Sunday, November 30, 2008

Croton Filtration Plant to Cost $3.1 Billion

What was expected to be a $1.3 billion project has the spiraled completely out of budgetary control . The Croton Filtration Plant, once projected to cost $1.3 billion in 2003, is now slated to ring up at around $3.1 billion.

The controversial water filtration plant, which the DEP ordered the City to build in 1993, is set to be built underground in Van Courtlandt park. More specifically, the plant is set to be built under the driving ranges at the park.

Critics claim the skyrocketing cost of the plant is just one part of a general mismanagement by the City of the entire project.

[Jennifer Peltz, AP via Newsday]

*photo courtesy of Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times*


Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Day Church Gets Noticed

BoogieDowner was beyond pleased to see our neighbor, Brooklyn-transplant Doug Cunningham, and his new Methodist congregation recognized by Katherine Bindley (who also wrote about BoogieDowner a while back) in the NY Times.

The piece describes the nomadic existence of New Day and its services held in a funeral home and most recently in Bronx Science High School's cafeteria. Pastor Doug is taking this whole, "'My father was a wandering Aramean" bit seriously!

We wish nothing but the best for New Day and for Pastor Doug and his family.

It was nice to see some familiar names and institutions mentioned in the article as well, like Norwood News and sometime BoogieDowner commenter, Gregory Lobo Jost.

With two NY Times articles in less than 5 months, Bainbridge House (our co-op building) is on fire with press for the Bronx.

Food Fights on Friday, Salvation on Sunday
[Katherine Bindley, NY Times]

*photo courtesy of Rob Bennett for NY Times*

Friday, November 28, 2008

Montefiore Pioneering Laugh Therapy

Apologies to all the BoogieDowner faithful, but this is going to be a light day. Post holiday obligations and leftover sandwiches will have me away from the interweb and the blogosphere most of the day.

In any case, here is a light story for a light day.

Montefiore Medical Center, the diadem in the crown of Bronx medicine, is using laugh therapy to help its cancer patients deal with the stress and psychological trauma the deadly disease brings.

While there have been no fancy medical journals explaining or confirming the exact physiological effects of laughter therapy, laughter itself has been proved to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.

To read the AP story about Montefiore and Laughter Therapy, click HERE.

*frightening clown image courtesy of*


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo of scary turkey-hat lady courtesy of


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Cause

Be Part Of The Solution.
POTS is a very worthy cause to which all Bronxites should contribute. Located at 2761 Webster Avenue (198th cross street), P.O.T.S serves some of the neediest Bronxites and New Yorkers everyday.

POTS’ Mission is to be a loving community in the Bronx that nourishes the basic needs and hungers of all who come to their door. POTS serves as a soup kitchen, emergency food center, a welcoming haven for the most marginalized New Yorkers, and a multi-service organization attempting to holistically approach the issues of poverty and homelessness.

Please find it in your heart to donate money, food, or clothing. If these lean economic times have impacted you to the point that you cannot donate materially, you can always volunteer your time serving or cooking food.

While Thanksgiving is certainly a time when we all feel that inclination to help those less fortunate, poverty and homelessness are year round, constant, and crushing burdens for those who experience them.

To find out more information, please visit the POTS Website or call 718-220-4892

POTS Photo Gallery


Photo of the Day

Fountain at New York Botanical Garden Photo courtesy of Simone Davis ~

Round'em Up

Here are some Bronx-related stories we've rounded up you, our lovely readers, while trolling the interweb with our horse and lasso this morning:


Listing of the Day: Woodlawn Co-op

4320 Van Cortlandt Park East Ave. 2 Bedroom -$199,000

This is a nice little starter apartment in a nice neighborhood near one of the best parks in the city - and lots of drinking.

BoogieDowner was actually pretty surprised to see a true two bedroom in Woodlawn for this price. Any other time we've seen a listing for a supposed two bedroom for under $200K in Woodlawn it turned out to be a Jr. 4 in Wakefield. When you look at all of the pics in the listing there indeed are two real and distinct bedrooms. There is no hallway or foyer being called a bedroom. And the pictures aren't fact they're quiet nice.

Clearly Van Cortlandt Park is a great amenity, and of course you'd have all those pubs and eateries in the vicinity. You'd also be close to Cousin Tommy, which is a benefit in and of itself.

Speaking of Cousin Tommy, a few more salesmen of the month plaques and accompanying bonuses and you'll be in the market for this puppy, Tommy Boy. Just think of it: being able to drop into Rambling House to order a pint and proclaiming: "I'm Cousin Tommy- Home Owner." Oh! How the Hibernian lasses will swoon.

Transportation is okay. Not sure what the usual practice is, but the Woodlawn 4 train is technically not in Woodlawn; it's down in North Norwood near the cemetery. I am assuming that people take a bus to the 4 train. There is also a Metro North stop on the other side of the hood on Webster Ave. Any Woodlawners, please chime in about your commute. Do you hoof it to the 4 train or take a bus?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let the Healing Begin...

