When the PathMark supermarket idea first sprang up, forces in East Harlem began to align themselves against it. When a Home Depot/Cosco mega stores were suggested for the old Washburn Wire Co. site, forces sprung up to stop the development (see B.A.R.A. article). When tourism is mentioned for East Harlem, the same forces get their juices going to prevent it too.When the PathMark supermarket idea first sprang up, forces in East Harlem began to align themselves against it. When a Home Depot/Cosco mega stores were suggested for the old Washburn Wire Co. site, forces sprung up to stop the development (see B.A.R.A. article). When tourism is mentioned for East Harlem, the same forces get their juices going to prevent it too. What is it about progress that some people don't like? It seems that anything beneficial, especially in a big way, is frowned upon. Is it that people feel threatened? Is it that they are afraid of change? Do they wish to forever condemn our community to the least, the most expensive and the worst of choices? PathMark Forces against change did not like the PathMark supermarket because they said it threatened the smaller food markets in the community. Did anyone bother to ask the people of the community what they wanted? No. Ask anyone in this community, especially the women, who do most of the shopping, and they will tell you; "we want better food, produce... and cheaper prices". It is a well known fact that poorer communities pay higher prices for their food than those in middle or upper class communities. This one fact should rid one of the guilt associated with not supporting local supermarkets over the PathMark issue. With stores like PathMark in our community, the consumer will have a wider choice of goods, higher quality, at a cheaper price. And unlike some social service professionals who work here and live somewhere else and who have the means (car) to go to New Jersey or the Bronx to buy their food; we most often have to use a shopping cart to move our goods from the supermarket to our homes. We do not have the means to go to far off places to buy our goods. We are pretty stuck with what we have here in our community. Is it too much to ask that we have a better choice in what we buy? Home Depot/Cosco The Home Depot/Cosco issue is pretty much the same. Except this time activist are objecting to the traffic, noise, health problems which such a mega site could bring. In this day and age, everything is possible. Instead of objecting outright to this new development, activist should work with the developers to overcome their objections. Sometimes it seems that the NO is developed first and then the reasons/objections are made to justify the NO. Why not work together to overcome the objections. Doesn't East Harlem Deserve bigger, better looking stores with better high quality products at lower prices? Don't East Harlemites deserve what the rest of the world takes for granted? I've lived in Florida, Albany, New Orleans, Chicago and even Bayonne, NJ and they have such nice stores. What do we have?, 1950s looking stores which are badly constructed as to give store owners great space behind their counters and hardly any walking room for customers. Even stores should be user friendly. Tourism The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone recently held focus group meetings on Tourism for the Upper Manhattan communities. Luckily, none of the activist (negators) were invited. It seems most at these groups liked the idea of developing tourism in our communities. Yes there were objections, but these objections were seen as things to overcome and work out, not as a sole reason to dismiss the idea of tourism in our communities. I wonder what possible objection "non-progressives" would have to tourism? The East Harlem community is in a transitional state. It is moving into the 21st Century. Nothing will stop this progression. The people are beginning to move into the middle class and are desperately trying to stay in a community with no housing for those of their class. The community deserves better services, the jobs that come with these new stores, the better products at lower prices and above all the myriad of choices that come with super stores. Jose B. Rivera Editor Responses: To: Jose@east-harlem.com Subject: East Harlem Improvements From: JDVALLE@aol.com Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:08:32 EDT It is definitely a shame that activists would rather expend time and energy objecting to those developments that would enhance and improve the quality of our community rather than figuring out why more of this type of investment isn't taking place. Why is it that people object to good things happening and are completely blind to the fact that no money, or not nearly enough money and attention, is paid to housing improvements. And although housing is important, commercial improvements are also an integral part of a community and self-support. Furthermore, activists shouldn't worry so much about the small grocers who would lose out to the big Parthmarks of the world when, in fact, our biggest problem in East