Goodbye, beautiful. Dedicated to: Joanne Borgella

Joanne Borgella
Joanne Borgella

I am smiling as I recall her voice and how she would brag about being able to eat anything because “plus-sized models didn’t have to worry
about weight.” She proved that you didn’t have to be a size 2 to be
beautiful.

Her face lured you in, and her infectious personality made
you stay.

I would never say, but I secretly loved listening to her ‘life in NYC’ stories and slightly envied the confidence she wore so assuredly. Her presence engaged you, and made you want to learn more. Not once did she brag about her achievements, but rather insisted that I learn what it was that made me special.

I can still hear her voice, and how excited she was about life, and from her appearance, beautiful outfits that tastefully hugged her curvy silhouette, I knew this ordinary girl lived a posh life. She made it her task to visit me every night on my late shifts. Our conversations would last all night until she became too tired to keep me company at the bar. Sometimes I think she stayed just because she felt bad that I had to suffer the late nights on my own. Whenever my manager or the owner would stop by to tune in to our chats, she’d mention how lucky they were to have me. I always blushed at that part. I became so used to seeing her, that when she wasn’t there, everything seemed wrong.

This is the second person I know who died at the ripe age of 32.

When someone you know suffers, a little bit of yourself suffers to. You become more aware that there’s an expiration date on life. I watched her videos as she battled the disease. It’s excruciating to see someone you were once speaking with about the beauty of life, succumb to cancer within a year. I watched as she prayed, and she hoped, and she kept her faith. I watched every moment until that moment left.

I adore you, Joanne. Keep smiling. The world misses you
already.

Modern Newsy

“The minute news hits the wires, it becomes a conversation. It’s just a question of how high [the] volume [of] that conversation will become.” Doug Frisbie
It only took a 14-minute trailer of an American film depicting anti-Islamic views to insight aggressive riots In the Middle East.
Future protests are set to occur in Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt and Tunisia, with the blunt of the violence claiming the lives of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and other affiliates. Protestors slammed down the doors of the Embassy, according to the AP, chanting, “Death to America” and “There is not God, but Allah.”
The films producer is choosing to remain anonymous, despite the public outcry that is being received over the film. In an interview with the AP, a man who claims to be the producer of the film blames the violence at the U.S. Embassy on the “no…

View original post 109 more words

Modern Newsy

As the political seasons roars into full effect,  a new group emerges hoping to take the spotlight away from the Democratic and Republican parties attempts at persuading the American people.

The founders of 99Rise, hope to take off where the Occupy Wall Street Movement left off just a year ago this month in an attempt to get banks to admit responsibility for their donations to political parties and in their aid to big corporations, by providing proof. They believe that failure to provide the proof will result in a confirmation of corruption within the system and hope to bring the injustice of the system to the attention to the American people. 

A mass gathering is going to be held on September 28th, 2012 in front of JP Morgan Chase at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza at 10AM.

According to the website, 99Rise.org, the founders of the new movement believe that, “we…

View original post 151 more words

Poem on Sarai

Whimsical Evanescence in Periwinkle Dreams

sarai sierraA girl in a foreign place, embracing the land.

To follow a dream, alone I stand.

Sitting beneath the bridges awaiting the entrance of the night.

I take pictures and capture the beauty of sight.

I am alone, and yet bewildered by this beautiful place.

Alone I stand, in a foreign place.

My dreams are what bring me, I live them with every breath.

My name is Sarai, and I will not fear death.

The sky is opening and the pictures tear away.

I embrace the night’s sky, for I can no longer stay.

My duty here is done, my dreams linger in my art.

I have fulfilled my life’s purpose, leaving within it my mark.

My name is Sarai, and my legacy will stay.

In your hearts, you’ll remember my story and that fateful day.

Image

Gone too soon, taken way before your time.

When I have a daughter, one…

View original post 6 more words

Missing Abroad: Sarai Sierra

Missing abroad: Help find Sarai Sierra

Imagine going off to a foreign country for vacation, only to never return or be heard from. This is not a clip from a movie, which depicts the growing epidemic of women missing abroad, but an actual occurrence near to home.
A very dear friend of mine, Magalena Rodriguez, is seeking as much help as can be given to find her friend who is missing abroad in Turkey.

Sarai Sierra was traveling alone to Istanbul when she disappeared. She has not been heard from by her family, friends since the 21st and missed her return flight the following day.

She reached out for help and I am doing my part to make sure that she is found safe and returned home to her family in Staten Island.

She is petite, approximately 110 lbs, fair skin with long, light-brown hair. Sarai is a mother and a wife. Her family has since traveled to Turkey to obtain any leads. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Embassy have been contacted by concerned members of the missing travelers family.

Social media is the best outlet to spread the information. So please share and help Sarai return to her worried friends and family.

 

UPDATE: Sarai Sierra was found dead in Turkey this morning. My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to her family and loved ones at this difficult time. Continue to pray for strength for the family!