Daily News' Elizabeth Benjamin reports that Assemblymen Carl Heastie, leader of the Rainbow Rebels, has won the fight for control of the Bronx Democratic party.

Click here to read all about the decision.


Photo of the Day

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train ShowPhoto courtesy of Somebody Shouted McIntyre, Flickr

Round'em Up

Here are some Bronx-related stories we've rounded up you, our lovely readers, while trolling the interweb with our horse and lasso this morning:

House of Spices to return to Hunts Point? []

'Middle of the road' apartments set to rise in Riverdale (how refreshing, assuming 'middle of the road' doesn't mean $500K for a two-bedroom unit) [Riverdale Ramblings]


A Tommy Grows in the Bronx

Like all good Irish/Italian American families, the BoogieDowner has a lot of cousins. They are scattered near and far, from England to Philadelphia... But up until a few weeks ago, not one of them lived in our beloved borough.

Until now - Woodlawn watch out... Cousin Tommy's in town. Cousin Tommy is perhaps one of the most dapperly clad of the cuzzes, and certainly the best dancer of the bunch. He has agreed to find time somewhere between throwing back pints at the pubs on McLean Avenue and being named 'Salesman of the Month' at his job downtown to contribute his take on life in the Bronx to the BoogieDowner.

Without further ado, here is Cousin Tommy's story:

Well, here it is folks. The highly anticipated, often debated, and most awaited debut of a young man you will come to know as simply, Cousin Tommy. One day, my story will be told at your local barbershop, brew house, and bodega. I'm coming up by my own bootstraps, and calling the shots. But ya' see, not long ago, I used to let the shots call me. But that will come later, now back to why I'm here.

Living in Canada, or Connecticut, wasn't always easy.

The commute to Manhattan alone would be enough to bring a two ton grizzly to his knees in agony. Every morning I rose with the roosters, cared for my stock, and left the farm to head to the big city. While most were sheltered in bed and counting sheep, I was fighting for my spot on the coldblooded "do or die" platforms of the Fairfield County, CT Metro North Railway. The days were long, the nights lonely, and the seats uncomfortable.

So once I finally put a couple of deals together down in the big city, my commission came in, and I heard a voice. It was my cousin Peter, a Fordham alum, who years ago weaved a magical tale of this place in the Bronx (okay, technically the city-line of Yonkers, but close enough), known as McLean Avenue. His story of streets lined with Irish pubs and Fordham girls lit a fuse which burned quietly in my mind for years to come.

This dream did not take to fruition immediately... certainly not, life doesn't work like that. It took a celebration of life to bring me to this place called Woodlawn in the Bronx. I had just returned from a four month stay in Dublin, Ireland, when the birth of ErLu's own baby girl, Pearl, was reason enough for me to head to the BoogieDown for the first Christening that I had ever been on time to. The Rambling House on Katonah Ave held the function, I was charmed, and the rest… well, the rest ain't here yet.

So, while many of my graduating class chose to fertilize Brooklyn with their Connecticut ways, I chose not. I chose life. I chose… the Bronx. And I'm sure that somewhere a tree does grow in Brooklyn, but who cares - a Tommy grows in the Bronx.

~Cousin Tommy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Listing of the Day: Williamsbridge Rental

East 219 Street at Willett Avenue, 3 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom $1,500/month

This apartment is a three bedroom and is crazy cheap.

Williamsbridge isn't the most happening hood in the world, but this wouldn't be a bad split for three people trying to save a little dough. Williamsbridge 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 those imbibing and convivial Irish attitudes. You might even rub elbows with the rising star that is Cousin Tommy if you decide to cross the river and have a few pops.

Nothing too amazing about the apartment itself, but hey what do you want for $500/month per bedroom? On the other hand, there is nothing all that bad about the apartment either. For this price you might expect a converted meth lab or sex farm of some sort. But alas, the unit seems to be free from any nefarious past incarnations and ready for move in.

Transportation is really close - like a block to the 2/5 219th Street stop. You're also kinda sorta near the Williamsbridge Metro North stop on Gun Hill Road.


Photo of the Day

Bedford Park Blvd.Photo by ErLu

A D-bag Grows in Brooklyn (shocker...)

Apologies for the crass language... I sat here for five minutes trying to think of a word to call this guy, but "d-bag" just kept buzzing in my ear over and over.

You've probably already heard about this particular d-bag (Kimber VanRy) living in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, because he's used the media to whine and complain for months now since receiving a $25 ticket for drinking a beer on the stoop of his co-op back in August.

The whole thing is so annoying - you're not on the front porch of your own house on your own private residential plot of land set back from the sidewalk dude. You live in a shared community space, and it's illegal to drink your Sierra Nevada on the stoop - deal with it, pay your $25 fine and move on.

But that's not even really the thing pissing BoogieDowner off...

