Ginga Capoeira in Straus Square [Video]

Posted on: June 20th, 2011 at 6:40 am by

Sitting at the confluence of East Broadway, Rutgers, and Canal Streets is Straus Square, a veritable crossroads of cultures.  Broadly speaking, to the south and west is deep Chinatown; to the east is a small but strong enclave of religious Jewish living; and north is very well gentrified.  Not to mention the popular taxi relief stand just outside the Seward Park perimeter.  Anyway, much like our favorite people-watching perch at The Pit, Straus Square offers its fair share of street entertainment.

Early Saturday evening, the triangular median transformed into a vibrant performance space for some local Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial arts form.  Backed by the rhythmic berimbau-driven music, a group of about twenty active participants assembled in a textbook Roda, the traditional dance circle for Capoeiristas.  Two-by-two, skilled students took turns competing in brief no-contact dance fights, utilizing a wide array of leg-sweeping acrobatics.  Their conspicuous presence attracted plenty of spectators, most of whom recorded the excitement on phones and cameras.

This public Roda was an effort to promote the local Ginga Capoeira school, run by Brazilian transplant Professor Kiki da Bahia.  But more importantly, a fundraiser to help support the program which provides schooling in the nearby Benjamin Altman School (PS42) at 71 Hester Street.

Capoeira was popularized stateside in 1993 with the theatrical release of Only the Strong.  It remains a cult classic to this day.

Recent Stories

Extra Butter Teams up with Adidas for Sneaker Pop-Up on Stanton Street

Thanks to Extra Butter and Round Two, Hell Square is now attracting sneakerheads and street-style seekers. Tapping that enthusiasm, the newish owners of 101 Stanton Street plugged the recent vacancy of Ma Non Troppo with an Adidas pop-up shop. The store is essentially a stunt to sell the new collaborative “Extra Butter x Adidas” sneaker. […]

Banksy’s Bowery Mural is Already Defaced

Well, that didn’t take long. Banksy’s seventy-foot mural at the Bowery Wall is already tagged to submission. Street writers made quick work of the spartan statement piece, scribbling over the messaging with red paint. In addition, another artist decided to reinterpret Banksy by putting Trump behind bars in this adjacent wheat-paste. The mural of tally […]

Keeping up with the NYC Half Marathon on East Broadway [PHOTOS]

At the Lower East Side leg of the NYC Half Marathon, fans were somewhat sparse, yet no less rabid. The St. Patrick’s Day hangover likely kept most people at bay. For much of the morning, roughtly 22,000 runners streamed off the Manhattan Bridge, onto Canal Street, then down East Broadway. We stood near the three-mile […]

Meet ‘Diller,’ the New Fried Pickles Spot from the Pickle Guys

Get ready for Diller. It’s been just over one year since the Pickle Guys rolled the barrels up the ramp and across the way to 357 Grand Street. The move was a big deal, transpiring fourteen years after proprietor Alan Kaufman split from Guss’ Pickles to create his own standalone business. Now comfortable in their […]

Police Barricades Set Along LES Route for Sunday’s Half Marathon

Police started installing metal barricades around the Lower East Side Wednesday night in anticipation of Sunday’s Half Marathon. Part of the route runs through the neighborhood just off the Manhattan Bridge. Approximately 22,000 marathon runners will flow off the bridge onto Canal Street, then follow East Broadway to its termination at Grand Street, and up […]