Doraian Givens, a third year NYU student, shares her story of attending a “cult” high school – T.M. Landry.
For Bobby Gonzalez, embracing his Taíno heritage means preserving a part of the past often forgotten by many. For over twenty years, the Bronx native has been hosting and organizing Native American pow wows, including the Bronx Native American Festival, in the hopes of reconnecting people to their indigenous roots.
This year, hundreds gathered at Pelham Bay Park to honor and experience the vibrant spirit of the tribes that first traversed this land.
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Mott Street bustled with lion dances, a parading dragon, and traditional performers to celebrate the mid-autumn harvest season and reap good luck and prosperity. Better Chinatown USA, a volunteer-based organization, hosted the event.
The third annual meatball eating contest took place at the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. The event was held in memory of Johnny ‘Cha Cha’ Ciarcia, who appeared in movies like “Goodfellas” and the HBO show “The Sopranos.” Ciarcia was also known by many in the community as “the Mayor of Little Italy.” Dramatic Opera singing and messy meatball eating came together to make this an event to remember.
Photo courtesy of @positivebrothers on Instagram.
New York City street performers are legitimizing their businesses with permits and tax forms. What most tourists and New Yorkers have always viewed as a “side hustle” is becoming a performance industry starting right on the sidewalks of the city. NYU’s Gabrielle Dunham reports.
Why do men meet naked every week to draw and be drawn? Find out as we meet the unique members of Men’s Nudist Drawing Group NY.
Hear the story of Eve Sotto, a vocal coach that has seen the music industry go through tremendous change and how she evolved with it.
I sit down with Sara Auster, a sound therapist and meditation teacher, to talk about what sound therapy is and how it helped Auster on her journey of personal recovery.
SARA AUSTER: My name is Sara Auster. I am a Sound Therapist and meditation teacher.
LAURA RUBIO: What you are hearing right now are Himalayan Singing Bowls, one of the many instruments Auster uses in her practice. Sound therapy found its way into Auster’s life in an unexpected manner.
SARA AUSTER: I have been a musician my whole life and then, in 2002, when I was working as a professional artist and musician, the floor of my studio collapsed. And I fell 15 feet, I broke my back, I was temporarily paralyzed.
I suffered from chronic pain for a long time after that, which is really the very specific moment that set me on a path of sort of self-healing and self-inquiry and trying to, you know, figure out how to not be in pain all the time.
LAURA RUBIO: After the accident, Auster wanted to find a way to keep music in her life.
SARA AUSTER: Well, I have this love of music and I’m an artist and how can I creatively express myself in a way that’s holding space for other people to heal and recover from injury and trauma? That’s how I ended up here.
LAURA RUBIO: Auster offers her therapy in sound baths, meditative events that can be private, in small groups or at large-scale events.
SARA AUSTER: It’s not a concert. It’s often described as a concert. It’s not a concert because I’m not performing. I would say maybe it’s most similar to jazz in that it’s really like a conversation however it’s not just me in conversation with myself. It’s me in conversation with the humans that are in the room with me.
LAURA RUBIO: Something that is always present in Auster’s sound experiences are the crystal singing bowls heard earlier.
SARA AUSTER: Because they are bowls, they’re round, and I’m playing them by taking this rubber mallet or suede or, acrylic often, to circle around the outside to create a friction that makes them “sing,” that’s why they call them the singing bowls.
LAURA RUBIO: Auster also includes wind chimes in her sound baths, although they play their own part at the end of her sessions.
S: This may be like a little bit of a, you know, coming back, like a little gentle uh, you know, “Good morning! It’s time to wake up.” (Laughs) Yeah.
LAURA RUBIO: Auster believes that sound, like music, has the ability to shift our mood. It all depends on the relationship we develop with them.
SARA AUSTER: And so, it’s just, it’s part of life and part of city living. There’s lots of sounds like that in the city that I love to talk about, even the noisy neighbor.
LAURA RUBIO: She hopes that people can see that meditation is anything but a soundless experience.
SARA AUSTER: The truth is meditation is, it’s really just a practice of knowing yourself better, in a sense. And by knowing yourself better, you then know how to interact and relate with the world around you in a much healthier way.
After decades of legal battles, gay and lesbian couples were granted the constitutional right to marry in all 50 states in June 2015; one year after that, a gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in downtown Orlando, killing 49 people.
Despite the tragedy in Orlando, members of the LGBTQ community enjoy more rights and public acceptance than ever before. AIDS is no longer a death sentence and pride parades are held in every major U.S. city. For the first time, a majority of Americans (55%) support gay marriage, according to the Pew Research Center.
The following piece is a multi-part journey through the hardships of a gay black man, a transgender woman and a bisexual woman living in New York City in 2017, all of whom currently attend or once attended New York University. The photographer, Jesús Ian Kumamoto, followed each as they went about their lives and asked them what it truly means to be queer in 21st-century America. The black-and-white format of the photography attempts to capture the raw essence of the subjects’ emotions.
Although these are young LGBTQ New Yorkers finding their bearings among the chaos of youth and city life, their experiences differ vastly. What they have in common, however, is overwhelming: they all feel, in one way or another, forgotten by their own community and the larger discourse on LGBTQ people.
Victor Leonard: Black and ‘Unwanted’
Alex Hoffman: Transgender, but Human First
Patty Boutin: Bisexual, but Not Your Sex Toy
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