Sunday, September 30, 2007


A week ago, I took this photo of the FULLER BUILDING. This building is more popularly known as the FLATIRON BUILDING because its triangular shape, only six feet wide at its rounded narrow end, resembles a flat iron. The building is located at 175 Fifth Avenue, on a triangular island block at 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, facing Madison Square. It was designed by Chicago's DANIEL BURNHAM in the Beaux-Arts style. Like a classical Greek column, its limestone and glazed terra-cotta façade is separated into three parts horizontally. Since it was one of the first buildings to use a steel skeleton, the building could be constructed to 285 feet (87 m), which would have been very difficult with other construction methods of that time. It was one of the tallest buildings in New York City upon its completion in 1902, a time when there were so few tall buildings that you could be seen from from Central Park. It was also one of the first buildings to become a romantic symbol of New York.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


One of my favorite brunch places is the BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT in Central Park. I took this photo of the restaurant in early September from the Bethesda Fountain.

From -

"Located at the northeastern tip of the Lake, stands the Loeb Boathouse that houses the Boathouse Restaurant, a famous icon of Central Park. Overlooking the Lake it is the perfect place to dine on a relaxing afternoon lunch or romantic dinner in the warmer months.

Many diners prefer the deck where they can sit back and watch the rowboats and occasional gondola drift by on the Lake as they enjoy a salad or refined fish platter.

It is easy to lose oneself in this magical atmosphere and truly forget you are still in the City. Swans and ducks frequently approach the restaurant's deck in search for a friendly handout.

From the restaurant’s seasonal outdoor terrace, you can see Bethesda Terrace in the distance.

Catering is also provided in a large room on the northern wing devoted reserved for private parties and weddings. There is also a small outdoor casual bar that is frequently enjoyed by many.

During the summer months the chatter of dinnerware, glasses and happy voices resonate in the air, as the crowds grow larger and larger. With so many people mingling together, it is definitely the place to dine, enjoy the great view and be seen".

Friday, September 28, 2007


Video provided by "Darulezz"

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the E STREET BAND performed live earlier today at the ROCKEFELLER PLAZA on NBC’s TODAY SHOW. The plaza was packed with people for this live concert which started at 8:30 AM. Springsteen was on the show to launch his new CD, "Magic."

In one number called "Livin in the future," Springsteen sang about current events...things that are happening now but shouldn't be happening.

Video provided by "thejoshuablog"

Thursday, September 27, 2007


When I visited the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University recently, I made an image of a diner nearby called TOM’S RESTAURANT. It is located at Broadway and 112th Street. It became a popular draw for tourists because this restaurant was used for exterior shots of the diner scenes in the popular TV sitcom SEINFELD. The show recently ranked the second biggest earner in TV syndication, 10 years after the last episode aired.

2880 Broadway
New York City, NY 10025-7848
+1 212 864 6137
Open Hours
6a-1:30a Su-W, 24-hrs Th-Sa

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Philippine President GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in New York for three days to attend the 62nd United Nations General Assembly, squeezed into her tight schedule a visit to Broadway. She attended today's matinee performance of the Broadway revival of LES MISERABLES at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 West 44th Street. It's been written that President Arroyo's favorite "international performer" is Filipino singer/actress LEA SALONGA who stars as FANTINE in Les Miz until October 21. Other cast members who are of Filipino descent are ALI EWOLDT (Cosette) and ADAM JACOBS (Marius). Mrs. Arroyo posed for photos with Salonga, Ewoldt and Jacobs on stage after the show when the audience has left. Due to tight security, the only image I managed to make is an unpresidential silhouette with a Mamma Mia poster as background outside the Broadhurst Theatre after the performance. Mrs. Arroyo also attended the Clinton Global Initiative, which was organized in 2005 by her former classmate in Georgetown University, former US president Bill Clinton. While the president's visit to the theatre district was a pleasant respite, Mrs. Arroyo was hounded later by some Filipino activists outside the Waldorf over the broadband scandal, political killings and a nurse recruitment agency. Mamma Mia!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


