Mudcat Café message #1338713 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75862   Message #1338713
Posted By: Suffet
25-Nov-04 - 08:51 AM
Thread Name: MANY VOICES with Pete Seeger 1/28/05
Subject: RE: MANY VOICES with Pete Seeger 1/28/05

The City of New York comprises five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island (Richmond), Brooklyn, and Queens. As a New Yorker, I take pride in the richness, complexity, and diversity each presents in its geography, architecture, economy, and culture. I have either lived, worked, or gone to school in each of the five boroughs, and I love them all. And even after having lived 55 of my 57 years in New York City -- I lived elsewhere from age 5 to 7 -- I still make wonderful discoveries, big and small. Among the more recent: a beautiful old stone church nearly hidden among the trees along the Henry Hudosn Parkway in the Bronx, the waterfowl flocking to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Broad Chanel Island in Queens, a fine little Italian restaurant (Fresca's) along the Arthur Kill on Staten Island, the derelict remains of a 19th century steam locomotive (very recently removed) along the Kent Avenue waterfront in Brooklyn.

I invite anyone coming to the People's Music Network Winter Gathering to spend some time exploring New York City beyond the usual tourist attractions. In particular, spend some time in Jackson Heights, Queens, the area around the Renaissance Charter School. It is a neighborhood that has been unfairly maligned in Miami Vice, Law and Order, and NYPD Blue as the home turf of Colombian drug lords. In fact, it is a rich and vibrant community where old timers mingle with immigrants from all of South America, as well as from Cuba, Mexico, Ireland, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and elsewhere. It is an area of stately apartment houses built in the 1920s, mixed with garden apartment complexes, mixed with one and two family houses. The Renaissance Charter School -- a K to 12 liberal, progressive charter school -- welcomes all the neighborhood's children, those of immigrant and native parents alike. It is the perfect venue for PMN.

The downtown Brooklyn area around the Brooklyn High School of the Arts is another place worth exploring. The school is sandwiched between two residential streets at the juncture of several neighborhoods, commercial and industrial as well as residential. The school itself draws its students from throughout Brooklyn and beyond. And in addition to offering courses in the visual and the performing arts, it also has a program in art restoration and preservation, perhaps the only such high school program anywhere in the USA.

I could go on, but I've said enough for now.

--- Steve