,” she added. The Out of School Program began seven years ago with just the Action Project, which explores the intersection between social justice and art. This year the Action Project devised an original performance on education inequality called ‘Race to Class,’ investigating how race and class affect education. “It follows four characters and works with the past and the present, and how that situated them in their neighborhood and what their education is like because of it,” said Marissa Metelica, the teaching artist for the Action Project. Youth interviewed many community members and developed a script. As the Out of School Program has evolved, new groups have been added based on youth and neighborhood interests. One of the newest groups is the Rhyme Factory. According to Bojorquez, they kept having kids ask, “What about hip hop?” And so they decided to add it. Sheldon Sneed performed one of the Rhyme Factor’s new songs, ‘Where I’m From,’ about being from New York. “High hopes, high buildings,” Sneed crooned out to the audience. “Tell ‘em where I’m from.” The Bronx Acting Ensemble created three original plays, written and enacted by the youth. In all three, comedy was artfully intertwined with the profound. In the short play Plutonium, the main character Kim tries to save the world from a meteor headed its way, but no one will heed Kim’s warning. The world Kim and the other characters live in is futuristic and technology-laden. Kim ends up trying to justify the world’s very existence to the other characters. At one point, she implores, “There are lots of things in this world that make you happy besides electronics. Like saying ‘I love you’ to your mom.”

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One of the scenes from original play “Pay back or keep the change”.

Playwright Fatoumata Diallo said that when they were writing, the first thing that popped into her head was Dr. Who. “In the beginning I wasn’t actually thinking of a theme,” said Diallo. “But I want to make the world a better place, make it different.” From there, the play took shape. At the end of the three plays, the floor was

100

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MAY 9, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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opened to questions and comments from the audience. A young audience member, perhaps 9 or 10 years old, raised his hand immediately. He spoke emphatically, resting his chin on his fist and smiling broadly at the cast. “That,” said the boy, “was a fantastic show!”


Giants win, and fans celebrate in the neighborhood Story by Laura Gabby and Isaacc García Photos by Isaacc García

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ars were crowded around the city this past Sunday night for the Giants49ers playoff game. And the Applebee’s Restaurant in the Gateway Center of the Bronx was no exception. Despite the enthusiasm, there was no rowdiness; the atmosphere was mellow in this family-style restaurant. The game began at 6:30pm, and by then, all the seats at the bar were taken. The booths and tables were also filled, some with fans making sure to get comfortable and stake out seats for the next 4 hours. Families chatted during commercials to explain the game to their children, and friends toasted to a victory that they said they knew was assured. The aromatic smell of barbeque sauce and ribs carried through the room. Most of the fans were from the neighborhood, choosing to stay local, in the neighborhood, instead of traveling to a more crowded bar downtown. For ten years, Letty Lopez and her boyfriend have been fans of the Giants team. “No matter if they lose, I’ll always support them,” she said, with a pumped fist in the air. The last time the Giants went to the Super Bowl, and won, in 2007, Applebee’s and the Gateway Center did not exist. Opened in 2009, the restaurant has made an effort to incorporate Bronx and local neighborhood history into the décor. According to restaurant manager Jamie Podojil, Applebee’s researches every neighborhood it opens in for decorating ideas and themes. In this case, that included painted

panels depicting landmarks such as the Bronx Zoo, the Madison Avenue Bridge, and of course, the nearby Yankee Stadium. Chiffon Granger, a teacher at the Bronx’s P.S. 29, and Wendell Rid, a juvenile justice officer, came out to Applebee’s for the drink specials, and because it was in the neighborhood, a good combination for a playoff game. By the second half of the game, the bar area remained full. With each play, the sighs and groans got heavier, and the cheers louder. “People come to have fun. We focus on providing excellent service, so your experience is second to none,” said Samantha Suarez, an Applebee’s waitress, as she tended to patrons. At one table, a father enjoying a burger with his 8 year-old son, while paying close attention to the game, agreed. “This is a place where I can enjoy the game and bring my son without worrying; [this is] totally a family atmosphere,” he explained. As the game neared the fourth quarter, security guards and employees from neighboring stores and cab drivers began to gather outside in the cold, just outside the clear glass window near the entrance. They peered in at the game on the flat screen, taking a break from their rounds or waiting to taxi fans home at the end. As restaurant business slowed, all attention pivoted on the game. Robert, a Bronx native and a server with Applebee’s for the past year, stopped to applaud the Giants on his way in and out of the kitchen. Robert and many of the other servers wore Giants jerseys; although a few wore Jets jerseys. A fumble by the 49ers in overtime set the Giants up for the winning field goal. Fans around the bar jumped out of their seats, whooping and hollering. A loud cheer came from the kitchen. The Giants had done it again, a victory touching every corner of New York, including a favorite neighborhood spot in the Bronx.

Patrons of the family-style restaurant in the Bronx Terminal Market were glued to the television screens showing the game.

Above: Abel Espinoza, left, and Jamie Podojil, center, pose together with another Applebee’s Restaurant employee during the Giants-49ers playoff game this past Sun., Jan. 22nd. Right: Many of the restaurant’s staff chose to show their allegiance to the home team, the Giants, by wearing the team’s blue jerseys. 23

JANUARY 25, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Blue and white all over: Posada announces retirement Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc Garcia If there were groans along 161st Street this past Saturday afternoon, you might have been forgiven for thinking that those watching the football games were unhappy with the score. Not so. Chances are that many sport fans were catching wind of the breaking news that New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, a five-time World Series champion and five-time All-Star, is planning to retire from Major League Baseball. It is anticipated that Posada, a member of the Yankees for seventeen years, is going to make a formal announcement concerning his retirement in the next two weeks rather than extend his career on another team. During the off-season, after months of rumored tension as he became the team’s designated hitter, it was said that Posada came to believe that his career with the Yankees was finished. However, other major league teams showed interest in Posada, including the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Phillies. But Posada, it seemed, chose to go out the way he came in: a Yankee. “I think it’s his time,” said Mario Nunez, a self-described life-long Yankee fan. “I still think he can produce off the

“Posada is one of those players who has left a great impression on the game,” said Abdullah, manager of S and A Sports, just across from Yankee Stadium. bench for another team but it would tarnish his Yankee legacy as part of the “Core Four,” so the best thing is for him

to retire wearing Yankee pinstripes.” Nunez was referring to the four Yankees players, Posada, Derek Jeter,

Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, who were drafted or originally signed by the Yankees and played together in the minor leagues, making their Yankee debuts in 1995. By late 2009, they were also the only remaining Yankees from the late 1990’s that had won four World Series Championships in five years. “He will be missed greatly,” said Abdulla, Manager of S&A Sports, located just across from Yankee Stadium. “He is one of those players who has left a great impression on the game.” In retiring, Posada leaves two of the Core Four behind: closer Mariano Rivera and short-stop and team captain Derek Jeter, as Pettitte retired in February 2011. “I think Posada is one of the greatest catchers the Yankees have ever seen. He is definitely on the same level as YogiBerra,” said Francisco Perez. “Yes, he was short-tempered, but that is because he wanted to win. The Bronx will miss him very much. I will miss him very much.” Upon retirement, Posada will end with a strong record of performance, with 261 home-runs and 1583 hits. He has had 5748 at-bats, all in blue and white pin-stripes “That is the best part about his retirement,” said a smiling Perez, glad to see his favorite catcher hang up the cleats in the Bronx.

Azul y Blanco Pordoquier: Posada Se Retira Escrito por Adrian CabreraFotos por Isaacc García Si usted también escuchó los gemidos a lo largo de la Calle 161 el sábado pasado por la tarde, se le puede perdonar que haya pensado que provenían de personas descontentas con los resultados de los partidos de futbol que estaban mirando. Pero esa no era la razón real. Lo más probable es que los fans deportivos se acababan de enterar de una noticia de último momento: que Jorge Posada, el catcher de los New York Yankees que integró cinco equipos campeones de la Serie Mundial y que fue cinco veces All-Star, piensa retirarse del Béisbol de las Grandes Ligas. Se prevé que Posada, que ha formado parte de los Yankees durante 17 años, hará un anuncio formal sobre su retiro en las próximas dos semanas en lugar de continuar su carrera en otro equipo. Al finalizar la temporada, después de varios meses de presuntas tensiones al haberse convertido en el bateador designado del equipo, se afirmó que Posada estaba convencido de que su carrera con los Yankees habia terminado. Sin embargo, otros clubes de las Grandes Ligas, como los Rays de Tampa, los Orioles de Baltimore y los Phillies de Filadelfia, se mostraron interesados en sus servicios. Pero parece que Posada decidió irse como llegó. Como Yankee. “Creo que le llegó la hora", dijo Mario Nunez, que se describe como fan de los Yankees de

Jorge Posada, el catcher de los New York Yankees que integró cinco equipos campeones de la Serie Mundial y que fue cinco veces All-Star, piensa retirarse del Béisbol de las Grandes Ligas. toda la vida. “También creo que podría ser productivo como suplente de otro equipo, pero eso sería una mancha para su legado de Yankee, donde formó parte del ‘Cuarteto Principal’. De manera que lo mejor que puede hacer es retirarse vistiendo el uniforme de los Yankee”. Nunez se refería al cuarteto de jugadores de los Yankess formado por Posada, Derek Jeter,

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Andy Pettitte y Mariano Rivera, que fueron reclutados o contratados originalmente por ese club y jugaron juntos en las ligas menores para debutar con el equipo principal en 1995. A fines de 2009, los cuatro eran los únicos Yankees sobrevivientes del equipo de fines de la década de 1990 que ganó cuatro Series Mundiales en cinco años. “Lo extrañaremos muchísimo", comentó

jANUARY 11, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com

Abdulla, Gerente de S&A Sports, frente a Yankee Stadium. “Es uno de esos jugadores que ha dejado una enorme impresión en el béisbol”. Al retirarse Posada, aún quedarán en el club dos de los cuatro miembros del Cuarteto Principal: el cerrador Mariano Rivera y Derek Meter, el campocorto y capitán del equipo, ya que Pettitte pasó a retiro en febrero de 2011. “Creo que Posada ha sido uno de los catchers más grandes en la historia de los Yankees. Sin duda, a la altura de Yogi Berra”, señaló Francisco Perez. “Es cierto, tenía mal genio. Pero eso es porque siempre quería ganar. El Bronx lo va a extrañar mucho. Yo voy a extrañarlo mucho". Al retirarse, Posada terminará su carrera con un récord admirable de 261 jonrones y 1,583 imparables. Ha estado 5,748 veces al bate vistiendo el uniforme de los Yankees. “Esa es la mejor parte de su retiro”, añadió Pérez, sonriente y alegre porque su receptor favorito colgará el guante en el Bronx.


ART From p7 Hunter,” a mask made up of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and leather paint. The entire mask is intended to resemble an ancient Mesoamerican religious maskand is made up of discarded sneakers. “Discarded materials illustrate the amount of waste we create on a daily basis and reveal how we choose to spend our money,” explains Gallegos. “Ancestral and religious themes dominate my work, criticizing society’s worship of capitalism. I redefine trash, pushing the boundaries of sculpture and explore the definition of what is sacred.” Bronx residents in attendance expressed appreciation for the discussion-starters. “My impression of the exhibit is how damaging excessive consumerism can be,”said Alexis Newton as she stood in the gallery. “It is great that we have these options, but sometimes for the sake of the earth, for the sake of our cultures and our people, we need to realize our real priorities.” Michael Ferris Jr., a sculptor whose work is also featured in the exhibit, says he does not look to indict, but instead, uses his art as a way of exploring his neighborhood and its people. Ferris’ work exhibits his affection for his neighbors and his friends, and as such, his wooden sculptures represent real people, many of whom Ferris has known for years. “They love it,” laughs Ferris of his subjects’ reactions. “The are always so excited to see themselves in an art form. I love to see their reactions. It is what inspires me to continue my work.”

Vanessa Gonzalez, above, the exhibition’s curator. “The Hunted or the Hunter,” left, a mask which resembles an ancient Mesoamerican religious mask is made up of discarded sneakers. Ferris, a resident of Morris Park, and a 2011 winner of a grant provided by the Bronx Council on the Arts, the “Bronx Recognizes Its Own” (BRIO) award, believes that art is a venue that all neighborhoods need. Ferris creates his sculptures through recycled wood and uses colored grout to create the colorful designs that cover the sculptures. The themes of “Toys” are wide in presentation, but are united in their shared goals of provoking substantive dialogue

on a range of sometimes difficult issues. “If you looking for a strong message that will prompt you to want to change the world,” says Gonzalez, “or if you are just looking to see some new and creative art, this is the exhibit for you.”

