Ask Bago: Make Your Own Frat

Ask Bago - The Flama

College student Matt desperately wants to join a frat but doesn’t have the “look.” So what does he do? He starts his own and recruits Juan Bago to help make his fraternity the coolest place on campus.


Flower Man of Harlem Recaptures His Corner | NY Times


Sonny Gibbs - Harlem - Flower Man

Sonny Gibbs sells floral arrangements and teaches chess at East 135th Street and Fifth Avenue. (Photo: Michael Appleton | NY Times)

Sonny Gibbs is back on his corner.

Nearly five months after New York officials forced Mr. Gibbs from his spot on the edge of a Harlem playground because he did not have a vending permit, the city has welcomed him back this month, allowing him to sell flowers on the sidewalk where he had operated for 23 years.

Mr. Gibbs, 71, still lacks a permit, but he now has an official agreement with the Department of Parks and Recreation that allows him to set up again at East 135th Street and Fifth Avenue to sell his floral arrangements and give his free chess lessons.

Residents who learned to play chess from Mr. Gibbs contacted the parks department after an article appeared in The New York Times in September describing his plight and detailing the more than 700 signatures he had gathered on a petition.

Read more: Flower Man of Harlem Recaptures His Corner –


After 90 Years, a Harlem Church Vows to Endure Amid Relentless Change | NY Times

Change Comes to Striver’s Row, Historic Enclave for African-American Elite | WSJ

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Time Travel Tuesdays: Downtown Flair, Dominican Flavor | NY Times

Published: April 11, 2003

Dominican York - Dyckman Street

By 1 a.m., the only creatures in the place with enough room to move about freely were the tropical fish in the three illuminated, distorted tanks. The young humans at the Arka Lounge in Washington Heights crowded into low-slung, cushioned seats; flirted at the slick, arced bar; or found a little space to dance as the D.J. maneuvered from Spanish rock to 1980’s pop to merengue to hip-hop. Aside from myself and a friend, the crowd was largely Dominican and professional, raised, or at least college-educated, in the United States. And three years ago, few of them imagined a place like Arka would ever exist.

When this small nightspot opened in June 2000 in a Broadway storefront in my area, many people thought the idea of a swanky downtown lounge in northern Manhattan, land of gaudy merengue clubs, was bizarre. A lounge was risky enough on 92nd Street, but 192nd? These days, crowds pack not just Arka but two other spots, DR-K and Umbrella, which both opened last year a few blocks north in Inwood.

The consistent crowds have created a flourishing, distinctive lounge scene that is not just for the neighborhood: it now attracts Dominicans and a smattering of other Latinos from across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey and even from Queens and Brooklyn.

Read more: Downtown Flair, Dominican Flavor – New York Times.


New Music: Audubon – Chopped Cheese


On the beat, en el Alto |Manhattan Times

Story by Gregg McQueen

Photo: Henry Lopez

Grammy-nominated Latin jazz drummer and composer Dafnis Prieto is no stranger to accolades.

The Cuban-born Prieto has been lauded with critical praise since coming to the United States in 1999.

With drumming techniques that are considered revolutionary, Prieto’s impact on the Latin jazz scene has been so profound that Modern Drummer magazine compared his arrival in New York to an asteroid hitting the city.

Despite such effusive acclaim, the unassuming Prieto insists that he is simply striving to improve his skills and create music.

And he is proud to call Northern Manhattan home.

“I like the cosmopolitan aspect of it, the variety of different cultures that I see,” said Prieto.

His frequent walks in Fort Tryon Park, soaking up the Hudson River views, help fuel his musical compositions.

“Being outside helps inspire my art,” he remarked.

Prieto obtained classical education at the National School of Music in Havana, and has refined his knowledge of Afro-Cuban music, jazz and world music since then.

Read more: On the beat, en el Alto Al ritmo en el Alto | Manhattan Times News.


Monday Mood Music: Chris Turner – Liquid Love

Chris Turner - Soul Remixed Perf Shot cr. Vaughn Browne

(Photo: Vaughn Browne)

Our Monday Mood Music selection comes to us from Chris Turner. The Oakland, CA born crooner filmed most of this video in Fort Tryon Park. Chris will perform at Harlem Stage on Friday, November 21st.


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