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Viva Loisaida! Festival flavor is sweet on C

Among the multitude enjoying the 37th Annual Loisaida Festival on Sun., May 26, was Carlos “Chino” Garcia, the executive director of CHARAS, who was spotted next to cardboard artist Tom Manco’s model of the old P.S. 64, the former home of CHARAS/El Bohio, at 605 E. Ninth St. Garcia is now back living at his home in the East Village after a stint in rehab at Gouverneur Health.

Tom Manco’s cardboard old P.S. 64 model even includes the nearby Loisaida community fridge, at right, which Manco took a bit of artistic liberty with, moving it from the nearby street corner to the east of the building. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Also vibing on the vibrant day of Puerto Rican music, art, culture and food along Loisaida Avenue (Avenue C) were longtime local residents Lydia and Isaias Cortez. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Chico Mania, with lead singer Luis Rodriguez, above, was one of the day’s musical headliners. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Laura Sewell, executive director of the East Village Community Coalition, invited people to make mini geodesic domes with gumballs and toothpicks to teach them about the history of CHARAS/El Bohio. Next to her is a “vision board” set up by members of SOCCC-64 (Save Our Community Center CHARAS 64) where people could post ideas for what they’d like to see at a new, revived CHARAS community center at the old P.S. 64, on E. Ninth Street just east of Avenue B. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Paul Garrin, who does media projects for the Loisaida Center promoting sustainable environmental solutions for the community, was keeping cool. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Festival-goers enjoyed delicious food, including (for meat eaters) fresh-cooked beef and turkey drumsticks. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Among the many fans of the Loisaida Fest were fan dancers from the Mencius Society for the Arts, a Chinatown group dedicated to preserving Chinese folk arts and martial arts. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Comptroller Brad Lander helped festival-greeter members of Fourth Arts Block NYC, which was promoting its new People’s LES Web site (, a collaborative effort by FAB and other local arts and preservation groups to celebrate and archive Lower East Side history. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Artist Tom Manco was selling his cardboard constructions of local buildings. (Photo by Everynight Charley Crespo)
Manco’s model of La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez. (Photo by Everynight Charley Crespo)
Tom Manco’s cardboard version of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space a.k.a. MoRUS on Avenue C. (Photo by Everynight Charley Crespo)
The artist with his Loisaida Center cardboard sculpture, at left. (Photo by Everynight Charley Crespo)


  1. Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost June 16, 2024

    Those cardboard constructions are WONDERFUL!

    • Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost June 16, 2024

      What’s the point of that?

  2. John Penley John Penley June 13, 2024

    Why do the CHARAS people continue to perpetrate the myth [ and obviously former reporter Sarah Ferguson too ] that they have any input whatsoever into whatever is happening at CHARAS since the so-called “victory sale”? Why no news update on this situation? You can fool some of the people who believe the CHARAS back-to-the-community myth but not everyone, and since nobody commented on this aspect of your story it seems that no action is in reality being taken now, other than pretending, with a con job table gimmick,to do what they have said they would do for years.

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