In addition to the big art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, Guggenheim Museum and MOMA, Manhattan boasts numerous smaller unique museums including the MUSEUM OF SEX. This museum, the "educational sexual epicenter," is located at 233 Fifth Avenue near 27th Street in Manhattan. Founded by Daniel Gluck, the museum opened on October 5, 2002. It is an organization dedicated to "the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality." The museum focuses on a variety of sexual preferences and subcultures, including lesbian and gay history and erotica, BDSM, pornography, and sex work. Although the museum's exhibits are presented in an educational format, they feature explicit content. Because of this, visitors must be 18 years old or older. The official mission of the Museum of Sex is "to preserve and present the history, evolution, and cultural significance of human sexuality. In its exhibitions, programs and publications, The Museum of Sex is committed to open discourse and exchange, and to bringing to the public the best in current scholarship."

Museum of Sex
233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street)
New York, NY 10016
General Information: (212) 689-6337

Monday, September 24, 2007


I took photos of these lovely roses outside a flower shop on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. There's a wide variety of colors, each associated with specific symbolism.


The ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion, the RED rose also conveys respect and the creative spirit of love. Representing true love stronger than thorns, the red rose is known universally as the lover’s rose.

Representing, humility, purity and innocence, the WHITE rose—often referred to as the bridal rose—is associated with young love. In Scotland, when the white rose bloomed in autumn, it was seen as a token of early marriage. Also symbolizing truth and reverence, it sends a message of loyalty and says "I am worthy of you."

While in Victorian times, the YELLOW rose symbolized jealousy, today it represents friendship, joy and caring. A bouquet of these sun-filled blossoms conveys warmth, gladness and affection.

Symbolizing gentility, femininity, elegance and refinement, the PINK rose also carries additional meanings depending on its hue. A deep pink conveys gratitude and appreciation, while pale shades connote grace and gentleness, admiration and happiness.

With their warm, vibrant tones, orange roses symbolize enthusiasm and desire. If you’re looking for a way to express admiration and attraction—with an underlying message of passion and excitement—then send a bouquet filled with these fiery blooms.

Thought to be almost mystical in nature, with symbolism tied to enchantment, desire and even proceeding cautiously, it’s not surprising that LILAC and PURPLE roses send a message of love at first sight.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


The 21st Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction was held earlier today, Sunday, September 23 in Shubert Alley & West 44th Street. In this event, theater fans were able to pose with Broadway stars for photos in exchange for donation, buy that lost cast recording, signed Broadway memorabilia such as show posters and Playbills, rare costume sketches or special gifts one can’t find anywhere. Participating artists included Vanessa and Lyn Redgrave, Bernadette Peters, Bebe Neuwirth, David Hyde Pierce, Sir Ian McKellen among others. Proceeds from the event go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Photos above were taken at the flea market at Shubert Alley and 44th Street.

From -

The Broadway Flea Market, held each September in Shubert Alley, brings out the biggest and brightest stars from Broadway, Off-Broadway, Dance and daytime television to greet fans and sell memorabilia. Casts and company members of dozens of shows are joined by theatrical unions and guilds, producing organizations, local merchants, and many other groups to sell costume pieces, autographs, original scripts, rare photographs, and so much more. The event also includes the Celebrity Table, where celebrities gather throughout the day to sign autographs and pose for photos in exchange for donations. The highlight of the Flea Market is the Grand Auction, in which singular items and opportunities such as walk-on roles in Broadway shows, television programs and films are available to the highest bidder.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This is the CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, located on Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street in Manhattan's Morningside Heights. I made this image in early September, 2007. Representing medieval architecture against the backdrop of a very modern city, the cathedral is currently undergoing construction. When completed, it will be one of the largest religious edifices in the world. The church is the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the Seat of its Bishop.

