How One Man in Harlem Is Changing Lives, One Seed at a Time

On a bright Saturday afternoon in New York City’s Central Harlem neighborhood, street vendors call out discounted prices for hats, undergarments, scarves, and household items. People walk in and out of pawn shops, thrift stores, and nail salons nestled between fast-food joints and restaurants. But the bustle of the city quiets down on 134th StreetContinue reading “How One Man in Harlem Is Changing Lives, One Seed at a Time”

This 22-Year-Old Is Running From NYC to LA to Raise Awareness About Ocean Plastic

After finishing college, recent graduates often move to new cities, explore different career paths, start their own projects, or travel the world. But Sam Bencheghib has different plans: running.     The 22-year-old — who graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, this spring — is embarking on a six-month journey that spans 3,100 milesContinue reading “This 22-Year-Old Is Running From NYC to LA to Raise Awareness About Ocean Plastic”

Sikhs Around the World Are Planting 1 Million Trees to Fight Climate Change

Sikh groups around the world have united to fight against climate change by planning to plant 1 million trees in 1,820 different locations by November. The group behind the movement, EcoSikh, was founded in 2009 to connect Sikh values with solutions to environmental issues — and its latest endeavor, the “Million Tree Project,” is its biggest ever. The initiativeContinue reading “Sikhs Around the World Are Planting 1 Million Trees to Fight Climate Change”

This NYC Chai Café Gives Away Half Its Profits to Empower Women

Five years ago, in a small, second-floor apartment in Venice, Italy, 29-year-old Khalida Brohi was faced with a daunting challenge. As a globally recognized women’s rights activist in Pakistan, she had already participated in countless protests and even received death threats for her work. But this particular battle was her own, one she never thought sheContinue reading “This NYC Chai Café Gives Away Half Its Profits to Empower Women”

Where do all the artists go?

The art scene, just like rent, is forever booming in New York City. Despite Patti Smith advising upcoming artists to “find a new city,” artists flock here, each year, in greater numbers. So what is it about New York that attracts artists from all over? More importantly, what ensures their survival? I caught up withContinue reading “Where do all the artists go?”

Living sculpture project helps migratory birds in NYC parks

BIRDLINK living sculptures by artist Anina Gerchick provide resting places for migratory birds in city parks. Photo Credit: Anina Gerchick By Sushmita Roy Updated December 9, 2018 6:08 PM PRINT SHARE Central Park and Prospect Park are globally recognized as havens for a variety of migratory birds. But just like every other New Yorker who stopsContinue reading “Living sculpture project helps migratory birds in NYC parks”

NY Knicks tap colorful Brooklyn artist for limited-edition game posters

This New York Knicks poster, designed by Brooklyn artist Mike Perry, will be free for all fans who attend the Knicks’ home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. Photo Credit: Mike Perry for New York Knicks   By Sushmita Roy Updated December 6, 2018 3:34 PM PRINT SHARE Mike Perry’s work, which includes the animated titlesContinue reading “NY Knicks tap colorful Brooklyn artist for limited-edition game posters”

Holiday Train Show returns to the New York Botanical Garden

Follow the lights up to the Bronx.
After the sun sets in the city, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory glows from inside.

‘The Coen Brothers Go West: Costume Design for ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ comes to Queens

The Coen Brothers head back to the Old West with their latest film “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” the costumes of which are now on display at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Fall foliage is about to peak at The New York Botanical Garden

New Yorkers needn’t leave the five boroughs to see the best seasonal colors in the region. Spectacular fall foliage is on display at The New York Botanical Garden’s Thain Family Forest.  Photo Credit: Ben Hider Not far from the city’s rising noise levels and illuminated skyline, the water moves slowly across the Bronx River andContinue reading “Fall foliage is about to peak at The New York Botanical Garden”

Harlem Chocolate Factory makes sweets inspired by the neighborhood

At this shop, the history of Harlem is told through chocolate. The artisan chocolate shop, Harlem Chocolate Factory, sells sweets with names such as Bodega Dreams and Mangoes del Barrio that pay homage to the neighborhood. Jessica Spaulding founded the company in 2014. She helped get it off the ground by winning the NYPL’s StartUP!Continue reading “Harlem Chocolate Factory makes sweets inspired by the neighborhood”

Shirley Chisholm deserves congressional gold medal, officials say

A monument to former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm is planned for Prospect Park. Photo Credit: Sushmita Roy Peering from behind her gold-rimmed spectacles stood a woman whose words still echo not just in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Baptist Church where she addressed a cheering crowd of about 500 in 1972, but in the present-day retelling of a historyContinue reading “Shirley Chisholm deserves congressional gold medal, officials say”

