- 2014 Spring Syllabus
- What’s New? the Blog
- 2014 Spring Sacha
- 2014 Spring Toral
- New York Stories of Compelling Issues Fall 2013
- New York Stories of Fascinating People, Fall 2013
- Online Resources
- Students Speak about Bob Sacha
- 2013 Archive
- Hide menu
A life long resident of Coney Island, Adaline Feore, 81, lost electricity and heat on September 29th when Hurricane Sandy made landfall. More then a month after the storm Adeline remains in the dark and faces the prospect of losing her rent-controled apartment as well. Also, watch this on Time.com
TV report (TVR)
OO:34 As person here in Coney Island put it, the water went from six inches to more then six feet in what seemed like two minutes. The rush of seawater that took over parts of Coney Island, well, they had never seen anything like it
Listen, there is a man here is who doing a documentary. And I told him he should come and speak to you guys. Because Adaline is eighty something years old, and she is here in the dark with no heat and she’s got here oven on. Come!
01:02 My landlord wants to throw us out. Because he wants more money. I’ve been here 70 years. Really cold in here. But he said he’s not going to fix anything. Would he do it to his own mother? Three blankets I got. God help us.
01:30 He lived in the basement. What a mess down there. Flooded very bad. Thank god he’s alive. So I said, come and say with me. As long as I have the room, come and stay. Right? That’s what friends are for.
01:48 I can’t eat no more.
What is that?
01:50 Mary’s Gone (cookies)
01:50 Oh, OK. How long’s it Marvin?
October 29th this happened. And then today is the 14th.
02:02 Two weeks. I’ve never felt so cold in my life. We look like Eskimos when we go to sleep. Him in there, and me over there. Nice and cold.
How are you? You have some pair of chops. You know that?
02:26 Why? No heat, no hot water. Come on, Frank.
02:29 We are trying our hardest
02:31 Everybody else did, and you?
Ok, all the parts. We gave the guy 3K yesterday. To get this stuff off the burner. The electric was done. Con Edison, there was a mix communication here. I’ve been here to mid night every night here. I’d appreciate it if the microphone aint on.
He was praying that we picked up and got out. That’s what he wanted. Cause I’m on rent control. I pay little rent, huh. I was 11 years old when I came here. We had a good life here.
The only way I’m getting out of here is in a body bag. I will not give him the satisfaction.
The immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy in New York included massive flooding and power outages, both in Manhattan and in the surrounding regions. The price exacted by this storm maybe tallied economically, as well as in the death toll of NY residents. Some regions that were hardest hit include the Far Rockaways, Brighton Beach, Staten Island and Coney Island.
Now, more than a month after the storm arrived on the eastern seaboard, the lives of most New Yorkers have returned to a normal pattern, now that the subways are up and running and lower Manhattan is again illuminated brightly. Yet the some people without the finical resources to advocate for themselves, the devastating effects of Sandy are still being felt on a daily basis.
“Adaline” is the story of an 81-year-old Coney Island resident who have been living without heat or electricity for more then a month. For Adaline Feore, post-Sandy life has meant keeping the burners of her stove on day and night for heat, depending upon her neighbors and friends for food and living by candlelight.
On top of these hardships, Adaline is also facing the prospect that if she were to vacate her apartment while it is in disrepair, she will lose rent control and no longer be able to live in the building that she has occupied since she was 11 years old. This story exposes the unscrupulous tactic of a landlord who has deliberately left his properties in disrepair to force low-income individuals to leave so that he may renovate and increase the rent. Strong, vocal and every part a New Yorker, Adaline is not about to let herself be “coned” out of her affordable housing and is making a stand by refusing to vacate despite the hardships of her life.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Nathan Fitch
Jennifer Brown is the eldest of four siblings. She was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated with her parents as a toddler. After joining the US Army at 17, Jennifer performed intelligence missions in South and Central America and Afghanistan. Her husband has been in the Army for 10 years and plans to remain another 20 years, while Jennifer makes the transition to civilian life. One of her sisters is also serving in Afghanistan in the US Marine Corps.
This transition for me is, it’s the beginning of my life. I feel like I’m starting right now. I’m leaving Big Daddy Army. I’m scared. I’m excited, but the fear takes over.
I love the gym. It’s my passion. God, man, seeing these guys sweating, wearing their straps, pulling, grunting – don’t you love that? There were a lot of good bodybuilders in the Army and I learned so much from them, I decided I wanted to do that the rest of my life.
When you walk down the street and you have big arms, people are not going to mess with you, you know? In the army, you’re not a man, but you’d better act like one ‘cause they’ll step all over you, even though you’re scared, even though you’re worried that your eggs will run out. That’s why I got into bodybuilding. It feels good to be a woman, a strong woman. Because, you know, in the Army, you’re a female soldier, but I’m a women. That’s who I am.
I was deployed in Afghanistan. When I came home, I was so excited. But it was bittersweet for me, because my mom, she doesn’t have a car or anything, so she couldn’t drive down there. And my father couldn’t make it. Nobody could really make it. I got off the plane – there was no one there for me.
