The Uptown Tweet of the Week: #RickyVeteYa🇵🇷

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Op-Led: I Still Can’t Breathe

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

5 years ago today, Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six and a grandfather of three, was murdered by the NYPD on the streets of Staten Island for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. The whole disgusting episode was captured on camera but once again justice was not served.

Even though Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the NYC Medical Examiner and even the NYPD’s own internal affairs inquiry determined that officer Daniel Pantaleo used an illegal chokehold, officer Pantaleo was not indicted.

Officer Pantaleo, who essentially choked Eric Garner to death on camera, is still on the force and makes over 100 K per year. In fact, the only person that has seen a jail cell in this whole sordid incident is Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed the searing video that captured the last moments of Eric Garner’s life. His recording of the execution resulted in non-stop police harassment and eventually imprisonment. Mr. Orta has been incarcerated since October 2016 and according to Democracy Now is now in solitary confinement.

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#TheGramUptown: Spread Love It’s The Uptown Way

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Mood Music: Juan Luis Guerra – Literal

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Juan Luis Guerra - Literal

Juan Luis Guerra is arguably the greatest musician the Dominican Republic has ever produced. He is also one of the greatest songwriters of all time, bar none. He is part of a rarefied class of iconic songwriters that include Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Sting. Over his almost 4 decades long career he has sold over 70 millions records worldwide and has won 3 Grammy Awards and 21 Latin Grammy Awards.

Besides being immensely prolific, Juan Luis Guerra has made a career of being a trendsetter and a musician that can do justice to almost any genre of music whether it be merengue, perico ripiao, salsa, jazz, rock, bossa-nova, bolero or bachata. In fact, he is correctly credited with being one of the artists that have made bachata the global phenomenon that it has become.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Juan Luis Guerra dropped his latest opus, Literal, earlier this year. The album lives up to the legacy and continues in the tradition of excellence and innovation.

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Deportation raids reported | Manhattan Times

On alert.

President Donald Trump has ordered deportation raids to begin on Sunday in at least 10 major cities, according to published reports.

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will begin arresting undocumented immigrants in raids to be conducted over a number of days.

The raids would principally target about 2,000 immigrants and include “collateral” deportations, in which agents will arrest migrants on the scene who are not on their target list.

Arrested families will be housed together in Texas or Pennsylvania, but could also be kept in hotel rooms awaiting deportations, the report said.

Raids were expected to begin in New York City, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

The report was based on information from current and former Homeland Security officials.

In June, the Trump administration threatened deportation raids targeting about 2,000 immigrant families, but opted to hold off.

Trump stated on Twitter that he wanted Congress to “get together to work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.”

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli stressed that raids were definitely forthcoming.

“They’re absolutely going to happen,” he said, noting that there were approximately a million people in the U.S. with removal orders.

Read more: Deportation raids reported | Manhattan Times

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The Uptown Tweet of the Week: #ICEraids

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07/21/19: The Up Theater Company Presents School for Scandal @ The Morris Jumel Mansion

The good folks at the Up Theater Company are back at it. In a land where slander is a parlor game, intrigue the coin of the realm, and alternative facts are validated, can true love ever be true? School for Scandal is a riotous comedy, and a lesson in the dangers of deceit. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Refreshments served after.

For more info:


Epic Poetry – The Review

Broad Channel – The Review

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Open For Business: Fort Washington Public House

We have a new spot in the neighborhood that you have to check out ASAP. Fort Washington Public House (3938 Broadway), which is in the location that Presidente used to be in, is the sister restaurant of Tyron Public House and Tubby Hook. Just like it’s predecessors, Fort Washington Public House boasts an excellent craft beer selection as well as awesome bar food. This is also the spot to catch your favorite teams as the flat screens are everywhere. Check it out ASAP and let us know what you think.

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The 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll – The Recap

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

The 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll was simply stellar. From the opening reception at the United Palace to the closing ceremony at the Harlem School of the Arts, the 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll was a rousing success. A big thanks is in order to the Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), Joanna Castro, for entrusting me with taking over their social media for the 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll. It was an honor and a privilege and gave me an entirely new perspective on the Uptown Art Stroll.

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The 1992 Washington Heights Riots Remembered

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)


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A post shared by Uptown Collective (@uptowncollectiv) on

July 1992

As soon as we stepped out of the 1 & 9 train station at 191st street, I could feel the electricity in the air. This was not unusual in the Washington Heights of that era but this was something different. It seemed to be pulsating. Magnetically, that energy seemed to carry us all the way to 163rd street, which was the source of the emanation. For the most part, the streets en route to our destination were quiet but there was a bubbling anger underneath the surface. When we finally arrived at 163rd street, I couldn’t believe my eyes, the street cats were actually going at the cops. Bottles were being thrown, anything and everything was being set on fire and at the very beginning of the melee, the cops were being run off.

As we made our way back to our home turf, the 180’s and 190’s, the entire neighborhood seemed to combust. The flames of the riot were engulfing everything in its path. I actually saw a dude I grew up with, who is now a junkie, chasing on foot, a cop car down the hill on 193rd street and St. Nicolas avenue. It appeared that the entire world had been turned upside down. At the time, I felt the urge to document what was happening, so I pulled out my cheap little camera and took the pictures you see below. I was a teenager in these pictures and could not completely fathom what was taking place all around me but I knew this event would have a profound effect on our neighborhood.

As I look back now on those days, I realized that what had begun, as a visceral response to the killing of Jose “Kiko” Garcia was really the culmination of the utter madness that Crack had wreaked on our neighborhood. Crack changed everything, Washington Heights went from a poor but mostly peaceful place to an outright war zone almost overnight. The lawlessness and outright thuggery had turned Washington Heights into the East Coast’s most active drug market in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The money that flowed into the neighborhood corrupted everything it touched.

This sad state of affairs could not continue, something had to give. By the same token, the police tactics being used against the community at large, not just the drug dealers, were only quasi-legal and were extremely heavy handed. There were many occasions when the cops would stop and frisk my friends and I for no apparent reason. It was a regular occurrence, we already knew the routine. We also knew not to mess with the cops, as you would either end up arrested or if you were lucky with a black eye.

Living in Washington Heights in those days, even if you were just a kid, felt like you were living under siege. That fateful night, 27 years ago, all those factors came into play and the entire neighborhood lost its collective mind.

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