Kazi Akter

Future Jeweler by Osei D.

This summer at Bailey’s Cafe, I’ve been practicing making jewelry with Ms. Monifa. Her jewelry making methods are very different from Ms. Angela’s. Ms. Angela would use cloth and paper but Ms. Monifa uses copper wire and other professional jeweling material. I don’t expect to pick up jewelry making instantly but this is a valuable skill I would love to use in my free time if I had the tools to do it. This class has taught me exactly what to do when I see a jumpring, or a rubber mallet and how to imprint words and designs on metal. I recorded Ms. Monifa polishing a piece just to watch and study it later. I would definitely become a jeweler if the opportunity opened up to me. I would like to learn more about the profession and maybe I’ll be able to say I have jewelry making skills one day.

My favorite activities here are jewelry making practice and talking with Sweat and Kadeem. My least favorite is probably knitting/crocheting but I know it’s a good skill to have for the future. I just dislike how much I have to focus because even if I mess up once it all goes to waste and I’ll have to restart. The thing I love about talking with Sweat are his experiences and how he shares his wisdom with us to inspire us and make us think. Sweat and Kadeem are people I can ask questions to that I can’t ask my mom because my father isn’t around. He’s always asking us questions to keep the attentive energy flowing and never excludes someone so everyone gets to talk, like an informational Q&A from a very experienced older man.

There are a lot less people here than before so I started telling my friends about Bailey’s Cafe so maybe next summer it can be another home for them too. But I’m kind of enjoying how little people are here because it makes us closer and get to know each other b​​etter. I just enjoy being around the family I don’t have in New York because my family lives in Indiana. Bailey’s makes my summer really fun, productive and interesting but would never be the same without the few people who make my summer experience what it is.

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A New Home by Fahmidah I.

Bailey’s Cafe, contrary to the name, is not actually a cafe but definitely gives off the calm setting that most if not all cafes have. A sense of peace and serenity that anyone who walks in will feel. It’s funny how when I first came to Bailey’s I was so nervous. Not only was I late, I was also new. I even lost my way coming and felt like I’d messed up so badly I wouldn’t be able to fit in. Only to be proven wrong from the moment I saw Stefanie with her welcoming voice asking me what I was here for and my working paper. From there the group of people I worked with became my friends, all of them being very open and welcoming people. I was introduced into the circle, the community and for the first time in my life I craved for the summer to continue on with all the fun I was having. Bailey’s Cafe became a safe place for me to be me and just be able to speak up without any sense of judgment. I started my journey of seeing the person everyone else sees within me, my potential that I kept hidden for so long. 

Now here I am at Bailey’s for another year and I couldn’t be more grateful to be back. This year though the group is much smaller making the moments more intimate. I’ve gotten to know some people better and have met new people that always make me smile with their goofy faces and jokes. All those in this community are such wonderful people that I wish more people could see everyday. So they can see the changes being made everyday, whether they are big changes or small ones, the brains that are being challenged and cultivated seem to thrive in this environment. Bailey’s thank you for the past year and the years to come for all the hard work in creating a safe place to expand the youth’s lenses of this world. 

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Welcome Back Summer 2022!

The snow has melted, the sun is out longer and people are smiling, It’s officially another year at Bailey’s Cafe! We’re excited to welcome the participants–new and returning–to a summer of creativity and fun. For the next six weeks, the theme is “What’s in Your Hands?” The participants will be involved in various activities such as creative writing, yoga, textile arts, dance, gender studies as well as engaging with a range of special guests sharing their life story each week. Everyone will also have the opportunity to explore a variety of workshops such as, jewelry making, documentary filming, candle making, sewing, gardening and food justice all taught by an expert in each craft. In addition, each Thursday participants will go on trips from all over the city. Bailey’s is ready for another wonderful summer full of fun, laughter, and enriching experiences!

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