Monday, November 30, 2009
The Sinfonietta of Riverdale will be presenting it's second concert of the season this Sunday, 12/6, at 2:30pm. Here are some highlights of this weekend's program as explained on the Sinfonietta's website:
Highlights include performances of Gustav Mahler's Song of the Earth and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. Soloists will include Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Theodora Hanslowe and Riverdale's own Wilhelmina Smith, a cellist in demand across the country.The concert will take place at the Riverdale Temple - 4545 Independence Avenue
The season includes one coup that will generate much excitement. The world-renowned Finnish conducting sensation Esa-Pekka Salonen, who just concluded his 17-year tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in order to devote more time to composition, will come to Riverdale to hear his music performed by the Sinfonietta.
As the Sinfonietta's artistic director, Mark Mandarano, notes: "Esa-Pekka Salonen, one of the most celebrated musical figures in the world at this moment, will pay a visit to our community in order to hear the Sinfonietta of Riverdale. He will be conducting the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera next fall, and his music is performed everywhere from London to Berlin to Tokyo. But here in Riverdale he will be just another member of the audience! This is the kind of intimacy with greatness that the Sinfonietta brings to our wonderful nook of the big city."
(at 246th Street), Bronx, New York 10471.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I figured you all might be trying to find ways to pass the day at work, so here's an 8 minute video of some Sarah Palin supporters gathered at her book signing in Columbus, OH.
I'd love to say that I found this on the snarky and intelligent Huffington Post, or theantlantic.com, where it was orginally embedded according to YouTube.com, but sadly I must admit I saw it on PerezHilton.com. That's right, apparently I have the mental capacity of a 16 year old teenybopper girl.
Keep your eyes out for the guy in the Pittsburgh Steelers jacket who's interviewed throughout the piece - he's a real winner.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This second pilot-version, which has added Bedford Park Boulevard as a stop, began on October 26th and will run until December 11th. It's the truth.
From 7am-8:20 am there is a diamond-4 express train that runs from Woodlawn, Mosholu Parkway, Bedford Park, Burnside, 149th, 125th, 86th, etc. With 86th as my destination, the elimination of 8 stops or so makes a real difference. Another bonus is that the train is less crowded without the more local commuters.
I hope this pilot program becomes permanent. Next thing to do would be to make a PM 4 train express with the same stops - now that would be amazing.
In any case, I'll certainly call the MTA to express my gratitude and ask for this glorious express 4 train to become a fixture of the incredibly overcrowded green line.
Ben Stiller in The Bronx! 5 feet in front of us at The Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Gardens!Simone reports that Zoolander was there this Sunday with his wife (Christine Taylor) and kids, and was quite friendly and even posed for pics with some eager fans.
My general aversion to people caused me to miss this awesome sighting. We were at the Gardens Sunday, but I refused to check out the train show because it's absolutely mobbed on the weekends. Damn it!
However, we did get to see some much less cooler recognizable figures the night before at the Garden's annual Tree Light Ceremony. Ken Singleton, the Yankees announcer, was there, along with several pols including Senator Jeff Klein, Congressman Jose Serrano, Senator Jose Serrano, and Assemblyman Carl Heastie (whose tardiness seemed to hold up the festivities for a few annoying moments).
Damn! I'll take Ben Stiller over Bronx politicians any day...oh well.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The winning bids for 54 units were about 35 to 45% off asking prices, but were actually within 5 to 10% of Riverdale's current going rates.
None of this hardly even seems to matter given the fact that all bids are "subject to seller confirmation." So essentially the developers can still put the kabosh on the highest bids if they deem the offer too low.
One possible idea being tossed around is to create a Bronx version of the hugely popular Chelsea Market and to lure a Barnes & Noble to become the anchor tenant. As most of you probably know, there's a shocking dearth of bookstores in the BoogieDown, so this could be an interesting option.
Eddie would like to know what you all think, so click on over to Welcome2Melrose, and leave your comments as to what you'd like to see in the Old Bronx Courthouse building.
A huge kudos goes out to Barbara Stronczer and other members of the Bedford Mosholu Community Association for collecting tons of signatures from local residents, businesses and community organizations, as well as for attending the public hearing on this matter in September.
Click here if you'd like to read the New York Times piece regarding the reduced postal office closures around the city. In the article, a rep for USPS states that "community opposition probably played into the officials' decision."
It's such a pleasant surprise when the community rallies to keep an essential service alive, and it actually works out. Great news!
