Saturday, January 31, 2009

Get Yer ‘Cue and a Lube!

Mo Gridder’s BBQ – Hunts Point

Only in the Bronx, folks! As much as I travel around the this great borough (in search of anything and everything to dispel the horrible Bronx myths and stereotypes), I must admit to being a tad on the squirmish side at the daunting thought of traveling to the most desolate industrial area of Hunts Point to visit the famous Mo Gridder’s BBQ. While I wouldn’t necessarily want to make the trip at night (Mo’s is only open during the day anyway, so that’s a moot point), my concerns were entirely baseless. The area won’t be winning any prizes in aesthetics or charm, but it felt perfectly safe. And the reward is super cool! I can’t do this place enough justice in a short blog write-up – so check out all these great reviews (NY Times, White Trash BBQ, New York Daily News). Mo’s has got to be one of the most unique dining experiences out there. And hey – if it’s good enough for Guy Fieri and the Food Network, it’s good enough for you! Give ‘em a try!

Getting there: Take the #6 subway to Hunts Point. Either walk (east) the 10 minutes or so or jump on the #6 bus (just make sure to hop off before the bus turns left off of Hunts Point Ave – or you’ll end up in scary no-man’s land like I did.) Bonus: There’s a Citibank across the street to pull cash.

And for those who want a more traditional sit down experience, Mo's just opened a traditional restaurant in Belmont (in the old Roberto's, Belmont and Crescent Aves).

~Simone Davis

Park Versailles Revealed

BoogieDowner raised the question about the origin and existence of the nabe Park Versailles (along with some others like Foxhurst and North New York) when it showed up on the NY Times' new and not improved real estate listings search engine.

A while later, a BoogieDowner reader sent an email explaining that Park Versailles was Parkchester before Parkchester existed.

Now the NY Times City section's FYI Q&A feature explains Park Versailles and goes a bit further into the past:

Versailles in the Bronx

Q. I’ve come upon references to a Bronx neighborhood called Park Versailles, from the 1930s. It certainly sounds elegant. Was it a real neighborhood?

A. It was a name that developers tried to push. But just as some glamorous Fifi LaTour in Hollywood turns out to be Sadie Schwartz back in the Bronx, Park Versailles turns out to be the Mapes Farm.

As Bill Twomey, author of “The Bronx, in Bits and Pieces,” explained in an e-mail message, the Mapes family was well established in the West Farms area of the Bronx when, in 1851, Leonard Mapes bought a farm — a large tract of land east of the Bronx River bounded by East Tremont Avenue, Croes Avenue, White Plains Road and Westchester Avenue. One of his sons, John Simonson Mapes, took over the farm in the early 1870s. His father died in 1880, and John tired of farming.

“He decided to auction off the old family farm but needed an attractive name for the land,” Mr. Twomey wrote. “No one knows why, but he finally decided on Park Versailles. The name appeared on some early real estate maps but never really caught on.”

The name was revived in 1920 when the remaining 200 lots were auctioned, but most locals kept calling it the Mapes Farm.

Interesting. Now BoogieDowner's last question is why does the Times use Park Versailles for its real estate search function when its own publication states it "never really caught on?"


Friday, January 30, 2009

BoogieDowner Got Bugged

Just wanted to let you all know that BoogieDowner caught a nasty bug - ErLu and even the kid are sick. It's not pretty around here.

Needless to say, we're not feeling too productive on the blogging front. We won't be able to do a full 'Event Reminder' post for this weekend, but we didn't want to deprive you all of our favorite TGIF ladies... The biggest things we have on our Events Calendar are a Bronx Revolution party at Bruckner Bar and Gallery tonight, 1/30, and a Bronx Underground Party tomorrow night, 1/31, at The Point. Click here for Bronx Revolution info and here for Bronx Underground info.

Here's hoping that you all having a better weekend than us!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Artless February...

The Bronx Museum of the Arts recently sent out an email reminding us that they will be closed for the month of February. That's right... the whole month.

'Street Art, Street Life' has just recently closed, and they're getting set up for their next exhibition, 'Intersections: The Grand Concourse at 100.' The launch of this exhibit will be Friday, March 6th, from 6 to 10pm.

Damn, as if the cold, dark month of February wasn't depressing enough...


Sopher Realty Schools Riverdale Press

A curious situation seems to have unfolded between Sopher Realty and Riverdale Press...

In the January 22nd edition of the Riverdale Press, N. Clark Judd reports that Sopher Realty (one of the big names in Riverdale real estate) was giving up on advertising their residential properties in order to focus on their more profitable commercial real estate dealings. The article states that Marilyn Sopher "acknowledges that the decision to cut advertising could eventually end the residential side of her business..."

