Posted inSmall Biz Spotlight

Their grandparents had heart attacks. These Colombian brothers opened a vegan joint in a comedy club

Indoor dining, and pretty much everything else in New York, it seems, is back. Looking for someplace new?

VSpot, with locations in Park Slope and VSpot Express in the East Village, is a flavorful spot featuring Latin vegan food. It was founded by Alex Carabaño, restaurateur by day and comedian by night, along with his brother, Dan Carabaño. Together, they opened the Park Slope location in 2006, after seeing the lack of vegan food, particularly Latin. In 2015 they opened their East Village location, which comes with a surprise in the back: the infamous St. Marks Comedy Club. VSpot is the only comedy venue in America with a full vegan menu focusing on Latin comfort food. 

Posted inPolitics

Breaking down Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget

The main thing to note about Adams’ proposed $98.5 billion city budget for fiscal year 2023, released in the middle of last month, is that it self-consciously avoids significant new spending in keeping with the new mayor’s carefully cultivated image as a technocratic pragmatist. The number itself is eye-popping, but we have to remember that it always is for the largest and most complex city in the United States, whose municipal workforce of over 300,000 and robust government programs — universal pre-K, a large public hospital system, a police force with armament and technology that are both military grade — rival a small country’s.

Posted inCriminal Justice

Chinatown rallies against proposed “mega jail”

In spring 2017, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to closing Rikers Island by building four new jail facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. This $8.3 billion construction would house no more than 3,300 people across the four boroughs. One of the proposed jails is set to be built in Manhattan’s Chinatown, with construction lasting until at least 2027. The 40-story jail would be the tallest in the world.

Posted inPolitics

Anita Hill: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Nomination to the Supreme Court Signals Historic Change

I watched anxiously as President Joe Biden approached the podium flanked by two Black women. President Biden was about to make history — yet again. With Vice President Kamala Harris by his side, the first woman of color to serve in the role, the announcement that was weeks in the making was finally spoken into existence. Within minutes of their entrance into the grand hall, a commitment that was over 200 years in the making was official. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman nominee for a seat on the United States Supreme Court. 

Posted inSmall Biz Spotlight

NYC’s Free Black Women’s Library

In 2015, OlaRonke Akinmowo sent out an email to her friends and family informing them that she was beginning a new project. She asked them all to answer the same question: What book by a Black woman do you think every person should read? Books from prominent Black female authors like Zora Neele Hurston, Jamaica Kincaid, and Alice Walker were sent to her. She took those books and some from her own collection out to a stoop in Brooklyn, and waited for people to come and trade books with her, thus the Free Black Women’s Library was born. 

Posted inFeatures

Permanent outdoor dining serves up opposing voices

New York City’s restaurants, known for their gastronomical delights, delivered to customers any time day and night, were hit, and hit hard, since the pandemic began. To alleviate the any time day and night, were hit, and hit hard, since the pandemic began. To alleviate the burden of restaurants that could only offer takeout and delivery and no indoor dining, NYC introduced outdoor dining at establishments that previously did not have that option. Outdoor dining helped many restaurants stay afloat prior to vaccines being available and when the lockdown forbade customers from dining indoors. Cars shared the road with sheds, yurts and plywood chalets. However, after nearly two years, the decision whether outdoor dining is here to stay is up for a very lively debate.