Short Notes: John Steinbeck Giving Away His Secrets?

Jose Vilson Short Notes Leave a Comment

A few notes: I’ve known GOLES for years now, and they do great work empowering the Lower East Side. Please consider donating to them. [GOLES] John Steinbeck offers advice and non-advice for writers. You’ll love it. [BrainPicker] Something to pay attention to: Puerto Rico seeks to define its relationship with the United States. [AP] Students learn how to make college affordable. [Santa Maria Times] Which state has the best public …

So Much On My Mind That I Can’t Recline [On Hurricane Sandy]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis, Shinin’, like “Who on top of this?” – Mos Def in Blackstar’s “Respiration” Flashlights. Bottles of water. Cereal. Baby food. Milk. Batteries. Charged devices. Landline phone on deck. Ready-to-eat foods. As we went through the list at the supermarket, I found myself feeling stupid for thinking it wasn’t going to be that bad. Chalk it up to a New …

Pedro Pietri

Four Letters Down (I Come From)

Jose Vilson Jose 2 Comments

“Four Letters Down” (I Come From) by Jose Vilson (draft) But where I come from isn’t yours I come from disjointed alphabets, incongruent pronunciations of antique names, Burgundy stoned buildings arranged vertically, inorganically With pathways tight enough to hear the shrill screams of murder and mayhem But wide enough to feel like it’s not everyone’s issue I come from white lines plastered on fragile concrete and fluorescent murals On the …

I Am A Community Organizer: The Genesis

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

This morning, on my doorknob, I got a flyer from some group detailing the negative aspects of Daniel Squadron, a young man who’s running for New York State Senate, representing Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The whole Lower East Side has been abuzz with community activism and political stationing, not so much about the presidential candidate (almost all of the hood reps for Barack), but this rather intriguing and upcoming election …

Gentrifuckation (part 1)

Jose Vilson 17 Comments

Every morning, this is what my walk to the train station looks like: That thing I circled is The Ludlow. At first, it doesn’t look too obstructive … Then, as I start to walk down Houston St., I realize how much it blocks my damn sunlight, the energy I feed off of every morning. It casts this huge and ominous shadow over the street; if the sun even came out …

A Tale of Two Lower East Siders

Jose Vilson 6 Comments

I’m a resident Lower East Sider. I don’t teach around here, but my heart, soul, and body still resides here. So when news from this area comes out, my ears perk up. We’ve had some of the more peculiar and iconic events happen around these parts, yet they hardly get recognized because 1) people didn’t care too much about our hood or 2) it’s become the mecca of immense gentrification, …