The Longwood Art Gallery is located at Hostos Community College at 500 Grand Concourse. For more information, call 718.518.6728.

Michael Ferris Jr.

ARTE de p7 basura, empujando los límites de escultura y explorando la definición de lo que es sagrado.” Los residentes del Bronx que asistieron expresaron su apreciación sobre las instalaciones dirigidas a comenzar conversaciones. “Mi impresión de la exhibición es cuan dañino puede ser el consumo excesivo,” dijo Alexis Newton durante su visita a la galería. “Es una gran cosa que tenemos tantas opciones, pero a veces por el bien de la tierra, por el bien de nuestras culturas y de nuestra gente, necesitamos descubrir nuestras verdaderas prioridades.” Michael Ferris Jr., un escultor cuyo trabajo también esta en la exhibición dice que con su arte él no está acusando pero en vez usa su arte como una forma de explorar su vecindad y su gente. El trabajo de Ferris exhibe su afección por sus vecinos y sus amigos, y así su esculturas de madera representan gente real, muchas que Ferris ha conocido por años, “Ellos le encantan,” se ríe Ferris de la reacción ante la reacción a sus sujetos. “Ellos siempre están excitados por verse transformado en arte. A mi me encanta ver la reacción de ellos. Es lo que me inspira para continuar mi trabajo.” Ferris un residente de Morris Park, y ganador del 2011 de una beca proveída por el Concejo de Arte del Bronx, “El Bronx Reconoce los de Ellos” (BRIO,) cree que el arte

es un lugar que todos los vecindarios necesitan. Ferris crea sus esculturas con madera reciclada y usa lechada con color para crear diseños coloridos que cubren las esculturas. El tema “Juguetes” es variado en su presentación, pero están unidos a la meta compartida de provocar diálogo sustantivo sobre temas variados y a veces difíciles. “Si estas buscando un mensaje fuerte que te empuje a salir y a cambiar el mundo,” dice González, “o si estas buscando ver un arte nuevo y creativa, ésta es la exhibición para ti.”

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jANUARY 11, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Art with a message

Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc Garcia Watch out, Ken. Barbie has a lot more to say than you might have imagined. “At first you are like, ‘Hey, this is just a collection of Barbie dolls on a wall,’” says Vanessa Gonzalez, standing in front of a mounted collection of 83 different Barbie dolls. “Soon you realize that these Barbie’s are more than just dolls,” adds Gonzalez. “The dolls are trying to say something.” Gonzalez is the curator for a new exhibition, “Toys and Games with a Twist,” an exhibition of over thirty different Bronx-based artists, located at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College. The exhibit is intended to start a conversation about society, one that many of the artists whose works are displayed through the gallery want to have with their audiences. However seemingly frivolous the materials used, the exhibit has an undeniably a socio-political theme. These themes range from topics such as stereotypes, consumerism, migration, war and popular culture and other important issues. The Barbie’s to which Gonzalez are referring to are part of a piece called “MiZAMERICA: Here She Comes...,2010”.

“Soon you realize that these Barbie’s are more than just dolls,” says Vanessa Gonzalez, the exhibition’s curator. “The dolls are trying to say something.” “MiZAMERICA,” a multi-media work by Hector Canonge, displays the 83 Barbies, in a nod to all the Miss America winners since 1921, under a blanket of a projection. If one looks closely, the projections that stream through the Miss America winners consist, according to

Canonge, “of dynamic text narratives moving right to left with messages about beauty, identity, stereotypes and data about contestants and their physical attributes.” The piece also touches on the issue of race.

Arte con Mensaje

Escrito por Adrián Cabreja Fotos por Isaacc Garcia Cuidado Ken. Barbie tiene mucho más que decir que lo que te imaginas. “Al principio dices eh, es sólo una colección de muñecas Barbie’ en una pared,” dijo Vanessa González, frente a una colección montada de 83 diferente muñecas Barbie. “Rápidamente te das cuenta que estas Barbies son más que muñecas,” agrega González. “La muñecas están tratando de decir algo.” González es la curadora de la nueva exhibición, “Juguetes y Juegos con un Giro,” una exhibición de más de treinta diferente artistas del Bronx, en la galería Longwood Art en El Colegio Comunal Hostos. La exhibición esta designada a comenzar una conversación sobre la sociedad, una que muchos de los artistas de esta exposición quieren tener con sus audiencias. Aunque los materiales usados aparentan ser frívolos, la exhibición tiene un tema innegablemente socio-político. Estos temas recorren la gama de estereotipos, consumo, migración, guerra y cultura popular y otros asuntos importantes. Las Barbies a las que se refiere González son parte de una instalación titulada “MiZAMERICA: Aquí viene…2010.” “MiZAMERICA,” una instalación multimedia de Héctor Canonge, muestra 83 Barbies como señal de respeto a todas las ganadoras de Miss América desde el 1921, bajo una manta de proyección. Una mirada de cerca a las

Of the eighty-three dolls on display, a small amount of them are of color. According to Gonzalez, Canonge’s piece is also a protest against the lack of minority winners in Miss America pageants. “Aesthetically, I like to present my pieces with clarity and precision. Contextually, my work embeds political directions that reflect my worldview and background,” says Canonge. Sean Paul Gallegos’ exhibit “The Stations of the Lost,” explores the issue of consumerism and the seeming worship of the material life. One particularly striking piece was “The Hunted or the

Una de las varias obras en exposicion en “Juguetes y Juegos con un Giro”, una exhibición de más de treinta diferente artistas del Bronx, en la galería Longwood Art en El Colegio Comunal Hostos. jANUARY 11, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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See ART p21

proyecciones s de todas las ganadoras de Miss America enseñan, de acuerdo a Canonge, “un texto narrativo dinámico moviéndose de derecha a izquierda con mensajes de belleza, identidad, y estereotipos y la información sobre las concursantes y sus atributos físicos.” La instalación también toca el tema de la raza. De las 83 muñecas mostradas, una pequeña cantidad son de color. De acuerdo a González, la instalación de Canonge también es una demostración contra la falta de ganadoras de origen minoritario en los concursos de Miss América. “Estéticamente, yo quisiera presentar mis piezas con claridad y precisión. Contextualmente mi trabajo tiene incrustado las direcciones políticas que refleja mi visión de mundo y mis antecedentes,” dijo Canonge. La exhibición Sean Paúl Gallegos exhibe “La estaciones de los perdidos,” explora el tema del consumo y lo que parece ser la adoración a la vida material. Una instalación particular fue “El Cazado y el Cazador,” una máscara echas de tenis Nike y pintura de cuero. La intención de toda la máscara es parecerse a una máscara antigua Mesoamericana - hecha de tenis que ya no se usan. “Materiales descartados ilustran la cantidad de basura que creamos diariamente y revela como gastamos nuestro dinero,” explica Gallegos. “Temas ancestrales y religiosos dominan mi trabajo, criticando la adoración de la sociedad con el capitalismo. Yo redefino

Vea ARTE p21 7


¡Yum! o ¿Ah?: Un estómago con muchos nombres Historia por Sandra E. García y Adrian Cabreja Fotos: Isaaac Garcia

S

i comerse la piel del estomago de una vaca suena como la clase de actividad que solo haría si lo desafían, o que solo tomaría como participante en el programa “Factor Miedo”, a lo mejor no se ha dado cuenta que este comparte espacio en muchos lugares de comida local, justo al lado de su más sabroso arroz y habichuelas. Mondongo, como es conocido localmente, es un plato servido en muchos restaurantes locales, y es popular en los hogares latino caribeños. Muchos, en otros hogares, lo llaman tripas, y es el centro de muchos guisos, incluyendo el menudo mexicano, hecho de ‘hominy’ y tripa de panal. Aquellos de hogares italianos o frecuentes visitantes de George’s Sandwich Shop en Philadephia, deben de saber que es un sabroso emparedado lleno de pimientos. La tripa, ya sea de vaca (o algunas veces de oveja o puerco) parece un panal en apariencia, y un poco gomosa en textura. Para comérselo, debe de ser cuidadosamente limpiado, y hervido por algunas horas antes de prepararlo, tanto para ablandarla como para blanquearla. “El mondongo fue un plato preparado por la necesidad. Luego de que una vaca era cortada y vendida en pedazos, el estómago era lo más barato para comprar, si no se regalaba”, dijo Sandra Rodríguez, de origen dominicano y estudiante del Colegio Comun al Hostos quien ha estado haciendo mondongo para su familia por más de 20 años. El sabroso, espeso guiso tiene una base de fanáticos. Mientras otros ni lo quieren ver, otros tienen fe absoluta para comerlo en un frígido día de invierno. De hecho, a lo largo de las avenidas del Norte de Manhattan y el Bronx, donde una comida está a pasos de distancia, puede ser difícil encontrar mondongo, pues se ha vendido antes del mediodía – o es reservado para ciertos días de la semana, como los martes o sábados. Y como se espera, todo el mundo tiene su propia receta, su propia manera especial de prepararlo, basado en tradición y cultura. “Yo probé mondongo hecho por un cocinero puertorriqueño y estaba bueno”, dijo Rodríguez. “Ellos le ponen vegetales”. Aunque fue rápida en añadir con una risa, “pero a mi me gusta la manera como lo hacemos nosotros los dominicanos”. Una receta típica permite que el estómago de la vaca sea hervido por tres horas con solo un toque de sal y pimienta en el agua, seguido de un corte preciso del estómago en pequeños pedazos. “Tienes que hacerlo para que la persona comiéndose el mondongo no se trague pedazos grandes mientras beben a sorbos 14

el caldo; todo tiene que fluir”, dijo Rodríguez. Una vez que el mondongo es cortado, el resto es magia. Las cebollas son salteadas, y los pimientos, ajos, pasta de tomate y otras especies son añadidas, todo hervido durante horas, para crear una cremosa mezcla de sabor. Típicamente es servido con arroz, y un cremoso pedazo de aguacate, el guiso de mondongo se supone que caliente el alma y si, el estómago. Luego de algunos bocados, la roja, cremosa y picante sopa, lo calienta desde la punta de la nariz hasta la planta de los pies. A propósito, a menudo se pasa por alto en las discusiones de mondongo/tripa/ estomago, la famosa salchicha “Andouille” de Francia que es tripa. Aunque todavía no todo el mundo puede sobreponerse al principal ingrediente en el mondongo. “No, no lo voy a comer”, dijo Gene Tejada, estudiante del Colegio Lehman, moviendo su cabeza. “Mi madre lo hace, pero no me lo voy a comer”. Hmmm…más estómagos que revolver. Para conseguir su plato local de mondongo, visite estos restaurantes locales (pero antes llame para ver si el mondongo está en el menú ese día): Puerto Rican Natural Restaurant and Bar 851 E Tremont Ave Bronx, NY 10460 (718) 294-4440 Lolita’s Restaurant 356 East 148th Street Bronx, NY 10455-4005 (718) 292-3942 Estrella II 2051 Webster Avenue Bronx, NY 10457-2427 (718) 329-0166

También puede hacer su propio mondongo; déle una oportunidad a esta versión hecha en casa. Receta de Tia Maggy’s Ingredientes • Mondongo (2 lbs. de tripa limpia, preferiblemente fresca) • 1 cebolla • 1 pimiento verde • 1 cabeza de ajo • 1 cucharada de orégano (o más, al gusto)

• ¼ taza de aceite para cocinar • Toque de sal • Toque de cilantro (o más, al gusto) • 1 cucharada de pasta de tomate • 2 tazas de agua Receta • Limpie el mondongo crudo y hierva por tres horas para ablandar. • Una vez suave, corte el mondongo en pequeños pedazos. Déjelo a un lado. • Tome la cebolla, el pimiento verde, el aceite, cilantro, sal y colóquelo todo junto en una olla para hervirlo a fuego lento. • Coloque un diente de ajo, orégano y mezcle (preferiblemente en un batidor) juntos hasta que la mezcla este pulposa. • Eche el orégano pulposo y el ajo a una olla para hervir con todos los demás ingredientes. • Coloque en la olla hirviendo una cucharada pequeña de pasta de tomate. • Deje que los ingredientes se unan durante un periodo de 20 a 30 minutos para que un fragante “sofrito” haga la base. • Eche pedazos de mondongo en la olla con el sofrito. • Cuando el mondongo comience a ponerse rojo, vierta 2 tazas de agua a la olla y deje hervir. • 30-40 minutos después, el mondongo está listo para servir. Adiciones opcionales: . Pedazos de calabacín 40 minutos antes de servir, mientras el agua todavía está hirviendo, solo hasta que el calabacín ablande. . Sirva con arroz blanco y un pedazo de aguacate, o sólo. . Algunos añaden un adorno de un pedazo de limón. . Disfrute.

