José Luis Rodríguez
In the early evening of Friday, May 1, amidst a cool spring breeze, West Town Bikes made its ground-breaking move to Paseo Boricua by launching Ciclo Urbano, a new retail endeavor and youth program in partnership with the Puerto Rican Cultural Center – Juan Antonio Corretjer and the Division Street Business Development Association (DSBDA). Hundreds of people participated in a procession from West Town Bikes previous location on North Avenue to its new home on the southeast corner of Division and Campbell.
The procession, which was led by the marching band Mucca Pazza and comprised of community residents, both young and old, some on bikes, others walking carrying banners and waving Puerto Rican flags, made its way south down Campbell Street to yet another gathering of community residents anxiously awaiting the parade. Samuel Vega, of the Batey Urbano Collective, served as the DJ, mixing Puerto Rican rhythms welcoming the new business to Paseo Boricua.
There was a short program with Reverend Freddy Santiago of Rebaño Church leading the invocation. Speakers included Marisol Morales, Associate Director of the Stean Center at DePaul University; Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director of DSBDA; Alex Wilson, Executive Director of West Town Bikes and José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Each spoke on the importance of this new business to Paseo Boricua and the plans to launch new programs that focus on culture, health and wellness, community building, environmental responsibility, and affordable transportation alternatives.[/lang_en]