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Posts Tagged ‘Led Black’

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

The quest to get my book published officially began on July 7th at Word Up. Whether through a traditional publisher or self-published, by hook or by crook, I WILL publish my book. This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of sharing the Word Up stage with Lola Koundakjian, Iskandar Andrews, and Veronica Liu. I read from my work in progress, DR Travelogue, which is my heart-felt ode to the Dominican Republic. DR Travelogue is a native son’s poignant and hilarious journey to the heart, soul and soil of the Dominican Republic. I also had the good fortune to have my good friend and photographer, Paul Lomax, there to capture it all. Enjoy! Stay tuned for more on DR Travelogue.

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Photo Credit: Briana E. Heard

Here & There: Travel Readings ft Led Black, Lola Koundakian, Iskandar Andrews, and Veronica Liu.

Tonight at 7 PM

4157 Broadway @ 176 Street

7-7-7 is quite an auspicious number and therefore a great date to take a jaunt to faraway lands. Tonight, July 7th at 7 pm is shaping up to be a big night at Word Up (4157 Broadway @ 176 Street). The Uptown Collective’s Editor-in-Chief, Led Black, will be reading from his unpublished piece of Travel Writing, DR Travelogue. DR Travelogue is a native son’s poignant and hilarious journey to the heart, soul and soil of the Dominican Republic. Poet Lola Koundakjian, a 2011 NoMAA grantee, will be reading a selection of travel pieces – some real, some imaginary – with a sprinkling of poems about food and drinks. Iskandar Andrews will read from Drinking and Driving in Urumqi, a serio-comic travelogue/meditation recounting immersive misadventures and multiple baptisms by culture shock, linguistic overload, and corn vodka into the diverse culture of the city of Urumqi, Xinjiang Province, Peoples Republic of China. Veronica Liu will read from her novel Your Chinese Tea is Getting Cold! Come to Word Up tonight and take a journey around the globe.

Vantage Residential, the good folks who have provided the space for this community-affirming space, will also be making a major announcement on how long of an extension they will be providing the venue today…so stay tuned.

Click here for more awesome DR pics from the incomparable Briana E. Heard.

Word Up
a community bookshop in Northern Manhattan
4157 Broadway @ 176 Street
June 17 – July 14, 2011
www.wordupbooks.com
Word Up on New York Times | Manhattan Times | Uptown Collective | Fbook

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photography by Paul Lomax (@PaulLomaxPhoto)

I had the distinct pleasure of taking part in a panel on the significance and future of Hyper-Local sponsored by ONA-NYC at NYU this past Wednesday. The panel included Warren Webster, President of Patch; Jeff Yang, Project Director of OurChinatown.org, Mary Giordano, Metro Editor, New York Times, Kelly Virella, Deputy Editor CityLimits Magazine & Leela de Kretser, Editorial Director and Publisher at DNAinfo.com. The lively and informative discussion was ably moderated by Brooke Kroeger, the director of NYU’s Arthur L Carter Institute of Journalism. I was humbled by the fact that the NYC chapter of the Online News Association (ONA) even considered me to be a part of this stellar group. The panel reaffirmed my belief that one of the reasons the Uptown Collective is successful is that we don’t cover the neighborhood, we are the neighborhood. I also found Jeff Yang of OurChinatown.org to be a kindred spirit as our sites are so similar in our reasons for being, our scope and our focus. If you are interested in the future of journalism, then the monthly meetups of ONANYC are the place to be.

For more info: http://www.meetup.com/ONA-NYC/

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

Video courtesy of NYU Journalism: http://journalism.nyu.edu/

Hyperlocal in Your ‘Hood: Panel discussion on hyperlocal media with ONANYC from NYU Journalism on Vimeo.

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photography by Paul Lomax (@PaulLomaxPhoto)

Congrats to the much beloved Indian Road Café (218th St & Indian Road) for making Time Out New York’s list of 50 Best Bars for Spring. I had the pleasure of dining there a few weeks back with Paul Lomax and our respective better halves and as always had an incredible meal. My steak was cooked to perfection and my beer of choice, Cain and Ebel, was absolutely amazing. Like I have said in the past, even though the Indian Road Café has only been around for 3 years this summer, it is a bona-fide Uptown institution. If you live Uptown and you haven’t made your way to Indian Road Café yet, you need to visit this fine establishment pronto. Salud!

