elbarriotours:

“El Barrio Tours” (2012) has been selected for the Barrio Film Fest in San Diego, California!!!!!
This is a wonderful opportunity to once again take this film to the west cost and bring even more attention to the change in East Harlem, and similar neighborhoods all throughout the country. 
I will provide more screening details as they are made available, but I’d like to just say thank you to all of the brave voices that have so far come forward to make this story a reality. This is just the beginning…
Trailer incase you haven’t seen it: El Barrio Tours

elbarriotours:

“El Barrio Tours” (2012) has been selected for the Barrio Film Fest in San Diego, California!!!!!

This is a wonderful opportunity to once again take this film to the west cost and bring even more attention to the change in East Harlem, and similar neighborhoods all throughout the country. 

I will provide more screening details as they are made available, but I’d like to just say thank you to all of the brave voices that have so far come forward to make this story a reality. This is just the beginning…

Trailer incase you haven’t seen it: El Barrio Tours

elbarriotours:

East Harlem, NY

5 small business closed in just 30 days on 104th Street and Lexington avenue.
 

The building of “Glass Spire” (1635 Lexington ave) a luxury condo just across the street. Did not displace one tenant. 

http://streeteasy.com/nyc/building/1635-lexington-avenue-manhattan


But the economic pressure caused by the luxury condo, where apartments are being sold from 500k to  1.1 million, has a ripple effect on the the tenants around it. That economic pressure entices landlords to raise rents to profit off new luxury clientele and leaves many long time small businesses out in the cold. 


Gentrification can take 30 or more years, but in just 30 days, a total of: 
2 Barbershops, 2 discount stores and a Botanica. 
Were forced to find new homes…. 

My mom would always talk about how the reason she came to the states was to give me a better life. She always knew she’d have a daughter. She’d be her best friend, share clothes and shoes and have the perfect mother-daughter relationship.
I ended up being twice her shoe size and was taller than her by the time I was 13.
By the age of 8 a good Dominican girl knows how to cook a three course meal and how to keep a pristine home. But up until I was 8, the last thing I wanted to do was spend time in the kitchen.
So when mami would demand me to do my chores I’d pull the, “But I have homework to do,” card. Me getting a good education was everything to her and I knew how to use it to my advantage.
And now I realize that attitude has followed me to adult hood. I’m wayyyy to busy to take the time to cook myself a meal. I’d rather eat a bowl of cereal and the only time I will cook is during vacation. I wish I could find the state of mind where I can make the time to take care of myself.

My mom would always talk about how the reason she came to the states was to give me a better life. She always knew she’d have a daughter. She’d be her best friend, share clothes and shoes and have the perfect mother-daughter relationship.

I ended up being twice her shoe size and was taller than her by the time I was 13.

By the age of 8 a good Dominican girl knows how to cook a three course meal and how to keep a pristine home. But up until I was 8, the last thing I wanted to do was spend time in the kitchen.

So when mami would demand me to do my chores I’d pull the, “But I have homework to do,” card. Me getting a good education was everything to her and I knew how to use it to my advantage.

And now I realize that attitude has followed me to adult hood. I’m wayyyy to busy to take the time to cook myself a meal. I’d rather eat a bowl of cereal and the only time I will cook is during vacation. I wish I could find the state of mind where I can make the time to take care of myself.

elbarriotours:


Great article on “El Barrio Tours” & gentrifications impact on East Harlem/Communities like it. 

Image from the blog "El Barrio Tours."

Also in Spanish: http://es.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/09/02/estados-unidos-una-visita-para-recordar-el-barrio/


Thank you Yarisa Colon for a wonderful piece! 
                      

"Lo’ Tre’ Que Hecharon a Pedro ‘Dentro un Pozo"
We lived in a 5 bedroom apartment on 120th & St. Nick. We constantly threw parties, and there was always someone from DR staying with us. Papi had bought mami her own car and we were living the life.
I went away for two years to go to school in DR and came home to a one bedroom apartment in the Heights with no friends and unfamiliar territory.  Apparently we had gotten evicted and papi preferred to live in the Heights aka “Platanoland.” Here though, I was no longer allowed to hang out on our stoop, and never had the sense of community I had on 120th.
On 120th we turned an empty, dirty lot that was across the street from my house, into a community garden. Years later as I drove by trying to find familiar and instead found this lot has turned into a 10 story condo building, with a bike path right in front, lounge on the corner, and empty stoops. I have a recurring dream that I own that apartment and live there again.

"Lo’ Tre’ Que Hecharon a Pedro ‘Dentro un Pozo"

We lived in a 5 bedroom apartment on 120th & St. Nick. We constantly threw parties, and there was always someone from DR staying with us. Papi had bought mami her own car and we were living the life.

