Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Barriers Back in Place at NYBG Construction Site

As you can see in the above photo sent over by the New York Botanical Gardens' PR office, the barriers have been put back in place along the temporary pedestrian walkway next to the garage construction site.

Big ups to NYBG for their speedy response to this matter! (But we would still really love to have our permanent sidewalk back... sigh.)


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 bare minimum estimate for a family of 4 taking in a game at the new Yankee Stadium comes in at $160 [NY1] (BD Note: This reports says that "Soda prices have stayed the same at $6, the same price as the cheapest available beer." Since when is soda the same price as beer? That strikes me as completely insane.)

But yet most local residents are still psyched for the opening of the new Yankee Stadium [NY1]

England's Children's Secretary has visited Bronx Academy to see how they could possibly adapt similar educational practices across the pond [BBC News]

Trouble brewing within the charity the Yankees set up to benefit local residents affected by the construction of the new Yankee Stadium [Daily News]

Public review process begins for rezoning near Yankee Stadium as part of Mayor Bloomberg's South Bronx initiative [NY1]

Former director of Pathways to Youth, Neil Berger, pleads guilty as part of Efrain Gonzalez case [Daily News]

Patrice O'Shaughnessy calls out several Bronx pols on their dishonesty [Daily News]

Dog from the BoogieDown making medical history with new leg [New York Post]

In basketball, being a 'Bronx guard' is a pretty damn good thing [New York Times]


Listing of the Day: Bainbridge House One Bedroom

325 E. 201st Street, 1 Bedroom - $149,999

This is a one bedroom unit in one of the best cooperative buildings in Bedford Park. The building, known as Bainbridge House, is impeccably maintained and has a true community feel to it. This unit itself is 650 square feet and is bright and showered in natural light. An apartment of this size is a perfect bachelor pad or for a young couple. Plus, living in Bainbridge House would give you the added benefit of being neighbors with ErLu and a State Senator.

Bedford Park is a great hood. You've heard BoogieDowner gush about our home nabe before, but I'll just briefly run down the notables again. Lots of green space with Mosholu Parkway and the Botanical garden close by; lots of cultural stuff with Fordham University and Lehman College in the hood; lots of great food with Arthur Avenue close by; lots of shopping with 204th Street, the Jerome Avenue BID, Target, and Fordham Road close by.

Another key part of the allure of the hood is the convenient transportation. The B/D is on Bedford Park Blvd and the Concourse, the 4 is at Bedford Park Blvd and Jerome Avenue, and the Metro North is right at the Botanical Garden.

Here's a little further reading for the more studious types:
New York Times "Living In - Bedford Park"
The Real Deal "Bronx's Bedford Park Hidden in Plain View"
AMNY "Bedford Park, Bronx"



Monday, March 30, 2009

NYBG Garage Construction Site Creating Dangerous Situation for Pedestrians (Updated)

Friday, 3/27: Barriers set up to 'protect' pedestrians from oncoming traffic have been pushed aside, rendering the temporary walkway impassable.

BoogieDowner is usually one of the New York Botanical Garden's biggest fans. We live a short 2 or 3 minute walk from this world-class horticultural wonderland, and visit it at least once or twice a week with our 1 year old, Pearl.

Since the construction of NYBG's new parking garage on the corner of Webster Avenue and Bedford Park Blvd. has stalled due to lack of funding, we've been getting a little peeved about the temporary walkway that's been set up for pedestrians on the northbound side of Webster. The construction site pushes out past the sidewalk, so pedestrians are left walking basically in Webster Avenue with nothing but temporary wooden barriers protecting them from oncoming traffic. Simply put, it's DANGEROUS.

Well, this weekend the situation become even more perilous for pedestrians due to temporary barriers being pushed perpendicular to the construction site, rendering the walkway literally impassable. Anyone wishing to get from Botanical Square over to Bedford Park Blvd. must cross Webster Avenue to do so. It's absolutely infuriating.

We've emailed some contacts over at the Garden, but the messages have mysteriously bounced back. We've also called 311 to log an official complaint with the City, but had to give up on the phone call after about 10 minutes of trying to explain the situation to the incompetent operator.

BoogieDowner is angry. NYBG is normally one of our favorite amenities in Bedford Park, but we feel they've totally bungled this garage project. We were in favor of the project when it was first announced and even when construction was up and running, but now Bedford Park residents are left with a gaping whole in the ground and a dangerous situation for pedestrians in the area. To add insult to injury, it seems NYBG doesn't feel the need to work with the press to communicate with the community (for example, their spokesman declined comment in Dorian Block's Daily News article about growing frustration regarding the construction site) about their future plans for complete the project.

Please note that the photos you see were taken this Friday and Saturday, 3/27 and 3/28. It's quite possible that someone has corrected the situation by now in the one day that's passed since we took them, but somehow we doubt it...

Saturday, 3/28: The situation had only gotten worse, with barriers not only blocking the temporary walkway, but also jutting out into Webster Avenue's right lane of traffic.

Update (3:56pm): We heard back from Nicholas Leshi, NYBG's Associate Director of PR, who says it "...looks like the barricades were moved by a third party (maybe due to an accident). I know that our Capital Projects Director is now aware of this unacceptable situation and making sure it's corrected immediately."

Update: Problem was resolved promptly. Click here for more info on resolution.


Event Reminders

A few events Bronxites might be interested in which are happening this week...

