Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Where the Hell is the South Bronx Anyway?

BoogieDowner has another question (and accompanying poll) for you all... What do you designate as the northern border of the South Bronx?

How did this all come about? Well, BoogieDowner covered a story about the Discovery Channel reality show "Bronx-911," which chronicles daily life in the emergency room at St. Barnabas Hospital.

BoogieDowner just had a little issue with the designation of St. Barney's (located at 183rd Street and Third Avenue) as being in the South Bronx. We received a comment from the editor of the website we linked to with the following defense of the designation of St. Barnabas being in the South Bronx:

Hello, I am the creator and writer of:
Indeed St. Barnabas is considered the South Bronx. I just called and spoke to two of my physician friends that work there and they confirmed this with me. Both of them are actually in the 3rd episode that aired yesterday. Dr. John Zambito who has a lot of airtime in the series is actually in Las Vegas right now with his colleagues from St. Barnabas at a medical convention.

BoogieDowner's official take on the northern boundary of the South Bronx is that it is the Cross Bronx Expressway. Part of the reason we hold this position is that the creation of this highway ushered in a lot of the really negative things that were associated with the South Bronx in the 70s and 80s.

Being residents of Bedford Park, we definitely do not live in the South Bronx, but we definitely believe the anything south of the Cross Bronx is the South Bronx. I know some peoples place the border as far north as Fordham Rd. and some as far south as 161st Street. So we ask you, "Where does the South Bronx begin and end?" Vote on the poll we've set up in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.

Yet another neighborhood boundary that is eluding the BoogieDowner...

*Photo courtesy of Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times*


Event Reminders: TGIF!

Friends of Brook Park Halloween Celebration
Celebrate Halloween with Council member Melissa Mark Viverito at Brook Park (Brook Avenue and E. 140th/141st Streets) from 4 to 6pm this evening, 10/31. There will be face painting, pumpkin carving, storytelling, best costume contest, games and more... Click here for more info.

Shilelagh Law at Rambling House
Damn this sounds like fun... Shilelagh Law will perform their "Bare-Knuckle Irish Music" at The Rambling House (4292 Katonah Avenue in Woodlawn) tonight, 10/31 at 10pm. Click here for more info.

Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino
All but two of the surviving members of Grupo Folklorico will be playing at a reunion concert at Hostos College tomorrow, 11/1, at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $25 to $35. Click here for more information.

Maria Marin Seminar at Lovinger Theater
Award-winning motivational speaker, syndicated columnist and host of ABC Radio Networks en Espanol's "Tu Vida Es Mi Vida," Maria Marin will bring her newest seminar to the Lovinger Theater at Lehman College tomorrow, 11/1, from 12 to 6pm. Her "Vive Tu Vida Sin Limites" seminar will offer Latinos in the Tri-State area a unique opportunity to experience the captivating self-improvement program that has made Marin one of the most powerful, charismatic and persuasive voices for Latina empowerment today. Click here for more info.

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis at Lehman College
Branford Marsalis, the featured solo artist on the Filarmonia Brasileriano's U.S. tour, will be playing at Lehman College tomorrow, 11/1, at 8pm. Tickets range from $25 to $10. Click here for more info.

Cheer On Marathon Runners in South Bronx
Pour your Mimosa or Bloody Mary into a thermos and come on out to Willis Wall Island (Triangle at Willis Avenue and E. 135th Street) to show some support for the NYC Marathon runners as they pass through the BoogieDown. This is the second annual organized cheering marathon section being sponsored by Yes The Bronx and Run Against Obesity. According to our research, the wheelchairs will be coming through around 9:45am, followed by the lead women around 11am and lead men around 11:20am.

Know of anything else happening this weekend in the BoogieDown? Send us a tip at

*Our favorite photo of classy ladies holding TGIF sign courtesy of*


Happy Halloween from BoogieDowner

Don't party too hard tonight Bronxites...
*Hurt up pumpkin photo courtesy of*

Salsa in Soundview: A Look at the History of Latin Music in the BoogieDown

New York Times' David Gonzalez posted a City Room piece yesterday detailing how Latin music was flourishing even as the Bronx was burning.

Gonzalez covers the history of Latin jammers Grupo Folklorico (whose formal name is Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino — the New York Folkloric and Experimental Group).

All but two of the surviving members of Grupo will be playing at a reunion concert at Hostos College tomorrow, 11/1, at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $25 to $35. Click here for more information.

NYBG Receives Award for Being a Bad-Ass Horticultural Site

The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) has confirmed what we already know: the New York Botanical Garden is one bad-ass mecca of horticultural excellence.

The ASHS awarded NYBG with the prestigious HortLandmark Award yesterday in a ceremony in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Rotunda. The HortLandmark Award is an honor bestowed upon the highest tier of horticultural sites around the world.

Congrats NYBG! Glad to see you're getting your due.
*Photo courtesy of*

More on the Highbridge Food Panty Closing

Click here for Highbridge Lowdown's in-depth look at the possible closing of a food pantry in Highbridge.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Listing of the Day: Williamsbridge Wonder

731 East 226 Street, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms - $271,900

We know this thing looks like some sort of a sad soviet courthouse in occupied Poland, but look at that price. Seriously. No really, look at it. That is less than $70K per bedroom. More than enough money would be saved to put the necessary TLC into this house.