However, in this week's January 29th edition, a correction letter from Vivian J. Oleen (a broker from Sopher's residential office) states that their "residential division is very definitely in business; we have deals in progress; we are functioning as always."

Seems like there was a major miscommunication somewhere along the line here. Just wanted to share this interesting little back and forth for real estate observers in the BoogieDown... Although I'm quite sure that we're the only dorks who found this little bit of intrigue to be of any interest.


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 fine morning:

South Bronx Food Cooperative's store open for business! [Daily News]

Most of the b-boys that flood the subway to perform each weekend hail from the BoogieDown
[New York Times]

Bronx Green Party accusing local pols of ignoring MTA crisis in favor of pet projects/issues

An examination of the 'mystique' of the Belmont/Little Italy area [Total Catholic]

'Making Books Sing' at Lehman through Friday [New York Times]


We're Moving to Queens

Psych!! The BoogieDown can't get rid of us that easily...

But now that we have your attention we'd like to highlight a super scientific report released by the Citizens Committee for New York City that says that the Bronx is supposedly a miserable borough. When asked in a poll if they are happy with the state of things in their hoods, a quarter of Bronxites revealed that they are 'not at all satisfied.'

The residents of the borough of Queens are apparently all hooked on uppers - more than a half of them said they are 'very satisfied' with where they live and one third of them even consider their neighbors to be 'friends.' Whatever Queens, keep talking your happy talk and you might just be ex-communicated from New York City. Everyone knows New Yorkers are inherently unhappy people.

Seriously though, while were on the topic of Bronxites being underwhelmed by the state of their neighborhoods... Why not get involved and do something about it? The deadline to apply to join your local community board is February 2nd. Click here for more info and the link to the application. BoogieDowner has sent their application in... Have you?


Listing of the Day: Second Hand Luxury

Woodlawn Cemetery, 200 Square Feet -$3,500,000

I think this is the most expensive real estate in the City at $17,500 per square foot. Tribeca doesn't even get that - eat it, DeNiro. Now if you you could just get past the fact that someone else's corpse had been in this before...

This is a used mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery that once belonged to tin-magnate William Bateman Leeds. Turns out Billy's New England-based granddaughter did not like the remains of her granddad resting alone and all the way down in the Bronx. Interesting facts: the guy who worked on the Jefferson memorial actually designed this as well. Also interesting: this is a price chop. It was originally listed at $5,000,000 back in 2002. I guess the mausoleum market is pretty slow.

I guess it sufficiently sums up the ghoulish state of the real estate market that we've started profiling actual tombs, huh?

Virtual Tour of the Dreary Digs


*photo courtesy of Fred Conrad/Ny Times**

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A United Voice for Riverdale Businesses

The Greater Riverdale Chamber of Commerce has announced today that it is "open for business."

Led by Joseph Gorden, a professional engineer and former City Council member, the organization hopes to serve as a revitalizing force for businesses in the Greater Riverdale area. Their website,, will be up and running in the near future.

As the Riverdale Press has been reporting, businesses in the hood have been suffering lately. The Chamber of Commerce will certainly be a step in the right direction for businesses hoping to unite and work on behalf of the Riverdale business community as a whole.

Congressman Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell are all backing the newly created Chamber of Commerce.

For more information regarding becoming a member of the organization, please call (718) 543-3952 or email
Congrats to the Greater Riverdale Chamber of Commerce!


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 fine morning:

Independent Budget Office takes a look at Yankee Stadium replacement parks' budget overages [New York Times] and [Daily News]

Kappy reports on Jose Rivera's recently filed court appeal to try to get his old job back [Daily News]

Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera butting heads with Kirsten Gillibrand over immigration issues [New York Times] and [Newsday] and [Daily News]

Free tax prep services for Bronxites [Bronx News Network]


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Listing of the Day: Price Chop Listing Stalker

265 Alexander Avenue, 5 Bedrooms, 3 bathrooms - $399,000

This unit was listing for $525,000 back in October when Boogiedowner first profiled it (Great Trig Palin joke after the jump, and no, it's not about his special needs. Honest. It's about his slutty older sister). That's almost a whole 25% discount! $126,000 price chop in only 3 months! It's scary out there...

Alexander Avenue is one of the prettiest in Mott Haven. All those Brownstones are simply beautiful. You'd also be close decent eating options with Alexander's, Bruckner Bar and Grill, and Santa Clarita close by.

Roll up you sleeves and put a little TLC into this puppy and you could have a very nice Bronx brownstone for a crazy cheap price once this whole shit show of an economy settles itself out.

The transportation is pretty sweet with the 6 at 138th and 3rd Ave, and Manhattan only being 1 stop away.



Heather Mills Back in the Bronx

Pictured from left:
John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School students, Heather Mills and
Maryann Hedaa, managing director of HPAC.