Maternal Mental Health Event @ Jacobi
There's a free conference at the Jacobi Conference Center on maternal mental health: "Perinatal Centers Conference: Managing the Spectrum of Maternal Mental Health Issues from Conception Through the Neonatal Experience" tomorrow, 3/31 from 7:45am to 4:30pm. It's in the Nurses Residence, Building 4, 2nd Floor. CME and CEU credits are available. For more info, contact Marlene Allison at 212-788-3477. Click here for more info about this event.

Bronx Underground @ Webster Hall
Afro-Punk is joining forces with Bronx Underground to host a monthly party and show in NYC. The party launches tomorrow, 3/31, at Webster Hall, and runs every last Tuesday throughout the summer. Join us for the debut party on Tuesday, March 31 at THE STUDIO at WEBSTER HALL (125 E 11th btw 3rd & 4th Ave). Bands playing the “All Ages Show” (doors open 5:30) include Black JuJu, Cipher and Endwell. Bands playing the late night set (doors open 9:30) include Chewing Pics, The Smyrk and The London Souls. Tickets are $7 (“all ages” show) and $10 (late show). Click here for more info.

Public Hearing re: Lower Concourse Rezoning
Friends of Brook Park alerted us to a public hearing Wednesday, 4/1, where Bronxites can advocate for the inclusion of the South Bronx Park Avenue Harlem River access point in the Lower Concourse Rezoning proposal. Attend if you can, where you can speak and or submit written remarks. Details: City Planning Commission Hearing, 4/1, 10 AM, Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street. If you can't attend, Friends of Brook Park is encouraging Bronx residents to send an email message by clicking here and using the following message template:
Re: Lower Concourse ReZoning, Bronx
We want the zoned area to be expanded to include the next parcel/s south along the river and identified as priority park/public space. This is an ideal location for a community deprived for too long of waterfront park space, as well as a natural addition to the expanding NYC Watertrail. It is that simple!!!
Bronx Poets Read! @ Bronx Museum
Join the Bronx Trolley and get to hear fresh new voices from the Bronx on Wednesday, 4/1, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Featuring Poet/Performance Artist Josefina Baez, who will read from her book of poems "Comrade Bliss Ain't Playing." Also reading from his book of poems, "Daydreams and Shadows," will be Ani Rumaer, a Bronx-based author/poet/educator. Free guided tours led by Museum educators. Click here for more info.

Community Protest @ Yankee Stadium
Concerned Bronxites will be gathering outside of the Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs exhibition game (161st Street and River Avenue) this Friday, 4/3, at 6pm to protest what are now being viewed as broken promises to the community with the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. Protesters will have signs and placards siting the lack of replacement parks, lack of jobs for Bronxites and other concerns.


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:

Great Bronx items in the Times this weekend, including City Island featured in the Real Estate section's 'Living In' column, and Katie Bindley scoring the cover page of the City Section with her piece taking a look at how Yankee Stadium's teeny tiny move across the street may effect some local businesses (Katie was interviewed regarding the piece on NY1's 'New York Times Close Up,' but we haven't been able to find linkage online yet... Congrats Katie!)

After 25 years, a kooky crazy court battle determining family ownership of several Bronx properties finally nearing an end
[New York Times]

Why can't the City figure out who should be cleaning up a smelly, mosquito-infested swamp in the South Bronx? [CBS2 News]

A look at what makes KIPP charters schools (which began in the South Bronx) work so well [Washington Post] (you can also click here to read a New York Post story about some union drama they're having at two of their locations)

Sen. Gillibrand brings 'Congress at Your Corner' to the Bronx [NY1 News]

Community leaders and local merchants come together to aid Westchester Avenue business owners affected by last Sunday's fire [Daily News]

Profile of the South Bronx Food Co-op [Hunts Point Express]

Councilman James Vacca paves the way for scaled back version of 911 Call Center, but City still doesn't have deal with owners of the site [Daily News]


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Listing of the Day: Schuylerville New Construction

1334-6 Vreeland Ave, 3 bedrooms, 1 Bathroom - $1850/month

It seems that this must have been intended to be sold when it was first built (the pic after the jump show a completely free standing Feddersesque building), but alas, it's on the rental market now. Schuylerville is a small hood south of Pelham Bay and east of the Hutch.

It's quite out here, but sometimes that's what folks are looking for. The Hutch probably isolates the nabe a bit, but over in this part of the Bronx you certainly get a little bit of a suburban feel.

The pics look great, but the price might be a little high. You'd be paying for the idyllic isolation. The 6 is a bit of a walk, but I think most people in Schuylerville embrace the east Bronx car/express bus culture. In any case, it's worth a look if your need a big apartment.



Good Stuff in the Times

Photo courtesy of Rob Bennett for The New York Times

Two items of interest to Bronxites in this weekend's New York Times.

First up, City Island is featured in the Real Estate section's 'Living In' feature. Click here to check it out.

Also, our favorite City Section reporter Katie Bindley scored a cover piece which explores how local businesses that thrive on foot traffic from Yank's fans may fare with the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. The new stadium is just a stone's throw away from the old one, but the slight variation in location may change where fans are inclined to grab a beer and a burger. Click here to check out the piece.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Roma Luncheonette Closing?

Closed for good, or just doing renovations?