This house is located in Williamsbridge, which is a very residential neighborhood in the north central Bronx. Not a lot of apartment buildings. You'd have some shopping down on Gun Hill Road and also on White Plains Road.

Right across the river is Woodlawn Cemetery (spooky!) and a bit further north and across the river is the Woodlawn neighborhood and all that imbibing.

The 2 and 5 trains both stop a block away at 225th Street and White Plains Road, so transportation is pretty nice. You'd also have a garage so having a car is actually feasible.

Four bedrooms for less than $300k - only in the Bronx people, only in the Bronx.


Photo of the Day

New York Botanical Garden
Photo by ErLu

Look What Sai Baba's Done Now...

Those of you who read probably know that there's a frequent commenter there named "Sai Baba" who doesn't like BoogieDowner very much...

He claims we're a one man/woman "hipsterfier" (hipster + gentrifier = hipsterfier - his term, not ours... I know, sometimes he's so silly he just makes you chuckle) machine over here at our humble little blog. He's actually stated that we're ruining the Bronx because we don't agree with him that New York was better when it was overrun with junkies and dollar stores. And no, he doesn't even live here in the BoogieDown...

His love for us runs so deep that he often trolls the internet and posts under the name "Miss BoogieDowner" on stories pertaining to the Bronx. What a card, right?

Click here to see what Sai Baba's done now...


Bratty Cornell Grad Out of a Job

Haha! We love when nasty people get what they deserve...

The Daily News' Jose Martinez reports that Steven Clarke, an NYC teaching fellow who graduated from Cornell University, was rightfully terminated when he referred to the Bronx students he taught at Global Enterprise Academy as "filthy animals" who belonged in a "f*cking zoo."

The little weenie was actually quoted last year as saying: "My parents did not sacrifice for me to go to Cornell so I could take care of a bunch of animals."

Your teaching career is off to a rough start, Mr. Clarke.


Some Politics...

Click here to view a piece filed by NY1's Roger Clark detailing Bronx residents' "Obama Fever."

Speaking of Obama, click here to check out one of Simone Davis' Bronx Rocks posts last week about a "Move On" Obama phon-a-thon party here in the BoogieDown.

And for an update on the battle for leadership in the Bronx Democratic party, click here to check out a New York Times "City Room" piece by Jonathan P. Hicks.


Highbridge Food Pantry Getting the Boot

NY1 News has filed a story about the impending closure of a Highbridge food pantry which serves almost 3,000 people per month.

The pantry, which is run by both Highbridge Voices and the Muslim Women's Institute, apparently had a pest problem which Highbridge Voices is accusing the Muslim Women's Institute of not nipping in the bud.


Sale of Bronx Mosque Protested

We came across this interesting piece written by Columbia Graduate School of Journalism student Suzanna Ma detailing the fight of Islamic worshippers in the BoogieDown against the sale of their mosque at 3400 Third Avenue and E. 166th Street.

The imam of the Futa Islamic Center (formerly known as Masjid Al Faysal), Baba Diallo, claims that this is essentially one big misunderstanding. Because the property is categorized as a non-profit religious organization, the mosque is exempt from paying federal taxes. However, Diallo did not realize that they were still on the hook for city taxes, and owed over $25,000 to the City of New York.

I guess usually an owner would get a heads up from their bank with a friendly little reminder that the tax man needs his money, right? Well, that didn't happen in this case because apparently whatever genius was handled the case at Bank of America (the bank that held Futa Islamic Center's mortgage) thought "Masjid Al Faysal" was actually a person's name and wasn't able to track anyone down. Diallo says a little further investigative work would have revealed him as the point of contact, and the whole matter could have been dealt with right away.

In fact, the only way Diallo found out about the foreclosure proceedings was through a newspaper ad which one of the worshippers found in the paper. At that point, Diallo immediately paid the $7,500 he owed for tax year 2007, but wasn't aware that he owed more than that.

BX Third Avenue Associates has since purchased the building for $500,000, and a judge ruled in September that the sale was legit. So now the worshippers of Futa Islamic Center, who are mostly immigrants from Guinea, have no place to call home.

Click here to read Suzanne Ma's full story.


Listing of the Day: Crotona Park Rental

Prospect Avenue and 175th Street, 2 Bedroom - $1400/mo

Riding on the coattails of this week's "Living In" piece in the Times, we've decided to bring you a Crotona Park Listing of the Day.

As evidenced by the pictures that show a rectangular cutout low on the living room wall, methinks this is a Fedder's building. Fedder's or not, an apartment you could split for $700/month is pretty damned cheap. I really like the looks of the kitchen. I am a sucker for the pass-through. And to be honest the cabinets appear to be reasonably new.