Maria de Los Angeles’ art inspired by immigration stories, including her own

  The car’s last halt before pulling over at the San Diego Sector of the United States Border Patrol was in Tijuana, at the children’s aunt’s place. It was 1999, when the fencing on Friendship Park — the only federally sanctioned meeting point between Mexico and the United States — was a single layer. Situated between San Diego andContinue reading “Maria de Los Angeles’ art inspired by immigration stories, including her own”

Target development in anti-gentrification group’s crosshairs as too big for Elmhurst

Queens Neighborhoods United, an anti-gentrification group, is set to appeal what they call an “illegal” development in Elmhurst, Queens, that includes a Target. According to the organization, the new development violates the local zoning laws that prohibit construction of “big-box” department stores in the area. Democratic nominees Catalina Cruz and Jessica Ramos joined residents of JacksonContinue reading “Target development in anti-gentrification group’s crosshairs as too big for Elmhurst”

Packing clothes, and deferred dreams

You can fit a Bible or an extra pair of jeans. You might have to choose between photographs and letters. And do you take the sturdy boots or the formal black shoes?   You think of him stranded on a desert trail, in the scorching heat. But there’s no room for a hat. Or maybeContinue reading “Packing clothes, and deferred dreams”

New chapter for city’s indie bookstores

    The scent is a mishmash of newly printed paper and freshly heated croissants. There is also the sound of footsteps, on occasion accompanied by the click-clack of walking sticks, finding their way to the back of the store, to where books by their beloved favorite writers are neatly arranged. At still other times,Continue reading “New chapter for city’s indie bookstores”

Scissors and razors, brushes and chairs

  A routine grooming visit, for men at least, amounts to little more than a shave and a swift cut.   But at Arthur Rubinoff’s Barber Museum on Columbus Avenue, a cut with a pair of diamond-studded gold scissors isn’t the only thing that screams extravagant. If you aren’t already impressed by the six gold-platedContinue reading “Scissors and razors, brushes and chairs”

Airing it out

    Open cockpits dominated the skies during the 1920s and ‘30s. And that freedom to roam the heavens was, for a time, a metaphor for an epoch when everything seemed limitless. On the ground, too, optimism spread like fog on a summer morning. And, in greater and greater numbers, women were in the forefrontContinue reading “Airing it out”

A quiet, lethal art

    Legs move in rhythmic motions. Punches are thrown and released. But there are no loud thuds — noise is kept to a bare minimum at this Upper West Side dojo. A woman pushes the door open and storms towards the desk, “Hi! I would like to find out about …” The response fromContinue reading “A quiet, lethal art”

Bobby, at home everywhere, and nowhere

An itinerant native son’s quest for permanence   The complexities of building a China in a New York neighborhood never seemed to occur to anybody. It was that thing about New York — the thing that made everything believable and nothing too impossible or far-fetched. And in fact, the narrow roads running through downtown resembledContinue reading “Bobby, at home everywhere, and nowhere”

Revisiting the undocumented New York

New York, ever since its establishment, has been a city of migrants: its character, a well-rounded one with a flush of black, brown and white on its skin. Indeed, in its truest form, New York is a concrete jungle that breathes in the toxins produced by automobiles driven by ‘underdogs.’ In its romantic form, whichContinue reading “Revisiting the undocumented New York”

How Chanting “No Sex” Can Bring About Change

ACCRA, Ghana— Under Samuel Lamptey’s guidance, his team doesn’t ask for much. If it were too much, it wouldn’t have been openly publicized. If he weren’t looking for the benefit of the entire community, Collins Seymah Smith would have kept his permanent job. The least the onlookers can do to make this endeavor successful isContinue reading “How Chanting “No Sex” Can Bring About Change”

7 hopes from seven Indians

Where new ideas can blossom RITHVIK RAJA | 28 | Carnatic musician, Chennai “There are many questions being raised about freedom of speech today, and there’s an amazing sense of awareness and energy among the youth. New ideas and innovative narratives need encouragement to see real change. Artistic expressions and creative impulses of youth haveContinue reading “7 hopes from seven Indians”

Kamathipura’s Warrior

  Hazra Mohommad Ali Shah, 50, lived in Kamathipura, in a ramshackle one bedroom where curtains replaced the main door. The hoarding outside, “Family Room No. 19” was on the verge of collapse and had been carefully placed over a stack of empty water buckets. Inside, clothes and cups hung over floating wires tied toContinue reading “Kamathipura’s Warrior”