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 City Lore                                                                  February 4, 2013  


KickflipBronx Rising! Chinese New YearLive from POEMobile
Korean Scrub Writing New York StoriesItalian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir
NY Klezmer Series Season Kickoff

Hi, Citylorists,

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

Kickflip! A few years ago, we received a call from Pete Seeger who told us that if we were truly serious about urban folklore we should be paying more attention to skateboarders. Last year, we were pleased to have the opportunity to develop a teen skateboarding documentary project in which skateboarders learned to document and present their art on video. We partnered with the group ReelWorks and the folks at the Hive Network for digital learning with funding from New York Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation. We are proud to share with you the final result of our (and the teens’) hard work.

Presenting the innovative Kickflip Project mini-documentary!

Bronx Rising! February 23 program

Bronx Rising!: Music, Film, & Spoken Word of the Borough Featuring artists and art forms born in or relevant to the Bronx. After a fall season of dozens of events, Bronx Rising! will resume on a monthly basis beginning with a day long program dedicated to Black History Month on Saturday, February 23rd. The day will start off with a trolley tour of the musical history of Morrisania and return to the BMHC Lab for food and art by local vendors. There will be a lecture by Morgan Powell of Bronx River Sankofa about the African and African-American musical history of the area, followed by a concert with Gambian kora player, Malang Djobarteh.

Join Us!
Black History Month Trolley Tour and Bronx Rising! Second Season Opening
When: Saturday, February 23, 4:00pm
Where: Bronx Music Heritage Center Laboratory, 1303 Louis Niñé Blvd., Bronx NY 10452, take the 2 or 5 trains to Freeman Street
Admission:The tour is FREE but reservations are recommended. Call 718-839-1134 or email to reserve your seat.
For more information: Please visit or contact

Elena Martínez is a folklorist at City Lore and a member of the Bronx Music Heritage Center Advisory Board, which supports the BMHC mission to preserve and promote Bronx music, cultivate Bronx artists, spur neighborhood revival and provide free cultural programming for the community. Together with BMHC Master Musician Bobby Sanabria, Elena curates the Bronx Rising! series, co-sponsored by City Lore.

Chinese New Year Get ready for fireworks, dragon dancers, and red paper. The Chinese New Lunar New Year is cause for celebration and Flushing, Queens plays host to many celebrations, including the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. The parade, held on February 16th, will include traditional cultural performances, such as those mentioned above, along with crafts booths and lots and lots of food. You can find the majority of parade activities at the Queens Crossing Mall. It will begin at 11am at Union Street and 39th Ave and end at Main Street and 39th Ave. The parade is considered the highlight of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The festival will be located at the Flushing Public Library on February 23th . It will be a day-long celebration complete with food, flower arranging, song and dance.

In Manhattan, the 14th New Year Fire Cracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival takes place on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:00 am at Sara Roosevelt Park (Grand & Forsyth St.) and the parade will be on Sunday, February 17th from 1:00pm. You can vew the map of the parade here.

Photo by Abby Ronner

The POEMobile is at it again! On March 3rd, the POEMobile, sponsored by Bowery Arts + Science and City Lore, visits Flushing Town Hall in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Chinese classical poetry depicting the Lantern Festival, verse traditions associated with the holiday, such as lantern riddles, as well as contemporary Chinese-American poetry will be highlighted. 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 façade of 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: 212.529.1955 ext 308 or, and follow us on Twitter @ POEMobile. See this event on our calendar!

Korean Scrub Before you can wash the old year away, or wash your sins away, or even "wash that man right out of your hair," you might want to try a Korean body scrub as a possible first step. Caitlin did – and she gives you an insider’s look in her new Sense & the City post.

Writing New York Stories Though Steve isn’t teaching Writing New York Stories at Cooper this time around, Cooper has selected a wonderful new instructor for the class, David Tabatsky. Writing New York Stories explores classic stories set in New York and challenges students to create their own essays, short stories or dramas with NYC themes. Students will read and discuss works by such writers as Herman Melville, Woody Allen, Norman Mailer, Anna Quindlin, Pete Hamill, and Nora Ephron. Students write exercises in class and stories at home to read aloud in class. Individual attention gives all participants a great opportunity to discover their personal voices while writing about their favorite urban legends, local characters, subway stories, childhood games, vanishing occupations or endangered spaces. Past students have published works created in this course in a variety of publications.

Sign up!
Class ID : 1384
When: Wednesday 6:30pm – 9:30pm; 10 sessions starting February 6, 2013, ending April 10, 2013
Tuition: $425.00
Instructor: Tabatsky
Location: To be decided
For more information: visit the Cooper Union Course site

An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir 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.

Also, make sure to see Annie in New York on March 13th at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute for a reading and signing.
Time: 6:00pm
Where: John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 W 43rd St. 17th Floor, NY, NY 10036
Admission: FREE, but call ahead for reservations at 212-642-2094
For more information: Contact

NY Klezmer Series Season Kickoff with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars The NY Klezmer Series kicks off its 2013 season in its new home at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, with Frank London, who is is one of the most visible and prolific musicians in the klezmer scene, and his Klezmer Brass All-Stars with special guest Sarah Gordon. Bring your dancing shoes, Steve Weintraub will be leading dance after the concert!

Prior to the concert, at 5:30PM, instrumentalists and dancers can also come for special instructional workshops (extra charge for $25/class). A jam session follows the concert. And in a new feature there will be a Kidz Klezmer Band starting at 4:00PM.

When: Tuesday, February 5, 7:30pm
Where: Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 468th St. NY, NY 10023, #1 subway to 66th St/Lincoln Center or B/C to 72nd St.
Admission: $15 (or a full night pas for $35)
For more information: Visit the New York Klezmer Series website or

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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


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