Archive for October, 2009

Bronx Neighborhood Hopes Peace Will Persist After Police Move Out

Bronx Neighborhood Hopes Peace Will Persist After Police Move Out

BY KATIE MOISSE
“The attacks show that violence against Muslims is a serious and ongoing problem.”


Hindus Adjust an Ancient Ritual in a Modern World

Hindus Adjust an Ancient Ritual in a Modern World

BY CAROLINE ROTHSTEIN
It was just before noon on Tuesday when Bhanu Shetty, a henna tattoo artist, set up her table outside an Indian clothing store on 74th Street in Jackson Heights.


Hondurans Demonstrate Against Coup

Hondurans Demonstrate Against Coup

BY VICTOR LI
Protesters gathered in Union Square Park last Tuesday in support of the deposed Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya.


Chess Tournament Brings Out Players of All Ages and Skill Levels for Largest Outdoor Tournament in U.S.

Chess Tournament Brings Out Players of All Ages and Skill Levels for Largest Outdoor Tournament in U.S.

BY SOMMER SAADI
Five-year-old Jason Jiang races through Central Park toward the Bethesda Fountain. It’s 11:35 a.m. and he and his parents are 35 minutes late for his first Chess-in-the-Parks Rapid tournament.


Nation’s First Filipino Chapel Faces an Uncertain Future

Nation’s First Filipino Chapel Faces an Uncertain Future

BY CLAIR MACDOUGALL

On a quiet street in Chinatown, Manhattan, a small group of congregants sit on wooden pews in a chapel and wait for the priest to begin the evening Mass.


Guyanese Listen for a Different Kind of Tweet

Guyanese Listen for a Different Kind of Tweet

BY SCOTT SELL

The men gather in Smokey Oval Park before sunrise, sipping coffee from Styrofoam cups as they walk around to see what their competition looks like. And sounds like.


Changing Demographics Leads to Diversity in Greenpoint School

Changing Demographics Leads to Diversity in Greenpoint School

BY IAN THOMSON

“The world is a diverse community, and this school is a microcosm of the world.”


Police Force Day Laborers Away from Queens Corner

Police Force Day Laborers Away from Queens Corner

BY DIEGO APARICIO
In recent weeks, police have increased their presence near the corner of 37th Avenue and 69th Street, where the playground sits and hundreds of day laborers –many undocumented workers from Latin America– congregate in search for work and food.


‘Macho’ Father of Three Slain in Boerum Hills, Brooklyn

‘Macho’ Father of Three Slain in Boerum Hills, Brooklyn

BY DEREK SIMONS

A cardboard box protected a makeshift memorial of more than 50 candles from the gusting wind today. Mourners arrived in a steady stream on Monday to light even more and to write messages on the box in memory of Victor Zapata, who was shot shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday.


Maspeth Teens Serving Notice of Tennis Dreams

Maspeth Teens Serving Notice of Tennis Dreams

BY IAN THOMSON
Poland has never been known for its tennis players. Since Wimbledon hosted the first major tennis tournament in 1877, only one player born in the country has reached a Grand Slam singles final—her name was Jadwiga Jędrzejowska. She reached the women’s finals of Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the French Open in the late 1930s; she lost on all three occasions.


A Night of Fashion, Russian Style

A Night of Fashion, Russian Style

BY ZACHARY SNIDERMAN
“A Night of Fashion – Russian Style” featured models, vodka and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery. However, the surgery this fashion-week charity event supported wasn’t for the models; it was for children in Russia.


Russian Bathhouse Drips with Old World Charm, Authentic Grit

Russian Bathhouse Drips with Old World Charm, Authentic Grit

BY ZACHARY SNIDERMAN
It costs $30 to spend the day at the Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street…. Of course, it’s another $35 to be hit with sticks and twigs. Opened in 1892, the bathhouse was taken over in 1985 by the Shapiro family, a collection of immigrants from then-Soviet Uzbekistan, Siberia and Ukraine. The business was passed down from papa David to his son Dmitry, who now co-manages the baths with his brother Jack.


A Peaceful Fight for Peaceful Sleep

A Peaceful Fight for Peaceful Sleep

BY DEREK SIMONS

Deputy Inspector Andrew Capul sounded convincing at Wednesday’s monthly community meeting of the 34th Precinct in northern Manhattan: “We’ve made some great inroads in the quality of life,” he said, “particularly in the area of noise pollution.”
But he did not convince everyone.


Recession Bites Restaurants – Restaurants Bite Back

Recession Bites Restaurants – Restaurants Bite Back

BY PAULA NEUDORF

On a busy street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Carlos Torres is managing a near-empty restaurant. Businesses are packed in like shoeboxes on this block of Broadway, between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue, where the brakes of the JMZ screech on the raised tracks overhead. Torres is the manager of Zocalo, a four-year-old Mexican restaurant whose small storefront is easy to miss.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” Torres said. “This year was really hard.”