From Wikipedia:

The building as it appears today conforms primarily to a second design campaign from the prolific Gothic Revival architect Ralph Adams Cram of the Boston firm Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson. Without slavishly copying any one historical model, and without compromising its authentic stone-on-stone construction by using modern steel girders, Saint John the Divine is a refined exercise in the 13th century High Gothic style of northern France. The Cathedral is almost exactly two football fields in length (601 feet or 186 meters) and the nave ceiling reaches 124 feet (37.7 meters) high. It is the longest Gothic nave in the world, at 230 feet. Seven chapels radiating from the ambulatory behind the choir are each in a distinctive nationalistic style, some of them borrowing from outside the gothic vocabulary. Known as the "Chapels of the Tongues" (Ansgar, Boniface, Columba, Savior, Martin, Ambrose and James), their designs are meant to represent each of the seven most prominent ethnic groups to first immigrate to New York City upon the opening of Ellis Island in 1892 (the same year the Cathedral began construction). In the center, just beyond the crossing, is the large, raised High Altar, behind which is a wrought iron enclosure containing the Gothic style tomb of the man who originally conceived and founded the cathedral, The Right Reverend Horatio Potter, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L., Bishop of New York. Later Episcopalian bishops of New York, and other notables of the church, are entombed in side chapels. Directly below this is a large hall in the basement, used regularly to feed the poor and homeless, and for meetings, and multiple crypts. On the grounds of the Cathedral, toward the south, are several buildings (including a Synod Hall and the Cathedral school), as well as a large bronze work of public art by the Cathedral's sculptor-in-residence, Greg Wyatt, known as the Peace Fountain, which has been both strongly praised and strongly criticized.


I snapped this image of ANDY WARHOL's 32 CAMPBELL SOUP CANS when I visited the Museum of Modern Art recently.

Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Cans. Acrylic on canvas. 32 paintings each 20x16" (50.8x40.6cm). In the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Warhol first exhibited his series of Campbell's soup can paintings in 1962, with the bottom of each painting resting on a shelf like a can would in a supermarket. There are 32 paintings in the series, the number of varieties of soup sold at the time by Campbell's.

If you'd imagined Warhold stocking his pantry with cans of soup, then eating a can as he'd finished a painting, well it seems not. According to Moma's website, Warhold used a product list from Campbell's to assign a different flavor to each painting.

Warhol also apparently didn't have an order he wanted the paintings displayed in. Moma displays the paintings "in rows that reflect the chronological order in which [the soups] were introduced, beginning with 'Tomato' in the upper left, which debuted in 1897." So if you paint a series and want them displayed in a particular order, make sure you make a note of this somewhere. The back edge of the canvases is probably the best as then it'll not get separated from the painting (though it may get hidden if the paintings are framed).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BROADWAY on BROADWAY 2007 hosted by LANCE BASS featuring LEA SALONGA and other stars

Video of LEA SALONGA performing on stage provided by "cattycat"

BROADWAY ON BROADWAY, a free annual concert celebrating Broadway music was held in Time Square earlier today. Hosted by HAIRSPRAY star and NSYNC member, LANCE BASS, the concert was co-produced by the League of American Theatres and Producers and the Times Square Alliance. The concert featured appearances by stars from upcoming productions, and dazzling performances from some of Broadway’s most beloved shows, including Avenue Q, Chicago, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, Grease, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Wicked, and Hairspray.The event also featured special appearances by CHAZZ PALMINTERI, appearing this season in the Broadway revival of his show, A BRONX TALE, as well as SETH RUDESKY. For the first time, the show also featured the Broadway’s Biggest Fan competition. This is Broadway on Broadway's 16th year.

Photos show the concert venue with a blizzard of colorful confetti at the end of the show, host LANCE BASS before the show and on the giant screen. One of the guest performers was celebrated Filipino stage singer/actress and Tony Award winner LEA SALONGA. She performed "I Dreamed a Dream" from LES MISERABLES. SALONGA plays the role of Fantine at the Broadhurst Theatre until October 21, 2007.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Earlier today, I took snapshots of the German-American Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue. It was a colorful celebration of German culture and heritage.

