City Lore header
 City Lore                                                                  February 28, 2013  


City Lore Documentary Institute Live from POEMobileNew Yorkers Never Forget
Bronx Rising!Three TreesItalian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir

Hi, Citylorists,

Please enjoy our Tours and Tales March 2013 e-letter!

City Lore Documentary Institute After 27 years of documenting New York City’s diverse cultures and presenting them in still photographs, videos, and radio pieces, we thought some sharing out might be in order. From August 12 – 30 of this year, we will host the City Lore Institute, an intensive immersion program through which current and aspiring artists, activists, and cultural documenters advance their skills in multimedia storytelling. Working hands-on with veterans in the fields of radio, photography, and video documentary, participants will go through the soup to nuts process of producing a photo essay, radio or film short to tell a story. In addition, the institute will provide an introduction to folklore- and oral history–based approaches to culture and cultural activism; writing for the media; interviewing and field research; and fundraising from government sources, foundations, and individuals, including crowd-sourcing. The institute is designed to work intensively with participants on creative initiatives which they would like to fund, bring to fruition, and use to advance their careers. Tuition is $2,500, but we offer scholarships available based on need. Faculty and guest speakers for the institute include Dave Isay, Michael Kamber, Rob Rosenthal, Nick Spitzer, Pam Sporn, and Benh Zeitlin. Please call Elena at 212-529-1955 ext 306 or email to for more information.

Photo by Abby Ronner

The POEMobile: Chinese New Year Join us on Sunday, March 3rd, when the POEMobile, sponsored by City Lore and Bowery Arts + Science, partners with Flushing Town Hall in a celebration of the Lunar New Year. Chinese classical poetry depicting the Lantern Festival, as well as contemporary Chinese-American poetry will be highlighted. Led by poetry ambassador Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou, the performances will be accompanied by projections of the poems in the original Chinese texts and English language translations. Prior to the show, poems will also be projected on the 150-year-old fašade of historic Flushing Town Hall from the roof of the POEMobile. Outdoor projections begin at 6:30pm; performances at 7:00pm.

When: Sunday, March 3, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Where: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
Admission: FREE
For more information: See this event on our calendar!

New Yorkers Never Forget Though a few months out, we want to take the time to remember the victims of Hurricane Sandy and to acknowledge the significant loss of culture left behind by the storm. Though it’s been months since the first waves of Sandy rushed through the South Ferry terminal, many New Yorkers are just beginning to rebuild their lives. We would like to share one of those stories with you. This story is about People’s Hall of Fame honoree Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA and Sideshows by the Seashore. This emblematic story offers a small glimpse into the impact of Sandy not only in his life, but on Coney itself.

Bronx Rising! March 2013 program

Bronx Rising!: Music, Film, & Spoken Word of the Borough The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) Laboratory’s Fall/Winter Performance Series curated by City Lore Folklorist Elena Martínez and Grammy-nominated musician Bobby Sanabria.

The recently opened BMHC Laboratory in Crotona East is a 1,400 square foot performance, gallery, and retail space where Bronx artists can innovate and showcase their work, even before the permanent home to the BMHC opens in 2015. The Lab is a music incubator that hosts artists-in-residence, concerts, open mics, film screenings, galleries, arts retail, wellness events and roundtable discussions for musicians, artisans, and the community to enjoy. It is run by WHEDco (Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation).

March upcoming events include:
Music: The Ghetto Brothers featuring Benjy Melendez; in conjunction with the reissue of their album, Power Fuerza.
Thursday, March 21st, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Film: Tats Cru: The Mural Kings with Q&A by director Mark Kotlinski and members of TATS Cru: Bio, Nicer, and BG183
Friday, March 22nd, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Palabras/Words: for Women’s History Month, a book reading by Maria Aponte, Transitions of a Nuyorican Cinderella accompanied by members of the group Retumba!: Nancy Friedman and Yvette Martínez.
Saturday, March 23rd, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Visit WHEDco for more details for above Bronx Rising! events.

Three Trees, a play by Alvin Eng City Lore is proud to share the news of our friend Alvin Eng’s upcoming play, Three Trees. We featured Alvin on YouTube where he tells the story of growing up in a Chinese laundry. We are also huge fans of his play based on that experience, The Last Emperor of Flushing. His new play presents a historical drama that explores the unique relationship between 20th century Parisian artist Alberto Giacometti and his muse model, Japanese existential philosopher Isaku Yanaihara. It’s a deeply moving story that pays tribute to a man of artistic ambition and those who helped him achieve it.

Where: West End Theater, 263 W 86th St. New York, NY 10024
When: Friday, March 23rd – Sunday, April 14th, Tue – Sat at 7:30pm, Sat – Sun at 2:30pm
Admission: $45 / $35 (seniors 65+) / $25 (students 25 & under)
For more information: See this event on our calendar!

An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir In case you missed it in last month’s Tours and Tales — the performance artist Annie Lanzillotto is among our favorite New Yorkers. She embodies the Bronx in the way she thinks and talks, captures the city’s sense of freedom with her brazen sexuality, and illustrates the resilience of New Yorkers in her longstanding battle with cancer. She’s finally written her memoir, L is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, released February 1st. As the writer John Gennari writes, the book is "A landmark of ethnic expressivity, L Is for Lion indelibly portrays the iconic Italian American spaces of kitchen, stoop, sidewalk, and street; the body as a site of humor and tragedy; and, above all, the family war zone as an uncanny intermingle of poignancy and brutality." You can hear one of Annie’s classic performance pieces on City of Memory.

For more information on Annie and also to purchase her book, check out her website.

You can see Annie reading from L is for Lion this month at:
Where: Bureau of General Services/Queer Division, 27 Orchard St. New York, NY 10002
When: Saturday, March 2nd, 7pm
Admission: Free
For more information: See this event on our calendar!

Where: The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 W 43rd St. 17FL, New York, NY 10036
When: Wednesday, March 13th, 6pm
Admission: Free
For more information: See this event on our calendar!

Please forward this email to your friends and encourage them to join City Lore’s email list!

Enjoy the City! And if you engage in social media, please like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow us on Twitter!

Steve and Abby


City Lore | | 72 East 1st St. New York, NY 10003   t | 212.529.1955  f | 212.529.5062  e |