Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NYBG Parking Garage Construction to Create Parking Nightmare for Botanical Square Residents

Well, the good news is that the construction of the New York Botanical Garden's new garage on Bedford Park Boulevard and Webster Avenue is moving along nicely after a lengthy delay awaiting funding.

The bad news is that, well, parking in the area will be a bitch whilst the new "intermodal transportation facility" is being constructed. Botanical Square residents will be losing 25 spots from January through May, and there will be intermittent street and lane closures as delivery trucks come and go. Come June, Botanical Square resident may just want to take their summer vacations early - Botanical Square South will be closed 24-hours a day to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic for the entirety of the month. Additionally, Botanical Square North will be temporarily converted to a dead end street, with no parking on either side, to accommodate 2-way traffic in order to provide pedestrian and vehicular access to the Botanical Arms building and the Metro North train station for pick-up and drop-off only. At this point of the construction, a total of 35 parking spots will be off limits.

We sure hope that NYBG has some free visit passes or, better yet, a free parking alternative for the residents of Botanical Square...this construction is sure to wreak havoc on their lives for quite some time.

For your convenience, we've converted the contents of the entire update into a PDF which you can read below.
Nybg Parking Update

And here's a survey NYBG would like residents to fill out in order to gauge interest for parking for the community:
New Parking Garage Flyer for Community Residents 122010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Battle of the Boroughs Deadline Dec 31

Here's a reminder for the musicians out there.

Attention Bronx performers: WNYC and WQXR's Battle of the Boroughs is back! Entry details are below:
Got talent?
The Greene Space is looking for the best undiscovered performers – bands and ensembles of all genres, instrumentalists, vocalists, DJs and spoken word artists – to take part in our second annual celebration of New York City’s up-and-comers.

Be heard!
Selected talent will perform in The Greene Space. The winner of the final battle gets a featured concert, plus and opening act slot at SummerStage!

Sign Up!
Rules and more info at thegreenespace.org/battle

Battle of Boroughs 2010

Bronx Church Bandit Nabbed

The thief was caught trying to break in to St. Philip Neri Church on the Concourse in Bedford Park.

NY1 has some details and a brief video.

The Post also has a short write up.

The accused, 50 year old Nathaniel Linden, is now suspected in a slew of Church robberies in the past months in Bedford Park and Fordham.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Espada and Son Indicted

Finally scumbag Pedro Espada Jr. and his equally contemptible son Pedro G Espada (the same one who quit a $120K/year fake job his dad extorted from the coup) have been indicted on six counts in federal court. The Daily News and Times Union have details.

Of course, the charges all have to do with Espada using his largely taxpayer funded network of heath care clinics as a personal piggy bank.

Hopefully these criminal charges will stick. (n.b the complaints filed by AG Cuomo back in April were civil rather than criminal). If convicted the poverty pimps could face up to 10 years in the slammer and a $250K fine.


Armory Anniversary

A year ago today the City Council told a $300 million+ investor, "Thanks, but no thanks." This Sunday, the Post ran an interesting op ed piece calling the site "an empty sore instead of jobs."

Any casual reader of the ole BD knows where we stand on this issue, and frankly, we took a lot of flack for not falling in line with the groupthink mentality of the NW Bronx. We'd just like to remind everyone about some facts concerning the Armory debacle.

The Armory still remains vacant and a financial liability rather than an asset for the city and the neighborhood. The communications director for Ruben Diaz, John DeSio, states, "According to the City the Kingsbridge Armory costs $1 million a year to maintain." Clearly, this is not an insignificant amount of money.

There still seems to be no clarity on what will happen to the historic site - or even what specifically Ruben Diaz and the task force would want to go there in an ideal world. The task force reportedly has met six times since its inception, according to Mr. DeSio, and they expect to give a report in the spring. When pressed about the Beep's personal vision for the site, Mr. DeSio related the following:
The borough president and the task force agree that efforts to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory should focus on strategic reuse of the property for a combination of community revitalization, education, and economic development purposes. The borough president would like to see the armory developed into a facility that meets these goals.
I'm not sure I see much specificity in this response. Maybe if we wish really really hard, that unicorn farm with $50K/year jobs with benefits might appear.

One thing that is certain: the 2,200 jobs, even if they were all minimum wage, would have paid Bronxites $33,176,000 (thirty-three million, one hundred and seventy-six thousand dollars!) in just this last year.

It seems this once frequent BD commenter who wrote the following during those heated days last December might want to rethink his statement:
...and since both of you are unabashed whores to related, as if they are the only ones who can save us, you need to know there ARE other plans out there and there ARE other ideas out there. and Guy, i know this is gonna hurt, but you didn't listen the last time, the BP does have a plan B... and even a C and D that you're going to hear about soon.
It seems like the BP didn't have any other plans beyond the shortsighted political expedience of hooting and hollering to promise something he couldn't deliver. The perfect became the enemy of the good and the Armory remains vacant, and no jobs or services have been created from the whole ordeal.

And to those who will decry the fact that Bloomy will be more reluctant to help anything get off the ground at the Armory because of the embarrassing defeat dealt him by Ruben Diaz and the City Council, remember that there are consequences to moral victories, O dear Pyrrhus.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Newspaper of Record Doesn't Know Marble Hill is Part of Manhattan?

A BD Reader sent the following in:
I thought this was funny:

The New York Times says that Brooklyn and Queens are "the only two of New York City’s five boroughs that are connected to each other by land."

