#InstagramUptown: From the wrong side of the tracks

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Commit to 5000 Units | Manhattan Times

By Rep. Adriano Espaillat

In 2016, the city of New York built or preserved 21,963 affordable apartments, making it the best year for advancing affordable housing the city has seen in decades. While our city’s progress on this important issue is significant, it’s only a beginning to solving a problem that went neglected for far too long.

New York City has a housing crisis, and as witnessed in metropolitan communities around the nation with housing market prices that continue to rise, families being pushed from their long-term residences because they can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood, the crisis in housing and particularly for affordable housing has a far greater impact on individuals and families of color.

In another example of just how disconnected President Donald Trump remains from America’s working families and low-income households, the newly released Trump Budget for Fiscal Year 2019, the White House and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) actually requests a reduction of $8.8 billion for HUD Rental Assistance programs. The Trump budget does not include affordable housing nor funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund, and wrongfully implies that affordable housing should be a sole responsibility of state and local governments.

Gentrification is a growing and very real concern in New York City, particularly in neighborhoods like Harlem, East Harlem, and Brooklyn.

Gentrification is rapidly pushing longtime low-income residents out of the area. When market prices rise, especially in historically minority-dense communities, longtime residents of color are typically pushed out as they can no longer afford to rent them homes. It’s easy to recognize the tipping point of when a neighborhood starts to turn. You begin to see an exodus of African Americans in Harlem; an exodus of Puerto Ricans in East Harlem; and, an exodus of Dominicans in Washington Heights and Inwood as noted in a study presented by Dr. Ramona Hernandez of the Dominican Studies Institute of The City University of New York (CUNY).

In her study, Dr. Hernandez examined increasing housing costs throughout Washington Heights and Inwood, and the resulting decline of Dominican Americans in the community. When the people leave, they take their culture and the vibrancy that helped to shape the community with them, thus leaving a void. Gentrified neighborhoods often typically suffer from insufficient construction of low-income housing and inadequate rent regulation laws to control rent prices, which leaves the housing market unstable for residents.

Washington Heights and Inwood have been home to immigrants for over a century, ranging from Irish, Jews, and more recently Dominicans.

Read more: Commit to 5000 Units | Manhattan Times

Related: Cross Broadway and Think Big

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Next Lion of New York | NY Times

In The Heights - Lin-Manuel Miranda - Washington Heights - United Palace

(Photo: Paul Lomax)

John Leland of the NY Times penned a must-read article on Uptown super-hero Lin-Manuel Miranda. The piece delves into Lin’s formative NYC experiences as well as the importance of his family in his creative process. Click below for more.

Read more: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Next Lion of New York

Related: Spread Love: Lin-Manuel Miranda to Congress: You have the power to help Puerto Rico

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Save The Date: 03/05/18 – The Up Theater Company Honors Elizabeth Ritter

It’s that time again folks. The Onward & Upward annual shindig is going down on Monday, March 5 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Fort Washington Collegiate Church (729 West 181st). Seriously folks, there is no better way to bring in the Spring than with this annual celebration of the arts Uptown. This year’s honoree is Uptown dynamo Elizabeth Lorris Ritter. She has been putting it down for the neighborhood for decades. So there you have it folks, click it below for your tickets ASAP. Advance tickets start at just $40.

Check out: Save The Date: 03/05/18 – The Up Theater Company Honors Elizabeth Ritter

Related: Onward And UPward – The Recap

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Uptown Jazz Festival Debuts | Manhattan Times

Story by Gregg McQueen

It’s uptown for the swing.

The jazz standard “Take the A Train” was first composed in 1939, and it became one of Duke Ellington’s signature songs once he and his band introduced it in 1941.

It’s taken a few years, but the first-ever Washington Heights Jazz Festival has arrived.

The weekend-long event will be held from March 9 to 11 and will feature 12 different bands performing at three venues across three days.

It is presented by JazzWahi, a cohort of uptown jazz musicians and educators that formed in 2014 over a mutual love of jazz.

Louise Rogers, who co-founded the festival as well as JazzWahi with her husband, musician and composer Mark Kross, said the goal of the festival is to foster a greater appreciation for the genre in Northern Manhattan.

“We want to show people that jazz can be accessible, and also spotlight the talented musicians that are right here,” said Rogers. “About 50 musicians are performing at the festival, and most of them are from the local community.”

The festival will kick off on March 9 with a performance at Kismat Bar from a jazz trio led by Rogers, a longtime vocalist and recording artist. She also works as a music teacher and has written several books on jazz.

Other performances will be held at local restaurants Le Cheile and Las Tapas, with Saturday’s schedule featuring a concert for kids.

Read more: Uptown Jazz Festival Debuts | Manhattan Times

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Uptown Talk: Latinos Out Loud – Baby Doll Playtime

On lucky episode #7 of the new season on ReVolver, the crew chops it up about juicing, hanging with the boys and the “F” word, foodie. This week’s special guest is VH1’s “Love + Hip Hop Miami” reality star and artist Amara La Negra.

(more…)

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