Harlem is that we don't keep enough of our own money within the community. Most of us make our money outside the community and because of the lack of choice, end up spending our money outside of the community as well. The ability to be able to invest the money within our own neighborhood is what will help us to improve our surroundings. Another issue they can spend their time on is getting us more banking opportunities, or would this be too much of a threat to the two banks that are of any good to us now? Citibank - which is out of the way for most of us, and Banco Popular, which rarely has money available at their ATM's, are inadequate for the growing community we live in. Still, more importantly, who has bothered to check into whether, or how much, investing these two banks do within East Harlem? Why don't they spend a little time researching that? Anyway, just thought I'd vent my issues. Thanks for the avenue to do this! By the way, the El Barrio site is informative. I just happened upon it and wondered why it isn't advertised more. Take care. PS: I think the Pathmark and East River projects are great for East Harlem! To: Jose@east-harlem.com Subject: East Harlem Plaza Mall From: R72@webtv.net (Richard Blondet) Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 12:51:49 -0400 (EDT) As a former resident of East Harlem (117th St & Pleasant) I have to completely disagree with Gloria Quinones and the other gentleman. A mall between FDR & Pleasant is just what that community needs. The claim the oppositionists make about how people will get sick and how construction will speed up the asthma rate is ridiculous and unfounded. How come no one complains about 2nd hand smoke? Or car exhaust? The problem with redirecting traffic I find also to be unnecessary. Personally, silly. There's as much chance of an accident occurring near the site as their is near La Marqueta or 5th Avenue. The improvement and progression of the community should not be allowed to diminish because of some of these individual's selfish motives. They are only creating a retrogression of the neighborhood and it's time to put a stop to it. Let's face it. Small Businesses like Bodegas and outlet & clothing stores have not provided any substantial amount of employment to members of the East Harlem Community. These small business owners also wish to eliminate the project at 125th Street. Why? The Super Stores and Malls will only enrich the neighborhood and it's residents and provide much needed employment. Take a poll within the community and you will see a lopsided approval rating for these projects over what the people who oppose them claim. They being the so-called representatives of East Harlem. As sorry as I am for the small business owners who may take a dive in profits due to these larger corporations establishing themselves in E. Harlem, they are not in any way aiding the community or giving it an economic face lift worthy of it's Latino and African American residents. El Barrio se merece mejor...... Richie Blondet
An Activist Perspective on the Election of 1998 ( NY state elections) Reginald Neale, Secretary - Citizens for Open Access to Legislation New York State, where all 211 Legislative seats were supposed to be up for grabs, yet the historical odds against a legislator being defeated in a bid for reelection average 50 to 1, and a quarter of those running had no opposition at all. At the end of this edition, I’ll give you the surprising statistics on what actually happened this time.An Activist Perspective on the Election of 1998 ( NY state elections) Reginald Neale, Secretary - Citizens for Open Access to Legislation New York State, where all 211 Legislative seats were supposed to be up for grabs, yet the historical odds against a legislator being defeated in a bid for reelection average 50 to 1, and a quarter of those running had no opposition at all. At the end of this edition, I'll give you the surprising statistics on what actually happened this time. Since our election laws allow those with big bankrolls to control the airwaves, many voters may have believed that the candidates they saw trashing each other on prime-time TV were the only candidates. There were actually TEN candidates for New York State Governor. Al Lewis/Grandpa Munster has some serious activist credentials, but many pundits reacted to his gubernatorial candidacy with amused derision, focusing on the most extreme of his public statements. Hard for them to imagine that anyone but a mainstream pro could possibly have any useful input on the political process. Inconceivable that "leaving it to the experts" might be an ingredient in our most serious and persistent problems. It IS true that only a mainstream pro can get elected in our state, and that's no coincidence. Those who dominate the rule-making process have made sure that getting on the ballot and getting elected takes lots of money and the right connections. The money often comes from cozying up to special interests; the connections come through following the party line. In the few races that were competitive, we were subjected to mind-numbing