Check out: http://newyork.timeout.com/restaurants-bars/bars/1053433/restaurants-bars/bars/1053433/50-best-spring-bars?page=0,1

For more info: http://www.indianroadcafe.com/

Check out our post on Indian Road Café: http://uptowncollective.com/2011/02/15/daily-grind-jason-minter-indian-road-cafe/

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Briana E. Heard

I have a love-hate relationship with my North Face. Let me explain: I don’t have one of those thin, lightweight – walk in the park on a slightly brisk morning North Faces. No, I have a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro (pre-global warming) North Face, the type of North Face that you can wear outside on a frigid day with a soaking wet wife-beater underneath and not feel a thing. I wait until all hope is lost and the real cold weather has set in to pull it out of the closet. It is a weapon of last resort. Speaking of pulling it out the closet, it literally takes up my entire closet.

It must take a whole school of geese or whatever you call a bunch of geese to supply the feathers to fill my coat. I’m serious, a good dozen v-formations of geese is necessary just to pad this monstrosity. It is heavy, cumbersome and completely impervious to the elements, I think it might even be bulletproof. Once I was driving with it on and it took me about 5 minutes of hard fought struggle to remove it as I drove, I almost crashed. If I had crashed, I’m sure I would have survived unscathed because my North Face is way better than any airbag. Another thing about my North Face is that it has mad pockets; it has pockets inside of pockets under pockets. On one occasion in Washington Heights a cop harassed me because I “fit the description.” He proceeded to illegally frisk me; dude got tired from fruitlessly searching through the countless pockets on my North Face. I actually felt bad for the guy. Needless to say he didn’t find the twenty sac of high-grade I had stashed, to be completely honest, neither did I. I still haven’t, it ended up in North Face pocket limbo.

It’s not that I really hate my North Face but I loathe what my North Face represents, bitterly cold weather and snow. I have lived in this country since I arrived from the Dominican Republic when I was 5 and I still have not completely adjusted to extremely low temperatures or as my father refers to it, “un frío de película.” I welcome spring every year by putting away the North Face until the next winter. With climate change being what it is, winter might arrive by June.  But in any case, spring is here and life is good. Long live spring!!!

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

It all began with a tweet yesterday, the one you see above. The tweet contained a link to a post on Inwood on a blog that purports to be about “the new politics of common sense. Neither Republican, Democratic, nor Libertarian.” Whatever that means. Anyway, it all started innocent enough. “Inwood is actually a quite charming neighborhood.” So far so good, the word “actually” should have been a dead giveaway but I digress. The very next sentence still did not give any evidence about the venom that was about to be spewed. “It feels a lot more like Brooklyn than it does any other part of Manhattan.” Okay, not bad, I guess. What followed right after that was a bigoted, sexist and downright offensive screed thinly disguised in a tone of geniality. Here are some of the highlights. “But unfortunately, it doesn’t feel completely safe because of the somewhat deserted streets combined with the close proximity to NAMs.” What are NAM’s you might ask? Well, thanks to our good friend @ArtForStrangers I was enlightened. NAM stands for Non-Asian Minority. That one right there really floored me. That is some finely crafted racism I might add. It gets better.  “Along the outskirts of Inwood Park, I spotted some black men with an intimidating demeanor (possibly black Dominicans).” Wow – really? The pièce de résistance is this next bit of bigotry. “Some of the young Dominican women I spotted in Inwood were quite hot-looking (certainly much more attractive than the typical American black woman), but they were often with rough-looking Dominican men, and they probably aren’t interested in nerdy white guys.” It quickly devolves from there. Something about the Inwood Farmer’s Market and SWPL’s. SWPL (Stuff White People Like) is another acronym I learned yesterday. But what was more remarkable than the hatred and close-mindedness was the candid discussion that followed the tweet. Many of the Twitter heads Uptown quickly let their voices be heard. We had a discussion as a community, dialogue was initiated and opinions were exchanged. One person’s cantankerous and divisive diatribe started a conversation. One that is long overdue. For that I am thankful. My friends, the future is ours to shape.

Check out the post in its entirety: http://bit.ly/hj0bnr

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/#!/barrysolow/status/46966857160335360

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photography by Art By Dj Boy (@Djboy09)

A shout out is in order to the good folks at Palo Mamajuana Vitality Tea for providing the Uptown Collective and some of its loyal readers passes to the Dominican Independence Day celebration at SOB’s recently. Not only did we get a chance to see friends to the UC, Juan Bago & O, take to the stage to perform their viral hit “Pan con Queso” but we also got to witness firsthand the force of nature that is Maluca Mala. I can’t think of a better way of celebrating Dominican Independence than by being a part of this new generation of Dominican New Yorkers who are at the forefront of culture, commerce and community. I said it before and I will say it again, the future is ours to shape.

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Check out: www.drinkpalo.com

For more info on Maluca: maddecent.com/artists/maluca

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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