One of my best friends, Sarai Sierra has been missing since Monday January 21, 2013. She is an American Citizen traveling alone to #Istanbul. She arrived January 7 and has been staying in Beyoglu, Turkey. Monday the 21 she was going to see the Galata Bridge and the Asian side of Turkey. She is 5'2". No more than 110 lbs. with fair skin and long light brown wavy hair. She has hazel eyes and would have had her Samsung Galaxy, iPad, NY State Drivers License and an extra pair of shoes with her.  Her passport and medical cards were still in her room. She was supposed to arrive back in the States on Tuesday, January 22 but never showed for her flight. She doesn't drink or do drugs. She's a wife and mom of 2 boys. Should you have any information please message myself, her husband, Steve Diaz-Sierra, or her sister, Christina Jimenez.  Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. *DO NOT HESITATE TO  FLOOD SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THIS INFORMATION. LET'S BRING HER HOME!!!!
“One of my best friends, Sarai Sierra has been missing since Monday January 21, 2013. She is an American Citizen traveling alone to #Istanbul. She arrived January 7 and has been staying in Beyoglu, Turkey. Monday the 21 she was going to see the Galata Bridge and the Asian side of Turkey. She is 5’2″. No more than 110 lbs. with fair skin and long light brown wavy hair. She has hazel eyes and would have had her Samsung Galaxy, iPad, NY State Drivers License and an extra pair of shoes with her. Her passport and medical cards were still in her room. She was supposed to arrive back in the States on Tuesday, January 22 but never showed for her flight. She doesn’t drink or do drugs. She’s a wife and mom of 2 boys. Should you have any information please message myself, her husband, Steve Diaz-Sierra, or her sister, Christina Jimenez.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
*DO NOT HESITATE TO FLOOD SOCIAL MEDIA WITH THIS INFORMATION. LET’S BRING HER HOME!!!!”—-Magalena Rodriguez

Crime Statistics down in Bushwick: Are we really safe?

Although crime in Bushwick is on the mend, these recent incidents are sure to put a curve on all those prospective seekers of Bushwick as a safe place to live. In one incident, Donyell Burton, 23, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, was found shot in the back on March 11 at the corner of Vernon Avenue and Marcus Garvey Boulevard. He was later pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.

The suspect, Mitchell Wiggins, 19, is still at large.

The violence continues in Bushwick and innocent bystanders are being targeted by gun-toting thugs.

 On April 29th, 2012, an argument ensued at a bodega on Humboldt Street became violent. After one man shot Juan Medina, 24, twice in the stomach, his cousin, Lourdes Guillen, 25, begged the shooter, “Put the gun down. Don’t be that person.” Guillen, who works at “The View”, was then shot.

According to The NY Post “Guillen and relatives, including cousin Juan Medina, 24, were ordering sandwiches at a deli…after a night out celebrating Medina’s last day in town. Three men began hassling them for taking too long. Guillen and her cousin are recovering at Bellevue Hospital in Brooklyn, and are expected to make a full recovery.

But the  crimes are not only limited to shootings.

Police are searching for a man accused of raping a woman on the steps of the De Kalb Avenue L train station in Bushwick.

At around 3:50 a.m. on Friday, April 6, at Stanhope Street and Wyckoff Avenue, the suspect grabbed the victim, a 37-year-old woman and continued to rape her, later fleeing from the scene.

Police presence  has overall sky rocketed  on streets and in subway stations due  to the rise in electronics thefts.Subway stations have seen a spike in thefts over the past year with electronic devices including iphones, ipads and handheld devices.

There were 5 shootings in the last two months in the Bushwick area. Although statistics say the crime rate is dropping extensively compared to earlier years, many are left wondering if enough is being done.

Bushwick Drug History: Blackout of 1977 and “The Well”

Blackout
Blackout of 1977

While walking down Knickerbocker Avenue in the area of Bushwick, Brooklyn, one can only wonder about how the neighborhood once was, before gentrification slowly transforms the town. With new hip places, such as The Well Beer Garden popping up, and overtly trendy thrift shops immersed by hipsters and bohemians alike, the history of Bushwick rings loud through the various residents who remember the crucial events that marked the infamous nature of this Brooklyn town.After WWII, the demographics of the neighborhood of Bushwick shifted from Europeans, and Sicilians to working class African American and Caribbean American families. Soon many poverty-stricken and goverment aided African American and Puerto Rican migrants began to move into central Bushwick. . The rising energy costs, mass transit expansion, forced many of the breweries that vitalized the Bushwick area to leave. As the breweries closed, the area deteriorated along with much of Brooklyn. The major difference was the 60% decrease in the amount of white residents in the area. By the mid 1970’s, many of Bushwick’s residents were on welfare.

According to the New York Times, “In a five-year period in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn was transformed from a neatly maintained community of wood houses into what often approached a no man’s land of abandoned buildings, empty lots, drugs and arson.”[

But that all changed after a massive blackout on the evening of July 13, 1977 . People began looting, vandalizing properties, and committing arson, creating damage unsurpassable by normal standards.  Twenty-seven stores, and many homes along Broadway had burned, creating a firestorm of debris in the street. Many people took what they couldn’t afford.. After the riots, the integrity, and neighborhood bond had disintegrated, and many burned down shops were now abandoned and left as a staple of the tragic event of human desperation. There was a 43 percent vacancy rate in the aftermaths of the fires.

The shopping area along Knickerbocker Ave was nicknamed “The Well” for excessive drug use and drug dealing and in the 1990’s gravitated off of being known for extreme poverty and crime, with 77 murders, 80 rapes, and 2,242 robberies in 1990 alone.

During the mid 90’s, crime significantly dropped in the neighborhood, beginning when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s  first police commissioner, William Bratton, introduced new methods into tracking crime patterns by the NYPD. Murders dropped from 1990’s to 1198, seeing a total 84.4 percent decrease.. Dangerous crimes of violence  in Bushwick also fell 66 percent. By 1998, Bushwick saw 1,500 fewer annual robberies, 1,000 fewer burglaries, and 675 fewer assaults than it has in 1990.

With the rise in gentrification, the future for Bushwick is still unknown. Although crime is still at an all-time high rate, compared to other areas, a massive police presence and support from local politicians proves beneficial for the future positive transformation of this historical area of Brooklyn.