In part II of our final episode, we return to Wing on Wo & Co, the oldest continuously operating store in Manhattan's Chinatown to sit down with Mei Lum- the store's fifth generation owner. She explains what informed her decision in 2016 at the age of 26 to defer her acceptance to grad school at Columbia and assume ownership of the store. And also how that ownership has informed the development of the W.O.W project, her non profit whose mission is to sustain ownership over Chinatown's future by growing, protecting and preserving Chinatown's creative culture through arts and activism. Mei and Alexis also dig into how Chinese culture is often appropriated, and Mei drafts a response to an inappropriate Instagram post. She also fills us in on the history Chinatown holds, the challenges it faces and her (cautious) vision for her store, her project and her neighborhood. You can stop by W.O.W (26 Mott Street) any day of the week between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. And to learn more about the store's history, visit their website and listen to the Prelude to the End: Alexis Says Goodbye to NewYorkILYBYC.
Gary Lum is the steward, guardian and current shopkeeper of Wing on Wo & Co, the oldest continuously operating store in Manhattan's Chinatown. Wing on Wo has been at its current location, 26 Mott Street, since 1925 and sells consciously chosen Chinese porcelain. Wing on Wo is a family business and is truly one of the most special spaces in our city. The Lum’s story of tenacity, legacy and loyalty is New York City at its very best. There couldn't be a more fitting interview to close this series with. In part I, Gary shares the beauties and challenges of growing up as the American born son of Chinese Immigrants in the Chinatown of the 1960s and 70s. He definitely knows the neighborhood has changed but he discusses how he manages to work within it. He also talks about the complex roles Stuyvesant High School and the Jersey Shore played in his life and why he tries to cultivate genuine connections with his customers.. And most importantly, Gary gives some insight into how raising his two incredible daughters, Mei and Lena, empowered him to correct the lasting effects of a childhood he considered less than ideal. To hear more about the history of the store and some other lessons Gary taught Alexis, tune into the Prelude to the End: Alexis Says Goodbye to NewYorkILYBYC .
Tomorrow, the last episode of New York, I Love You But You've Changed will air in two parts. Part one will feature an interview with Gary Lum, the steward, guardian and current shopkeeper at Wing on Wo & Co- the oldest continuously running store in Manhattan's Chinatown. Part two features an interview with Gary's daughter, Mei Lum- the fifth generation owner of her family's store. As a prelude to this final episode, Alexis shares what making this show has taught her (people don't like to answer emails/ capturing perfect audio is really hard!), why she's stopping (something new is coming!), what New York City really means to her (pretty much everything!) and the best trains to cry on (the Q-duh!). Plus you will hear some audio clips of wisdom Gary shared about the experience of being a guest on a show like this. Tune in, read the text on our website and we will see you on Thursday. XOXO
From Seinfeld to bagels with lox, New York City has been anointed the pinnacle of American Jewish culture. But what does that actually mean? Is there a difference between being Jewish by culture and Jewish by religion? And do all of NYC’s Jewish residents access their religion and their city in the same way? Judaism in NYC is at once both highly visible and highly misunderstood. In this week’s episode we attempt to answer those questions and clear up some misunderstandings along the way. We talk to Joe, a lifelong New Yorker who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. He names and delineates the differences between the denominations of Judaism that exist in New York City, shoots down a few myths and shares some things about his past and current relationship with the religion. Along the way we learn about the Orthodox Jewish version of dating "apps", gender roles within different Jewish communities, how secular folks react when they learn that eating Kosher means never tasting bacon and why 54% of Orthodox Jews voted for T***P. You’ll learn a lot, and have a few laughs along the way.
