Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baby Steps, But We Like It

So after the little one went to bed last evening ErLu settled in to watch the DVRed 30 Rock episode from this past Thursday. Good episode. Jack and Alisa's romance is funny in a slightly offensive way. Tracy Morgan's non-sequitur humor always gets me.

But what really made ErLu happy is that a scene that was meant to take place in a crappy crime-infested hood DIDN'T get placed in the Bronx. Liz had to retrieve her phone with an "adult" picture from a cabbie. The nabe was dark, scary, and the lovable bumpkin, Kenneth the page, even gets his page jacket tagged immediately upon exiting the fictional X-train subway station.

Thank God the writers didn't just use the Bronx as a stereotypical fill in for a bad neighborhood. Not sure what the folks in Long Island City, Queens think about 30 Rocks's portrayal of their hood and borough, but we at BoogieDowner are just happy the show didn't take a jab at our beloved Bronx.


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:

Bronxite who has worked as an elevator operator for 22 years reflects on the past as automatic elevators are installed [New York Times]

Yankees alienating their partial season ticket holders [New York Times]

Gov't funds for cancer research will benefit some Bronx residents [Newsday]

David Gonzalez talks to some of the major players who'll be taking part in 'Bring Out the Sound System: The West Indian Roots of Hip Hop' discussion at The Point today [New York Times]

Spotlight on Samaritan Village, a drug treatment facility in Highbridge [New York Times] ... And the back story on one of their substance abuse counselors in training [New York Times]


Friday, February 27, 2009

The Orchid Show

We checked out the Orchid Show over at New York Botanical Garden today and just wanted to post some photos... We're sure that when Simone of makes her way over to the exhibit she will put our crappy Canon Power Shot images to shame!


Event Reminders: TGIF!

'The Rainmaker' by City Island Theater Group
This weekend's performances are tonight, 2/27, at 8pm and tomorrow, 2/28, at 3pm and 8pm at Grace Church (116 City Island Avenue). The show will run on weekends through 3/7.
The City Island Theater Group will open its 10th Anniversary season with the classic romantic comedy The Rainmaker. Written by N. Richard Nash, The Rainmaker is a wonderfully thought-provoking play that explores the reliance upon dreams vs. the acceptance of reality. This classic American romance is a refreshingly heartfelt fable about a con man, a country girl, and the way that love can overcome cynicism in even the most tired of souls. Nick Sala, the production’s Director and CITG’s President promises that this production will make you believe in love and have faith in hope and the human spirit, which is something we all need in these current difficult times. The Rainmaker features City Island’s own Elizabeth Paldino as Lizzie Curry with CITG regulars John Garcia as Starbuck, and Matthieu Regney as Noah. Call or e-mail now to make your reservations for The Dining Room! For admission and ticket information, call 718-885-3066, or click here.

Orchid Show @ NYBG
NYBG's Orchid Show begins this Saturday, 2/28 (well, actually today if you're a member) and runs through April 12. Here's the write-up from the New York Times: “The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern,” is a display of thousands of flowers, set in a contemporary garden, with artwork. The opening weekend will feature a variety of cultural activities including a lecture by the display’s designer, Raymond Jungles (Saturday at 1 p.m.); a dance performance by Samba New York (Saturday at 3:30 p.m.); and a Brazilian cooking demonstration, with sampling (Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.). Includes 50 gardens and plant collections. Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tram tours daily, weather permitting, every 20 minutes. Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) Fordham Road, Bedford Park, the Bronx, (718) 817-8700; An all-garden pass is $20; $18 for students and 62+; $10 for children 2 to 12; free for members and children under 2. Grounds admission only: $6; $5 for Bronx residents; $3 for 62+ and students; $1 for children 2 to 12; free for under 2 and for everyone all day on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Parking, $12. Click here for more info.

Bronx Parks Speakup @ Lehman College
Join Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and other park and open space advocates, community groups, educators and volunteers for the 15th Annual Bronx Parks Speak Up tomorrow, 2/28, from 11:30am to 5pm. This free event provides an opportunity to network, get the latest updates and reports, learn about new resources, and participate in workshops and panel discussions concerning the state of our green spaces and the larger environment in the Bronx. Event will be held in the Lehman College Faculty Dining Room, Music Building on Bedford Park Blvd West (bet Jerome Ave & Goulden Ave). Click here for more info.

Mariachi Real de Mexico @ Bronx Library Center
Dressed in original costume, the Mariachi Real de Mexico troupe presents a rich repertoire of dance and mariachi music. The mariachi tradition is a symbol of Mexican music and culture, which originated in the state of Jalisco. Event takes place tomorrow, 2/28, at 2:30pm. Click here for more info.

West Indian Roots of Hip Hop @ The Point
Tomorrow, 2/28, from 3 to 6pm... free and open to the public!
Dr. Natasha Lightfoot of the Bronx African-American Oral History Project, will lead a discussion featuring hip hop pioneers and legends including DJ Kool Herc, Kool DJ Red Alert, Ralph McDaniels (Video Music Box) and VP Records co-founder, Patricia Chin. VP Records was founded 50 years ago as a record store in Kingston called Randy's Record Mart, at a time when reggae existed only on the streets with DJs improvising toasts over the music, and large speaker systems brought out into the parks. They went on to record many of the DJ and reggae legends in Jamaica. Following the panel, Carter Van Pelt from the publication Wax Poetics, will interview Patricia Chin about the history of VP Records.
A demonstration of old school DJ techniques from the 1970s by DJ Kool Herc and Brother Vincent will follow. The evening concludes with a reception, where audience members can view: From Mambo to Hip Hop: The Exhibit, a photo exhibit which complements City Lore's award-winning documentary directed by Henry Chalfant, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale; dance to the music of DJ Just Ice; and purchase West Indian fare provided by Bascom Catering with delicious roti, jerk and curry chicken, and salt fish. The Point is located at 940 Garrison Avenue. Click here for more info.