According to the Daily News, he has a trial set for December 11th and is looking for pro bono legal representation. According to the Times piece, Mr. VanRy is "an international sales manager for a supplier of stock film footage, video and music." This professional background, coupled with the fact that Mr. VanRy owns a co-op, leads me to believe he could probably pay for his own legal representation for this stupid, self-serving court battle. If you're not willing to fund your own battle, don't start the fight.

Please Mr. VanRy... go back inside your apartment to drink your pale ale and don't clog the already overburdened court system with your silly little pissing contest with the NYPD.

And please leave the pro bono legal representation to those who really need it.

*Photo courtesy of Ward for Daily News*


Round'em Up

Here are some Bronx-related stories we've rounded up you, our lovely readers, while trolling the interweb with our horse and lasso this morning:

Also be sure to scroll down through our weekend posts for other news, such as Adolpho Carrion hitting the big time, and restaurant review of Pio Pio by Simone Davis.


BoogieDowner Observation

Daily News' Stephanie Gaskell has piece regarding the uptick in popularity of food co-ops as the economy continues its downward spiral.

Of course most of the piece is centered around the hugely popular (and we're going to guess hugely annoying - they have valet parking for bikes there) Park Slope Co-op, but the South Bronx Food Co-op gets a nice shout out at the end of the article.

Ms. Gaskell is not one of the News' Bronx borough reporters, so we're happy to see she did some digging and the gave the BoogieDown some ink. Not too long ago a story like this would have been all about Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn. The only way we would have been happier is if the Norwood Food Co-op got some love as well, but we aren't complaining. Baby steps, people... Baby steps.


Listing of the Day: Hunts Point Building

855 Bryant Avenue, 36 unit 6-story apartment building -$4,000,000
This is an entire building in Hunts Point for what amounts to less than $112,000 per unit. Now we know not many BoogieDowner readers have this kind of dough to through around, but we just wanted to show how cheap one could get an entire building (if $4 mil can ever be described as cheap) if one was in the market for whole buildings.
This building is right down the block from the Bank Note Building, which is set to be a new commercial l loft space that provides shopping and some nice market rate residential lofts in the near future. Not sure at the speed with which this will happen now with the credit crisis, but I guess it will eventually get done.

This building is also close by the brand new Hunts Point Riverside Park as well (so new the parks department hasn't put up pics on its website yet!).

The transportation is not bad, with the 6 train Hunts Point Avenue station close by.

So if the credit morass hasn't crippled your ability to borrow serious amounts of money and you want to roll the dice on Hunts Point, here's a $4,000,000 bet for you.

And if you are really excited about "green" initiatives and new parks, read this NY Magazine article about Hunts Point in 2016, by Alexandra Lange.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Peruvian Cuisine Arrives In The South Bronx!

Pio Pio, a Peruvian restaurant with locations around NYC, opened up shop in Mott Haven not too long ago, and how lucky we are! With a great atmosphere to match their delicious food, this place is so popular I have no doubt it will be around for quite some time. While the location seems surprising (138th and Cypress - not a lot of upscale action in that particular area, but hey - who's complaining), the chain's foray into the Bronx does not. And the newly announced Zagat rating will only continue to boost their popularity (this place was packed!)

What I found: lively and energizing music, nice casually upscale decor, attentive and friendly service and food so scrumptious you'll be already planning your next visit before you've ordered your coffee and dessert! Sadly, at this location they cannot serve their famous Pisco Sours, but order one of their huge glasses of Sangria and you'll blissfully enjoy your evening (those things pack a whollop!!). The portions are enormous, so much so that I doggiebagged it and enjoyed leftovers the next day. While the menu isn't vast (hint: you must love chicken), the flavors are delish and the prices so reasonable you will be pleasantly surprised when the bill arrives - that is of course if you either a) are an American Express cardholder or b) you remember to pull cash before you arrive. I was in neither category so I found myself running (in high heels!) to the nearest bodega in search of an ATM. Can we say Total Buzz Kill?!? (Note to Pio Pio owners: What are you THINKING??? But your place is so divine, I guess you deserve a pass...) So, guys - check out their menu and be sure to pay them a visit, AMEX or cash in hand!

Transportation is easy: Just off the #6 Cypress stop.

~Simone Davis

Another Cheese Option On Arthur Avenue

Okay, so this is just a brief heads up to all the cheese lovers out there. BoogieDowner, like the rest of the turophiles (fancy word for cheese-lovers) within a hundred miles of Arthur Ave., swears by the fresh mozzarella at Casa della Mozzarella on 187th street. As the missus and I tried to purchase some of the famous mozzarella and asiago from the renowned cheese-purveyors, we were met by a line out the door and an old fashioned "take a number" machine. Our number was 74; they were serving 58. It dawned on us that this was the weekend before Thanksgiving and that every foodie in the tri-state area had descended on Arthur Ave. to buy provisions. What to do?
Well, BoogieDowner found a great plan B in Calandra's Cheese, which is all the way down on Arthur Ave. near Cresent. The mozzarella is great and really just a small step below Casa's, and the asiago was actually better! And most importantly... no line. The only annoying part was that there is a $25 minimum for debit cards. Although it's kinda scary that it wasn't that hard for us to buy $25 worth of cheese (keep in mind this is cheese for personal use, we're not hosting Thanksgiving this year).