TO READ AND RESEARCH:
Pew Research Center's A Portrait of American Orthodox Jews
The Atlanta Journal Constitution's 2017 Survey of American Jewish Opinion on U.S., Global Issues
Netflix's One Of Us a documentary about three young people who leave their Hasidic communtiies
Kya and Jonah are two 12 year old Brooklynites with a lot to say, and on this week's episode of NewYorkILYBYC they say a lot. They took some time out of their busy school day to share with Alexis their thoughts on the peaks and valleys of growing up as kids of color in 2018 Brooklyn. They give their take on local issues including gang participation, police brutality, racial profiling in retail, and the borough's drop out rates while making connections to national themes like our current president, the real value of the Obama presidency, mass incarceration, the Bill Cosby verdict and the legacy of slavery in housing, the workforce and politics. Their opinions are unique and provocative (they also DEFINITELY don't always agree with each other), and they bravely share some things about their own lives along the way. They also give us the dish on Snapchat, the music the cool kids are listening to, the best things to do during the summer in BK (ever heard of Links?) and where we should eat when we are done doing those things. Kya and Jonah hold nothing back, and give us a lot to think about.
TO READ AND RESEARCH:
- The Everlife series by Gina Showalter
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
- Use of force by guards on Riker's Island
- Racial Profiling in Retail
- What's up with Snapchat?
- Wesley Morris's Cliff Huxtable Was Bill Cosby's Sickest Joke
TO LISTEN TO:
We welcome fan favorite Rutherford back to NewYorkILYBYC for a very special episode. This week, Alexis and Rutherford share some premium recommendations to keep listeners busy. In part one, the ladies discuss what they are currently reading- books to make you a better human for Ruth (think Rumi and Ta-Nehisi Coates) and Alexis shares the long form journalism she is currently crushing on (covering topics ranging from NYC's homelessness crisis to Coney Island's brightest basketball prospects). In part two, Alexis and Ruth talk about the TV and films they are currently obsessed with (Atlanta, duh). We also hear a story about how Breaking Bad sparked a serious argument between the Haut sisters and the REAL reason Alexis does not watch Game of Thrones. In part three, your girls chat about the music that they are turning on and turning up including new J.Cole, favorites like Ms. Lauryn Hill and Solange and young visionaries like Willow Smith. Throughout you'll be treated to the fresh analysis you've come to expect from two of your favorite Brooklyn Babes. Links to all the rad stuff referenced in this episode are below. We will be back next week with a new interview.
- The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
- Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
- The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams, Darcy Frey
- The Rumi Day Book, Rumi
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Condemnation of Little B, Elaine Brown
- The Invisible Child, Andrea Elliott
- The Undefeated on the 20th anniversary of He Got Game
- Grantland (R.I.P.) on the 20th anniversary of The Last Shot
- Vulture's "J.Cole Just Wants to Be Himself"
- The New Yorker's "Donald Glover Can't Save You"
- Celebration, FL: The Utopian Town America just couldn't trust
- Rutherford on Kanye for Black Girl Fly
- Alexis on Atlanta's male characters
THE TV WE <3 ANALYZING:
- Atlanta, season 2, episode 8 "Woods"
- This scene from season 2, episode 12 of Breaking Bad that sparked an epic Haut sister argument
- How HBO treats its female characters
- Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
- Disobedience + the book it is based off of
- The Florida Project
- NewYorkILYBYC's launch party playlist
- Hiro Murai's direction of Donald Glover's "Telegraph Avenue (Oakland by Lloyd)" music video
- J.Cole's "1985", "Kevin's Heart" + music video, "Lights Please" and "Work Out"
- Chloe x Halle's "Cool People"
- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill + her "Nice For What" remix
- Willow Smith's "Boy"
- The Weeknd's House of Balloons album
- Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy
The vast majority of cases brought to the attention of New York City's child protection system are cases of neglect, not abuse. Neglect is a subjective term that is applied quite differently in the city's poor neighborhoods than in its rich ones. Letting your child wander independently down the sidewalk in Park Slope is a funny anecdote. In the South Bronx, where more than 30% of our city's foster children hail from, this is often considered posing imminent risk to a child's life- and can result in that child being forcefully removed from their parent. In this episode, our guest Emma Ketteringham explains why our city's child protection system deserves to be subject to the same critique as our country's system of mass incarceration, why it hasn't been and its effect on families in NYC's poorest neighborhoods.