I really hate to say this, but am I going to have to start LIKING Heather Mills?

The ex-Mrs. McCartney was back in the BoogieDown recently hosting a 'healthy cooking day' for students of the John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School. The event, which took place two weeks ago at The BankNote Building, was another step in Heather's commitment to bring $1 million dollars worth of vegan food to the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC).

Heather's quote in the release about the event is as follows: “As a mother I see firsthand the benefits of healthy eating, and I’m thrilled the families of Hunts Point are embracing these delicious vegan foods that I’ve loved for so many years,” Heather said. “Working with these children here is truly rewarding, and a lot of fun.”

Can't argue with that... Kids from every socio-economic background should have access to healthy foods. Thanks for your commitment to the kids of the BoogieDown Heather!

PS: BoogieDowner likes your new haircut.


BoogieDowner Boasting

I'm letting you know right up front that this post is all about ego-stroking and bragging on our part... extremely self-serving actually.

After feeling a little down in the dumps about the lack of response to our 'Save the Bx34 and Bx10 Bus Routes' petition (17 signatures so far), we got the wind right back in our blogging sails after getting a phone call from Bob Kappstatter this Saturday - that's right people, the Silver Fox himself. He was giving us a call to say he's extremely offended that we only refer to the salt and neglect to mention the pepper in his gorgeous locks... Just kidding, just kidding.

Good ol' Kappy was calling to let us know we'd be getting a mention in his column this week. True to his word, he gave us a nice little shout out which you can click here to check out. Thanks Kappy! Keep up the stellar work reporting on our beloved borough.

We were also quite pleasantly surprised to see that New York Magazine took an interest in our recent post on the New York Times and whether or not us free-loading bloggers are killing the Gray Lady by using their content all the time (even though we are not paid subscribers). We ended up in their 'comments' section - click here to check it out.

Now we just need our 1 year old, Pearl, to magically reverse age Benjamin Button-style back to about six months old when Big Bird and Elmo were all she needed and mom was able to get a lot more blogging done...

Thanks for reading Bronxites!


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 fine morning:

The Silver Fox's best column ever? Quite possibly. Scroll to the end of his piece this week and you'll see why... [Daily News]

How will Pedro Espada handle his role in determining the future of rent regulation? [Gotham Gazette]

Office building near St. Barnabas Hospital sells for $1.92 million [CoStar Group]

Elizabeth Benjamin gives us the latest in the Bronx leadership battle [Daily News]

Bronx communities working with po-po to get tough on graffiti [Daily News]

Patrice O'Shaughnessy takes a look at the latest troublemakers in the BoogieDown... geese. [Daily News]

Bronx High School of Science teen calls City out on ineffective 'buy and bust' underage cigarette sales sting operations [New York Post]

Riverdale residents brainstorm how to revive biz strip [Riverdale Press]

Riverdale realty big-wig puts a halt to advertising residential listings [Riverdale Press]


Monday, January 26, 2009

Listing of the Day: Listing Stalker

91 Van Cortlandt Avenue, 1 Bedroom - $1100/month

So BoogieDowner has just frightened itself. We ran past an apartment that looked pretty familiar. It wasn't entirely clear why, and then it dawned on me - the weird cubical shelf things! BoogieDowner had profiled this exact unit back in September when it was for sale at $155,000. Back then they were still trying to call this Kingsbridge Heights, when it is clearly Van Cortlandt Village.

It was actually a pretty memorable posting because a lively debate erupted in the comment section about whether Riverdale residents use Riverdale, NY or Bronx, NY as their mailing address.

In any case what would have cost the buyer $1357/month with mortgage and maintenance (with a 20% down payment) now will cost the renter $1100/month. You would not get the tax benefit of writing off that mortgage interest and a portion of you maintenance. Nor would you get to build a little equity, but it's not a bad price for a decent apartment in a decent nabe.

Transportation is a little isolated with the 1 train across the Deegan at 238th or the 4 train at Mosholu Parkway and Jerome. Although, I will say it's nice to be close to Van Cortlandt Park.



Photo of the Day

Arthur Avenue Retail Market
Photo by 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 fine morning:

A project which set out to commemorate historic Bronx hip-hop sites encourages Bronx residents to get their rhyming on [New York Times]

Two Bronx Catholic schools going 'independent'

If you're not sick of hearing about the Yanks, there's a new book out detailing their fall from grace [New York Times]

'Issue of the Week:' An in-depth looks at how the City has bungled the construction of the water filtration plant at Van Cortlandt Park [Gotham Gazette]

Funkmaster Flex has a new show (set to air on Spike TV this spring) centered around his auto shop in the BoogieDown which customizes cars for celebs and regular folks alike [Daily News] [BD Note: Once again, the Bronx beats Brooklyn in the street-cred department... enjoy watching your Red Hook 'Real World' weenies Brooklynites!]