Friday, November 20, 2009
A few weeks ago as I drove down the Bronx River Parkway I saw a few ConEd workers along with an emergency oil spill cleanup truck working along the banks of the river. I saw the crews out again along the Bronx River in the New York Botanical Garden last week (pictured above). Apparently much of the cleanup efforts are taking place within the Garden and the Bronx Zoo because the river flows at a slower pace in those spots. According to the Journal News article, no wildlife has been found injured as of yet.
Have we missed this story in the NYC local media, or has nobody yet reported on it? It seems like it should warrant some coverage, no?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Longtime Bronx landlord (who has a spotty record of proper building maintenance) looks to snap up more properties to boost his estimated 1/2 billion dollars net worth [New York Times]
A few photos from one writer's recent trip to City Island [The Awl]
Community Board 6 member vows a 'Tremont Renaissance' with plans to build an 18-story mixed use development E. Tremont and Webster Avenues [Yournabe.com]
6 train riders in the Bronx won't have to dangle their heads above the tracks to look for signs of oncoming train headlights anymore... countdown clocks are coming to the Brook Avenue, E. 149th Street, and Longwood Avenue stations [New York Times]
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I usually dislike when people ruin the aesthetics of their home
by paving over what could be a front lawn to create a parking spot
(although I completely understand the necessity of doing so,
and would probably even do it myself if given the option).
This homeowner on Reservoir Oval E. put a little thought into it
with paving stones and nice landscaping. I thought it looked really nice,
and wish others would spruce up their own spots in front of their houses...
Here's some nice NY1 coverage of what went down at yesterday's hearing. So are we to assume that the possibility of bringing a supermarket into the Armory is dead at this point? Anyone at the hearing yesterday care to share if the topic even came up at all?
Anyhoo, y'all know how we feel about this issue...we've detailed it here, here, here, and here. (Yes, we're quite opinionated round here.)
We just wanted to give a big kudos to Jarrett Murphy of City Limits for crafting perhaps the most significant (and refreshingly neutral) piece regarding the possible development of the Armory. Click here to check it out. Take a look at it when you have time - Mr. Murphy explores every nook and cranny of this deal that many others have overlooked. It's really the granddaddy of Armory coverage thus far. Here's one little piece we've pulled out to share with you that we hadn't seen before:
Under a plan tentatively approved by the city's Industrial Development Agency (IDA) earlier this year, Related would pay $5 million to purchase the Armory; seven years ago, the city spent at least $25 million to repair the building. Related would also receive $17 million in city, state and federal tax incentives for the project. An analysis by the IDA says the project will generate a net benefit of $85 million in tax revenue to the city over the next 30 years. [City Limits]The fact that Related would be getting the Armory at such a bargain has been much ballyhooed by many Bronx residents and pols. But with $85 million in tax revenue coming into the city over the next 30 years, it would seem that the City's grand plan isn't so crazy after all: spend money to make money.
Well, that's all we'll write for now...I'm off to make my weekly trip up the Deegan for some reasonably priced, fresh groceries and a bit of retail shopping ;-) (That's right, I just used a winky emoticon...which officially takes the legitimacy of this blog down yet another notch.)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So, the good news is that even more improvements are coming to the Williamsbridge Oval. The bad news is residents won't be able to use the Rec Center (or the area immediately surrounding it) while the improvements are being made. Me thinks the signage they posted is a bit inaccurate - the whole section of the Oval containing the recreation center appeared to be off-limits due to preparations for construction. Did they mean to say that the renovations would be finished in Spring 2010?
Anyone know exactly what they'll be doing over there? With the brand new turf and playing field having been completed a while ago, I'm surprised they're working on even more improvements within the Oval. We look forward to seeing what the results of these renovations are.
By the way, most of the outdoor space at the Oval is still open and usable. Just the area immediately surrounding the Rec Center is gated off. Note for parents with strollers: with the tunnel entrance being closed, your next best bet is to use the entrance on Reservoir Oval E. near Holt Place. I believe all the other entrances involve stairs of some kind.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Adding to fuel to the fire of last week's debate
regarding the possibility of converting the Sheridan Expressway
to affordable housing and open space,
we received this photo of a contaminated area sign along the roadway.