Grant Seeking Basics Workshop @ Hostos
Back by popular demand! Don’t miss this opportunity, whether you are an individual artist looking for funding to conduct research, or mount and exhibition, or put on a performance or complete other arts related projects. This workshop is presented by BCA’s 2009 Professional Development Program, a series of free personal and professional development workshops for Bronx artists being held on Saturdays, through April 18th, at Hostos Community College. Workshop is free, but you should rsvp to to reserve your spot. Hostos is located at 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street. Click here for more info. Event listing courtesy of

Family Art Project @ Wave Hill
'Creature Comforts of Home:' See what Wave Hill’s birds and animals do for housing. Fashion a clay critter and use natural materials to make it a cozy home. Free with admission from 1 to 4pm this Saturday, 2/28, and Sunday, 3/1. Click here for more info.

Dave Valentin Jazz Concert @ Riverdale Y
Grammy award winner Dave Valentin will perform with his Quintet at the Riverdale Y (5625 Riverdale Avenue) tomorrow, 2/28, at 8pm. A wine and cheese reception will follow the concert. Tickets are $20 and $15 for students and seniors. Click here for tickets or for more info.

Lui Collins @ The Uptown Coffeehouse
Folk singer Lui Collins will perform at the Uptown Coffeehouse (Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, 4450 Fieldston Road) this Sunday, 3/1, at 5pm. Admission is $15 and the Bronx Culture Card is accepted. Click here for more info.

Did we miss something? Email us at boogiedowner[at]gmail[dot]com.


Photo of the Day

Puerto Rico
(as seen in Botanical Garden Metro North parking lot)Photo by ErLu

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:

John DeSio is on crack... He must be. Otherwise how in the world has he posted so much content in such a small time on the Bronx Press Politics Blog? Insane. Keep up the great work! [Bronx Press Politics]

Duane Reade coming to Gun Hill Road... And maybe, just maybe, even a grocery store

Electric cigars in Belmont... [New York Times]

Council Member James Vacca tapped to chair Fire and Criminal Justice Committee [Daily News]

Carl Heastie upset by city clerk position going to Queens... he thinks we need more Latinos in city gov't
[Daily News]

Actress wrote and performs one-woman play based on her time as a teaching artist in a Bronx school []

Jacobi Medical Center performs surgery to fix Afghan girl's jaw... prior to the surgery she could only open her mouth 1/2 inch [Daily News]

Bronx mailman arrested in $40M tax scam... just one more reason to hate the US Postal Service [Daily News]


Listing of the Day: Kingsbridge Road Building

2693 Morris Avenue, 32 units, -$3,150,000

This is an entire building near Kingsbridge Road for less than $100K per unit. Most BoogieDowner readers are not in the market for such a building, but I like to bring you the crazy stuff on Fridays. Hence an entire building listing.

The building is pre-war (1922), which could be good for original old-school details, or bad because it is 87 years old. Who knows how many of these units are rented or what type of rent-control, rent stabilization or other types of occupancy issues are connected with this building, but the low price per unit makes it look somewhat attractive.

In terms of the hood, there is some shopping on Kingsbridge Road, and a 4 train stop at Jerome and Kingsbridge Road. You wouldn't be that far from Poe and St. James Parks. And if anything ever happens to the currently fallow Kingsbridge Armory, you'd be close to whatever is developed there (big box shopping? movie theater? normal grocery stores?, some utopian community paradise that won't impact the neighborhood negatively at all and will create well paying jobs?).



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grocery Woes...

This is sort of a venting post... feel free to skip! Frustration has been brewing inside the BoogieDowner for the past few days after trying to get a few grocery items locally.

This past Monday, I wanted to make chicken soup. I figured there was no real need to go up to the Cross County Stop & Shop... all I really needed was chicken, celery and carrots. Simple, right? NO, not simple at all.

I went to the Pioneer over on Webster Avenue at Bedford Park Blvd. I always hesitate before stepping foot in that place because it has repeatedly let me down by selling expired items and never having enough cashiers to handle their customers in a reasonable time frame. This trip was no different... I left empty-handed and frustrated. Their celery was like rubber and they even had bagged salad on sale that had brown lettuce in it. Gross. They were cleaning the freezer area and had all the chicken stacked in carts not being properly refrigerated... no thanks.

So I went to my trusty C-Town on 204th Street below Mosholu Parkway. Their produce isn't the best, but I can usually find reasonable items there. Carrots, check. Celery, check. Chicken, che... wait, no chicken? How does a grocery store not have CHICKEN? I'm not looking for filet mignon or veal here. For the record, they did have drumsticks and chicken liver. But that's a little limited for your chicken selection, no?

So I didn't get to make the chicken soup. I know I could have found all the items I needed if I invested more time and energy by going up to the various little markets on 204th, but after two tries I was just not feeling inspired anymore.