Say buh-bye to the Bronx Zoo skyfari [Daily News] and [NY1]

Bronx-based nonprofit WHEDCO urging Congress for more funding for struggling nonprofits [New York Times]

Two former Bronx boys discuss the death of newspapers [Washington Post]

Some 'answers' from City Hall as to why the old Yankee Stadium is not yet torn down [New York Times]

Some Bronx businesses having trouble keeping their doors open in today's economy [Daily News]


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Listing of the Day: Pelham Parkway Penny Pincher

Wallace Avenue at Brady Avenue, 1 bedroom, -$87,900

BoogieDowner profiled a two bedroom in this hood in the Brady Court co-operative complex last week. Today's unit is right down the block from that unit and sports an insanely low 5 figure price tag. It's hard to buy an outhouse in Suffolk County for this price, so it's worth a look if you're willing to shift that outhouse nest egg to an apartment.

As to not try to re-invent the wheel, here is the hood's little write up form last week:

You'd have shopping on White Plains Road and be only a quick walk over to Morris Park and its Italian cuisine. You'd also be relatively close to Arthur Avenue on the other side of the Zoo and a quick bus ride to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, and City Island. Obviously the Zoo and Botanical Garden are super close.

Transportation is good with the 2 and 5 trains stopping at White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway.

And clearly no Listing of the Day near Pelham Parkway is complete without mention of the yuletide spectacle of the Garabedian House located on Westervelt and Pelham Parkway. Just take the Bx12 heading east from White Plains Road to see it.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

COALS: A Pizza Lover's Gem in Morris Park!

Photography by Simone Davis,

Ever had grilled pizza? Yeah, me neither. Curious and inspired by all of the great reviews of COALS (including one from the NY Times), I just
ad to check this 2007 Zagat-rated treasure in Morris Park. What a find this place turned out to be! The place was packed full of locals, med students from nearby Einstein and Montefiore, and others like my friend and I from other neighborhoods who made the trip via bus and taxis. (Definitely worth going out of your way for!) The pizzas were delicious, the service was friendly and upbeat and the decor simple, cozy and casually hip. I'm told the place is extremely family-friendly, but it's hard to imagine that on a packed Friday night with its bar scene as big of a draw as the cheap and appetizing food. I'd leave those outings with the kiddies for lunch and weeknight dinners. (Note: they are closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Getting there: We took the #31 bus from Westchester Square that lets you off right in front of the restaurant.

~Simone Davis,

Young Republicans in the Bronx?

BoogieDowner had previously reported on the nascent elephants trying to establish a presence in our overwhelmingly Democratic borough. Now our favorite City section reporter from the NY Times, Katie Bindley, has done some real reporting on the group (and it's sparsely attended meeting in Morris Park).

One BoogieDowner note: The leader of this young Republicans group is named Chance Haywood; is that a stage name? Just sounds like a One Tree Hill character. Good Luck, Chance. Social conservatism, small government, and tax breaks for the rich are all gonna be tough sells in the Boogiedown.

*photo courtesy of Robert Stolarik for The New York Times*


Event Reminders: Happy Saturday!

Due to extraordinary blogger laziness yesterday, this is a "Happy Saturday" edition of Event Reminders, rather than a "TGIF" edition. Here are a few things happening this weekend in the BoogieDown:

Get Off Your Damn Asses - It's 'Day Out to Work Out!"
Council Member James Vacca isn't saying you look fat in that outfit, but he is saying he wants Bronxites to pay attention to improving their health through exercise. He sponsored today's 'Day Out to Work Out,' which features many local gyms and fitness clubs offering free workshops and open houses to the public. From the press release: "Vacca will spend his 'Day' at Fusion Fitness in Throggs Neck, which is offering a general open house plus a day’s worth of workshops on health and nutrition. Other participants include Bronx House Community Center, two Curves locations, Dolphin Fitness, Mr. America’s Personal Training, and New York Sports Club."

Bronx River Forest Walk
Today, 1/24, from 10am to 12pm. Join the Bronx River Alliance for a Winter nature walk. Enjoy all of nature's precious gifts and take in fresh air and beautiful wildlife. Meet on Burke Bridge in the Bronx River Forest. Nearest park entrance is Bronx Boulevard and Burke Avenue.
Bronx. Call (718) 430-4636 for more info.

Last Chance for Street Art Street Life @ Bronx Museum
This weekend is your last chance to check out the Street Art Street Life exhibit at the Bronx Museum. Click here for more info.