From the Steuben Parade website:

The German-American Steuben Parade was founded in 1957 by German-American clubs, and these clubs are still the backbone of this annual tradition. Aside from all the clubs from the Greater New York region, who march regularly, German-American clubs from all parts of the United States have been marching up Fifth Avenue in the past, including groups from Texas, California, Florida and Wisconsin.
Since 1957, German-Americans have celebrated their heritage and the friendship between the "alte Heimat" and their new home with one of the most colorful, most spectacular Parades in New York City.

In 2007, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary with the biggest Parade ever. We are expecting around 50 clubs from Germany, among them music and dance groups, carnival groups and marksmen, and, of course, groups wearing historic costumes or their traditional "tracht". They come from all parts of Germany, from Bavaria to the Baltic Sea, from the Black Forest to Berlin, and they bring back beloved traditions.

Leading the 50th Anniversary Parade will be two very special guests:
As Grand Marshal we welcome the Hon. Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and highest ranking German-born politician in US history. As Guest of Honor we welcome the Hon. Dr. Helmut Kohl. The former German Chancellor has been a champion for German-American friendship throughout his life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Here is a view of the APPLE STORE FIFTH AVENUE’s staircase leading from the street. I took this photo when I attended a workshop at the store. Both the Fifth Avenue and SOHO stores offer free workshops on getting started with the Apple computers, and use of the iPhone, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.

There are 538 sheets of glass in the Apple Store Fifth Avenue structure, supported by hundreds of metal bolts. A custom-made cylindrical elevator occupies the center of the space. The glass cube lets in natural light throughout the store. The massive interior is dominated in the middle by Mac and iPod displays and flanked by registers on one side and forty-five feet of Genius Bar. The store employs 300 “amazingly-well trained people” culled from more than 5000 applicants. The Genius Bar (including the Studio section and the iPod section) employs 96 full-time people. Unlike the SOHO store, there is no theater, the center point for training and educational program.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


One beautiful Sunday morning at the eastside of the lake in Central Park near the Boathouse.

Monday, September 10, 2007

REMEMBERING Septtember 11, 2001

Photo above shows the World Trade Center site taken last September 9, 2007. Although the 6th anniversary rites were not held at the WTC site this year, families of those who died during the September 11 attacks were allowed to descend the Pit at Ground Zero to leave roses at makeshift reflecting pools.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Youtube video from sheikyurbhutti

The PHILIPPINE MADRIGAL SINGERS did a sensational concert in New York Sunday night, September 9th. I attended the rare performance of the group at the ST. VINCENT FERRER CHURCH located at Lexington and 66th Street on Manhattan's Upper Eastside. I thought that the venue was perfect for this concert. Their eclectic repretoire was truly enjoyable but the most applauded numbers were Sir Elton John's "Circle of Life" and one of my personal favorites, Wency Cornejo's "Hanggang." The PHILIPPINE MADRIGAL SINGERS began as the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-based chamber ensemble 43 years ago, and is now considered one of the world's best choirs having consistently won all the top prizes in prestigious international choral competitions. The MADZ, as they are affectionately known, is presently under the leadership of MARK ANTHONY CARPIO.

Last month, the MADZ won the prestigious European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Arezzo, Italy. It is the first and only choir to win the top prize twice in what is known as the choral Olympics of the world. (Youtube posted by "Kuangchien")

From the

The Philippine Madrigal Singers (affectionately known as the “Madz”) was founded in 1963 by National Artist for Music, Professor Andrea O. Veneracion. The Madz is mostly composed of students, faculty and alumni from the University of the Philippines. The group’s trademark performance stance, singing in a semi-circle without a conductor, is instantly recognizable. A standard Madz performance clearly exhibits the seamless fusion of their musical virtuosity, technical proficiency and soulful singing. Their highly eclectic repertoire spans the breadth and length of vocal music: from Renaissance madrigals to the avant-garde, from Filipino and international folksongs to the latest pop hits, even from the most cerebral choral masterpieces to the most humorous of novelty numbers. This world-class choir can honestly sing anything with authenticity and professionalism while keeping their audience thoroughly entertained.

