New York City

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Threats to New York City’s Affordable Housing ♦ Note: This reported, unpublished story was written as part of a master’s program at the Columbia School of Journalism.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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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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The Saints Come Marching into Her Living Room

Behind the scenes at Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor Entertainment jazz sessions, an uptown institution. ♦ Over the years, Count Basie, Paul Robeson and other prominent Harlem musicians and artists have lived behind the embellished iron gates of 555 Edgecombe Avenue, just beyond Sugar Hill. In apartment 3F, jazz still lingers in the air every Sunday afternoon. Marjorie …

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