I am in the Ethnic New York history class, and our final project was to complete an ethnography paper following a specific topic within our neighborhoods. I live in the Lower East Side, a neighborhood with a rich cultural history, so I decided to focus my topic on the separate waves of German and Jewish immigration into the United States, and the Lower East Side in particular. My classmates and I took several trips to the Milstein division of the New York Public Library to gain information from books and old primary sources. We all collected many more online and printed resources to help our essays. In addition, we each conducted interviews. My most informative interview was with a man I was acquainted to who was local in the Lower East Side for over sixty years. He gave me great insight into the lifestyle of Jews in the Lower East Side in the early twentieth century. My interview with him, along with all my classmates interviews, will be accessible with our exhibit boards that will be set up in the gallery from Tuesday, May 16-21.
Over the summer, the Boys’ Varsity Soccer team went to Tobago to play soccer games against some of the local teams. We played St. Clair’s Coaching School (run by Bertille St. Clair, a Trinidadian coach and manager who trained Dwight Yorke,) Bishop’s High School (where Coach Sherwin and Coach Warren attended,) and the Tobago U17 Select team. We won the first game against St. Clair’s Coaching school 2-0. We tied the second game against Bishop’s High School 3-3. We won the third game against the Tobago U17 Select team 2-1. We also worked and trained with the local kids.We put on clinics, showed them different exercises and drills, and after the sessions distributed cleats, balls, and other soccer equipment to the kids from St. Clair’s Coaching School, and Bishop’s High School. In our down time, we went to a few beaches, went swimming and snorkeling, explored waterfalls, and went on a boat tour of Tobago bay. It was an eye-opening and exciting trip, and I am glad I got to be a part of it.
For our most recent project, my graphic design class teamed up with the printmaking class to create prints and posters. Each group of about three students was instructed to choose a social issue, and make two prints. My group, which consisted of Chi Osse, Amanda Liebman, and myself decided to choose Free Tibet and self-immolation as our issue. We first made the designs on Adobe Illustrator. While the designs were printed, we transferred them into Blender, a 3D designing program, and printed 3D plates out of the printers in Studio 5. We then brought the plates to the other art room and made manual prints with different colors, papers, and other materials. We believe self-immolation and the Tibetan independence movements are very important issues, and realized this project was a great way to address and raise awareness for the issues. Our designs and plates are currently in a case on the main stairs between the third and fourth floors, and the prints are all around the school. We hope you will check out the art we made for this project.
I researched homelessness with addiction and mental illness in New York City. The majority of the homeless population in NYC struggles with an addiction and/or a mental illness. My group chose the Bowery Residents Committee, or BRC for short, as our non-profit organization. BRC is one of the only organizations, if not the only one, that specifically targets addiction and mental illness with homelessness. They believe that mental illness and addiction go hand in hand with homelessness, and to decrease the homeless population they have to help the ones who struggle with these problems.
This project affected my view of homelessness in NYC greatly. I never realized how big of a role addiction and mental illness play in homelessness. Our site visit at BRC was very informative and eye-opening. Muzzy Rosenblatt, the Executive Director of BRC talked to us for a long time about this problem and how they help their clients with it at BRC. He told us that the staff tries to form relationships with the clients. He also told us stories about present day BRC clients and how he helped them get their lives together. We took a tour of BRC. There were many bright colors on the walls, and it seemed like a very happy place. We visited the offices, and were able to meet and talk to some BRC clients in the art room and the cafeteria. They all seemed very glad to meet us and be clients of BRC. Actually meeting the people who struggle with this problem was the most rewarding part of the project.