JANUARY 18, 2012 • THE BRONX FREE PRESS • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com


Choosing between red and white, and keeping it kosher Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc García

identified by their kosher production. Herzog, for example, is Californiabased kosher wine. The Herzog winery is exclusively staffed by observant Jews, and has long held a reputation for being kosherreliable. Manischewitz wines, produced exclusively in Naples, New York, too have been popular, known for quality and taste, which includes such flavors as loganberry, elderberry and blackberry. Dalton Wine from Israel is also gaining in popularity, explained Campos. The Red Canaan, in particular, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Sirah with a small touch of Shiraz, has become a top choice. For those that prefer white wines, Dalton Wine also makes White Canaan, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and a bit of Muscat. “Israeli wines are becoming popular even amongst non-Jews. Israeli wine is being consumed greatly in the mainstream,” said Campos. While Passover might bring greater interest in kosher wines, they are available year round at Cabrini Wines, and a number of other shops throughout the neighborhood. L’chaim.

A

s in most cultures and cuisines, wine is a very important part of the Jewish religion and culture. And the holiday of Passover offers a perfect occasion to taste kosher wine. Wondering how kosher wine would differ from a nearby bottle of Pinot Noir? For wine to be considered kosher, the grape wine must be produced in accordance with the Judaism’s dietary laws. These laws require that kosher wine be created free of any contact with dough, grain or bread. Moreover, the wine must be handled by observant Jews throughout the entire process, from the crushing of the grapes until the pouring of the wine. If at any stage the wine is handled by a non-observant Jew it is not considered kosher. One exception, however, is Mesvushal wine. A non-Jew can handle a bottle of Mesvushal wine and it will still be considered a kosher bottle. This wine has been pasteurized, and according to Jewish

law, it will retain its religious purity in spite of who opens, pours or drinks it. Being eager to add a kosher wine tasting experience to your culinary arsenal is simply a matter of visiting a number of local wine shops with an extensive kosher selection. One such stop is Cabrini Wines on West 181st Street, where shopkeeper Ernie Campos will be glad to lend a hand. Campos notes that many popular wines are actually available as kosher wines, while there are other varietals that are specifically

Ernie Campos of Cabrini Wines notes that Israeli wines have become more popular.

Cabrini Wines 831 West 181st Street New York, New York 10033 212.568.3290

Fruits and Vegetables in Season: Asparagus During the spring and summer, a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables are available. The popular broccoli and lettuce are in season, along with zucchini, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus and spring peas. This week, Urban Health Plan’s Nutrition Department shares some practical facts about the yummy and healthy asparagus! • Asparagus is packed with folic acid necessary for growth, formation of blood cells and prevention for neural tube defects. It also gives us other B vitamins like thiamin and B6 that help our bodies use the energy from food. It’s also a very good source vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, potassium and a decent source of calcium. • It isisaacc.garcia@gmail.com easy to cook with and is perfect for pasta, salads and

Try this easy recipe! For a hearty meal serve with grilled chicken breast and a colorful side salad. Ingredients - 1 tablespoon olive oil - 2 garlic cloves minced - 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces - ¼ cup chicken broth - 8 ounces (½ pound) whole wheat pasta, cooked to al dente


La violencia doméstica: Una lucha de todos Historia por Sandra E. García Fotos por Isaacc García

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ientras algunos disfrutaban su primer café la mañana del miércoles 11 de enero, la Concejal de la ciudad de Nueva York, Julissa Ferreras, junto a representantes de organizaciones de la ciudad, realizaba una mesa redonda para ayudar a combatir el problema de la violencia doméstica en Nueva York. Entre ellos también se encontraba otro conocido luchador – el campeón mundial de boxeo Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez, actualmente clasificado como el tercer mejor boxeador en MARAVILLA from p7

“I am trying to show that there is no violence in boxing,” said Martinez. “[It’s about] trying to triumph with words and deeds.” “I am pleased to consider Mr. Martinez an ally in the struggle against domestic violence. As a worldchampion athlete whom many young men admire, he can be a role model and has a unique opportunity to spread his message of respect for women,” said Councilmember Ferreras. “Domestic violence is not just a ‘women’s issue.’ Men are crucial to the movement to stop domestic violence and create safer communities for women and children.” “[This dialogue] is not only for the Bronx, it is for our Latino communities,” said Cecilia M. Gaston, Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program, which intervenes in domestic violence cases all around the city. “We have a very high number of [cases] in our community,” added Gaston. “This harms us [all]. It prevents us from advancing and triumphing together, because the one hit that a woman takes, is a hit we all take.”

Junto a representantes de organizaciones de la ciudad, la Concejal Julissa Ferreras (con collar de perlas, en el centro) y el campeón mundial de boxeo Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez (a su derecha) realizaron una mesa redonda para ayudar a combatir el problema de la violencia doméstica en Nueva York.

el mundo, libra por libra. Martínez además ha demostrado ser un destacado luchador contra la violencia doméstica. Para la Concejal Ferreras, quien ha defendido los problemas de la mujer como parte de su trabajo en el Concejo, éste diálogo es parte de una discusión continua. “Luchar contra la violencia doméstica es importante para mi”, dijo la Concejal Ferreras. “Es un problema que ha estado inactivo. No deberíamos estar hablando de violencia doméstica sólo cuando muere una mujer ”. Para los presentes, que combaten a diario

este problema, la discusión sobre la violencia doméstica no es “solo” de mujeres, sino del hombre, de las familias y de las comunidades. Karina Aybar-Jacobs, Directora del Programa Nuevo Amanecer del Centro de Desarrollo de la Mujer Dominicana, donde mujeres del Norte de Manhattan y de El Bronx buscan ayuda, la vinculación del boxeador Martínez podría ayudar a derrotar la violencia. “Yo pienso que esta conversación es clave para promover la conciencia entre nuestros jóvenes, y es bien importante el hecho de que

un luchador, un boxeador, está promoviendo conciencia”, dijo Aybar-Jacobs. Martínez, cuya participación en denunciar la violencia doméstica incluye el haber criticado al presidente del Consejo Mundial de Boxeo, José Sulaimán, cuando en diciembre del 2011 se le citó diciendo, “golpear a una dama es bien crítico pero no es un pecado mayor o un crimen”. Los comentarios de Sulaimán fueron en respuesta a preguntas de si el Consejo Mundial de Boxeo le quitaría a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. su título de la WBC como Campeón de Peso ‘Welter’ luego de haberse declarado culpable de los cargos de violencia doméstica. Martínez denunció públicamente que tales declaraciones eran insensibles para la mujer. “La violencia doméstica es mucho más profunda que el beber demasiado, o emocionarse demasiado luego de un combate de boxeo”, dijo Martínez el miércoles, quien expresó interés en que se sigan explorando las raíces de la causa de la violencia doméstica y la violencia familiar. Martínez dijo que decidió hablar en contra la violencia doméstica luego de darse cuenta que el boxeo se relaciona a la violencia de toda tipo, incluyendo la violencia doméstica contra la mujer. Ha visitado albergues de mujeres y albergues de violencia doméstica alrededor de todo el país. Martínez fue también rápido en señalar que el boxeo es un deporte de disciplina que requiere enfoque, concentración y moderación. “Estoy tratando de mostrar que no hay violencia en el boxeo”, dijo Martínez. “Es acerca de tratar de triunfar con palabras y comportamientos”. “Me complace considerar al Sr. Martínez como un aliado en la lucha contra la violencia doméstica. Como atleta y campeón mundial, admirado por muchos hombres jóvenes, puede ser un modelo a emular y tiene una oportunidad única para difundir su mensaje de respeto a la mujer”, dijo la Concejal Ferreras. “La violencia doméstica no es un problema ‘sólo de la mujer’. Los hombres son cruciales en el movimiento para detener la violencia doméstica y crear comunidades más seguras para mujeres y niños”. “Este diálogo no es solo para El Bronx, es para nuestras comunidades latinas”, dijo Cecilia M. Gastón, directora ejecutiva del Programa de Intervención de Violencia (VIP por sus siglas en inglés), el cual se inmiscuye en casos de violencia doméstica en la ciudad. “Nosotros tenemos un alto número de casos en nuestra comunidad”, añadió Gastón. “Esto nos perjudica a todos. Nos impide avanzar y triunfar juntos, porque el golpe que recibe la mujer, es un golpe que todos recibimos”.

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VIOLENCE from p5

after a boxing match,” explained Martinez on Wednesday, who expressed interest in seeing the root causes of domestic and family violence explored. Martinez explained that he took up the cause of speaking out against domestic violence after realizing that the sport of boxing has become associated with violence of all kinds, including domestic violence against women. He has visited women’s shelters and domestic violence shelters around the country. Martinez was also quick to point that boxing is a disciplined sport that requires focus, concentration and restraint. “I am trying to show that there is no violence in boxing,” said Martinez. “[It’s about] trying to triumph with words and deeds.” “I am pleased to consider Mr. Martinez an ally in the struggle against domestic violence. As a world-champion athlete whom many young men admire, he can be a role model and has a unique opportunity to spread his message of respect for women,” said ouncilmember Ferreras. “Domestic violence is not just a ‘women’s issue.’ Men are crucial to the movement to stop domestic violence and create safer communities for women and children.” “[This dialogue] is not only for the Bronx, it is for our Latino communities,” said Cecilia M. Gaston, Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program, which intervenes in domestic violence cases all around the city. “We have a very high number of [cases] in our community,” added Gaston. “This harms us [all]. It prevents us from advancing and triumphing together, because the one hit that a woman takes, is a hit we all take.”

VIOLENCE de p5

“Domestic violence is not just a ‘women’s issue,” explained Councilmember Ferreras, who has long championed women’s issues. “Men are crucial to the movement to stop domestic violence and create safer communities for women and children.” “La violencia doméstica no es un problema sólo de la ‘mujer’”, explicó la Concejal Ferreras, quien ha luchado por problemas de las mujeres por mucho tiempo. “Los hombres son cruciales en el movimiento para detener la violencia doméstica y crear comunidades más seguras para mujeres y niños”.

Nada es más importante que la salud de nuestros niños. SERVICIOS MÉDICOS GRATUITOS O A BAJO COSTO AUSPICIADOS POR EL ESTADO DE NUEVA YORK Su hijo podrá ser elegible indiferente a su estado de inmigración.

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como un aliado en la lucha contra la violencia doméstica. Como atleta y campeón mundial, admirado por muchos hombres jóvenes, puede ser un modelo a emular y tiene una oportunidad única para difundir su mensaje de respeto a la mujer”, dijo la Concejal Ferreras. “La violencia doméstica no es un problema ‘sólo de la mujer’. Los hombres son cruciales en el movimiento para detener la violencia doméstica y crear comunidades más seguras para mujeres y niños”. “Este diálogo no es solo para El Bronx, es para nuestras comunidades latinas”, dijo Cecilia M. Gastón, directora ejecutiva del Programa de Intervención de Violencia (VIP por sus siglas en inglés), el cual se inmiscuye en casos de violencia doméstica en la ciudad. “Nosotros tenemos un alto número de casos en nuestra comunidad”, añadió Gastón. “Esto nos perjudica a todos. Nos impide avanzar y triunfar juntos, porque el golpe que recibe la mujer, es un golpe que todos recibimos”.


