Tag Archives: nyc

Calling for Accessible Education & an End to Shady Practices, New York City College Students Join Massive May Day Protests

Calling for Accessible Education & an End to Shady Practices, New York City College Students Join Massive May Day Protests

[NEW YORK, NY]  Hundreds of students from across the city will unite Wednesday to protest the out-of-control cost of college education that has resulted in unprecedented levels of debt.

In honor of May Day, student groups from numerous major city-based colleges and universities also will stand in solidarity with workers from across the nation by vilifying exploitative employer and corporate practices at these institutions, while pledging support for the full legalization of all undocumented immigrants.

Students specifically will denounce the imposition of tuition at Cooper Union, which effectively has ended a century-long tradition of free schooling; the union busting and corporatization of education at Columbia University; tuition hikes and harmful administrative practices at Medgar Evers College; the unfair treatment of student workers at The New School; and the debt-driven 2031 expansion plan at New York University.

The protesters seek to shine a light on the increasingly privatized and inaccessible American education system that is often enabled by unskilled and unscrupulous administrators driven by self-interests.

After individual campus actions in the early afternoon, hundreds of city students will converge at 3 p.m. at Cooper Square park for a rally whose goal is to erect a long-term, citywide student movement. This will be followed by a May Day coalition action in Union Square. Afterward, students will gather at 9 p.m. in Washington Square Park for a “Dance Your Debt Away” party.

For more information on the individual plans of participants, contact »

Victoria Sobel, Cooper Union, 347-675-8241
Jane Brennan, Columbia University, 914-471-2576
Evangeline Byars, Medgar Evers College, 917-932-1348
Laura Trager, The New School, 347-675-8241
Paul Funkhouser, New York University, 703-582-7241

Culinary Activist Jay Astafa Stages Coup D’état on NYC Foodie Scene with Jay Kitchen Vegan Fine Dining Pop-Up

[New York, NY]  Breakout chef Jay Astafa will be sharing a sneak peek of his latest vegan fine dining concept, jay kitchen, at a two-day pop-up on April 25th & 26th at 7pm at New York’s Old Bowery Station (168 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 MAP). Tickets to the jay kitchen pop-up are available through Eventbrite.com HERE for $95 and include an 8-course tasting menu and complementary wine and beverages (read the full menu HERE).

Astafa’s concept —one that fuses modern techniques with a sensible focus on the inherent beauty of spring vegetables— is the latest chapter in the culinary career he began at age 16, when he revitalized his father’s Long Island pizzeria, 3 Brothers Pizza Café, by introducing a vegan adaptation of the family’s traditional Italian fare. Astafa describes his work as “culinary activism” for animals, for the environment, and towards healthier communities. The jay kitchen two-day pop-up will be a preview of what discerning NYC foodies can expect from the culinary activist’s flagship downtown Manhattan restaurant, of the same name, slated to open in late 2013.

Celebrating Spring Vegetables

While most NYC vegan attractions revel in their unique abilities to create replications of meat and dairy dishes through the use of soy and wheat-based analogs, jay kitchen will revisit the roots of vegetarian sensibilities and present dishes that celebrate the vegetables themselves. Astafa honors the fact that it was these same soy-heavy vegan comfort foods made 3 Brothers a destination restaurant for vegans across the country, gained him a cult following, and earned him features in The New York Times, and CBS Nightly News, but he also is eager to show the world that vegan fine dining is not only possible …it can also be an amazing experience. Those dining at the jay kitchen pop-up will experience an 8-course tasting menu with brilliant displays of spring vegetables, hand-made cashew bries, butters and pastas (with gluten free options), braided with modern culinary techniques like Astafa’s balsamic caviar (a molecular gastronomy creation) and playful highlights like “smoking” liquid nitrogen infused caramel corn balls (a testimonial to Astafa’s youth amidst a sophisticated dining experience). For dessert courses Astafa will be collaborating with his close friend, vegan pastry chef, Dani McGrath.

Changing the World for Animals, One Plate at a Time

Animal rights activism has been a longtime passion for Astafa. At 16 his freedom to experiment with resources at his family’s restaurant gave Astafa an opportunity to carve himself out a unique niche in the world of animal advocacy. Astafa seeks to use his culinary activism to show the world that vegan food can be elegant, delicious, and fun, all at once. “It’s all about high quality ingredients that are used to create a vegan fine dining experience” says Astafa. “I love this concept because people don’t usually connect fine dining and vegan together. It’s my mission as a vegan chef to show people that you can have fun gourmet dining experience that doesn’t harm any animals.” Both Astafa & McGrath understand that food trends are governed, at times, by no more than a handful of tastemakers, that these tastemakers can have a profound impact on the way people make food choices, and that our food choices directly impact the lives of animals and the natural environment. For Astafa, jay kitchen is a Coup D’état aimed at subverting NYC tastemakers with lavish vegan cuisine.