ErLu went over to Arthur Avenue yesterday for some dinner ingredients and were not happy to see Roma Luncheonette (cute little diner on 187th and Belmont, and also the site of ErLu's first date back in college) was closed with blue tarps covering the windows... We certainly hope they're just painting or doing some renovations and not closing for good. They have the best hot chocolate! Anyone know what the deal is? (Update: BoogieDowner reader Greg said he walked past Roma and they now have a sign up saying they are closed for vacation. Whew!)

On another note, it appears Arthur Avenue Floral is relocating from Arthur Avenue to 187th Street between Arthur and Hughes. We saw workers hanging a new awning on the new site:~ErLu

Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo of the Day

New York Botanical Garden has lost a bit of its bling...
Farewell Henry Moore sculptures - you'll be sorely missed.Photo by ErLu

Event Reminders: TGIF!

Bronx Revolution Party @ Bruckner Bar & Gallery
This month's indie rock party and show featuring The Kezners, Boombox Repair Kit, Adam Underground and DJ Xio is tonight, 3/27, at 10pm at Bruckner Bar & Gallery. Bands, bar, djs, dancing, art, drink specials... What more could you ask for? Cost is $7, or $5 if you bring a copy of their flyer with you. Click here for more info.

Bronx Green-Up Workshop
'Creating a Children’s Garden' - This hands-on workshop will provide ideas and steps on creating garden spaces for children. Learn how to build a safe learning environment that is fun for kids by helping us start a children’s area at this community garden. RSVP recommended. Send an e-mail to bronxgreenup@nybg.org or call 718.817.8026. Saturday, March 28 • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Fordham Bedford Lotbusters • East 193rd Street and Bainbridge Avenue. Click here for more info about Bronx Green-Up.

Orchid Show Concert and Café Scientifique
Saturday, March 28, 5 p.m. - Come early to spend the afternoon strolling through a lush tropical Brazilian garden at The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern, then join WQXR’s Annie Bergen for a live broadcast of Argentinean pianist Mirian Conti in the magnificent Arthur and Janet Ross Lecture Hall. After the concert, converse with Garden experts such as Marc Hachadourian, Curator of The Orchid Show, at Café Scientifique, an informal discussion of the exhibition and research at the Garden. Concert begins at 5 p.m., immediately followed by the reception. All attendees receive a complimentary glass of wine. Advance purchase strongly suggested. Click here for tickets.

Forever Freestyle Three @ Lehman
Popular freestyle artists from the late 1980s will perform chart-topping hits like "Party Your Body," "Show Me," "Come Into My Arms," "A Day of my Life Without You," and "Where Are You Tonight." Performance will be tomorrow, 3/28, at 8pm. Tickets range from $50 to $35. Click here for more info.

Cabaret & The Concourse Concert @ Wave Hill
Sunday, 3/29, 2pm - More vitality than any stage can hold, Barbara Brussell is a Grand Concourse of energy. Songs from The Fantastics, Carousel, and New York New York spotlight her high-school-date excitement, with a new song by Ray Jessel. Tickets: $15 Member; $24 Non-member; $21 Student and Senior 65+. Advance purchase recommended; call 718.549.3200 x385. Click here for more info. Also, click here for info regarding this weekend's Family Art project at Wave Hill.

Free Dance Performance @ Lehman
BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM) announces its 30th anniversary performance, Defining Diversity, and founding director Islene Pinder’s 80th birthday celebration performance at Lehman College’s Lovinger Theatre, March 30, 2009. The New York City-based company promotes a new vision of contemporary dance fusing ballet and modern with Balinese theatre and diverse cultural dance styles. The specially designed program was created for the occasion to highlight a variety of traditional dance styles, guest artists and companies, and BALAM’s cutting-edge fusion repertoire. This free performance is open to the public and presented by the Freshman Year Initiative at Lehman College with Phyllis Cash, Coordinator for Special Programs. Performance begins at 11am. Click here for more info.


Listing of the Day: Mott Haven Price Amputation

314 East 140th Street, 4 bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms - $290,000

I know BoogieDowner has been down in this neck of the woods quite often in the past weeks, but it's hard not to be intrigued by the blood bath in price reductions in Mott Haven.

This is a detached two family on 140th Street and Alexander Avenue. I am sure it will need some work, but the price is astounding. This is less a price chop and more a price amputation. Swift and steep did this asking price plummet.

On December 30th, the delusions still circled and the price was all the way up at $525K. By February 25th a mild case of reality set in and the price was chopped to $395K. Now the price has been gutted again and this house can be had for $290K.

You know BoogieDowner is a sucker for running numbers, so here we go: $235,000 chop over 3 months, or $78.3K/month, or $2,611/day, or $108.79/hour, or $1.81/minute in price reductions. At $290K with a 30 year mortgage, you'd pay $1,350 or so, and the taxes would be about $80/month (sure beats co-op maintenance, right?).

Mott Haven itslef is not a bad place to be. Art galleries, food places, some cool architecture on Alexander Avenue, and pretty nice transportation. Get in cheap and own a house for a lot less than most two bedroom rentals. - or wait and see how low this can go. Maybe in a few more months you could barter some pelts or livestock for this residence.



