Here you’ll find a selection of work during my year at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Some of the work was published on Columbia’s own news sites – The Brooklyn Ink and The Bronx Ink. I also wrote the occasional story for the Westside Independent, a hyper-local news blog that covers the Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan.

View From the Passenger Seat, A Cousin Testifies

April 22, 2010 – The Brooklyn Ink

Demetrius Nathaniel walked slowly into the courtroom, looking directly ahead as he took the witness stand to testify against his cousin, Keith Phoenix. Dressed in a shiny, cream-colored button-up shirt, striped tie and matching handkerchief, Nathaniel told the jurors how he was standing “no more than five feet away” as he watched his cousin beat Jose Sucuzhanay repeatedly with a baseball bat. Read More…

Landmarks Showdown! History, Money, and Power Collide in Church Battle

April 19, 2010 – Westside Independent

As the weekly Sunday service of West Park Presbyterian Church comes to a close, a collection plate is passed around to the 30 or so parishioners in attendance. The final notes of the hymn are sung in the basement-level room of the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrews and the congregation stuffs money and checks in the pan. The humble offerings go to help advance the church’s mission of providing help to the community through programs offered to the homeless and seniors. The congregation is hoping and praying that the City Council votes against designating their church a landmark. Read More…

Heavy Rain May Have Caused Williamsburg Building Collapse

March 30, 2010 – The Brooklyn Ink

At 11 am on Monday, Ken Corey noticed a vertical crack running down the side of a brick building undergoing renovation at 34 Conselyea St. in Williamsburg. The crack looked noticeably wider than before, and had grown from one to three inches. He said to his friends, “That building is coming down.”

He was right, and a little over one hour later, the building collapsed. Police and firefighters arrived in minutes. Read More…

Midwood Murder Still A Mystery

March 26, 2010 – The Brooklyn Ink

Gavin Torres never made it home from his first day of work. Walking home Tuesday night from work at Pomegranate, a grocery store on Coney Island Avenue, the 19-year-old was gunned down less than a block away from his home on Avenue J. His family and friends are trying to figure out why. Read More…

Gowanus: The Background

March 2, 2010 – The Brooklyn Ink

The Environmental Protection Agency now has the legal authority to go after The City of New York and eight other polluters who for decades contributed to contamination of the Gowanus Canal. The EPA was granted the power after labeling the 1.8-mile canal that divides Red Hook and South Brooklyn from Park Slope a federal Superfund site, a list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Read More….

Unemployed Compete for Census Jobs

Feb.  17, 2010 – The Brooklyn Ink

The unemployed, who had heard that there was work to be found as census takers, began arriving to take their tests at noon. One by one they rang the bell at Community Board 8’s office in Crown Heights and, once buzzed in, made their way to the front desk where they signed in before being ushered into a back room where the tests would be administered. Read More…

Breaking the Art Rules

Dec. 15, 2009 – The Bronx Ink

Four surrealist paintings hang on Luis D. Rosado’s wall in his South Bronx apartment. The sequence of paintings by Rich Rethorn depicts a horrific version of the four seasons. Skin slowly melts off a zombie’s head, eventually revealing a skull set in front of a post apocalyptic backdrop. An eyeball dangles from the skull, still connected to the socket, and stares back at the viewer. Read More…

The Soundview Tenants Who Fell Through the Cracks

Dec. 15, 2009 – The Bronx Ink

Martha Castro cannot remember how many mousetraps and glueboards she has scattered around her two-bedroom apartment on East 172nd Street in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx. All she knows for sure is that four are in the bedroom where her granddaughter sleeps. Read More…

Gourmet Tacos in a Truck

Nov. 5, 2009 – The Bronx Ink

It’s lunchtime on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx and my stomatch growls, reminding me that I haven’t eaten since 9 a.m.  Instead of grabbing a greasy slice of pizza, or stopping in at one of the many fast food joints that litter the area, I opt instead for Taqueria Guadalupe. Read More…

300 Skateboarders Tear Through the Upper West Side

Oct. 14, 2009 – Westside Independent

NEW YORK – About 300 skateboarders were cheered and scorned at by pedestrians and drivers during the 9th annual Broadway Bomb longboard race. The unsanctioned race began on Saturday at 116th Street on the Upper West Side and traveled about 8.5 miles down Broadway to Bowling Green. Skaters rolled through red lights and between cars during what is dubbed the most dangerous longboard race. Read More…

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