Oh yeah, I also bought half-and-half over at the Marble Hill Target this week. The expiration date on it was March 9th. I opened it this morning and it was curdled. This is the second time this has happened to me, so it's not just an isolated incident. So Bronx residents beware: Target is not storing their refrigerated items at appropriate temperatures.

The only place that didn't let me down this week was the new Fedel Gourmet Deli on Webster Avenue at E. Mosholu Parkway S. I stopped in there for whole milk for the kid, and they had it and it wasn't expired. Thanks Fedel!


Photo of the Day

The Lillian, 3040 Hull AvenuePhoto by ErLu

For Your Viewing Pleasure

We got a call yesterday from Fox 5 News asking us to comment on the potential for a revitalization of the residential area around Yankee Stadium, and we were happy to help out.

I talked about the need for the City to knock down the old stadium and return the parks to the residents of the Yankee Stadium area, as well as the beautiful stock of Art Deco buildings in the hood. A lot of it of course ended up on the cutting room floor... The final report is a fluff piece that does not mention parks or the fact that the old stadium is still taking up valuable space. Buy hey, we tried!

Check it out here:


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 NYBG Orchid Show begins this weekend! Here's the description of this year's show... [New York Times]

South Bronx community activist Majora Carter to be featured in a documentary on HBO this evening at 8pm [New York Times]

Just a reminder... Bronx Zoo is free (with a suggested donation) on Wednesdays [Fox 5 News]

Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel engaged in minor cat fight with CNN's Anderson Cooper... meow! [Daily News]

'Main Street NYC' takes a look at the changes afoot near Yankee Stadium [WNYC]

'Teach for America' teacher stationed in the Bronx profiled on Aussie website []

Cross Bronx Expressway slowest route in the country... Shocker. [New York Post]

The Dubai Lounge is pissing off its neighbors in Kingsbridge [Riverdale Press]


Listing of the Day: Castle Hill(?) Rental

1743 Zerega Avenue, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms -$1650/month

For all the real off-the-beaten-pathers out there, I've decided to present you with a Castle Hill special. You know, Castle Hill, that hood wedged between Soundview and Throgg's Neck. Yeah that Castle Hill, where J. Lo grew up. Yes that J. Lo, the one who had Skeletor's babies.

Well in any case, I bring to you a pretty nice three bedroom unit for $1650/month. The pics seem to indicate a certain level of maintenance. And that second bathroom never hurts. This unit is on the outskirts of Parkchester and some might say it's too far north to be Castle Hill, but Bronx hoods are hard to pin down sometimes.

Castle Hill has a decidedly working class, lower-middle echelon vibe. You'd feel right at home if you were looking to rent an $1650/month shared apartment. If you are trying to survive in NYC on a shoestring and don't mind sharing with roommates, you could be in this apartment for $550/month if you shared with 2 others. You could do a lot worse for a lot more in this City.

You'd have shopping and whatnot in Parkchester proper. You would be able to go a bit further south into the heart of real Castle Hill for a local dive bar where you can pre-game before a 6 train ride into the City try Cas Bar at 1362 Castle Hill Avenue or you could skip the whole 6 train nonsense and finish your night at Johnny O's Bar and Grill at 2132 Westchester Avenue to keep the whole affair local.

In any case, you'd have enough money at the end of the month to go to the City if you so desired.
Transportation is easy: Take the 6 to the Zerega Avenue stop.

Some further Castle Hill reading:
NY Times "Living In, Castle Hill"


*special thanks to the Village Voice's "Close-Up on Castle Hill, the Bronx" for helping me fill in the gaps - Big Up!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Commercial Featuring Majora Carter

Big ups to Jillian Faulls (of Jillian Inc.) for sending this link to us via Facebook...

We knew that a national commercial featuring South Bronx community and environmental activist Majora Carter would air sometime during the Oscars, but we just couldn't sit through all the boring speeches and Hugh Jackman's cheesy song and dance acts.

Thanks to the magic of the interweb, you can view the commercial right here:


Photo of the Day

Ash Wednesday
(forehead embellishment courtesy of
St. Philip Neri Church, Grand Concourse at 202nd Street)
Photo by ErLu

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:

Fascinating post detailing the history of the name "Throggs Neck," including the explanation of the "g" vs. "gg" spelling... [Bowery Boys]

Three-story walk-up on Paulding Avenue goes for $610K [RealEstateBisNow]

Bronx GOP Chairman talks to Rudy re: Bloomie's possible 3rd term [Daily News]

Judge rules Bronx-based Stuyvesant Fuel Oil Service will have to get in line with everyone else to recoup $10M invested with Madoff ten days before shit hit the fan [Daily News]

Bronx security guard hits $1M jackpot on a scratch-off lottery ticket [New York Post]


Listing of the Day: Morrisania Condo

888 Union Avenue, 2/3 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bathrooms -$255,000

There are a few things that draws BoogieDowner to this unit. The first would be the size and convertible 3rd bedroom. The second would be the added half bathroom, not to mention that there is a washer/dryer in the actual unit (not just a hook-up for a washer/dryer, and not some common set of washers the whole building uses with some card you have to put money on - the pics don't lie. Well sometimes in real estate listings they do lie, but you gotta be hopeful, no?). The listing also mentions that the common charge covers the cost of one parking space. No wait list; no additional charge.