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:

New Day United Methodist Church draws huge crowd for grand opening of worship at Bronx High School of Science [Global Ministries]

Gang of Three nailed for not even having MetroCards... In fact, Sen. Ruben Diaz says, "I don't care who rides the train or who doesn't ride the train." [New York Post]

More affordable green housing coming to the Foxhurst section of the BoogieDown [greenbuildingsnyc.com]

Spring has sprung at Wave Hill [whatweretheskieslike.blogspot.com]

Fubo the gorilla gets a brain scan at the Bronx Zoo [eurekalert.org]

Owner of Arthur Avenue Bakery charged with cheating workers [New York Times] (BD Note: With all the other options available to foodies on Arthur Avenue, we certainly hope Bronxites boycott this place. Arthur Avenue Bakery has gotten increasingly weirder and weirder over the years... the lights are often out and you can see leaks in the ceiling. What a bum this guy is.)

Bronx baby receives new heart at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore [Daily News]


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Listing of the Day: Island For Sale

Rat Island, 2.5 Acres - $300,000

Not sure who would finance the rather impractical purchase of a rocky island off of City Island that is sometimes underwater at high tide, but there's one for sale if you're interested. I would assume that there is no electricity or plumbing, so this wouldn't be ideal for a residence, but you can't beat the views. I guess you'd also have to have marine transportation to get to a fro, but if you're buying an island you probably have a boat.

The unfortunately named Rat Island is on the market for $300,000. "'It's a nice, unique spot,' Red Brennen [the current owner] said. 'I cleaned it up in anticipation of selling it. So I'm just waiting on offers. Only serious ones, though. No tire-kickers.'" [NY Daily News]

To make a "serious offer," call (718) 928-6598.

"For Enough Cheese, Rat Island Is Yours; Family Wants 300G For Spot Near City Island" [Tanyanika Samuels, Daily News]

*photo courtesy of http://bratislav.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/p7026272.jpg and may or may not be rat island*

Round'em Up

And, we're back...

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:

'Gang of Three' betray New York City [Daily News]

Baruch College journo student exposes BoogieDowner's inability to spell check and exceptionally bad taste in color schemes [Writing New York]

A construction update on the continuing redevelopment of The BankNote building in Hunts Point [bisnow.com]

Siemens Management snaps up 3 office and retail properties along E. Tremont Avenue for $3M [CoStar Group]

Bronx Library Center, along with other libraries across NYC, seeing an uptick of people seeking resume and job seeking advice [New York Times]

Bronx rapper Nine (whose peeps thought perhaps he was dead or in jail) planning a return to hip-hop [hiphopdx.com]

Well known South Bronx activist Victor Toro allowed to stay in country for at least another 5 months [NY1]

Stella D'oro strikers still fighting the good fight [The Indypendent]

Bronx high school students rally at City Hall to protest cigarette advertising in local bodegas [Daily News]

Principal of Riverdale school probed for holding 'hate-chants' against 8 teachers he disliked [New York Post]

Highly performing Bronx Preparatory School put on probation because some teachers aren't certified [New York Post] (BD Note: Ummmm, how about we invoke the ol' 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' theory on this one?)

Bronxnet's 'Bronx Flavor' up for an Emmy Award [yournabe.com]

Councilman James Vacca's office calls for study to investigate the implementation of angled parking on local streets within CB 10 [yournabe.com]

Local little leagues to lose fields to housing for the mentally impaired near the Bronx Psychiatric Center [yournabe.com]

New York Botanical Garden's Museum Building, Fountain of Life, and Tulip Tree Allee designated landmarks [New York Times]


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alternate Side Ambiguity and Unequal Enforcement

It seems that there is an unspoken tolerance of double parking during alternate side street cleaning regulations. I have never double parked during the alternate side hours in the past, because there is no standard and published policy that seems to indicate that I would not receive a ticket. I do my best to have my vehicle parked in the appropriate spot for the following day so I do not have to move it during the regulation. Due to my diligence and law-abiding practices I have in the past been blocked in by double-parkers who are never ticketed. I have literally been unable to leave for an appointment because illegal (and un-ticketed) double-parkers have boxed my vehicle in. This has happened in the presence of parking agents who did nothing.

March 24, 2009, I had an appointment at noon, which I needed to get to on time. To avoid being boxed in I parked on the side of the street that was being cleaned. Upon my return, alternate side was still in effect and I was unable to find a parking spot on the appropriate side. I decided reluctantly to double-park, as scores of people do every day, and assumed that the policy that seemed to apply to others would also apply to me. Unfortunately it seems the parking authority selectively enforces its policies.

I witnessed a parking agent waiting on
Perry Avenue and 201st Street during alternate side hours who was not ticketing double parked cars. I assumed that this dereliction in the agent’s duty would apply to me as well. While I was on the way to move my car at 1:00pm, my 13 month old daughter required attention and I was unable to get to the car until 1:15pm. I was shocked to find a ticket on my vehicle timed at 1:01pm. I find it unconscionable that the parking agent would not enforce the parking rules at 12:59pm, but then ticket my car at 1:01pm. Are parking agents allowed to be derelict in their duties between certain hours? If this is so, it would be helpful if an official policy were created and published so that taxpayers know when agents are being paid to not do their jobs. A clear and published policy on this matter would have allowed me to avoid this ticket.

Is anybody else frustrated with the alternate side frequency and the lack of clear policies on what taxpayers can do with their vehicles legally during alternate side hours?

Check out this great article from September by our favorite City Room contributor, David Gonzalez, about the Moral Theology of Double Parking.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Listing of the Day: Clock Tower Price Inflation?

