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OLD_New York Stories of Amazing People Fall 2011

Homeless, Not Hopeless by Vincent Trivett

Smiley Lou’boutin (nee Alfred Hammonds) is just one of many gay, homeless New Yorkers that finds strength and community in the underground ballroom dance scene. Though he lives in a shelter, Smiley still finds his own way to be happy.

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British Iron in His Blood by Kevin Sheehan

A 65-year-old motorcycle mechanic has built a cult-like following along with a thriving business in Queens.  His vocation and simple philosophy have kept him physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight, like a boy scout with a monster set of tools.

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Fashion Designer Struggles to Keep Boutique Open by Jacqueline Vergara

Most college students don’t know exactly what they’ll do after graduation. But for some students, even a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean they’ll be able to work. Undocumented students like Lehman College freshman Marlen Fernandez pursue higher education hoping their circumstances will change.

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Sword/Play: The Art of Fighting by Ian Chant


Mike Cramer is Field Marshall for the Canton of BrokenBridge – the Brooklyn branch of the Society For Creative Anachronism. A sword and armor fighter for more than 30 years, Mike now referees matches and trains new fighters, while still participating in multiple tournaments every year.

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Homeless, but not Hopeless: The Story of Alfred “Smiley” Hammonds by Zach Kussin

Alfred “Smiley” Hammonds has a home, but in a shelter. Homeless by choice, this 25-year-old ran away from his Connecticut home 2 years ago to escape his mother’s emotional abuse. But as his nickname suggests, he doesn’t let this get to him.

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Competitive Pigeon Racing Still Flies Through New York City’s Skies by Nathan Frandino

Ramon Mendez loves his pigeons. In Ozone Park, Queens, he breeds, raises and races homing pigeons. As a young gun in an old man’s sport, he’s determined to prove he’s got the competitive edge, skills and birds to beat the seasoned veterans.

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Soil to City: From Upstate Farm to South Bronx Farmer’s Market by Channon Hodge with Nida Nijar

In Wassaic, New York, Ben Schwartz leads a group of volunteers and low-paid workers to tend a farm that brings fresh produce and healthy herbs to folks two hours south in the Bronx. While many farmers pass by these neighborhoods for Union Square or Downtown Brooklyn, Ben believes everyone, especially low-income people, deserve fresh and healthy food.

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Second Chance: An Ex-Con Seeks Job, New Life After Prison Photographed by Ian Thomas and Patrick Wall; Edited by Patrick Wall

After nearly 30 years behind bars, Steven Johnson is free and ready to start fresh. He has enrolled in college, moved into an apartment with his wife and son and reworked his resume. Now he must convince potential employers to share his belief: that he is more than his criminal record.

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Not His Job: Motorcycle Mechanic Bobby Genise on His 52-year Hobby Edited by: Lisha Arino Filmed by: Lisha Arino and Kevin Sheehan

Robert “Bobby” Genise is living what some would consider the “the dream” – getting paid to what he loves. In this case, repairing old motorcycles. He said he’s had this job for over 50 years and that he can’t imagine doing anything else.

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Finding The Right Track: One Man’s Struggle To Re-enter Society Produced by Ian Thomas Shot by Ian Thomas and Patrick Wall

What’s the toughest question you’ve ever been asked in a job interview?

Maybe it’s why you had a low GPA in college, or quit a job after a few months. In Steven Johnson’s case, it’s one that goes beyond a line on his resume.

Steven talks about that one question, as he tries to find the right track.

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A New Contender Among Brooklyn’s Pigeon Racers by Dan Rosenblum

Ramon Mendez represents new blood in the Pigeon Racing scene.

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A Harlem Mother: fighting the gun war. by Tim Verheyden

Description:
Jackie Rowe-Adams is co-founder of the Harlem Mothers SAVE. Ms Rowe-Adams lost two of her sons in gun violence. With Harlem Mothers Save, she unites mothers who lost their kids in gang or gun violence and trough prevention, education and support, they try to fight violence in Harlem.

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From the Country to the South Bronx: A Small Farmer’s Weekly Odyssey by Nida Nijar

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Mike Cramer’s Medieval Life by Paul deBenedetto

When Mike Cramer spends time with friends, he does it a little differently than most: he bludgeons them with medieval weapons. He’s part of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that recreates pre-17th century European history.

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A Struggling Fashion Designer and Her First Brooklyn Boutique by Cheryl Chan

With a $70 sewing machine purchased from Wal-Mart, Jessica Tiffany Martin, 23, started her fashion brand, Nippy Lavern Fashions, a year after she graduated from Berkeley College. Martin designs party clothes at her Brooklyn store at 384 Tompkins Avenue, between Jefferson and Putnam.

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Assignments

Final Cut of 1-3 minutes  due in class Wednesday, October, 26, 2011

Requirements for Written Journalism and  Delivery of each project:

Each final project will be posted on Vimeo on or before the deadline. Remember it takes time to upload and for Vimeo to process you video, depending on the time of day, the traffic at Vimeo and the speed of your connection. This process might take  several hours. If I log on at the deadline and I can’t watch your video, for whatever reason, I’ll consider it a missed deadline and you’ll be automatically dropped a grade to start.

Each piece must be accompanied by the following five written journalistic elements, al f which must be posted to vimeo:

- a 240 character description of the story. (For use in TubeMogel)
- a longer 250 word description of the story
- a compelling headline and subhead that  are SEO optimized plus at least 5 tags
- a word for word accurate transcript of the final piece
- at least three suitable links to the subject, story or theme from other sources
- a short behind-the-scenes story about how you found the character, something interesting that happened that’s not in the final piece, why you created this story, etc (great for blogging)