About Jay Astafa » Jay Astafa is a 20-year-old, vegan chef with a passion for creating innovative dishes. When he was only 16 Jay created a vegan menu for his father’s Italian restaurant, 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe, where his plant-based adaptations of Italian classics quickly drew a cult following. At age 18 Jay graduated from New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute and developed an affinity for modern culinary techniques. Jay plans to open a vegan fine dining restaurant in New York in Fall 2013.

About Dani McGrath » Dani McGrath is a 23-year-old, vegan and gluten-free baking enthusiast. Like Astafa, Dani McGrath has merged her culinary expertise with her love of animal activism, often donating her celebrated pastries to benefit local shelters and non-profits.

To request high resolution images of Jay Astafa’s culinary creations, or to arrange an interview with Jay Astafa contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010. A small quantity of comp tickets are available for press who wish to attend the jay kitchen pop-up, please send an email indicating your outlet to andy@sparrowmedia.net

NY1 Excludes Occupier Congressional Candidate George Martinez From Debate

NY1 Excludes Occupier Congressional Candidate George Martinez From Debate

[UPDATE] This morning, Michael Nitzky of NY1 announced the postponement of the debate due to the untimely passing of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’s mother. We send our deepest condolences to the Velazquez family. We hope that the postponement provides the time for the management of NY1 to reconsider its position and include Mr. Martinez as a candidate in all future debates, because he was put on the ballot by the people of the 7th District.

Out of respect for the Velazquez family Bum Rush The Vote & their supporters in the Occupy Wall Street movement have canceled their action scheduled for 4:30pm today at NY1’s Chelsea Market Studio and encourage all supporters to join them at 7pm tonight for a rally with speakers and performances at the Yippie Museum Cafe, 9 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012.

Yesterday, the Bum Rush the Vote campaign came up against another roadblock in their grassroots experiment of participatory democracy as NY1’s Inside City Hall barred Hon. George Martinez from participation in a debate of the 7th Congressional District.

“Our longstanding policy at NY1 when we’ve held debates is to give seats to candidates who we consider to be viable…who are on the ballot…[and] getting donations from voters in the district and spending the money on basic campaign expenses,” said Bob Hardt, Political Director at NY1, which is owned by Time Warner Cable company.

While Mr. Martinez has indeed been approved by the Board of Elections, and submitted all required Federal Elections Committee (FEC) paperwork, he was not required until recently to submit an FEC financial disclosure form because his campaign had succeeded in getting nearly 3,000 signatures and his place on the ballot without spending the minimum disclosure amount of $5,000. To us, this represents a victory for people-powered, grassroots politics, not a lack of “viability”!

Over the course of the day yesterday, hundreds of people spoke out in support of Mr. Martinez and against the censorship that NY1 would impose by barring a candidate from a debate because of the amount of money his campaign has/hasn’t raised. The group had planned a rally and press conference at NY1’s Chelsea Market studio this afternoon, with allies from OWS.

This morning, Michael Nitzky of NY1 announced the postponement of the debate due to the untimely passing of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’s mother. We send our deepest condolences to the Velazquez family. We hope that the postponement provides the time for the management of NY1 to reconsider its position and include Mr. Martinez as a candidate in all future debates, because he was put on the ballot by the people of the 7th District.

Out of respect for the Velazquez family Bum Rush The Vote & their supporters in the Occupy Wall Street movement have cancelled their action scheduled for 4:30pm today at NY1’s Chelsea Market Studio and encourage all supporters to join them at 7pm tonight for a rally with speakers and performances at the Yippie Museum Cafe, 9 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012.

The following is our previous advisory announcing yesterday’s action.

[NEW YORK, NY] A scheduled debate on NY1’s Inside City Hall tonight between 3 of the candidates from the 7th Congressional district has intentionally excluded the race’s 4th candidate, long-time community activist and occupier candidate George Martinez. In response to this blatant attack on the free speech rights of a congressional candidate, Bum Rush The Vote will hold a protest action and press conference outside of NY1’s Chelsea Market studio (75 Ninth Avenue) at 4:30pm today, June 11.

When reached by email for comment on the exclusion of Mr. Martinez from the debate roster, NY1 Senior Political Producer Michael Nitzsky responded, “Every candidate who has been invited to appear in our debates has filed with the FEC and shown that they have fundraised and spent money as a candidate. Your campaign has not done so.”

Yet, current FEC records – which can be viewed here: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_detail/H0NY12159/ – show that Mr. Martinez has indeed filed with the FEC, although he was not required, until recently, to file a financial disclosure form because his campaign earnings/spending did not exceed $5,000. This decision to not raise significant outside funding for his campaign was a central tenet of Bum Rush The Vote, which aims to create a new template for participation in politics without large sums of money.

“Nearly 3,000 people from the community have signed petitions to have Mr. Martinez on the ballot, and we haven’t raised enough money to be considered for this debate?” said Jelani ‘Smash’ Mashariki of Occupy The Hood.

Bum Rush the Vote is demanding that Mr. Martinez be allowed to participate with his fellow candidates in tonight’s debate. They will gather with Mr. Martinez outside of the studio at 4:30p.m., along with members of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy The Hood, and allied groups to demand equal treatment for all balloted candidates.

