Time Travel Tuesdays: Becoming an American Citizen, the Hardest Way | NY Times

By Published: September 18, 2007

Corporal Alcántara

Corp. Alcántara’s 2-month-old daughter, Jaylani; next to her mother, Sayonara Lopez. (Photo: Ozier Muhammad | NY Times)

On an August day when some Iraqi’s homemade bomb tore through him, Cpl. Juan Mariel Alcántara became an American. He never got to appreciate the honor.

A little-discussed detail of this war is that some of those fighting in it as soldiers of the United States are not American citizens. Over all, about 21,000 noncitizens are serving in this country’s armed forces, the Defense Department says.

Until death claimed him on Aug. 6, one of them was Corporal Alcántara of the United States Army.

He did not live long enough to acquire a richly textured biography. He was born in the Dominican Republic, reared in Washington Heights. He was 22 when the bomb — an improvised explosive device, in military-speak — ended his life and the lives of three fellow soldiers from the Second Infantry Division while they searched a house in Baquba, north of Baghdad.

At 22, Corporal Alcántara was old enough to have talked about going to college and maybe becoming a New York police officer, old enough to have a fiancée, old enough to have fathered a baby girl he never saw, Jaylani, 6 weeks old when he was killed. He was old enough, too, to have sought American citizenship.

Every year, thousands of noncitizen soldiers do that, through an accelerated naturalization process offered to those who put themselves in harm’s way so that the rest of us can go about our lives untouched by war. And every year, some of those soldiers become citizens only after they have literally been wrapped in the flag.

Read more: Becoming an American Citizen, the Hardest Way – NYTimes.com.

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Spread Love: Sarah Jones @ The Nuyorican – Sell/Buy/Date

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Sarah Jones - TED

Listen, you can thank me later but you are going to want to purchase these tickets.

Tony-Award-winning playwright and performer, Sarah Jones, is previewing her latest opus, Sell/Buy/Date for a super limited run at the Nuyorican Poets Café.

More than a mere preview, the show is an intimate, first look at the defining work of a genius. This is a master working on her masterpiece in real time. The uncannily real and multi-dimensional female and male characters you might encounter may differ from performance to performance as Sarah reworks and retools this sweeping, epic and heady dissertation on the past, present and future of feminism, sex and male domination.

You only have 7 more shows to take in this tour de force, so I suggest you get on it.

Get Yours: Sarah Jones @ The Nuyorican – Sell/Buy/Date

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Monday Mood Music: Dark ATM Ft. Boston – It’s Gucci

Dark ATM ft Boston - Its Gucci

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Hungry City: Abyssinia in Harlem | NY Times

By LIGAYA MISHAN

Abyssinia - Ethiopian Restaurant - Harlem

Abyssinia is in a space that used to be a fried-chicken outlet. There are twinkle lights in the windows, and inside, white tablecloths and vases of dainty plastic flowers. (Photo: Gregg Vigliotti | NY Times)

The description “ground mildly spiced chickpeas” does not prepare you for what arrives, which looks less like a self-sufficient dish than a sauce or a displaced soup, as red as the desert. It’s not that mild, either, thanks to a nice shock of berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend dominated by red chile, with gentler warming notes from cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

This is shiro, a staple of the Ethiopian table, unglamorous and essential. Of all the entrees at Abyssinia, in Harlem, it is the most unstructured and minimalist in appearance, but I dare any (non-Ethiopian) chef in town to recreate it by taste alone. Even the restaurant’s owner and chef, Frehiwot Reta, doesn’t make it from scratch: The shiro powder is prepared in Ethiopia by one of her aunts.

Read more: Hungry City: Abyssinia in Harlem – NYTimes.com.

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The Uptown Tweet of the Week

Girl & her dog - Washington Heights

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

New Music: Rich Perez – Uptown

Growing up in Uptown NYC, a trip to the grocery store isn’t just a trip to the grocery store. It’s a time to getaway and say whats up to friends, go on adventure, see things and share your world with friends. I hope we never lose that sense of faith and adventure as we grow older.

Lyrics: Rich Perez
Production: Andy Mineo
Video Work: Scouts Honor Media

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