Tapped In

Written by Our Town on . Posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Our Town.


Nine-year-old author Carrie Berk poses with her book Peave, Love and Cupcakes, which she co-wrote with her mother Sheryl Berk, during a book fair for the St. Gregory the Great School at Barnes and Noble. The mother and daughter team met with and took questiongs from students in the third, fourth and fifth grade.

Compiled by Megan Bungeroth, Amanda Woods, Adel Manoukian

ART AT THE ARSENAL
Urban artists will gather June 18 for The Horticultural Society of New York’s Block Party to feature new and original street work in the Arsenal building at Central Park. The silent auction and meet-and-greet event benefits the Society’s GreenHouse Program, which provides horticultural therapy and vocational training for Rikers Island inmates. One of the contributing artists is New York City-based photographer Sue Kwon, known for her black-and-white photographs of the five boroughs as well as portraits of hip-hop performers.

Why do you choose to focus on urban art and the subjects you have photographed?
I lived in Little Italy for a good many years, which is probably why that is the biggest chapter in [my] book. I was fortunate to have lived in a vibrant, multiracial neighborhood with a wealth of characters to get to know and go on to take their portrait.

Why did it take a few years to publish your book, Street Level?
I have the unfortunate tendency to get lost in my contacts while viewing and editing them. It is overwhelming at times to look at so many images, images that tell a definite timeline of my life. I am trying to be more objective when I edit—it is easier to edit with new work, but not so much with the older ones.

What interests you about photography?
For me, photography was the most gratifying way I could express myself. Not a great writer nor always articulate, I felt completely at ease behind a camera, writing/creating black-and-white images that told a story I had experienced. I was also a bit obsessed with capturing time because I found it too fleeting.

The first job you had in the field was working for The Village Voice. How has working for a paper helped you?
The Village Voice was one of the first publications to give me the opportunity to shoot images for them that would support a story and/or cover trends that were going on and needed photo documentation. This to me was far more interesting than assisting fashion photographers—it gave me great practice in shooting organically on the streets, reacting quickly to whatever may come one’s way when shooting in uncontrolled situations.

If any, what frustrations do you encounter when working in your field?
I miss the days when it wasn’t so difficult to find a film lab in NYC.

What advice can you give to new urban artists who are looking to make it?
Work from the heart, with passion. If you have a true vision, don’t let others try to tell you what “style” to have and, of course, stay focused. These things will help you stay true to yourself and your work.

FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH NAMES NEW DIRECTOR
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, a landmark congregation at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, announced the appointment of Ryan William Jackson as its new director of music and fine arts ministries. Jackson, currently the associate organist and conductor at Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan, will join the Fifth Avenue staff on July 1.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Jackson is a candidate for a doctor of musical arts in organ performance at The Juilliard School. He holds a master of sacred music in organ performance from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University and a bachelor of music in organ performance from the University of Toronto.

Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston called Jackson “an accomplished choral conductor, a brilliant organist, a gifted composer, a thoughtful liturgist and, by all accounts, an excellent colleague.”

Jackson will conduct and lead the 30-voice professional and volunteer choir and serve as the primary organist and pianist for Sunday worship and special events. He also will be the staff liaison to the church’s thriving Arts and Our Faith Committee, which organizes art shows, concerts and other arts events on behalf of the congregation and the community.

NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING
The East 79th Street Neighborhood Association will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 14, at 6 p.m. at the City University of New York, 535 E. 80th St. A representative from the Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct will share crime reports and updates, and the guest speaker will be the director of community relations from the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Representatives from local elected officials will also give reports.

KIPS BAY DAY
The Kips Bay Neighborhood Alliance, the Department of Transportation and Community Board 6 presents Kips Bay Day at the Plaza this Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature live music from the Craig McGorry Jazz Trio, chess games with NYChessKids and Zumba with New York Sports Club. Local elected officials will be on hand throughout the day. The plaza is located on the service road on the east side of Second Avenue and is closed off to traffic from 30th to 33rd Street through July 31.

For a full schedule of events, visit KBNA.tumblr.com.

SENATE HONORS EAST SIDE WOMAN
Each year, the New York state Senate honors a group of women recognized for their outstanding community work as “Women of Distinction.” This year, Sen. Tom Duane nominated East Midtown Plaza resident Jeanne S. Poindexter, Ph.D., a fierce advocate for the preservation of New York’s limited equity, affordable co-op apartment buildings and a renowned research scientist who dedicated her career to the education of undergraduate students in the biological sciences.

Poindexter received her award in Albany on May 15. In his essay submitting her for the honor, Duane wrote, “Jeanne is heroic in her efforts, upholding the true spirit of caring, supportive, broadly diverse, cooperative communities.” He also pointed out her volunteer service as a viola player with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, which performs free and low-cost symphony concerts. She has won the national Carski Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award and was chosen to be a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

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