Emma is the managing director of the Family Defense Practice at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender organization determined to give their clients the high quality, multi-disciplinary representation that residents of more privileged neighborhoods have come to expect from private attorneys. Emma manages 50 lawyers, advocates, and social workers who represent over 85% of parents involved in child protection cases in the South Bronx.
Drawing from her impressive professional experience as a public interest lawyer, historical and political knowledge and personal reference library of straight up facts, Emma paints us a clear picture of how the system fails to serve the parents and children it was built to protect. We also learn more about the incredible progress the Defenders have made and how we can help address one of the most important social and feminist issues our city faces. Oh, Alexis and Emma also throw you some book recommendations and some commentary on what makes Cardi B so great. As always, you can find links to everything referenced below.
FOR MORE ON THE BRONX DEFENDERS:
- Visit their website, especially how to get involved
- Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram
TO READ AND RESEARCH
- Larissa MacFarquhar's New Yorker article "When Should A Child Be Taken From His Parents?" and her appearance on the Brian Lehrer show
- Emma's op-ed published in the New York Times "Live in a Poor Neighborhood? Better Be a Perfect Parent."
- The labyrinth of New York City's middle school selection process
- Bill de Blasio and the "tale of two cities"
- Mommy pot blogs and press
- The Atlantic on "free range" parenting's unfair double standard
- Bryan Stevenson on how "the North won the war, but the South won the narrative"
- The death of Zymere Perkins and the response from the media, the mayor and ACS
- Asthma in the Bronx
- Cardi B profiled in GQ
EMMA'S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Emma and Alexis discussed this one off-air. And they both agree that every listener should read Random Family. A MUST for anyone interested in the Bronx, America's indifference to the poor, the bonds between family members and everything else discussed in this episode. Author Adrian LeBlanc spent 11 years living with the people she profiles, this book is the epic, moving and sometimes tragic result.
- Addicted to Rehab: Race, Gender and Drugs in the Era of Mass Incarceration, Allison McKim
- Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
- Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, Dorothy Roberts
TO LISTEN TO:
- Cardi B... duh
Nick E Finn and Mairys Joaquin are a crazy talented Brooklyn couple who define the word "hustle". Mairys is a Brooklyn native (East New York) who is a former teacher and school leader, and current singer-actor-musician-real estate agent-entrepreneur. Her partner Nick is originally from Seattle (read: NOT Brooklyn), but has declared that he will be buried in NYC's best borough. Also a former teacher, Nick is a poet-writer-actor. Nick and Mairys tell Alexis about what makes Brooklyn so great, what challenges it faces and how the city has impacted their relationship and their work as teachers and artists. Mairys lets us know how her childhood in NYC informs her work as an educator, broker and community member. Nick shares how he has reckoned with his role in Brooklyn's gentrification as both a teacher and an artist, and how it inspired him to write and perform in his solo show The Last Hipster in Brooklyn. And as tends to happen when three teachers get together, Nick, Mairys and Alexis got a lot done in a little bit of time. They hit on the beauty of Bachata in the summer, how Jay-Z sold Brooklyn on a basketball team, Spike Lee (of course) and more. Follow Nick and Mairys on their social to keep up with their past and upcoming work. And as always, find links to everything referenced in the episode below.
TO READ AND RESEARCH:
- Mairys' website, where you can find her music and performance videos
- Nick's show The Last Hipster in Brooklyn
- East New York: The confusing rezoning of East New York. And in 2016, journalist and East New York native Kevin Heldman created a four episode podcast and wrote a feature article analyzing the neighborhood. (Note: The content is good, but do not appreciate Digg's description of East New York as the "worst" neighborhood in NYC- whatchya mean by that Digg?)