In any case, Calandra's is a viable option for impatient cheese heads.

Mother Earth is Soooo High Maintenance

This is old news at this point, but we at BoogieDowner just wanted to kvetch about it...

The damn holiday light show (usually held at night) at the Bronx Zoo has been replaced by a "Winter Wonderland" daylight festival in order to conserve energy and be greener (and undoubtedly save a nice chunk of greenbacks as well - pun intended... hehe - we're such clever writers we think we smell a special guest writer gig invitation from 30 Rock soon).

All's we have to say about this is boooooooooooo!!!! Er, I mean, excellent, nicely done Wildlife Conservation Society. CO2 emmissions are bad. Saving energy is good. But damn, what a bummer. We finally have a little bambina to trot out in her cute holiday clothes to see the light show, and now it's cancelled all because Mother Earth is about as high maintenance as Mariah Carey right now.

We'll just have to push our selfish little energy wasting thoughts aside and trot out the little one in her cute holiday clothes during the DAY instead. Our life is so hard.

I guess we'll just have to get our wasteful energy and lighting fix down an the annual residential yuletide spectacle on the corner of Westervelt and Pelham Parkway (pictured at right).

Editor's Note: We are not evil. We recycle, we bought the reusable shopping bags (admittedly half the time we forget to bring them when we go out shopping, but hey, we're trying), we refill our water bottles instead of drinking 20 Poland Springs a day, and we even use the fronts AND backs of the paper when we're printing something. Did I mention we joined the Norwood Food Co-op? At this point we're basically like the Brangelina of the green world, wouldn't you say? Except much better looking.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Carrion Possible HUD Secretary

The BoogieDown's beep has a decent shot at being a member of the Obama administration. Jonathan P. Hicks of the NY Times is reporting that Mr. Carrion is a serious candidate for the Housing and Urban Development post.

President Of Bronx Could Get Cabinet Post [Jonathan P. Hicks, NY Times]

We hope that Adolfo remembers his roots in the Bronx when he is in Washington and makes sure the BoogieDown is taken care with lots of housing and urban development.

The BoogieDowner would also like to point out another historic barrier broken with this potential appointment: a guy basically named Adolf might rise to a cabinet position after WWII. I think maybe the Secretary of Education's name might be Judas.

BoogieDowner wholeheartedly supports Mr. Carrion's potential appointment. We heart him.

*photo courtesy of*

Beep Responds to Bronx Wentz's Name

Adolfo Carrion, Jr., the Bronx Borough President is quoted by Gothamist as stating,

It’s great to hear that Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson named their son after such great place. I hope baby Bronx gets the opportunity to see what a beautiful and eclectic borough he was named after.”
[Full Post by Gothamist's Jen Carlson after the JUMP]

The BoogieDowner, along with the Bronx Borough President's Office (for the sake of transparency, let it be known Carrion's office has not deputized us for this task, nor do we have any official relationship with Mr. Carrion's office) officially extends an invite to Bronx Wentz and his parents to come to the Bronx and take a tour with us. Or at the very least have a play date with baby Pearl at the Botanical Garden or the Zoo.

BoogieDowner is eagerly awaiting pics!


Bloomy Backing Down on Rebate Donnybrook

BoogieDowner reported recently that Mayor Mike had been misinformed at to his ability to stop the $400 rebate checks that go out every year to NYC homeowners. It turns out that because it was part of a City Council approved budget, Hizzoner needed the Council's approval to stop the checks. It was pretty damned clear that the approval from the City Council was not forthcoming.

Upon being informed of this snag to his plan on channelling the Grinch, Bloomy dug his heels in and frankly refused to admit that the law was not going to allow him to do what he wanted. Sounds kinda familiar, right (term limits, anyone?)

It seems after some political temper tantrum throwing, Mayor Mike is realizing that he too has to play by the rules. Read about it below in the Times.

Bloomberg Softens Tone in Rebate Check Dispute
[Jonathan P Hicks, NY Times]

BoogieDowner's official stance is that we could use the money. As much as we understand the hardships that every citizen, city, and state are experiencing, we feel it's better to have money being spent in the economy. Now let's get BoogieDowner in that Treasury Secretary spot for the Obama administration. Larry Summers is overrated anyway. And who in the world is Timothy Geithner?


Espada the Elephant a Tad Forgetful

The Daily News recently reported that State Senator-elect, Pedro Espada Jr. had missed all five required financial disclosures for his campaign this year.

This lack of disclosure makes it virtually impossible to see who bankrolled his recent primary (which for a Democrat in the Bronx is the campaign) against disgraced former State Senator Efrain Gonzalez. To indicate how important being a Democrat is to political success in the BoogieDown, here is a video we posted way back in the primary (courtesy of West Bronx Blog). Espada a secret elephant?

