Open City: Blogging Urban Change
Christmas, East Village
By Sahar Muradi


One Response to Christmas, East Village

  1. Elissa says:

    Courtesy of the snow, Avenue A yesterday, much like on Christmas day, was emptied out of the usual tourists. The day-tripping types were stuck along with a jack-knifed city accordion bus which blocked all car access at 3rd Street and Avenue A. The desperately need only the LES’ night-life types didn’t even make the attempt in on the L or M trains or cars from the Island or Jersey.

    Interestingly it was a way to weed out neighborhood workers and owners from others since only the most local denizens could open a shop, although I had to admit my surprise that meant that Hi-Vibe and a fancy pet shop on Avenue A were open. I walked to Economy Candy to see what happened with day-trippers figuring it was the most likely spot to attract them and indeed it was open but seemed primarily patronized by Japanese and European tourists who had heard about it. I talked to the owner and he said that no one local bothered to buy there any more, so it is what it is. Apparently we are part of now a mere handful of LES locals that continued to buy dry fruit and nuts there as well as previously at the lamented Kadouri brothers on Hester Street.

    Yeah, it did feel like a place I still knew and once knew again, as on Christmas Day.

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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)

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