Mile after mile, day by day | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

“I just want to be happy,” said Heidy Pabón, shown here crossing the marathon finish line. Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club

(Photo: Rick Bloomer | Van Cortlandt Track Club)

When Heidy Pabón crossed the finish line of the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4, she immediately went to the medical tent.

Her chest felt like it was full of fluid.

The Inwood resident had trouble breathing. Her vision was cloudy and she was spitting up blood. The doctors said that would happen.

Pabón said, “I thought I was going to die.”

4:23:57 is a very respectable time for most runners. But it’s even more meaningful when, like Pabón, you are battling breast and throat cancer at age 45 and are just finishing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

One day after the race, Pabón sat at Mr. McGoo’s Pub in the Bronx, celebrating with other members of the Van Cortlandt Track Club.

Pabón’s doctors advised against running the marathon. Her platelet levels and red blood cell counts are low. They asked why she would even consider it.

“I’m doing it for all of the people who are suffering from cancer,” Pabón said. “With the grace of God, I’m going to run. And I’m doing it for all of the other kind people here today.”

Pabón probably couldn’t conceive of not doing it. This was her fifth marathon. She’s been training with the Van Cortlandt Track Club for the past two years, even while in treatment. On the weekends, she ran races, a 5K, a 10K, even a half marathon.

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

Spread Love: The Sentence

Make sure you watch the searing and riveting documentary, The Sentence on HBO. This film will move you to tears; it is an agonizing look at the consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing. The Sentence is the first film from Rudy Valdez, who tells the story of his sister Cindy Shank. A mother of three, Shank received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to her deceased ex-boyfriend’s crimes. The documentary chronicles Cindy’s three daughters as they get older and try to navigate life without their mother. This heartbreaking film underscores the fact that it is not just the person that is convicted that is serving time.

Continue Reading

Uptown On TV 📺: Take On America On PBS

Our Editor-In-Chief, Led Black, had the honor of taking part in a next generation public forum at the venerable Riverside Church on October 22. The global digital magazine Ozy produced the televised debate, which is part of a new series called Take On America. This installation of the series was dubbed 100 Latinos in New York City and focused on immigration, civic engagement and generational differences among Latinos. Two of the special guests were the Mayor of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto and actress/activist Rosie Perez. Led Black represented Uptown properly and had the opportunity to speak his mind on several of the topics. Please check it out and share widely and with abandon.

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

Call For Photos & Video: ESPN Documentary On Felipe Lopez

Hock Films is making a documentary for ESPN on Felipe Lopez that will be premiering in 2019. As part of Felipe’s story, they will be discussing the story of the Dominican community in Washington Heights during the 1980s and 90s. They are hoping that some of our readers will be interested in participating by providing videos/home movies or photos during that time period so they can accurately represent the community, the neighborhood and the people. They are looking to find home movies or photos that people may have filmed while attending Felipe’s high school games playing for Rice, so that they can convey a real sense of how supportive the Dominican community was of him from the onset of his career. Please reach out to Matt Fisher, the researcher on the project, at if you are able to help contribute materials, or have suggestions on local organizations, photographers, filmmakers or other individuals to reach out to.

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

New ICE tactics raise concerns | Manhattan Times

Story by Sherry Mazzocchi

“ICE already has a tremendous amount of information at their disposal,” says Fernández.

“ICE already has a tremendous amount of information at their disposal,” says Fernández.

When ICE knocks, you don’t have to open the door.

A recent video from Clayton, North Carolina, reveals a pre-dawn raid conducted by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) where Juan Oliva, 33, says goodbye to his children before his arrest. In the video shot by his wife, agents tell Oliva, who is originally from El Salvador, that if they have to break down the door, they will add criminal charges to the deportation order.

“The details of what happened in North Carolina is something unfortunate that I think is being repeated sometimes thousands of times a day throughout our country,” said Ángela Fernández, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR).

The tactic used by ICE —threatening to bring criminal charges if they have to beat down the door—is a ruse. “ICE needs to slip a warrant under the door. The warrant has to say that they are looking for the person and it has to have the exact name of that person and it must be signed by a federal judge,” she said.

“All of the due process protections that have been developed over the past 200 years in the criminal context were developed for a reason,” she said. “It was to stop this kind of behavior. Now this is happening in the context of immigration.”

ICE reportedly told the family that they found Oliva’s home by putting a “chip” on their son, which led them to their location.

Read more: New ICE tactics raise concerns | Manhattan Times

Continue Reading

11/11/18: Crossing Broadway Book Forum & Public Discussion @ Coogan’s

Mark your calendars folks. All roads lead to Coogan’s (4015 Broadway @ 169th Street) on Sunday, November 11 at 3 pm for a book forum and public discussion led by the erudite and engaging Robert W. Snyder. Mr. Snyder is the author of the official history book of Washington Heights, Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City. So this is what you have to do. If you have not read the book, hit up Word Up Books (2113 Amsterdam Ave @ 165th Street) and purchase this indispensable addition to your Uptown library and make sure you are there for the book forum at Coogan’s. This is an event you don’t want to miss. See you there!

Continue Reading

UPinion: The Canary in the Coal Mine

By A J Sidransky

Trinity Cemetery Washington Heights

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

Shortly after the massacre that occurred last week at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Led Black asked me to write a piece about my thoughts relative to this terrible tragedy. I have to say for starters, that I am so disturbed about what happened that it has taken me five days to be able to sit down and write about it. That’s a lot of disturbed.

I am so upset and overwhelmed by the massacre, that I am considering whether I can continue to live in the land in which I was born. Though many of you may find this surprising, I never felt very American. I am the grandchild of four European-born Jewish immigrants. Three of my four grandparents lost nearly their entire families to the Holocaust. Those relatives number more than 100 souls. I am named for two of my maternal grandfather’s brothers, both of whom were murdered in Auschwitz.

I am also old enough to have experienced anti-Semitism myself. As a teenager in the 1970’s, living in Trumbull, Connecticut, my Jewish identity was enough to make me ‘the other’ to many of my schoolmates, one of them even signing my yearbook, “To the nicest Jew I’ve ever met.” So, the attack on Tree of Life has me scared, angry and thinking what possibilities exist for me and my family if the time comes that we have to leave. You know there’s an old Jewish joke about why Jews always wear their hats. The punchline is, “because we never know when we will have to leave in a hurry.” And before I continue, let me say to my Jewish brethren, you may think that the Republican Party is our friend. Clearly, not. Understand, they prefer the voting support of those who would murder you, while taking your donations. Wake up.

Continue Reading