Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Greenwich Village Orchestra’s Annual Family Concert

December 13th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

The Greenwich Village Orchestra gave yesterday its annual Family concert at the Washington Irving High School. Contrary to other concerts of classical music, children and even babies were warmly welcome in the theater. For one hour, Music Director Barbara Yahr made an educational presentation of all the different instruments, as GVO played Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. From the violin to the piccolo to the trombone, all of them where introduced to the children.

She explains the purpose of this annual event.

The orchestra was founded in 1986 by a group of musicians from the New York Metropolitan area. What is remarkable about it is that professional players and amateurs share the same stage. Some talented young can also be part of the concert, as teenager Angela Wee, 12, winner of GVO’s Young Artist Competition who was invited as soloist in the finale of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

The families who were there really appreciated being able to go to a concert all together, and are ready to come again next year.

All About Cupcakes

December 12th, 2010 by Brooks Newkirk

The cupcakes that filled the upstairs room at the Brooklyn Winery Tuesday night, Dec. 7, were not regular cupcakes. No plain chocolate or vanilla in sight. These were the royalty of all cupcakes.

The people that gathered there were not regular people— they were cupcake-frosting-sprinkley-crazed people. And they were there to celebrate the queens of their obsession, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Nichelle Stephens, and the sixth anniversary of their über-popular cupcake blog, Cupcakes Take The Cake.

This is a moment Bussel and Stephens, who are not professional bakers, but “professional eaters” as they put it, never imagined would happen when they took their love for baking, photographing and eating the sweet treat to the Internet in 2004.

Cupcakes: Part I by bnnewkirk

Each day, Bussel and Stephens along with their five contributing bloggers update the blog with photos, recipes and reviews of new cupcake bakeries. Their dedication to their craft has garnered them a loyal following of more than 2,600 Facebook fans and over half a million visitors to their blog each month. Stephens, who has started several blogs in the past, says she never thought the cupcake blog would get this big.

Cupcakes: Part II by bnnewkirk

As Cupcakes Take the Cake continues to grow in popularity and Bussel and Stephens personal fame grows, they’ve been featured on “The Today Show” and “Martha Stewart” to talk about cupcakes, they’re still amazed at the blog’s success. And at the dedication of their readers.

Cupcakes: Part III by bnnewkirk

Portrait of a Photographer

December 12th, 2010 by An Phung

In a brightly lit room on the third floor at Coney Island Hospital, the photographer Anthony Bonair sat in a chair by the window and ate his lunch out of a beige colored tray filled with savory meat and vegetables.

The nurse who served it to him took a small sample of blood from his index finger to check his sugar levels. Bonair talked right through the whole process and didn’t seem phased by being poked or prodded. Maybe it’s because this is his ninth hospital visit since his kidneys failed in January 2008. He undergoes dialysis treatment three times a week. To further compound his problems, Mr. Bonair is nursing two wounds: one from a bicycle accident a year ago and one from a recent spill in his home. And just two weeks ago, he had surgery for a biopsy of his liver.

This portrait of Bonair is a stark contrast to his active past as a photographer. But his range of life experiences, from health to sickness and from accountant to photographer, is no different from the range of subjects he captures on film.

Even with an unfortunate bill of health, Mr. Bonair isn’t giving up.

“This has been the roughest that I’ve been. But there is a lot that I would like to do,” said Bonair.

This determination to persevere is not unusual for the 65-year-old photographer. He approaches almost every challenge and project with the same fervor and passion. Even in his current state, he manages the marketing for his exhibit currently on display at The Skylight Gallery in The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza. He spends his days in physical therapy, dialysis treatment and on the phone talking to art collectors who he hopes will buy his work. He is both a sick patient and a shrewd businessman.

The current exhibit at The Skylight Gallery, entitled “Carnival Masqueraders,” is a reminder of his boyhood in Trinidad where his father created costumes and participated in Carnival parades. The collection of 20 images depicts Caribbean carnival culture and costumes in Brooklyn. Bonair worked with Dulcie Ingleton to curate the photos.

He recalls memories of how the colorful and ornate costumes were destroyed when the carnival event was over. He saw the same thing happen when he watched the carnival parades in Brooklyn as an adult.

The 16 x 20 photographs line the walls of The Skylight Gallery in Bedford Stuyvensant. Colorful and flamboyant costumes with feathers, beads, glitter, seashells, metallic accents and chromatic paint reflect a culture of life, brightness and celebration that Bonair wants others to remember about Trinidad. Two mannequins don costumes that give a three-dimensional sense of what the costumes looked like.

“The impetus for this exhibit was to preserve, photographically, what this carnival culture was all about, “ said Ingleton.