A lovely three bedroom, two bathroom abode in Highbridge (bought for a steal at $180,000) is featured in this week's 'Habitats' column [New York Times] (BD Note: I just figured out that the author of the weekly 'Habitats' feature, Constance Rosenblum, is also the author of Boulevard of Dreams, the book chronicling the rise and fall of the Grand Concourse...How did I not realize that before? Although her coverage of the Bronx is superb, it appears that Ms. Rosenblum lives in Brooklyn...but we won't hold that against her.)
The Bronx was the only borough in the city to record an increase in employment in the first quarter of the year compared to the year earlier...boo yeah! [Crain's]
A prominent transgendered classical pianist finds a comfortable anonymity living in the Bronx [New York Times]
This week's 'Your New York' column is dedicated to Castle Hill...safety is constantly improving there, and even their public housing projects are going green [Daily News]
**Our poor man's round up was unfortunately unable to access what appears to be a super interesting piece in Crain's entitled, "The Future of the Bronx." The peek they let non-subscribers have said:
The future of the Bronx - Surely, residents of the Bronx need more retail competition, not less - Published date: Sunday, November 15, 2009Anyone out there have a subscription and willing to share a little cut-n-paste of this article with us? Pretty please?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Click here and scroll down to read each of their persuasive arguments in their entirety, or you can read below for a few snippets.
Jay Shuffield says (in part):
Removing the Sheridan has a lot of feel-good qualities to it, but it has never been a coherent plan. Proponents argue the Sheridan isn't needed because there's not enough traffic, and then they say all that traffic creates too much air pollution. They talk about the importance of transit, but then ignore the possibilities of using the Sheridan for more transit purposes.While our other Jay argues (in part):
It sounds good on the surface, but it hasn't been thought through very well. We should be focusing instead on how to enhance the Sheridan as a priority transit right-of-way for express buses that could benefit people throughout much of the Bronx, especially in those areas that are now so poorly served by transit. Moreover, these benefits could be achieved without disrupting working class jobs and dumping unnecessary traffic congestion onto local neighborhood streets!
Jay I could not disagree with you more. As a longtime resident of the Bronx AND the surrounding community that the Sheridan plows through, I can say wholeheartedly that the removal of the Sheridan would make the entire Bronx, and this particular area MUCH better, not worse.
The area is already being repositioned as a residential use, with housing, parks and greenways ALREADY THERE and growing. The final piece of the puzzle, however, is the Sheridan. Making it a greenway, with housing and retail creates jobs, a local economy, decreases traffic/pollution (you heard about astham in the area right?), reinforces a healthy lifestyle, and provides a significant source of GOOD housing for the working and middle class in an area that needs more of them. How do I know this? I live here..do you?
Attempting to instill fear and spread ignorance by saying "it's too expensive", "the area is probably contaminated", "it's not a good place for housing" is offensive and disgusting. The reality is it is one of the FEW places where we can have significant affordable housing for the working/middle class with the public transportation to move them cheaply and quickly.
But hey, I suspect it would make your life easier as a resident outside of the community to say "Screw them, we should use it for us and get our express buses through there to make MY commute shorter." If you want to address the lack of transit for those who CHOOSE to live in areas with little to no transportation, you should do so and work towards getting PUBLIC TRANSIT to your area. The Sheridan is NOT needed, never has been, and the better use is to redevelop the entire area for a green, middle class future.
Each Jay has very clearly thought out arguments on the issue, and the above quotes only reflect some of what each has to say.
So how do other Bronxites feel about this issue? Should the Sheridan remain the way it is, or become revamped as a place for affordable housing, businesses, and open space?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This evening (11/12), from 6:30 to 10pm, Bronx Ale House will be sponsoring POTS Night...a portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to POTS (Part of the Solution), one of the oldest and largest emergency food programs in NYC. POTS, whose slogan is "Feeding Our Neighbors, Nourishing Our Community," also offers an array of social and legal services to help low-income people and families improve their lives. This year alone, more than 8,500 people, including 2,000 children will benefit from POTS services. Click here to check out the POTS website.
The night's festivities will include discount drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and a raffle. Don't expect to plunk down $6 for your usual Stella or Corona at Bronx Ale House...its the first and only craft beer bar in the Bronx, and they offer a stellar selection of delish brews at reasonable prices.
We love the fact that Bronx Ale House only opened a few months ago, and they're already diving in and hosting events like this that will benefit a nonprofit which has been a fixture in the community for over 25 years.
Bronx Ale House is located at 216 W. 238th Street (just east of Broadway at Review Place). Click here to view their website.