A fight for all: combating domestic violence Story by Sandra E. García Photos by Isaacc García

E

arly this past Wed., Jan. 11th, New York City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, together with the heads of a number of city-wide organizations, hosted a roundtable discussion to help combat the issue of domestic violence throughout the city of New York. At the table too was another known fighter - world championship boxer Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, currently rated as the third best pound for pound boxer in the world. Martinez has also proven an outspoken advocate against domestic violence. For Councilmember Ferreras, who has unambiguously championed women’s issues as part of her work on the City Council, this dialogue was intended as part of an ongoing dialogue. “Domestic violence is important to me,” explained Councilmember Ferreras. “It’s an issue that has been dormant. We shouldn’t be talking about domestic violence only when a woman dies.” For those in attendance, for whom the issue is on the agenda daily, the discussion on how to better point up domestic violence as a problem not “just” for women, but for men, families, and communities, was a welcome one. According to Karina Aybar-Jacobs, Director of the Nuevo Amanecer Program at the Dominican Women’s Development Center, where women from northern

World boxing champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, currently rated as the third best pound for pound boxer in the world, joined a roundtable discussion held by New York City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras on domestic violence. El campeón mundial de boxeo Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez, actualmente clasificado como el tercer mejor boxeador en el mundo, libra por libra, se unió a una discusión de mesa redonda llevada a cabo por la Concejal de Nueva York Julissa Ferreras contra la violencia doméstica. Manhattan and the Bronx seek assistance, Martinez’s involvement could help in those efforts. “I believe that this conversation is key in order to promote awareness among our youth, and the fact that a fighter, a boxer, is promoting awareness is very

important,” said Aybar-Jacobs. Martinez, whose involvement in denouncing domestic violence includes having criticized World Boxing Council President Jose Sulaiman when in December 2011 Sulaiman was quoted as saying, “Beating a lady is highly critical but it is not a major sin or crime.” Sulaiman’s remarks were in response to questions about whether the World Boxing Council would strip Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of his title as WBC Welterweight Champion after he pled guilty to domestic battery charges. Martinez has publicly denounced such statements as insensitive to women. “[Domestic violence] is deeper than just too much drinking, or getting too excited after a boxing match,” explained Martinez on Wednesday, who expressed interest in seeing the root causes of domestic and family violence explored. Martinez explained that he took up the cause of speaking out against domestic violence after realizing that the sport of boxing has become associated with violence of all kinds, including domestic violence against women. He has visited women’s shelters and domestic violence shelters around the country. Martinez was also quick to point that boxing is a disciplined sport that requires focus, concentration and restraint. See MARAVILLA p22

54 Nagle Ave.

(Broadway and W. 195th St.)

www.ywashhts.org

Subway: A-train to 190 St. or 1-train to Dyckman St. Bus: M7 or M100 to Nagle Ave.

“Domestic violence is not just a ‘women’s issue,” explained Councilmember Ferreras, who has long championed women’s issues. “Men are crucial to the movement to stop domestic violence and create safer communities for women and children.” “La violencia doméstica no es un problema sólo de la ‘mujer’”, explicó la Concejal Ferreras, quien ha luchado por problemas de las mujeres por mucho tiempo. “Los hombres son cruciales en el movimiento para detener la violencia doméstica y crear comunidades más seguras para mujeres y niños”.

SHARE THE STAGE KICK-OFF EVENT A new choral group is in the making - come find out what all the excitement is about! SHARE THE STAGE with professional choral conductor Gina Crusco, who will make choral singing easy and fun. At this kick-off event, Gina would like to learn from you: What music do you like to sing?. What languages do you speak?. What musical and vocal skills would you like to learn? FREE for adults 50+ years. Sunday Jan 22, 2012 at 11:00 am. Refreshments Served. Share the Stage professional chorus and participants perform side by side http://underworldprod. blogspot.com/2011/12/share-stage-chorus-kick-off.html For more information call Mira at 212-569-6200 x231 RSVP: underworldprod@gmail.com SPARC is collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging, and the City’s five local arts councils. This program is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, with professional singers. THE Y SENIOR CENTER IS GROWING Our new hours, starting in February are 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. In the next month we’ll add daily computer classes, dance classes, and programs in Spanish and Russian to our schedule. This spring look forward to our afternoon Cafe opening and even more activities,

programs, and services. For more information about our programs and services call Mira Myteberi at (212) 569-6200 x231. FREE Teen Performing Arts Class for teens ages 12-18 years. Mondays 5:45pm to 8pm. For information call Abraham at 212-569-6200 x 249 NURSERY CAMP AT THE Y Registration begins in January for children born in 2007, 2008 and 2009!! New this summer: swimming instruction for children born in 2007 at a local pool. Options available: Full summer or half summer. Half day, full day; extended day (until 5:30 pm) for children born in 2007 and 2008. Brochure and pricelist on our website: www.ywashhts.org Contact (212)569-6200 x243 NURSERY SCHOOL 2012-13 (children born in 2008-‘09) REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Options available: Half-day (am or pm), full-day (until 3:30 pm), & extended day (until 6:00 pm). Our nursery program provides individual attention to each child in a nurturing and stimulating environment, using interactive, creative approaches to learning. Please call the nursery school office (212)569-6200 x224 to schedule a tour and/or to obtain registration materials and information about our programs. Check our website: www.ywashhts.org/nursery_school/ 7

JANUARY 18, 2012 • MANHATTAN TIMES • www.manhattantimesnews.com

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Ladrillo a ladrillo, construyendo una nueva conversación Historia por Adrian Cabreja y Debrale Santos Fotos por Isaacc Garcia

L

a colocación de ladrillos ha creado una clase de cimiento diferente en el Colegio Comunal Hostos en Mott Haven. Este pasado sábado 12 de mayo, el Colegio Comunal Hostos de CUNY en Grand Concourse y la calle 149 sirvió como sede para el develado de una pieza artística de dos partes titulada “Ladrillos Conversando”, por Hatuey RamosFermín, un artista y profesor en Hostos. “Conversando Ladrillos” es una instalación basada en una colección de ladrillos que fueron originalmente enviados en 2006 a miembros del Congreso, mientras sus miembros debatían la construcción de un muro a lo largo de la frontera de Estados Unidos y México, en un esfuerzo para detener la inmigración ilegal. Los ladrillos fueron enviados a miembros del Congreso como señal de respaldo para el Secure Fence Act (Acta de Valla Segura), el cual, si pasaba, habría de crear 700 millas de barreras físicas a lo largo de la frontera. Mensajes tales como “Asegure nuestras fronteras”; “No a los ilegales”; “Nadie debe ser premiado por violar la ley”, fueron pintados en los ladrillos. El Congresista José Serrano, quien votó contra el Acta, recogió 238 de estos ladrillos, y los trajo al Bronx. El Congresista Serrano, quien estuvo presente en el develado de la instalación, se

Damian Guadalupe Martinez de Sak Tzevul dirige la ceremonia.

hizo acompañar de Bill Aguado, quien fue Director Ejecutivo del Concejo del de las Artes del Bronx por 30 años. Aguado, quien es ahora el director artístico del Centro de Herencia Musical del Bronx, trató de reutilizar el significado original de los ladrillos y, el artista para llevarlo a cabo. “Conversando Ladrillos” celebra las contribuciones de muchos y la diversidad

Artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermin is enveloped in incense.

inherente en la comunidad del sur de Bronx y la nación,” explico Aguado, quien sirvió como director del proyecto de la instalación. El artista Ramos-Fermin celebró talleres con residentes locales e inmigrantes y solicitó sus propios mensajes para colocar en los ladrillos. Ahora, frases tales como “Somos el mundo”, están pintadas en brillantes colores sobre los ladrillos, y apilados en un muro de 4 pies en Hostos Memorial Plaza. La segunda parte de la instalación tendrá lugar durante el verano, y se enfocará en torno a la creación, conjuntamente con los ladrillos restantes, de una mesa redonda. “Estos ladrillos expresaban intolerancia. Pero hoy celebramos la diversidad. Mediante este proyecto no sólo estamos respaldando a los inmigrantes latinos, estamos respaldando a la inmigración en sí”, dijo Serrano. El develado estuvo marcado con un ritual indígena. Una serie de ceremonias simbólicas fueron celebradas, las cuales hablaron de purificación y renovación. Un líder espiritual, Damian Guadalupe Martinez, en atuendo tradicional nativo, del grupo musical Sak Tzevul sopló humo sobre los participantes, envolviendo a los anfitriones del día, incluyendo al Congresista, a Félix Matos Rodríguez, presidente de Hostos,en nubes de aromático humo. “América fue construida por olas de inmigrantes. Siento que cualquier mensaje antiinmigrante es anti-americano”, expresó David Gómez, estudiante de Hostos, quien participó en la instalación de la obra. “Inmigración es América”. Para el artista Ramos-Fermín, el mismo siendo un inmigrante de la República Dominicana, el proyecto habla de lo que él espera habrá de ser un nuevo enfoque en la discusión sobre inmigración. “Yo espero que esta instalación sirva como gesto simbólico”, dijo Ramos-Fermín. “Espero que esta sirva como un lugar para que la gente reflexione sobre un tema que es de mucha importancia para nuestra generación”.

From left to right: Bill Aguado, director of the Conversing Bricks; artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermin; Hostos President Felix MatosRodriguez; U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano; and Damian Guadalupe Martinez, of Sal Tzevul.

BRICKS from p4

cleansed each other.” Guadalupe Martinez, who was dressed in traditional native clothing, cast incense smoke upon participants, enveloping the day’s hosts in clouds of fragrant copal (a kind of incense). “America was built through immigration. I feel that any anti-immigration message is anti-American,” says Hostos student David Gomez, who participated in the installation

work. “Immigration is America.” For artist Ramos-Fermin, himself an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, the project speaks to what he hopes will be a new take on the immigration discussion. “I hope that this installation will serve as symbolic gesture,” says Ramon-Fermin. “I hope it serves as a place for people to reflect on an issue that is very important to our generation.”

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june 6, 2012 • the bronx free press • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Building, brick by brick, a new conversation Story by Adrian Cabreja and Debralee Santos Photos by Isaacc García

T

he laying down of bricks has created a different kind of foundation at Hostos Community College in Mott Haven.

This past Sat., May 12th, CUNY’s community college on the Grand Concourse and 149th Street served as the site for the unveiling of a two-part art installation piece titled Conversing Bricks by Hatuey RamosFermin, an artist and professor at Hostos. Conserving Bricks is based on a collection of bricks that were originally sent to Congress in 2006 as its members debated the building of a wall along the U.S.Mexico border in an effort to deter illegal immigration. The bricks were sent to members of Congress as a sign of support for the Secure Fence Act which, if passed, would create 700 miles of physical barriers along the border. Messages such as “Secure our borders”; “No to illegals”; “No one should be rewarded for breaking the law,” were painted on the bricks. Congressman Jose Serrano, who voted against the Act, collected 238 of these bricks, and brought them to the Bronx. Congressman Serrano, who was present at the installation’s unveiling, partnered with Bill Aguado, formerly Executive Director of the Bronx Council of the Arts for 30 years.

Conserving Bricks is a new art installation at Hostos Community College based on bricks that were originally sent to Congress members in support of a physical barrier to deter illegal immigration.

Aguado sought to repurpose the original significance of the bricks and the artist to see it through. “Conversing Bricks celebrates the contributions of so many and the inherent diversity in the South Bronx community and the nation,” explained Aguado, who served as project director for the Conversing Bricks installation. Artist Ramos-Fermin held workshops with local residents and immigrants and solicited their own messages to place on the bricks.

