Archive for the ‘video’ 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.

S.T.E.M. Studio Brings Science to South Bronx

December 13th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

The U.S. education system is like dial-up in a high-speed world: inefficient. Dial-up academia is especially a problem in the subjects of science and math.

Recently the World Economics Forum placed the quality of U.S. science and math curriculum at 48 out of 133 other nations. The National Science Foundation also reported that ethnic minorities are even less likely to pursue an undergraduate degree in science and engineering.

The U.S. is falling behind in this globally competitive economy.

But Iridescent Learning, a nonprofit science education organization, is trying to change that. The interactive STEM-based program teaches students, and their parents, about technology and engineering. Most important, however, is that students can actually apply what they learn by inventing things.

With a location already in Los Angeles, Tara Chklovski, President and CEO of Iridescent Learning Chklovski chose the South Bronx for her second science studio location. The studio, located on the first floor of the Banknote Building, will be opening its doors to students in early 2011.

Chklovski has partnered with the U.S Office of Naval Research through a Department of Defense campaign to increase diversity in STEM. The studio will receive an estimated $2 million each year through a three-year grant from the ONR to serve about 1,500 students from over 31 schools across Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.

Here is a look at the November 4th opening festival.

Nation’s Fastest High School Runners Go For a Walk

December 12th, 2010 by Geoffrey Decker

The day before the 32nd annual Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships, the 40 fastest boys and girls from all over the country got a chance to visit the daunting Balboa Park cross country course in San Diego. It’s become as much of a tradition as the race itself and several of the sport’s top athletes, who got their start at this race when they were in high school, came back to lead them on the course.

Sheepshead Bay Rallies to Stay Alive

November 30th, 2010 by Daniel Prendergast

The Department of Education is preparing to close down around 19 underperforming schools next year. One school in danger is Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn. Although the school ranks low in comparison to some, SHB has made a huge amount of progress in the last five years. At that time, the school’s graduation rate was around 45%. Today, the graduation rate is around 62%. Sheepshead has also improved its regency exam scores greatly. These improvements have many teachers and students wondering why the DOE still wants to close SHB.

Last week, teachers and students rallied to let the DOE know that they are a school worth saving. Hundreds gathered in front of the school to show their support for SHB and each other.

Concern Over Stop-and-Frisk Continues in Bed-Stuy

November 28th, 2010 by Jacqueline Vergara Amézquita

More than four months after Governor Paterson signed a bill to limit data collected by the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice, Bed-Stuy residents complain the measure does nothing to solve the pervasiveness of the police tactic in their neighborhood.

Community residents claim the stop-and-frisk practice is still heavily carried out by the 81st Precinct, the local police department that was marred in scandal due to illegal practices, earlier this year.

“It’s the usual stereotypical abuse that we get, even if we’re trying to do something with ourselves,” said Chantel Boone, 24, a concerned Bed-Stuy resident.

The Center for Constitutional Rights recently released a report that documents the disproportionately high rates of stop-and-frisk tactics in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods. The study reported that race and not crime is at the core of the stop-and-frisk policy.

This month, radio station manager for Hot 97/Kiss FM, Terrence Battle, made headlines when he was stopped and searched by cops in Bed-Stuy while riding in a cab. He accused the cops of racial profiling.

A native Bed-Stuy resident shared his views on the stop-and-frisk practice in his neighborhood.

Stop-and-Frisk in Bed-Stuy from Jacqueline Vergara Amezquita on Vimeo.

Street Vendors in the Theater District

November 15th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Vendors, selling everything from handbags to hot dogs, are as iconic in New York as the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. No matter what the weather – in this instance rain – their hustling doesn’t cease. Here is a peak into the action of a few street vendors in the theater district.

A South Bronx By Any Other Name

September 26th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

Triangle Below Canal Street just doesn’t roll off the tongue like TriBeCa. But keeping up with New York neighborhood nomenclature, like SoHo, NoLita, and NoHo, despite their fluidity, can be bothersome. So what do South Bronx natives think about SoBro?

Sometimes, the abbreviation is practical; North of Little Italy (NoLita) is a mouthful. But more recently abridged names symbolize swank, exclusive, enclaves moving into historically cast out communities. So when artists’ lofts began cropping up in the South Bronx, a marker of newly acquired hipness wasn’t far behind. Many migrants of means might think SoBro is posh. Some natives just say it’s pestering, paltry and political.

What South Bronx Natives Think About SoBro from Kahliah Laney on Vimeo.

This sometimes annoying, phonetic phenomenon isn’t unique to New York. In Atlanta, calling the Buford Highway BuHi has some so annoyed they’re yelping about it. In San Francisco a blogger highlighted the “hysteria” associated with a number of play-on-names including FerBu (Ferry Building) and DUCFOP (Down Under the Central Freeway Overpass).

While some folks find this kind of name-tailoring taxing, others welcome the moniker makeovers. In Fresno, CA, residents in the neighborhood south of Tower District were eager to represent SoTow. Still, as emphatically as some embrace neighborhood name changes, others oppose. The Medici Foundation said no way to the adoption of NoLita though the name seems to have stuck.

So what’s really in a name? Shakespeare, in “Romeo and Juliet,” wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Does that mean that South Bronx would, were it SoBro called, retain it’s gritty nature? Most likely, as some early settlers of the recently revitalized Park Slope found out.

But it seems these nifty little names are here to stay. Calling the South Bronx SoBro is apparently accepted enough that it’s included in Urban Dictionary. A 2008 academic study about the South Bronx directly linked the advent of SoBro to gentrification.  Call it the South Bronx or SoBro one thing is for sure, the neighborhood is changing whether people like it or not.

Chasing a Dream

September 21st, 2010 by Brooks Newkirk

by Brooks Newkirk

Niro Lucus and Roudy “Movez” St. Fleur launched Dream Cloth, a luxury urban line, back in 2008. With no formal training and no financial backing, the two are trying to make their mark on the fashion world. How do they plan to compete with fashions’ elite in the midst of an economic recession? By using their natural talent and working around the clock.

Business Out the Box

September 20th, 2010 by Kahliah Laney

On September 10, 2010, Hercules Kontogiannis opened his first restaurant in a location that has zero cold storage and could easily be mistaken for a walk in closet. The eatery is one of few in the area. It is nestled on a block where restaurants are closed before the business name can be changed on Google Maps: I know, I’ve looked. The less-than-ideal location didn’t turn Kontogiannis away. There was a demand for a restaurant in the neighborhood so Kontogiannis took a chance. He says his restaurant will be the one that stays because his business strategy – and food – is a little unique; it’s out of the box.

Business Out the Box from Kahliah Laney on Vimeo.

Man’s Best Friend: The New Weapon in the War on Bed Bugs

September 20th, 2010 by Geoffrey Decker

By Geoff Decker

Business has been good for Metro Bed Bug Dogs, a small extermination company in New York City that specializes in sniffing out and eradicating bed bug infestations. Two years ago, the company invested heavily in its most prized asset: a 20 lb. rat terrier named Chopper. Bed bug sniffing dogs are a new weapon in the war against the resurgent bloodsuckers and Chopper’s good work is paying back big dividends for his owners, earning more than $1200 per residential visit.