repetition. No distortion was too extreme; no ethnic slur too tasteless. Apparently nothing says 'civic responsibility' better than 30 million bucks worth of issue-deficient attack ads. It's not difficult to figure out who loses when candidates who are anxious to talk about the issues are drowned out; when front-runners refuse to expose their positions to debate. The commercial media did not seem anxious to have its spokespersons commandeer advertising time/space for careful examinations of candidate positions - when there were any - on crime, education, health care etc. Big temptation for them to jump right to the important stuff: the reported size of each candidate's war chest. The top candidates, who were paying enormous sums for exposure in these same media, were probably grateful for the help in diverting attention from real issues. It's way easier just to trash your main opponent worse than he trashes you, and ignore the others. There are reasons why campaigning in our state has degenerated into a disgusting farce. One of those reasons is that New York refuses to give up its greed-based campaign finance laws, laws that encourage legislators to develop close relationships with deep-pocketed contributors. Which also means that the rest of us have to be satisfied with whatever attention legislators have left over from constant money grubbing. You think this is a trivial issue? This year, the Legislature met for 62 days. During this period legislators held 201 fund-raisers. Continuing the trend of recent years, there was a better than 3 to 1 ratio between fund-raisers hosted and official days worked. Seems to me this reveals an unfortunate truth about legislative priorities. Here's the 1998 election statistic: If you bet against an incumbent legislator this year, the odds were a lot higher than 50 to 1; they were INFINITE! Not one incumbent lost a reelection bid! Aren't elections supposed to be about choice? Isn't it the availability of choices that forces government to be responsive to voters? Maybe it's time to tell your state legislators you want electoral reform and campaign finance reform. More on this in the next edition; also - the Budget, pay raises, pork, remedies... Reginald Neale, Secretary - Citizens for Open Access to Legislation (C.O.@.L.) Comments/flames to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 22nd Annual Three Kings Day Parade was held on Wednesday, January 6, 1999 in El Barrio. The parade featured a cast of hundreds including school children from all over the city, Bronx civic groups, many dressed as kings, animals - camels, sheep, and donkeys and El Barrio’s own residents.The 22nd Annual Three Kings Day Parade was held on Wednesday, January 6, 1999 in El Barrio. The parade featured a cast of hundreds including school children from all over the city, Bronx civic groups, many dressed as kings, animals - camels, sheep, and donkeys and El Barrio's own residents. El Museo Del Barrio, the parade's sponsors, made this year's event bigger and better than ever. Among the parade's participants El Museo included Puerto Rican folk artist and musician Benny Ayala, Nuyorican poet and educator, Papoleto Melendez and internationally acclaimed Puerto Rican visual artist Antonio Martorell. The three artists were dressed as the three kings, Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar respectively. The parade's "Godmother" was the one and only Ms. Malin Falu of radio WADO/AM fame. Also included in the mix were local and not so local politicians. Councilmembers Philip Reed, William Perkins and Jose Rivera (from the Bronx) were present. As was the "Mayor" of Harlem Leslie Wyche, representing Deputy Mayor Ninfa Segarra. (see picture below). Famous East Harlem personalities were also present; senior citizen activist Petra Allende, Retired Legal Aide Director Gloria Quinones, President of Aurora Communications, Aurora Flores, activist and news photographer Eliazer Berrios, and Felipe Ventegeant of Gabriel and Associates. Musician Yomo Torro provided the vocals to the music out of back of a flatbed truck. He was excellent. Many news organizations provided coverage of the event including the New York Daily News, The New York Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, WABC, WNBC, Fox, WCBS, New York 1, Channel 1, Channel 41, Channel 47, and other TV news stations. And let us not leave out some of the radio stations, WCBS, WADO, and Caliente 105.9. Forgive us of we missed anyone. The parade lasted for two hours, started a little late, but went well. The parade route took it from East 106th Street and Madison Avenue to 106th and Third where it turned north up to 116th Street. It then went south on Lexington Avenue back to 106th and Madison Avenue. It was a blistering cold day, but all participants kept warm with Yomo's music. Many Kudos go to El Museo Del Barrio, especially to: Director Suzanna Leval, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Neyda Martinez and to Director of Education and outreach Miriam De Uriarte. The pictures for this year's parade can be seen at: Picture Gallery under Events/Three King's Day.
