Archive | Featured Stories

[VIDEO] Cigarettes Down, Cigars UP

Cigar rooms are one to the only establishments where smoking is permitted in New York City. Nia Phillips visited a cigar room in Hamilton Heights to see what’s driving the trend.

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Ethnic America Goes to the Polls

Reporters from the New York Torch visited polling places in the New York City and Jersey City area to ask first-time voters from ethnic communities about their experiences, opinions and hopes for America. Click on the pictures to know their stories. Reporting by Mea Ashley, Yvonne Bang, Magdalene Castro, William Denselow, Shaukat Hamdani, Colleen McKown, […]

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Senegalese Street Vendors Struggle to Make a Living

by Jay Devineni, Senegalese Beat Reporter – As rain clouds begin to gather over midtown Manhattan, Senegalese street vendors make a splash with tourists.  By the time the rain begins to fall, sightseers and shoppers are unlikely to miss the Senegalese merchants trying to sell them umbrellas. “All New Yorkers have umbrellas, but tourists come, and […]

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Hubble Bubble, Health Department Trouble

by William Denselow, Palestinian Beat Reporter — The Middle East practice of smoking of hookah is also known as sheesha or hubbly bubbly. For centuries these water pipes have been used to help people relax and socialize. In Paterson, N.J., hookah bar owners believe the City Health Department is persecuting them. Their businesses are going […]

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Local Caribbean Market Uses Internet to Reach 1 Million Customers

by Christina Thorne, Jamaican Beat Reporter — Andrew Morris takes the name of his business very seriously – over the past 18 years his ethnic market has become much more than just a place to buy groceries. Sam’s Caribbean Marketplace in West Hempstead, NY is a meeting place. It is a community destination where bumping […]

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Radio Show: Option Other

A New York Torch radio show on religion in New York City. Monday, October 8, 2012, 4:00 p.m. EST. TEAM: Executive Producer: MaryAlice Parks Managing Editor: Stephen Jiwanmall Senior Producer: Rebecca Sanchez Director: Colleen McKown Technical Director: Shaukat Hamdani Playback Producer: Lorelai Germain Hosts: Ntshepeng Motema and William Denselow Newscasters: Michael Orr and Nia Phillips Day […]

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Persian Rug Industry Changing, Sanctions Not Only Cause

by Rebecca Sanchez, Iranian Beat Reporter — In the last decade, the Persian rug industry in New York has taken a severe hit, but rug company owners say the tightening U.S.-lead sanctions against Iran are only partly to blame. The struggling economy, a still massive inventory, and trends moving away from the traditional designs are […]

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The Last Italian Market on 18th Avenue

by Yvonne Bang, Italian Beat Reporter —  “It’s not for this store!” Francesco “Frankie” Casamento repeated, a little more emphatically this time. Casamento, a 35-year-old co-owner of the Frank and Sal Gourmet Market in Bensonhurst, was standing in front of the dairy display case arguing with one of the vendors who serviced the store. The […]

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Fight for Flights: Queens Travel Agencies vs. Internet

by Stephen Jiwanmall, Trinidadian Beat Reporter — Sharda Hosein’s phone at Someday Travel Agency in South Richmond Hill never seems to stop ringing– not that she’s complaining. She smiles as she picks up the phone and immediately engages in a conversation with a potential customer. “The sooner you grab on, it will be better for […]

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Dominican Businesses Hurt by Rising Rent

by Mea Ashley, Dominican Beat Reporter — A bookstore that was once an intellectual hub of the Dominican community in upper Manhattan is now nothing but a table full of books sitting in front of the shuttered store. But the closing hasn’t stopped the owner, Cesar Gonzalez, 62, from continuing to serve the community. On a […]

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