immigration

A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch at the Park Church Co-Op

Lydia Lunch performs, speaking about misogyny and today’s pessimistic world. Photo: Angelica Hill

Last Thursday, artist Martynka Wawrzyniak hosted “A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch” at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street) to support her McGolrick Park community art installation, Ziemia.  Ziemia, when finished, will consist of a large ceramic orb made from soil from across the globe and placed in a carefully cultivated meadow in McGolrick Park, adjacent to Russell Street between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave.

The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading

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Want to Stay in the United States? Wildes & Weinberg Law Firm can Help

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New York City has incredible opportunities for an ambitious person, so it’s an attractive permanent destination for thousands of people each year. In fact, it’s likely you yourself came here from elsewhere. Did you know that more than half of New Yorkers are transplants? Furthermore, more than one out of three New Yorkers are immigrants. That includes your adorable friend from the UK who works in fashion, the handsome singer from Australia you dated, and maybe even your next door neighbor here in Greenpoint! How did all of our immigrant friends get here? What is the process like for someone who wants to stay? If you’re an immigrant, WILDES & WEINBERG P.C. can help you understand your options.
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Watch: Day Laborers & Sexual Harassment in Hassidic Williamsburg

Sometimes it’s important to take a break from talking about gentrification and overpriced lattes to remind ourselves that North Brooklyn is home to both the very rich and the very poor. This short documentary sheds light on a corner in South Williamsburg (Division and Marcy) where female immigrants from Latin countries like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic wait each morning, in hopes that they will be picked up for work by Hassidic Jewish customers that come to find cheap domestic help.

Usually the work these woman are picked up for involves cleaning homes and offices for around $10 per hour, but as the women in the video explain, sometimes they are asked to perform tasks that cross the line to sexual harassment, from bending over while cleaning (and being filmed) to giving massages to male homeowners. Continue reading

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Hipster Bashing Is Getting Old

I write this fully aware of the flak I’m going to get. But here it goes.

I read an article in Brooklyn Magazine the other day discussing whether hipsters and gentrification are ruining Brooklyn. I stand on both sides of the argument here. I’m not labeling myself a hipster. There’s more than enough evidence in my life to suggest that I certainly am not, but I do nevertheless fall under that umbrella of intellectual and creatively minded young people who enjoy a good artisinal roast every once in a while. And I’m definitely one of those more liberal arts types saddled with an enormous student debt sticker on my forehead.

Thus I moved to Brooklyn to cut my losses the best I could. But I moved to North Williamsburg, so I’m not exactly sure what good that did in the end. And having recently been the unsuspecting target of a hatefully anti-hipster website (over some pictures I took of a glow-in-the-dark kickball game…like really? Get over it.), I naturally began feeling pretty guilty whenever I walked down my street or whenever I worked my beat because of course I look nothing like the original culture of the neighborhood.

But now I wonder: Why am I guilty? I pay my rent. I take out my trash. I’m respectful to my neighbors and to members of my community. I have a great relationship with my landlords, who are among the first generations of Italian immigrants in Williamsburg. Why should I feel poorly for how I dress and for the things I like? Why is that at all marginalizing? Continue reading

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