The apartment is right across the street from Crotona Park, which has its own lake and pro tennis tournament every summer. Seriously, I am not joking here; it's called the GHI Tennis Classic. Crotona Park happens to be the biggest park in the Bronx south of Fordham Road, and it would be right in your backyard.

For transportation you have the 2 and 5 trains at 174th and Boston Road or if you walk west you'd be pretty close to the Tremont Metro North station.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photo of the Day

New York Botanical GardenPhoto by Simone Davis ~

Brunch in the BoogieDown

New York Post's Page Six Magazine did a piece about the best places to brunch in every NYC neighborhood...

They covered five hot spots in the BoogieDown, including Bruckner Bar & Grill ("Best Budget Brunch") in the South Bronx and Le Refuge Inn ("Best Date Brunch") (pictured right) on City Island.

Click here to view the full list.



Big Ups to Riverdale Businesswoman

Click here to read a Daily News piece today by Graciela Berger Wegsman about Riverdale businesswoman Suzanne Axelbank's work to raise money to help the International Organization of Migration, which rescues poor children in Ghana.

Ms. Axelbank, who owns Someplace Special, a children's haircutting salon and toy store in Riverdale, also sends toys from her shop to the children in Ghana. She is being honored for her work today by the Oriental Trading Company. Ms. Axelbank won their World More Fun essay contest and Oriental Trading Company with donate $10,000 to the International Organization of Migration.

Congrats Suzanne!

*Photo courtesy of Daily News*


Some Politics...

As per usual, we will leave the discussion of the bizzarro world of Bronx politics to the professionals:

Senator-to-be maneuvering [Riverdale Press]

City Council race in district 14 [West Bronx Blog]

Espada's side of the Richard Martinez fracas story [Bronx News]

Kappstatter's take on Bronx pols' term limit votes [Daily News]


Reality TV in the BoogieDown

No, the cast of the Real World won't be moving to the Bronx anytime soon...

But we're doing reality tv Bronx-style up here in the BoogieDown- Discovery Channel's show 911: The Bronx follows the staff of the emergency room at St. Barnabas Hospital as they treat "alcohol and drug abuse patients, gunshot and stabbing victims, STD's, etc" [].

The folks over at (where we found out about this show) tout the show because of its genuine depiction of the St. Barnabas medical staff's dedication to saving lives and serving the community's healthcare needs.

One thing BoogieDowner is confused about: both and this Daily News article refer to St. Barnabas Hospital as being in the South Bronx. It's located at 183rd Street and Third Avenue, which is decidedly not the South Bronx.

There are two more episodes of 911: The Bronx which will air 11/4 and 11/11 at 12pm. We've already missed the first three!

Sounds like quite an intriguing show... although I'm gunna guess it probably won't go a far way in helping to improve the PR image of the BoogieDown.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Listing of the Day: Country Club Coastal

1490 Outlook Ave, 2 Bedroom - $530,000

They don't call it Outlook Avenue for nothing. This new construction will have views of Long Island Sound. This is on the coast of Eastchester Bay and comes with its own boat slip.

You know this is serious when the listing boasts that the apartment "is a short boat ride from City Island, with its fine dining and enjoyable night life." When personal watercraft is a means of transportation in the city of New York, you are big pimping, my friend.

I will say that the artist's rendition of what the outside will look like appears to have been crafted by a slightly brain-damaged mule on heroin (check out those scarily large seagulls), but those computer generated kitchens and bathrooms are pretty damn sweet.

Just thought we'd throw an unusual Listing of the Day out there. I wouldn't be surprised if these puppies get price chopped soon, but waterfront is always waterfront, right?

Transportation is easy: take your boat.


Henry Moore Exhibit at New York Botanical Garden Extended

We received word today that the Moore in America exhibit at New York Botanical Garden will be extended through January 11th, 2009.

BoogieDowner was just commenting the other day while strolling through the Garden that we can't imagine how strange it will be when the sculptures are no longer there, so we're quite pleased with this news.

Another stunning exhibit currently running now through November 16th is Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum (pictured below).
And next up beginning November 23rd is everybody's favorite: The Holiday Train Show. BoogieDowner's never been to this one, but now that we have the little one we're pretty psyched to check it out.


Request Bike Racks for the Bronx With the Click of a Mouse

In a Daily News piece yesterday, Bob Kappstatter detailed Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr.'s push to make the BoogieDown a more bike-friendly place.

Carrion is encouraging Bronx residents to visit his office's website and click on the green bike sign on the lower left-hand side of the homepage to formally request bike racks through the Department of Transportation's CITYRACKS program.

So get your thinking caps on and figure out where your community could most benefit from a new bike rack or two. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind while requesting a bike rack installation... you can view them here.

*Photo courtesy of*

More Photographic Evidence That the BoogieDown Has Come a Long Way

Gothamist has a post up today showcasing Ray Mortenson's photographs of the South Bronx from 1982 through 1984.

Mr. Mortenson has an exhibit opening up at the Museum of the City of New York which will run from 11/14/08 to 3/9/09.

