Bracing for Gentrification in the South Bronx | NY Times

By Michael Kamber

Bronx Documentary Center - NY Times - Poor Immigrant Couple

Carmen and Elias Pacheco, married for 52 years, collecting cans along Jerome Avenue near 181st Street. Originally from Ecuador, they have lived in the Bronx for four years. They are too old to get regular jobs, they say; they survive by recycling bottles and cans. (Photo: Heriberto Sanchez/Bronx Photo League)

The South Bronx, one of America’s poorest urban areas, is two subway stops from the wealthiest, Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Change, development, gentrification — the terms are sometimes used interchangeably though not the same thing — are headed its way.

For three decades, I have watched artists move into marginal neighborhoods as unwitting shock troops for the city’s developers — often while filling galleries with art far removed from the pressing issues of the day. I have also seen a generation of journalists parachute into poor communities to extract tales for consumption elsewhere. I’m not knocking the journalists; some are my heroes, and the best have pulled back the curtain and helped create lasting social change. A few of the artists, too.

Still, certain voices have been missing.

When I moved back to the South Bronx and started the Bronx Documentary Center in 2011, we began training and mentoring a small group of local photographers. We called it the Bronx Photo League, after the legendary Photo League of the 1940s, which consisted of factory workers and clerks who loved photography and cared about social justice.

Our group includes Mexican and West African immigrants. David (Dee) Delgado, who went from a troubled youth to becoming a responsible family man, helps lead the group along with Rhynna Santos, a Latin music manager, and Adi Talwar, an Indian immigrant. All are passionate and perceptive photographers; all share a commitment to accurately document the realities and changes in our own community, some positive, some not. We strive for balance, not sensation.

Read more: Bracing for Gentrification in the South Bronx | NY Times


10/4/15: The Medieval Festival

Medieval Festival

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

Nothing says Fall Uptown like the Medieval Festival. The 31th Annual Medieval Festival will take place on October 4th, 2015 at the majestic and enchanting Fort Tryon Park. Get ready to take your annual trip back into time and join the thousands of folks from all over the city and beyond that come out to take part in the merriment. This is an event that is truly fun for the entire family.

For more info:


Forgiving Mariela Camacho: 7 Questions With A.J. Sidransky

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)


Ok folks so this where the rubber meets the road. We have arrived at the place where it is imperative that we put all that Uptown Love we preach about into practice. Forgiving Mariela Camacho, the latest novel in the Forgiving series by local writer A.J. Sidransky is available, as of today, via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. You can also get your copy at our very own Word Up Books. The book is a riveting follow up to the critically acclaimed Forgiving Maximo Rothman and takes the reader on a deep dive to the skeleton-filled closets of our protagonists Detectives Gonzalvez and Kurchencko. The utterly engrossing read spans decades, continents and cultures. A.J. Sidransky sat down with us to dig in to the making of his latest novel. Please support our local artists and buy your copy ASAP.

By the way, the next Led Black Book Club will go down on Thursday, October 8th at Word Up Books (2113 Amsterdam Ave @ 165th Street) and will feature Mr. Sidransky. This is going to be a lot of fun… I hope to see you there.


Tech Tuesdays: Apple Sells 13 Million iPhones In Opening Weekend

BY Jose Salcedo (@JoseSalcedo)


Apple just announced that it has sold 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices over its first weekend. It’s a new record for the company as it sold 10 million units last year, and 9 million units in 2013.

Compared to last year, Apple released the iPhone 6s in 6s Plus in China on day one. It took a couple of weeks last year before the company released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China. But in 2013, the iPhone 5s and 5c were available in China on launch day, meaning that it still represents a big improvement compared to two years ago.

To give you a bit of perspective, over the past three days, Apple has sold 3,000 phones per minute, or 50 devices per second. This is a massive number. Apple didn’t break out sales numbers under the new iPhone Upgrade Program, which lets you buy a phone as a service. It’s a 24-month payment plan with an option to upgrade for a new iPhone every year that starts at $32 model for the lowest iPhone 6s model.


Uptown Video: Room 28 – South Bronx Lifeguards Episode 3

What would a cheesy sitcom about lifeguards at a South Bronx Public Pool look like? Let Room 28 show you with the last of three South Bronx Life guards episodes.

Check out:

Uptown Video: Room 28 – South Bronx Lifeguards Episode 1

Uptown Video: Room 28 – South Bronx Lifeguards Episode 2

For more:

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Monday Mood Music: Lexiglass – The Love Move – The Cubetazos Vol 1

The Love Move

Lexiglass began as a live backing band to many of the key MCs and singers in the fervent Uptown NYC scene. They soon delved into instrumental mode, drawn to the underappreciated gems on The Love Movement, Tribe’s last masterpiece. With their aligned backgrounds in both hip hop and avant garde jazz, Alexis Marcelo (Yusef Lateef, Malcolm Mooney, DJ Spinna) and Will Glass (the Glass Breaks series, Lonnie Holley, Dirty Projectors) found ample room for exploration in these jams, and a template for a whole new project: the Cubetazo Tape Series. Recording all live to cassette four-track on just keys and drums, this is live beats at their most raw.


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