The Bum Rush premise is simple: Controlling politics without money is power, people power. Our goal is to create an open-source, crowd-sourced DIY campaign.  All of the resources we need to accomplish this goal are available to us due to the fantastic technology that we now have access to.  We started this campaign with no money, and are using our resources in a very efficient and frugal manner.

WHAT: Protest Action & Press Conference
WHERE: NY1’s Chelsea Market studio (75 Ninth Avenue) 
WHEN: Monday, June 11th, 4:30pm (TODAY)

About George Martinez
George Martinez is an adjunct professor of political science at Pace University, a celebrated hip-hop emcee and founder of The Global Block Foundation. George is an active member of the End Corporatism Affinity Group of Occupy Wall Street and a primary organizer of Occupy Bed Stuy, Occupy Sunset Park and an active member of Occupy The Hood (a group whose nation-wide organizing with low income communities continues to be some of the most effective and celebrated work within the Occupy movement.) Outside of his Occupy resume George was the former District Leader (51st AD) and former Assistant Director for the NYS Attorney General. He is currently a member of U.S. Cultural Envoy to Latin America and Asia and a member of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. You can follow George on Twitter at @hongeomartinez

To request a fact sheet, high resolution photos, or to arrange an interview with George Martinez or a representative of his campaign please contact Deputy Campaign Manager Cecily McMillan at cecilymcmillan@gmail.com or via phone at at (404) 468-1034. For more information on Bum Rush the Vote visit http://BumRushTheVote.net
Crowd-Funded Pop-Up, Wildflower Serves 28 Courses of Vegan Gourmet at NYC’s LTO June 10th-12th

Crowd-Funded Pop-Up, Wildflower Serves 28 Courses of Vegan Gourmet at NYC’s LTO June 10th-12th

New York, NY — Wildflower is a one-of-a-kind crowd-funded pop-up restaurant that will be bringing 28 courses of the finest plant-based cuisine all with a summer grilling motif to discerning New Yorkers over June 10th-12th, 2011.  Just like the short-lived beauty of blossoming annuals in the field, Wildflower is here today and gone tomorrow.  Complementing the ever-growing trend of food trucks, pop-up restaurants are proving to be breakout venues for some of foods finest artisans and tastemakers. Wildflower will pop-up at New York’s exclusive LTO (Limited Time Only) located at 171 East Broadway and for three days will take patrons on a 28 course journey that will traverse a landscape of diverse vegan cuisine ranging from soul food to raw fusion to a vegan street food tasting menu. Brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday morning June 11th and 12th, drawing from the menu of Ayinde’s popular monthly Brooklyn Petit Dejeuner, Waffle Brunch, which has already gathered a cult-like following by Williamsburg hipsters, vegans, and foodies alike. Crowd-funded through kickstarter.com, Wildflower is a direct response to the demand of New Yorkers who want to see gourmet vegan dining with an upscale  atmosphere in lower Manhattan.  An opening reception with celebrity guests, style icons, and giveaways from Vaute Couture, The Ethical Man, and Evolve Jewelry will follow Friday night’s dinner. A full menu is available HERE.

“Vegan food that is remarkably tasty and robust” —ELAINE LOUIE, The New York Times

Reservations can be arranged at http://wildflowerpopup.eventbrite.com . Seating is limited so reservations are encouraged, but walk-up customers will be seated as space permits.

About Chef Ayinde Howell
Ayinde Howell is an entrepreneur, executive vegan chef and founder of http://ieatgrass.com He has a background in a variety of vegan fare covering soul food, raw, and new American have been featured in the New York Times and Time Out New York.  Ayinde got his start in Seattle as co-owner of Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop, an offshoot of his family’s business. Hillside Quickies became a popular lunch spot known for blasting hip hop during the crowded rushes and being frequented by patrons like The Roots, Saul Williams, Common and Erykah Badu.  Since his arrival in New York, Howell has served as a health consultant to celebrities, acted as executive chef at Jivamukti Yoga School, cooked for media mogul Russell Simmons, and has demoed his vegan cooking on BET’s popular ‘106 & Park’ music hour.

To arrange an interview with Chef Ayinde Howell, to arrange a tasting, or to obtain high-resolution images of his culinary creations please contact Andy Stepanian at 631.291.3010 or email press@sparrowmedia.net

Will Potter at Bluestockings Books, 7pm Sunday, May 29th

Will Potter at Bluestockings Books, 7pm Sunday, May 29th

Please join Will Potter at Bluestockings Books for a reading and discussion of his new book Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege, which was just released by City Lights Books.

“Part history, part action thriller and courtroom drama, part memoir, Green Is the New Red plunges us into the wild, unruly, and entirely inspirational world of extreme environmental activism. Will Potter, participant-observer and partisan-reporter, is the perfect guide… Green Is the New Red is an indispensable book that will change the way we think about commitment, the limits of protest, and the possibility of radical change.” — Bill Ayers

For info about the book visit http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/book

172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002  |  Get Directions

RSVP & SHARE THIS EVENT ON FACEBOOK HERE*