Family Art Project @ Wave Hill
See how ice, wind and other natural forces, along with generations of people, have formed the hills, valleys and flat places of Wave Hill. Sculpt your own mini-landscape with rock, clay and other natural materials. Today, 1/24 and tomorrow, 1/25, from 1 to 4pm. Free with admission. Click here for more info.

Houseplant Extravaganza @ NYBG

Today, 1/24, from 10am to 4:45pm.
Do you enjoy indoor plants and want to expand your plant palate? Learn to diversify your collection and, perhaps, find a new affinity for tropical plants. This all-day program features stimulating classes on how to use exotic and unusual plants to add beauty to an interior landscape. Participants select as many as three from six topics. The fee for each Houseplant Extravaganza session is $31 for Non-Members and $28 for Members. Attend all three sessions and receive a 10% discount. Click here for more info.

Doo Wop @ Bronx Library Center
Please join us for an afternoon of doo wop music performed by The Valentinos from the Bronx today, 1/24, at 2:30pm. The Valentinos are a musical hybrid of vocal styles, that when blended together, are a harmonic force of unparalleled excellence. Their history dates back to the late 50's, which makes them no new-comers to the music industry. Today, they still maintain their phenomenal style and are thrilling audiences around the world. Click here for more info.

Doo Wop Night @ Lehman

Doo Wop's leading singers and musical groups will offer a finger-snappin', foot-tappin' evening of classic hits at Lehman College tonight, 1/24, at 8pm . Coast back in time with the timeless songs of The Drifters ("This Magic Moment," "Save the Last Dance for Me"); The Teenagers ("Why Do Fools Fall In Love," "Please be Mine"); The Shirelles ("Soldier Boy" "Dedicated to the One I Love"); Bobby Lewis ("Tossin' and Turnin'"); and Gene Chandler ("Duke of Earl"). Tickets range from $20 to $45. Click here for more info.

Opening Concert of Sinfonietta of Riverdale
Tomorrow, 1/25, at 2:30pm is the opening concert of the new 'Sinfonietta of Riverdale' at the Riverdale Temple. Click here for more info.

Free Workshop @ Methodist Church Home
Please join us for a free monthly workshop series on Staying Health in Body, Mind and Spirit by Dr. Solomon Reuben, PHD, Clinical Psychologist. The first workshop of the year is on Monday, 1/26, at 6:30pm. These workshops are designed to help individuals make life style changes in areas such as nutrition, exercise, emotional/psychological growth, stress management, relaxation/meditation and spirituality. Please note that continued attendance is not required but reservations are a must. Call 718-548-5100 Ext.231 for additional information. Light refreshments will be served and parking is free. Workshops will be held at Methodist Church Home located at 4499 Manhattan College Parkway, Riverdale, NY.


Friday, January 23, 2009

The Artist Formerly Known as West Bronx Blog

Bronx News Network was on fire today.

They had a great post about our favorite State Senator (and neighbor?) and how he is one of only two newly elected State Senators who has not set up a district office yet. Shame on you, Pedro. Get to work for your constituents and stop politically extorting committee chairmanships and the lulus that come with them.

They also had a great report on last night's heated community meeting about the new transitional homeless shelter on Briggs Ave. in Bedford Park. BoogieDowner had full intentions to attend, but didn't get home from work until well after 8pm. I swear I'm not a negligent community member!

Good job, BNN.

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 fine morning:

Oil barge sinking off the Bronx coast [NY1]

A report on the new Verizon store on White Plains Road

Paterson picks Gillibrand for Senate [New York Times]


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Listing of the Day: Cheapest Riverdale Rental Ever

445 West 240th Street, 1 Bedroom - $750/month

BoogieDowner usually doesn't cover much Riverdale stuff in the Listing of Day. That's not because we don't love you, Riverdale - we do! It's just that your real estate prices (both rentals and purchases) tend to be pretty damned high already. BoogieDowner is always trying to highlight the crazy cheap and undervalued housing options in the Bronx.

Well, here is an insanely cheap apartment for rent right near Manhattan College. The unit is only $750/month and it is a one bedroom and not a studio. It would be hard to come by this price for a studio in a much less desirable hood.

The pictures look nice and the hood has some signs of life with college spots and normal shopping/eating options.

In any case, eat it up, Riverdale - you made it! Hopefully this Listing of the Day makes some weary Bronx apartment hunter very happy. You're welcome.



Bx34/Bx10 Petition Needs Some Love

Come on Bronxites - we know you want to save the Bx34 and Bx10 bus routes. Apparently you're just being a little shy about it though...

Let's get some numbers behind this petition. Click here for some background info on this issue, and then sign away by clicking HERE.

Bronxites Want NY Times 'Living In' Do-Over

This weekend we linked to the New York Times' 'Living In' piece, which featured the Castle Hill neighborhood of the BoogieDown.