Manhattan and The Bronx are also connected by land. Marble Hill is connected to The Bronx, and disconnected from the rest of Manhattan, since the Harlem Ship Channel was built, shifting the course of the Harlem River. Of course, this border between Manhattan and The Bronx has issues similar to those the Times describes for Brooklyn and Queens.
Nice catch, BD Reader!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Former Fordham QB to Start in NFL

John Skelton, who was drafted out of our nourishing mother Fordham University, will be making his first NFL start this Sunday for the Arizona Cardinals.

I am excited to be able to root for a fellow Ram -- even if the missus has a crush on him.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Groupon Deal for Bronx Ale House

Big ups to BD Reader Lis for alerting us to an awesome Groupon deal for Bronx Ale House: there's still 4 hours left to buy into a deal offering $30 worth of "classic bar fare and drinks" for only $15!

Click here to check out the deal.


Monday, December 6, 2010

CB7 Tree Lighting Thursday Evening

Community Board 7 will host its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Mosh this Thursday, 12/9, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Santa Claus will be making an appearance this year! Details below.BxCB7 Tree Lighting Flyer 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Battle of the Boroughs is Back!

Attention Bronx performers: WNYC and WQXR's Battle of the Boroughs is back! Entry details are below:
Got talent?
The Greene Space is looking for the best undiscovered performers – bands and ensembles of all genres, instrumentalists, vocalists, DJs and spoken word artists – to take part in our second annual celebration of New York City’s up-and-comers.

Be heard!
Selected talent will perform in The Greene Space. The winner of the final battle gets a featured concert, plus and opening act slot at SummerStage!

Sign Up!
Rules and more info at thegreenespace.org/battle

Battle of Boroughs 2010

Shake Ya Groove Thang Tonight at PeaceLove Cafe

PeaceLove Cafe will be hosting a Salsa Dance Party this evening at 8pm. Click here for PeaceLove's website. Details on the dance party below.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Independent Film Screenings Coming to Bruckner Bar & Grill!

We just received an exciting announcement from Rooftop Films -- Bruckner Bar and Grill will be home to their independent films series in the South Bronx.

On the first Thursday of each month, there will be a free screening of an independent film at Bruckner Bar and Grill. Rooftop Films is pleased to collaborate with Council member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo to bring some of the best new, independent films to the Bronx.

Starting December 2nd, Rooftop will present free monthly screenings on the first Thursday of each month, indoors at the Bruckner Bar and Grill. We will be showcasing fascinating new films from all over the world, with a focus on films that speak to the interests and issues of the diverse community in the South Bronx.

Rooftop’s inaugural screening will feature the Bronx premiere of WHITE LINES AND THE FEVER: THE DEATH OF DJ JUNEBUG, winner of the Best Documentary Short award at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Filmmaker Travis Senger will be present for a Q and A following the show. We will also be presenting CLOSENESS, directed by Danilo Perra, a powerful short documentary about Bronx jazz musician Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre and his struggles to complete his final album.

All screenings at the Bruckner Bar and Grill will be free and open to all.

Where: Bruckner Bar and Grill (1 Bruckner Blvd, South Bronx)
7:00 Doors Open 7:45
Films 9:00
Q and A with filmmakers
More information at: http://www.rooftopfilms.com/2010/schedule/69-bronx-blowin-through

Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and inspire the diverse communities of New York City by showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers and musicians. In addition to our Summer Series – which takes place in unique outdoor venues every weekend throughout the summer – Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, teaches media literacy and filmmaking to young people, rents equipment at low-cost to artists and non-profits, and produces new independent films. At Rooftop Films, we bring the underground outdoors. For more information and updates, please visit our website at www.rooftopfilms.com.

Maria Del Carmen Arroyo moved from Puerto Rico to the Bronx as a child in 1965 and has been representing the 17th District since February 15, 2005. Since her election, she has worked with community residents, organizations and leaders to build the partnerships and collaborations needed to bring positive changes to the community she represents. She has distinguished herself as a hard working representative for her district and has gained the respect of all she has encountered in her work as a Council member. She has been helping Rooftop Films to bring free independent film events to her district since 2009.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ibiza Jazz Nights Thursdays in Riverdale

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jobs and Oil Changes

Broadway Bridge Wash and Lube isn't in the Bronx, but it is very close. It is in Manhattan, just over the Broadway Bridge past the Marble Hill Target. In any case, I thought that some BD readers might be interested in two jobs I saw posted during an early morning lube and wash this fine morn. Beyond the job postings, the Wash and Lube special for $40.23 (tax included) is a pretty good deal.

Broadway Wash and Lube is located at 5134 Broadway (220th Street and Broadway). Phone: 212-569-4570


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baron Ambrosia Dishing About the BoogieDown's Best Delivery Options

First, I'll point out that, of course, the Baron's picks for the Bronx come last in this NY Magazine article - even after that most insular and alien of boroughs, Staten Island. I will say, however, that the Baron has some interesting places on his list.

My favorite comment from Baron Ambrosia on the marinated flank steak at Siam Square:
“The chile-tamarind-marinated flank steak will make you want to slap the chef for making you feel so vulnerable.”
Check the whole shebang HERE

Any delivery spots you think your fellow Bronxites should know about?

Palin: "Our North Korean Allies" -Huh?

This has nothing to do with the Bronx. The woman is just an idiot. And frankly it's scary that she is vaguely in the discussion of presidential candidates, not to mention a front runner for the GOP. Scary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are You Boycotting the Riverdale Review Too?