Now, phrases such as “We are the world” are painted upon the bricks in bright colors, and are stacked in a 4-foot wall at Hostos’ Memorial Plaza. The second part of the installation will take place during the summer, and will focus on around the creation, with the remaining bricks, of a roundtable. “These bricks expressed intolerance. But today we celebrate diversity. Through this project we are not only supporting Latino immigrants, we are supporting immigration

as a whole,” said Congressman Serrano. “At its core, the Conversing Bricks project is about reconciling controversy through dialogue and art,” said Hostos President Felix Matos-Rodriguez. “We welcome the local community and anyone who wants to stop by to see Conversing Bricks by artist and Hostos faculty-member Hatuey Ramos-Fermín. The bricks were going to be a wall, but now they will become a table for dialogue here in the South Bronx and Hostos is its home.” The unveiling was marked with ritual, as a series of symbolic Mayan healing ceremonies were held that spoke to purification and renewal. Participants were asked to walk in meditative circles, 13 times, in an effort to remind all of the need for contemplation, particularly in the midst of a fast-paced environment such as the urban sphere. The ceremony was led by Damian Guadalupe Martinez, the founder of Sak Tzevul, the leading indigenous Batz’i Rock band from Chiapas, Mexico. The afternoon’s practice of ritual was part of a larger series of performances, workshops and discussions, titled “A Time for Healing,” that were held throughout the city, as explained Neyda Martinez, producer for Sak Tzevul and founder of Habana/Harlem, an independent art organization. “This was about creating linkages, and about honoring humanity,” said Martinez. “These were hate bricks. And the ceremony was filled with symbolism in which everyone See BRICKS p16

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Junot Díaz talks books, high school, and heart break Story by Sherry Mazzocchi Photos by Sherry Mazzocchi and Isaacc García

R

osanna Cuevas, of northern Manhattan, was one of about 200 people who crowded into the Gregorio Luperon High School to hear Junot Díaz speak this past Fri., Jan. 27th. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was in town for a Family Literacy Day event. The afternoon forum, organized by civic group Acción Comunitaria La Aurora, Teatro Las Tablas, Word Up Bookstore, The Manhattan Times and The Bronx Free Press, also featured free books provided by Barnes and Noble. Cuevas brought her daughter, Rossaura, 9, hoping the talk would inspire a love of literature. And much of what Díaz spoke about was directed at parents such as Cuevas. If you are here with children, he told the audience, then you believe in the power of reading. His parents, he explained, would tell him that education was a wonderful thing, but they didn’t act on that idea. When caught reading books, his mother instead told him to go out and play.

The auditorium was filled with local families from northern Manhattan and the Bronx seeking to hear from Junot Díaz, who is the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Photo: S. Mazzochi. Díaz said that no one knows what a child will eventually become—and they shouldn’t be judged quickly. Instead, Díaz said it’s better to keep ideas about

your children flexible and not label them. During his high school senior year, Díaz was absent 130 days. He had a GPA of 1.7. But his mother never called him

stupid or told him he would end up in prison. Instead, she kept saying, “This kid is going to be brilliant.” Because she never condemned him for not doing well in school, Díaz said that created a space for him to change and become an academic and a writer. When a teacher in the audience asked him what would have motivated him— and children like him—to come to school, the answer was revealing. “Remember that person that you loved the most and who absolutely broke your heart?” he asked. “And remember how useful and productive you were the six months after your heart was broken?” Kids in school are getting their hearts broken all the time, by parents, friends or just life. “And then we expect them to be kicking a** in school,” he said. But they need time to mourn. Díaz’s father left their family the same year his older brother got cancer. “There was no teacher in the world,” said Díaz, “who was going to keep me from a dysfunctional heart break in my senior year.” But schools are like stopwatches, he said. If kids don’t mend according to the school’s timetable, they’re labeled as “bad” students. But in reality, they are just sensitive. See JUNOT p12

Junot Díaz habla sobre libros, la secundaria y el dolor en la adolescencia Historia por Sherry Mazzocchi Fotos por Sherry Mazzocchi e Isaacc García

R

osanna Cuevas, de Manhattan Norte, estuvo entre unas 200 personas reunidos en la Escuela Secundaria Gregorio Luperón este pasado viernes 27 de enero, para escuchar a Junot Díaz. El autor, ganador del Premio Pulitzer por la Obra The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (La Breve y Asombrosa Vida de Oscar Wao), estaba en la ciudad para un evento del Día Familiar de la Lectura. El foro vespertino, organizado por el grupo cívico Acción Comunitaria La Aurora, Teatro Las Tablas, Word Up Bookstore, Manhattan Times y The Bronx Free Press, presentaba también libros gratis proporcionados por Barnes & Noble. Cuevas trajo a su hija, Rossaura de 9 años, esperando que la charla la inspiraría a amar la literatura. Y de lo que trató Díaz, gran parte estaba dirigido a padres como Cuevas. “Si está usted aquí acompañado de niños”, le dijo él a la audiencia, “entonces usted cree en el poder de la lectura”. Sus

padres, según explicó, le decían que la educación era algo maravilloso, pero no tomaron acción sobre esa idea. En su lugar, cuando su madre le atrapaba leyendo libros, lo mandaba a jugar. Díaz dijo que nadie sabe en que se convertirá un niño eventualmente—y no deberían ser juzgados con rapidez. En su lugar, Díaz dijo que es mejor mantener flexibles las ideas sobre sus hijos y no poner etiquetas. Durante su último año de secundaria, Díaz estuvo ausente por 130 días. Tenía un GPA de 1.7. Pero su madre nunca lo llamó estúpido o le dijo que terminaría en la prisión. En su lugar, ella se mantuvo diciendo, “Este muchacho va a ser brillante”. Dice Díaz, dado el que ella nunca lo condenó por su falta de rendimiento en la escuela, creó un espacio para que el cambiara y se convirtiera en académico y escritor. Cuando un maestro en el auditorio le preguntó qué le habría motivado—y a niños como el—para ir a la escuela, la respuesta fue reveladora. “Preguntó, ¿recuerda a esa persona a quien usted amó más y quien destrozó su corazón totalmente? “Y recuerda, ¿cuan útil y productivo era usted seis meses después de que le destrozaran el corazón”? En la escuela, a los chicos les destrozan el corazón a cada rato -- padres, amigos o simplemente la vida. “Y entonces esperamos que den de

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Las familias pudieron disfrutar de una gran variedad de temas literarios para todos los gustos, padres junto con sus hijos escogían el tema que llamara más su interés, como parte de las actividades del evento comunitario, Día de Lectura Familiar 2012. Foto: I. García

FEBRUARY 1, 2012 • MANHATTAN TIMES • www.manhattantimesnews.com

patadas en la escuela”, dijo él. Pero necesitan tiempo para lamentarse. El padre de Díaz abandonó a la familia el mismo año en que su hermano mayor tuvo cáncer. “No había maestro en el mundo”, dijo Díaz, “que impidiera un corazón destrozado y funcionando mal en mi último año de secundaria.” Pero las escuelas son como cronómetros, dijo. Si los chicos no se enmiendan de conformidad con el programa de la escuela, se les tilda de “mal” estudiante. Pero en realidad, solamente son sensibles. “La única razón por la cual los chicos actúan con rudeza es porque están protegiendo algo muy delicado por dentro. ¿Quién actúa con más rudeza que la comunidad negra y latina? No conozco a comunidad alguna que actúe con mas rudeza que nosotros”, dijo él, “excepto algunas comunidades que están en guerra.” Rosanna, quien llegó temprano y se sentó al frente, dijo que ella se identificaba con los libros de Díaz, especialmente los temas de crecer en un vecindario pobre. Al igual que Díaz, ella proviene también de la Republica Dominicana. Especialmente, le gustan los carácteres femeninos fuertes en el trabajo de Díaz y dice que eran muy reales. “Definitivamente el caracteriza a la comunidad dominicana inmigrante de una manera muy chistosa y vívida”, “Todas mis Vea JUNOT p12 11


Apollo swings ‘Open’ its doors

Story by Sandra E. García Photos by Isaacc García

I

t was “showtime” at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem all weekend long, part of its “Open House” celebration which invited community residents and visitors to come in and enjoy the historic establishment – for free. Walking into the carpeted theatre, visitors are immediately reminded of the storied legacy of the theater, as photos of musical acts from the 30’s, 50’s and 60’s along the front lobby’s walls beam out at them. Just to the left and right are photos of Smokie Robinson, Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwick and Marvin Gaye, among many. The 99-year old structure still bears up regally, with its architectural flourishes intact, including swooping arches, sky high balconies, and gilded gothic accents reminiscent of Versailles, King Louis XIV opulent castle in France. But nothing is more compelling than the theater’s musical history. It is the promise of great music that draws Apollo’s audiences, and this weekend, with performances such as the Community Sing, Dance and Jam, was no exception to the rule. This past Sun. Feb. 5th, once the stage went live, fans of all ages, rushed into their seats. “It’s very special to be able to be in the

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Apollo Theater. Just hearing the music today is a blessing,” said Harlem-raised Pamela Peterson. Besides the performances, the weekend featured other hands-on activities, such as a family instrument-making workshop.

“This was great because it was his first time interacting with children younger and older than he is,” said Harlem native Sindy GermanEstevez, as she watched over her two year-old son Sebastian gleefully observing a piano performance. “He also listened to an African

history lesson before making his instrument and enjoyed some classic soul performances.” Beyond honoring its musical legacy, such open events at the Apollo invite new members to see the theater as their own. As such, the music of the day was as much Marvin Gaye as it was Tito Rojas, the Salsa musician. “Apollo represents all of us, the whole Harlem community, the Latin community and the Caribbean community. It represents the full spectrum of music,” said Gregg Mann, musical engineer at the Apollo Theatre. Mann added, “If you want to hear good music and see great performances come to the Apollo.” Heralded as a musical treasure, as it enters its 100th year of life, the Apollo has also remained a beacon for new artists as much as it has sustained its reputation as a destination for must-see concerts. Bruce Springsteen, “The Boss” himself, will be appearing at the Apollo in March. All this, in just a few stops on the subway, or a few minutes’ walk for many northern Manhattan residents. While some might be angling to see Springsteen, others might have simpler pleasures in mind. “I live 3 blocks from here, so it’s easy for me to bring him over for a fun day,” said mother German-Estevez, while Sebastian clapped and swayed. “This is great for his development.” Sebastian, too, quickly weighed in. “Yay!”

Isabella House

Fire rips through Inwood home

Independent Living for Older Adults

Live Life to the Fullest!

Story by Isaacc García and Sandra García Photos by Isaacc Garcia

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third alarm fire that woke Saturday February 11, 2012 – 11 am – 3 pm residents at 531 West 217th Street in Inwood early Friday Isabella House morning at approximately 2:15 525 Audubon Avenue (191st Street), NY, NY 10040 a.m. set a home afire and injured 212-342-9539 12 firefighters. Isabella House offers all the The two-story residential home went up amenities of New York City in a comfortable home-like atmosphere. in flames after what neighbors described sounded like an explosion, followed by an Imagine looking out ofthat yourengulfed apartment living room window and witnessing immediate eruption of flames the miles house.of breathtaking New York City skyline. A fire at 531 West 217th Street 36 ladder units responded to the call. broke out early Friday Our Apartments (moderately and one-bedroom units) aremorning “There was a fire in the house andpriced in a studio and took 150 firefighters to put out. spacious, sunnyofand boast spectacular manhole in front theall house,” explained views. Fire Department of New York (FDNY) At Isabella House, you’ll discover classes in exercise, yoga, painting, theater neighboring building number 529, and awoke spokesperson Rich Viglione. to find themselves surrounded with heavy “There were 12 firefighters all with skills. workshops, jewelry makinghurt, & computer minor injuries. Firefighters were treated and smoke. were your frightened,” released at St. Lukes of Hospital,” said to Viglione. We’ve thought everything enrich and “We enhance life. said Rivera, as she “The fire was extinguished at 4:23 a.m. and and her husband Hector sat in red folding Apartments including all amenities chairs along Park Terrace West awaiting word took 150 firefighters to extinguish.” at $2,000 While the home starting at building No. 531 of when they would be allowed to return inside. Two meals a day by – lunch and and dinner The fire left just over 90 local Con Edison was • severely damaged the fire, is consumers without power for a few hours on uninhabitable presently,basic the cable houseTV at and 529utilities • complimentary Friday. It hadWelcome been restored latefamily. evening. sustained relativelyand minor fire damage. • Activities Exercise Programs, and much tobyour The cause of the fire was under investigation No serious injuries or fatalities were more! www.Isabella.org by both Con Edison and FDNY, and the latter reported. The Rivera family waited “Imagine waking up saying, ‘My house is issued a statement through spokesperson Jim to know when they would Mar. 27th. on • www.manhattantimesnews.com FEBRUARY 8, 2012 • MANHATTAN TIMES 12fire,’” Yvette Rivera said late on Friday Long on Tues., be allowed to return home. “The fire started in the manhole across afternoon. The Rivera family lives in the Citizenship + TPS ads_Jackson Manhattan Times 3/7/12 12:00 PM Page 1

Council Member Robert Jackson, NALEO, Alianza Dominicana Inc.,

the street from 531 West 217th Street and communicated into that home through the utilities’ conduit from underground,” said Long. “We don’t know what caused the fire in the manhole; we just know the origin of the fire was in the manhole,” he added. Con Edison has not finished its investigation but confirms that cables, feeder and small street equipment were damaged in fire, according to spokesperson Sara Banda. “We are in contact with those affected,” added Banda. “It was terrifying,” said one woman from Park Terrace East who declined to give her name. “I have never been so close to something like this. That no one was hurt was a miracle.”