In any case, it's pretty big and if you were to actually have a functioning 3rd bedroom, the price would be pretty nice. If it was really only a two bedroom, then the price would be average or a little above average. Although condos usually fetch a few dollars more than co-ops because the buyer doesn't have to be interrogated and laid bare for a board review.

This unit is right off of Prospect Avenue at 161st Street. Transportation would be very close with the 2/5 trains at Prospect and 160th Street.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Event Reminders

Here are a couple of midweek events happening in the BoogieDown:

'Bronx is Building' Lecture @ Fordham
Please join the Bronx African American History Project this Thursday, 2/26 at 6pm as they offer another installment in the 'Bronx is Building' lecture series entitled: “African Immigrants in the Bronx: New Cultural Currents.” There will be a discussion featuring Wuyi Jacobs of Afrobeat Radio and noted African immigration scholar, Dr. Bernard Hayford of Southern Connecticut State College. The event will be facilitated by Fordham sociologist, Dr. Jane Edward.
Event is free and open to the public. There will be reception with food and drinks immediately following the event.
Location: Flom Auditorium, Walsh Library, Fordham University, Rosehill
Campus. Click here for more info on the Bronx African American History Project.

'A Night of Bronx Flavor' @ Ann & Tony's Restaurant
Celebrate the upcoming new season of Bronx Flavor, a show dedicated to unearthing culinary delights from all cultures, at Ann & Tony's Restaurant (2407 Arthur Avenue) on Thursday, 2/26, at 8pm. Food and wine will be served, and after the showing they will be bringing out a sampling of their 'secret menu'....baked goat's head, tripe, and pig skin rolled with pine nuts, garlic and raisins. The cost is $25. Call (718) 933-1469 to reserve your spot. Bronx Flavor airs on BRONXNET, channel 67... click here for more info about the show.


Photo of the Day

Pair of Monkeys at the Bronx Zoo
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:

The crappiest borough next in line to get two new state-of-the-art crappers... suck it Brooklyn! Maybe people will curb their dogs in them? [Daily News]

The Silver Fox dishes the good stuff in the world of Bronx politics in his weekly column [Daily News]

Liz Benjamin corners pols in Albany to get some answers about the Bronx Borough Prez race [Daily News]

Profile of a senior conservationist based out of the Bronx Zoo [Daily News]

Fordham U. political science expert Dr. Bruce Berg weighs in on Bronx Borough Prez race [New York Times]

Some realtors not so psyched about South Bronx rezoning [The Real Deal]

Bronx DA drops murder charge of man who spent 10 years in prison [New York Times]

Bronx Civil Court Judge Francis M. Alessandro, along with his judge brother, may be getting the boot [New York Times]

Fire wipes out fleet of buses that transports kids to some Bronx schools [New York Post]


Brace Yourselves People...

Gmail is down.

We at BoogieDowner rely heavily on our Gmail account, so we're feeling Christian Bale-style cranky right now. The outage is pretty unfortunate considering we were just beginning a correspondence with a Nigerian attorney who was willing to partner with us to become the official beneficiary of his deceased client's $48 million windfall... We were just getting to the part where we email him our social security number. It'll have to wait until Gmail's back up and running!

Update: Get off your ledges... Gmail is back up and running.


Listing of the Day: Yannkee Stadium Rental

Summit Avenue and 161st Street, 2 Bedroom - $1200/month

This apartment is on Summit Avenue and 161st Street - right near the river. You'd find yourself in the heart of the Yankee Stadium development orgy in this apartment. Obviously, the City and the Yankees want this hood to do well. It's probably one of the most heavily visited outer-borough attractions for tourists. Expect an already decent hood to flourish. Now if only you could use slightly illegal municipal bills to fund your next move like the Yankees, you'd be looking at real estate sale listings instead of rentals, but that's fodder for another post.

Joyce Kilmer Park on 161st Street is a nice stretch of green across from the courthouse on 161st. You be reasonably close to the new Gateway Center Mall, which is set to open in the next year or so. The Bronx Museum of the Arts is up on 165th and the Grand Concourse, but there is art up and down the Grand Concourse in the 160s and 150s with beautiful Art Deco architecture. You'd also be near the new healthy foodie option 4Food.

Lots of choices for transportation. For those who work on the West Side there is the B/D at 161st. For those who work on the East Side there is the 4 at 161st and Jerome. And pretty soon you'll have a Metro North stop around the corner as well.

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



Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo of the Day

For Grandma's Couch...
(We have superb amenities in Bedford Park, right?)
Photo by ErLu

Round'em Up

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

New York Post takes an extensive look at how certain resilient Bronx hoods have improved thanks to both public and private investment [New York Post]

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Andrew Freedman home on the Grand Concourse, complete with photos
[Bronx Bohemian]

Bad couple of weeks public relations-wise for Riverdale... Katie Bindley takes a look at the 'blighted commercial strip' of Riverdale Avenue [New York Times]

Bronx Underground's Anita Colby in the spotlight for her use of social networking sites to promote concerts
[Daily News]

Spotlight on South Bronx community activist Majora Carter

'Casitas' scattered through the Bronx being considered for landmarking
[New York Times]

'Bronx Day' in North Carolina brings former Bronxites together to reminisce

Bronx pol Jeff Klein calls for taxpayer giftcards
[New York Post]

Star-Ledger supports Carrion's rise to new urban policy position in DC

More on the testing of the 3-door bus in the BoogieDown

The Bronx is the crappiest borough (as far as dog poop goes anyway...)
[New York Post]