Tony Cassino over at Bronx Political Chatter has a post celebrating the growing boycott of the Riverdale Review and its editor Andy Wolf.

The ole BD wants to know if you think the boycott is warranted? Does anyone else have as low an estimation of Mr. Wolf as Mr. Cassino? Does anyone in (or out) of Riverdale care very much about the Review?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo of the Day

View from City Island Last Sunday EveningHere's hoping this weekend is better than last for the owner of this boat...

Photo by ErLu

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

POTS Night at Bronx Ale House

Get your weeknight drink on, minus the guilt!

Tomorrow night (11/4, from 6:30pm to 10pm) is the 2nd Annual POTS Night at Bronx Ale House (216 W. 238th Street). The suggested donation of $10 will get you discounted craft beers (along with other drinks, if you so desire) and delish hors d'oeuvres.

All proceeds from the night will benefit POTS (Part of the Solution), one of the oldest and largest emergency food programs in NYC. POTS, whose slogan is "Feeding Our Neighbors, Nourishing Our Community," also offers an array of social and legal services to help low-income people and families improve their lives. POTS is currently renovating an adjacent building on Webster Avenue in order to expand their services - click here to learn more about their "Building for the Future" project.
POTS Night - Bronx Ale House

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Webster Avenue Rezoning Initiative Public Hearing Thursday Night

CB 7 will be hosting a public hearing on the ULURP application pertaining to the Webster Avenue Rezoning Initiative this Thursday, 11/4, from 5pm to 8:45pm at the Bronx Library Center Auditorium (310 E. Kingsbridge Road). More details below.
CB7PR 102010 - Public Hearing on Webster Avenue Rezoning ULURP


Election Day!

Just a pesky reminder to get out there and vote today.

Most polling sites open at 6am and close at 9pm, so there's definitely time to cast your vote after work tonight.

To learn where your closest polling station is, please visit the Poll Site Locator of the NYC Board of Elections website.


Monday, November 1, 2010

MTA Needs a Proofreader

BD Reader J. Marin from Hunts Point sent in the below pic of just one of the many pieces of evidence of incompetency over at the MTA:
We know the MTA's budget problems are bad, but maybe they should think about hiring a proofreader for their signs.

Thanks J. Marin!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heavily Discounted Bronx Museum Memberships on Groupon

There's a great deal over on Groupon.com offering one year family/dual memberships to the Bronx Museum of the Arts ($75 value) for only $30! So far 12 people have taken advantage of the offer, so 13 more people need to participate in order for the deal to be on...so click on over to Groupon and take advantage of this awesome offer!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honest Discussion

Making the interweb rounds this fine morn brought me to "We live in the Bronx, but..."

There is a new post up by the anonymous blogger linking to an article about the renewed emphasis on the "Culture of Poverty" thesis. This linked article comes in response to a Times article from a week and a half ago about the return of the treatment and evaluation of poverty as having cultural origins.

In any case, WLITBB decries the lack of a comment section on the blog's Tumblr format. Well, we're hurting over here at the ol' BD for posts, so we figured that we'd lend our comment section to the task of having what WLITBB calls an "honest discussion about poverty."

I think the over and under is four comments before an anonymous poster calls another anonymous poster lazy or a racist (or before a poster gets angry about an anonymous poster posting anonymously). Just a little prediction from past experience. But let's try to keep it civil, people.


Friday, October 22, 2010

It's My Park! Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow (10/23) is It's My Park! Day throughout NYC. Click here to see an overview of the day and figure out exactly where your local park's event is taking place.

For anyone living in the Bedford Park area, the Bedford Mosholu Community Association will be meeting at 10am at the Mosholu Comfort Station at Webster Avenue and Mosholu Pkwy. South.

After you help cleanup your local park, head on over to the Williamsbridge Oval "Bark in the Park" event! Details below...
Bark in the Park


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bronx Real Estate Summit Tomorrow

The Bronx Real Estate Summit will be taking place tomorrow at the Bronx Library Center. The suggested donation to attend is $25 with all proceeds going to the library. More info below!
Bronx Real Estate Summit

Monday, October 18, 2010

204th Street Foodtown Rebuilding Presentation Tomorrow

The owners of the 204th Street Foodtown will be at tomorrow's CB 7 meeting to present information regarding the rebuilding of the grocery store. Please see below for details.
Norwood Foodtown Supermarket Presentation


Friday, October 15, 2010

Yet Another Armory Study

Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.'s office announced yesterday that the faculty and students of NYU's Capstone Program will be engaging in a year-long study to determine alternate uses for the Kingsbridge Armory. The blogger over at Bronx Political Chatter pretty much sums up our feelings on yet another study of the redevelopment of the Armory. Study it all you want - you still need someone who's willing to come in invest hundreds of millions of dollars to rehab it.

Bronx News Network spoke with Diaz Jr.'s Communications Director, John DeSio, who said that this is great news for the Armory and, "Things, they come through this program, they happen." Whew - now I feel better!


Found Puppy!

Help get this little fluffball back to its owners! See the below flyer for details.
Found 1


Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Fresh Grocery' Has Arrived at Marble Hill Target

I've been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Fresh Grocery section of the Marble Hill Target (40 W. 225th Street) for a while now. I shop in Target all the time for baby essentials, home goods, greeting cards - you name it, I have shopped in Target for it. I have always found their prices on non-perishable food grocery items to be unbeatable, so I also do a substantial amount of food shopping there (when I'm not hauling ass up to the glorious wide-open aisles of the Stop & Shop at Cross County). I'm totally one of those dorks who keeps filling out their costumer surveys online in the hopes of winning a $5,000 Target gift card. Every time I fill one of those surveys out, I write, "Please add some simple produce to your food offerings...onions, peppers, lettuce, etc.!"

