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Coffeehouse Faces Swan Song

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Uptown Coffeehouse, which has brought folk music to Riverdale for 24 years, may be nearing its final curtain.

Funding cutbacks could end the music program, housed October through June at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture. The volunteers who run the coffeehouse are hopeful that the music will go on. But with a dwindling folk music fan base and limited funds, the program’s future remains unclear.

The last concert of this season – and perhaps forever – is slated for June 5. Rod MacDonald is scheduled to perform.

Lunch Lessons at East Harlem School

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Students at East Harlem School used to dine on reheated veggie nuggets and peas swimming in mayonnaise.

Now, the middle school’s 130 students munch on chickpea coconut curry, tofu pad Thai and a variety of culinary concoctions not typically associated with school lunch.

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Health-focused lunch menu makes the grade at East Harlem School from CUNY J-School Video Storytelling on Vimeo.

See more at Cityspoonful.com.

Gas Vent Fears in Queens

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Outraged Jamaica residents say a development company whose executives include a former Department of Buildings (DOB) inspector may be putting the community in danger with plans to pave a driveway too close to a gas vent.

Officials at Melody Development Inc. contend the work, set for the side of a small commercial building on the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and 110th Avenue is perfectly safe and notes the project has the DOB’s approval.

But gas company officials say such work shouldn’t be done within 200 feet of a gas vent. The vent is about 13 feet from the driveway site, which is to be paved over gas lines.

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Last Tag Looms for 5Pointz

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

5Pointz Aerosol Art Center in Long Island City has been considered a mecca for graffiti artists, hip-hop performers and aficionados for more than 10 years. Yet as the urban art center battles for its existence, some graffiti artists wonder where the big-name celebrities are to defend the haven against developers eager to transform the property into an apartment complex.

Curated by veteran graffiti artist Meres One (Jonathan Cohen), 5 Pointz encompasses 200,000 square feet of industrial space between Jackson Avenue and Davis Street where artists showcase their aerosol creations. The graffiti is legal through an agreement with the building’s owner, Gerry Wolkoff of G & M Realty.

But in March, Wolkoff announced the building could become the cornerstone of a neighborhood revitalization project aimed at transforming Long Island City into the next downtown Brooklyn.

Meres handpicks the artists from submissions from around the world. His goal is to transform the space into a graffiti art museum. Over the years, 5Pointz has attracted well-known hip-hop and R & B artists like Joss Stone, Grandmaster Flash, and Doug E. Fresh. Stone is one of the few celebrities to start a petition to prevent 5Pointz from being closed.

Zeso, a graffiti artist from France and a 5Pointz denizen, recently took time to talk about what makes the center more than just a colorful New York artifact.

Finding Redemption, Nickel by Nickel

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Putting ‘Cycling’ in Recycling

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Gardening on the Go

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Mideast Immigrants Talk Change

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Uzbek Activists Face Crackdown

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011