Union Protests Disrupt Opening of Sunset Park High School

Union Protests Disrupt Opening of Sunset Park High School

BY PAULA NEUDORF

The grand opening of the first public high school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, was ushered in by a towering inflatable rat. As chattering ninth-graders filed into the building for their first day of school in the brand-new facility, members of the engineer’s union Local 94 chanted slogans near the school’s entrance.


Coco Bread Brings Jamaica to the North Bronx

Coco Bread Brings Jamaica to the North Bronx

BY BAYAN RAJI

Just as Manhattan is notorious for skyscrapers and apartment buildings that consume the city horizon, the Kingston Tropical Bakery makes the block at 226th and White Plains Road famous for the rich, buttery smell of oven-baked goods.
Jamaican-born John and Jessie Levi opened the Kingston Tropical Bakery about 30 years ago.


Ramadan Means Good Business for Hindus in Queens

Ramadan Means Good Business for Hindus in Queens

BY CAROLINE ROTHSTEIN

As the month-long holiday of Ramadan came to a close Sunday, the Muslim commercial strip of Jackson Heights, Queens, was quiet and shuttered, while the Hindu side bustled with Muslim customers. Eid commemorated the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fasted daily from sun up to sun down for a month.


Lower East Side School Benefits from Immigrant Work Ethic

Lower East Side School Benefits from Immigrant Work Ethic

BY SUSIE POPPICK
The cafeteria roared with conversation — very little of it in English — and one perplexed student gripped two plastic sporks in one hand, trying to manipulate them like chopsticks.
“That’s how you know a student is new,” said Assistant Principal Rene Anaya. “The students who have been here awhile have gotten used to American customs.”


Margaret Chin Plays Both Front-Runner and Underdog in City Council Race

Margaret Chin Plays Both Front-Runner and Underdog in City Council Race

BY SUSIE POPPICK
If Margaret Chin is growing impatient, she hides it well.
Just two days before New York’s city council Democratic primary, the four-time District 1 candidate breezes into her Chinatown campaign office, a serene smile on her face.
Around the small, fluorescent room, staff and volunteers work the phones — reminding district residents to vote, preferably for Chin — and make rally signs. Not all share Chin’s serenity.


The Rise and Fall of a North Manhattan Middle School

The Rise and Fall of a North Manhattan Middle School

BY DEREK SIMONS

When the Washington Heights Middle School “Minerva” 321 gained its full independence and own principal in 2004, the first class of sixth-graders enrolled. Two years later, 380 students across grades six through eight were studying the scholastic basics and specializing in law and journalism.

But New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) gave a “thumbs down” to the Minerva experiment last year. Today is the first day of its last two years of existence.


Skateboarding Picks Up Among Queens’ West Indian Teens

Skateboarding Picks Up Among Queens’ West Indian Teens

BY SCOTT SELL

When 17-year-old Sean Mohammed drops in on the half pipe to start skateboarding, he thinks of his father, who told Mohammed he started skating when he first moved to Queens from the West Indies 20 years ago and encouraged his son to do the same.


Queens Travel Agency Connects Little Guyana to Home

Queens Travel Agency Connects Little Guyana to Home

BY SCOTT SELL

Walking the tree-lined streets of Richmond Hill, Queens, it’s easy to feel like you’ve taken the A train to the West Indies. Women flow past in colorful saris, Calypso music pounds from passing cars and Guyanese flags hang out of apartment windows. Newsstands sell papers from Georgetown, the capital. One restaurant promises to serve “real back home taste.” But for all the reminders of home this neighborhood offers its 17,600 Guyanese residents, it’s sometimes not enough.


Recession Hits Home for Local Korean Tourism Agencies

Recession Hits Home for Local Korean Tourism Agencies

BY JONATHAN SHIA

Until the economic crisis hit last autumn, 2009 was looking to be a banner year for Dongbu Tour, New York City’s largest Korean tourism firm. Korean tourism had nearly tripled between 2002 and 2008, according to NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization, and with Korea’s promised entrance to the United States’ Visa Waiver Program, all signs pointed to continued growth. That is, before the ramifications of the recession became clear.


Ghanian Student Commutes to Stay Close to Ghana

Ghanian Student Commutes to Stay Close to Ghana

BY KATIE MOISEE

Wesley Adjei, a recent immigrant from Ghana, travels nearly an hour and a half to get to and from college in midtown Manhattan, even though the school offered him an apartment right near campus. It wasn’t that the school’s apartment wasn’t affordable or spacious enough—it was. But Adjei decided he would rather live in the Bronx’s Little Ghana because it feels like home.