A block party in the 1970s

Amid Manhattan Gentrification, a Village Endures

Featured Posts, History, Housing August 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Amid the high-rent apartments and expensive restaurants that have made the Lower East Side a hipster destination, how did East 4th Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery remain such a village? Partly by chance, and partly through half a century of visionary community organizing, writes Chris Brandt, a longtime resident, for Voices of NY.

A delegation of the New York Firefighters Department present Salvador Sanchez Cerén, vice president of El Savador, with flag with the names of deceased fire fighters.(Vicepresidencia de El Salvador via Tribuna Hispana)

Digesting the Salvadoran VP’s Controversial Visit to Long Island

History, Politics August 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

After word got out of Salvadoran Vice President Salvador Sanchez Cerén’s reported participation in demonstrations after 9/11 that involved burning the American flag, protesters greeted the visiting politician in Freeport, Long Island. La Tribuna Hispana ran a series of pieces examining the furor, including an interview with Cerén himself.

Comfort Women Poster (designed by Kyoungduk Seo)

Posters Seek to Raise Awareness of Comfort Women New York City

East Asian, History July 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

A South Korean activist and eight Korean students distributed 2,500 posters in New York City commemorating the brutal World War II episode in which Asian women were forced into sexual slavery as “Comfort Women” for the Japanese army.

The first Comfort Women monument was erected in (Photo via Newsroh)

Koreans Defy Japanese With N.Y. ‘Comfort Women’ Monument

History, Politics June 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Just weeks after Japanese efforts to remove a monument to Korean “Comfort Women” in Palisades Park, N.J., a Korean-American organization has dedicated a similar monument on Long Island, to bring attention to the women’s plight and to protest what they see as Japanese efforts to deny that the episode occurred.

A still from a slide show by the Jewish Daily Forward.

Photo Finish: A New History of Lower East Side Jews, by an Unlikely Historian

Culture, History June 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

In an audio slide show and article, The Jewish Daily Forward profiled the editor of an ambitious multi-volume history of Jews in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — and pointed out that he’s not your average Jewish historian. Clayton Patterson, a tattoo enthusiast who is not Jewish, has been a neighborhood fixture since 1979.

Photo courtesy of Cemil Özyurt

Car That May Have Been Hitler’s Turns up in New Jersey

Culture, History June 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Cemil Özyurt, the editor of Turk of America magazine, sent us this translation of an article he wrote for his blog, Turk Avenue — about a New Jersey classic car repair specialist who says he randomly came across a 1942 model Mercedes that may once have been the property of Adolf Hitler.

(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau Public Information Office)

1940 Census: A Snapshot of Early Korean Immigrants’ Life

History, Immigration June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Since the United States Census Bureau released its completed 1940 census forms, the data has been used by many to construct a view of how America looked seven decades ago. The Korea Times provided a snapshot of the lives of early Korean immigrants to New York State.

Juan Baten's daughter Daisy will now receive $300,000 from the owner of Tortilleria Chinantla, where her father Juan Baten was killed in the dough mixer January 2011. (Photo by Meredith Hoffman / DNAinfo)

Voices in Focus: $300K Settlement in Tortilla Factory Death

History, Politics June 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm

A settlement in the death of a Guatemalan tortilla factory worker who fell into a dough mixer in 2011; more attention to the issue of Korean “Comfort Women” following the controversy over a monument in New Jersey; and views on young Latino political participation from both the left and the right.

Polish-Americans Debate Obama’s ‘Polish Death Camp’ Gaffe

History, In the News, Politics June 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

As was widely reported last week, a gaffe by President Barack Obama in which he referred to a “Polish death camp” infuriated Poles and Polish-Americans. Poles have argued that the phrase is misleading because camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka were run by Germany. New York’s Polish community was abuzz about the incident, The Polish-language newspaper Nowy Dziennik reported.

Students from the Omega United Methodist Church visited the Comfort Women monument in Palisades Park, N.J. (Photo via the Korea Daily)

Voices in Focus: Monument Controversy Draws Attention to Comfort Women’s Ordeal

History, Politics, Sports June 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

In our perusal of the ethnic and community press today, we came across two follow-ups on the Palisades Park Comfort Women monument; a report on Irish-American soccer fans; and a piece on a young Latino activist-turned-politician.

Rags to Riches: Sam Zemurray grew up poor Russian Jewish immigrant. He got into the fruit business and would up involved in all manner of global intrigue.  (Photo via The Jewish Daily Forward)

Review: a Jewish Fruit Mogul and ‘Berserker’ Who Toppled Regimes

Business, History May 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

The Jewish Daily Forward’s review of Rich Cohen’s latest book, “The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King,” is an entertaining read in itself. The book tells the story of Sam Zemurrey, a Jewish immigrant who came to America with nothing and went on to become a banana mogul.

A New Group Takes to Korean Adoption — Korean-Americans

A New Group Takes to Korean Adoption — Korean-Americans

Culture, History May 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Korea, a racially homogenous nation, has traditionally harbored a skepticism about cross-cultural adoption, despite being the source of much adoption from the West. But in a departure from this attitude, Korean-Americans are increasingly turning to adoption for their own families.

‘Comfort Women’ Monument Controversy Comes to Queens

‘Comfort Women’ Monument Controversy Comes to Queens

History, Politics May 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Even as the controversy rages over a monument in New Jersey commemorating the wartime rape of Korean “Comfort Women” by the Japanese army in World War II, plans for a similar monument in Queens are in the works, the Queens Chronicle reported.

(Photo by Kerry O'Shea/Irish Central)

Celebrating Irish Builders, From the Empire State to the W.T.C.

History, Labor May 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

In an editorial for Irish Central, the reporter Kerry O’Shea lauds the work of Irish and Irish Americans in rebuilding at the World Trade Center site — including her 22-year-old brother and her father.

Among the community's preparations for the Lubavitch pilgrimage, signs to prevent blocked driveways will be posted. (Photo via the Queens Chronicle)

Voices in Focus: Neighborhood Braces for an Influx of Jewish Pilgrims

Business, History May 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

A Queens community prepares for the annual Lubavitch pilgrimage to the grave of their sect’s leader; a call for cool heads in the brewing “pushcart wars”; historical treasures buried in a Lower East Side basement; and a grungy Chinatown gaming arcade re-opens as a family-friendly games center.