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Small Business Survival Act Will Wait Until 2010

Posted on 14. Dec, 2009 by .

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New York City Council Member Robert Jackson of Harlem decided last week not to seek a vote on the Small Business Survival Act, a series of protections which he said small businesses badly need. Mayor Bloomberg and real estate leaders opposed the measure.  New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the legislation would be […]

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Trash into Treasures at Grand Central

Posted on 14. Dec, 2009 by .

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Several vendors at this year’s Grand Central Station holiday market are offering goods discreetly fashioned from recycled materials, such as necklaces that were once piles of old magazines and smiling Christmas angels made from cans of bug spray. Some holiday vendors, like handbag company Engage Green, make environmentalism their mission.  Others market the crafts of […]

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Double Life: Lenny de Jesus

Posted on 03. Dec, 2009 by .

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Lenny de Jesus became the Bronx borough boxing champion at age 16. At 20, he married and embarked on a new career as a locksmith. More than 40 years later Lenny still cuts keys and opens locks in Jackson Heights, Queens, and trains world champion fighters at John’s Boxing Gym near his childhood home in […]

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In the Bronx, In the Ring

Posted on 12. Nov, 2009 by .

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At John’s Boxing Gym, on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, world champions and children sweat for glory in the ring, to the rhythmic background thud of gloves on a punching bag. Hear for yourself. [audio:http://digitalstoragespace.com/10/sussman/audio/boxing/natsoundsequence.mp3] Seasoned fighters spar, jump rope, work out with their trainers, hoping every next fight will take them closer to a […]

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Baking for the Dead

Posted on 30. Oct, 2009 by .

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For Day of the Dead, Mexican bakeries in Queens prepare traditional breads called pan de muertos. At Beky Bakery on 103rd Street in North Corona, owners Jose Gonzales and his sons Jesus and Fernando prepare dough flavored with cinnamon, orange peel, walnuts, brandy, and vanilla. They make round breads called hojaldras that have a raised […]

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Tibetan culture on display in Times Square

Posted on 19. Oct, 2009 by .

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At nine years old, Lhamo Dongtotsang of Astoria, Queens fled her homeland in eastern Tibet on foot. “My father and uncles were involved in guerrilla warfare against the Chinese,” she said. “It was really hard,” she said of the journey. “We were hiding in the daytime and try to walk in the early morning and […]

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Update: Cavalry of Jackson Heights

Posted on 02. Oct, 2009 by .

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This is a follow-up to my previous post. On October 1, I spoke with Mark Goldberg of The Vending Company, Inc. who explained that he has a profit-sharing arrangement with store owners on 37th Avenue. They each get 50 percent of the profits from the horse rides. Goldberg has worked in children’s rides for the […]

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Cavalry of Jackson Heights

Posted on 01. Oct, 2009 by .

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They line up on 37th Avenue as if a carousel unraveled, offering a ride and a song for fifty cents. Toddlers scream “Caballo!” (“Horse!”), run to fit little shoes into metal stirrups and swing on. Hurried parents pull them off the saddle from the other side. Those with a little more time drop two quarters […]

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Edible Garden Opens in Chelsea

Posted on 18. Sep, 2009 by .

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Landscape architect Fritz Haeg has turned concrete into corn in an edible garden in front of a Chelsea public housing project.  The garden, which officially opened on September 14 in front of the Elliot-Chelsea Houses on 26th street, grows 20 food plants that were native to Manhattan 400 years ago. The plants, said Haeg, would […]

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