Landlords Can’t Stop Evicting Latino-Owned Businesses in Washington Heights | Village Voice

By Anita Abedian

Protesters in Washington Heights rally to fight rising commercial rents. (Photo: Anita Abedian | Village Voice)

Protesters in Washington Heights rally to fight rising commercial rents. (Photo: Anita Abedian | Village Voice)

On the awning outside Liberato Foods in Washington Heights is a simple message stating the mission of the market’s longtime owner: “SU NOMBRE JOSÉ LIBERATO, SU DESTINO VENDER BARATO.” Translated, it reads, “His name, José Liberato; his destiny, to sell cheap.”

For some forty years, that’s what Liberato has tried to do for his many customers — but now that mission may be in jeopardy as he faces a problem that is becoming all too common in this largely Hispanic neighborhood: His landlord is threatening to raise his rent.

Liberato’s not alone. On February 2, a group of small-business owners and Washington Heights residents gathered on the corner of Broadway and 169th Street to rally for a bill currently before the New York City Council designed to protect small businesses — many, like Liberato’s, owned by Latino immigrants. Some face eviction when their leases expire, unless they’re able to pony up what can amount to double or triple their current monthly rent. It’s a problem other neighborhood business owners say has spread “like cancer” through the outer boroughs and begun to eat away at Upper Manhattan.

“I’m here to show support for my neighbor,” says Manuel de la Cruz, owner of Friendo y Comiendo, a small Dominican restaurant on Broadway in Washington Heights. “Liberato is a landmark for our community. It’s been there for almost forty years [and] the landlord is raising the rent from $10,000 to $30,000. It’s a big problem because he has 25 employees. This is his whole life, and it’s closing — can you imagine what he’s feeling? It’s the one supermarket that has everything for our Dominican community.” (Liberato did not wish to be interviewed for this article.)

Read more: Landlords Can’t Stop Evicting Latino-Owned Businesses in Washington Heights | Village Voice

Related: Gentrification in Washington Heights forcing out longtime mom and pop shops | Fox News Latino

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UPinion: Why “Black Lives Matter” Matters

BY AJ Sidransky (@AJSidransky)

Black Lives Matter

(Photo: Cindy Trinh)

I’m white. Okay, I said it. For me it doesn’t matter. But, knowing full well what the advantages of being “white” are (see: white privilege) I try really hard to understand what life is like for people of color.

My best friend is a dark skinned Latino man. His life is different from mine exactly for that reason. A couple of years back, at the time when Black Lives Matter was born he was stopped and frisked on Lexington Avenue and East 73rd St while working. Why? Because he was a black man on the very white Upper East Side.

When he told me about this a couple days later I was more upset about it than he was. My very white response was “Did you get the officer’s name and badge number?” He laughed and told me he didn’t want any trouble with the cops. And there you have it. I never have to be afraid of cops; people of color have to think twice. Why? Because all too often if a person of color confronts the police they will be shot. “It’s just a fact of life,” my buddy told me, “and that’s what I tell my kids, don’t ever challenge the cops, just do what they say. I don’t want to bury you.” I don’t have to tell my son that.

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2/16/16: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution on PBS

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Black Panthers - Vanguard of the Revolution


The activist Jamal Joseph outside the Black Panther Party headquarters in New York in 1970. (Photo: David Fenton | Getty Images)

Okay folks, I am serious, it is an absolute must that you see this film. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution by director Stanley Nelson masterfully tells the story of the rise and subsequent fall of the Black Panther Party. The rich archival footage and the superb musical direction of the film vividly brings the turbulent era to life. The documentary also sheds much needed light on the despicable tactics used by the FBI to destroy the organization. The importance and timeliness of this film, with the almost monthly killing of unarmed people of color, cannot be overstated. By so artfully rendering the unsettled era of the Black Panthers, the film forces you to ponder the racial, social and economic progress that has and has not been made and how perilously unsettling things are right now.

For more info: 2/16/16: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution on PBS

Related: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution – The Review

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Spread Love: Uptown Fashion Week – Fall/Winter 2016 Edition

Uptown Fashion Week - February 2016

That’s right people – Fashion Week also has a home Uptown. Uptown Fashion Week will take place at the magnificent Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center (3940 Broadway) on Thursday, February 18th and Friday, February 19th. Uptown Fashion Week intends to bring a dazzling showcase for its exclusive two-day Fall/Winter 2016 edition. Showcases will include the designs of noted and local fashion designers; from plus-size pieces of Denisse Washington, to Bridal Marlene H’ Couture, and more. Fashion Week events commence on Thursday, February 18th, with a private press conference reception and will continue Friday, February 19th with three runway shows which will be open to the public.

For more info: http://www.uptownfashionweek.com/

Related:

Uptown Fashion Week: How One Woman Created A Local Global Movement | Forbes

Spread Love: Uptown Fashion Week

En Tu Esquina Con Ford: Uptown Fashion Week

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Elizabeth Dee Gallery Is Moving to Harlem | NY Times

By RANDY KENNEDY

Elizabeth Dee Gallery - Harlem

The gallery’s new location.

It is still a long way from being the new Chelsea, or the new Lower East Side, or even the new Brooklyn. But Harlem is starting to gain speed as a new gallery district. The Elizabeth Dee Gallery, which has operated in Chelsea for 15 years and has represented sought-after artists like Ryan Trecartin, Adrian Piper and the collective Leo Gabin, announced that it is moving to a new space on Fifth Avenue between East 125th and East 126th Streets in May.

The two-story, 12,000-square-foot space, which served as the first home of the Studio Museum in Harlem in the late 1960s and is next door to the National Black Theater, will more than quadruple the gallery’s current exhibition space, Ms. Dee said, allowing it to mount more ambitious exhibitions and performances.

“There’s been a conversation in New York for at least the last five years about where galleries will be able to move, to decentralize from Chelsea,” said Ms. Dee, who has lived in Harlem for four years. “And I think Harlem is such a dynamic place. The neighborhoods are so economically diverse and racially diverse, and they make you start to think about your audience in a different way — an audience rooted in African-American culture, of course, but also one of many kinds of demographics.”

Read more: Elizabeth Dee Gallery Is Moving to Harlem | NY Times

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#InstagramUptown – the struggle is real

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