Images of the Libyan conflict find a South Bronx audience

Text, video and images by Ted Regencia and Diane Jeantet

World Press Photo award winner Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya on April 20, not long after he took the image above. (By Ted Regencia)

One image shows an elderly man and two boys posing with spent mortar shells. Another captures a family fleeing a wrecked building, terror etched on their faces. In still another, a young soldier brandishes a machine gun, bullets wrapped around his body.

These full-color photos from the recent civil war in Libya are on display in Mott Haven as part of “Visions: Tim Hetherington,” the inaugural exhibition of the Bronx Documentary Center that opened on October 22, to honor the slain photojournalist and award-winning director of the documentary, “Restrepo,” a feature-length film on a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

A view from the Bronx: The 2011 New York City marathon

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — With their running shoes ready and their energy in high gear, this year’s 47,000 plus New York City marathoners gathered last Sunday in Staten Island for the 41st time that the race has been held.

In South Bronx, home to a number of top African competitive runners, local residents lined up the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 138th Street, near the 20-mile marker, to cheer on the runners.

To see the full photo gallery, please visit BronxInk.org

After midnight with the fishmongers in the Bronx

Text, photo and audio by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — It’s been almost six years since the New Fulton Fish Market moved to The Bronx on Nov. 14, 2005 after 180 years of smelling up lower Manhattan. The $86-million, half-mile long facility houses more than 30 wholesale distributors, bringing over a billion dollars in annual revenue. Critics contend it lacks the character of the old market by the Brooklyn Bridge, and its remote location contributes to a recent slump in sales. Others say the city-owned Hunts Point warehouse has modern amenities that keep the produce fresh and in high demand. Most recently, one operator declared bankruptcy leaving the warehouse 15 percent empty. But on a midnight visit not too long ago, the market still pulsates with energy. And with the thick smell of the sea wafting over the vending spots, there’s no mistaking this is the world’s second largest fish market.

Also published in BronxInk.org

Despite controversy, nun still calls Hunts Point home

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — On a warm and sunny morning a few Sundays ago, Sister Thomas found herself resting on a chair while overseeing the weekly rummage sale at the garage next to the red brick St. Athanasius Catholic Church in Hunts Point. The cramped structure serves as a storage facility for donated items that her group sells every Sunday. At 78, Sister Thomas is still as involved as she was 49 years ago, when she first arrived at the South Bronx neighborhood.

Only now, she’s no longer welcomed by church’s new pastor.

On July 1, 2010, the Rev. Jose Rivas of the neighboring St. John Chrysostom took over following the death of Rev. Bill Smith. Immediately after taking office, the Colombian-born priest dismissed long-time staff and informed Sister Thomas that her services were no longer needed.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

Yemenis in South Bronx can’t forget the turmoil they left behind

Text by Ted Regencia and Mahmoud Sabbagh/Photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — “Papa, take me with you,” Abu Hamad recalled his five-year-old son pleading with him on the phone from Sana’a last Oct. 10. The Hunts Point shopkeeper’s half smile could not hide the worry in his dark round eyes. His three young children and wife are still living in the capital of Yemen, he said. And not even his American citizenship could help them out of the mountain city that is reeling from an increasingly violent civil uprising.

On Sept. 24, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president for the past 33 years, returned to his homeland after a brief medical exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia. He was forced out of the country after an assassination attempt. The departure raised hopes for reform in the Arabian Peninsula nation of 24 million people. But his abrupt return has sparked fresh violence, which has already claimed close to 2,500 causalities since February. On Oct. 16, 18 more people were killed and 30 others were wounded in clashes between Saleh’s troops and his rivals, according to news reports from the region. (With reporting from Mahmoud Sabbagh)

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

Bronx synagogue welcomes Jewish New Year with a last goodbye

Text by Ted Regencia and Lindsay Minerva (photo by Ted Regencia)

NEW YORK — On a rainy Wednesday night at the start of Rosh Hashanah, Miriam and Herbert Korman struggled up the stairs to reach the lobby of Temple Emanuel at Parkchester in the Bronx. Eight other congregants waited patiently for the couple to arrive inside the almost empty sanctuary of faded wood and stained glass. As he reached the foyer, 91-year-old Herbert Korman groaned with exhaustion.

It was the final time that the Kormans will lead Jewish New Year services at Temple Emanuel. On Oct. 31, Parkchester’s last conservative synagogue will officially close, bringing an end to another chapter of Jewish history in the Bronx.

“I can’t even imagine not having this,” said Miriam Korman, as she nodded towards the two-story sanctuary. “We’ve been members here for over 50 years.”

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org

Aspiring rapper slain near Soundview in the Bronx

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

NEW YORK — Taiwon “Ty” Turner was an aspiring rapper who listened to Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, his favorite artists.

“He was very kind, very quiet, he was just a wonderful kid,” Sonia Taylor said of her nephew, who was gunned down on the grounds of the Sotomayor public housing complex near Soundview on Sunday evening, Oct. 9. “It’s a waste, it’s a waste.”

A cousin remembered his smile, and his partying spirit. “He treated me like a sister,” said Crystal Willis, 16, a cousin from Harlem, who gathered with other relatives near the scene of the shooting at 1060 Ave.

Police said they received a 911 call saying a male was shot around 8:18 p.m. on Sunday. Two residents of the nearby apartment building said they heard three gunshots shortly before police arrived.

To read the full story, please visit BronxInk.org