A group hug between members of a Puerto Rican family, integral to a 50 year legacy in NYC, upon concluding their ritual dance at the Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio.
(July 30, 2017) The Sunday processional capping the local observance of Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza proceeded smoothly through sublime weather conditions, starting at 106th Street & Lexington Avenue, down to Third Avenue, then up to 115th Street. They were led by this year’s Madrina Manuela Arciniegas, Founder & Director of Legacy Women, Padrino Juan Gutiérrez , Founder & Director of Los Pleneros de la 21, and Ms. Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, collecting cheers from onlookers as they marched by. The group moved to the plena beat, under a hot sun, undeterred, turning west to Lexington Avenue again, then back downtown towards 108th Street, finally making their way to the festival venue on 109th Street between Third & Second Avenue. Once there, family members of the late Matriarch Doña Aida Perez performed their ritual dance, then concluded with a group hug.
The new street sign honoring Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio co-founder Doña Aida Perez.
(July 28, 2017) All weekend, The 50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio celebrated the African heritage of Puerto Ricans here, on the island, and across the Diaspora.
Marking this El Barrio tradition’s longevity in a city where gentrification continues to destroy such notions was a street-naming ceremony honoring the festival’s co-founder Doña Aida Perez. An unveiling of the new sign took place on ‘Day One’ (Friday) which is designated as ‘Children’s Day’. The corner at 105th Street & Lexington Avenue is now known as ‘Miss Aida Perez – Loiza Aldea Lane’. Her daughter, Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, shed joyful tears, as she gave thanks to those in her community and its leaders for honoring her mother in such a way. Doña Aida Perez passed in October of 2012.
(July 28, 2017) Beloved songstress Linda Viera Caballero ‘La India’ returned to her childhood home, as part of the SummerStage 2017 calendar of featured concerts. Thousands of fans spilled out across the lawn at St. Mary’s Park in front and around the performance venue, eagerly anticipating a rare treat from the Latin Grammy winner who grew up in the South Bronx.
PHOTO: Rapper, record producer, and actor, DMX during his 13th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival Finale performance.
(July 15, 2017) The 2017 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival put a pin in the whole ’13’ superstition with another resounding celebration of the culture. The only word for the 13th annual event finale was “hot.”
(July 10, 2017) Another El Barrio tradition comes to fruition under beautiful weather conditions. The 47th Annual 111th Street Stick Ball Tournament and Reunion Festival drew huge numbers to an area, filled with aromatic cuisine, dancing rhythms, and Puerto Rican pride. Performing on the Main Stage: Eddie Zervigon & Orquesta Broadway, and the Mambo Legends Orchestra. The event is held on the second Sunday in July.
PHOTO: Performance artist ‘La Bruja’ was this year’s MC on the mainstage @ 116th Street Festival 2017
(June 10, 2017) El Barrio’s annual “day before” the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NYC) celebration — The 116th Street Festival — enjoyed good weather and a comfortable turn-out. Here are a few shots for Boricuas abroad who couldn’t be there.
PHOTO: Que bonita bandera… face-painting always a favorite with the kids!
(June 3, 2017) The community development organization We Stay/Nos Quedamos honored the late Dra. Evelina Lopez-Antonetty (founder of United Bronx Parents, Inc.), and the daughter who carried on her legacy, Lorraine Montenegro. The awards presentation took place during their “We Are Melrose” Block Party, held on East 160th Street between Elton and Melrose Aves.