Bronx Dems backing Diaz for Beep position, and more...
[Bronx Press Politics]

A closer look at the opposite verdicts reached in the 'Black Sunday' blaze
[New York Times]

Bronx doc wants to provide subsidized mental healthcare to residents

North East Bronx Senior Center celebrates couples married over 50 years... Council Member James Vacca was there to offer his congratulations. []

A Norwood woman was murdered 20 years ago, and the case finally goes to trial via video conferencing in Montenegro [New York Times]

Coverage of Bronx Albanians celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Kosovo's independence []

Bronx boxer credits the sport with saving her life [Daily News]

Fordham Place development in the spotlight again []


Listing of the Day: Bedford Park Golden Oldie

3020 Bainbridge Avenue, 6 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms - $349,000

This is a very old school Bedford Park single family house just south of Mosholu Parkway. It was built in 1901 and might need a little TLC, but the size, price, location, and tradition of this house make it worth a look. They just don't make houses that look like this anymore. This baby even has a gorgeous set of pocket doors leading into the dining room... not an easy detail to come by.

The block is right in the middle of Bedford Park. You'd be a few blocks from the Botanical Garden, and literally one block south of Mosholu Parkway, which serves the nabe as a mile or so long green stretch connecting the Botanical Garden to Van Cortland park. Lot's of green space up here.

There'd be some shopping on the 204th on the southern side of the Mosholu Parkway. This stretch of 204th is like a mini Koreatown with a great Korean BBQ place, some really nice Korean speciality places, and a C-Town for food shopping. For more significant shopping you could cross the Mosholu Parkway to 204th where there is a Foodtown, a fish monger, a bakery, a CVS and some mom and pop restaurants, a dinner, a Blockbuster, and even a pet store.

Lehman College and Fordham University are both in the hood, so there's always some cultural or athletic event going on.

Transportation is nice with the B/D at Bedford Park Blvd and the Concourse, the 4 at Bedford park Blvd and Jerome Ave, and the Botanical garden Metro North stop 3 blocks away.

Some further Bedford Park reading:
New York Times "Living In - Bedford Park"
The Real Deal "Bronx's Bedford Park Hidden in Plain View"
AMNY "Bedford Park, Bronx"



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Aspiring Teen Chefs in the South Bronx Work With Famed Culinary Superstar

Lily Kesselman's photo of aspiring teen chef (right) working with
Mark Bittman and Next Generation chef, Luanne Blaauboer

South Bronx-based photographer Lily Kesselman is a regular contributor to BoogieDowner's 'Photo of the Day' feature... Click here to see a few of the stunning images she's captured around her neighborhood.

Well, in a weird twist it actually turns out that Lily regularly photographs events for The Children's Aid Society, which is one of BoogieDowner's long-time sponsors. Small world up here in the BoogieDown...

Anyway, earlier this month The Children's Aid Society held a unique reception at its Next Generation Center in the South Bronx. Teens who are members of Next Generation Caterers, a training and employment program that prepares youth for professional careers, worked to prepare a meal for 60 attendees. Mark Bittman, chef, author, and New York Times Columnist, was on hand to offer guidance and cover the story, and Lily Kesselman captured terrific photos of the teens in culinary action. Click here to view Bittman's piece for the Times.

Congrats on your photo landing in the Times, Lily! Click here to check out Lily's website or here to view more photos from the Next Generation event. And kudos to Children's Aid Society for providing this wonderful development opportunity for Bronx youth! Click here if you are interested in learning how you can partner with the Children's Aid Society to help the youth of NYC.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Watch the Oscars in Style at BAAD!

If you are looking to do a little Sunday-night partying while watching the Oscars tomorrow, you are cordially invited to do so at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance's (BAAD!) Night of Mayhem party.

The party will kick-off in style at 7pm with a 99-cent store red carpet extravaganza... Don't worry if you don't have an original Roberto Cavalli creation to throw on - BAAD! will help you get glammed up in their one-size-fits-all gowns which have been worn by the fiercest drag queens in the BoogieDown. And yes, the red carpet will be complete with an official photographer.

An exciting highlight of the evening will be the premiere of a national commercial featuring Hunts Point's own community activist extraordinaire Majora Carter.

Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar... and of course donations will be much appreciated. Call (718) 842-5223 for more info.

It's times like these I really wish it was socially acceptable to let our slightly bitchy cat Dottie babysit our 1 year old so I could get all glammed up in drag queen clothes and walk down a pretend red carpet...


Film Series Examines Social and Economic Change in the Bronx

For all you documentary lovers out there in the BoogieDown, there's a super interesting film series being offered by the Maysles Cinema (343 Lenox Avenue @ 127th Street) next week from 2/23 to 2/28.

Rent Control: New York City Documented and Imagined Part VI: The Bronx will feature films highlighting a variety of social issues in both the North and South Bronx. Here are all the nitty-gritty details regarding the series:

From Monday, 2/23, to Tuesday, 2/24, The Maysles Cinema presents films set and shot in the North Bronx, from Christopher Coy's Bullwackie in New York (1986), a rare documentary that captures the dub and sound system impresarrio at work in his North Bronx studio, to Lyn Pyle's Passin' It On: 25 Years Organizing the Northwest Bronx (1999). On Tuesday we take a look at the some of the Kuchar Brothers' Bronx set and shot 8mm kitchen-sink masterpieces that secured their legacy as the Bronx's answer to the downtown underground filmmaking scene in the 60s.

