Uptown Video: Fronterizas

Two women, one from Haiti and one from Dominican Republic, are part of the Border Network of Women Artisans formed by 90 women from 7 frontier communities between Haiti and D.R.. They recycle and take advantage of the resources around them, seeking a better future for their families and their communities, and maybe without knowing, creating a better relationship between two countries.

“Fronterizas” (Frontier women) is a short documentary about good and beautiful people from difficult places of this world. It was Finalist in the Sundance Short Film Challenge.


10/24/14: Celebrate Food Day @ Word Up Books

Food Day Event @ Word Up Books


Hip-Hop Pioneer Kurtis Blow Joins Cast of The Hip-Hop Nutcracker @ The United Palace

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

The Holidays now have a new Holiday Spectacular.

Hip-Hop legend Kurtis Blow will be making his way Uptown to take part in The Hip-Hop Nutcracker at the United Palace on Sunday, December 7th at 6pm.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker takes Tchaikovsky’s classic score and adds combustible Hip-Hop choreography with Hip-Hop inspired riffs from DJ Boo and violinist Filip Pogády infused into the magnificent mélange.

Jennifer Weber of the award-winning Hip-Hop company Decadancetheatre directs the new holiday classic. The story is adapted to modern day New York City by Uptown’s own Mike Fitelson, the executive director of the United Palace of Cultural Arts.

This next-generation family friendly spectacular will premiere at NJ Pac on December 5th and 6th before heading Uptown On December 7th.

Tickets will not last – get yours pronto.

For more info: http://unitedpalace.org/hip-hop-nutcracker


Time Travel Tuesdays: A Player Destined for the Majors Chose First to Play for Himself | NY Times

Published: June 1, 2008

Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez was drafted by the Red Sox three years ago, but he chose to attend Vanderbilt. He is expected to be a high pick in the draft Thursday. (Photo: Josh Anderson | NY Times)

A high school senior named Pedro Alvarez went to bat during a major league draft showcase at Yankee Stadium three springs ago.

Thwack! The ball winged into the upper tiers. Smack! Another home run.

Alvarez, 18 years old at the time, had committed to attend Vanderbilt University, but as Commodores Coach Tim Corbin watched him send shot after shot into the stands, he became so convinced that he was about to lose his prize player that he dialed his recruiting director. He told him to start looking for a new third baseman.

“It was too impressive of a workout for professional guys to walk away from,” Corbin said recently.

Sure enough, the Red Sox drafted Alvarez in the 14th round two weeks later, making him bonus offers that escalated to nearly a million dollars.

But Corbin’s prediction was only half true. Alvarez turned down the money and enrolled in Vanderbilt with a scholarship as planned. “He took a chance,” Corbin said. “He didn’t know how it was going to turn out.”

Now, three years later, it seems Alvarez’s decision has paid off. He is widely expected to be among the top three picks in the draft Thursday. And with the agent Scott Boras working as his adviser, Alvarez — a livery cabdriver’s son who grew up in Upper Manhattan sharing a bedroom with his sister — is almost certain to become a multimillionaire.

Read more: A Player Destined for the Majors Chose First to Play for Himself – NYTimes.com.


New Music: Tox X Eckz X Dubwork – Made Me G-Mix



Ode To Quisqueya Heights

BY Mel à la mODE (@MelalamODE)

Quisqueya Heights

From left to right: Led Black, Jose Batista-Ayala, Kaity Modesto, Rosanny Cuello Ventura & Juan Camilo.

“I can be successful at ______________ even though the people at the top don’t look like me.”

One of my favorite quotes as heard this past Saturday at a forum on Dominican identity in Washington Heights, NYC, appropriately named, Quisqueya Heights.

The event was carefully coordinated by a friend of mine, Kaity Modesto. Kaity was motivated to create a dialogue where the topics of her college thesis paper on Dominican identity and the love of her neighborhood could be discussed. The panel also included: Juan Camilo – founder of Dyckman Beer Co., Jose Batista-Ayala – actor and producer of FRiENDAMiGO, Rosanny Cuello Ventura – scholar and educator in Washington Heights, and Led Black – Creator and Chief Editor of Uptown Collective and moderator of the event.

The symposium highlighted many things – many that resonated with me, a Dominican who was born and raised in Washington Heights.

The Heights’ population is majorly Dominican, either born or by descent. The neighborhood, which stretches from 155th street to Inwood, was reviewed as a not-so-desirable place to be in the 1990’s, but an up and coming neighborhood in the new millennium. Led asked the panelists questions which they all answered according to their specialities in regards to the neighborhood. There were phrases that stuck with the audience and caused the Q&A portion to escalate quicker than you can say DIMELO.

Read more: Ode To Quisqueya Heights


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