New York

Dispatches from New York City.

View with a Room

A watercolour of a friend’s room in what was once a convent on the Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Crumble in the Bronx

Threats to New York City’s Affordable Housing ♦ Note: This reported, unpublished story was written as part of a master’s program at the Columbia School of Journalism. With her peppery grey hair cut efficiently short, but dyed a youthful honey blonde, Martha Castro is a modern matriarch. At sixty-six, this mother of five children and grandmother …

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RT Book Reviews

Magazine review ♦ Name: RT Book Reviews Circulation: 70,000 Date of Birth: 1981 Frequency: Monthly Price: $4.99 In a little brick building in Brooklyn, the offices of RT Book Reviews (formerly known as Romantic Times) are divided between two suites. In one, paperbacks and curios line shelves set in converted fireplaces and against a wall painted with pink …

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Sex and Sidi

Meet Sidi Ibrahima, a pulp fiction author in Harlem ♦ Harlem’s 125th Street is a bazaar of cottage industry products: incense and earrings, knit hats and demo CDs. But the goods on one table near Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard are more colorful than the rest. Bright books with racy covers are spread over the stand. …

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Uptown Takedown

Wrestling takes hold in Harlem ♦ In Harlem, basketball and football are the most popular sports. But at Kappa IV, a public middle school at St. Nicholas and 135th Street, wrestling is gaining traction. The afterschool classes started a month ago, when an organization called Beat the Streets teamed up with Jets of Harlem, the youth …

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The Lady and the Landmark

Ethel Bates wants a cooking school in the historic Corn Exchange. The city just tore part of it down ♦ Until she starts talking, Ethel Bates looks like anyone’s grandmother with her maroon windbreaker, a dun scarf wrapped turbanlike around her head. Short, forceful and sharp as a whip, this energetic 77-year-old community activist has …

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Waiting for a Christopher Columbus

Viaduct Valley, Harlem’s “meatpacking district”, is trying hard to survive. ♦ Whipping up from the Hudson River, wind funnels through the cross streets between 125th and 138th Streets. Up on the Henry Hudson Parkway, traffic inches toward the George Washington Bridge. On the other side of 12th Avenue, which disappears under a stone bridge, Riverside Park …

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