From Wednesday, 2/25 to Saturday, 2/28, we first head south with Felix Rodriguez's La Bruja: A Witch from the Bronx (2005), an intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz and Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed's Bronx Princess (2008) about 17 year-old Rocky, leaving behind her mom in the South Bronx to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana.

On Thursday, 2/26, The Maysles Cinema and Center for Urban Pedagogy present Court Roomier - an evening on the Bronx's Housing Court. The Bronx Housing Court - one of the busiest courts in the world - handles bitter disputes between landlords and tenants. But what happens when Housing Court has its own housing crisis? Join us on Thursday, February 26th, for a screening and discussion about the judiciary's role in urban housing crises. William Sarokin's incisive documentary Housing Court (1985) will be followed by an update on issues currently facing the Bronx's Housing Court from Philippe Knab, a Housing Court Attorney working with the Bronx Defenders. We will also screen Lincoln Hospital (1970) this evening, a short film that takes a look at the relationship between another kind of space and a populace. This program is curated by Valeria Mogilevich.

On Friday, 2/27, we show William Sorokin's Simpson Street (1979), a brief history of the South Bronx followed by a preview of Edwin Pagan's upcoming documentary Bronx Burning, which chronicles the arson-for-insurance fraud fires of the 1970s and a photo slide show from legendary photographer Joe Conzo. We will conclude the evening with a panel discussion with Director Edwin Pagan, Photographer Joe Conzo, Filmmaker, DJ and activist Loira Limbal and Lorraine Montenegro, Executive Director of United Bronx Parents. On Saturday, February 28th we wrap up the Bronx Rent Control series with Alan and Susan Raymond's The Police Tapes (1977), a strong influence on Fort Apache, The Bronx, Hill Street Blues and continued representation of urban communities in general.

Rent Control: NYC Documented and Imagined is curated by Jessica Green and Philip Maysles. Screenings are open to the public at the suggested but not required donation of $7.

Screenings are open to the public at the suggested (but not required) donation of $7. Click here for more info.


Free Mammography Screenings

Council Member James Vacca has teamed up with the American Italian Cancer Foundation to offer free mammography screenings for women over 40 years of age this Monday, February 23rd from 9am to 5pm.

The Mobile Mammography Van will be stationed just outside Council Member Vacca's district office (3040 Tremont Avenue) and will be staffed by medical professionals from Multi-Diagnostic Services, Inc.

Just last month Council Member Vacca sponsored "Day Out to Work Out," which featured fitness clubs and gyms throughout the Bronx offering free classes and training sessions to Bronx residents. Kudos to Council Member Vacca for bringing yet another health and wellness initiative to the BoogieDown!

For more information about the Mobile Mammography Van, please call (718) 931-1721.


"Tree Hugging Will Be Encouraged But Is Not Mandatory"

Banner from the newly created social networking site
dedicated to Katie Holten's public art project celebrating
the Grand Concourse's 100th birthday

--"Tree Hugging Will Be Encouraged But Is Not Mandatory"--

These are the words of accomplished artist Katie Holten on her website dedicated to her upcoming outdoor exhibit along the Grand Concourse.

Simply named the Tree Museum, Ms. Holten's exhibit will be a major piece of the borough's celebration of the Grand Concourse's 100th birthday. She's collaborating with tons of Bronx cultural experts, schools, and community groups to highlight 100 different outdoor locations along a 4.5 mile stretch of the Concourse. Visitors will be able to access an audio guide via their cell phones and can stroll through the outdoor exhibit at their leisure. In the artist's words, it's a "museum without walls."

As if this project couldn't get any cooler, Ms. Holten has also established a social networking site in conjunction with the Tree Museum. Click here to check it out and become a member. It's a great resource to view upcoming events in the Bronx, chat about a particular issue near and dear to your heart, or just show your love for the Tree Museum or the BoogieDown!

The Bronx is lucky to have such an innovative artistic talent creating this public artwork to celebrate the Grand Concourse's 100th birthday - kudos to Katie Holten! To learn more about her past projects, click here to link to her personal site.

The Tree Museum will be on display from June 21st to October 11th. Click here for more details about the exhibit.


Calling All Bronx Artists

As one of his final projects before heading off to DC, Adolfo Carrion has launched a 'Portrait of a Bronx Artist' survey in order to identify what more could be done to strengthen the BoogieDown's rapidly growing cultural and artistic network.

If you're an artist of any kind and have ever found yourself frustrated by the opportunities available to you in the Bronx, this is your chance to vent. The Bronx Borough President's Office is aiming to have 100 artists complete the survey by Friday, February 27th.

Click HERE to complete the survey.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Beep Special Election Blog

Since Addie is off to Washington, the political scene in the Bronx is going to get pretty heated pretty quickly. Because a whole year's worth of campaigning, mud slinging, cat fighting, and scandals will be squeezed into a mere six weeks, Bronx Press Review has decided to start a blog completely dedicated to a race that is sure to be in line with the grand tradition of Bronx politics (i.e. lunacy).

Check it out HERE

Political junkies like BoogieDowner will be all over this puppy. Special thanks to John DeSio, who seems to be manning the posting duties over at the BronxPressPolitics.


Photo of the Day

New York Botanical Garden
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Photo courtesy of Simone Davis ~


Event Reminders: TGIF!