Ale House Flyer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- November 11, 2009 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
- Ziggy's Stardust Sports Cafe
601 E. 189th St. (at Arthur Av.)
As you may already know, Transportation Alternatives has had a Bronx Volunteer Committee since 1994, originally founded to develop the Bronx Greenway Plan and to organize the first Safe Routes to School program in North America. Since then the committee has gone through several iterations, from involvement in the Tour de Bronx, to Car-Free Grand Concourse to this year's Car-Free Crotona and group bike rides.
The challenges facing grassroots organizing in the Bronx make it hard for us to rally our Bronx-based volunteers around smaller, specific, neighborhood projects - we often have a dozen people at meetings, but oftentimes each person is from a different area in the Bronx. This makes it very hard to turn out many residents to one community board meeting, or to a neighborhood street surveying project.
For 2010 we at T.A. have a new vision for what this committee can be, and this is where our Car-Free Bronx Coalition partners come in. While our car-free Crotona events in 2009 were not quite as popular or filled with activity as we would've liked, I think that we can focus our efforts around a different series of events for next year, based on issues that Bronx-based advocacy groups are already working on.
In the spirit of these sentiments, I would like to invite our volunteers and our non-profit Bronx-based coalition partners to join me to meet and mingle in lieu of this month's regularly scheduled committee meeting. I'm eager to discuss these ideas with you all, and to hear about what you're currently working on in the Bronx, and to provide a space for us all to mingle and discuss ideas for 2010 Bronx-based safer streets advocacy!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Come one, come all! Tuesday, November 10 at 6:45 PM at The POINT - 940 Garrison Ave. Dinner, childcare, raffle and Spanish translation will be provided. For more information, please contact Melanie Jung at 718.328.5622 x 20.
Town Hall Flier
Monday, November 9, 2009
Norwood businesses and neighbors affected by the five alarm fire last weekend work to pick up the pieces and move on [New York Times]
An in depth look at how the Bronx's Charlotte Street has proved itself to be 'one of the greatest real estate turnarounds ever.' [CNNMoney.com]
Anna Wintour is a fan of the fashions being produced by a Catholic priest here in the BoogieDown [Village Voice]
Friday, November 6, 2009
What an undertaking...
crews were out yesterday cleaning up fallen leaves
throughout the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden.
Piles of leaves like the ones below could be seen
waiting to be scooped up along the walkways.Photo by ErLu
Tonight is Bronx Museum's First Friday monthly event, and they have two things planned:
Friday, 11/6, 6:00 to 10:00pm
South Building—Lower Gallery
Join The Bronx Museum for an exciting First Fridays! program featuring Ibrahim Gonzalez and his Latin Jazz Quintet.
Bronx Talks: Boulevard of Dreams
Constance Rosenblum, introduced by Manny Fernandez
Friday, 11/6, 6 to 8pm
North Building Gallery
A thoroughly researched work about the Bronx's most famous boulevard, Rosenblum's book is an instant classic. Join the author for a gallery talk and celebrate the release of this important volume.
Click here for more info.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
In fact, here's a link to one piece which suggests that perhaps the New Jersey Nets should ditch their Brooklyn plans and set up shop in the BoogieDown.
Bleacher Report's PrimeTyme Koby writes: "The mystique of the Bronx is a sense of being a Champion." Click here to check out the piece.
It was a fun World Series to watch, but boy am I happy to be able to just get back to watching The Office and 30 Rock tonight...not to mention Part 2 of the Real Housewives of Atlanta wherein Kim will be performing 'Tardy for the Party' live. Whoops, I mean, what? Who would watch that trashy crap? Not this intelligent blogger. Now where's my copy of 'An Inconvenient Truth?'
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A comic named Adrienne Iapalucci who, as Bronx Bohemian would put it, was 'bred and buttered' in the Morris Park section of the Bronx (still lives there in fact...) came in first in a nationwide online contest and won the opportunity to open for a headliner at the New York Comedy Festival this week.
Some of the great lines from Corey Kilgannon's Times article are as follows:
- On living in the Bronx, Adrienne says: "I tell people I live in the Bronx, and they're like, 'Really? Do you ever get shot at?'"
- On her past stint working at the Bronx DA's office, Adrienne says: "I was a crime victim's advocate, but I quit after a client stole my wallet."
- After living through a difficult period following the death of her father, Adrienne mentioned suicide to her mother. Adrienne says: "But my mother said, 'Don't do it - I co-signed your student loans.'"