There is, although, a Political Action Campaign called "Espada for the People," which is supposed to be prohibited from making direct expenditures for a campaign. Now I am not sure about what constitutes a "direct expenditure," and I do not want to imply any nefarious wrong doing on the part of "Espada for the People," but as a resident of Bedford Park, and as a neighbor(?) of Mr. Espada, my wife and I have received piles of mailings denying Mr. Espada is a closet Republican, promising school supplies to struggling families, and the coup de grace, a mailing that paired the Senator-elect with then presidential candidate Barack Obama.

On top of these murky campaign finances, Espada also finds himself on the wrong side of the Democratic leadership in Albany because he will not support Malcolm Smith, an African American state Senator from Queens, as majority leader. The gripe from Mr. Espada and the three other Democratic dissidents can be boiled down to Mr. Smith's not being a Latino. Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News reports:

"The dissidents - three of them Hispanic - told the governor they are tired of the state's Democratic Party taking Latinos for granted, despite their role in the party's huge victories on Election Day." [Daily News]

Mr. Espada sure knows how to get attention and press, huh? Somehow I think that the potential $500 fine for not filing properly is a little lenient. If found to have not filed intentionally is there any steeper penalty available for Mr. Espada? Any politicos want to chime in?

Also for your viewing pleasure, a video of Mr. Espada getting sassy with one of our neighbors back when his residency was in doubt. To be fair to Mr. Espada, the courts ruled that he did indeed have legal residency. In any case, let the sassiness ensue:

You can also read all about the Espada saga in the most recent issue of the Norwood News.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Event Reminders: TGIF!

Bronx Revolution Party
There's a Bronx Revolution party tonight, 11/21, at Bruckner Bar & Grill in Mott Haven. This month's party will feature live indie and dance-rock bands including Looking Glass Wars and Bronx-based Millsted. DJs Adam Underground and special guest DJ Xio spin 80s, new wave, indie, rock n roll, 90s, punk, electro and more all night long. Drink specials throughout the night! New art in the gallery space. Must over 18 - Doors open at 10pm. $7 cover, $5 if you bring a flyer with you. Click here for more info.

'Tale of a Ghetto Matriarch' @ BAAD
Tale of a Ghetto Matriarch: Retro Petro, a one-woman show opening at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD), promises to be singular, but certainly not small. Elizabeth Marerro, who performs in drag as “King Macha,” tells the comedic tale of the life and times of a ghetto matriarch, with choreography and direction by Arthur Aviles of the Bronx’s Typical Theater. BAAD is located at 841 Barretto St. Shows take place at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21, 22, 28 and 29. Tickets are $15 with reservations and $20 at the door. For more information, click here or call (718) 842-5223.

Lehman Big Band Performance
The Lehman Big Band will perform works by Jazz greats Basie, Goodman, Herman, Miller and others on Sunday, 11/23, at 2pm. Admission is free. Click here for more info.

'In the Blood' Performance @ Hostos
La Negrita, a homeless mother of five, lives with her kids on the rough streets of the inner city. Admission: $10 CUNY students, faculty, staff: $5 Hostos students, faculty, staff: Free with ticket. Click here for more information.

The Trains Are Back! Ahhhhh!
The New York Botanical Garden presents the annual Holiday Train Show, featuring large-scale model trains and more than 140 miniature replicas of New York landmarks created from plant parts, Nov. 23 through Jan. 11, in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Complementing this show is Gingerbread Adventures, a fun and educational component for children, including hands-on activities, in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. For more information, call (718) 817-8700. There is a "member preview" from 10am to 7pm today, 11/21, and tomorrow, 11/22.

Toddler Two Step @ Bronx Library Center
Move around and enjoy books during this fun packed program tomorrow, 11/22 at 11am. For toddlers 18 to 36 months old with their parent/caregiver. Preregistrtion is required. Click here for more info.

Native American Tales @ Bronx Library Center
Stories presented by Regina Ress tomorrow, 11/22, at 2pm. Recommended for children ages 5 to 12 years old. Click here for more info.

Orlando Marin Quartet @ Bronx Library Center
Check out an entertaining afternoon of Latin American music including mambo and cha-cha-cha performed by the Orlando Marin Quartet tomorrow, 11/22, at 2:30pm. Born in the Bronx and a contemporary of Tito Puente, Machito, Tito Rodriguez and other New York mambo-era icons, Orlando Marin - The Last Mambo King- is the only orchestra leader from New York's golden era of mambo who still performs regularly. Click here for more info.

Get Your Mind, Body and Spirit Healthy
Okay, this one actually takes place on Monday after the weekend is over, but we figured we'd highlight it here for your planning purposes...
Methodist Church Home is providing a free workshop called “Staying Healthy in Body, Mind and Spirit,” given by Dr. Solomon Reuben on Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. The workshop’s aim is to help individuals with nutrition, exercise, emotional/psychological growth, stress management, relaxation/meditation and spirituality. The Methodist Church is located at 4499 Manhattan College Parkway. Reservations must be made for this workshop. To make reservations or for more information, call (718) 548-5100 ext. 231.