Events @ JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center
The JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. will host soprano Sigal Chen and pianist Jonathan Dzik, performing Broadway, Hebrew and classical music, today,Feb. 19; and the Island Breeze Caribbean Ensemble, Sunday, Feb. 22; both at 1 p.m., preceded by lunch at noon. The suggested contribution for each is $3. For more information, call (718) 549-4700. Click here for more info. [Listing courtesy of]

Bronx Underground Show @ FLC
Bronx Underground show for all ages featuring Powerpop, hardcore, indie - Patent Pending, Van Atta High, Currents, Empire's Erased, and more tonight, 2/20, at First Lutheran Church at 5:30pm. Admission is $9. Click here for more info.

Flower-Making Crochet Workshop @ Huntington Free Library
A fun-filled, family workshop for all ages! Learn to crochet at this simple workshop at the Huntington Free Library tomorrow, 2/21, from 12 to 3pm. Create pretty crochet flowers to pin on a hat, coat or scarf and brighten up the winter with an early touch of spring. Use unique yarns, wire & paper! Knowledge of crochet is not required. This workshop is facilitated by textile artist Lisa Curran. The workshop is open to the public and all are welcome. Admission is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP by e-mailing or calling 718-829-7770. This workshop is presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts and the Huntington Free Library. The Huntington Free Library is located at 9 Westchester Square (next to the Apple Savings Bank) in the Bronx and can be reached by the #6 subway and the BX 4, 21, 31, 40 and 42 buses to Westchester Square. For additional directions or information, call 718-829-7770. [Listing courtesy of]

Events @ Bronx Library Center
'Cuban Tribute to Charlie Parker by Hot House Band' tomorrow, 2/21, at 2:30pm: "Hot House" is homage to the music and spirit of the great Charlie Parker. Conceived, produced and directed by trumpeter Steven Gluzband, Hot House may be considered as much a musical nexus as a band, juxtaposing traditional Cuban dance forms with the jazz idiom, young musicians with veteran players, and Cuban émigrés with first and second generation Americans.
'The Peanut Prince: George Washington Carver' Sunday, 2/22, at 2pm: How much can you do with a peanut? George Washington Carver found over 300 ways to use a peanut, including laundry soap and "peanut orange punch." Mr. Caver was former slave who spent his life doing research on plants. He was world famous and beloved; president's consulted with him, and Thomas Edison offered him the equivalent of a millions dollars a year to work for him and Carver said no! Recommended for ages 8 and older. Presented by Urban Stages. Funding for more children's programs at The New York Public Library's neighborhood hubs has been generously provided by the New York Life Foundation.
Click here for more info regarding either of these events.

Family Art Project @ Wave Hill
'A Desert Under Glass':
Leave winter behind. Spend some time sketching and painting the exotic desert dwellers that live in Wave Hill's Cactus and Succulent House. Tomorrow, 2/21 and Sunday, 2/22, from 1 to 4pm... free with admission. Click here for more info.

Bronx Dominican Heritage Celebration @ Hostos
The Bronx's Official Dominican Heritage Celebration will take place tomorrow, 2/21, at 5pm at Hostos Community College. Dominican-American leaders will be honored and there will be live entertainment, as well as traditional Dominican food. There will also be a concert at Hostos after the celebration: Fernando Villalona "El Mayimbe." Tickets available by calling (718) 518-4455. Click here for more info.

Bronx Revolution Party @ Bruckner Bar
There will be a Bronx Revolution party tomorrow night, 2/21, at Bruckner Bar and Gallery at 10pm... 18 and over only. This month's party will feature live indie and dance-rock bands including The Dirty Dirty and more. DJs Adam Underground and Cindy Kim spin 80s, new wave, indie, rock n roll, 90s, punk, electro and more all night long. Drink specials throughout the night! Click here for more info.

Political Playdate @ Uptown Sports Complex
Tony Perez Cassino (Democratic Candidate for City Council) will be hosting a Political Playdate this Sunday, 2/22, at Uptown Sports Complex (170 W. 233rd Street) from 10am to 2pm. There will be a mini-carnival, a gymnastics center, batting cages, snacks and the captivating sing-a-long music of Suzanne Hockstein (performance at 11:30) for the kids. For the adults, it is an opportunity to come together and discuss common desires to improve our communities. The event is free, but you must rsvp to or 718.280.8999. Click here for more info.

Did we miss something? Email us at Thanks!


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:

More info on the design elements incorporated at Fordham Place mixed-use development [Contract Magazine]

More about those interested in replacing Carrion as Bronx Borough Prez [New York Times]

More about Bronx Museum's 'Intersections' design competition []

Brooklyn and Queens think they are both hip-hop capitals... [Daily News]

Bronxites get to test out new 3-door bus on Bx 12 bus route - it's getting rave reviews [Daily News]

Kappy's predictions regarding content of Carrion's final 'State of the Borough' address today [Daily News]

Pedro Espada stiffing landlord on rent for one of his Soundview Health Center facilities [Daily News]

Norwood News takes an in-depth look at Carrion's performance as Bronx Borough Prez [Norwood News]


Listing of the Day: Mott Haven Rental

138th and Alexander Avenue, 2 Bedrooms - $1225/month

This is not a bad price for a two bedroom in a pre-war building across the street from the 6 train. The stretch of Alexander Avenue in from 138th north into the 140s is full of really beautiful brownstones. I am assuming that this is in one of those buildings.