Here's an excerpt from the Gothamist piece:

Mortenson says, “The buildings were like tombs – sealed up, broken open and plundered. Inside, stairways with missing steps led up to abandoned apartments. Doors opened into rooms that were once bedrooms or kitchens. Small things left behind hint at who the occupants might have been – a hairbrush, photographs, or bits of clothing.” [Gothamist]

You must click here to link to Gothamist to view the photos... It's so inspiring to see how the Bronx has for the most part rebounded from such horrific conditions.

*Ray Mortenson photo above courtesy of*


South Bronx Walking Tour

Sorry guys, we meant to post this one last week and forgot... But we think you'll still find it relevant and interesting despite its lack of timeliness.

The Municipal Art Society of New York has a post on their site reviewing a walking tour of the South Bronx led on 10/18 by Alexie Torres-Fleming, the founder of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. The tour drew a crowd of about 30 people and highlighted community-driven projects in the hood.


"Yes The Bronx" Tower

Tanyanika Samuels of the Daily News reports that the Bronx is on the road to erecting a serious testament to the BoogieDown's pride and spirit. In fact, we're talking about a 176 feet worth of testament. The idea is to build an observation tower to punctuate the Bronx's skyline, and to give a metaphorical middle-figure to Manhattan (only kidding!).

"We want to break down the pervasive negative stereotype that persists," said Alec Diacou, who heads the campaign along with Dan Smith. BoogieDowner agrees with you, boys.

The "Yes The Bronx" Observation Tower will have a square glass complex perched atop a column, ringed with spiral stairs. With a $25 million price tag, the tower will be situated on the Manhattan-facing waterfront where the East and Harlem Rivers flow together. [T. Samuels]

This could very well become a tourist attraction. Or at least something positive that people talk about.

In any case, this tower is so futuristic that there is not even a rendering yet. In lieu of a rendering of the "Yes The Bronx" Tower, BoogieDowner has supplied a rendering of the Freedom Tower, because we're God-damned patriotic.

Bronx Foliage Gets Some Attention

The Bowery Boys, a blog all about NYC history, covered the BoogieDown's "fall foliage freakout" at the New York Botanical Garden and Wave Hill.

Click here to read more about it and view some pretty photos.


Photo of the Day

Hall of Fame for Great Americans
at Bronx Community College
Photo by ErLu

Event Reminders

It's not TGIF yet, but here are a few weekday and weeknight events which will help Friday come around a bit quicker:

Bronx Health Fair
There will be a free health fair tomorrow, 10/29, from 10am to 4pm at the Bronx Supreme Court Rotunda (851 Grand Concourse and 161st Street). There will be free medical screening, rapid HIV oral testing, insurance enrollment, GED enrollment and scholarship information, as well as representatives from pharmacies, colleges, and banks. Click here for more information.

Harvard University Professor to Lecture at Manhattan College
The first annual Frederick M. Schweitzer Lecture on the Holocaust and Genocide will feature Samantha Power of Harvard University. Professor Power (who happens to be a Pulitzer Prize winner... not too shabby, eh?) will explore a crucial issue: "Can Genocide Be Stopped?: U.S. Foreign Policy in an Age of Terror" looking at the events of the last few decades and the U.S. role in them with a critical eye. The lecture will be held this Thursday, 10/30, at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Auditorium and will be free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Horn, Director -- Manhattan College Holocaust Resource Center at or (718)862-7129.

Protest Cuts for Seniors' Programming
Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. invites all Bronx senior citizen organizations to a hearing to protest the future loss of funding for seniors. Under a Department for the Aging proposal, 111 senior programs funded by the Borough President are slated to lose all funding effective July 1, 2009. Voice your opinions on this issue at the public hearing which is scheduled for this Thursday, 10/30 at 10am in the auditorium at Lincoln Hospital (234 E. 149th Street). Click here for more information, or call 917-488-2563.


Bronx Food Co-op Updates

A few updates from the two food co-ops we know about here in the BoogieDown:

1) It's your last chance to sign up for the winter share of the Norwood Food Co-op... the deadline's been extended a bit and anyone interested must get a deposit of $50 over to them by Friday morning. The total cost for the season is $260 and the full balance is due November 7th. Click here to visit their website for more info on how to register.

2) As we've previously mentioned, the South Bronx Food Coop is moving to their own new retail location at 3103 Third Avenue and 158th Street. Their grand opening on November 22nd is right around the corner and they're looking for volunteers to help get the space ready. Although they do not currently have electricity, they promise a generator will be providing lights. They're looking for help Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 9pm and Saturdays and Sundays 12 to 6pm. Click here to visit their website for more info, or send and email to

Although you won't find valet parking for your bike as you would at the Park Slope Food Co-op (true story, not even kidding), you're sure to get the freshest produce at the best price in both these Bronx food co-ops.

Survey Results Confirm We Were Losers for Using the Term "SoBro"

Okay, this is the day you've all been waiting for... the results are in on BoogieDowner's super scientific poll entitled "Do you detest the term SoBro?"

The poll confirms that the majority of readers (62% to be precise) do indeed hate the moniker "SoBro." Read that word again... because it's the last time you'll see it used here on the BoogieDowner.