Well, my prayers have been answered (well, at least they've been partially answered -- still keeping my fingers crossed to win one of those gift cards one of these days) - Target's new Fresh Grocery initiative has finally arrived at 225th Street!

After suffering through the renovations that rendered the store almost unusable all summer, I'm happy to report that the Fresh Grocery section is simply AWESOME. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peppers, onions, bananas, cantaloupe, lettuce, celery, oranges, and apples are just a few of the new produce options being offered by Target. Everything is extremely fresh and, best of all, very competitively priced. Even their non-perishable aisles seem to have grown.

Job well done, Target. Keep that fresh produce coming!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Food Dynasty?

We were driving over to Van Cortlandt Park to catch the Manhattan College HS XC Invitational (holy crap, I've never seen such a huge cross country meet before in my life!) and noticed that the Van Cortlandt Village C-Town over at Sedgwick Avenue and VC Avenue W has flown the coop and it is now a Food Dynasty. What the hell is a Food Dynasty anyway? Any of you Vanny Villagers care to share your opinions of the new store? Reviews are mixed of these grocery stores (bodegas?) in other parts of the city. Shoppers in Sunnyside, Queens say their Food Dynasty couldn't be any nastier, while residents in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn seem to like their store. Why did the C-Town leave? In any case, I think we can all agree that Food Dynasty is a pretty ridiculous name for a grocery store.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bark in the Park!

Please see the below flyer for details regarding the first ever "Bark in the Park" event at the Williambridge Oval.
Bark in the Park

Monday, October 4, 2010

DOT Releases Free iPhone App to Find Car Services

NYCDOT has just made it a little easier to catch a ride in NYC - they've created a free iPhone app which quickly puts users in touch with the closest TLC approved car services. This is an extremely handy app to have in the BoogieDown, where yellow cabs only pop up once in a blue, and usually just because they're getting their cars serviced on Webster Avenue.

Here are the deets, straight from DOT:
I work for the NYC DOT, and we’ve recently released a free iPhone app. Called “You the Man” after our anti-DWI campaign, the app uses the iPhone’s GPS to help locate the nearest TL+C approved car services and allows you to click-to-call for a ride. A built in map also shows the nearest subway stations. I thought the app might be of interest to your readers, especially in areas where yellow cabs are less available.

The app also features a BAC calculator, Twitter integration and a designated driver selection game for New Yorkers who are driving to go out.

The app is available for free in the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/you-the-man/id386961259?mt=8

More info on the campaign: www.YouTheManNYC.org
Good stuff!


Friday, October 1, 2010

BP Diaz to Host Hearing on "Jobs for the 21st Century" [UPDATED]

Ha! It's nice to get a chuckle on a rainy Friday morning...From the inbox:
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and New York State Senate President Malcolm A. Smith will host a joint legislative hearing on “Jobs for the 21st Century,” a public meeting (today, from 10am to 12pm at 851 Grand Concourse) organized by the New York State Tri-Level Legislative Task Force to receive input from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to better determine what local, state and federal government can do to create jobs and put New Yorkers back to work.

Bronx business’ [sic] owners and local entrepreneurs will testify in front of the task force, which will compile the information received during the hearing to better determine what can be done to attract companies and create jobs in the borough.

Here's an idea of how to "create jobs and put New Yorkers back to work" - don't kill a $310 million mall plan that would create 2,200 jobs.

Update @ 11:20am with some love from a BD Reader in the ol' inbox:
I just wanted to let you know that I love your posts on the Armory---I don't understand how anyone can justify losing all those jobs and that retail center? Regardless of the bp stance on living wage issues you can't let that project go in a down economy--his job was to make it happen and work out a deal. It was too big a project to let it fail. These other guys who defend it do not represent the community--if you took a poll of the area and asked if they would have wanted the jobs and shopping venue I bet it would have overwhelming support. What a loss. But your comments have been right on the mark--don't let a few crazies try to stop you b/c a lot more people agree with what you are saying and so few people are willing or able to speak up.
Thanks, BD Reader!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo of the Day

Lowercase Perry AvenueSeems like such a small change, but both my husband and I
noticed it right away...
the new Perry Avenue street sign contains lowercase letters.
Here's what one of the Perry Avenue signs looked like before:
Photos by ErLu

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bragging Rights?

An interesting post over on "We live in the Bronx, but" suggests that the Bronx deserves some positive self-promotion, ala Brooklyn's "Brooklyn: Believe the Hype" marketing signage. The anon blogger has even gone so far as to write a letter with marketing recommendations to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'s office. Click here to check it out. So far, "We live in the Bronx, but" has not gotten even a form response from the Beep's office.

Maybe if the letter recommended signage that said, "The notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies," the blogger would have had better luck getting a response from Diaz's office. Hey Ruben, how's that Kingsbridge Armory task force coming along? Any luck moving that unicorn factory along?

