What an East Harlem evening. Esperanza del Barrio brought in vendors of tostales and flautas, an audience of more than one hundred people trickled in as violinist Sergio Reyes and guitarist Beau Bledsoe performed, children bumbled about in the Children's Aid basketball court, strollers and parents lined the back, more curious passersby pressed against the fence for a glimpse of the exuberant and fantastically-dressed Mexican dance group, and all quieted down as dusk settled.
The main course of the night was a series of four movie screenings on the lives of immigrant vendors and taxi drivers in NYC. The documentaries were projected on to the back wall of the basketball court, each telling a story behind all too familiar scenes in New York streets. The lives of immigrants perhaps make for the most underrepresented and misrepresented stories in cinema. These documentaries, presented by Art for Change and the New York Immigration Coalition, revealed the inner hearts and voices of New York immigrant communities.