[Graphic: Jennifer’s husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan.]
After like a month of living alone in an apartment, I was just like you know what, I’m going to get a dog. She was just like this in the back of the cage. Like she had given up. And I was like, she’s lonely just like me, you know? So I was like, I’ve got to get that dog because she’s going to end up getting euthanized. She’s with me now. She didn’t get euthanized.
Being alone, you can’t compare that to having family with you. That love – you feel that every day, like you don’t feel love through a phone. Ethan is my nephew. He’s the sun of the apartment. We’re little planets and we revolve around him. Innocence, you know, who doesn’t want innocence around?
Coming form the military where they tell you where to be, what to put on, what uniform to put on, how to act, and for me to jump out of my safety net into this civilian thing, I feel like I have no purpose. Getting a job, having the dignity of a job, that gives a person purpose.
Today I said goodbye to the Army. I decided that I just have to let go. The recruiting station is the beginning and the end. I joined the army when I was 17. I didn’t feel like I fit in, like I was so young.
That’s all that’s left, huh? It has to be that because when I joined, it was “Army of One” and then it went to “Army Strong.”
I’m now a personal trainer at the Health and Racquet Club on 56th Street. We’re at day zero. Tomorrow, Jennifer, it’s day one.
Jennifer is also applying to college, hoping that funding through the G.I. bill will allow her to complete a bachelor’s degree. Her dream is to open a gym and wellness center for women that combines physical training with a mission of self-acceptance and empowerment.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Nadia Sussman
Christophe Landon has been making violins and other stringed instruments for nearly 40 years. At his violinmaking studio and repair shop on New York’s Upper West Side, he and his apprentices make instruments exactly the same way people did two hundred years ago—by hand, with simple tools, and lots of patience.
Christophe Landon still remembers the first violin he ever made, over summer vacation in France when he was just 15. “That violin, I really love,” he says. “It’s completely asymmetrical, lots of tool marks. It’s a very nice violin, actually, because it’s not perfect.”
He went on to become a world-renowned violinmaker, restorer, and dealer, with studios in New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, and Berlin. These days, his violins sell for $70,000 and are in world-wide demand, but he still sees himself as a lifelong student of the craft. “I’m 53 years old, and my apprenticeship is still going on,” he says, “It’s not something that you learn and you are done with.
A lot of artisans say that, but Christophe’s humility seems genuine. He has a matter-of-fact, dryly humorous rapport with his apprentices and clients, and though he certainly takes his work seriously, the same doesn’t extend to himself. “You’re one of the greatest violinmakers of our time,” a client told him in the shop one day, to which Christophe replied wryly, “Yes, I am one of the greatest violinmakers on 67th Street.”
In addition to making and restoring violins, he and his assistants rent out violins, violas, and cellos to young music students. The rental side of the business is vital, Christophe says, because it’s a way to pass on an appreciation for music to the next generation.
His violinmakers don’t always enjoy working with the smaller, less valuable children’s instruments, but, he says, “I keep telling them that it’s for the good of music…The art of music is going to die, so education is super important thing in my life. We don’t teach anybody, but at least we provide very impeccable small instruments for the children to learn.”
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Lindsay Lowe
Everybody wants to be famous. Sometimes a name is all it takes.
“” I remember being a little girl and having adults bend down and say. Oh Elizabeth Taylor. Where is Richard Burton. So from a very young age I always wondered who this character Richard Burton was.”
When Elizabeth Claire Taylor grew up she was obviously aware of her famous namesake. First it was funny, then annoying and confusing. She tried changing her name to Elizabeth Bennett, adopting the name from the street on which she had grown up in Long Beach, California. But then she changed her mind and embraced her name, taking the stage with a one woman homage to the original Elizabeth Taylor, “Finding Elizabeth Taylor”. Talking about her struggle with weight, body image and romantic issues a deeper connection with the other Elizabeth becomes apparent.
“I share a passion for sex, and men and sensuality, which has come older in my life. I share a passion for jewelry and glam, and making an entrance and also with activism and that’s Elizabeth Taylor’s great legacy to me.”
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Ezra Eeman
First it was funny, then annoying and confusing, now it has become a part of her life. For plus-size model Elizabeth Taylor, having the same name as the one time ‘most famous woman in the world” came with trials and tribulations. This is her story.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Ezra Eeman
Gabby fled to the US from Colombia in 2010, and was recently granted asylum. He was forced to leave his home in South America because he feared his life was in danger, after being prosecuted for being gay.
When I got my asylum done, when I went to the interview, I was carrying a Barbie doll in my purse.
When I got inside the official immigration office, she had all these Barbie dolls in her office. And I was like, ‘ you have so many Barbie dolls, I like Barbie dolls too,” and I was telling her exactly the year, and the designer, and who created the doll.
AndI said ‘hey’ I have one here. And she asked me to take it out of my purse.