Mott Haven has a nascent art scene, a few good eateries like Alexander's, Bruckner Bar and Grill, and Santa Clarita close by, and super close proximity to the City where most of you probably work.

If you're looking to split rent and live in a relatively cool hood, near transportation, art and decent food, check this listing out. Transportation is easy with the 6 across the street.



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photo of the Day

Neptune Inn ~ City Island
Submitted by dgbxfb via Facebook


'Bronx at Work' Site Seems Pretty Damn Lazy

If you haven't read this New York Times' City Room piece about by David Gonzalez, you should click here to check it out. seems to be maintained by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), who says they are having "terrible technical problems with the site." Click here to read David Gonzalez's amusing piece to see what those problems are... Perhaps the biggest issue seems to be that no jobs are ever posted on the site!

We're not really buying the technical problems excuse... We here at BoogieDowner are by no means techies, but whenever we run into a formatting issue, we just Google our problems away. There are millions of interweb geeks lurking in message boards just waiting to help you solve tech problems.

As of right now, the site has been taken down for a few weeks so the folks over at BOEDC can figure out how to... hmmm, I dunno, maybe post some jobs on the site? We'll be watching!

Great story - thanks David Gonzalez!


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:

Photo gallery of welterweights Miguel Cotto and Michael Jennings working out in the BoogieDown []

Bronx landlords found guilty in 'Black Sunday' blaze [New York Times]

Bronx pols kissing Carrion's ass with lovey-dovey statements as he gets ready to head to DC [Daily News]

Article spoofing A-Rod is pretty damn insulting to the Bronx... not to mention it's not even funny []

City Comptroller William Thompson has unveiled a web tool which allows users to enter their zip codes to see exactly how MTA cuts will affect their commutes [New York Times]

Riverdale residents form new community group [Riverdale Press]


Listing of the Day: Parkchester Condo

1562 Unionport Road, 2 Bedrooms - $185,000

This is a two 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 a two bedroom at $185,000 with a common charge of only $700. The kitchen isn't granite or anything, but it certainly looks serviceable (borderline nice). I like the open range and the weird tiled counter top.

Parkchester has tons of shopping, chief of which are its own Macy's and a Starbucks. 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.

Parkchester Community Website



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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 (I was out of town for a few days, so this round up will be going back a few days...):

Kappy got the exclusive scoop: Carrion headed to DC [Daily News]

Giorgio Armani visits art center he funded in the BoogieDown... He even rode the subway and left his scarf as a 'parting gift' for fellow straphanger. Hmmm... Mildly insulting?
[New York Times 'The Moment'] and [Cityfile]

13 year old guitar prodigy hails from the BoogieDowner
[Daily News]

The Bronx had the pleasure of hosting the NYPD's Mubai-style terror training [Associated Press]

Long-time Bronx detective retires [Daily News]

Crappy economy hitting Bronxites hard [Daily News]

South Bronx community activist honored with street naming [NY1]

The Silver Fox's weekly column was juicy as always... [Daily News]

Parsons 'Design Workshop' transforms a Bronx rooftop into an outdoor garden and kitchen for young adults transitioning out of foster care [Architectural Record]

WHEDCO's Intervale Green gets more press for provided energy-saving measures for its low-income residents [Time]

MetroPCS, a low-cost cell phone provider, sets up shop in the BoogieDown []

African American kids in Baychester charter school learning Korean [Daily News]


It's Official (well, almost): Carrion Headed to DC

Daily News' Bob Kappstatter got the exclusive scoop (we don't call him the Silver Fox for nothing... the man is good): Adolfo Carrion is headed to DC to serve as director of the new White House Office on Urban Policy. The White House will officially announce the news sometime today. Click here to check out Kappy's full story.

Too bad Kappy isn't a betting man... He could have made some moolah. In his omniscient column early yesterday, he declared that A.C. "would be getting word this week that he's got the job as President Obama's urban policy director."

Stay tuned for all the hub-bub regarding who'll throw their hats in the ring for the Beep position.

Nice work Kappy!

*Photo courtesy of Noonan for Daily News*


Monday, February 16, 2009

Listing of the Day: Fordham Road Rental

East Fordham Road, 2 Bedrooms - $900/month

The listing doesn't specify where exactly on East Fordham Road this apartment is, but it would have to be somewhere between Jerome Avenue and Bronx Park (i.e the Zoo and Botanical Garden). The other side of Jerome Avenue is West Fordham Road, and the on the other side of Bronx Park Fordham Road runs into and becomes Pelham Parkway.

The pictures are pretty nice for such a low price. To be honest, you'd find a lot of one bedrooms in the vicinity for more than this price. The listing does emphasize that the bedrooms are small (8 x11 and 8x12), but the price is still pretty damned low.

Fordham Road obviously has lots of shopping and you'd have the new amenities of Fordham Plaza with Best Buy and the soon to come Applebee's. Also at Fordham Plaza is the not to missed Maria's Tacos. Fordham University is in the hood, so you'd be able to enjoy some cultural stuff and A-10 hoops (even though the Rams kinda stink this year). The baddest public library in the Bronx would be close by as well. Arthur Ave is in walking distance for top quality Italian grub.

Transportation is pretty nice with the B/D at Fordham Road and the Concourse and further west the 4 is at Jerome and Fordham Road. For the fancy pants commuters, there is the Metro North station at Fordham Road and Webster Avenue.