Several people asked how I found out about Luigi Cannoni, the man who moved into a deteriorating house on 41st Street in City Heights six months ago and has transformed it into an oasis of green in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

I first heard about Luigi several weeks ago, when our education reporter, Emily Alpert, returned to the newsroom after a meeting with Cindy Marten, Central Elementary School’s principal.

Emily was in Marten’s office and noticed a bowl of cherry tomatoes sitting on her desk.

“I asked if she gardened,” Emily told me. “And she said, ‘No! There’s this man!’” They were a gift from Luigi.

She told Emily a little about him, and when she returned to the newsroom, Emily said she thought she had a good story for me.

A couple of weeks later I called Marten for more details, and a few days later, showed up on Luigi’s front porch.

Keep an eye out for future installments about Luigi, and thanks to Emily for asking about that bowl of tomatoes.


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