I showed her, and she asked, “What’s her name?” and I said, “This is Asylum Barbie, she’s seeking asylum, she’s seeking for freedom,” and she was laughing, and my interview goes so smooth.
My family is really conservative. They hid the dolls all the time and I was not able to express what I wanted to do.
A lot of Columbian people don’t understand that being gay is not an option, it’s not a choice.
My story is hard. I was raped when I was like, quite young. I had common sense at that time, but I was younger. I was beat up, like for all my school life.
I think it’s necessary to give asylum, to people who really need it. It’s a tool for people who really need it.
Yesterday, I was in my house. And the next day, I was taking a flight over here. Without anything, no luggage, just my passport, my airplane ticket, and 3 pairs of jeans, and 1 pair of underwear, that’s it.
I didn’t speak English fluently at that time, I’m still learning to, but it was really hard for me to understand, not to understand, because I understand what everybody was telling me. It was difficult for me to express what I felt.
Asylum for me is a key of freedom, that a country is giving to someone who needs it, who needs is so badly.
“Yesterday I was in my house, and the next day, I was taking a flight over here. Without anything,” he said. “No luggage, just my passport, my airline ticket, and three pairs of jeans, one underwear, and that’s it.”
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, an asylum seeker someone who has fled their home country due to conflict, social, sexual, or religious persecution.
The UN Refugee Agency reports the number of asylum seekers is on the rise worldwide, from 368,000 cases in 2010 to 441,300 cases in 2011.
The United States had the highest number of applicants in 2011 out of 44 countries outlined in the UNCHR data, receiving 74,000 claims. The largest number of asylum seekers were reported from Afghanistan, followed by Iraq and China.
Many asylum seekers fear they’ll be detained or deported back to their countries of origin. 24,367 asylum cases were denied in 2011 by US immigration, out of 35,067 applications.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Erin Horan
he Bowery Mission cooks the largest Thanksgiving meal in New York City. They fed an estimated 6,000 people this year. This is the story of one cook who helped in the massive venture.
500 turkeys, 4,000 lbs of potatoes, 1,500 lbs of green beans, and gravy pot going to weigh about 1,000 lbs.
Everybody’s got to eat.
I have a passion for cooking i’m constantly,i’m thanking God. All you know is just wow man…it’s better than being in jail, walking the streets homeless, you know I still have a restaurant. I have to supervise well hundreds of people.
It’s a platform to join people together..something earthly to begin with to conclude with something heavenly in meaning. Jesus ate fish he was cooking.
I was on heroin at the age of maybe 13 years old — it was in the household.
Your product could become your worst enemy –
I started out as the seller and become the user. Things just went haywire to the point where my family got disgusted with and I just left home lonely, very lonely.
At those times, you can’t get high enough.
When you first come here if you have to help doing the domestic work of the bowery, you clean you wash.
In the midst of all that I was in the kitchen probably doing some dishes or something and I open up my mouth. I know how to do this.
I realized after coming here is what I didn’t have is discipline and stability
People come in here hungry and hurting.
And my responsibility to see to it to see to it that people get a good meal, but a meal that served with love.
That’s what I love doing.
Even if we don’t say it its something they have to see as they go through the Bowery Mission.
It’s not what I expected when I wanted a restaurant…
What I’m wondering is if I’m going to have one in heaven.
Cannon Green was a heroin addict at 13 because it was part of his family. He became a dealer but ended up using his own product. He eventually became homeless and found his way to Bowery Mission where he entered their program and eventually graduated. During his time there, he rediscovered how much he enjoyed cooking and became a staff cook.
Despite surviving hurricane Sandy, life is still hard to live for Ye Qing, whose small Chinese restaurant on Far Rockaway Beach was completely devastated by flood.
When I drowned in the water, my daughter held my hand, “Mom, even if we die tonight, we’ll be dying together.” I’ll never forget these words.
My name is Ye Qing, I opened up this Chinese restaurant “Garden Lee” on Far Rockaway Beach Blvd. I put all my life savings into it.
I was still at work when hurricane Sandy arrived. I thought nothing of it, because last year hurricane Irene wasn’t a big deal. So how severe this one could be? However, when I was making food, floodwaters rushed in. At beginning it was only knee-high. My daughter shouted at me, “Mom, let’s leave here! This place is flooded!” And I told her, “Take it easy. It won’t be.” But suddenly the water rose to my chest. And my daughter and I just ran for our lives. We hid in the subway station all night.
It was around 4 or 5 a.m., when floodwaters receded, that I came back here. I saw my restaurant was like this, and I cried hard. I had no idea what to do.
(These stuff all came from my blood money, and now I have to throw them away…sigh.)
I went to the insurance company, and they told me that they needed to arrange $800 million to those who had bought flood insurance first. And for a person like me who doesn’t have flood insurance, I can do nothing but WAIT, WAIT, and WAIT. But wait until when? What’s the source of my income?
(All my belongs have been washed away!)
People at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association told me to get loans. But looking at my messed restaurant, I don’t even know whether or not I could pay them off.
