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AUDIO SLIDESHOW – In the Bronx: A New Place to Play

By Rania Zabaneh

What used to be a vacant asphalt lot at P.S. 47 a year ago is a vibrant playground today. With play equipment, game tables, a basketball field, a running track, trees and benches, children at 1794 East 172nd St. have a new place to play.

The elementary school students moved around from one game to another.

“I’m already exhausted,” 9-year-old Chasedy Balager said. “It’s so much fun.”

But this is not just a playground. For about 20 students at P.S. 47 who designed the space it is a dream realized.

Last year, the school worked to build the $750,000 project with the Trust for Public Land and the New York City’s PlaNYC initiative, a comprehensive sustainability plan for the city’s future. School children age 8 to 10 took part in the design, budget and construction of the playground.

“They made decisions throughout the project,” said Thomas Guarneiri, P.S. 47 principal. “This is their park.”

For three months, once a week, the staff of the Trust for Public Land worked with students by integrating the design process with classroom learning and after-school programs. The result is one that will provide 1,200 children with a fun and safe place to play.

Besides applying design techniques and taking decisions to fit the allocated budget, the process was challenging and rewarding.

“I’m very proud of it,” said Maria Molina, 10, who helped design the turf field. “I never imagined it to be like this,” she said. “They made it possible.”

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods, Bronx Tales, Multimedia1 Comment

VIDEO – The Bronx Celebrates Holy Week, the Indian Way

At St. Mary’s Orthodox Church of India, more than 170 families gathered in the Bronx to celebrate the start of Holy Week. A story by Rania Zabaneh and Dunia Kamal.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Multimedia, Rituals0 Comments

VIDEO – La Lechonera Criolla

La Lechonera Criolla is an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in the South Bronx.

Reported and Produced by Elif Ince and Rania Zabaneh.

Posted in Bronx Life, Food, Multimedia, Southern Bronx0 Comments

AUDIO SLIDESHOW – Mike Amadeo: Rey of the Bolero

Mike Amadeo, 76, is an established composer and musician. Amadeo was born in Puerto Rico and came to the U.S. in his early teens. Since 1969, he has owned  Casa Amadeo, one of the oldest Latin music stores in the city.

Audio Slideshow produced by Rania Zabaneh.

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Tales, Multimedia, Southern Bronx0 Comments

VIDEO – Tales of the Unemployed

In Feb. 2010, Omar Mitchell, 38, lost his job. That was when his life took a dramatic turn; his girlfriend left him with their child, his family and friends started treating him differently, assuming he’s knocking their doors for help… Yet, Mitchell is not giving up, he’s been spending most of his time between job centers in the Bronx and around.

Video produced and reported by Rania Zabaneh.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Multimedia0 Comments

AUDIO SLIDESHOW – After 64 Years, I Love You Still

The year was 1946. Herbert Nelson returned home from serving in the U.S. Army and his friends held a welcome party. That’s where he met Rose. A friend suggested he should call her and he did. The call was followed by a box of toffee and, shortly after, a wedding ring to tie the knot at Beth Shraga Synagogue.

The Nelsons, both born and raised in the Bronx, have two sons and they now live in the Jewish Home in the Bronx.

Audio Slideshow produced by Rania Zabaneh.

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Tales, Multimedia0 Comments