How in the world did I manage to link a post about marketing the Bronx to the epic failure of the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory? What's wrong with me - why can't I just let go of the Shops at the Kingsbridge Armory idea? Maybe it's because of this story I recently read in the New York Post (I know, usually we don't really take anything from the Post seriously, but this well-informed piece was written by Candice Giove, who produces great Bronx work for the Village Voice and Riverdale Review):

Bronx cheerless: 320 applicants for 35 jobs in NYC's borough of 13% unemployment

I wonder if the 320 job applicants (many of whom are facing the prospect of soon-to-be-terminated unemployment benefits) who waited over two hours to be interviewed for 35 $8/hour,no benefit jobs at the Gateway Center's new Sketchers store would agree with Beep Ruben Diaz Jr. that "the notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies?"

Diaz's office should be better at responding to the needs of Bronx residents...whether it be by working to repair the badly damaged image of the borough (or at least responding to a letter with marketing suggestions), or finding ways to create JOBS for the huge number of Bronxites that are struggling to find work.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Need a Tree For Your Hood?

Community Board 7 is assembling a list of requests for new trees. Here's the info:
As part of the Million Trees Program, Community Board #7 is compiling a list of areas in need of trees. If you know of a site in the Board area, please send it to CB#7, by calling 718-933-5650 or emailing the information to info@bronxcb7.info
1. Street address
2. If there is an existing tree pit or if a new one is needed
3. If an old stump needs to be removed.
Requests need to be sent by October 8th.

Bronx Native Gifts $25 Million to Fordham University

Fordham University has announced that it has just received the largest gift ever since its founding in 1841. Mario J. Gabelli, philanthropist, investor and chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc., has donated $25 million to his alma mater. Mr. Gabelli is a native of the Bronx and the first in his family to attend college.

From the press release:
The gift will allow Fordham, which will rename the undergraduate business college the Gabelli School of Business, to expand student scholarships and faculty chairs, and will be crucial to the creation of the Center of Global Investment Analysis, which will bring together students, faculty, and professionals in the financial community to enhance scholarship in the study and understanding of capital markets.
The gift will be formally announced during tomorrow's Homecoming events.

Big ups to Mr. Gabelli for saving Fordham from slacker alums like myself!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Listing of the Day: Bang For Your Buck in Norwood

3216 Hull Avenue - 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath - $349,000

Talk about bang for your buck...This 3 bedroom/1.5 bath house is downright charming (or at least it appears that way from the outside when I walked past and from pics) and sits on a quiet, shady slice of Hull Avenue. It's only a few blocks away from the Williamsbridge Oval (a great park to begin with that is getting even better thanks to the hard work of the Friends of Williamsbridge Oval), and it has a gorgeous covered front porch along with a sizable backyard.

Interior shots look promising as well, revealing dark hardwood floors and a pretty nice kitchen and bathroom. I think I even spy some pocket doors hiding out in one of the shots leading to the dining room. There appears to be some cheesy linoleum flooring that was put down in the dining room, but there may be some hardwoods ripe for refinishing laying under there. All this, and only steps to the nearest D train station.

This sounds great and all, but what I really wanna know is: does the movie theater seat come with the attic office space? Me thinks Lovely Listing would appreciate photo 12 out of 12.


Big ups to Lis for alerting us to this beauty!


More New Trees in Bedford Park

We received the following info from a very excited BD Reader:
Just to let you know...
205th between East Mosholu Parkway and the Grand Concourse will be TREE LINED!
Markings have been painted on the sidewalk..and the Dept of Prks have started working on it!
8 trees in total!

A sign of quality life improvement??!!

To top it off..after they are done, since I'm a resident of the neighborhood...I'll be planting some iris and lilies under those same trees.
Excellent news to hear that Bedford Park will be getting some new trees, and even better news to hear that a resident will be adding additional plantings to the new greenery! Imagine what our streets would look like if every resident went the extra mile like this?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End Of Summer Bubbly with Martha Stewart

NYBG will be hosting a Champagne Cocktail Party with Martha Stewart this evening from 5:30pm to 8pm as part of their Edible Garden series. More details here or below...~ErLu

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval Meeting Tomorrow Evening

The Friends of Williamsbridge Oval will be having a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/21) at 7 pm near the bocce ball courts in the park. All are welcome, and bring fido too!

A quick rundown of the group's mission is below. They are always looking for more community-minded folks to join their group, so please feel free to stop by tomorrow's meeting!

Friends of the Oval is a volunteer-led collection of neighbors who care about and delight in their park. Membership is open to anyone and everyone who wants to preserve and improve the Williamsbridge Oval as a vital community resource for the thousands of adults, children and elderly who enjoy the park each week.

Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval is committed to using people power to assist the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation in properly maintaining and supporting our park. As neighbors who love the Oval and our neighborhood, we work together with community residents, elected officials and neighborhood organizations to identify needs in the park, monitor repairs and renovations and sponsor activities to foster community connectedness.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some Thoughts on the Ousting of Pedro

Much of the Bronx is breathing a huge sigh of relief today and hoping for good things to come as Pedro is on his way out and Gustavo Rivera is (most likely) on his way in.

A BD Reader sent in the following points, and we couldn't agree more with each of them:
Well, what a morning! I was excited to be voting in my first real competitive race ever (let's face it, most national and state elections are not really like this around here) and happy for the result.

Just a few quick thoughts-
1. The only person who actually grew up in the 33rd, went to school here, and still lives here was Padernacht. It's a bit sad when truly local residents are kind of brushed aside in favor of people whose ties to the community are not as strong...I am not suggesting he would have won by a long shot, but I hope races like this encourage more local persons to take a stand. Gustavo is a very nice guy, but I know of NO ONE who had even met him until November and even then, he seemed like a long shot because, well, NO ONE HAD EVER HEARD OF HIM. He had not been involved in any local races, was not present on the Armory issue, was not at any local community board meetings, school meetings, etc. So I think we all felt a little surprised when he appeared.