It would cost about $30,000 to reopen my business.
My biggest wish is that the insurance company could reimburse my restaurant equipment. If they didn’t, I wish the government could support me to reopen the business.
If I still couldn’t get it fixed…if I didn’t get any money back, I would leave here with my daughter and find a new place and a new job, a job that allows me to go home at night. That is my only hope now.
(I’m getting some candles to lighten my place.)
Until the hurricane, Ye Qing had never thought there was something that she might not overcome.
She came to this country alone, in 2002, and got a part-time delivery job at a local restaurant, while her husband was still living with their daughter in a small village in Fujian province, China. She worked very hard, saved some money, and brought them to the U.S. Before long, her husband left to start his own life somewhere else, because “there was no love between them anymore,” she said.
She got over it.
Almost five years ago, she opened up a Chinese takeout restaurant on Far Rockaway Boulevard, near Rockaway Beach, which cost all her life savings plus some borrowed from her relatives in China. She settled down with her then 8-year-old daughter, hired a worker, and made every effort to gain a footing in this non-Asian neighborhood.
She doesn’t speak English. Once she had a gun pointed at her head on her way to deliver food and was asked to give all her money.
But she got over it.
This time – after all her belongings and hard workings were washed away by flood? Not sure.
Videographer & Producer: Menglin Huang Archive Footage: SevereWeatherVideo.com
In the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy, a 100-year-old bar in storm-ravaged Long Beach, NY, became the de facto community center for a neighborhood in need.
a) My wife and I bought our first home 25 years ago. And most of it is on my front lawn right now. I kept my lawn pristine, flowers and everything.
a) Whew. I need another shot.
b) I walked through the doors and I found it was salvation.
c) Four hours after we all woke up and figured out what happened to our town, these guys were here opening up their arms.
d) a hot meal, a cold drink, TV, friendship
e) There’s a level of old time community that brings us together.
a) Family. If you were a stranger you were family when you left that door. You really were.
e) People don’t LB will rebuild. They don’t think Long Beach will come back from this. But it will. And it’s places like Shines that have brought that hope back.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy crashed into the east coast with a force few had ever witnessed. Residents of Long Beach, N.Y., caught the storm’s full wrath as it splintered the city’s iconic boardwalk and drowned its homes, rendering nearly the entire city of 35,000 without power and water for weeks.
In the city’s West End neighborhood, a well-loved bar nearing its 100th anniversary suddenly became the de facto community center for a community in need. Shine’s Bar at 55 California St., had always been a locals’ joint. But when owners Brent Wilson, 32, and his wife Megan Casey, 29, started putting out donated food and supplies for their neighbors, they soon found themselves at the epicenter of their neighborhood’s recovery effort.
At any given time of day, shell-shocked West End residents wandered into Shine’s for a plate of hot food, a few bottles of water and neighborly conversation. At night, they huddled in the unheated bar and drank beer — on the house, though, so patrons gave thanks by donating money towards the till. This happened almost every day for three weeks, as rescue teams and volunteers kept dropping off food and sundries at Shine’s, knowing full well that this bar was the best place to reach as many people at once.
While Wilson and Casey insist there’s nothing special about their efforts, their neighbors would surely disagree. The sense of hope and security that Shine’s emitted in the days and weeks after the storm may well have been the shining moment in the bar’s 100-year history.
This video features just a few of the many voices who can attest to that.
Casey and Wilson did not escape the storm unscathed. Shine’s will have to be gutted and renovated, and new appliances purchased. The couple also had to postpone the bar’s 100-year anniversary party, originally planned for November 17. Yet, despite these setbacks, things are moving along. After weeks living in the dark, most West End residents now have power. But they are not likely to forget those first days after the storm, where they sought and found warmth and friendship at their local bar.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Jane Teeling
Devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Locals Rebuild a Farm in Brooklyn
Red Hook Farm: Fresh Start – Fine Cut – Transcript
by Colin Weatherby
[00:00:18.19] No I was here, um, two weeks ago before the hurricane pumpkin picking with my sister
[00:00:29.01] In my house, I’m not able to take a shower, my mom’s always saying that I stink
[00:00:36.17] I live in the big projects, the tall projects, they’re 15 floors. You know, it’s not like I have anything else to do cus we don’t have no light no water. You can’t watch TV. And I thought it would be a good example for my son.
[00:00:55.13] The whole farm was like done. It’s like all the crops had to be pulled up, um, because some of the oil from the Hess station over there, it came down and messed up all the crops. So we’re basically starting the whole farm over.
[00:01:25.01] I live in Red Hook, which is a small town. Hugging a friend? Or an acquaintance on the street when they start to cry? That happens now. It could be a wash, we could bring in a backhoe and start anew and you know it’s one of the things that we can do and it’s one of the things that farmers have always done.
[00:01:42.06] Now we get to see how the farm began basically, so it’s pretty cool. Everything is coming back slowly.
