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School of Rap

Friday, January 25th, 2008

When 13-year-old Steven (King) Ayala strides confidently down the hall at South Bronx Preparatory, students follow.

When he enters Rosaleen Knoepfel’s sixth-grade classroom, people notice.

When he freestyles in her after-school program, his rhymes ring.

“Think twice,” he raps. “Wrong or right, think twice, day and night, think twice, death or life.”

King is one of more than 40 students in the after-school Urban Art Beat program at the middle school at 145th St. and Third Ave. in Mott Haven.

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Church Photog Sees The Light

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Photographer Anke Michaelson found artistic solace in church.

Churches in and around Staten Island’s North Shore are the subjects of Michaelson’s new photography series, Midnight Churches. The pictures, shot at night, feature churches whose lights are off, save for a few prayer candles in some. (more…)

New Housing To End Garden Party

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

At first it sounds like a typical tale of gentrification: Spanish Harlem residents battle to save a community garden from being bulldozed to make way for apartments.

But the gardeners are fighting neighbors they’ve known for decades, not outside developers. The 116th Street Block Association, a nonprofit founded by locals in 1976, plans to build 55 apartments on the garden site for families making $40,000 or less.

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Easy as Un, Deux, Trois

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Kindergarteners at Public School 58 tell their teacher “bonjour” when they arrive and “au revoir” at dismissal – and they speak a lot more French in between.

The Carroll Gardens school is one of the three city public schools that now offer French-English dual language instruction, to the delight of parents and the French Embassy, which had pushed for the program.

The city offers dual-language programs at about 65 schools, though most are taught in Spanish or Chinese. In September, 2007, students P.S. 58 and schools on the upper West Side and in the Bronx became the first to get the opportunity to be taught in French, which is spoken by an estimated 200 million people worldwide.

Chika Osaka visited the 4- and 5-year-old emerging French speakers of P.S. 58.

Hospital Spurs Labor Pains

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Meet Flushing's Streetcorner Seer

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Keeping an Eye on Vision Woes

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Food Pantries Face Shortages

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Forgotten Island Becomes Park

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008