As She Fights Cancer, a Woman Strives for Normalcy | NY Times

The Neediest Cases
By JOHN OTIS

Patricia Lewis, who has been fighting cancer for years, in her Harlem apartment. “It takes a whole lot of effort to psych yourself that you’re not going to die,” she said. (Photo: Ángel Franco | NY Times)

Patricia Lewis, who has been fighting cancer for years, in her Harlem apartment. “It takes a whole lot of effort to psych yourself that you’re not going to die,” she said. (Photo: Ángel Franco | NY Times)

For decades, Patricia Lewis toiled as a security guard for NYC Health & Hospitals, a duty she performed along with a second, and sometimes a third, job.

“I showered in the hospitals, I slept on gurneys and hardly came home,” Ms. Lewis, 68, recalled. All that work was to ensure her children’s potential would be realized. Ms. Lewis raised them by herself after a divorce in 1984, motivated by her vow to keep them safe and pay for their college educations.

“These children, I cannot lose them to drugs, I cannot lose them to crime,” she said. “And today, my children, all three of them, are successful. But their success, the way the world is, they cannot help me.”

Ms. Lewis left her security guard job in 2009, a year and a half after tests showed she had cancer in her left breast. The disease has returned four times since, most recently in August, despite repeated treatments of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to remove cancerous tissue.

Read more: As She Fights Cancer, a Woman Strives for Normalcy | NY Times

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Uptown Tonight: Know Your Rights for Immigrants Workshop

know-your-rights-for-immigrants-workshop

The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and The Legal Aid Society will speak about immigration concerns under the Trump Administration, topics are: concerns about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the rights of undocumented and documented immigrants. The event is free. Please click below for more info.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 6 pm
Ft. Washington Collegiate Church
729 W 181st St (corner of Ft Washington Ave)
New York, NY

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/911435882291960/

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On their marks | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

WHIN Music Project

Children as young as three learn the basics of music.

Instruments can be hard to come by at WHIN.

String and brass instruments tend to be expensive. So most children in The Washington Heights and Inwood Music Project play ones that are donated.

Even old, nonfunctioning ones are useful, said co-founder Andrea Profili. One viola needed a new bridge and pegs. The parts were swapped out from another instrument that was in even worse shape.

“We don’t have it in our budget to make repairs,” she said. “So we salvage parts to put on other instruments that are not beat up.”

One of their students, Mary, will play the refurbished viola in their upcoming Dec. 10th concert.

Since 2012, WHIN has been teaching young Northern Manhattan students. Children as young as three can learn the basics of music, how to play an instrument, and eventually, how to be a good citizen and give back to society.

WHIN is based on the Venezuelan El Sistema model, an orchestra for young people that conceives of music as a human right. Playing an instrument not only teaches children music, but also co-operation, leadership and a sense of mastery.

About 130 children participate in the program. The majority of students are from Washington Heights and Inwood, but students from The Bronx, Brooklyn and even New Jersey play in the orchestra.

“It’s beautiful,” said Profili. “You look at that orchestra and you’re looking at New York City.”

Often only affluent families can afford private music lessons.

Read more: On their marks | Manhattan Times

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Washington Heights entrepreneurs strive for new heights in the face of gentrification | Metro US

BY Amanda Mikelberg
It’s a new era for an old-world neighborhood.

Pocion

(Photo: Led Black)

Washington Heights is changing. New businesses are sprouting from Dominican roots that are catering to a diversified clientele — and introducing new objectives to entrepreneurs about surviving in New York City.

The largely Dominican district has, for better or for worse, resisted gentrification for decades and relied on its traditions in foods, hair salons, and sidewalk merchants that cater to the culture. Yet a few savvy businessmen with roots in the neighborhood are hoping to evolve the area, while also fighting the threats gentrification poses to a community’s identity.

The block on 177 Street between Broadway and Fort Washington Avenue is a microcosm for the phenomenon. In the last year, unique businesses such as Kazza, an intimate and modish café by day and wine bar by night, and Pocion, a vegan restaurant and bar, opened their doors to a new era of commerce.

Francis Pereira-Billini, who opened Pocion in June, told Metro that he realizes the imperative of moving the community’s approach forward, particularly because the renovated George Washington Bridge bus plaza and mall slated to open in 2017 will guarantee an influx of foot traffic.

“If we don’t evolve with the times, someone is going to come in and steal bread out of our mouths. We have to evolve to maintain our identity,” Pereira-Billini said.

His restaurant is a bold departure from tradition, with its menu of organic foods and cocktails described to have healthful ingredients.

“We are not a vegan vegetarian people,” Pereira-Bellini said. “We are catering to more health-conscious customers, because it is the reality.”

Read more: Washington Heights entrepreneurs strive for new heights in the face of gentrification | Metro US

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#InstagramUptown: Build Bridges Not Walls


We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Photo Essay: The Beauty of Black Joy | Salon

BY Peter Cooper

wholehearted_embed2

I didn’t set out to find Black Joy, rather Black Joy found me
I found it in the slight upward bend of a smile
The moment right before and after a breath
The spark in the eye
Black Joy
I found it when I went back for the photo that I almost didn’t take
Found it in that classy cool delight, that regal poise and grace
Black Joy
The warmth found me again and again
Black Joy
I am extremely honored and humbled that these beautiful humans have shared their joy with me
Awaken and share your refreshing creation of ebullience and wonder
Black Joy

(more…)

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