- A 2015 article about the 55% drop in enrollment in teacher preparation programs like Teach For America in 2012 after the country rebounded from the Great Recession
- Racial Bias in Special Education
- From The Ringer how the Brooklyn Nets are attempting to rebound from their failed attempts to buy New Yorkers fandom
- New York magazine's profile of Cynthia Nixon (they couldn't help throwing a Miranda reference directly on the cover)
- Discounted Citi Bike memberships for NYCHA residents
- The New York Times blows up the spot of every ticket seller hustling in Times Square
- From 'Broken Angel' House to Condos
- How Spike Lee met Rosie Perez (and how to attend the 20th anniversary screening of He Got Game at BAM on April 30th)
TO LISTEN TO:
- Mariah Carey's Hero (the first song Mairys performed publicly)
- Jay-Z (no link provided- do your research)
- Frank White's Hypnotize (the Life After Death-Remastered version)
- Hot 97 and La Mega 97.9 on your FM dials
- Daddy Yankee
- Spotify's Bachata Lovers playlist
- The Bee Gees
Rutherford is a life-long Brooklynite (Crown Heights by way of Canarsie), and proud daughter of Haitian immigrants. She is a creative entrepreneur working on a number of things like editorial curation for Black Girl Fly Magazine and building a sustainable town in Haiti. In this episode, Ruth shares with Alexis her insight on how new Crown Heights residents have changed the neighborhood's landscape (hint: it's not always for the better). She also discusses the oft-overlooked effects of gentrification on Brooklyn's outer neighborhoods like Canarsie. In the process, she and Alexis hit on everything from racism and reparations to Get Out and Goodfellas. They also share their thoughts on the their ginger ale preferences, their plans to call in stunt doubles by the year 2020, whether or not the Nets are really a New York basketball team and the magic of 106.7 Lite Fm. For more from the episode, check out the show notes below!
To Read and Research:
- America's terrible student loan system
- A brief history of Crown Heights
- Alexis' letter to fellow white people living in gentrifying neighborhoods
- Canarsie's demographics (this article was written in 2001. While the statistics have changed, it is still relevant)
- Food deserts
- Operation Impact: An NYPD initiative started by ex-comissioner Ray Kelly that sends rookie police officers straight from the police academy to "high crime areas" that would "benefit from extra policing". This initiative often pairs two rookies together, as was the case with Peter Liang and his partner. Liang shot and killed Akai Gurley in 2014. Commissioner William Bratton announced in 2015 that the NYPD would be phasing this program out, but a sign advertising it still hangs in Alexis' laundry mat on Franklin Avenue. Just FYI.
- Carl Swanson profiles Mary J. Blige for NY Mag
- Wesley Morris profiles Jordan Peele for NY Times Magazine
- Liquorlining: "It’s not a coincidence that there is more liquor stores in poorer neighborhoods. They’re there to make a profit. Liquorlining is the practice of encouraging very high density of liquor stores and other alcohol outlets in low income areas. Instead of the denial of services to low income neighborhoods, its a profitable option for service providers to sell in these communities. It could cause the neighborhood to go downhill and is defiantly taking advantage of a situation that causes people to feel somewhat helpless."
- A list of reparations payments made by the U.S. and other Western countries
- Desus & Mero on Viceland (the discussed studio bear is seen below)
- Jamie Foxx's African safari skit
- Get Out: If you haven't watched this movie yet, Alexis can no longer call you her friend
- Black Panther: See above
- High Maintenance season 2, episode 3 Namaste featuring Danielle Brooks and Brooklyn's real estate market
To Listen to:
- Still Processing's Jenna and Wesley discuss acknowledging MLK's birthday but not his assassination
- FM Radio? Including Hot 97, Power 105 (who will exclusively be playing Cardi B for the remainder of 2018) and 106.7 Lite FM
- Celine Dion
- All 5 minutes and 4 seconds of Biggie's Gimme the Loot while reading the lyrics
And as promised here are two cute AF pictures of Ruth and Alexis making their first communion. They are both long-lapsed Catholics, as Ruth says "much to the chagrin of every priest in the world". And yes, these dress used ALL the lace in the tri-state area. There is literally none left.
