Open City: Blogging Urban Change
Walker Blotter 12-4-2010
By Sahar Muradi


5:15pm Columbus Park

North side of Park, left of Comfort Station, back right table, huddle of young men.  Halos of breath in the cold, rubbing hands over a hot game of chess.

5:23pm Corner of Worth St. & Lafayette St.

The Department of Health Hospitals and Sanitation, pages from Walden strewn on the steps. Two chapters, “Solitude” and “Visitors”.  Underlined passage, page 104: “I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another.”

5:29pm 79 Worth St.

Pas de Deux Salon, high-end and empty but for the three young female employees seated in a row against the wall, each tapping into their separate little screens.

5:38pm Centre St. between Worth & Leonard

Sidewalk outside Sanitation building, pages from Walden, chapter, “Economy.”  Passage: “So much for a blind obedience to a blundering oracle, throwing stones over their heads behind them, and not seeing where they fell.”

5:40pm Centre St. between Worth & Leonard

Man talking in Urdu on cell phone and pushing hot dog cart south on Centre, done for the day.

5:46pm Canal & Centre, south side

Fruit stand. Pomegranates like dodge balls, 4 for $5.

5:47pm Canal & Centre, north side

Fruit stand. Pomegranates like dodge balls, 2 for $3.

5:47pm Canal & Centre, north side

Woman in braids and Santa hat with a small black suitcase and a hand-drawn poster that reads: “OBAMA Condoms.” Tossing a light-up yo-yo into the crowd and yelling: “Yo-yo’s and other light-up shit you don’t need. Ho! Ho! Ho! Get a hat and a yo-yo! Get this shit before the cops do!”

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About Open City
Open City: Blogging Urban Change is an interdisciplinary neighborhood blog and community project coordinated by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Five commissioned writers, called Organizing Fellows, are working with community organizations and neighborhood folks in Manhattan’s Chinatown/Lower East Side (LES), Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to collect oral histories and interviews, offer commentary about gentrification, neighborhood change, and produce new creative work around these themes. Read more.
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Featured Profile
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities was formed in 1986 (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) as a response to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes both in New York City and around the country (which included violence by police officers against Asians).
They have two offices – one in Manhattan’s Chinatown (which houses the Chinatown Tenants Union, and the new Asian Youth in Action organizing project) and the Youth Leadership Project office in the Bronx – and have members from all over the city. Over the years, CAAAV’s main campaigns have focused on community-based organizing work rooted in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Although their advocacy and organizing work is focused mainly in Manhattan’s Chinatown and the northwest Bronx, CAAAV’s work also touches upon larger issues (such as affordable housing, war, and immigration) shaping communities all over the world: “Our work is primarily centered around issues facing New Yorkers, but always with a global analysis.”
CAAAV’s mission is to organize and build the power of working-class Asian immigrants, refugees, and youth to change concrete conditions and participate in a broader social justice movement. In the past, CAAAV’s work included organizing South Asian taxi drivers, Korean women workers, and Filipina domestic workers. Several of these organizing projects have gone on to become their own organizations, such as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United. CAAAV’s current work focus on three different program areas: Read more.

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Community Announcements
Manhattan CB3 Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee
Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm -- Rutgers Community Center, Gymnasium - 200 Madison Street (btwn Rutgers & Pike Sts)

Brooklyn CB7, Land Use/Landmarks Committee Regular meeting
Continued discussion on potential 8th Avenue rezoning

Manhattan CB3 Economic Development Committee Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm -- Community Board 3 Office - 59 East 4th Street (btwn 2nd Ave & Bowery)

Read more.

See all announcements.