Archive for February, 2009

Tribute to movies

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Congratulations to Tom McCarthy for winning a Spirit Award for Best Director for The Visitor, which was my third favorite movie of 2008. Various Spirit Award nominations also went to Chop Shop, Sangre de mi Sangre, Take Out, and Year of the Fish producer Jason Orans.

And, of course, congratulations to Academy Award nominees Richard Jenkins for The Visitor and Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath for the documentary The Betrayal (Nerakhoon).

Changing Bellerose

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

There’s an in-depth story in today’s Times City section about the shifting demographics of Bellerose, Queens. James Angelos’ story centers on the beloved Frozen Cup ice cream stand, soon to be demolished to make way for a Days Inn; the South Asian newcomers, optimistic about their prospects in America, who now make up almost a third of the population; and the longtime residents, who are variously stunned, dismayed, or resentful of the way their neighborhood is changing around them. There’s also a slide show.

Danish Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Fastelavn 2008. Photo courtesy of East Coast Scandinavian Museum.

Fastelavn 2008. Photo courtesy of Scandinavian East Coast Museum.

On Sunday, the Scandinavian East Coast Museum will celebrate Fastelavn. Come in costume, hit the barrel (an alarming medieval custom now practiced in a benign manner), and eat delicious cream buns. The event includes dinner, beverages, coffee, dessert, games, prizes, and music by Elin Lindstrom. Check out last year’s pictures here.

The party goes from 3 to 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Danish Athletic Club, 735 65th St, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. All-inclusive admission is $25 for adults, $15 for 7–17, and $10 for under 7. For reservations, call Victoria at (718) 748-5950 or Reidun at (718) 748-7844.

Woodside welcomes smiling bee

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

The Filipino population of Woodside, Queens, is excited over the long-awaited arrival of a Jollibee outlet. Jollibee is the big fast-food chain in the Philippines, and this will be its first East Coast location. “This is Filipino soul food,” says Natasha Starkey in Mark Foggin’s New York Times story.

Fast comfort food

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Another link to the Times: Leslie Kaufman writes about the everyday meals that New York’s immigrants make after a workday—homeland comfort food in a hurry, and what adaptations that requires.

With an audio slide show and recipes for Korean vegetable pancakes, laban makoud (Palestinian chicken with yogurt), Hungarian lentil stew, and egg tortilla soup from Ecuador. Which one should I make first?

Three immigrant perspectives

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Today’s Times City section has three stories of Moving Sidewalk interest:

Caroline Dworin writes about the men at a Serbian-American social club in Glendale, Queens, and their displeasure with impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich;

Sophia Hollander writes about a project to define the boundaries of Manhattan’s Chinatown, whose Chinese population is decreasing and which faces the threat of high-rise development due to a recent rezoning that protects large swaths of nearby neighborhoods;

and Joseph Huff-Hannon interviews Marcos Silva de Paula, a Brazilian immigrant who was making a decent living as a shoeshine man until the economic collapse, and whose family now plans to return to Brazil.

1925 Yiddish film & music

Friday, February 6th, 2009

The Museum at Eldridge Street will show the Yiddish film His People (1925), the story of a Lower East Side immigrant family at the turn of the (last) century and the division between a son and his father, at 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 8.  Jazz musician Paul Shapiro and sextet provide live musical accompaniment.

Admission is $10; students and seniors $5. The museum is at 12 Eldridge St. You can RSVP online.

Teenage immigrants starting school

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

The Times had a story last week about Ellis Preparatory School in the Bronx, which is dedicated to helping teenage immigrants who have had interrupted schooling—or, in some cases, no formal schooling at all.

Thousands of New York City teenagers are in school for the first time. Many of them, according to Jennifer Medina’s story, are from rural areas of the Dominican Republic, where they grew up far from schools and with the responsibility to help support their family. Others spent years in refugee camps in West Africa or fled persecution or poverty in Asia or Central America.

The challenges for the students and teachers are tremendous, but the kids are full of hope.

The Times story also links to video and some of the students’ memoirs. Check it out!