Manny Did IT!! Local community artist Manny Vega Jr. completed his restoration of the wall mural on East 104th Street and the corner of Lexington Avenue. Manny started the restoration in September. He worked against time and the advent of cold weather which could prevent the paint he used from adhering to the wall. Mr. Vega was lucky. Warm winter weather allowed him to complete the wall in time.Manny Did IT!! Local community artist Manny Vega Jr. completed his restoration of the wall mural on East 104th Street and the corner of Lexington Avenue. Manny started the restoration in September. He worked against time and the advent of cold weather which could prevent the paint he used from adhering to the wall. Mr. Vega was lucky. Warm winter weather allowed him to complete the wall in time. Mr. Vega is a well known local artist. He has painted various murals throughout the community and was even commissioned by the Metropolitan Transit Authority to do the East 110th Street Train station wall tiles. The results were great. Mr. Vega is a good natured man. Which serves him well in dealing with community people and the press. The walls renovation was commissioned by the very same community institution that commissioned the creation of the wall , Hope Community, Inc. It was Hope Community, Inc, which commissioned Hank Prussing and his apprentice, Manny Vega to do the wall in the early 70s. (East Harlem Online apologizes for omitting Hope's role in the commissioning of the wall's renovation when this article first appeared on this web site--see acknowledgements below). Mr. Mark Alexander, Executive Director of Hope Community, Inc., deserves credit and thanks for commissioning the return and renovation of this great work of art and love. The New York Daily News featured Mr. Vega in a December 18, 1998 article titled "Lovingly Restoring Portrait of Harlem" "Artist polishes 25-year-old mural". (we will forgive the Daily News for not printing East Harlem). The article by Daily News Staff writer Ralph R. Ortega, (see below) credits Mr. Vega for bringing the mural and the community back to life. It's amazing the number of people who are affected by that wall. To look at it is to inspire hope, pride and love of the community. It's almost as if the wall's restoration has paralleled East Harlem's restoration. (low crime rate, new buildings and economic development). The Daily News also featured another article, "A Closer Look" about those portrayed on the mural. Kind of a where are they now piece. This publication asked the Daily News for permission to reprint the personnel snippets contained in "A Closer Look", but they refused saying that none of their content can go up on any web site, that is their policy. Of course "Fair Use", a universal policy that even the Daily News uses to quote text and use pictures from other publications is invoked here. Sorry Daily News but what is good for the goose.... East Harlem Online will interview those portrayed in the wall and come up with it's own "Who they Are". East Harlem Online is proud of Manny Vega. We are proud of his great work and positive and artful contributions to the community. We are so proud in fact, that Manny's picture has been placed (for the last month) on this web site's entry/first page. A place where many are sure to see him and where his work is sure to be seen. The wall mural is now East Harlem's pride and joy. It gives us strength, hope, inspiration and is beautiful to see. While many continue to say that nothing good can come out of East Harlem, or the inner city, Manny Vega paints a different picture of what is possible. Panoramic Picture of the restored Wall Mural (big download, 338K, full screen shot) Note: Similarities between the Daily News picture and East Harlem Online's picture of Mr. Vega are purely coincidental. Mr. Vega does take a good picture, especially against the beautiful mural which he has fully restored. Acknowledgements to Hope Community, Inc.: East Harlem Online would like to credit and thank, Hope Community, Inc., Mr. Mark Alexander, Executive Director of Hope Community, Inc., Mr. Michael Lugo, Associated Director of Development at Hope Community, Inc. for their contributions to this article. Especially Mr. Lugo, who made our omission of Hope Community, Inc. role in the wall restoration apparent to East Harlem Online. We would like to thank Hope Community Inc., most of all for creating the wall and for restoring it. The Wall is a gift to the community, one which will be cherished for all time. We ask Hope Community, Inc. to continue their good work with the wall and with all that they do. We also would like to thank Hope Community, Inc., for granting permission to show the wall (pictorially) here on this web site. East Harlem Online apologizes for the omission.