The article painted a nice picture of Castle Hill, but seems to have left some Bronx residents eager for more positive coverage of their neighborhoods...

Here are some of the comments that readers have left of the New York Times' website:

NYT Living In editor owes Norwood a do-over. You neglected half of Norwood in your slide show, that you can walk to all three subway lines, Metro North, historic Woodlawn cemetery, the Moshulu Golf Course, NYBG, Lehman College, and Bronx HS Science. Bedford Park got a better review than Norwood.

$1,200 for a 1-br rental in Castle Hill? Good for Castle Hill!

Now, a do-over for Norwood!

— Karen, NYC

The whole Bronx needs a 'do-over'.

I can't believe they haven't profiled Pelham Parkway and the Bronx Park East area in the past few years. It's probably one of the best kept real estate secrets in the city.

— Keith, Bronx

BoogieDowner couldn't agree with Karen and Keith more... There are so many great neighborhoods in the BoogieDown that just get passed over by the NYC media. We're actually still pissed about the Times' "End of the Line" piece which painted Norwood in a negative light. But I think we'll just have to get over that...


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 fine morning:

An interesting take on the scenes of daily life in Belmont-Fordham [Our Metropolis]

Carrion returns nearly $50K in donations [New York Observer]

An update on the Stella D'Oro strike [Daily News]

An up-close look at the effects of budget cuts on the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden [New York Times]


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Listing of the Day: City Island Sickness

33 Tier Street, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms - $825,000

Yes the price is crazy high, but look at the pics. This unit is in a co-operative community, which means a short leash on neighbors, which is good unless the leash is on your neck.

Waterfront is waterfront, and this puppy is waterfront. This is the sickness. Who wouldn't want to entertain here? BoogieDowner can dream.


Help Save the Bx34 and Bx10 Buses!

Last week I was discussing some community issues with a couple of the women who live in my building in Bedford Park. Among their chief concerns were the potential elimination of the Bx34 bus route (which connects Fordham Road/Bedford Park to Woodlawn, and also serves as a main route of transport to Montefiore Medical Center), as well as the possible nighttime suspension of the Bx10 bus (which connects Riverdale to Bedford Park) due to MTA cutbacks.

These bus routes are of supreme importance to many Bronx residents. I don't care what the MTA's ridership numbers show... There are many elderly people in my building alone who depend on these buses because subways with many stairs are just not an option for them.

To read more out this important issue, click here to check out the Norwood News' coverage, and here to read a New York Post article by's Daniel Beekman.

So, please join together with BoogieDowner and the Bedford Mosholu Community Association to urge Council Member Oliver Koppell to continue fighting to save these bus routes on behalf of the many Bronxites who depend on them each day by signing the below petition.

Please note, you can check "anonymous" if you'd like your name to be kept confidential from the public. Also, you are asked to provide your home address for verification purposes, but only your City and State will be made public.

Click here to view and sign petition.

In addition to signing this petition, Bronxites are encouraged to attend an MTA public hearing on Wednesday, February 4th, at 6:30pm at Lehman College to express concerns related to possible mass transit cuts.

Here's a copy of the letter we'll be sending along to Council Member Koppell:

We, the undersigned, object to the proposed elimination of the Bx34 bus which runs from Woodlawn to Fordham Road and serves as a major route of access for Montefiore Hospital. Additionally, we object the proposed elimination of nighttime service of the Bx10 which connects Norwood to Riverdale.

Our objections to these planned Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) service cuts are based on the grounds that if these transportation services were indeed eliminated, there would in turn be detrimental effects on the residents of the Northwest Bronx communities of Fordham, Bedford Park, Norwood, and Riverdale.

Council Member Koppel, we implore you to continue to fight on behalf of the residents of the Northwest Bronx against the planned MTA service cuts which would affect both the Bx34 and Bx10 routes.

Thank you for your steadfast dedication to improving the lives of the Bronx residents you serve.

Please forward this post around to friends, neighbors and relatives so that we can reach our goal of 500 signatures!


Here's to the Bronx

Now, onto some seriously hard-hitting news:

Did you know there was a "Bronx" cocktail? And it sounds delishhhhh. Apparently it was big back in the early 1900's and was a fave of Prez Taft. It was even referred to as the "cosmopolitan of its day."

Thank you Michael Taylor over at for bringing us this groundbreaking news. Click here to check out his report.

Can't wait till the clock strikes 10am and it's socially acceptable to have a cocktail! I mean, 5pm, of course, yes 5pm.


  • Ice
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce dry vermouth
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Twist of orange peel, for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add the gin, orange juice, sweet and dry vermouths and the bitters. Shake well, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the twist of orange peel.