That's right... Like the Postal Service, we deliver for you. You talk, we listen. The South Bronx will remain the South Bronx.

These polls are sorta fun... Do you guys have any ideas for a new one?

*Sexy legs courtesy of*


A Closer Look at the New Yankee Stadium

Seth Pinsky, head of the New York City Economic Corporation, has a piece in the Daily News attempting to silence the haters who are not in support of the construction of the new Yankee Stadium.

He explains that new jobs for Bronxites, a new Metro-North station, increased tax revenue for the city, and the Yankees agreement to stay put in the BoogieDown for 40 years (among other benefits) are win-wins for all parties concerned.

He also reminds us that not getting hit in the head with falling concrete from the 86-year-old Yankee Stadium is a good thing.

We know not all of you living in the immediate area will agree with Mr. Pinsky that this is a "home run" for Bronx residents... let the comments begin.

*Photo of Seth Pinskey courtesy of Joyce/Daily News*


Listing of the Day: Norwood Rental

Tyron Avenue and Reservoir Oval, 1 Bedroom - $950

Norwood is a beautiful neighborhood in the shadow of Montefiore Medical Center, so you might find yourself doing some of your shopping on 204th street with lunching medical students and nurses. Actually, if you get further North-West in the neighborhood, you'll see resident housing for medical students and other offices owned by the hospital - of course all impeccably maintained.

The southern edge of the nabe is Mosholu Parkway, which is really a stretch of green space connecting the NY Botanical Garden to Van Cortlandt Park. If you are in to jogging or running, or just hanging out under a tree on some nice grass, the Mosholu Parkway (and Norwood) is for you.

The shopping stretch on 204th includes a lot of mom and pop stores, a CVS, a Foodtown, great fresh vegetable stores, a fish monger, an Albanian butcher,a diner and a few of the old bars left over, like McDwyer's and McMahon's, from Norwood's days as a stop on the Irish Immigrant railroad (when the neighborhood was called Bainbridge). There are also a few decent Latin/Mexican places, of which my favorite is Rio Mixteco down near Webster Avenue and 204th. You have to try a chorizo taco..mmmmmmm!

There is a D train stop right in the heart of Norwood on 205th Street (last stop on the D). Don't let the terminus of the line scare you though, the D runs super express in the am/pm rush.
Another great aspect of Norwood is the misnamed Williamsbridge Oval, which Boogiedowner has covered in the past. The Oval just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. There are the obligatory hoops courts and playgrounds, but even a dog run and really well maintained tennis courts (that actually get used!). In fact, the Museum of Bronx History is housed right outside of the Oval at the Valentine-Varian House.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Katie Lee Joel is an Idiot

First off, this post has nothing to do with the BoogieDown... I was just flipping through the most recent New York magazine and got a little fired up about something.

On Jada Yuan's "Party Lines" page where NY Mag asks celebs questions on hot topics while they're attending some shee-shee-foo-foo affair, they ask Katie Lee Joel (Billy Joel's 14 year old wife) the following:

"What would you and Billy Joel buy now: art or real estate?"

Katie's response: "I love real estate. To me, real estate is the ultimate tchotchke. We have five houses; we like our real estate."

OMG (sorry, I've been watching a little too much Gossip Girl): Is she serious? For those who don't know, the word "tchcotchke" means "an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament" [].

So BoogieDowner now hates this z-lister for two reasons:

1) Only total losers use the word "tchotchke."

2) Only spoiled brats view their real estate holdings as "ornaments" or "trinkets."

I hope they lose a ton of benjamins due to the implosion of the real estate market. The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

UPDATE: BoogieDowner awoke to find an angry comment from Billy Joel himself defending the honor of his lady. Because of the magic of the inter-web, we have no real way of knowing if this was the Piano Man himself, or some Sai Baba-type impersonator. We're a pretty humble little blog, so we're going to assume it was not actually Billy Joel.

Nonetheless, this commenter was pretty fired up and pointing out that our "comprehension of Yiddish irony and sense of humor" are nonexistent. We couldn't agree with you more William. So BoogieDowner delved a little deeper into the world of Yiddish irony, and turned up this alternate definition for tchotchke: "things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)" []. This would be a more appropriate way for Katie to use the term when bragging about her five houses. We still stand by our assertion that only losers use the term tchotchke.

*Irritating photo of Katie Lee courtesy of (boogiedowner of course inserted the word "sucks" - we're so damn crafty)*


Amalgamated Parking Fury

A City Room article, Bronx Asks, Is There No Parking on Mars? by David Gonzalez and Nate Schweber chronicles the famed Alamgamated Houses co-op community's fight against the imposition of a TV series shoot that would have taken away 400 parking spots.

The series in question is an American remake of a British hit, Life on Mars (the Office coattails anyone?). Only this series doesn't seem to be funny, or even plausible. I don't even have a clue what this show is about, but thankfully Messrs. Gonzalez and Schweber decided to ask. It turns out "[t]he drama is about a homicide detective who finds himself transported back to the 1970s after a car accident." [City Room]

Hmmmm... Anyone think this one's gonna translate? Time travel, detectives, and apparently classic old-school cars. The shoot required some 70s type cars to come and fill up all those lost spaces to make the time travel aspect of the series really pop. Unless this series adds Tracy Morgan as the detective's side-kick, I ain't watchin'.