Philip Colon, a local community activist turned restaurant owner has given our community a wonderfully warm and friendly place in which to eat Puerto Rican food. Mr. Colon had originally established his restaurant in the East 116th Street “La Marqueta” for the past two years. He decided to move his business to 83 East 111th Street on Machito Square.
Have you ever taken anything for granted, even before it was created? Well, many are surprised to hear that East Harlem has a Salsa Museum. Well Duh!! It seems like common sense, East Harlem, Salsa Museum, like hot-dogs with hot-dog buns. Until you realize that the East Harlem Salsa Museum is new. It has not been here since the early days of Salsa. It just opened December 1998.So much for taking it for granted. The Salsa Museum is located in a large back room of the Made in Puerto Rico store. Which itself is located at 2127 Third Avenue (116th St. and Third). The museum is opened daily from noon till 8:00 P.M. Admission is free. Not even a suggested price!!. You can't beat that. Efrain Suarez is one of the founders and minds the Made in Puerto Rico Store. He came upon the idea while talking with friends about Salsa. The museum is proud to display the very instruments which many Salsa artist used to play their music. This writer found out about the museum through a New York Daily News article written on December 3, 1998. Yes, I know, sometimes news does not travel quite as fast as we'd like. But leave it to the Daily News to tell us East Harlemites what is happening in our community. Shame on us. Back to our story, Joe Cuba serves as the assistant director for the museum. The instruments displayed are loan or given to the museum by the artist who played them. Imagine holding the Congas which Joe Cuba once played. Or on a cerebral note, reading up on the history of Salsa. The Who's Who of this great sound? Whatever your interest in Salsa, it would be a great experience to visit the Museum and the Made in Puerto Rico store. If you wish to call before hand here is the number: 212-289-1368. East Harlem Online will bring you more news and pictures about the museum later on this month. Salsa lives on...
A group of East Harlem residents has united to prevent the construction of the East River Plaza Shopping Mall. This mall will be located at 116th-119th Streets between the FDR drive and Pleasant Avenue. The group has united under the name B.A.R.A., East Harlem Business and Residents Alliance, Inc. Some of the members of this group include Gloria Quiniones, William Gerena, John Kozler and others.A group of East Harlem residents has united to prevent the construction of the East River Plaza Shopping Mall. This mall will be located at 116th-119th Streets between the FDR drive and Pleasant Avenue. The group has united under the name B.A.R.A., East Harlem Business and Residents Alliance, Inc. Some of the members of this group include Gloria Quiniones, William Gerena, John Kozler and others. B.A.R.A. opposes the mall on many grounds. B.A.R.A. does not like the location of the Mall. They argue that it is too close to schools and areas where children play. In other words, children can get hurt due to the high traffic the mall will bring to the area. They also site higher car emissions and worry about an increase in children's asthma as a result. The group is also concerned about noise from increased traffic and from freight trucks. Increased traffic and less parking could also be a problem. B.A.R.A. also does not believe that promise of employment to area resident will come to pass. It is illegal to promise a set number of jobs to a community. Equal employment laws prohibit it. So East Harlem residents are not guaranteed the promised jobs. The possible loss of affected local merchants could change the character of the community. What B.A.R.A. does propose is that the site be used for small business development and as a waterfront promenade. B.A.R.A. will hold its own public hearing on this issue on January 28th, 1999. at Holy Rosary Parish Hall, which is located at 444 East 119th Street. The meeting will begin at 7:00 P.M. B.A.R.A. can be reached at: 341 Eat 116th Street, New York, N.Y. 10029 Tel: 212-348-8004 E-mail: BARA116@aol.com B.A.R.A. Flyer Actual size Gif of front page of B.A.R.A. flyer (107K)
