BY: JONATHAN SHIA
As the only full-time employee of KALCA, Sandy Kim faces a constant battle for visibility. Until younger Korean Americans begin to see people who share their same cultural background achieve success in the worlds of public service and politics, she said, they are often hampered by a hesitancy to enter those fields.
Since its opening in 1992, Uncle Vanya has been a place for the Russian arts community to meet, mingle and network. While the restaurant used to host frequent events and readings, it slowed down in the last nine years. Uncle Vanya’s owner, however, is committed to re-establishing its identity as a supporter, promoter, and haven for Russian artists.
BY SUSIE POPPICK
Linda communicates in rough, hesitant English, often supplementing her limited vocabulary with gestures. When she explains how her ex-husband abused her, she grips her neck, miming choking.
It is hard to use English to speak about her past, Linda says, because she does not always understand or trust the people trying to help her. [...]
To attract young, educated Pakistani television viewers living in the United States, a satellite television distributor is hoping that it has found a winning combination: high-brow news reports from Pakistan interspersed with advertisements for U.S.-based companies — all in English.
By PAULA NEUDORF
For many Mexicans, the fest is like “celebrating her birthday,” according to Cesar Rodriquez, a representative from Tepeyac, an organization which offers cultural events and classes for New York’s Mexican immigrants.
BY SUSIE POPPICK
After a month of working down the street from the relocated Museum of Chinese in America, software engineer Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock succumbed to curiosity.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, he pushed open the museum’s back door on Lafayette Street, just yards from his office. He was immediately stopped by a guard, who sent Bergson-Shilcock around [...]
BY SOMMER SAADI
It’s 2:15 p.m. when Freddy Castiblanco sneaks in a side door at Terraza 7 Train Café in Jackson Heights and joins the meeting of the Movement for Peace in Colombia.
It’s an unusually large crowd — 13 people sit in a makeshift circle on distressed wooden barstools and a faded paisley couch. The turnout inspires Ramon Mejia, one of the movement’s founders in 1999, to catalog names as each person introduces him or herself.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
BY KATIE MOISSE
Despite the dim economy, the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market is bright with traditional West African merchandise. The market still brings West Africans closer together and African Americans closer to their roots.
BY DEREK SIMONS
Most school buses transport fresh minds, but one in Upper Manhattan carries fresh fruit instead.
Francisco Belasquéz arrived from Santo Domingo in 1983 and worked for 10 years selling fruit from a tiny, midtown booth, its footprint carefully marked out on the sidewalk. When he earned enough money to set up his own business, Belasquéz decided he was done with working in restricted spaces—he wanted more freedom, even if it meant leaving his high-traffic spot behind.