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women’s work: local leaders honored as part of History Month Celebration Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc García

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his past Fri., Mar.16th, New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Wintergarden plaza served as the setting for a Women’s History Month celebration that honored ten remarkable women and their work in northern Manhattan’s in the industries of culture, non-profit work, government, education, and journalism.

The event was hosted and organized jointly by New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez. “We come here tonight to honor women of all walks of life from sectors, such as communications, government, commerce and all those who have served this community,” said Senator Espaillat, who has hosted an event for Women’s History Month for sixteen years. “A woman’s job is hard,” added Councilmember Rodriguez, who is also father to a young girl, in his remarks. “Not only is she a career woman, she is also a mom, a care-taker. Being raised by 7 older sisters, I have [from an early age] witnessed the strength and brilliance women have.” The ten women honored received citations, individual flower bouquets while on stage, and were feted by local elected officials, community leaders, and an audience packed with proud family and friends. Among the women honored was Isolda Peguero, a veteran journalist in radio and in television, who has worked for years on “Noticiero Telemundo,” among other programs. “I thank all those who have recognized me for my accomplishments,” said Peguero.

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Women, including The Manhattan Times and The Bronx Free Press’ own Sandra E. Garcia, were honored for their outstanding contributions.

“I’m proud to be a Dominican woman of accomplishment.” Another journalist, Sandra E. Garcia, lead reporter for The Manhattan Times and The Bronx Free Press, was also chosen for her outstanding reporting work. “I am honored to honor a great woman who has been reporting on the core issues of Washington Heights. These include education, housing, policing, health, public policy and culture, among others,” said Councilman Rodriguez. Betty Lehmann, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Isabella Geriatric Center, was also honored for her service to the community. Lehmann pointed up the work of her fellow honorees. “ “I am very proud of these women tonight,” said Lehmann. “Women are beautiful. A woman makes a family. Not only a biological one, but one in her community. A woman carries the spirit of her community.” And while the evening was dedicated to touting the accomplishment of women, Ana Ofelia Rodriguez, Director of Community

Sandra E. Garcia 22

Development at Broadway Housing Communities, acknowledged that men too are instrumental in the cause. “I had a father that said that I could anything that I set my mind to. He cared for me greatly, [and] his influence has made me substantial. A great woman needs a great father, a greatleader, great parents overall,” said Rodriguez. Senator Espaillat also too the opportunity to speak to an issue that disproportionately affects women in New York, and through out the country: domestic violence. He called for a renewed vigor in combating the many ways domestic violence affects families. “The same way we’ve campaigned effectively against drugs throughout the years, we should campaign against domestic violence. That will be the change we need,” said Sen. Espaillat. “I want to go to the schools. Because this chain starts from youth, where girls and boys see domestic violence as acceptable. We must teach them that it is not.” The full list of honorees of 2012’s Women’s History Month celebration organized by New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and New

Hilda Classon and Betty Lehmann MARCH 21, 2012 • Manhattan tiMes • www.manhattantimesnews.com

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en español

York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez is: Sarah Crespo, Ofelia Rodriguez, Diana Nobille, Betty Lehman, Barbara Marshals, Clara Leon, Molly Michels, Hilda Classon, Sandra E. Garcia, Jennifer M. Gómez, Judy Nuñez, Ysolda Peguero, and Miriam MorenoPedraja. CONGRESS from p11

electoral and legislative history, particularly for all of us in northern Manhattan whom he has spent a lifetime representing on critical issues of universal concern: housing, education and quality of life,” said New York State Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, who was the first Dominican-American elected official ever in the United States, when he first became a member of the New York City Council in 1991. “His work for the most vulnerable in the community, including immigrants, has created an incredible legacy,” added Assemblyman Linares. “The question becomes how to continue it, how to bring it to the next generation of leadership.” Congressman Rangel’s office, as per Communications Director Hannah Kim, said it had no comment on anything campaign-related save for confirming that “The Congressman is definitely running for reelection.” para todos nosotros en el Norte de Manhattan donde ha pasado una vida entera representando problemas críticos de preocupación universal: vivienda, educación y calidad de vida”, dijo el asambleísta Guillermo Linares, quien fue el primer oficial dominicano elegido en los Estados Unidos, cuando se convirtió en miembro del Concejo de la ciudad de Nueva York en el 1991. “Su trabajo en pro de los más vulnerables en la comunidad, incluyendo los inmigrantes, ha creado un increíble legado”, añadió el asambleísta Linares. “La pregunta es, ¿como continuar, como llevarlo a la próxima generación de líderes?”. La oficina de Rangel del miembro del Congreso, según directora de comunicaciones Hannah Kim, dijo que no tendría comentario alguno sobre la campana, excepto para confirmar “que el Congresista está definitivamente preparándose para la reelección.”


The Bronx says “¡Presente!” Photos by Catherine Fonseca and Isaacc Garcia

Photo Catherine Fonseca

Photo Isaacc Garcia

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n a sun-drenched day made for marching, the 55th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade kicked off on Fifth Avenue.This year’s theme of higher education was embodied in the Parade’s choice of Grand Marshal, Hostos Community College’s President Felix MatosRodríguez.Also marching was the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Starlite Dance Studio, and Las Ramitas de Borinquen of the Bronx, among many groups that reflected the pride of “El Condado de la Salsa.”

Que bonita bandera!

Photo Isaacc Garcia Photo Catherine Fonseca

Photo Catherine Fonseca

“This is beautiful” – Carnaval in the Bronx Photos by Isaacc García

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he days leading up to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade offer abundant reason for celebration. At every turn, there is a festival, a dinner, a block party.

The smallest motivation to gather in revelry is welcome. And on 152nd Street in the Bronx, there was a full carnaval on Sun., June 3rd that brought out hundreds of residents to enjoy a day of bomba y plena, a touch of sazón, and royalty as well. Sofia Lora, 25, a Bronx schoolteacher, was crowned Miss Puerto Rico of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in late May, and joined a host of community leaders and elected officials, including New York State Assemblymembers Carmen E. Arroyo and Marcos Crespo, on stage. A graduate of Syracuse University and holds a master’s in elementary education from Fordham University, Lora was effusive about the celebration. “This is beautiful,” she said. 10Sin duda.

june 13, 2012 • the bronx free press • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Health Plus and Amerigroup have become one health plan.


A poster is chosen for the Arts Stroll Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc García

Resident Sheena Bouchet admires artist Wincorkowski’s winning poster.

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he Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) hosted its 4th annual Uptown Art Stroll Poster Contest this Mon., Apr. 9th at the Inwood Center.

The poster contest kicks off what is a season of earnest preparation for the Uptown Art Stroll, which takes place through the month of June. “I instructed the panel to choose six posters that represented the Stroll,” said Sandra A. García-Bentacourt, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NoMAA. “And they did a great job.” Community residents and artists were invited to submit their artistic vision for what would be the defining image of this year’s Stroll. The image is replicated on all collateral for the Stroll, including posters, flyers, brochures, and on online formats. The 18 entries that were submitted were then reviewed by a 3-member panel, who winnowed down the selections to six. It was these final six that were voted on by all who attended the reception on Monday. The evening’s reception also included an open-mic session where various artists, including rapper and emcee People, performed. After a close vote, the winner emerged:

Rapper and emcee People performed for the audience at the reception.

Mary Ann Wincorkowski, a Washington Heights resident and fashion designer. When asked about what inspired her colorful original design, Wincorkowski replied: “Basically, I was thinking about previous posters that had won before. They were really digital and clean. I wanted to create a more organic poster that was more direct and interactive. I wanted it to seem accessible to the community.” While Wincorkowski said she doubted she would win as she had

never won anything before, her poster was clearly a crowd favorite. “The poster is very clean and clear. I’m in love with how the poster represents the neighborhood, how it represents the streets, the parks and even the fire hydrant. It is very community oriented and green,” said Sheena Bouchet, an uptown resident. As for those who didn’t win, Garcia-Bentacourt had encouraging words. “It’s not too early to begin a poster for next year,” she laughed.

Marry Ann Wincorkowski beams after it was announced that she had won NoMAA’s 2012 Uptown Art Stroll Poster Contest.

“The State of the District” is delivered

Story by Sandra E. García Photos by Isaacc García

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his past Sun., Apr. 22nd, residents of northern Manhattan, local community leaders and elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Dean of the Columbia School of Engineering Feniosky Pena-Mora gathered in the auditorium at the George Washington High School campus to hear “The State of the District” address from New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez.

It was a fitting setting for the former high school teacher of social studies. Councilmember Rodriguez touched on the issues of education, affordable housing, economic development and quality of life, and his address was preceded by a series of performances that represented the diversity of his constituency in music and song. No performer, however, could outshine the Councilmember’s daughter, who kept close to her father’s side. 12“I started this afternoon speaking about our

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ead

one united voice,” concluded Councilmember Rodriguez. “Together, let us say with one united voice, juntos digamos en una sola voz: ‘¡El pueblo, unido, vencido!’” TIMES • www.manhattantimesnews.com APRIL 11,jamás 2012 será • MANHATTAN


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Campaign volunteers for the Espaillat campaign. Credit: Isaacc García

lack of resources and attention offered to immigrants. “We [immigrants] become citizens,” she said, “so that we could contribute to our community, but we also want help in return.” Fellow campaign volunteer Victor Rivera agreed. “We are helping Espaillat for the work that he has done not because he is Hispanic,” emphasized Rivera as he offered campaign literature to passerby on Broadway. “We don’t want a Congressman who serves only one sector,” said Rivera. “We want a Congressman that’ll work for the whole community, and that is what Espaillat knows how to do.” Rep. Rangel, for his part, denied that the ethics violations or health woes would impair his capacity to effectively deliver for constituents if re-elected for his 22nd term. Speaking after casting his ballot in the late morning on Tuesday at P.S. 175 on West 134th Street in Harlem, Rep. Rangel was cheerful, and even made a few jokes. Asked what he would do if he were to lose, he responded, “If I lose tonight, I will sleep just like a baby and cry myself to sleep.” His supporters were adamant that there would be no such scenario. “You have to understand that Rangel is a lion. You can’t mess with a lion,” said Chad Silver, a Harlem resident who had spent the day working for the incumbent’s campaign. “The lion is the king.” When polls closed at 9 p.m., early returns seemed to indicate Sen. Espaillat in the lead. As his supporters gathered at campaign headquarters and at local restaurant 809 on Dyckman Street, many began a cautious celebration of sorts, with volunteers highfiving and hugging. But the lead gave way within the hour to more sobering news, and Rep. Rangel was soon shown to be pulling ahead. At his victory celebration at Sylvia’s, surrounded by former Governor David A. Paterson, New York State Assemblymember and Bronx Democratic County Chair Carl Heastie, and New York City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, among other supporters, Rep. Rangel referenced the high emotions. “There’ve been all kinds of questions asked of me in the last few minutes,” said Rep. Rangel. “Most of them is, ‘How do you feel?’ And I cannot find words to describe that.” His supporters cheered.

“Everybody thought that Espaillat had the Latino vote and that would secure him a victory,” said Milagros Vargas, who had cast her vote for Rep. Rangel. “Rangel has also done a lot for the Latino community. Everyone remembers that.” Surrounded at 809 by supporters that included New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, New York State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Jose Peralta, as well as Ferrer and Carrion, Sen. Espaillat ceded defeat shortly before 11 p.m. “We came in slightly short this time,” he said. But he insisted that the campaign’s themes would outlive the election. “The summer of 2012 will always be remembered as the summer when northern Manhattan came together,” said Sen. Espaillat, who pledged to work with Rep. Rangel going forward. “Though we didn’t make it to the finish line tonight, the values we fought for and the communities we seek to improve will continue to light a fire in us.” “We made history,” added Sen. Espaillat, referencing the desire to bring “bold, new ideas.” Former Borough President Carrion listened intently as the senator spoke. “It is extraordinarily difficult to go against established incumbents, particularly someone like Charlie Rangel,” said Carrion. “But if it were easy, anyone could do it. Leaders step up, and Adriano did. Irrespective of the outcome, this community – and this city – benefits from the exchange of new ideas and new dialogue.” During his own victory speech, Rep. Rangel noted that his victory was unlike any other, as it came with a new responsibility – a larger district that would include neighborhoods in a new borough. “I have to earn the Bronx’s trust,” said the Bronx’s newly minted first African-American Congressmember. “But I feel the Bronx in their minds and their ambitions.” Back on Dyckman Street, as it neared midnight, Jaime Vargas smiled when asked about what would come next. “We fight, we work, we go on,” he said quietly, as weary volunteers huddled in groups and merengue music began to play in the background. “There is more for us to do,” he said. “And Adriano has always done the work that was needed.”