112 Lincoln Ave. at Bruckner Blvd. 2 Bedrooms - $1475/month

Bucking the trend of most rentals across the City, a two bedroom in Mott Haven's Clock Tower is actually listing for $100 more per month than it was in late December when BoogieDowner profiled it.

This may not be the identical unit (the pics seem worse in the current listing), but it is the same building and the same number of bedrooms, and each listing tried to pimp a November Times article about lofts in New York City that mentioned the Clock Tower.

In any case, there might be something to be said for living in a converted piano factory in Mott Haven. Mott Haven does have some cool art galleries, decent eating options, and great transportation (the 6 at 138th), but BoogieDowner is unsure how the rent could go up in the this economic climate.



Photo of the Day

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show
Photo courtesy of Simone Davis ~ www.thebronxrocks.com

Click here to check out more of Simone's gorgeous photos from the Orchid Show!

The Silver Fox and the Wascally Wabbit

As always, Kappy has the good stuff in his weekly piece in the Daily News, but one small item caught BoogieDowner's attention. It seems that our neighbor(?) Pedro Espada, Jr. is peeved at Kappy for using the nickname "Wascally Wabbit" to describe him. Pedro the Wascally Wabbit will not return the Silver Fox's phone calls. As of now, Kappy isn't budging and the sobriquet will stay in use. Well done Silver Fox, well done!

True to form, it seems that the Wascally Wabbit is playing the role of aggrieved child throwing a tantrum. If the cotton tail fits...

Now the only question is whether Kappy was calling up to Albany or some yet unpublished local Bronx number for the Wascally One.


Listing of the Day: Bedford Park Beauty

306 Mosholu Parkway South #3B, Studio - $87,500

This studio might just be a hidden gem across from a beautiful stretch of green in the Northern Bronx. Located right on Mosholu Parkway in Bedford Park, this unit is pretty big (575 square feet) for a studio, and the price is very nice. Studios at less than $90K in reasonably maintained buildings in decent hoods don't come along too often (except when the economy is imploding). The apartment looks like it has been kept up and the natural light and old-school fixtures are charming. The maintenance fee is not too bad at $353/month. Mortgage and maintenance on a normal 30 year mortgage would be $773/month ($420 for the mortgage and $353 for the maintenance). That's not a bad price for a studio in Bedford Park.

The nabe is surrounded by green with Mosholu Parkway right there and the Botanical Garden a few blocks away. There is a so-so C-Town on 204th Street (south of Mosholu Parkway) and a small Korea-town with some decent groceries and a BBQ place. On 204th Street on the other side of the Mosholu Parkway, there are some veggie stores, a Foodtown, a bakery, a fish guy, a diner, a hardware store, and some dollar store type places. There are also a few decent Mexican and Spanish food places to try. BoogieDowner recommends Rio Mixteco down near Webster.

The transportation in Bedford Park is to be envied. B/D at Bedford Park Boulevard and the Concourse for West Side access, 4 at Bedord Park Boulevard and Jerome for East Side access, and the Botanical Garden Metro North stop just a few blocks away for the fancier commuters.

Here's a little further reading for the more studious types:
New York Times "Living In - Bedford Park"
The Real Deal "Bronx's Bedford Park Hidden in Plain View"
AMNY "Bedford Park, Bronx"



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gone to the Beach

In case you haven't noticed, our posting has been a little light this week. It was a vacation week around here, and now ErLu are lucky enough to be jaunting off to an undisclosed tropical locale for the weekend. We figure it's really our civic duty to spend some savings on a little getaway to stimulate the economy, right? We're just so god-damned patriotic.

Anyway, we'll miss you this weekend dear readers... Be good!


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 extensive look at Bronx Museum's 'Intersections: Grand Concourse at 100' exhibition [New York Times]

Renowned architect Daniel Libeskind headlines Bronx Museum's symposium on Bronx architecture and refers to it as a borough that has an 'underdog view of itself' and 'deserves so much more.'
[CityLimits.org via Bronx News Network]

Outer borough museums (including Bronx Museum of the Arts) feeling the pinch during the budget crisis
[New York Times]

The nickname results are in, and they shall be called: The Fare Hike Four [Streetsblog.com]

Bloomie saves the day at a press conference at Lehman College
[New York Times]

A little profile of Arthur Avenue [Newsday]

New workers being trained for opening day at Yankee Stadium (neither of the workers interviewed whose homes were revealed lived in the Bronx...) [Daily News]

Today is the last day for parents to run for Community and Citywide Education Councils! [Powertotheparents.org]

Yankees hosting a free preview day of the new stadium for Bronxites on April 2nd (probably the first and last time many local residents will be able to afford to get into the place)

A few Bronx girls sympathize with Chris Brown... scary stuff [New York Times]

Educational summit held at Lehman yesterday [NY1]

Expert from New York Botanical Garden gives some early spring gardening advice [New York Times]

Become the 'Face of Fordham Road' [Riverdale Press]


Listing of the Day: Rent or Buy?

4315 Webster Avenue #LF, Studio - $115,000

BoogieDowner featured this same property yesterday, but in our tireless search for the next listing of the day, we stumbled upon it again. The only difference is that yesterday we found it as a rental on Craigslist for $700/month. Now we've found the identical property on Trulia for sale at $115,000. If you're interested in a brief write up about the hood (Woodlawn), you can get that after the jump in the link above. Today BoogieDowner is only concerned about the numbers. What would be better here? Rent at $700/month or buy at the asking price of $115,000?