November 22, 1998 - East Harlem East Harlemites received a rare treat, as his Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, visited St. Cecilia’s Church to help celebrate the church’s 125th anniversary.Many came up to an hour early to obtain choice seating. And St. Cecilia's Pastor Fr. James Brennan, C.Ss.R, never looked so excited. Fr. Brennan waited outside the church for the Cardinal to arrive. Cardinal O'Connor did arrive in a small common black car. You'd expect the Cardinal to be surrounded by motorcycle cops, but no, he came only with his driver, who also served as his personal alter assistant. Old Friends Many parishioners, old, new, from near and far came to help celebrate this great anniversary. This writer (an old St. Cecilia School Alumni) saw many former teachers and school mates. It seemed that the past was exploding into the present. It was a real thrill. It's almost as if former teachers were not real, were phantoms, and had now decided to rock the senses with a ghostly visit. They were real after all! You could see, touch and hug them all. They still exist! How great it was to see them! My heroes of old, in the flesh. Back to the Cardinal, he was very funny. Cardinal O'Connor could have had a calling as a comedian. He took every opportunity to crack a joke. And they were funny side liners. He was also comical when reading off some of St. Cecilia's accomplishment and history to the crowd. He would stop and say..' It says here that... " Not trying to convince the crowd that he knew it all. Because plainly he did not. So instead of faking it, he made it humorous. St. Cecilia's (much to Fr. Brennan's credit) prepared extremely well for this event. The church looked fantastic and the choir sounded like angels singing. They dressed well too. Due to the large crowd present, the balcony's were opened to allow seating there. It is not often that the balcony's are opened at St. Cecilia's. This writer has not been on the balcony since 1966. If you ever visit the church, it's a great place to take pictures. Picture of T-Shirts on sale at 212-534-1350, T-Shirts celebrate the 125th Anniversay of St. Cecilia's ChurchThe mass did not last too long and there was a virtual feast (reception) after the mass. It was a great event. Never have this church looked so happy and excited. It was a calm happiness. And it was a great time. Congratulations St. Cecilia's on your 125th Anniversary!!. Oh, there is still time to get into the celebration, St. Cecilia's still has some celebration T-Shirts, and other items to sell. Call the rectory at 212-534-7912 for further information.
Place Matters, a joint project of The Municipal Art Society of New York and City Lore in cooperation with The East Harlem Historical Organization held a forum on Saturday, November 7th. The forum was held a a movie showing room of the Museum of the City of New York. The topic of the forum had to do with three different Turf Wars and Turf Sharing.Place Matters, a joint project of The Municipal Art Society of New York and City Lore in cooperation with The East Harlem Historical Organization held a forum on Saturday, November 7th. The forum was held a a movie showing room of the Museum of the City of New York. The topic of the forum had to do with three different Turf Wars and Turf Sharing. One Generational, one based on issues as they pertained to the Antipoverty program and the last one dealing with turf wars as they related to gangs and stickball. Generational Topic In the Generational topic, a young 15 year old East Harlemite, Lady Ann Ceballo, interviewed the venerable senior Petra Allende. Lady Ann (yes this is her real name, her mother named her after British Royalty), asked Petra questions about what East Harlem was like when Petra arrived here from Puerto Rico in 1949. Petra answered that although the pay was a low $12.00 per week, she found it easy to find work. She worked at a factory on East 111th Street in the same building which housed the Con Edison offices. What work was like? Petra said that work was good. She started out sewing and later on moved on to the printing business. What did they do for fun? The movies were a favorite pastime answered Petra, and there were no shortage of parties thrown by family and friends. Was raising the children hard? Petra said she made sure that the children respected others and that they respected themselves. Neighbors helped with watching the children after school and ensuring that no harm came to them. Antipoverty Issues Topic The issues turf discussion had to do with the beginning of the antipoverty programs which panelist agreed begin as a move to curb juvenile delinquency. Many of the original players of the antipoverty program were present on the panel; Norman Eddy, Bobby Montesi, Eugene Calderone, Sarah P. Frierson, Mary Iemma, who told a beautiful story about how she came from close to death to being a vibrant participant in the early programs. This discussion was the most complex of all three presented and is best to watch the video to garner its full impact. Stickball Topic The stickball discussion panel drew the most laughs of the day. Especially when it was revealed that policemen