Anthony Bonair reflected on some memorable “firsts” in his life.

The first time he took photographs:
The Pest

His first photographic subject:
Ignited by Dance

His mentorship with the award-winning Roy DeCarava:
Roy DeCarava

Tribeca water main construction

December 11th, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

The City of New York is working to update its water system and is undergoing serious construction in certain areas of Manhattan. One area that’s being torn apart is on Hudson Street in Tribeca. The project began in August 2010 is not expected to be complete until Winter 2015.

As a result, pedestrian access is limited, business owners are losing street visibility, parking garages are being blocked, parking is limited, an M20 bus stop was lost and traffic to and from the Holland Tunnel is perpetually congested.

The project is currently in phase 2 and construction is running from Laight Street to Hubert Street. In a recent CB1 meeting, residents and business owners joined to raise awareness of the project and it’s effects. The DDC’s (Department of Design and Construction) urges CB1 residents to reach out to Karen Butler (, the project community liaison, if you have any questions or concerns. You can also check here for updates.

View Tribeca Water Main Construction in a larger map

The Prince of 125th and Lexington

December 6th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Prince Arala Osula has no lavish palace but rules the downtown train platform at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. If you’ve taken a four, five or six train, headed downtown from that stop, you have probably heard him. And if you had a hankering for some reggae or rock that day, you may have even spoken with him.

Prince isn’t into performing just to get the royal treatment. He claims he was called by God to play not just at 125th and Lexington, but specifically to play on the downtown platform. Whether it was a calling from God or the desire to be discovered, Prince is serious about his work.

He’s been at the station for five years and has regulars. Fans range from school kids to the New York Police who Prince ubiquitously calls “Finest”. But Prince also welcomes tourist and often has a song from a visitor’s native country.

Here is a brief “backstage” tour with Prince. 

The Big Piano

December 6th, 2010 by Ichi Vazquez

World AIDS Day

December 5th, 2010 by An Phung

The dismal weather outside was no match for the energy inside Rivington House, one of the Village Care locations in New York City that provides health care to those living with HIV and AIDS. Live-in patients clapped, sang, prayed and gave thanks to those at Rivington House who give them the resources and therapy they need to live with their illness. The mood at the December 1st World AIDS Day commemorative event was not one of despair or tragedy, but rather one of hope and gratitude.

“The longevity of life has increased because of the new medications they’re coming up with,” said 45-year-old Gregory Davis, a patient who has been living at Rivington House for two months. “I am hopeful one day that they will find the research.”

December 1st is World AIDS Day, which marks the beginning of AIDS Awareness Month. Village Care, a non-profit organization that provides HIV and AIDS education and health care, observed the day with a balloon release, music and personal testimonies from patients at Rivington House who are living with HIV/AIDS.

According to the Center for Disease Control, advanced medicine and technology is changing the face of AIDS, which helps people live longer and healthier lives. The patients at Rivington House are a reflection of this change.

New Housing in the South Bronx

November 29th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Housing projects in New York City were initially built to replace slums. Some might say, however, that the “projects” eventually led to concentrated poverty, a large contributor to urban decay. Others say that projects have higher crime rates and violence. Whatever the case may be the projects certainly have a larger police presence than any other housing units in the city, creating friction between residents and law enforcement.

Residents have also often complained of deplorable living conditions that may even rival slums many projects were built to replace. The role of public housing in concentrated poverty was felt particularly hard in the South Bronx in the wake of the fires that ravaged the community during the 1970s. Now, the South Bronx is being rebuilt and the signs are everywhere. There are new businesses, new residents and new places of residence as well.

These new residences however, aren’t just for the poor. To combat concentrated poverty, new housing is aimed at residents from mixed-incomes. Take a look at a few of these developments in the South Bronx.

View New Developments in the South Bronx in a larger map

Joe Long, a long time music retailer in Bed-Stuy

November 29th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Joe Long, the owner of Birdell’s, an independent record store on Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), began working at the store in 1957. That is why he talks about this neighborhood like no one.

Clinton Hill on Marathon Sunday

November 29th, 2010 by Geoffrey Decker

A mile down the road from Brooklyn Academy of Music, which doubles on Marathon Sunday as the borough’s most densely-packed area for crowds on the course, Lafayette Avenue in Clinton Hill is just as vibrant, if slightly less prominent.

Against a backdrop of the towering Lafayette Gardens, a troubled housing project that has had two murders since August, an entire community – residents, elected officials, churchgoers and casual fans – turned out this month to cheer on the 40,000 runners to participate in the 2010 New York City Marathon.