Well, the rental cost is easy: $700/month. You might have to come up with first, last and, a security deposit to move in (the listing doesn't specify), but at the most you're looking at $2,100 in up front money. For the purchase, with 20% down ($23,000) and a 6% 30 year mortgage you'd be paying $551/month. That's a lot of upfront money, but you'd get the tax benefits of writing off a bunch of interest and a percentage of your maintenance. I guess it would all hinge on what the maintenance actually was. In any case, assuming you had the $23K laying around from some munificent uncle, legal settlement, or old fashioned savings, what would you do? Buy this or rent?



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BoogieDowner Has a Crush...

Watch out Bronx Bohemian, BoogieDowner is crushing on you. Not in a 'creepy stalker' kinda way, but more in a 'we just think you're super cool and interesting' kinda way...

Don't worry, this will be a strictly web-based affair. We promise we won't show up outside your apartment with flowers. Why are we crushing so hard you may ask? Well for starters, we've been immensely enjoying reading along as you seek out all that is 'artsy and boho in the Bronx' since we stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago.

The thing that pushed our admiration into full-on crush mode was your awesomely awesome post yesterday of the first segment of your podcast interview with Professor Lloyd Ultan, Bronx Borough Historian. This is one of the coolest pieces of content to hit the Bronx blogosphere in a hot one. We'll be eagerly awaiting all the subsequent installments. Keep up the great work!

The BoogieDowner

**Click here to check out Bronx Bohemian's podcast interview with Professor Lloyd Ultan**

Espada Getting Closer to Opening a District Office

Our second call to Pedro Espada Jr.'s office as a concerned constituent yielded a little more information this time about the status of his still unopened district office.

Upon our first request about the office this afternoon, the woman who answered the phone would only say that it was "in the works." When pressed for a time line and location, she would only say "in the works." Then when pressed a bit more, she said "sometime next month." When she refused to divulge the information about the location I asked her if someone in the office could please find out. She put me on hold for a few minutes and came back to say "Fordham Road." When I informed her that Fordham Road is a rather large thoroughfare and that I would like to know the address, she said she didn't know. When I found that to be incredible (and probably untrue) I continued to press and was finally given the address of 400 E. Fordham Road (from the same person who claimed ignorance of the address a few moments before). Why she would have withheld this information is beyond me.

This seems to confirm Liz Benjamin's post last week that stated 400 E. Fordham Rd. will be the location of Mr. Espada's ever-elusive and yet to be opened district office (there's also some juicy stuff in the post about the $60K+ in campaign finance fines Mr. Espada still owes).

Maybe BoogieDowner will call next time not simply as concerned constituents, which we are, but rather as a press outlet (lowly bloggers we are). Do you think Mr. Espada would ever grant us an interview? Probably not...


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:

Unique Irish dancing troupe at PS 59 gets some more press (not one of the kids is Irish) [CBS News]

New off-Broadway play's plot focuses on an eventful summer in the BoogieDown in 1970 [Associated Press]

4 Amigos caption contest [Streetsblog via Daily News' Daily Politics]


Listing of the Day: Woodlawn Rental

4315 Webster Avenue #LF, Studio - $700/month

Nurse your St. Patty's Day hangover with this listing of a studio as cheap as a hostel in Dublin.

BoogieDowner has fawned over Woodlawn a bunch already, so I'm not going to re-invent the wheel here. Below is BoogieDowner's obligatory Woodlawn homage:

Woodlawn is a very unique neighborhood in the Bronx. It is an Irish enclave that has enough bars and pubs to make even Galway jealous. My favorites are Rory Dolan's (technically in Yonkers) on McLean Avenue and the Rambling House on Katonah Ave (funny story about the Rambling House and my daughter's baptism, but that's one to be told over a pint). The shepherd's pie and other Irish specialties are can't misses. The people in Woodlawn are super-friendly (hey, a lot of them are happy drunks, I guess). Obviously St. Patty's Day is not to missed up here. You'd have some shopping up and down Katonah and McLean Avenues.

The transportation might a little weird on this side of the hood. The 4 train Woodlawn stop is pretty far away from Webster Avenue. It's all the way over west and a bit south. I guess you'd take the bus to train (if the Bx 34 survives the MTA budget cuts). A saving grace for transportation is that this unit is literally a block or so from the Metro North, but that gets pretty expensive. Any Woodlawners want to share their commutes with us? How's it all go down in the am and pm rushes?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Event Reminder

Harlem River Working Group Meeting @ Manhattan College
Tomorrow, 3/18, from 3:30pm to 7pm, the Bronx Council of Environmental Quality (BCEQ) is holding its 8th annual Water Conference on 'Forming the Harlem River Working Group: Greenway, Access and Water Use; Education and Ecology; and Outreach and Advocacy.'
The public is invited to attend this free conference at Manhattan College in the Leo Engineering Building (3825 Corlear Avenue just north of 238th Street). The program sponsors are Partnerships for Parks, Manhattan College, Bronx Borough President's Office, Friends of Brook Park, UDEC Harlem River Ecology Center; and Corporate sponsor: Con Edison.
This year's conference will focus on helping Waterfront Stakeholders form a Harlem River Working Group to work toward restoring the Harlem River; reconnecting the waterfront with the people; recreating the water's edge; and reinvigorating in-the-water recreational and commercial activities.
Breakout groups will organize around stakeholder interests and parks or access points along Harlem River, such as: Spuyten Duyvil, Marble Hill, University Heights Bridge, Roberto Clemente, Bridge Park, Depot Place, Yankee Stadium Replacement Parks, and Harlem River Park Ave. Proposed Park, Lincoln Avenue Street End.
After the Panel discussion, coffee, tea, and a buffet supper will be served. Following the conference, BCEQ will hold its annual membership meeting from 7 to 9 p.m.