2. And....money is a huge factor. If Rivera did not have the New Roosevelts, would we have this result? Pedro has oodles of illegal gained cash on hand but Samuels (an upstater!) pledged a quarter of a million to this race. So, if you are say a local person, want to run, and hold a few rubber chicken dinner's around the neighborhood, do you get in? It seems the answer is no.

In the end though, this was way way more about rejecting Pedro than Rivera (similar to how Obama won...he was not Bush!). Good luck to him, I think he will do fine and we can return to the real work of the Bronx-smart development, better funded schools, and the creation of jobs and housing that make it an attractive place again.

The Bronx truly lived up to its motto last night-Ne Cede Malis (Do NOT GIVE WAY TO EVIL).
Nicely put, BD Reader!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Espada Concedes Primary to Rivera

The reign of terror is OVER!

Click here for the Daily News update.

Can't wait to bring you a Listing of the Day for 325 E. 201st Street, #4B, Espada's "residence" here in Bainbridge House. I'd imagine it's in pristine condition because it's barely been used!

Congratulations to Gustavo Rivera - don't let us down!


Pedro and His Thugs Don't Disappoint

Fresh from the Rivera campaign, here is a list of shenanigans and other illegalities perpetrated by the Wascally One's camp:

At 268 East 207th Street: Senator Pedro Espada was inside the polling location, talking to voters,
handing out literature, and saying "vote for me" with his campaign workers.

At P.S. 33: Pedro G. Espada handed out literature for his father inside the poll site.

At Vladeck Hall, 74 Van Cortlandt Park: An Espada staffer on government payroll, Michael Gary, who is apparently a poll inspector, steered people to vote for Espada. Once voters are inside the poll site, Gary said, "I speak Spanish and I can help you vote."

At Middle School 80: As soon as the police left for lunch, Espada volunteers started leafleting within
the poll site vicinity. Also, the person who is giving instruction for voters changed the instructions
from English to Spanish for an English-speaking voter so the voter could not understand. The
Spanish interpreter gave Espada volunteers high-fives and hugs as he walked out of the polling site.

At Fort Independence Community Center at 3350 Bailey Avenue: An Espada poll worker said to Rivera workers, "you better tell your people to behave because I'm likely to stab first."

Fordham Hill Coop, 2440 Sedgwick Ave: Several canvassers said the apartment building security guards at the poll site have asked voters who they are voting for. Only Espada voters have been allowed into the building.

At P.S. 70, Eastburn Avenue and 173rd Street: There was no Spanish interpreter at the poll site. The
Espada poll watcher had a "poll workers" certificate and a sign that said, "I speak Spanish". She was told to cease and desist.

P.S. 93 at 182 Washington Street: Espada's workers set up a road block to stop traffic and are giving out literature.

At P.S. 57: Ruth T.P. Smith, one of the poll inspectors who is close friends with Espada, told people to vote for Espada inside the poll site.

At P.S. 23: An Espada worker wearing campaign paraphernalia inside the poll site, was asked to leave, but refused


Primary Day: Vote for Rivera

Primary Day is finally here. Get out there and vote for Gustavo Rivera. Be vigilant and make sure that your vote counts with the new machines...If you don't understand how to use them, ASK FOR HELP. If the person who comes over to help you doesn't know what he/she is doing, ASK SOMEONE ELSE FOR HELP. That is unless you're voting for Espada...in that case there's no need to be so assertive about making sure your vote is cast correctly. Ha!

Some updates from the field from BD Readers...

  • It still amazes me that our most important Democratic process is entrusted to such unimpressive (and untrained!) poll workers. They were just opening when I got here at 6:40am, even though polls officially open at 6am. I was voter #1. I took me a few different tries to find an English speaking poll worker for help. Connie Espada was there just hanging out.
  • From a Facebook status update: "BD Reader" just voted, and HOPES it counted... poll workers aren't trained, and new machines are giving error messages.
Feel free to leave your poll experiences (good or bad) in the comments section.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Photo of the Day

Pastries and Pols
On Sunday, September 12, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. stopped by Egidio’s Pastry Shoppe in the Belmont section of the Bronx, where bakery owner Carmela Lucciola (left) taught the pair how to fill cannoli. Senator Gillibrand and Borough President Diaz would later visit with constituents at Arthur Avenue’s annual “Ferragosto” celebration.

Photo courtesy of Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

More Espada Shenanigans?

We received the following email from a BD Reader last night:
I just heard from a friend of mine that lives in Tracey Towers that she or he (I don't want anyone to trace it back to them) got a strange call. This phone call announced that they could vote by phone. Obviously, this isn't true. There is no such thing as voting by phone. When my friend checked her caller ID, the number was listed under Pedro Espada. Is this legal? I'm wondering if they are just tricking Rivera supporters an that once these supporters have ben identified and tricked into calling in their vote, someone will try to vote as that person. Do you understand. First they identify John Smith as a supporter (probably done by knocking or phonebanking or something). Then they call to let this person know they can call in their vote. Once this person calls in their vote at the number provided, someone will go to the polls as John Smith (since they know the actual John Smith doesn't plan to arrive since he thinks he already voted) and votes for Espada. Even if they later part of my speculation doesn't happen, isn't misinforming people about how, when and where to vote illegal? Please let me know. I don't know if I should advise my friend to go to the authorities.
Although this sounds a bit far-fetched, I wouldn't put it past Espada and his henchmen. Beware of shenanigans such as these when attempting to cast your vote tomorrow!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Senator Espada Feeling "Very, Very Good" About Tuesday

We were just coming back from a walk to New York Botanical Garden to see the newly renovated Snuff Mill (or Stone Mill, as they are now calling it), and we bumped into Senator Espada by the mailboxes of our building.

