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11:43, 28 December 2017

New York Nowadays: New York Nowadays: Tony Ruiz, a New Yorker of the Year

New York Right now: New York Right now: Tony Ruiz, a New Yorker of the Year


Very good morning on this bone-chilling Thursday.

This month, we asked readers to nominate candidates for New York Today’s New Yorkers of the Year series, our annual celebration of citizens who have made a distinction in the city more than the final 12 months. We received much more than one hundred submissions, and this week we are highlighting a few of our exemplary neighbors.

Tony Ruiz ran away from violence. Actually.

“Running primarily saved me from the streets of Brooklyn,” mentioned Mr. Ruiz, who grew up in the projects of East New York and Brighton Beach.

“I was raised in neighborhoods that have been pretty tough at the time — there have been a lot of gangs — and one of the huge factors increasing up for me was, if you don’t join these gangs or you’re not involved in particular items, people do not like you,” Mr. Ruiz stated. “You have to be in with particular groups.”

Operating allowed Mr. Ruiz to remain out of trouble by means of his teenage years. And some four decades later, Mr. Ruiz, now the head road coach for the Central Park Track Club, is utilizing it to aid other individuals.

For the duration of his coaching career, Mr. Ruiz, 56, has educated elementary school students and septuagenarians, first-time joggers and specialists, buddies and strangers.

And when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico this fall, Mr. Ruiz — who utilised to reside in the city of Mayagüez and still has loved ones there — laced up to assist.

He launched “TR for PR,” a campaign to raise relief funds for Puerto Rico by operating a 15-kilometer race. After a race this month in the rolling hills of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Mr. Ruiz has raised much more than $10,000 to acquire easy supplies — food, clean water, battery fans and generators — to ship to Puerto Rico.

His passion for the sport, which has empowered him to support so several other individuals, dates to eighth grade, when Mr. Ruiz joined the team at Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 on Coney Island.

“Running not only gave me something to do and kept me busy, but the community also got behind me,” he said. “It gave me the ability to still fit in with my neighborhood and not feel like an outcast.”

His forte: the 800-meter race, for which he won his very first city title. His victories continued through his running profession at Westinghouse higher school in Brooklyn, the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón and Iona College in Westchester, but major a team was never ever component of his program. (He was, at the time, working in the mail area at Rockefeller Center.)

“I never ever volunteered for coaching men and women would always ask me to do these things,” stated Mr. Ruiz, who was given his initial solo coaching gig at 26. It was for the Zephyrs, a girls’ group in his old neighborhood in Brooklyn. “I did it to help the community, possibly give back a little bit, perhaps set some individuals on the right path. I just believed it was a good issue to do, a noble issue to do.”

Mr. Ruiz at a instruction session for the Central Park Track Club on Tuesday. He joined the club in 1981 and has been coaching since 1989.CreditDave Sanders for The New York Times

These days, his studio in Queens resembles the coach’s corner of a varsity locker area: The hat hooks are draped with medals the shelves are spilling over with globe championship trophies the walls are decorated with framed photographs of finish lines and awards ceremonies.

In the weeks soon after Hurricane Maria, Mr. Ruiz spent time away from his usual operating paths, packaging boxes of canned food and water at a regional firehouse.

“It was devastating to know that so several in my loved ones had been getting affected and continue to be affected,” Mr. Ruiz stated. “I’ve had 3 cousins that in fact relocated, and these are people that have in no way left the island they do not know what an airplane is. I have a cousin who literally began building his residence with his personal two hands — I go on Facebook each day, and you can see it coming with each other.”

His sister, whose house was swallowed by the storm, has considering that moved in with their mother, Mr. Ruiz added.

“My mileage spiked up drastically over these previous two or three months because when I go out and run, pushing past the limit makes me feel like I’m suffering a small bit with them,” Mr. Ruiz mentioned. “And simply because of that, I came up with the concept that I’d do this race.”