Recipe Source:

From Philip Greene at the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.

*Image courtesy of Dayna Smith for The Washington Post*


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 fine morning:

Jonas Bronck Academy moves into the Fordham Road Sears Building [Crain's NY Biz] brings Shakespeare to Bronx students [The Motley Fool]

WSJ reporter visits Bronx school to watch the inauguration [Wall Street Journal Blog]

Juan Gonzalez highlights why yesterday's inauguration was such an important day for so many Bronxites [Daily News]

In true Brooklyn spirit, neighbors are whining about losing their view of the Brooklyn Bridge to a much-needed new middle school... ahhhhh Brooklyn. [New York Times]

Jordan Moss posted some great images from the inauguration viewing in Harlem yesterday [Bronx News Network]


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Listing of the Day: Brady Court Co-op

756 Brady Avenue, 2 Bedrooms -$159,000

Brady Court is a co-op building located two blocks south of Pelham Parkway and a few blocks east of the Bronx Zoo. The price is right on this unit for 850 square feet.

The apartment isn't stunning, but there's something about the arched doorways that drew me in. I also like the extended and angled windows. Kinda reminds me of the apartments and houses from Raging Bull. Maybe I'm just crazy, though. I do write a blog about the Bronx and do a Listing of the Day everyday, so yeah, definitely crazy.

You'd have shopping on White Plains Road and be only a quick walk over to Morris Park and its Italian cuisine. You'd also be relatively close to Arthur Avenue on the other side of the Zoo and a quick bus ride to Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, and City Island. Obviously the Zoo and Botanical Garden are super close.

Transportation is good with the 2 and 5 trains stopping at White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway.

And clearly no Listing of the Day near Pelham Parkway is complete without mention of the yuletide spectacle of the Garabedian House located on Westervelt and Pelham Parkway. Just take the Bx12 heading east from White Plains Road to see it.


Unbelievable Gall: The Pedro Espada Story

Turns out our favorite state Senator (and neighbor?) continues to disregard the need for transparency in his campaign finances. Not only has Mr. Espada cried and politically extorted his way to a position of leadership in the New York State Senate, but he has failed (again) to file a required disclosure report that was due on January 15th. This act of brazen ego and deceit comes on the heels of Mr. Espada's $60K+ in fines being upheld in court.

This guy never ceases to surprise. It's kind of scary that a character like this not only is able to be an elected official in the Bronx, but even has strong-armed his way to a leadership position in the State Senate. What will unbridled ego, greed, and deceit do when combined with power? God only knows. In the words of anonymous Bronx politico quoted in the Village Voice, "This is so fucking bad."

*Photo courtesy of John DeSio*


Listing of the Day: Norwood Studio Rental

3530 Rochambeau Avenue, Studio - $850 month

Move to one of the prettiest blocks in the Bronx (pics and previous post after the jump) for only $850 a month. You would also be able to ditch those annoying roommates.

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 $850/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 bakery, a 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!

And for the foodies who might not like their grub overly processed, frozen and shipped thousands of miles, harvested by underpaid laborers, or killed inhumanely, Norwood even has its own food co-op of which the Missus and I are members (next pick up is this Thursday - I want my cabbage, Greg).

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. You'd also have the 4 train over at Mosholu Parkway and Jerome and the Metro North 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.


Happy Inauguration Day!

Image courtesy of


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 fine morning:

Bronxites love Obama [Daily News]

20 South Bronx residents travel to DC on an eco bus to attend the inauguration
[WABC News]

More Bronx residents who are traveling to DC [Daily News]

Bronxites hate parking tickets [Daily News]

Bronx schools planning celebrations for today's historic inauguration [Daily News]

The Silver Fox dishes all things Bronx (sprinkled with a little bit of DC) in this week's column [Daily News]


Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo of the Day

Ice lace, from the porch roof

Submitted via Flickr by LadyHawk47

Remember to keep uploading your pics to Flickr and tagging them with "boogiedowner" to have your photo appear as a "Photo of the Day."


Simone Found a Thai Spot

Photo courtesy of Simone Davis ~ The Bronx Rocks

BoogieDowner's favorite cuisine to eat out (especially with a kid) has to be Thai food. It's usually relatively cheap and Thai restaurants are usually pretty casual with speedy service.

Simone Davis, over at The Bronx Rocks, has apparently found a solid Thai restaurant over in Pelham Bay called Honey's Thai Pavilion. Click here to check out some photos and get Simone's take on the place.

We'll definitely be checking it out. When we've wanted Thai in the past, we've always headed to Tum Raa up in Woodlawn (629 McLean Avenue). Their food is good, but the space is teeny tiny and not great for kids.

Thanks Simone!

Anyone else know of any other Thai spots in the BoogieDown?