[00:01:53.04] It’s the patty… (ding)
An 11-year-old farm near Brooklyn’s largest housing project lost an entire crop and a season of profits during the hurricane. Volunteers hope to replant the farm, but contaminants from the flood mean the entire project may have to start from scratch.
Red Hook and it’s farm were both caught off-guard by the sudden and devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy. The flooding destroyed homes and businesses, but it also washed away the late-summer crop of the 2.3 acre urban farm operated by local non-profit Added Value. Over the past decade, the success of the farm has made it a household name in the urban agriculture community and hundreds of low-income residents in Red Hook now depend on the farm as their only source of fresh food.
Two weeks after the storm, locals of all shapes, sizes, and demographics turned out in record numbers to get the farm back on it’s feet. The goal is to get the garlic in the ground by the end of the week, but there is still a chance that they may have to start over from scratch. Director Ian Marvy says that the farm may need to raise more than $40,000 to replace all of the existing soil if tests show that the flood waters contained toxic contaminants.
Red Hook Community Farm: added-value.org/ A Chef Visits Red Hook Community Farm: seasonalchef.com/farmredhook.htm Red Hook Recovers Official Website: redhook.recovers.org/
Behind the Scenes: My first career in New York City involved building a lot of urban farms in low-income areas all over the city. In urban agriculture, Red Hook Community Farm is discussed like the Yankees. It’s a success of such epic proportions that the farm doesn’t just have fans and volunteers; it has clients.
When I heard that they basically lost everything in the flood, I was interested to see what a ‘total lose’ looks like in the farming world. And director Ian Marvy was happy to acknowledge the fact that losing an entire season’s crop is nothing extraordinary in this line of work. In a sense, the calm methodical recovery of a community farm serves as an inspirational beacon for the entire Red Hook neighborhood that was hit so hard in the storm. Farmers spend a lifetime studying the day-to-day reality of birth and regrowth.
I was especially interested in the farm’s youth employees. Fourteen local teenagers work at the farm and despite the fact that many of them were living without power, they all showed up at work to restore the farm. It’s pretty inspiring to see so much civic pride.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Colin Weatherby
Twelve days after Hurricane Sandy left members of the Beach Channel High School football team homeless and without power, the team competed in its first round playoff game. Though Beach Channel was undermanned and out of practice, the game provided a temporary escape for the players and coaches.
Foley: I kind of lost everything in my home. About five feet of water in the house. I found my refrigerator in my living room. Breland: It wasn’t until we got home and looked back where we lived in our neighborhood when I got a little shell-shocked. Like, our entire neighborhood is gone, and it’s not going to be the same. Coach: Our boy Roger. He pretty much… his parents made up their mind they’re not even coming back, apparently. Foley is in a hotel somewhere in Brooklyn I think. So it’s tough. After those few hours where we were about to enjoy playing football on that Saturday, everyone had to go back, like we said that day, and deal with whatever they were dealing with. Coach: Come on. Come on, get dressed. There’s no time for hugging and shit. Coach: I wanted to know what they wanted to do, even right up until Thursday. I said, “guys, if you don’t want to do this, let me know. I’ll call up the commissioner and I’ll completely understand.” There’s so much going on in our lives right now that football is pretty much irrelevant. The kids wanted to play. Bottom line is the kids wanted to play. Coach: Needless to say that the last two weeks have really tested our character and our resilience. And in my opinion, you guys pass with flying colors. The shit you’ve had to deal with is ridiculous. We’re here to play football. I’m proud of you guys. Everything that you’ve overcome, everything that you’ve endured, couldn’t be prouder. As far as I’m concerned you guys are soliders. You’re warriors. You’re heroes. God bless you. Coach: As always gentlemen, we take this opportunity to pray for those who are less fortunate than we are, and we thank the lord for the opportunity to play this fucking great game. Let’s go out there and kick some ass, BC. Let’s go. Player; Ayo, they can’t swim with the Dolphins man, let’s go. Breland: This game for me, personally, it was sort of life a relief. It was something I had to do. I couldn’t live with myself with not playing. I just had to play in this game, so some say it was therapeutic. It was one of those moments. Foley: No more crying, son. You, keep you head up, so, because we made it this far. This far. And we’re leaving this field with respect and dignity.
Beach Channel head coach Victor Nazario had lost power for 10 days at his home in the Rockaways. His players were displaced, without power, and many hungry from a lack of food. When Nazario got a call that his team, the No. 12 seed Beach Channel Dolphins, would be playing the No. 5 seed Port Richmond Raiders 12 days after Sandy hit, he did not know how his players would react. But the team unanimously decided to participate in the game. Evacuated players came from upstate and Pennsylvania to join their teammates for practice and the team’s game. The team lost 38-6, but the game acted as an escape from the pain the team experienced after the storm.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: David Sanchirico
The Coral Restoration Foundation runs the biggest coral transplant operation in the world. This video shows how they grow coral before replanting it on natural reefs. Reefs are essential for both human and marine life.
