Multimedia reporter

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Harlem Students Dance To An Old Irish Jig

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published March 17, 2011

One To World is a non profit organization that brings Fulbright scholars and other international students to New York City public schools to introduce and explain their native cultures in order to break down prejudices and create cross-cultural understanding. The organization also serves a few private schools as well.

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A Beat Boxing Class For The Blind

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published February 21, 2011

Top New York beatboxers Taylor McFerrin (son of Bobby McFerrin) and Chesney Snow teach blind and visually impaired students at Lavelle School for the Blind how to produce drum beats, rhythms and musical sounds using their mouth, lips, tongue and voice.

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Creating Urban Agriculture, One Roof At A Time

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published January 18, 2011

Traditionally, farmers take it easy in the winter. But urban farmer Ben Flanner has never been so busy. He is trying to get more New York rooftops ready to grow new shingles of Sun Gold tomatoes, salad greens, and carrots before the next season begins.

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Baking Dreams Into Real Businesses

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published January 13, 2011

Filled with prune or cherry, Janine Frank’s round, slightly sweet Kolachi pastries could come straight from an old-school Slovakian bakery. And Sherry Rousso’s 2-inch-square vegan treats decorated with gold dust could come from a hip Williamsburg shop.

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Story Pirates: Kids’ Imagination Rules on Stage

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published December 27, 2010

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a group of improvisational comedians performed a collection of brand new stories for children at the Drama Book Shop in Midtown. The tales that the Story Pirates brought to life featured kings, ghosts, and elaborate plots. But the Story Pirates didn’t write them; the authors were kids.

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Fixers Collective: Brooklyn Workshop Fosters Art of Repair

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published December 2, 2010

On a recent Thursday evening in a cramped room by the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn, Joe Holdner was fixing a Dutch-style chandelier made in China, David Mahfouda a black umbrella, and Alex Krupnik a metronome that stubbornly refused to tick.

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From Brooklyn to Butare, Rwanda; A Sweet Dream Comes True

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published November 19, 2010

When Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen opened Blue Marble Ice Cream in 2007, they wanted it to be bigger than a humble, eco-conscious, all organic ice cream shop in Brooklyn. But they never imagined that their business would lead them halfway around the world to Rwanda, still recovering from the brutal civil war that claimed nearly one million lives.

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Headstone Shop Owner Sells Bread to Improve the Relationship with His Daughter

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published November 11, 2010

As we walked down Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg, we would often pass by a headstone shop that had stacks of bread in the window — certainly an odd combination. Who was behind the idea to sell bread with cemetery headstones.

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Corporate Lay-Off Creates a Boot-Strap Entrepreneur

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published 3 November, 2010

Dana Ostomel was a casualty of the first round of layoffs at Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages in November 2007. She took a few months off, got married as planned, and thought about starting a business. Then, in February 2008 she took the plunge.

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Mother Of 4, Laid Off From MTA

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published September 16, 2010

Losing your job is hard enough. It’s even harder if you are a single parent. But what about if you are a single parent, trying to raise four children in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

Sabrina Greenwood is one of nearly 200 subway station booth agents who handed in their badges and uniforms last month, the latest victims of Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) financial woes, which have resulted in fare increases and reductions in service.

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Laid-Off City Employee, Struggles To Get Health Care For Teenage Daughter

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published July 22, 2010

“A couple of weeks ago I got discouraged,” said Special Terry, a nine-year veteran of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “My daughter said ‘I hope what happened to you doesn’t make you forget about your dreams and aspirations.’”

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Boomerangers: Meet College Grads Who Have Moved Back Home

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published June 22, 2010

In the film Tiny Furniture a 22-year-old girl called Aura returns home to her artist mother in a TriBeCa loft with a useless film theory degree, 357 hits on her YouTube page, and her tail between her legs.

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Rare Bookstore, Skyline Books, Closes Doors After 20 Years

DAILY NEWS, published 3 February, 2010

Say goodbye to yet another dusty, musty piece of vanishing Manhattan.

