Posted inFeatures

This group was made for walking: women connect step by step

Head down to Pier 45 in Manhattan on a Sunday afternoon and you may notice a group of dozens of young women in their 20s and early 30s walking down the pier. No, it’s not a protest or a rally, but the City Girls Who Walk walking group. The group was created last month by fitness trainer, Brianna Kohn, 28. When the pandemic started, Kohn was living in Chicago and working as a fitness instructor. As the pandemic began to escalate and gyms were shut down, she was no longer able to work in-person. To fill the void, she began posting workout videos on Tik Tok and social media. And, like many people during that time, she found a new passion: content creator. 

Posted inSmall Biz Spotlight

Chick’n Rotonda

Prince Torre, 35, did not want to always want to become a cook. He came to the United States in 2004 when he was only 16 years old from Aklan, Philippines, with his father after he got a job in New York City.  After school, Torre would try to help out with dinner since his father worked all day. Unfortunately, Torre was not a natural in the kitchen. He didn’t even know how to make rice, and his Chicken Adobo, a traditional Filipino dish, would come out soupy and soggy. He aspired to be a nurse after graduating from high school, but when that didn’t work out he decided to give cooking another shot. He enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education and hasn’t looked back.

Posted inSchools

A closer look at NYC schools architecture

NYC public schools were even overcrowded in 1891. The superintendent of school buildings and architect C. B. J. Snyder was mandated to build new schools to alleviate the issue. Snyder designed the beautiful gothic style buildings that we have today. Inspired by the architecture of the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe, he believed that NYC schools could be cathedrals of learning.

Posted inSchools

Special education official files bias lawsuit

A NYC public school special education official is accusing the DOE of racial bias for paying her considerably less than non-Black colleagues in the same positions. Barbara Wedderburn-Simpson became a boroughwide special educator in 2019 after spending almost 20 years as a teacher, school psychologist, and supervising school psychologist. She was paid a salary of $125,000, which is $14,000 below the annual salary of the next-lowest paid colleague with the same title. Special education directors are not union members.

Posted inLabor

An NYC doorwoman on victory

Building workers across New York City such as doorpeople (not just doormen), concierges and superintendents, who are members of union 32BJ SEIU just re-negotiated their contracts. Their past contract was set to expire on April 20 to be replaced with fewer vacation days and sick leave; union members would have to cover more of their healthcare expenses. Building workers threatened a strike that would have put almost 30,000 workers across the city on a picket line. Just hours before their contract was set to expire, the union was able to tentatively reach a negotiated agreement that would bring new benefits for workers.

Posted inFeatures

Hate-crime victim, Sajan Singh, recounts his attack

April 12 will be remembered for the violence that occurred in two communities just a few miles apart. A subway attack occurred on a crowded N train in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, injuring more than 20, some critically. That same morning, two Sikh men were brutally attacked in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens, which has a large Sikh population. The two men were attacked minutes apart and another Sikh man had also been assaulted nine days earlier.

Posted inSmall Biz Spotlight

Nose Best Candles

Brittany Furnari, 26, and Christian Abbriancati, 26, have known each other for more than 14 years. They both hail from Hauppauge, Long Island, where they met in a middle school math and have been best friends since. They dreamt of moving to New York City and staying in the city after graduating from college—which they did. Their friendship stayed strong throughout all those years and on a boozy Halloween night in 2019, the two friends were playfully brainstorming business ideas. One contender? A $2 pizza slice and $2 beer drag bar. Ultimately the two ended up settling on the synesthesia-inspired candle business, which came to be known as, Nose Best Candles.

Posted inImmigration, Labor

Undocumented immigrants launch businesses with excluded workers fund

Jose-Maria, 43, recalls the anxiety crippling onto her whenever her cellphone rang. She knew it would be the same automated message reminding her that her credit cards were overdrafted. She had received similar calls every week since she maxed out her cards in June of 2020, three months after New York City went into lockdown due to the coronavirus.