He was looking especially smurfish in his favorite khaki "Kim Jong Il" leisure wear (as one BxNN commenter recently referred to it), and seemed a bit sheepish/distant/aloof - maybe actually being in the Bronx so much lately to campaign is beginning to stress him out. I think bucolic Mamaroneck is probably a lot quieter and peaceful than the good ol' BoogieDown.

We asked Senator Espada how he was feeling about Tuesday, and he mumbled quietly, "Very, very good." Although Pedro's words seem confident, his demeanor did not. He avoided eye contact by looking down at his keys and seemed much more intent on just getting his mail and getting the hell out of here than glad-handing or in any way working for our vote.

We didn't stick around to see if he received the Gustavo Rivera mailer that we received today which featured out favorite photo of him (below), which was taken by John DeSio, Village Voice reporter cum Ruben Diaz Jr. flack.
Anyway, can't wait for this primary to be over and done with with hopefully favorable results for Rivera. We're really, really sick of all the flyers, mailers, and volunteer door knockers associated with this heated race. A Rivera volunteer just buzzed our door and woke Pearl up from a much-needed nap - DISLIKE.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Espada Campaign Scammers Playing Knock-Knock

So the missus just answered the door while I was tucking the big sister into bed.

Mind you that it was the door to our apartment and not the main entrance buzzer (i.e. these clowns were already in the building). The people on the other side of the door knew our names and claimed to be from the Board of Elections. They were interested if we were going to vote in the upcoming 33rd district primary. They then began to give the missus Espada campaign literature.

My wife asked, "So you're not really from the Board of Elections? You're working for Espada's campaign?" The response was a cryptic, "Well, we're from the Senate, so we have to say 'Board of Elections.'"

Before they left they requested our phone numbers. When the missus refused they said, "They make us ask for this information; it's how they confirm we were here." Of course, the missus refused and they left, but how many of our neighbors gave up the info? Hopefully not many.

This is wrong (illegal) on so many levels. Please go and vote on September 14th against the utter scumbag. I'm not a rah-rah Gustavo guy, but I'd vote for Mitch McConnell over Pedro.


Ferragosto 2010

Belmont's annual Ferragosto festival will take place this Sunday, 9/12, from 12 to 7pm. Check your diets at the door for this baby! More info here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Castle Price Chop in Bedford Park

308 E. 201st Street, 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathrooms - $559K

We featured this when it first went on the market at $599K (and Curbed made fun of us for doing so).
In any case, it's big and cool-looking and has serious parking (for 10 cars). And now you can scoop it up for $40K less! (Although, methinks this won't be the last chop...)



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ABC 7 Clip on the 33rd Race

Monday, September 6, 2010

Feds to Monitor 33rd Primary Voting?

I'm finally shaking off the remnants of summer and Labor Day weekend and getting back to the ol' BD.

You probably already know this, but Dan Padernacht has pulled out of the 33rd race to unseat Westchester Pete. So it's a one-on-one between Gustavo Rivera and the Wascally One.

An added layer of intrigue to this race developed just recently, with Rivera sending a letter to the Department of Justice Civil Rights unit. In the letter he asks for the DOJ to send federal election observers to make sure no Pedro-riffic shenanigans take place on Sept 14th (and also to ensure that the 33rd voters are not disenfranchised by the fancy new optical scan ballot things). The Observer has the full monty.

It's going to be a close one. Make sure to get out and vote on September 14th and vote this ethical midget incumbent out.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo of the Day

1968 VW Bug - Decatur and the MoshPhotos by ErLu

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rivera/Padernacht Debate (Updated)

BxNN has posted a link to the Gustavo Rivera/Dan Padernacht debate which aired on BronxTalk this past Monday. Here's the clip in case you missed it:

There were a bunch of interesting comments left on the post suggesting that although Padernacht hasn't received the political endorsements or generated as much of a buzz in the media as Rivera, he's actually the stronger candidate of the two. Commenters opine that Rivera is receiving the support of the Bronx political establishment simply because he is Hispanic and Padernacht doesn't stand a chance because he's white and his family is involved in real estate. What do you all think?

I personally felt like Rivera actually wasted my valuable time during the debate. I only get a small window of opportunity where Sesame Street will capture Pearl's attention, and I can't believe I just spent it listening to someone name drop and rattle off endorsements that I already knew he had. Booooo!

While I'm at it, I have another bone to pick with Rivera. I was taking the kiddos out for a walk yesterday and my lovely super, Sam, was working hard outside in the 95 degree heat tending to the plants around our building. Another one of his tasks for the day? Cleaning up Gustavo Rivera campaign flyers left behind by New Roosevelt Initiative's volunteers' little rally outside our building Saturday.
I'm all for coming to Espada's supposed place of residence to organize and do community outreach, but really - where do the volunteers think the campaign literature they hand out ends up? I'm sick of politicians littering the streets with their campaign crap. That means you too, Senator Espada! BD reader Jo sent in the below photo of Espada's flyers on a pole on the Grand Concourse. Talk about overkill. I can't wait for those to be torn down and end up as litter in my neighborhood.
An update from BD Reader Jo regarding the campaign posters:
So as follow-up to the picture I sent you yesterday of Pedro's awful posters: I have since called 3-1-1 and reported his posters that are ILLEGALLY posted on city property. Dept of Sanitation will take the complaint, and within 3 days go out to remove the posts and issue a fine to the individual or company owning the poster. So I encourage everyone to call 3-1-1 to report any of his posters illegally hung and hope that you spread the word to do so as well!