Cheap Art Classes
While we're at it, here's another event happening Monday at Methodist Church Home...
Methodist Home Art Classes: Methodist Home will offer art classes every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. The classes will focus on abstract landscape art, and will be suitable for a wide range of artistic abilities. A fee of $5 per class will be charged at the door. To register, please call (718) 548-5100 ext. 231. The Methodist Home is located at 4499 Manhattan College Parkway, Riverdale.

Know of anything else happening this weekend in the BoogieDown? Send us a tip at
Big ups to, from whom we've copied several of the above event listings!
*Our favorite photo of classy ladies holding TGIF sign courtesy of*


Bronx Wentz Update

Here is Poppa Pete's reasoning behind lil' Bronx's unusual moniker:

"As for the baby's name, Bronx, Wentz said his goal was to make sure his kid would have a moniker that would work as either 'a rock star or a senator.'" [OMG-Yahoo]

Good thinking, Pete...


Listing of the Day: Van Nest Co-op

Brady Court Complex, 756 Brady Avenue, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom - $159,000

What a deal! A two bedroom, 850 square foot co-op for less than $160K. You could walk to the Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. Pelham Parkway is close by and serves as a miles long stretch of usable green park space. Decent shopping can be found along White Plains Road. Some people would call this Bronxdale, some would call it Van Nest, and most would just say "near the Zoo." Take your pick.

The pics show really nice hardwood floors, arched doorways, and tons of windows. The one thing that always gets me nervous is when listings do not have pics of the kitchen and bathroom. Kind of sort of makes you feel like they're hiding some monstrosity. Or maybe not; who knows?

Transportation is not bad. You're about halfway between the Bronx Park East and Morris Park 5 train stations. Neither station is more than 5 blocks away. And if you're staying in the Bronx to check out some of the borough's numerous attractions that aren't in walking distance, you can always take the BX12 bus west along Pelham Parkway to Arthur Ave (mmmm...) and Fordham Road or east to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach and City Island.

Obviously no Pelham Parkway mention is complete without BoogieDowner's homage to residential yuletide spectacle. Wow your friends with your hood's serious holiday pride. This annual spectacle on the corner of Westervelt and Pelham Parkway is not to be missed, but often overlooked.

Merry Festivus!


Ashlee Simspon Names New Son "Bronx"

Simpson and her emo-rocker hubby Pete Wentz (are they married?) have actually named their new child Bronx Mowgli Wentz. The BoogieDowner is not bullshitting you. This is the truth.

In any case, I am glad that Ashlee, Pete, and Bronx are doing well. I am also glad that celebrities do enough drugs, and are crazy enough, and are "outside of the box" creative enough to name their kids crazy things. Big up Bronx Wentz - you have big shoes to fill and a bold future to claim.

Was this kid conceived in the BoogieDown somehow? Hmmm.....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'House in a Box' Delivered to the Bronx

Okay, when we first read about these things they seemed a bit depressing to us, but after reading Fred Bernstein's New York Times' piece about prefabricated houses, we kinda want to order one ourselves.

Mr. Bernstein tells the story of long-time Bronx residents, Regina and Bill Morengo, who lived in a 900-square-foot bungalow right on the water in Locust Point. They wanted more space, but refused to leave their picturesque location. They didn't have any space to build out, and the foundation of their home couldn't support the addition of another floor. So what to do?

They decided to order a prefabricated house, which was constructed in a factory in Pennsylvania and was shipped to them in two 18-ton boxes. Their old home was demolished, and the boxes containing the new home were dropped into the site with a crane. The whole thing was over in a few hours, and a contractor worked for only three weeks various "finishing touches," such as installing decks and a new sound system.

Like we said, the thought of having a home which was made in a factory kinda depressed us at first. But then we saw the photos... Holy crap - the place looks like heaven on earth, right here in the BoogieDown. But don't think heaven comes cheap - the project cost over half a million dollars when all was said and done.

Click here for the full story.

*Photos courtesy of Laurie Lambrecht for The New York Times*


Park South Condos Will Pick You Up

Finally, a perk for real estate hunters that actually makes sense. Free whiskey and wine are nice and all, but when the end objective drop a nice chunk of change to buy a piece of property, we'd have to say it's a little silly...

But complimentary car service to shuttle you back and forth to check out your prospects? Now that makes sense.
Real estate agent Jillian Faulls is offering the free ride to buyers with a current pre-qualification letter who wish to view the oh-so-pretty luxury Park South Condominiums in the West Farms hood of the BoogieDown (right near the Bronx Zoo and Little Italy).

Click the ad above to visit her website for more info.


Bronx Biz Network Kick-Off Party

CONCEPT Magazine will be hosting an "Open Door" event with a live fashion shoot this evening at 6pm at the UNO Chicago Grill in Parkchester. The event is designed to kick-off the creation of the Business Network of the Bronx, whose objective is to connect, support, and promote businesses owned and operated in the Bronx.