Fish, turtles, sharks, crabs, other invertebrates, everything you know, you name it, it’s going to be out on the reef You need a healthy diverse reef to have the benefits that we need to get from reefs We grow Staghorn and Elkhorn coral, which are two threatened species on the endangered species list, in a nursery about 3 miles offshore and we grow second and third generation corals that we then take out to the reef and plant them. !!!! Our ultimate goal is to come up with a way to grow these corals efficiently and effectively, and teach others to do that throughout the Caribbean. We actually take those divers to our nursery or the reef and they get hands on experience with corals, so they’re fragging or hanging the corals in our nursery, so they took each section, or each fragment, put monofilament around the coral, tagged the coral, and then hung it on the tree where the coral will stay and we’ll monitor it for growth and a couple other factors Staghorn and elkhorn are important in particular, because they are such a dominant – or were such a dominant reef in the keys, and since the 1970s and the early 1980s, we’ve seen such a decline in those two species, being able to grow the coral and physically outplant it, and see – I planted this coral 3 years ago, and its still there today, and it’s 5 times the size. Means a lot.
Coral reefs around the planet are dying due to climate change, destructive fishing, and disease related to pollutants. But some people are trying to combat what seems like an inevitable disaster. The Coral Restoration Foundation, based in Key Largo, runs the biggest coral transplant operation in the world. They grow staghorn and elkhorn coral in nurseries and then transplant healthy branches to natural reefs. Caribbean reefs depend on those two species, but scientists already consider most of those reefs essentially dead – yet CRF has been able to replant thickets that have even begun to spawn naturally again, something that hasn’t happened in the wild in a long time.
This is a story about people – CRF founder Ken Nedimyer, and CRF science and education director Stephanie Roach, the voice in the video – that are trying to combat a global problem by restoring a local habitat. The issues they are dealing with, like climate and pollution, are widespread and have been affecting reefs for decades. Yet this small group of environmentalists is trying to restore a habitat, one that not only looks beautiful, but is essential to preserving life as we know it. They are replanting coral that is dying off, trying to preserve the species, and teaching other people how to do the same work, so they can start similar projects in other areas. I wanted to show how they set up their coral nursery.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Kevin Loria
Diego Rodríguez had to go move back to his parents’ home in Vigo, Spain, when he was laid off. While adjusting to the new situation, he finds comfort in his favorite bar: La Iguana Club, a local legendary concert venue that might be facing some recession-induced changes, too.
(Translated from Spanish)
Diego: And that’s what I miss the most. My independence, particularly my independence.
In the summer of 2011, I was working in Madrid, with a job that wasn’t very exciting but at least I could sustain myself. But I got laid off, and I had to come back.
We were a bunch when we were in university, and now so many of them have had to emigrate. It is so sad.
I have been thinking about leaving myself, but I refuse to work a menial job when I have a master’s degree.
This statue symbolizes our grandparents that in the 1950s had to leave Spain because of the Franco regime. Now, 50 years later, we are doing the same. A nation that doesn’t know its history is bound to repeat it.
Coming back home was hard after so many years of living by myself. It is ok because you get back in touch with the family, but family time… When it is enough it is enough.
Father: You can’t smoke in here. Go outside.
Diego: See, I live with a dictator.
But I have always had fun in Vigo. I have had many wonderful nights here.
Billy: We are in La Iguana Club, a concert venue in Vigo that has been around since 1990.
Diego: La Iguana is a legendary bar in Vigo, one of the stars. But I must say more people use to come here.
Billy: Yeah, we’ve noticed the crisis. But in 22 years we’ve been around there have been many ups and downs, many changes, and this is just another bump in the way. That’s how I see it.
Diego: I don’t think it is going to close down. It has been through so much, it has seen the city change, and it has managed to stay up there. If it were to close, we would lose a piece of history of the city of Vigo. It just won’t close.
A year ago, Diego Rodríguez, M.A., was made redundant in his office. He found himself without any savings or job prospects, so the 27-year-old had to pack his bags, and left his apartment in Madrid to move back to his parents’ in his hometown, Vigo, an industrial city in the northwest of Spain.
While he adjusts to the changes and figures out the next step, he takes comfort in the forgotten pleasures of home: more quality time with the family, familiar streets and old friends – at least the ones that are left, since they belong to the so-called “lost generation” of Spaniards: appalled by the financial crisis, they have fled to try their luck elsewhere.
But one of the things he is grateful for is revisiting his favorite bars, among which is La Iguana, a beloved concert venue that has been around since the 1980s.
La Iguana is a legend in Vigo’s nightlife, but recently the crisis has begun to touch them, too. The once raging bar has become an almost-empty space, and rumors of closing have started to spread around the city. Owner Billy King mentions a drop in revenues, but stays positive that “this is just another bump along the road, and we will overcome it as we have before.”
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Patricia Rey Mallén
Through their organization Woof and Walk, Stephanie Constantinou and Andrea Grane talk about helping the neglected dogs after Hurricane Sandy.
:00-:02 Stephanie: Nothing could go wrong with an animal. An animal can do no wrong in my eyes.