En Washington Heights, en las cercanías de I.S. 52, María Martínez fue insistente en que su voto—y su trabajo de voluntaria—estaba basado no en etnicidad, sino en la necesidad de un cambio. “Lo importante no es que el sea dominicano”, dijo Martínez. “En el pasado hemos votado por Rangel sin el ser dominicano. No obstante, es tiempo para un cambio. Rangel ha estado más de cuarenta años en el poder”. Martínez dijo que se sentía irritada también por la falta de recursos y atención ofrecidos a los inmigrantes. “Nosotros [los inmigrantes] nos hacemos ciudadanos”, dijo ella, “para poder contribuir con nuestra comunidad, pero también queremos ayuda a cambio de ello”. Víctor Rivera, compañero voluntario de campaña estuvo de acuerdo. “ Estamos colaborando con Espaillat por el trabajo que ha realizado no por ser hispano”, enfatizó Rivera al momento que ofrecía literatura de campaña a un transeúnte en Broadway. “No queremos a un congresista que sirva a un sólo sector”, expresó Rivera. “Queremos a un congresista que trabaje para toda la comunidad, y eso es lo que Espaillat sabe hacer”. Por su parte, el representante Rangel negó que de ser re-electo para su 22avo periodo, sus violaciones a la ética o sus problemas de salud habrán de impedir su capacidad de cumplir con su trabajo. Hablando luego de ejercer su voto al final de la mañana del martes en P.S.175 en la calle 134 de Harlem, el representante Rangel estaba contento al estar rodeado de un equipo de leales seguidores, incluyendo al ex-gobernador David A. Paterson, el asambleísta y presidente demócrata del condado del Bronx Carl Heastie, y la concejal Inez Dickens. “En los últimos minutos me han formulado todo tipo de preguntas”, dijo el representante Rangel. “En su mayoría, “Como se siente? Y no encuentro palabras para describir eso”. Sus seguidores aplaudieron. “Usted tiene que comprender que Rangel es un león. No se puede jugar con un león”, dijo Chad Silver, residente de Harlem quien ha pasado el día trabajando para la campaña del incumbente. “El león es el rey”. “Todos pensaron que Espaillat tenía el voto latino y que eso le garantizaría la victoria”, dijo Milagros Vargas, quien también voto por el representante Rangel. “Pero debemos recordar también que Rangel ha hecho mucho por la comunidad latina. Todos recuerdan eso”. Al cierre de las urnas a las 9 p.m., los informes iniciales parecían indicar que el senador Espaillat llevaba la delantera. Sus seguidores se reunieron en su local de campaña

y en el restaurante 809 en la calle Dycman, muchos comenzaron una especie de celebración cautelosa, con los voluntarios ‘dándose cinco’ y abrazándose. Pero al cabo de una hora, la ventaja dio paso a noticias más sombrías, y el representante Rangel mostró estar a la delantera. Poco después de las 11 p.m., rodeado de simpatizantes que incluyeron al Concejal de la ciudad de Nueva York Ydanis Rodríguez, los senadores estatales de Nueva York Gustavo Rivera y José Peralta, así como Ferrer y Carrión, el senador Espaillat admitió la derrota. “Nos quedamos un poquito cortos en esta ocasión”, dijo él. Pero insistió en que los temas de la campaña sobrevivirán a la elección. “El verano de 2012 será recordado siempre como el verano en que se unió todo el norte de Manhatan”, expresó el senador Espaillat, quien prometió trabajar conjuntamente con el representante Rangel en pro del futuro. “Aunque no logramos llegar hasta la meta final, los valores por los cuales luchamos y las comunidades que procuramos mejorar continuarán fortaleciendo la llama que hay en nosotros”. “Hemos hecho historia”, agregó el senador Espaillat, en referencia a la aspiración de traer “nuevas y audaces ideas”. Mientras el Senador hablaba, Carrión, ex presidente del Condado le escuchaba atentamente. “Resulta extraordinariamente difícil competir contra un incumbente establecido, particularmente alguien como Charlie Rangel”, dijo Carrión. “Pero si fuese fácil, cualquiera pudiese hacerlo. Los líderes aceptan el reto, y eso hizo Adriano. Independientemente del resultado, esta comunidad—y esta ciudad—se benefician del intercambio de ideas y de un nuevo diálogo”. Durante su discurso de victoria, el representante Rangel destacó que esta victoria no es como ninguna otra, ya que viene con una nueva responsabilidad—un distrito más grande, el cual incluirá vecindarios de un nuevo condado. “Tengo que ganarme la confianza del Bronx, dijo el recién acunado primer congresista afroamericano en Sylvia’s. “Pero siento al Bronx en sus mentes y sus ambiciones”. De vuelta en la calle Dycman, cercano a la medianoche, Jaime Vargas sonrió al preguntársele que vendría ahora. “Nosotros luchamos, trabajamos, proseguimos”, dijo el tranquilamente, a medida que los voluntarios se agrupaban y la música se escuchaba el fondo. “Esto es lo que hacemos”, dijo él. “Siempre hay algo que hacer para nosotros. Y Adriano siempre ha hecho la labor que ha sido necesaria”.

El presidente del condado del Bronx Rubén Díaz, Jr. llego a la celebración de victoria en Harlem del representante Rangel.

june 27, 2012 • Manhattan tiMes • www.manhattantimesnews.com

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Giants win, and fans celebrate in the neighborhood Story by Laura Gabby and Isaacc García Photos by Isaacc García

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ars were crowded around the city this past Sunday night for the Giants49ers playoff game. And the Applebee’s Restaurant in the Gateway Center of the Bronx was no exception. Despite the enthusiasm, there was no rowdiness; the atmosphere was mellow in this family-style restaurant. The game began at 6:30pm, and by then, all the seats at the bar were taken. The booths and tables were also filled, some with fans making sure to get comfortable and stake out seats for the next 4 hours. Families chatted during commercials to explain the game to their children, and friends toasted to a victory that they said they knew was assured. The aromatic smell of barbeque sauce and ribs carried through the room. Most of the fans were from the neighborhood, choosing to stay local, in the neighborhood, instead of traveling to a more crowded bar downtown. For ten years, Letty Lopez and her boyfriend have been fans of the Giants team. “No matter if they lose, I’ll always support them,” she said, with a pumped fist in the air. The last time the Giants went to the Super Bowl, and won, in 2007, Applebee’s and the Gateway Center did not exist. Opened in 2009, the restaurant has made an effort to incorporate Bronx and local neighborhood history into the décor. According to restaurant manager Jamie Podojil, Applebee’s researches every neighborhood it opens in for decorating ideas and themes. In this case, that included painted

panels depicting landmarks such as the Bronx Zoo, the Madison Avenue Bridge, and of course, the nearby Yankee Stadium. Chiffon Granger, a teacher at the Bronx’s P.S. 29, and Wendell Rid, a juvenile justice officer, came out to Applebee’s for the drink specials, and because it was in the neighborhood, a good combination for a playoff game. By the second half of the game, the bar area remained full. With each play, the sighs and groans got heavier, and the cheers louder. “People come to have fun. We focus on providing excellent service, so your experience is second to none,” said Samantha Suarez, an Applebee’s waitress, as she tended to patrons. At one table, a father enjoying a burger with his 8 year-old son, while paying close attention to the game, agreed. “This is a place where I can enjoy the game and bring my son without worrying; [this is] totally a family atmosphere,” he explained. As the game neared the fourth quarter, security guards and employees from neighboring stores and cab drivers began to gather outside in the cold, just outside the clear glass window near the entrance. They peered in at the game on the flat screen, taking a break from their rounds or waiting to taxi fans home at the end. As restaurant business slowed, all attention pivoted on the game. Robert, a Bronx native and a server with Applebee’s for the past year, stopped to applaud the Giants on his way in and out of the kitchen. Robert and many of the other servers wore Giants jerseys; although a few wore Jets jerseys. A fumble by the 49ers in overtime set the Giants up for the winning field goal. Fans around the bar jumped out of their seats, whooping and hollering. A loud cheer came from the kitchen. The Giants had done it again, a victory touching every corner of New York, including a favorite neighborhood spot in the Bronx.

Patrons of the family-style restaurant in the Bronx Terminal Market were glued to the television screens showing the game.

Above: Abel Espinoza, left, and Jamie Podojil, center, pose together with another Applebee’s Restaurant employee during the Giants-49ers playoff game this past Sun., Jan. 22nd. Right: Many of the restaurant’s staff chose to show their allegiance to the home team, the Giants, by wearing the team’s blue jerseys. JANUARY 25, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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Taquería Tlaxcalli: The delicious taste of a dream Story and photos by Isaacc Garcia Mauricio Gonzales, arrived in New York at the young age of 17 from Mexico, with a dream of sharing one of his traditions, specifically Mexican gastronomy. He started working in restaurants, taking on whatever task came his way. The beginning, he admits, was hard, and it involved hours of dishwashing and long shifts involving any manner of menial tasks in kitchens across the city. But he never shied away from the work. As the years went by, Gonzalez decided the moment was right to open his own business, and that opportunity to apply all of his knowledge had come. He noted that there seemed to be a lack of local family-oriented restaurants with an authentic Mexican theme and professional service that could offer diners the best possible experience. And so his dream, bit by bit, began to take form. He found in Jhonny Ariel, originally from Puebla, Mexico, a fellow countryman who shared his same concerns. Nowadays, together they have put all of their knowledge and experience to work, preparing dishes with distinctive flavors at La Taquería Tlaxcalli Restaurant in the Parkchester area of the Bronx. “It’s important to think positively,” explained Ariel. “That is the key to be able to fulfill your dreams.” With these words put into action, and a

positive attitude everyday, the two, and their colleagues, offer meals with a combination of vivid colors and flavors, with aromatic touches of fresh herbs. One of the greatest pleasures for the whole team at La Taquería Tlaxcalli in preparing the food is knowing that the customer has come away having experienced, and savored, a delicious meal. “When they approach us and say how delicious it was, for me, that is the best; it feels good”, said server Emanuel, with a smile on his face. Denisse Mateos, a Bronx resident, a customer for over a year, always comes back to enjoy the richness of the “taquitos”. “It is a place where all the essentials to have an unforgettable experience come together: food, service and good music,” she said. At the age of 39, Mauricio Gonzalez, together with his wife Yesenia, have fulfilled their great dream. In just under five years, La Taquería Tlaxcalli offers the experience of tasting a bit of Mexico, while staying within Bronx county lines. La Taquería Tlaxcalli 2103 Starling Avenue Bronx, NY 10462 Tel. 347.851.3085

“Tlaxcalli” means tortilla in the Nahuat dialect, and is part of the name of the Mexican restaurant celebrated in the Parkchester section of the Bronx.