Lucky the old lefty rabble-rousing complex rallied the troops and procured some parking on desolate Goulden Avenue with a shuttle bus hustling remote parkers to and from their buildings.

Glad these residents weren't completely put out.
At least not for this series.

Photo of parking sign by Rob Bennett for New York Times, cheesy promo shot of Life on Mars courtesy of


BoogieDown Getting Some Love from NYC's Public Space Recycling Program

Newsday's Michael Frazier reports that Mayor Bloomberg's public space recycling program is expanding to 33 new locations throughout NYC, five of which are right here in the BoogieDown.

Oddly enough, the greenest borough was not previously included in the program (except for a "test location" at Poe Park). The new recycling locations include: the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, the intersection of Kingsbridge & Fordham Roads, the intersection of 3rd Avenue & East 149th Street, and the intersection of Broadway & Manhattan College Parkway.

Click here to read the press release for more information.


Photo of the Day

View of the Whitestone Bridge
from Marina del Ray in Throgs NeckPhoto courtesy of Simone Davis ~

Bronx Hero Coverage

There are two great Daily News articles about Bronx resident, New York Army National Guard Sgt., and NYPD officer, Deon Taylor, who lost his life in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan last week.

Click here for Kerry Burke and Stephanie Gaskell's piece about Taylor's life and the beloved family he leaves behind.

Click here to read Mike Lupica's column lashing out in the wake of Sgt. Taylor's death at Sarah Palin's comments about "real Americans" living in small towns.


It's My Park! Day Beautifies and Inspires

Mother Nature cooperated and Saturday's city-wide It's My Park! Day was a huge success... Well, at least the Mosholu Parkway cleanup in Bedford Park was.

There were a couple of different organizations out cleaning up the gully area of the Mosholu Parkway near Webster Avenue. The Bedford Mosholu Community Association, which is led by Barbara Stronczer (pictured below with BMCA volunteer Rich Gallagher), had many different supplies available for raking leaves or picking up trash. Volunteers from Mosholu Preservation Corporation, including president Dart Westphal (pictured getting his hands dirty above), as well as volunteers from GreenApple Corp and Building with Books, did planting and worked on projects aimed at shoring up erosion.

We gotta say, this kind of event really restores our faith in humanity. For at least one glorious day, the image negligent residents tossing King Cobra cans in the park or leaving steaming doggie doo-doo-pies for the BoogieDowner to step in on the sidewalk was completely erased by all the energetic goodwill we witnessed.

A special shout out to Barbara Stronczer for all the work she did to organize the Bedford Mosholu Community Association's cleanup projects for the day.

Did any of you guys participate in your local It's My Park! Day? If so, leave a comment or two, and also feel free to send us your pictures at If you didn't participate, I hope you step in a doggie doo-doo-pie next time you visit your local park... just kidding! (But not really.)


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Listing of the Day: Yankee Stadium Co-op

800 Grand Concourse 2 Bedroom - $225,000

This apartment is at 157th street on the Grand Concourse - right in the heart of the Yankee Stadium development orgy. Obviously, the City and the Yankees want this hood to do well. It's probably one of the most heavily visited outer-borough attractions for tourists. Expect an already decent hood to flourish. Now if only you could use slightly illegal municipal bills to fund your next move like the Yankees, this real estate purchase would be so much easier.

A rather quirky aspect of the apartment is the serious wall-length disco mirror. But hey, I guess the mirror makes it look bigger*. A really nice amenity is that parking is actually available at an attended garage for $189/month. Even if $189 seems high, it beats not being on a waiting list. Alternate side is a bitch (except for this Tuesday. Because of Diwali, the Hindu festival of Lights alternate side is suspended. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to Lakshmi).

Joyce Kilmer Park on 161st Street is a nice stretch of green across from the courthouse on 161st with a nice lorelei statue (A lorelie is like a German siren. If you don't know what a siren is I can't help you. Read some Homer). Right across from this apartment is the hidden Franz Sigel Park, which park dwellers actually have to ascend to enjoy. It is pretty cool to be elevated over the nabe - a little green oasis in the sky. The Bronx Museum of the Arts is up on 165th and the Grand Concourse, but there is art up and down the Grand Concourse in the 160s and 150s with beautiful Art Deco architecture.

Lots of choices for transportation. For those who work on the West Side there is the B/D at 155th or 161st. For those who work on the East Side there is the 4 at 161st and Jerome. And pretty soon you'll have a Metro North stop around the corner as well (another aspect of the Yankee Stadium development Bacchanalia- it's like real estate Caligula).

Another added bonus of the hood is that if you're a keggler, the nabe's got you covered too; Ball Park Lanes is on 160th and River Avenue (literally across from the soon to be old Yankee Stadium).

*That's what she said

If It Wasn't for the Bronx...