:04-:13 Stephanie: It’s a shame because, you know, when it comes to; when everything is all lovey-dovey, people love their animals.
:14-:22 Andrea: In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a big animal neglect slash abuse problem is actually people who have evacuated without their animals.
:26-:31 Andrea: So we decided to get together and raise donations for shelters across Staten Island, New Jersey and New York.
:32-:38 Andrea: And we set up two locations, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn, for people to be able to drop off in the community.
:55-1:02 Andrea: In three days we got a van full of donations and we headed to East Brunswick, New Jersey for our first drop off.
1:02-1:10 Andrea: Everyone donated blankets, wee wee pads, dog food, toys, you know, beds, anything they possible could anything they had in their house.
1:11-1:15 Andrea: We’re doing one shelter at a time right now, we’re doing what we could do, it’s only two of us.
1:23-1:29 Andrea: The attention from the storm is slowly dying down, but not everything is resolved yet, not everything is fixed yet, not everything is 100 percent yet.
1:36-1:40 Andrea: Well the two of us have been friends for a really long time and our love for animals is something common that we’ve shared.
1:44-1:51 Andrea: Animals are, dogs especially are the only animals that will love you more than they’ll ever be able to love themselves.
1:51-1:58 Stephanie: All they want to do is love you unconditionally, and even when they are upset they won’t even show it because they are constantly wagging their tales.
Stephanie Constantinou and Andrea Grane started Woof and Walk, an organization that works for the betterment of dogs, this year. Their first project has aimed to help the dogs left behind by their owners after Hurricane Sandy. They also provided help for the shelters that suffered because of the storm. While the devastation from the hurricane is slowly dying down, they aren’t. Through their organization they hope to continue to provide donations for and volunteer at animal shelters. Their greatest wish is to find homes for these animals, especially because more than half of sheltered animals are euthanized each year.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Anna Halkidis
Kelly’s Sports Bar was named by Time Out New York as the top Hockey Bar in New York City. The NHL lockout has caused Kelly’s business to drop over 60 percent leaving the owner Gerry wondering where the business will come from now.
Gerry: Well I came in one morning and Jesus was up there on the wall and he had all these sports things around him. It looks like we’re going to have to take the puck away from Jesus even though he loves hockey and he loves sports.
G: We were mobbed for the Stanley Cup Finals. Every night. We had a big crowd for the Kings. Even people that weren’t supporters of the Kings were in. We had a lot of people getting more into hockey. We were getting a lot of business—new business from hockey.
Anchor: Hopes for a December 1st restart in the National Hockey League were dealt another setback on Sunday when the League and the Players Association broke off talks after just more than an hour. NHLPA Exec Donald Fehr said he had no idea when the two sides might meet again and that he doesn’t see a path to an agreement.
G: Oh its really cut our night business by I’d say 60-70%. Its really affected us badly. It’s just devastated us. We’ve lost a bartender every night since there’s no hockey on. We’ve cut back to one bartender. We used to have two and a bar back for the bigger games. People are losing jobs over it.
G: I think hockey is the best American sport. It’s the toughest sport and they’re the best athletes…and I love the game.
G: Some of them still come in. They’re very upset. They’re really annoyed because they love their hockey and they can’t see it. They’re crying in their beer. We can only hope that basketball gets a lot more popular or we’ll just try something else. Hockey was the lifeblood of this business.
For six years, Kelly’s has been Lower Manhattan’s bastion for fans of the Buffalo Sabers. But when Time Out New York named Kelly’s as the top hockey bar in the city in 2011, the bar had a banner year. It was packed wall to wall for the Stanley Cup Finals, which involved teams from Los Angeles and the New Jersey Devils.
The success, however, was short lived, and it had nothing to do with changes in the bar. On September 15, the NHL owners locked out the Players Association due to irreconcilable differences in the current collective bargaining agreement. On Monday Dec. 10, the NHL cancelled all remaining games in 2012, bringing the total number of games cancelled to 526, or 42.8 percent of the entire schedule.
Since then, Kelly’s has seen it’s night business drop over 60 percent. Weekend nights used to require two bartenders and a bar back. Now they only need one.
The bar has found something of a life raft with basketball fans, but they aren’t coming in droves the way that hockey fans did.
In the meantime, owner Gerry and his staff await news of when their client base—and their primary source of income—will return.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Joe Jenkins
If it’s one thing Joy Parks believes in, it’s second chances. Parks, a physical therapist in her 30s, has an insatiable appetite for life. And what has made it stronger is her journey surviving breast cancer earlier this year.
I wanted to die.
By the fourth treatment, I did. Not that I wanted to, but I felt like I was going to. It was… too much. I still sit and go I still can’t believe I actually had cancer. I’m only 37, I was 36 when I was diagnosed.
I felt ugly everyday. It took me awhile to look in the mirror without a wig on or scarf. I wouldn’t look in the mirror. I took one picture when all my hair first came off that day.
The road to recover, the after affects, I can’t make love with my shirt off. It’s my own insecurity because I don’t have nipples. I’ll have them. I can qualify for them six months after being off of radiation, but I’m scarred a little bit.