Taquería Tlaxcalli: Tradición, servicio y sabor a sueño Historia y fotos por Isaacc García

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auricio Gonzáles, mexicano, llegó a la cuidad de Nueva York con tan solo 17 años de edad, con el sueño de compartir una de sus tradiciones, específicamente la gastronomía mexicana. Empezó a trabajar en los restaurantes, realizando todas las actividades que les correspondia. Al principio no fue fácil al estar lavando platos y cubrir grandes horarios de trabajo, pero con el paso del tiempo fue dominando cada una de estas actividades. Cuando pasaron los años, González decidió que era buen momento para abrir su propio negocio, era la oportunidad de aplicar todos sus conocimientos. Uno de los problemas que el analizaba cuando salía por las calles a caminar, era que faltaban restaurantes familiares, con una temática mexicana y con un servicio profesional para brindarle la mejor experiencia al consumidor. Así fue como el sueño estaba tomando forma. Encontro en Jhonny Ariel, chef originario de la ciudad de Puebla, México, un compatriota quien compartía esas mismas inquietudes. Hoy en día, juntos han puesto todo su conocimiento y experiencia en la preparación de platillos con un sabor único en el restaurante Taquería Tlaxcalli en el área de Parkchester del Bronx. Ariel cuenta, “Es importante pensar 14

Unos de los platos principales del restaurante mexicano es pechuga de pollo hervida y rellena de camarones con queso Oaxaca, y también cubierta con crema de champiñones.

positivamente. Esa es la clave para poder cumplir tus sueños y ponerse metas a mas de un año” . Con estas palabras y una actitud positiva, todos los días ofrece platillos con una combinación de colores y sabores inigualables. Una de las cosas mas gratificantes para todo el equipo que realiza los alimentos es saber que el cliente ha degustado un delicioso platillo. “Cuando se acercan y nos dicen que rico estuvo, eso para mi es lo mejor, se siente bien,” afirma Emanuel, un mesero, con una sonrisa en el rostro. Denisse Mateos, residente del Bronx, cuenta que ella tiene aproximadamente un año como cliente, y que siempre regresa para deleitarse de unos ricos “taquitos”. “Es un lugar donde se junta lo fundamental para tener una inolvidable experiencia: comida, servicio y buena música,” ella explica. A la edad de 39 años, Mauricio González, junto con su esposa Yesenia, han realizado un gran sueño. Con apenas cinco años, La Taquería Tlaxcalli da la experiencia de probar una parte de México,

JANUARY 25, 2012 • the bronx free press • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com


Snow, for a spell Story and photos by Isaacc Garcia This past Sat., Jan. 21st, residents of the Bronx, as did inhabitants of all the city, enjoyed the year’s first snowfall, with a crisp cold to match. Many families took to nearby parks to amuse themselves, making snow angels

Nieve, por un momento

and castles. And while some took flight off small slopes with makeshift sleds, others chased each other to lob snowballs in the air. Whatever their recreation of choice, all were glad to revel in the season’s first snowfall, as can be seen here at Poe Park on the Grand Concourse.

Scenes from the first snowfall.

Historia y fotos por Isaacc García

Este pasado sábado, 21 de enero, los habitantes del Bronx, igual que todos de la ciudad, vivieron la primera nevada del año con un mínimo de ºF 27. En los parques se veía a las familias divirtiéndose, realizando muñecos y castillos

de nieve. Mientras que los pequeños gozaban de un deslizador sobre alguna pequeña colima, otros corrían esquivando las bolas de nieve que sus amigos les aventaban. Así es como los vecinos aprovecharon el clima para hacer estas actividades recreativas, en lugares como Poe Park en el ‘Grand Concourse.’

Escenas de la nevada.

La falta de preparación para la universidad es un tema de protesta y de debate Historia por Sandra García y Debralee Santos Fotos por Sandra E. García

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n las escalinatas del Ayuntamiento, los manifestantes de la Urban Youth Collaborative (UYCColaboración Juvenil Urbana) lanzaban consignas en inglés y en español este pasado jueves 19 de enero, haciendo un llamado para un mejor programa de preparación universitaria para jóvenes estudiantes negros y latinos en la ciudad de Nueva York, y censurando lo que señalaron como tasas “abismales” de preparación para la universidad bajo la administración de Bloomberg. Del otro lado, en el 250 de Broadway, oficiales electos y líderes de la educación de la ciudad y del estado, se reunieron para lo que fue denominada una audiencia “histórica” del Concejo de la Ciudad durante la cual los comités de Educación y de Educación Superior del Concejo estaban reunidos conjuntamente por vez primera, con el Canciller de los Regentes del Estado y Shael Polakow-Suransky del Departamento de Educación de la ciudad, conjuntamente con muchos otros de la Federacion Unida de Maestros (UFT por sus siglas en inglés) y la City University of New York(CUNY), testificando y discutiendo lo mismo. La audiencia del jueves fue convocada como respuesta a las revelaciones del Departamento

de Educación del Estado de Nueva York de que sólo una quinta parte de los estudiantes de escuelas públicas de la ciudad están preparados académicamente para ir a las universidades. Y, conforme a datos dados a conocer recientemente por La Oficina del Censo de Estados Unidos solamente el 13 por ciento de negros y latinos cuando se gradúan de secundaria tienen un plan para la educación superior. Zakiya Ansari, madre de ocho hijos, siente que

sus hijos no tienen la mínima oportunidad si el sistema se mantiene como esta. “Tenemos un alcalde que preferiría jugar a la política en lugar de educar realmente a nuestros hijos”, dijo Ansari, quien junto a otros manifestantes desafió el glacial invierno en el Ayuntamiento. “En el discurso de Rendición de Cuentas Sobre la Ciudad, el habló sobre el llevar a nuestros hijos hasta la mitad del camino hacia

JANUARY 25, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com

la cima de la montaña. Bueno, únicamente el trece por ciento de estudiantes negros y latinos están listos para la universidad, y solamente el 29 por ciento (en toda la ciudad)”, dijo Ansari. “Yo pienso que el Dr. King no apreciaría utilizar su analogía cuando está claro que eso no es verdad”. Los estudiantes que piensan que han sido defraudados por el Departamento de Educación de la Ciudad tuvieron la misma preocupación. Chima Agwu, estudiante de último año de Belmont Prep High School en el Recinto Roosevelt en el Bronx, argumentó que el había sido defraudado por la forma en la cual el DOE ha manejado su proceso de aplicación para la universidad. “Ahora,[esto] es realmente crucial para mí”, explicó Agwu, quien se unió a sus colegas de UYC en la protesta. “Estoy a punto de graduarme y quiero ir a la universidad. Desafortunadamente, mi escuela no ha podido proporcionarme la ayuda necesaria”. Agwu dijo que su escuela sólo tiene dos consejeros de orientación para 391 estudiantes, y que la consejera de orientación para los de último año actúa también como asesora universitaria. Resulta dificultoso para mí el sentarme y hablar con ella cuando está ocupada haciendo cosas como programando a estudiantes para el SAT, haciendo itinerarios de clase, escribiendo recomendaciones y mas”, dijo Agwu. Se hace muy difícil verle a ella, es casi imposible. Los estudiantes como Agwu son los que han motivado la audiencia conjunta de los comités de Vea READINESS p11 7


Story by Adrian Cabreja Photos by Isaacc García

Friday Night Lights

T

he Parkchester Little League had its first game under the Friday night lights this past Fri., June 8th at Lehman High School.

This night would set the stage for the Parkchester Little League’s annual AllStar game, a matchup between the North Parkchester All-stars and the South Parkchester All-Stars. Daniel Figueroa III, the Chief of Staff to New York State Assemblymember Peter M.Rivera, threw the first pitch. “Events like this are a great thing for our youth. Baseball has been a strong sport here in the Bronx, and through our Little Leaguers, it will continue to be so,” said Figueroa. The five inning match-up was a slugfest, and clearly a hitter’s game. The South Parkchester All-Stars drove in 11 runs while the North Parkchester All-Stars came in close with 9 runs. The game did not allow for a dull moment, particularly when the nine year old hitter Jared Acevedo hit a grand-slam to center field which put the North Parkchester Allstars in striking distance to victory. Though they would ultimately not prove victorious, moments such as those proved the team had spirit in abundance. “I am proud of all of the young baseball players here tonight and their hard work. I

Jared Acevedo hit a grandslam which put the North Parkchester Allstars in striking distance to victory.

also like to thank the parents who are here to support them,” said Dean Ricks, President of the Parkchester Little League. The Parkchester Little League has been in operation for 56 years and has been providing baseball for over a half century to Bronx boys and girls as a means of promoting discipline, leadership, good character, good sportsmanship and physical fitness. All of this is possible, according to the

Parkchester Little League, with the help of dedicated parents and community volunteers. “Our league is what it is today because of our community,” explained Ricks. “We provide these opportunities because our community decides they want to continue. Our Little League is community oriented.” For more information or if you would like to volunteer, please visit www.parkchesterbaseball.com.

Daniel Figueroa III

Noche de Béisbol Americano

Historia por Adrian Cabreja Fotos por Isaacc García

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ste pasado viernes 8 de junio, Parchester Little League llevó a cabo su primera noche de beisbol americano en Lehman High School.

Esta noche habría de establecer el escenario para el juego anual de estrellas de la Pequeña Liga de Parkchester, un encuentro de estrellas entre North Parkchester y South Parkchester. Daniel Figueroa III, el jefe de gabinete del asambleísta del Estado de Nueva York Peter M. Rivera, lanzó la primera bola. “Eventos como este son una gran cosa para nuestra juventud. El beisbol ha sido un gran soporte aquí en el Bronx, y habrá de continuar siéndolo por vía de quienes constituyen nuestras pequeñas ligas”, expresó Figueroa. El encuentro a cinco entradas fue una pelea, y claramente un juego de bateo. El juego de estrellas de South Parkchester fue de once carreras mientras que las estrellas de North Parkchester se acercaron con 9 carreras. El juego no permitió un solo momento aburrido, particularmente cuando el bateador de nueve años Jared Acevedo dió un cuadrangular con las bases llenas al jardinero central el cual colocó a las estrellas de North Parkchester hacia la victoria. Aunque al final no resultaron victoriosos, momentos como ese demostraron que el equipo tenía abundancia de espíritu.

Dean Ricks,Presidente de Parkchester Little League.

“Estoy orgulloso de todos los jóvenes jugadores aquí presentes esta noche y su ardua labor. Me gustaría también agradecer a los padres presentes por respaldarles”, dijo Dean Ricks, presidente de Parkchester Little League. Parkchester

Little League ha estado operando durante 56 años y ha estado proporcionando beisbol por más de medio siglo a niños y niñas del Bronx como un medio de promover la disciplina, el liderazgo, buen carácter, espíritu deportivo y buen estado físico. Conforme a Parkchester Little League, todo esto es posible con la ayuda de dedicados padres y voluntarios de la comunidad. “Nuestra liga es lo que es hoy día, gracias a nuestra comunidad”, explicó Ricks. “Nosotros proporcionamos estas oportunidades porque nuestra comunidad decide que ellos desean continuar. Nuestra Pequeña Liga está muy orientada hacia la comunidad”. Para mayor información o si desea ser voluntario, favor de visitar www. parkchesterbaseball.com. 3

june 13, 2012 • the bronx free press • www.thebronxfreepress.com

isaacc.garcia@gmail.com


The Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet at the Bronx Library Center

Story and photos by Isaacc García

In a small spot where I’d go every morning for juice, there was a beautiful woman who served me. But because she spoke another language, we communicated mostly through glances and looks. Every time she handed me the glass of juice, I knew there was something to be said. To explain it, I composed a song, titled “Janine.” The day I went to show, and play it, for her, I found that she’d left the country.” -Charlie Porter

Multi-genre trumpeteer and composer Charlie Porter has played the world’s venues with verve and imagination that sets him apart from other jazz musicians. This time, it was the Bronx’s turn to be serenaded. His quartet performed classic standards along with Porter´s hard-hitting original tunes in a no-nonsense, straight to the point style, ensconced in the Bronx Library Center on East Kingsbridge Road this past Sat., Jan. 21st.

En un pequeño lugar iba todas la mañanas por un jugo, me lo daba una mujer hermosa

pero ella hablaba otro idioma así que nos comunicábamos por miradas, cada vez que ella me entregaba el jugo sabíamos que había algo, para poder explicárselo le compuse una canción titulada ‘Janine’ y justo el día que se la iba a mostrar ella dejó el país.” -Charlie Porter

Trompetista de múltiple genero y compositor Charlie Porter ha tocado lugares por todo el mundo, con brío e imaginación que lo distingue de otros músicos de jazz. Esta vez, le toco al Bronx ser serenado. Su cuarteto realizó estándares clásicos junto a composiciones originales en su estilo único, todo dentro del ‘Bronx Library Center,’ localizado en la calle Kingsbridge este pasado sábado, enero 21.

The Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet: Charlie Porter, Trumpet; Adam Birnbaum, Piano; Scott Ritchie, Bass and John Wilkan, Drums. JANUARY 25, 2012 • the bRoNx fRee pRess • www.thebronxfreepress.com

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isaacc.garcia@gmail.com 917 821 2632 New York NY

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Photography an Editorial Design from Various neswapapers

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