"...This rap s**t probably wouldn't be goin' on." -Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz.
Just a reminder to Chuck D of Public Enemy. Apparently, there is a Long Island Music Hall of Fame, and Roosevelt's own Public Enemy has been inducted. This is all great.

If you want to read the whole Newsday Article click here.

The reason we're covering this is two-fold:
1) the weekends are really light in the blogosphere, AND
2) Chuck D seemed to disparage the Bronx (or at least Bronx rappers) in some of his comments.

In the lead paragraph Chuck states:

"People used to come from the Bronx and from Brooklyn with a chip on their shoulders, thinking that just because rap started there that they'd be better," the Public Enemy leader says, with a laugh. "I destroyed them, man. I would tell people when they were coming into Adelphi, from the Bronx or from Brooklyn or other parts of New York City, 'The vibe is in the Bronx and Manhattan, but you ain't got the vibe. You ain't fly with all the jive. Don't come here thinking you're all this.' They definitely called me 'country bumpkin,' but I was gonna bust their --. They're not gonna sound louder or stronger. That's just not gonna happen." [Newsday]

Listen Chuck, we're not saying the Public Enemy isn't the best rap group to come out of Roosevelt, we're just saying that the Bronx has produced many more (and better) hip-hop artists than the entirety of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. A little respect for the origins of your craft would be nice too.

We have a deep respect for hip-hop. In fact, if you didn't know our name is derived from KRS-one's famous BoogieDown productions. BoogieDowner wants to drive home the fact that the BoogieDown is the Bethlehem of Hip-hop. A global movement all started in a humble abode, namely 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. That's kinda like a manger, no? Maybe the Bronx could have its own hip-hop hall of fame? Maybe house it at 1520 Sedgwick? We'd be able to fill that thing just with rappers from TerrorSquad.

By the way, does anybody really think Flavor Flav would have been able to hang on St. Anne's Avenue in the 80s without getting clowned? Just wondering...
And if you ever forget the status of the Bronx in the rap world remember Fat Joe's lyric:
"The Bronx mothered this rap shit."

*pic of Chuck D courtesy of, pic of Fat Joe courtesy of*

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Crotona Park on the Come Up

This week's "Living In" feature in the NY Times profiles Crotona Park East.

It's nice to see the media cover the Bronx. And this article paints an honest picture of this hood.

A once truly blighted nabe is stepping back up and harnessing the energy of revitalization sweeping through the Bronx.

Crotona Park East was once a symbol of everything that was negative about the Bronx in the 70s and 80s. For God's sake, Jimmy Carter's famous Charlotte Street photo-op took place in the hood. Now, Crotona Park is on the right trajectory and really becoming a place that its residents can enjoy.

One thing the Times neglected to highlight is that Crotona Park is home to a professional tennis tournament every year. The GHI Bronx Tennis Classic, which takes place in mid-August, usually serves as a tune up for the US Open later on in August. The participants, both men and women, are all internally ranked professionals. Tickets can be had for as little as $10.

In any case, big up Crotona Park East!


Photo of the Day

Stairs From Kingsbridge Heights to Riverdale
Photo sent in by BoogieDowner reader Henry C.

Yankee Stadium Metro North Stop

Some of the most undervalued amenities of the Bronx are the Harlem and Hudson lines of Metro North. And the Bronx is going to get another station in the next year or so at Yankee Stadium. Click here for an Daily News article about the progress.

The map below is pretty hard to read, so BoogieDowner will list all the stops these two lines make. Most are 20 minutes to Grand Central and 15 minutes to 125th Street.

Harlem Line: Melrose, Tremont, Fordham, Bontanical Garden, Williamsbridge, Woodlawn, and Wakefield.

Hudson LIne: [Yankee Stadium], Morris Heights, University Heights, Marble Hill, Spuyten Duyvil, and Riverdale.
Just a little FYI for people who maybe didn't know how plentiful the transportation options are here in the BoogieDown.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Shameful Sai Baba

It seems that notorious Curbed commenter,Sai Baba decided to post a comment on a great City Room article by David Gonzalez, The South Bronx, and Proudly So. The only issue is that Sai gave his name as Miss BoogieDowner in the comment, which is his seemingly pejorative name for BooogieDowner. For shame, Sai. Be man or woman enough to post under your own name.
See Below for the actual comment and the fraudulent by-line at the end. Come clean Sai...

The new bicycle lanes, traffic patterns, and pedestrian space are wonderful.
But I worry that “hipsterfiers” are going to move in, get rid of the grit, shut down all the dollar stores, replace them with Starbucks, and push out all the current residents. (hipster + gentrifier = hipsterfier)
Also, it’s okay to let the South Bronx be called the South Bronx. Forget “Downtown Bronx”, “The Hub”, or “SoBro”.
Most of all, let’s keep The Bronx *real*!

— Miss BoogieDowner

While BoogieDowner applauds the great progress at the HUB, we do not agree that "grit" is better than development. In some of his more outlandish Curbed comments Sai has stated that he would prefer dollar stores, tranny hookers, and dope heads to progress and development. BoogieDowner thinks that sentiment just plain dumb.

