Murals Helping Kids Turn Destruction Into Beauty

In Brooklyn’s Park Slope, a number of teenagers are showing the rest of us what giving back looks like. Groundswell is a community mural service organization that is hosting the Recovery Diaspora Project. This project, created by the street artist Swoon is bringing together kids from all five of NYC’s boroughs with the purpose of painting their Sandy stories from the terrible hurricane that ravaged the area a number of months ago.

The murals will grace the walls of five of the hardest hit area including Coney Island, Red Hook, the Rockaways and Staten Island. In addition to the murals they plan to put in each location, the organization will combine elements of their murals for a piece on the Houston Bowery Wall for the one year anniversary of the storm on October 29.

As lead artist Yana Dimitrova said, “When it comes to Sandy, we’ve talked about the difference in how men and women are often affected by storms. Women are often tasked with taking care of more than just themselves.”

As Al Huang wrote on the National Resources Defense Council’s Switchboard blog, “The grim reality is that the storm disproportionately impacted our city’s most vulnerable populations—low-income people, people of color, and the elderly—in communities that are already overburdened with an unfair share of toxic pollution and health problems.”

The Recovery Diaspora Project is trying to bring beauty where there was destruction. As Tasleem Sheikh, a 17 year old senior at Brooklyn High School of the Arts said, “No one else is going to make our point. We want to keep our voices heard and speak to what really happened.”

As Shawntell James said about the project, “This is one way for people to express that we’re stronger than Sandy.”

Treasure and Bond from Nordstrom Closes Shop

treasureUnfortunately, if you’ve enjoyed shopping at Treasure & Bond, the SoHo store whose profits all went to charity, you won’t be able to do so any longer. They recently closed the store at 350 W. Broadway between Grand and Broome streets. The commendable goal of the store was to donate 100% of the profits to charity to benefit kids in NYC. The store first opened in August of 2011 and pledged to donate to locations like The Edible Schoolyard NYC and the Association to Benefit Children.

As the Nordstrom spokeswoman explained, “Treasure & Bond was always meant to be an experiment where we could try something new to give back to the NYC community. We’re really proud of our efforts, but after two years we had yet to turn a profit.” Over their two year run, they did raise $200,000 for charities.



Rabbi Tully Bryks, Doctors, Lawyers & Others Offer Advice

Today in the New York area, you can get almost any question that you have answered from your armchair. In the age of social media and web access, this can be very helpful to the New Yorker who wants answers on the spot and isn’t sure where to get them. It’s also a great way to get answers to questions that you might feel funny asking in person or that you might not know how to broach otherwise. Here are a few sites where you can get interesting questions answers.

Ask the Doctor: This completely free site allows you to ask your most difficult medical questions. They even have doctors there with whom you can interact and ask questions. This site allows you to get answers to your medical questions. Of course, it is still important to see your doctor, but it’s a place to get help when you need it and to get your general questions answered.

The Rabbi with Answers: At this site, Rabbi Tully Bryks answers questions that people bring to him related to Judaism. This forum allows curious people and those who are soul searching to get answers to their most pressing questions. Rabbi Tully Bryks brings years of experience in a Jewish leader and Rabbi and he approaches the questions with thought and consideration.

Law Dingo – Here, you can talk to a lawyer and get advice about a legal situation that you may be facing. Find out more information about your rights and see what the lawyers recommend you do next.