Last Wednesday, April 4th, a man named Saheed Vassell was killed due to a combination of fear, ignorance and poor policing. Saheed lived in Crown Heights for most of his life, but he lost his life because his presence in the neighborhood he grew up in made people who look like Alexis feel unsafe. With this and the purpose of our podcast in mind, Alexis reads an open letter she wrote to fellow white people living in the gentrifying neighborhoods of New York City. The full text of this letter and citations for all statistics and references heard in the recording are available on our website www.newyorkilybyc.com under the "Hear Something-Read Something" tab. We will be back on Thursday with our next full episode. Thanks for listening.
Our first guest, Tommy, has been driving cabs in NYC for 35 years. He tells Alexis everything we are allowed to know about the taxi industry including his most memorable passengers, his daily routine and how ride share services like Uber and Lyft have affected his ability to earn a living. He also professes his love for the long-suffering Knicks, urban skiing, chilled Patron and hitting the links when he is supposed to be driving. And we learn about what happens when Boston fans slide into an NYC cab. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.
TO READ AND RESEARCH:
- A surprisingly impressive piece of journalism published in the New York Post: The Challenges of Driving a Yellow Cab in the Age of Uber
- And an even better piece of journalism from the FiveThirtyEight: Uber is Taking Millions of Rides Away from Taxis
- From Wired: Why Are New York Taxi Drivers Killing Themselves?
- From Mashable: Waymo and It's Fleet of Self-Driving Cabs
- Why Alexis and Tommy both really dislike Boston
TO LISTEN TO:
- Frank Sinatra's New York, New York
- Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' (Tom reminds us that they are both native New Yorkers) Empire State of Mind. (This Spotify link is actually for Alicia Keys' broken down version, because ya know Jay-Z is still trying to make Tidal happen.)
- Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver (Tom assures us that there are very few similarities between himself and De Niro's Travis Bickle.)
- 1980s Kurt Russell in Escape from New York
- It blew Tom's mind that Alexis has never seen Terminator. She probably won't ever watch it, but maybe you should? Or just start with this reel of the best of Sarah Connor, because Tom says she is some sort of tech oracle or something.
Consider this episode your warm up for the big game. Erin flips the script on Alexis asking her about her love of NYC, all things pop culture and why she thinks a podcast like this is necessary. She also shares with you how she really feels about Williamsburg, bike lanes and Jerry Seinfeld. Oh, and Alexis drops about a million references to a million things, all of which are explained below. We also apologize to Ansel Adams on our blog "Hear Something-Read Something". Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
TO READ AND RESEARCH:
- The Newark riots of 1967 and the city's subsequent population changes due to White Flight
- Don Imus (who FINALLY retired from public radio last week. Boy, bye) and his racism
- Mike Francesa, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and their many foot in mouth moments
TO LISTEN TO:
- Phoebe Robinson (aka @dopequeenpheebs) interviews DeRay Mckesson on her podcast Sooo Many White Guys
- Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris talk the "generification" of space on the We Don't Know Where We Are episode of their podcast Still Processing
- Public Enemy's He Got Game soundtrack and The Wackness soundtrack
- All of A Tribe Called Quest's discology, starting with Can I Kick It? (Yea, you can. And you should.) Oh, and check out ATCQ's partnership with Vans.
- Dave Chappelle watches some white people be surprised that Hillary lost the election on SNL
- Sex and the City season 2, episode 3 The Freak Show
- The Spike Lee Joint He Got Game
- Join Alexis and the 17 other people who have seen The Wackness
- Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (The season 9 episode featuring Christopher Waltz is where Jerry specifically states that he hates happiness, although he references this many, many times throughout the series)