The group’s initial foray into the international scene took place in 1969 at the First Choruses of the World Festival held at the Lincoln Center in New York City with a critically-acclaimed performance that marked the beginning of a distinguished and illustrious musical legacy. To date, the Madz has consistently won top prizes in the most prestigious choral competitions held at Spittal, Austria; Arezzo and Gorizia in Italy; Neuchatel, Switzerland; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Tolosa, Spain and Marktoberdorf, Germany. It was in June of 1997 when the Madz sealed their stature as the World’s Best Choir when they bagged the grand prize at the ultimate competition of global choral champions. The Philippine Madrigal Singers won over five other prizewinning European choirs at the Grand Prix European de Chant Choral Competition in Tours, France. Recently, the Madz won top prizes in the Certamenes Internacional Habaneras y Polifonia held in Torrevieja, Spain in 2004.

As Philippine ambassadors of culture and goodwill, the Madz have had the pleasure and privilege of giving command performances for royalty and heads of state. These include Pope Paul 6th, Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, King Juan Carlos de Bourbon and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The Madz have over 35 Philippine and international recordings.. Also published s the award-winning book A Life Shaped By Music that chronicles the life of Prof. Veneracion and the history of the Madz. Many of the Madz's original choral arrangements and compositions are also in publication.

This choral institution has produced more than 200 choral and vocal pedagogues from its ranks, actively and constantly shaping the local and international choral landscape. Madz alumni are much sought-after as singers, conductors, arrangers and music educators. Its corps of composers and musical arrangers continue to produce new compositions and choral settings of Philippine music, thus contributing to the global growth of choral literature.

As resident artists of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, outreach concerts have taken the Madz to far-flung areas seldom reached by most performing artists. Averaging two international concert tours per year, the Madz relentlessly engages in the promotion of Philippine music and the Filipino Artist globally.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


New York is a city of parades. It's almost 2 months away from Halloween, but the Third Annual ART PARADE held Saturday, September 8th made it look like Halloween on a mid summer-like afternoon. Whatever "art" they were trying to express, the parade was fun to watch. Deitch Projects, Creative Time and Paper Magazine sponsored the third annual Art Parade in SOHO. The parade route began on Houston through West Broadway, and ended on Grand Street. Following the success of the past two Art Parades, artists, performers and designers created floats, placards, portable sculptures, kites, balloons, performances and street spectacles. The Art Parade was co-produced by Creative Time, New York's premiere presenter of art in the public realm and Paper Magazine, the definitive guide to downtown fashion and culture.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Here is a capture of another Central Park sight that I made two weeks ago. Reflected on the serene lake are the towers of the San Remo, a luxury apartment building on Central Park West.
At the heart of Central Park is the Lake.Created out of a large swamp, the 22-acre Lake was intended to provideboating in the summer and ice-skating in the winter. Opened for skating in 1858 at a time when the winters were particularly harsh it was said to accommodate up to 40,000 visitors on one day alone. Not until 1950 when its was closed to skating did the Park winter change dramatically. Replaced for skating by the Wollman Rink, the Lake was returned to nature and the wildlife residents who now dominate it no matter what the season. With its unique meandering shoreline the exploration of this body of water is invited by its visual aura and romantic charm. With its many spectacular views offered from every angle of the travelers journey along its perimeter it is well worth the time it takes to explore its unique perimeter.In the spring and summer and for a month in autumn rowboats cross the watery vista at times appearing inimical to the total Lake experience. Visitors enjoyed this pastime since the Park opened in the 19th Century when "passage boats" carrying 12 passengers at a time would take visitors around the Lake, stopping for departures and arrivals at 6 boat landings located along the shore of the lake. Four of those boat landing still exist providing shelter for those who want a serene place to rest while taking in the majestic view of the Lake with its Mute Swans, many ducks and if you are lucky a Great Egret or a Black-crowned Night-Heron.The Gondola Ride which is now a source of interest and amusement for many who visit the Park was, in fact, a fixture from the past when the authentic Venetian craft crossed the Lake with romantics who soaked in the ambiance to the strains of "O Solo Mio" a song you can still hear from the shoreline as the gondolier of today strives for the original authenticity.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


