ethnic enclaves in New York

from The West Side Rag:



Focus Festival

Bard Graduate Center’s inaugural Focus Festival, April 8-9, 2017, brings thinkers and artists together for a weekend of interdisciplinary programming that draws inspiration from the key themes of our two spring Focus Project exhibitions: Design by the Book: Chinese Ritual Objects and the Sanli tu and  New York Crystal Palace 1853.

Claudia Rankine, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, poet, and essayist, will join Garnette Cadogan, essayist, in the keynote conversation “Ways of Seeing the City” on April 8 at 7 pm. Additional programs include a talk by Michael Puett, author of the New York Times bestseller The Path (April 9, 5 pm); walking tours of the Seneca Village site in Central Park with archaeologist Cynthia Copeland (April 8, 3 pm) and “Branding Fifth Avenue & the Other NY” with Jack Tchen, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America (April 9, 12 pm); and performances of Aaron Landsman’s critically acclaimed Love Story, a theatrical piece about a disappearing city, two people navigating it, and a fidgety, obsessive follower (April 8, 5:30 pm and April 9, 3:30 pm). Curators will offer spotlight tours of the exhibitions (April 8 and 9, 12 pm). Family-friendly workshops will be a special treat for kids (April 8 and 9, 1 pm).

For information, tickets, and the full schedule of events, click here.

Wendy’s Subway Reading Room
In conjunction Focus Project exhibitions, Brooklyn-based literary organization Wendy’s Subway has curated a Reading Room in the ground floor of the Gallery at 18 West 86 Street.

Wendy’s Subway Reading Room at Bard Graduate Center promotes engagement with artists’ books, periodicals, and other publications selected for their relationship to the spring exhibitions and public programming. A series of readings and writing workshops that gather together some of the boldest voices from poetry, literature, and performance will accompany the installation. Over the course of the installation, visitors are invited to drop off books they would like included in the Reading Room. Admission to the reading room is free, as is the wifi. It will be open during all public hours. Book suggestions may also be offered via a feedback box in the Gallery.

Wendy’s Subway launches the first of its monthly Reading Series on April 26 with an evening reading of works by Layli Longsoldier, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Wendy Xu. Read more.

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Date: Thu. Jun 9, 2016

Location: Arthur Avenue Floral 615 E 187th St, 2nd Floor
Bronx, NY 14058

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm EDT

Buy tickets online here.

Belmont, known as Arthur Avenue or the Little Italy of the Bronx — or, to some, “the real Little Italy” — is one of New York City’s oldest Italian-American neighborhoods. Generations of Italian families have given this neighborhood a small-town character and a strong culinary identity.


Though the neighborhood has changed, with Puerto Ricans, Albanians, and Fordham students outnumbering Italians, many shops and restaurants are still owned and operated by the families who opened them three generations ago. And many Italian-Americans return often to the neighborhood, maintaining cultural and economic ties through the purchase of specialty food items that have become part and parcel of their family traditions.


Join us for a conversation moderated by Dr. Rocco Marinaccio of Manhattan College and including Angel Hernandez of the Bronx County Historical Society, plus local business owners. Afterward, stay for a reception with tastings from the neighborhood.




  • Chris Borgatti, owner, Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles
  • David Greco, chef and owner, The Original Arthur Avenue Italian Deli (AKA Mike’s Deli), Arthur Avenue Catering
  • Angel Hernandez, Education Coordinator, Bronx County Historical Society
  • Carmela Lucciola, owner, Egidio Pastry Shop
  • Rocco Marinaccio, PhD, Professor of English, Manhattan College (moderator)
  • Gil Teitel, owner, Teitel Brothers
  • Vera Terranova, co-owner, Terranova Bakery


This program is part of the Museum of Food and Drink’s MOFAD City series and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Check out MOFAD City’s full lineup at programs.mofad.org.


PLEASE NOTE: East 187th Street from Arthur Avenue to Cambreleng Avenue will be closed the day of the event.

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