All that’s now left of Skyline Books is a sign in the window reading “End of an Era. Thanks for 20 Great Years.”

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I’m Innocent. Just Check My Status on Facebook.

THE NEW YORK TIMES, published 11 November, 2009

beltrami_facebookkid_02a

The message on Rodney Bradford’s Facebook page, posted at 11:49 a.m. on Oct. 17, asked where his pancakes were. The words were typed from a computer in his father’s apartment in Harlem. (more…)


Teachers learn write from wrong at this cursive class

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published 6 November, 2009

A group of Brooklyn teachers went back to school this week for some vital retraining. Computer skills? New Math? No, good old-fashioned handwriting.

About 70 educators attended a workshop at Boerum Hill’s PS 261 on Pacific Street on Tuesday organized by Handwriting Without Tears, a national group that hopes to keep handwriting from becoming a lost art in an age of standardized testing and emphasis on keyboard skills.

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Man Is Acquitted in Fake Dynamite Case

THE NEW YORK TIMES – City Room, published 21 October, 2009

A judge on Wednesday acquitted a Brooklyn maintenance worker who was arrested in 2007 for carrying a bundle of fake dynamite he found in the trash.

Ending a bench trial, the judge, Acting Justice Vincent M. Del Giudice of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, scoffed at prosecutors’ argument that the worker, Robert Lopez, intentionally caused a scare when he sat on his stoop with the theatrical prop.

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Remittances a pittance: Ecuador feels pain of U.S. economic ills

DAILY NEWS, published 23 June, 2009

Rosa Martinez used to stroll to the local money transfer office in Corona every week to send $200 to her family in Cuenca,Ecuador.

She still goes to the Delgado Travel office, but not to send money. Instead, it is she who collects a little cash from those family members in Cuenca.

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Haitian Remittances Decreasing With Economic Struggle

THE HUFFINGTON POST, published 20 May, 2009

Gertha Brice shielded herself from the rain beneath a narrow awning in East Flatbush. Sunday services had just ended at Zelateurs Union Baptist Church and Brice, in a cheerful pink suit, chatted with fellow Haitian-American parishioners about the less cheerful economy. Next door, an empty Western Union money transfer office stood as a testament to their complaints that a bad economy in New York makes for a dire situation in Haiti.

“Now the money’s gone,” Brice said, prompting nods of agreement. “But of course,” she said, “we send home what we can.”

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Trashy Treasure Leads to Felony False-Bomb Charge

THE NEW YORK TIMES, published 20 May, 2009

Robert’s Version from Damiano Beltrami on Vimeo.

As Robert Lopez tells it, his trouble began nearly two years ago when he plucked a bundle of fake dynamite from the trash in Brooklyn and took it home with plans to turn it into a piggy bank.

Now Mr. Lopez, 38, a career maintenance man with no criminal record beyond a 10-year-old marijuana possession violation, is set to appear in court on Thursday on false-bomb charges that could put him in prison for up to four years.

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A Church Finds Its Radio Voice Again

THE LOCAL (NYT blog), published 9 April, 2009


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From Baghdad via Bronx

DAILY NEWS, published 22 March, 2009

Alaa Majeed begins her day before dawn, going online in her Bronx apartment to read Sunni, Shiite and Kurd newspapers.

In the dark, quiet hours, as the journalist sips Iraqi coffee from a Yankees mug, her thoughts drift back to Baghdad.

“I miss the smell of the streets of Baghdad, the honking of the cars,” Majeed said. “Iraq is in my veins.”
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Sharing Business Space to Boost Income

DAILY NEWS, published 22 December, 2008

It’s a Saturday afternoon at the Great American Laundromat in the East Tremont section of the Bronx, where Hawa Sidibe has spent the better part of her day.

But she’s not impatiently awaiting the rinse cycle — she’s busy braiding a woman’s hair into neat rows in a makeshift salon the size of a walk-in closet.

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