We are the BoogieDowners, and We Have Somethin' 2 Say

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with an emerging BronxNet star, Indio Ramkishun. He has a great show called Somethin' 2 Say, which covers all things Bronx.

Somethin' 2 Say appears on Channel 68 at 1pm on Sundays (and probably repeats at other times throughout the week as well...). Or, you can click here to check out the show's MySpace page and link to certain segments.

Here's the segment featuring ErLu:

BoogieDowners from GuyaRican Productions on Vimeo.

Keep up the great work Indio!


Photo of the Day

Sword of Light Pipe Band
(The Pipes and Drums Local #3. I.B.E.W.)
Throgg's Neck Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, 3/15/09
ErLu's own Dad is a proud member of the band,
and pictured is Erin's old neighbor, Mr. Rich Doherty

Photo by Gary Quintal, courtesy of www.bxnews.net

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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:

Jay Savino whines about Bloomie dissing him at the Throggs Neck St. Paddy's Day Parade [Daily News]

Coverage of the Throggs Neck St. Paddy's Day Parade [NY1]

A very interesting story about traditional Irish music with old-school roots in the BoogieDown [New York Times]

PS 59's Irish step-dancing group reflects a true melting pot of cultures [1010 WINS]

Bronx buses and subways are more crowded than ever [Daily News]

Detectives stumped by bow and arrow attack in Riverdale [New York Times]

The Silver Fox has all the juicy Bronx gossip in his weekly column [Daily News]

Community groups still hoping for benefits agreement in Kingsbridge Armory deal with Related Companies [Daily News]

The Highbridge food pantry has found a new home [Daily News]


Monday, March 16, 2009

Listing of the Day: Throgg's Neck Short Sale

136 Meagher Avenue, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms -$399,000

Throgg's Neck is a nice residential area right near its eponymous bridge. This particular house is semi-detached and boasts of a finished basement with a separate entrance (rental income?).

The pictures show a dwelling that might need a little updating, but not a full scale handy-man special. Not entirely sure why they didn't move the stripped down mattress that was leaning up against a wall before taking the photos for a real estate listing, but I've seen stranger things (like this LOD that had a a pic of a TV playing the 70s program "Good Times").

You're sort of near the water, which might be nice for walks. The house also has a backyard, which is often hard to find in New York City. The nearest subway station is pretty far away, so you would have to bus it to a train. Although, I am assuming most people in Throgg's Neck embrace the outer-borough car culture.



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:

Forgotten-NY does a bang up job profiling Hunts Point [Forgotten NY] (there's also a link to their previously posted Longwood profile, in case you haven't seen it yet)

Adolfo Carrion not exactly a coupon-clipper when it comes to expenditures
[Daily News]

Terrific profile of the Valentine-Varian House, in all her hairy glory
[Bronx Bohemian]

Westchester Avenue Social Security Administration building sells for $5.6 million [CoStar Group]

Robin Hood Foundation aids in transforming some public school libraries in the Bronx by installing interesting artwork in the renovation process [New York Times]

Morris Park resident making a career out of looking like Prez Obama [New York Post]

Construction on E. 134th Street a bit of a nightmare for local residents and businesses [Yournabe.com]

Morris Park residents keeping on eye on MP Pub site [Yournabe.com]

Councilmember Vacca gets Washington Mutual to clean up their graffiti [Yournabe.com]

Teachers at Fordham High School of the Arts planned to hold a rally protesting their principal's 'reign of terror' this past Friday [gothamschools.org]

Eliot Engel (who calls himself a 'lifelong resident of the Bronx') is losing his tax break on his Maryland home... cue the violins [New York Times/AP]

NY's First Lady Michelle Paterson in the BoogieDown this past Friday to be honored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce [NY1]

Youth Minister at St. Augustine in South Bronx isn't necessarily upset that his religious order lost most of their endowment in the Madoff Ponzi scheme [easyreadernews.com]

The Bronx has a roller derby team... [Daily News]

More on the dearth of banks in the Bronx [Crain's NY Biz]

Woman shot by an arrow in Riverdale (we will not make a joke about this incident, even though we really, really want to) [Daily News]


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Attention Straphangers

Thanks to BoogieDowner reader Taliah for sending this our way...

The Straphangers Network has an important message for NYC commuters:

Dear rider,

With big fare hikes and service cuts just around the corner, we urgently ask for your help.

Please call any of the State Senators below and tell them to stand up for subway and bus riders and commuters. As detailed in a New York Daily News editorial today, these Senators are blocking a transit plan to come to our rescue.

The city-area Senators are:

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. (718) 991-3161
Senator Pedro Espada (518) 455-3395 (local number not available)
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (718) 547-8854
Senator Carl Kruger (718) 743-8610
Senator Kevin Parker (718) 629-6401

Gene, Cate and Jason

I love how Espada's only contact info is in Albany... We'll be eagerly awaiting his impending arrival at Fordham Plaza, as reported yesterday by Liz Benjamin.


Our Favorite Porcupine Is Back...

