Park Place: Irina Falconi returns to her tennis beginnings in New York City | Tennis.com

by Nina Pantic

Irina Falconi - US Open

Falconi’s parents, Silvia and Carlos, encouraged her to learn the game on the courts of Inwood Hill Park. (Photo: Irina Falconi)

NEW YORK—At the northern tip of Manhattan, where the A train creeps into its very last stop, is the intersection of Seaman Avenue and 207th Street. For Irina Falconi, the 73rd-ranked tennis player in the world, it’s also an intersection of the past and present.

“This was my entire life,” Falconi says, pausing to gaze at the well-worn public courts of Inwood Hill Park.

On Wednesday, the 25-year-old will play on perhaps the most pristine court in New York City when she faces Venus Williams inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Twenty years earlier, she was learning the game in Inwood, whose courts Falconi could see from the third floor of the apartment building she lived in.

Born in Portoviejo, Ecuador, the Falconi family moved to New York City when Irina was still a toddler. She remembers dropping water balloons from that third-story window, and learning piano at a neighbor’s house. She also remembers a pit bull chained to a nearby fence snapped down on her hand when she got too close.

Read more: Park Place: Irina Falconi returns to her tennis beginnings in New York City | Tennis.com

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Check out the final Room 28 PSA! In this one, they tell you what to do when your friend wants to drink and drive.

For more: http://WhatIsRoom28.com

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New Farmers Market Offers Free Produce to Washington Heights Residents | DNAinfo

By Lindsay Armstrong

Washington Heights Farmers Market

A resident tries a sample of a dish prepared by Chef Garrison Price of Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental. (Photo: City Harvest)

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Residents of southern Washington Heights will now be able to access fresh produce right outside their front doors.

City Harvest launched a new farmers market at West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue earlier this month, offering fresh fruits and vegetables for free to residents of the 10032 zip code.

The Prince Hall Mobile Market, which is open twice a month, is part of City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, which aims to increase access to fresh, healthy foods in low-income areas across the city.

Read more: New Farmers Market Offers Free Produce to Washington Heights Residents | DNAinfo

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Lessons in Democracy from the Humane and Magical Washington Heights

BY John Bredin

Washington Heights Sign

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

Funny but, whenever I’m in the Heights, I don’t miss being in those other, so called fancy or chi chi neighborhoods of NYC. You know which ones. I don’t need to name drop here. Washington Heights, for me, = a strange feeling of liberation. Allow me to explain.

While other parts of the city are growing too hyper-competitive and inhumane, with mom and pop shops getting knocked off by big real estate like ducks in a barrel—and replaced by soulless chain stores, banks, and condos so expensive only a Saudi prince, hedge fund manager, or Russian mafia chief can afford one—the Heights is one of the last Gotham neighborhoods that still feels Gotham: where a classic sense of “old New York” character, charm, grit, and spirit are still palpable. No wonder Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2008 Broadway musical In the Heights won a Tony and was nominated for a Pulitzer.

A big part of the Heights magic, for me, is the feeling of democracy I experience here. And, if truth be told, I also make democracy happen here, as a part-time English professor at Boricua College on Audubon Terrace. On day one of class, I instruct my students to arrange our desks in a circle—the “architecture of democracy”—to create a more liberating, humanizing, Socratic learning environment.

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The High Bridge, a Scenic and Serene Cousin of the High Line | NY Times

By

High Bridge - Washington Heights

FOR as long as New York has been New York, its inhabitants have looked for ways to escape the city’s frenzy. They have sought out breathable air, fresh vistas or a simple patch of greenery.

In 1880, Harper’s Weekly offered its readers a helpful tip. “Nothing can be pleasanter, for those who have a short time at their disposal, than an afternoon trip to High Bridge, where the scenery is delightful, and where one can enjoy the sight of the great structure over which rushes the supply of water for New York, take a walk over the high banks, or sit on shaded benches to watch the rowers on Harlem River,” it wrote. “The end comes all too soon.”

The scenery has changed. The Major Deegan and Cross Bronx Expressways crisscross former farmland. Huge apartment buildings occupy the commanding heights along the river. Highbridgeville, an Irish settlement on the Bronx side, no longer exists. The Speedway, where trotting horses and souped-up carriages once raced on the Manhattan side, is now the Harlem River Drive. Instead of rowers, two Jet Ski riders sent up walls of spray as they cut high-speed figure eights on a recent afternoon.

Read more: The High Bridge, a Scenic and Serene Cousin of the High Line – The New York Times

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