I went away for two years to go to school in DR and came home to a one bedroom apartment in the Heights with no friends and unfamiliar territory.  Apparently we had gotten evicted and papi preferred to live in the Heights aka “Platanoland.” Here though, I was no longer allowed to hang out on our stoop, and never had the sense of community I had on 120th.

On 120th we turned an empty, dirty lot that was across the street from my house, into a community garden. Years later as I drove by trying to find familiar and instead found this lot has turned into a 10 story condo building, with a bike path right in front, lounge on the corner, and empty stoops. I have a recurring dream that I own that apartment and live there again.

I was “daddy’s little girl.” I could get away with murder. Papi loved his naps (and still does :/). When I was bored I’d sit on my dad’s face with a full dirty diaper and he wouldn’t even flinch. Other times I’d get a hold on his pack of cigarettes and just crush them all over his face while he was sleeping. I could do no wrong and get away with murder.
If I was ever in trouble, papi would come to my rescue. If mami didn’t let me do something, papi sure would. He was my hero, taught me how to ride a bike and was never too tired to play with me.
But as I got older, the hero image started dying. It started with a common childhood experience… he gave my dog away… there’s no way I’d ever forgive him. Then the sins became much bigger… getting evicted, seeing mami cry, watching  him lust over other women… noticing empty promises….
Regardless… no matter how much wrong either of us do.. I’m still “daddy’s little girl.”

I was “daddy’s little girl.” I could get away with murder. Papi loved his naps (and still does :/). When I was bored I’d sit on my dad’s face with a full dirty diaper and he wouldn’t even flinch. Other times I’d get a hold on his pack of cigarettes and just crush them all over his face while he was sleeping. I could do no wrong and get away with murder.

If I was ever in trouble, papi would come to my rescue. If mami didn’t let me do something, papi sure would. He was my hero, taught me how to ride a bike and was never too tired to play with me.

But as I got older, the hero image started dying. It started with a common childhood experience… he gave my dog away… there’s no way I’d ever forgive him. Then the sins became much bigger… getting evicted, seeing mami cry, watching  him lust over other women… noticing empty promises….

Regardless… no matter how much wrong either of us do.. I’m still “daddy’s little girl.”

I didn’t learn english until I was in Kindergarden. I was born in NYC, but my parents didn’t know english and I spent most of my first years in DR.
Living on the first floor of 120th St. and St. Nick, I was desparate to learn English. I would talk to the kids from my window and just speak in “isekej cisoe ekle.” Pure gibberish. My parents would giggle behind my back saying, “Look she thinks she’s speaking English.”  Mami said my first english word was “Fissssshhhhh.” And they would use my english skills as entertainment for parties. I was sooo smart:
What’s the English translation for “Lampara,” “LAMP,” I would say proudly.
What’s the English translation for “Bombillo,” “BOMBI!”
If English were just that easy… I remember going into Day Care and the teacher asking me to bring the “seasaw” from the hall with another kid…. I remember thinking… “WHAT’S A SEASAW!!!???? What in the world are we picking up???!!!!”
I was dumbfounded when I saw this thing in front of me. It’s funny that now at 28 I can’t remember what the spanish word for seasaw is, but it is my earliest memory of learning a word.

I didn’t learn english until I was in Kindergarden. I was born in NYC, but my parents didn’t know english and I spent most of my first years in DR.

Living on the first floor of 120th St. and St. Nick, I was desparate to learn English. I would talk to the kids from my window and just speak in “isekej cisoe ekle.” Pure gibberish. My parents would giggle behind my back saying, “Look she thinks she’s speaking English.”  Mami said my first english word was “Fissssshhhhh.” And they would use my english skills as entertainment for parties. I was sooo smart:

What’s the English translation for “Lampara,” “LAMP,” I would say proudly.

What’s the English translation for “Bombillo,” “BOMBI!”

If English were just that easy… I remember going into Day Care and the teacher asking me to bring the “seasaw” from the hall with another kid…. I remember thinking… “WHAT’S A SEASAW!!!???? What in the world are we picking up???!!!!”

I was dumbfounded when I saw this thing in front of me. It’s funny that now at 28 I can’t remember what the spanish word for seasaw is, but it is my earliest memory of learning a word.

timelightbox:

A Man on the Corner of Lenox Ave. & 125th St., Harlem, NY, c. 1976
Present-day Chicago is not Harlem in 1979. Present-day Harlem isn’t even Harlem in 1979. But at the Art Institute of Chicago’s new exhibition Dawoud Bey: Harlem USA, some things have stayed the same. See more here.

timelightbox:

A Man on the Corner of Lenox Ave. & 125th St., Harlem, NY, c. 1976

Present-day Chicago is not Harlem in 1979. Present-day Harlem isn’t even Harlem in 1979. But at the Art Institute of Chicago’s new exhibition Dawoud Bey: Harlem USA, some things have stayed the same. See more here.