of the day (1930s and 1940s) would accept brides in return for letting the stickball team play peacefully. It was surprising to learn that some teams played for money and hence the cops came to get their share, sometimes once for every game played that day. The most interesting thing to learn about the stickball teams was that they were in effect a "Sunday Truce" from the other wise ethnic gang wars of the day. During the week, the Puerto Ricans stayed West of Third Avenue for fear that the Italians would beat them to within an inch of their lives. But Sunday allowed stickball team participants to walk right into the "enemy" territory to play against the same said enemy. The Puerto Ricans were not the only ethnic group enclosed in an enclave. The Italians, Polish, Jewish, African American and other ethnic groups had their own safe heavens and place which they should keep out of. It was very interesting indeed to hear from those who experienced life back then as a series of sectored areas. This author's life never saw it as especially dangerous to go to Third Avenue. But back in 1960, most of the gang nonsense has begun to wane. Participants for the stickball panel included stickball old timers: Charlie Ballard (age 80), Vito Giannone, John Keeney, John Stephen's, Charlie Candelario and Moe Morrero. Charlie Diaz (East Harlem's own) of the East 111th Street Old Timers was also present and the youngest participant of the panel. The participants had fun and most still continue to play in leagues throughout the United States. The Forum ended with a nice reception featuring the food of East Harlem's newest ethnic group, Mexican food. It was delicious and well prepared. Editor's Note: East Harlem Online would like to congratulate Gina Rusch, of Union Settlement and of The East Harlem Historical Organization for leadership and work in getting the forum to the public. Laura Hensen, also of the East Harlem Historical Organization, deserve credit as should Cathy Bensen of the Museum of the City of New York. All the panel participants are also to be congratulated for giving of their time and history. Recommendations: More forum of this type should be held. The East Harlem Historical Organization is encouraged to continue it good work. Indigenous East Harlem residents should also form their own historical group. The reason being that no one should allow someone outside of their ethnic group to write, tell, present the history of their group. History is experiential and hence not the "objective" thing most make it out to be. At best writing another ethnic groups history can be inaccurate and full of cultural biases. At worst it can be pretty dam paternalistic. It can also (usually) be resented by the group being written about. How to reconcile this with Gina's group? First is that all interested parties be invited to participate in the East Harlem Historical Organization (this group has been open, so the point is not that is is not, but to have a new beginning). Second, hold the meetings of the group later in the evening when working class people can participate (more later about social workers and East Harlem). Thirdly, split the group along ethnic lines so that each ethnic group can research and write their own history. Lastly, come together on projects such as the recent forum to disseminate information. It would greatly enhance any historical group if the group had funding which would avail full time workers to "recover" the history of the past. In the case of the East Harlem Historical Organization, each ethnic group should employ a full time worker to do the work necessary to complete their tasks. Accompanying Article: Obstructed Leadership FYI East Harlem Historical Organization Gina Rusch 237 East 104th Street New York, N.Y. 10029 212-360-8819 The Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue New York, N.Y. 10029 212-534-1672 January 24, 2004 - Webmaster's Note: The East Harlem Historical Organization is now meeting at the Muesuem of the City of New York
The Second Annual East Harlem Artisan Fair was held this past weekend. Boy’s Harbor hosted the annual event where Puerto Rican artisans showed their crafts. The fair was a two day event, from the 7th-8th of November. Below are some pictures of the event’s crafts. Enjoy.The Second Annual East Harlem Artisan Fair was held this past weekend. Boy's Harbor hosted the annual event where Puerto Rican artisans showed their crafts. The fair was a two day event, from the 7th-8th of November. Below are some pictures of the event's crafts. Enjoy.
Pictured here are traditional Puerto Rican Dolls complete with masks.
Here are more masks and some inverted bowls.
Lastly, my favorite, small wooden figures with a wooden cart and real hay.