For more information on the event this evening or the Business Network of the Bronx, contact Sajada Hurtado at or (646) 417-8121 x3.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Port Morris Gets Some Love

New York Times' Alison Gregor has filed a piece singing the praises of Port Morris as one of the last great industrial areas left in New York City.

Like much of the BoogieDown, the biggest perk for the many businesses who have relocated to Port Morris from other NYC hoods is the easy access to vehicular and mass transportation.

At a time when most of the country's/city's real estate market is in the shitter, the Port Morris market is described in Gregor's piece by a CB Richard Ellis senior vice president as: “a very tight market — it’s a tight market for lease, and it’s an even tighter market for sale." [NY Times]

The article goes on to say that while the office vacancy rate in Manhattan is expected to hit double digits soon, Port Morris currently has a vacancy rate of just 2%.

This serves as a nice follow-up to our previous post about the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation... They are mentioned throughout this Times' piece because they have been instrumental in the area's transformation from the symbol of urban blight to a place where businesses can flourish.

Check out the full piece here.
*Map courtesy of*


Big-Wigs Party in the Hamptons for SoBro (Updated)

I know, I know... you're probably annoyed seeing the old "SoBro" acronym up in the title of this post. BoogieDowner has not broken its promise to banish the use of the real estate buzz term for the South Bronx. SoBro in this case stands for: The South Bronx Overall Economic Corporation, an organization which has been working for over 30 years to improve various quality of life issues in the South Bronx. (Although, interestingly enough, if you try to match up the letters in their acronym to the actual letters in the official name of the organization, it doesn't all quite work out...)

Anyhoo, imagine our surprise when we got a Google Alert informing us that the Bronx was mentioned on - swanky! Turns out the South Bronx Overall Economic Corporation held their 36th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction out in the land of the wealthy, (ummm, yeah, we got that wrong - see update below) and tons of big-wigs turned up to toast the organization's accomplishments. By "big-wigs" we basically mean Bill Evans, the comedically blessed weatherman on Channel 7. He's wrong about the weather half the time because he's usually too busy making fun of Joe Nolan, the portly traffic guy, but we love him anyway.

BoogieDowner thinks it's pretty funny that a gala celebrating improvements in the South Bronx was held all the way out in the freaking Hamptons. But hey, you gotta go where the bucks flow, right? (Again, see update... you basically just shouldn't believe anything you read on this site.)

We're really hoping this blingy post gets us a linky-loo from It's not everyday we get to talk about galas, Bill Evans, and the Hamptons all in one post.

Click here to check out the story.

UPDATE: Well, here's another example of how we're piss-poor bloggers: we totally goofed on the locale of this shindig... It was held at the New York Hilton. Additional celebs in attendance were Charlie Rangel, Bill Thompson, Darryl Strawberry, Councilman Robert Jackson and Chancellor Joel Klein among others.

*Photo of the dapperly clad Bill Evans courtesy of*

Listing of the Day: Norwood Rental

Dekalb Avenue at Gun Hill Road, 1 Bedroom - $875/month

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 into jogging or running, or just hanging out under a tree on some nice grass, the Mosholu Parkway (and Norwood) is for you.

This apartment is very reasonably priced at $875/month and the pictures seem to be nice.

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, like McDwyer's and McMahon's, left over 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. The train is over at Mosholu Parkway and Jerome and the Metro North is at the Botanical Garden.

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.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bronx Cultural Expertise Needed

Thanks to a BoogieDowner reader named Karen for bringing this travesty to our attention.

WNYC (93.9 on your FM dial) has a feature on its website entitled, Noteworthy New York. This feature has a map that pinpoints recommendations by local artists about cool stuff in their hoods.

Check out the map HERE.

Great idea - the only issue is the Bronx map is pinpoint-less. (At least we're doing better than Staten Island which isn't even visible on the map). Now BoogieDowner can't really gripe with the people at WNYC because it seems the the pinpointed locations of coolness are user generated.

Here's how WNYC says to add noteworthy hot spots:

"Got a noteworthy place of your own? Tell us why in less than 200 words. Please give us your full name, neighborhood, age and address of the place in question:"

So let's get at it Bronxites! We have to fill that map up with all the BoogieDown coolness we can think of...


Photo of the Day

Van Cortlandt Mansion

Photo courtesy of Simone Davis ~

Turns Out the Grinch Can't Steal Christmas...

Ha! Looks like NYC homeowner's will have an extra $400 to spend this holiday season...

Check out the New York Times story here.


Some News...

Here a few linky-loos to stories of interest to us Bronxites today... What would we do without the Daily News' Bronx Borough coverage? All the New York Post can talk about today is the damn Lillo Brancato trial...