Listing of the Day: Parkchester Condo

1507 Metropolitan Avenue, 1 Bedroom, -$115,000

This is a one bedroom apartment in Parkchester, which is often called a city within a city, and this is an apartment within that city within a city - got that straight? Well, in any case, what was once a hidden secret is starting to be discovered and gobbled up.

This particular apartment is super cheap at $115,000 for a one bedroom. It even has some pretty nice views. Its size is just under 700 square feet and the common charge is just under $600. The hood also has a lot to offer.

Parkchester has tons of shopping, chief of which are its own Macy's and a Starbucks. You heard me people; Parkchester has a Starbucks. See the stuff you learn here at BoogieDowner. There is also a decent amount of public space to hang at, including the ovals of the complex proper and a few fountains. And who doesn't like fountains? Should we also mention that Parkchester is going to have Verizon FiOs soon too? Well, it will.

Parkchester was built under the same idea as Stuy-Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan, and has the same self-sufficient aura. Parkchester is a safe and family friendly hood with decent transportation via the 6 train and bus service. So if you're looking to own an apartment and have enough money to go out, or just need a place you can actually afford without roommates or a large inheritance, check out this apartment and nabe.

Yes, There Are Republicans in the Bronx.

And watch out Dems, because they are organizing a new group: the Bronx County Young Republican Club.

They will be holding their first monthly meeting tomorrow night, 1/20, at 7:30pm at Venice Restaurant (2107 Williamsbridge Road). The agenda for the meeting will include voting on by-laws and electing officers. Once the business is concluded, all are invited to stick around for a social get together.

If you are interesting in becoming an officer, please contact the group in advance to have your name added to the ballot. Chance Haywood is the Acting-Chairman, and he can be contacted at: or 212-537-4428.

Click here to check out their site for more information.


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 fine morning:

Brave first time buyers are getting in the real estate game [New York Times]

Verizon costumers in Bronx to get better service
[Trading Markets]

West Bronx man profiled as 'extreme commuter' [amNY]

Riverdale school suddenly demotes a bunch of honors students [New York Post]


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our Fave Real Estate Agent Gets Some Press

The hardest working realtor we know, Jillian Faulls (whom we're pleased to have as a BoogieDowner sponsor), was highlighted in the New York Times' City Section this weekend for the inventive marketing tactics she has employed in order to get the word out about her Park South condominiums here in the BoogieDown.

And get the word out she has... In the most tenuous real estate market that NYC has seen in recent memory, Jillian has successfully sold 8 of Park South's 12 units. Perks such as free car service for buyers who have a letter of preapproval for a mortgage, as well as the developer's willingness to cover closing costs, draw in buyers who have been priced out of other boroughs and are looking for a luxury building at a bargain price.

New York Times' Katie Bindley reports that Jillian's most recent Open House attempt was thwarted by a variety of factors, not the least of which being a snowstorm and NFL playoffs. On the first day she had no visitors, and on the second she had five.

If you're interested in learning more about the remaining units at Park South, click here to check out Jillian's website.

Click here to read Katie Bindley's New York Times piece.


Round'em Up

Today's 'Round Up' features Bronx-related stories from the past couple of days that we weren't able to post about due to interweb connection woes:

Lay offs becoming a very real possibility over at the Bronx Zoo [Daily News]

More about Riverdale's 'Sinfonietta'
[Riverdale Press]

Does blogging lead to gentrification of neighborhoods, or is a blog sometimes just a blog?
[Inwoodite via Curbed]

City Islanders not giving up their overnight ladder company without a fight
[Daily News]

Gates Foundation funds school in the BoogieDown
[ABC News]

East Tremont doc profiled as 'New Yorker of the Week'
Shitty economy is good news for Soundview's Key Food supermarket
[Daily News]

Residents of Van Cortlandt Village's Amalgamated Houses are peeved about maintenance increases [Riverdale Press]

Mosholu Montefiore Community Center facing severe cuts [Riverdale Press]

Free screening of Tuesday's inauguration at Parkchester theatre [Bronx News Network]

Upcoming Solar Thermal Seminars at Bronx Community College [Alternative Energy]


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Living In Castle Hill

It's great that the New York Times is profiling resurgent Bronx hoods. This weeks "Living In" article profiles Castle Hill. Beyond being the childhood home of J. Lo, Castle Hill has shed some of its past as a high-crime area. The article highlights the improvements in the nabe and even the fact that some who fled for the burbs in the 80s and 90s are now moving back to take advantage of low property taxes. Oh yeah. and it's super easy to get to by public transport. The article is worth a read, and the hood worth a look.

"Still Easy to Get to; Now Safer to Be In"
[Joseph Plambeck, "Living In", New York Times]