I am also happy to report that the pole on Bedford Park Blvd and Grand Concourse that yesterday had ten front and back posters of Espada’s face (20 in total) now have been decreased to 7 front and back (14 awful faces)—and I can’t take credit for the removal of any of those. So it makes me feel good that there are others in this neighborhood that dislike him as much as I do and are willing to take action. But I am now advocating the report of the posters to 3-1-1 instead of just ripping them down and creating litter.

Thanks Jo!!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slumlord List

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio has launched an easy to navigate list of NYC's worst landlords. Click here to check it out. It will surely become an invaluable resource for apartment hunters, as well as those living in deteriorating buildings - tenants can click here to easily report unsafe or unsanitary living conditions. Unfortunately the worst seven buildings on the list are located in the Bronx - grrrrrrrrrrr.



The troublemakers...

Geez, this summer has been a rough one for us (having baby, recovering from having baby, caring for baby, being tortured by baby's 2 1/2 year old big sister, etc.) and thus, the ol' BD has been pretty slow. Thanks for sticking with us as we readjust to life as a family of four.

We promise to make every effort to stop slacking now that the lazy days of summer are coming to a close!


Monday, August 30, 2010

New Roosevelt Initiative At Pedro's Pad

We heard and saw a little hub-bub outside our building (the same building in which Pedro Espada pretends to live). When we went down to investigate we saw a group of New Roosevelt Initiative volunteers and workers, led by Yorman Nunez, prepping for a neighborhood sweep for Gustavo Rivera.

New Roosevelt Iniative Boots on the Ground from Erin Cicalese on Vimeo.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bedford Park Art-Deco Real Estate Trolley Tour This Saturday


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Robo-Call From the Wabbit

Just received a robo-call from Westchester Pete. Nothing too new or shocking in the recorded message, but Mr. Espada claimed that he saved lots of senior centers and schools (which he didn't). He also claimed that "wealthy outsiders" [read: hey, kettle, look over here, it's the pot. I just wanted to let you know that you are really really black] are running a dishonest smear campaign against him. The call ended with the Wascally one giving the perfunctory, "May God bless you."


Monday, August 23, 2010

New and Improved Dog Run Coming to the Williamsbridge Oval

The folks over at Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval have been working hard to ensure that the current construction projects at the park are moving along as quickly as possible. They've even begun hosting "Night Walks," which entail walking around the entirety of the park after dark in order to see which lights may need to be fixed or replaced. There's one this evening at 9pm - meet at the Keeper's Gate entrance if you're interested in helping out!

Below is a detailed update from FOWO identifying the current projects currently underway around the park:

As you may have experienced by now, the Williamsbridge Oval Playground is undergoing a vast amount of construction right now. Because of this construction, almost half of the park is off-limits to the public; the recreation center and its surrounding playgrounds have been dismantled and are being restructured. Unfortunately, completion of the new recreation center (details of its new amenities will be posted on the BD in the coming months) will be Spring 2011. But, the surrounding playgrounds are to be completed this coming Fall (late) 2010. Below is a plan of the playground areas sent to the Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval from the Department of Parks and Recreation:

After completion of Playgrounds 1 and 3, a new, improved dog run is to be constructed near the North entrance of the Oval Park:

The dog run plans were presented to the Friends of the Oval last August. The new dog run will be larger (than the current Oval dog run) with areas for both large dogs and smaller dogs. It will also have picnic tables and benches for people watching their dogs. Because of problems with the water lines in the Park, there will be no “Doggy Water Play” located in the dog run. The Parks’ Department is working very hard to install a dog-friendly water fountain in the Park near the dog run. Completion of this new dog run is scheduled for late Fall 2010.

Because of construction, the recreation center has been experiencing an increase in vandalism. I have seen many young adults break into the construction site, climb on the roof of the recreation center, and then thrown materials down. This is dangerous for the trespassers, wastes tax payers’ money, and prolongs construction. If you see anyone in the construction site (other than construction workers), please call the 52 precinct at (718) 220-5811 (I recommend having the number programed into your cell phones!). An increase in calls regarding any vandalism or the selling of illegal substances (alcohol, food without a permit, and drugs) on park grounds will only help convince the 52 that the Oval needs enforcement.

Also, the Oval Park is a beautiful park that is in need of community residents who will insist that the park be respected, cleaned, and maintained. Simply asking people using the Oval park to pick up after their dogs or to throw away their trash is a small victory in helping the Oval reach its potential. Please join Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval on facebook:


You can also contact the Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval via their website:


On Monday, August 23, Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval have organized a “Night Walk” to identify non-working lights in the Park. Please join us at 9 pm. We will meet inside the park near the Keeper’s Gate (the entrance at the north end of the park, across the street from the Keeper’s House, near Reservoir Pl.). Please bring cell phones, flashlights, pen and paper, and, of course, dogs are always welcome. The “Night Walk” should last less than an hour.

Thanks for the update and keep up the great work, FOWO!