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Lens on New Yorkers

Bronx-Based Entrepreneur Alawe Fouleratou

From West Africa to the Bronx, a Retail Maven Dreams Big

by Cassandra Basler, NY City Lens

Alawe Fouleratou sold dress wraps in Guinea. Now, she sells “everything” in the Bronx.



Bronx-born City Planner Can’t Get Enough of his Hometown

by Max Burman, NY City Lens

With his pet Cockatiels and an apartment full of New York artifacts, Sam Goodman is not your ordinary politician.


Elaine Thompson

Meet Riverside Church’s Unofficial Gardener

by Christine Chung, NY City Lens

A 73-year-old parishioner took over a messy plot in 2012, and it’s been a garden of blooms ever since.


Lara Land beams at the camera in her studio, Land Yoga, in Harlem. (Photo by Mally Espaillat/NYCity Lens)

Harlem’s Aspiring Yogi Proves Yoga isn’t for the Weak-Minded

by Mally Espaillat, NY City Lens

“It’s the little sparks that add up to something big,” says Lara Land.



The Activist Who Ran for Governor

by Cherno Baba Jallow, NY City Lens

Randy Credico, activist, comedian, candidate, has no time to rest.


Michael Fandal is posing with his magic box in his apartment. (Hezi Jiang/

A Cop Who’s A Clown

by Hezi Jiang, NY City Lens

Michael Fandal fought crime in his police uniform. Retired, he says, he’ll continue fighting it—in costume.


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South Bronx Defender

by Latena Hazard, NY City Lens

Public defender Shaf’on Venable wants to make a difference in her clients’ lives.


Theater artist, Elizabeth Ruf-Maldonado, Ph.D., sets aside her crutches to take out the MetroCard. She is on her way to Boricua College, where she is a professor of tenure. (Photo by Reshmi Kaur Oberoi/NYCity Lens)

You Can Meet Her Off Broadway and In The Heights

by Reshmi Kaur Oberoi, NY City Lens

For Elizabeth Ruf-Maldonado, committing to an off-Broadway path was a ride or die move.


Cram Concepts talks to a woman walking in the park about his paintings for sale.  Shannon Luibrand/NYCityLens

Don’t Call Him a Street Artist

by Shannon Luibrand, NY City Lens

Cram Concepts would like to be known as a mural painter, an art form he particularly likes.



Where Cuban Food Seeks Its Future

by Daniela Porat, NY City Lens

Monica Zaldivar and the restaurant dynasty she heads offer a glimpse into what it means to be Cuban American.


Jeff Jaffe at his gallery, POP, in Midtown.

A Gallery Owner Who Paints a Muted Portrait of His Past

by Arianna Skibell, NY City Lens

Jeff Jaffe grew up in South Africa, whose apartheid policies he found abhorrent. He eventually found a home in art.