Kappy reports Bronx Dems close to broke [Daily News]

Rat police scouring the South Bronx looking to lock-up rodents [Daily News]

Local leaders and residents continue to protest animal shelter coming to the old Fordham Library [Daily News]

SCA toxic school site in South Bronx all just a big misunderstanding [Daily News]

River of slime in Mott Haven has absentee owner... and City's solution is to keep dumping larvicide in it. Ewh. [Daily News]

Your first peek at the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden [Daily News]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Listing of the Day: Baychester Co-op

Baychester Ave , 3 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathrooms, - $179,000

Ok, now this is in the real periphery of the BoogieDown over near Co-op City and Bay Plaza Mall, but you have to admit that $179K for three bedrooms is pretty shocking - even by Bronx standards.

The thing is big at 1,200 square feet, but does anyone believe this is an actual three bedroom? Is the agent calling a closet or hallway a bedroom? Is there such a thing as a Jr. 5?

If you're out there and reading BoogieDowner agent Frank Colon (as every Bronx realtor should) please chime in and dispel the BoogieDowner's doubt. Is a three bedroom co-op for under $180 a reality?

The pictures do not seem to indicate any grave defects and the hood, while being a bit far from the City, does have proximity to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, City Island and the aforementioned Bay Plaza going for it. The listings actually boasts of a "terrace with phenomenal views."

Transportation would be the Baychester Avenue 5 train, but up this far north there is certainly a bit of a car culture. Wonder what parking's like?


Tsk, tsk, tsk...

One more reason the City really needs to start cracking down on those illegal parking placards...

New York Post's Sally Goldenberg reports that lawyer Stanley Schlein, who formerly worked for Assemblyman Jose Rivera and currently works for "Rainbow Rebel" Assemblyman Carl Heastie, has allegedly been parking illegally outside of the Bronx Supreme Court and displaying a Uniformed Firefighters Association placard which reads "Active Firefighter."

Click here for the full story.


Bronx Pol Ties the Knot

Councilwoman Helen Foster got hitched to Eric Kenyetta McKay, who works for the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, here in the BoogieDown this weekend.


Click here for the New York Times announcement.
*Photo of the lovebirds courtesy of*


NY Times Covers Highbridge Food Pantry Closing

I guess BoogieDowner was asleep at the wheel on Friday because we missed a New York Times piece filed by Katie Bindley about the impending closure of a Highbridge food pantry.

Click here to check it out. There has been other media coverage of this issue, but Ms. Bindley's piece really tells both sides of a complicated story...

*Photo courtesy of Librado Romero/The New York Times*


Put Your Green Thumb to Work

Daily News' Sondra Wolfer reports that the New York Botanical Garden will be hosting free information sessions this week detailing the many career opportunities that are available in the world of horticulture, as well as the continuing education courses you can take at the Garden to gain more expertise in the field.

It's basically a good old-fashioned "Career Day," minus the doctors and lawyers.

So if you've ever wondered while tinkering in your garden if there's any way you could actually make some money using your green thumb, check out the information sessions. They will be held this Tuesday and Wednesday, 11/18 and 11/19, from 6 to 8pm.

Click here for more info.
*Money field photo courtesy of*


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Listing of the Day: City Island Rental

Minnieford Avenue at Beach Street, 1 bedroom $1900/month

Crazy expensive yes, but indicative of the diversity of rental units available in our beloved borough. A private beach and the solitude of City Island are what would draw a renter out here.

There are tons of dining establishments, many of which are seafood based, but other Italian and pub grub options as well. Even though you're on an island with one way in and one way out by car, the BxM7 would take you back to civilization in a hurry as City Island's Express bus to Manhattan. The Bx29 would take you to the Pelham Bay Park 6 train stop for a more local commute. Obviously the Bx29 would also be your route to the Bronx at large.

If you want to check out City Island before signing that lease for just under $2k/month, jump on the tourist trolley that runs on the first Friday of every month. And hey, even if you're not in the market for an isolated water front cottage, you should still check out the trolley to broaden your horizons. Click HERE for more details.


Photo of the Day

Untitled (Bronx on Halloween)Photo courtesy of Somebody Shouted McIntyre via Flickr

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beep Wants You to Get Involved in Community Boards

Borough President Adolfo Carrion is inviting Bronx residents to make a difference in their community by joining their local Community Board. The Office of The Bronx Borough President will be accepting applications for all 12 Community Boards from city residents who live or have professional or other significant interests in The Bronx.

“Participation on local Community Boards can provide Bronx residents with a forum to share their expertise and talents with their community,” stated Borough President Carrion. “It is important that residents are engaged in the issues that affect communities including budget, land use and service delivery issues,” concluded Carrion.

Applications are available at the Borough President’s Community Board office at (718) 590-3914 or at your local community board office. Interested applicants may also get forms on line at The deadline for submission of applications is February 2, 2009.


Greening the Ghetto

Now Hamilton College is all the way up near Utica, but BoogieDowner thought we'd give Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a plug for her lecture there.

Ms. Carter will present a lecture titled "Green the Ghetto - Why, How and What Happens if We Don't," on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hamilton College Chapel.

If you're in that neck of the woods stop by to support a true BooogieDown activist and visionary.

Click HERE for more info.