NBC's Studio 1A has become a popular tourist destination in Rockefeller Center. It is home to the TODAY SHOW, the highest rated TV morning news and talk show in America. The show has become an "institution," and beginning September 10, a fourth hour will be added. Above is a photo taken last September 5th showing anchors MEREDITH VIEIRA and MATT LAUER and weatherman AL ROKER outside the studio. Not in the photo is news anchor ANN CURRY. The show airs weekday mornings on the NBC television network. The Today Show was created by Pat Weaver, the father of actress Sigourney Weaver. The show premiered on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre, spawning similar morning news and entertainment television programs across the country and around the world. The show is also the third-longest running American television series, behind NBC's Meet The Press. The show broadcasts from Studio 1A just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather, concerts or other show segments from outside. Tourists usually bring signs or posters when they visit the fenced area outside the studio for a chance to be on television or just to enjoy the free mini concert during the summer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


A recent visit to the Morningside Heights campus of COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY reminded me that it's back-to-school time for students. We saw a lot of students moving in to their dormitories or apartments on the beautiful campus.

Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York state and the fifth oldest in the nation. In 1897, the university moved from 49th Street and Madison Avenue to its present location on Morningside Heights at 116th Street and Broadway. I made a picture of the LOW MEMORIAL LIBRARY (above), the architectural centerpiece of the neoclassical campus. The structure was named after the father of Seth Low, the university president when the campus moved. Built in the Roman classical style, it appears in the New York City Register of Historic Places. The building today houses the central administration offices and the visitors center.

At present, Columbia University has two major campuses: the campus in Morningside Heights, and the modern Medical Center further uptown, in Washington Heights. Today, Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting cutting-edge research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


This is a still life photo of red and yellow plums purchased from our local weekend market on the Upper Westside. Wild plums have been treasured in China for two thousand years. In the US, the majority of commercially grown plums comes from hybrids grown in California out of Asian stocks. Plums were introduced in the 1870s by Luther Burbank from Japan. Crossbreeding produced many modern varieties still popular today. The bowl is a creation of Filipino ceramic artist, UGU BIGYAN who is based in Tiaong, Quezon, the Philippines.

Monday, September 3, 2007


The West Indian American Carnival was held today, Labor Day, in Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn to celebrate Caribbean pride. It is perhaps best known for the vibrant costumes of the marchers and dancers, and these costumes are often works of art depicting aspects of the rich and eclectic history of New York's vibrant West Indian population (including communities hailing from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Barbados, Belize, St. Kitt's, Martinique, Cuba, etc.). Photos above do not depict the colorful and elaborate costumes since I did not catch the beginning of the parade.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Today is the 23rd Annual Brazilian Day Festival celebrating Brazilian Independence from Portugal which occurred on September 7, 1822. The street festival was held at 46th Street from 5th to 6th Avenues and featured traditional Brazilian food and live music. Above are photos of part of the crowd that filled 6th Avenue, as well as men from a group called City Gym Boys who were at the festival to promote their calendar. City Gym Boys is a team of bodybuilders from the inner city dedicated to mentoring young men and women on the lifelong benefits of fitness and exercise. Founded in 1997 by Charles La Salle to reach young men and women in the New York City area, the group's mission is "to help eliminate the onset of obesity, particularly among African-Americans and Latino’s in the inner city, by getting teens hooked on working out."