You know, I always had the support. The support is definitely needed.
My mother wanted to be front and center.
Stress is the number one killer. Stress will keep you sick. I think that’s how I was able to reverse all of that stuff because I stayed positive. I got dressed everyday even when I didn’t have the energy. I did my make-up, got my wig good, forced myself into those heels even though I had to put on flip-flops when I got to work or sneakers. I made the effort and an older lady always told me, “Girl, you look good. The key is to never look how you feel. I don’t care how bad you feel. Get up and get dressed because if you walk pass the mirror you’ll feel 100% better,” and she’s right.
I’m not tick-tick boom anymore. Because I have an attitude problem, I can’t help it, I’m a Gemini, I do. I’m very, not the nicest person. I think I’m nice, everybody else thinks I’m nice but I can be a bitch.
We woke up today. We could have got those words that there is nothing else we can do.
You gotta fight like hell to be here.
You are spared.
Nothing bothers me anymore.
Life’s too short.
I have my stepson, well I don’t like to say stepson, my son, Ishmael. He is like part of my recovery He’s only 5. But he’s another thing that keeps me going. He’s another part of my fight because he needs me.
Joy Parks, 37, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in January of this year. Doctors first discovered the lump on her breast when she went in for a routine check-up. Right after hearing the crippling news, Parks began her treatments of eight rounds of chemo and radiation following that.
“It just felt like it was one thing after another,” Parks said.
“From the chemo to the surgery, to the not being able to sleep, to the hair finally growing back, the black fingernails, the taste buds. I still can’t believe I went through all of that,” she added.
She underwent 15 hours of surgery that included a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction of new breasts using Park’s own body fat from her stomach. Although doctors found a lump on just one of her breasts, Parks decided to have both removed for precautionary reasons.
Her road to recovery has made Parks an advocate of getting mammogram tests done earlier. “To hell with that 40s shit. I think women just need to be tested,” she said.
“This is my second chance, and I am going to do it right.”
Behind the Scenes:
I met Joy Parks at LeFemme Suite, a pole dancing studio in West Harlem. The owner, Carmen Victorino, was holding a breast cancer awareness event in early October and Joy was the guest of honor, having survived breast cancer earlier this year. I was at the event with a classmate shooting video on LeFemme.
Joy was so open about her battle with the disease that I instantly felt like I wanted to know more about her story and her road to recovery.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Kamana Shrestha
Gianna Cerbone-Teoli is a Neapolitan-American chef who makes pastry, pasta and gelato. But what really sets her apart is the fact that she is a woman who makes pizza: a rarity in a world of pizza-slinging men.
I must’ve thrown the towel in on the pizza thing so many times. You know, pizza men that come in to work for you are so unbelievably arrogant that they think you know, they have to be making $2000 a week, they’ve got the hands of gold, I mean you’re making pizza for Christ’s sakes.
I not only bake. I do pastry, I do gelato. And I also do pizza which is very rare for a female to be doing pizza. Because women don’t do pizza.
It’s very difficult. Pizza is male-dominated because of the fact that you use your upper body, you’ve gotta have some killer arms to really work the wood, lift the wood, put the wood inside. My arms are able to handle it because since I was a little girl I’ve been making pasta, so my hands are really like, I have arms like a linebacker now. You know? They really are just all, you know, built on top because of the fact that I’m always making homemade, you know, pasta and doughs and doing different things in the kitchen.
But the biggest thing about this is that most people don’t realize, is your boobs. Your boobs can’t heat up. And most people won’t talk about it because they’re totally mortified. But the bottom line is the oven is so hot, and you, females we feel it in our breasts. And when you work in the oven, your breasts just go on fire.
I’m overconfident with my pizza. Because I’ve gotten to the point where oh ok, great, you’re opening up another pizzeria across the street, another pizzeria down the block. There’s another two pizzerias coming to town. Ok it’s beautiful. I’m happy. The more the better.
I want someone, I don’t want the line out the door, who thinks they know what pizza is. I want the two or three people that are gonna come here who actually understand Neapolitan pizza. And that’s what I’m going for.
Gianna Cerbone-Teoli is the owner and head chef of Mandicatis Rustica, a Neapolitan restaurant on Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. She has lived and cooked in the neighborhood all her life, developing what she calls “arms like a linebacker” from kneading dough, making homemade pasta and slinging pizzas. She says female pizzaristas are rare for a variety of reasons: crafting pies requires a great deal of upper body strength and focusing on a single task, something she says most women—more inclined to do ten things at once—generally don’t care about. But the real problem, she swears, is having breasts. Because women capture so much heat in that part of their bodies, hours in front of a hot pizza oven just aren’t most ladies’ idea of a pleasant career setting. But Gianna braves the heat, from both the oven and critics, crafting pies that target her few appreciative, discerning customers who know what a simple, hearty Neapolitan pie is all about.
Producer, Videographer, Editor: Julie Strickland