The Wildlife Conservation Society has just released another video (click here to view the first one) with our favorite porcupine... This time the poor guy is at the unemployment office wishing he brushed up on his computer skills instead of relying on his cuteness to pay the bills.



Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo of the Day

Yesterday's COMMUTE rally
outside of Senator Ruben Diaz's office
(read more about it here)Photo submitted by S. Donovan

Event Reminders: TGIF!

Bronx Underground @ The Point
There is a Bronx Underground show tonight, 3/13, at 7pm at The Point (940 Garrison Avenue). Nationally known metal band, A Life Once Lost, will be playing, along with Bronx favorites Daly's Gone Wrong, The Crowning, and A Sky Cloaked in Grey. This show is for all ages and admission is $10. Please click here for more info.

BAAD!ASS Women Festival @ BAAD
The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance kicks off its BAAD!ASS Women Festival tonight and tomorrow, 3/14 and 3/15, with a concert and film screenings. Click here to visit their website for more info.

'Family Affair' @ Bronx Museum
Tomorrow, 3/14, from 1pm to 4pm, Bronx Museum (1040 Grand Concourse) is hosting ‘Family Affair,’ which is special day catered to introducing families to the different artwork offered at the museum. There will be a group tour of the museum, followed by hands-on photography, drawing and painting workshops led by teaching artists. This is the perfect opportunity to check out Bronx Museum’s new exhibit, “INTERSECTIONS: THE GRAND CONCOURSE AT 100,” which is a year-long tribute to the 100th birthday of the Grand Concourse. This exciting exhibit only opened one week ago, so you’d be among the first in the City to experience it. Best of all, admission for the ‘Family Affair’ day is free! For more information call (718) 681-6000 or click here.

Bronx Culture Trolley Rolling Tomorrow!
Click on over to the Bronx News Network for all the details. This is the first week that the Bronx Culture Trolley will operate on a Saturday... the usual 'first Wednesday of every month' tour was a bit tricky for folks with kiddies. Trolly will operate tomorrow, 3/14, from 12pm to 5pm. Nice!

Artist Workshop @ Hostos
Finding Work Now – Tomorrow, 3/14, from 12pm to 2pm - Workshop Facilitator Patch Schwadron (Actor's Fund) will help you Match your assets to new work opportunities and discover strategies and resources for finding work. 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. Admission to these workshops is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to finearts@bronxarts.org . Location: Hostos Community College is located at 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street and is easily accessible by the #2, #4, and #5 IRT Trains and the BX1 and BX19 buses, all destinations at Grand Concourse and 149th Street. Click here for more info. (listing courtesy of bronxarts.org)

Events @ Bronx Library Center
--Tomorrow, 3/14, at 2:30pm there will be a screening of Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing.'
--Tomorrow, 3/14, from 12pm to 2pm, Mezzo Soprano Anna Tonna, with her accompanist Daniel Daroca on the piano, will perform "La cancion de arte Puertoriquena" – classical songs by Hector Campos Paris, Awilda Villarini, Julio Miron, Luis Antonio Ramirez, Jack Delano, Ernesto Cordero and Luis Prado. Ms. Tonna and Mr. Daroca are currently engaged by the Festival Casals of Puerto Rico to perform this concert in March of 2009. The audience will enjoy a sneak preview of selections from that engagement. The performance, a segment of BCA’s Bronx Indie Artist Series, is open to the public and admission is free. (listing courtesy of bronxarts.org)
--'Tri-Oh-Oh' will be presented by Chinese Theatre Works on Sunday, 3/15, at 2pm. This event showcases the artistry of Twaiwanese hand puppetry in three stories accompanied by traditional Chinese music. For ages 4 and older.
--The Bronx Library Center is located at 310 E. Kingsbridge Road. Click here for more info regarding this weekend's programming.

'Family Art Project' @ Wave Hill
Make a family album featuring your own family tree at 'Willow Day Family Art Project: Family Tree Roots and Branches' from 1pm to 4pm this Saturday and Sunday, 3/14 and 3/15. See and sketch trees from every continent and draw one to be your family’s own. Include it in a collaged, hand-made book of your family’s global roots and heritage, bound with a willow shoot. Bring photos to add to your album. Free with admission to the grounds. Click here for more info.

Orchid Show and more @ NYBG
New York Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Show is ongoing right now until April 12th.
This weekend is also NYBG's open house for their popular Continuing Education Program. The open house will take place from 10:30am to 3:30pm tomorrow, 3/14. Click here for more information.

'Beauty & the Beast' @ Riverdale Y
This Sunday, 3/15, at 2pm, The Children’s Theater Company at Lehman will present a kid-friendly, “sketch-comedy” production of Beauty and the Beast (complete with musical accompaniment by the Bronx Arts Ensemble) at the Riverdale YM-YWHA (Neuwirth Theatre at 5625 Arlington Avenue at 256th Street). Tickets for the show are quite reasonable at $8 for general admission. For more information, call (718) 548-8200 or click here.

Grand Opening of New Day United Methodist Church
All are cordially invited to attend New Day United Methodist Church's grand opening at Bronx High School of Science this Sunday, 3/15, at 11am. The theme of Sunday's service is 'Solid Ground in Shaky Times." For more information, call (917) 669-5803 or click here.

There are tons of other art exhibitions and events happening this weekend... Click on over to bronxarts.org for a full listing of Bronx events!