With the help of his siblings in New York and Florida, Mr. Ruiz hopes to attain $15,000 by means of his campaign and deliver the last supplies to Puerto Rico just before 3 Kings Day celebrations on Jan. six.

“I guess if you do adequate nice factors in this globe,” Mr. Ruiz mentioned, wiggling his sneakers on before a morning run via Jamaica Estates, “people will take notice.”

Here’s what else is happening:


The bitter cold is right here to keep into 2018.

Do not let the sunny skies fool you — today’s higher of 20 degrees will feel far more like minus five with the wind chill.

Issues will remain chilly (15 to 20 degrees beneath typical) by way of subsequent week, with snow a possibility on Friday and Saturday.

Commence hibernation mode.

In the News

The numbers of murders and violent crimes in the city are at their lowest points given that the 1950s, although there has been an uptick in reports of rapes given that the current wave of sexual allegations swept the nation. [New York Occasions]

Crime in New York City has declined for 27 straight years.CreditUli Seit for The New York Instances

The New York City subway program, the biggest transportation network in the United States, nevertheless disproportionately underserves many residential regions of the city. [New York Instances]

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pardoned 18 immigrants from threat of deportation, in portion as a jab at President Trump’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration. [New York Occasions]

Thirty-six households are still struggling to replace documents and uncover cost-effective apartments because a fire left them homeless over a month ago. [New York Times]

The rebuilding of a Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on Sept. 11 has stopped since of unpaid bills, regardless of $37 million in donations for it. [New York Occasions]

Building work has stopped on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Liberty Park, just south of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in Manhattan.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

Senator Bernie Sanders will administer the inaugural oath to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his second term on Monday. [New York Occasions]

Gurbir Grewal is poised to become New Jersey’s subsequent lawyer basic, the very first Sikh-American to hold such a post in the nation. [New York Times]

A Sudanese household that fled its war-torn residence country now owns a catering company specializing in the native cuisine. [New York Occasions]

From the bar top to the wallpaper, this Brooklyn establishment has produced it a priority to showcase local artists. [New York Times]

A family in Extended Island was arrested on charges of importing $25 million worth of counterfeit products such as handbags and watches from China. [New York Post]

A longtime WCBS reporter in Connecticut, Fran Schneidau, died at 79. [CBS New York]

Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “It Happened at Birdland

For a global appear at what’s taking place, see Your Morning Briefing.

Coming Up Nowadays

Kids can see “The 3 Bears Holiday Bash,” a variety show with puppetry and music, at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park. 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. [$12 adults $eight youngsters]

It’s the final day to add your 2018 wishes to the confetti that will fall with the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Occasions Square. You can create in on the internet or in individual, on Broadway among 42nd and 43rd Streets. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. [Free of charge]

… It is also Great Riddance Day, a likelihood to destroy your worst memories of 2017 making use of a giant shredder in Instances Square, on Broadway in between 45th and 46th Streets. Noon. [Cost-free, register here]

A Kwanzaa celebration continues with family-friendly activities — including arts and crafts, story time and more — at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights. Occasions vary. [$11]

Christmas might be behind us, but ugly sweaters are not. Adults can join an Ugly Sweater Party as portion of the Dirty Thursday series at House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn. ten p.m. [Cost-free]

Knicks at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. (MSG).

Alternate-side parking remains in impact till New Year’s Day.

For much more events, see The New York Times’s Arts &amp Entertainment guide.

New York Right now is a morning roundup that is published weekdays at six a.m. If you do not get it in your inbox already, you can sign up to get it by e mail right here.

For updates all through the day, like us on Facebook.

What would you like to see here to start your day? Post a comment, e mail us at [email protected], or attain us via Twitter employing #NYToday.

Comply with the New York Nowadays columnists, Alexandra Levine and Jonathan Wolfe, on Twitter.

You can locate the most current New York Today at


Published at Thu, 28 Dec 2017 11:00:14 +0000

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