BankNote is already home to two education programs, the J.V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School and a small DOE high school program, and these recently announced plans include developing private entrances and collaborative education programs with current tenants and community organizations. Building from the existing creative services tenants, which includes Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre, The Bronx Association of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) and The Lightbox-NY, the developers envision a multi-use, destination building that brings business to the South Bronx and increases community activity in Hunts Point.
“The BankNote works well for customizing space for schools because of its large floor plates, ample space for separate classrooms, lots of natural light, private entrance potential, high ceilings, and location in the heart of a thriving cultural community,” said Paul Wolf, co-president of Denham Wolf Real Estate Services. “In recent months, we have seen an uptick in leasing interest from academic institutions coinciding with education-related activities in the building.”
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
BD Fan from Mt. Eden, we agree with you wholeheartedly! This particular fan put his money where his mouth is and sent in some fabulous commentary and accompanying photos of his hood, which he believes is on the upswing. Judging from the beautiful photos of Mt. Eden Malls, we may just have to agree with him. Here's what BD Fan from Mt. Eden has to say about his often overlooked hood:
And here are some photos BD Fan from Mt. Eden snapped to back his case...I'd like to thank you for making it your mission to help remove the stigma that has been plaguing the Bronx for long. Please keep it up.If there's one gripe that I have with your site, however, is that, with the exception of Mott Haven, many neighborhoods south of Kingsbridge Road receive a mention. I'd very much appreciate if you were to give some of the decent West/Central Bronx neighborhoods some attention as well. I presently live in Mt. Eden pkwy by the Bronx Lebanon Hospital and feel that it's a neighborhood that's worth a look.
Though the area is far from perfect (certain side streets are sketchy), it has many redeeming qualities. There is a lot of greenery, an increasing number of working professionals, it's relatively safe, and there's even a farmer's market on Thursdays. Furthermore, a new Pioneer supermarket (with a great variety of foods) just opened up on the Concourse, giving residents of the area even more grocery options. What's more? You also have access to the B/D and 4/5. Simply put, I think this area in an upswing.
Now before all the haters come out from the shadows of the interweb to leave less-than-charitable comments about their perception of Mt. Eden (which no doubt is largely shaped by the media...the same media that ran with "The Bronx is Burning" slogan for over 30 years), let's keep in mind that this is what all Bronx residents should be doing - yelling at us for not featuring their neighborhoods and then telling us what's good about it. No neighborhood is perfect, but everyone has certain things that bring a smile to their face when they're going about their daily business in their hood. So next time, bring a camera with you and snap a pic of whatever you love, then send it into BoogieDowner!
Monday, November 2, 2009
This weekend's five-alarm fire gutted the local fish market,
Dunkin' Donuts, a newly renovated bakery set to re-open today,
along with about 10 other stores and restaurants.
The strip before:The strip after:Photo by ErLu
This past Friday, 10/30, folks from the Briarwood Organization, the Housing Preservation Development Corporation, New York State Affordable Housing Corporation Fund, and the Bronx Borough President's Office came together to celebrate the grand opening of The Solara, two newly constructed affordable residential units with a total of 162 units with on-site parking.
The Solara, which is located on Grant Avenue between 167th and 169th Streets in the East Concourse section of the Bronx, offers affordable cooperative living for families with incomes ranging from 78% to 102% of the Area Median Income (AMI). There are 18 one-bedroom units for households earning up to 78% AMI ($59,904 for a family of four); 34 two-bedroom units for families earning up to 79% AMI ($60,672 for a family of four); 70 two-bedroom units with an income limit of up to 80% AMI ($61,450 for a family of four); and 36 three-bedroom units for families making up to 102% AMI ($78,336 for a family of four). The project also includes two two-bedroom superintendent units, one for each building.
Briarwood Properties, Inc., the managing agent for the Solara, received a whopping 4,516 applications for the 160 available units! As of today, 152 of the 162 units have been sold.
HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero had this to say about the project: “The Bronx is being reborn and showing New York and the nation what the future of affordable housing can and should look like."
Damn straight, Commish!
The grand opening of the Solara comes on the heels of another exciting ribbon cutting in the Melrose section of the Bronx at The Eltona. The Eltona offers 63 units to low-income residents and is the first ever affordable LEED Platinum building in New York State. There are even wind turbines on top of this baby! Read all about The Eltona over at Welcome to Melrose here and here.