Click here for one of Sai's most recent (and ridiculous) comments.


Photo of the Day

Photo courtesy of Somebody Shouted McIntyre,

Event Reminders: TGIF!

Bronx Revolution/Bronx Underground Parties
There will be a Bronx Revolution Pre-Halloween Bash at Bruckner Bar & Grill in Mott Haven tonight. As always, there will be great drink specials, and great music. Doors open at 10pm. Click here for more info.
There's also a Bronx Underground Halloween Dance Party with costume contest for all ages at First Lutheran Church in Throggs Neck tomorrow, 10/25 at 6pm. Admission is $9. Click here for more info.

It's My Park! Day
Tomorrow, 10/25, at 10am is It's My Park! Day throughout NYC. Click here to see an overview of the day and figure out exactly where your local park's event is taking place.
For anyone living in the Bedford Park area, the Bedford Mosholu Community Association will be meeting at the Mosholu Comfort Station at Webster Avenue and Mosholu Pkwy. South.

Fordham University Homecoming
An event near and dear to BoogieDowner's heart because we really appreciate any socially acceptable excuse for daytime drinking... Events take place tomorrow, 10/25, from 11am to 4:30pm under the tent at Eddie's Parade. And, oh yeah, there's a football game too... FU will be beating Lafayette - kickoff is at 1pm. Click here for a complete lineup of events.

Halloween Horrah! at New York Botanical Garden
This Halloween celebration takes place on Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festivities – a kids parade, pumpkins and fun activities for the whole family – begin at the Leon Levy Visitor Center and the Mosholu Gate entrance where children receive a goody bag which they can fill with non-edible treats on their walk through the garden, (in their own costumes, of course). Parades will begin in front of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students with ID, $7 for ages 2 to 12, and free for kids under 2. For more information, call (718) 817-8700 or visit (Event listing courtesy of

Boo at the Zoo
Tons of activities taking place for kids at the Bronx Zoo this weekend... click here for the full lineup.

Final Weekend of Medea at Lehman
This is the final weekend to catch a performance of Medea at The Studio Theatre at Lehman College. Performance tonight, 10/24, and tomorrow, 10/25 at 8pm and Sunday, 10/26 at 3pm. General admission is $10, $8 for seniors and non-Lehman students, and free for Lehman students. Click here for more info.

Flamenco Music and Dance at Lehman Center
Compañí Flamenco José Porcel, a premier dance troupe which brings the exciting art form of flamenco vibrantly and colorfully to life with internationally praised musicians, vocalists and dancers, will be performing at the Lehman Center on Sunday, 10/26 at 3pm. Tickets range from $35 to $10 for children. Click here for more info.

Free Community Rowing
Tomorrow, 10/25, is the last Saturday to take part in free community rowing with Rocking the Boat. Rowing takes place from 12 to 5pm at Rocking the Boat's Bronx River site at Hunts Point Riverside Park (intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Edgewater Road). Click here or call 718.991.2032 for more info.

Retumba at Bronx Library Center
Retumba, an all-female, multi-cultural dance and percussion group formed in 1981, will perform at the Bronx Library Center tomorrow, 10/25, at 2:30pm. Click here for more info.

Bedford Park Fun Fair and Flea Market
The Bedford Park Congregational Church, located at 309 E. 201st St. on the corner of Bainbridge Avenue, will hold its Annual Fun Fair and Flea Market on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Congregation invites all to join them for bargains, food, fellowship, raffles and prizes. For more information contact Rev. Dr. Christopher Ponnuraj at (718) 367-8996. (Event listing courtesy of

Latino College Fair at the Mount
College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale will be hosting a free Latino College Fair and Paying-for-College Workshop tomorrow, 10/25. Events begin at 1pm. Click here for more info.

Halloween Party at Amalgamated Nursery School
Amalgamated Nursery School is hosting a Halloween party on Sunday, 10/26 from 11am to 3pm at Vladeck Hall (74 Van Cortlandt Park South at Hillman Ave). There is a $7 children's activity fee, and adults accompanying children are free. Some of the fun-for-the-whole-family activities include: pumpkin decorating, mask making, creepy crawly maze, sparkly spider potion, bone dig, trick or treat bags, tattoo parlor, cupcake decorating, homemade goodies, and hotdogs/beverages. For more information, please call 718-543-8688.

Free Concert at Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts hosts a free concert, Serenades for Winds, featuring the Bronx Symphony Orchestra performing classical music, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. The museum is located at 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street, south wing, lower gallery. For more information, call (718) 681-6000 ext. 120. (Event listing courtesy of

Know of anything else happening this weekend in the BoogieDown?
Send us a tip at

*Our favorite photo of classy ladies holding TGIF sign courtesy of*


City Island Up-Close

Click here to read a piece by David Vega-Barachowitz about City Island in today's Columbia Spectator, Columbia University's daily newspaper.

It's nothing you haven't read before, but BoogieDowner likes to hype any little morsel of good press about our bad-ass borough. Aren't we annoying?