Friday, April 30, 2010

4th Annual Mott Haven Open Artist Studio Tour This Weekend

The 4th Annual Mott Haven Open Artist Studio Tour will take place this weekend. There will be a kickoff party this evening, 4/30, at 112 Lincoln Avenue with live bands and a preview show of the artworks you'll be able to see in the studios this weekend. The Bronx Culture Trolley will be on hand Saturday, 5/1, from 12pm to 5pm to take participants from one studio to the next.

Don't worry - if you're planning on attending the Bronx Food Summit on Saturday, the artists' studios will again be open from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday.

Please see the flyer below for additional details:

Open Artist Studio Tour


Round'em Up

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

A look at why this second lawsuit filed by AG Andrew Cuomo against Pedro Espada Jr. packs even more of a punch than the first one [Village Voice]

A whistleblower who worked on Espada's campaign out of his Soundview HealthCare Network says that all sorts of campaign-related activities took place within the nonprofit and Soundview employees were even pressured to help out []

There will be a swanky Upper East Side fundraiser hosted by the Lasry family on May 26th [Daily News' Daily Politics via BxNN]

An exhibit dedicated to the botanical passions of Emily Dickinson opens today at the New York Botanical Garden [New York Times]

Baby lion triplets make their debut at the Bronx Zoo today [Daily News]

Tracy Shelton will join the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation as the new director [Riverdale Press]

PS 47 students helped create a new community playground in Parkchester as part of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC Initiative [NY1]

And another new playground debuted this week in Morrisania/Hunts Point - it is modeled after the first rotary printing press [New York Times]

Part of the Van Cortlandt Park Parade will finally open sometime this May [Riverdale Press]

There will be a fundraiser in support of the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center on May 13th at the Lehman College Music Building [BxNN]


Thursday, April 29, 2010

NYC Wildflower Week Begins Saturday

Photo of last year's Planting Natives with the Butterfly Project
in Franklin Memorial Garden courtesy of Drosera-X's flickr photostream

A friend of ours just let us know that next week is "Wildflower Week" in NYC.

Beginning this Saturday, 5/1, Wildflower Week will offer tons of free cultural programming all over the city in order to encourage New Yorkers to connect with the parks and natural areas that surround them.

There will be a few different events taking place in the Bronx, including Botanical Walks at Hunter Island in Pelham Bay Park and the New York Botanical Garden, a Garden Tour at Wave Hill, a Children's Event at the Point CDC, and a Butterfly Project Workshop and Native Plant Giveaway at the A. Badillo Community Rose Garden (924 Melrose Avenue at 163rd Street).

Please click here to check out the full lineup of programming being offered throughout the city in conjunction with NYC Wildflower Week.


Round'em Up

Pedro Espada Jr. is keeping our interweb horse and lasso quite busy lately, and today is no exception...

AG Andrew Cuomo has filed another lawsuit against Pedro...this one charges that Pedro used a phony janitorial training program as a ruse to pay custodial workers at his Soundview HealthCare Network a measly $1.70/hour. [New York Times,,, Crain's NY Biz, Daily News, New York Post]

Pedro says he "looks forward to answering the allegations" brought against him in a quickie presser yesterday [Capital Tonight's State of Politics]

Here's some footage of protesting tenants who traveled to Albany on Tuesday to give Pedro an eviction notice demanding that he step down []

The first ever Bronx Food Summit will take place this weekend, 5/1, from 9am to 5pm at Hostos Community College [Daily News, Bronx BP's office]

State Senate candidate Desiree Pilgrim Hunter has officially gotten the endorsement of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) [Capital Tonight's State of Politics via BxNN]

The popular Coqui Mexicano restaurant in Melrose has been saved from eviction [Welcome 2 Melrose]

Bronx Democrat Charlie Ramos has announced he will run against Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. for State Senate
[Capital Tonight's State of Politics]

An interview with a retired Bronx cop who now serves as a senior arborist at the New York Botanical Garden [New York Times]

A manager of the Lobster Box on City Island is accused of sexually harassing a female employee there [New York Post]

More on the infighting that seems to be taking place among teachers and administrators at Bronx High School of Science [New York Times, Daily News]


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last Concert of the Season for Sinfonietta of Riverdale

The Sinfonietta of Riverdale will present its final concert of the 2009–2010 season, PANORAMA, on Sunday, 5/2 at 2:30pm. The program for the afternoon is as follows:

Franz Joseph Haydn, Concerto in F major

Franz Joseph Haydn, Notturno in C major

Paul Hindemith, Chamber Music No. 1 (1921)

Robert Schumann, Fugues on the Name BACH (trans. Mandarano)

The concert will take place at the Riverdale Temple (4545 Independence Avenue). There is plentiful free parking. Tickets are $35 ($25 for seniors; $15 for students) and are available on the website or at the door on the day of the concert. It is recommended that you purchase tickets in advance. If you have any questions, please contact (917) 689-1211 or


Round'em Up

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

The NYC Bar Association is urging the city to 'stop allowing community benefits agreements to be part of the zoning approval process.' [New York Times]
BD Note: The failed Armory deal is of course mentioned in this extensive piece examining how the role of CBAs has changed over the years. Here's an interesting excerpt:

As one member of Mr. Liu’s task force, Julia Vitullo-Martin, put it, a “new weird principle” had been grafted onto the “perfectly legitimate” idea that a developer should try to mitigate the effects of gentrification.

“The original concept got lost,” said Ms. Vitullo-Martin, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association, an independent research group. “Why should the developer be responsible for the wages paid by retailers? That has nothing to do with the land-use process.” [NY Times]

A look at some of the real estate big wigs that have been identified as longtime enablers of Pedro Espada Jr. due to their major financial support [Village Voice]

Housing activists demanding Pedro Espada Jr.'s resignation shout "You won't come to the Bronx, so the Bronx comes to you!" outside of his Senate office Tuesday afternoon []

Fordham football's easy on the eyes QB John Skelton has been drafted by the Arizona Cardinals []

A new Hudson Valley Bank branch will be coming to the Hutch Metro Center in October 2010 []

A look at Fordham Road Plaza and the 149th Street transit plaza and what DOT has done in the past and must do in the future in order to redesign these bustling areas [Huffington Post]

Baseball fans will now be able to take a free ferry sponsored by Delta Airlines from the Wall Street area up to the Bronx to catch Yankees games []

Disgruntled employees and doctors at St. Barnabas Hospital charge that there's been a significant increase in patient-on-employee attacks recently [Daily News and]


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Listing of the Day: BBQ On the Run

Roaming Address - 0 bedrooms, 0 bathrooms, but one helluva kitchen - $89,995

As city dwellers, most of us daydream of having a nice outdoor space to fire up a BBQ, crack open a cold one, and cook up some nice comfort food. Well, if you've got enough balls (and cash), you can fulfill that dream by snatching up the Mo Gridder's Competition BBQ Trailer, which has been featured on many Food Network programs and is quite well-known to foodies in the NYC metro area.

No word on what's actually happening with the business...We were surprised to see that the newish restaurant annex of Mo Gridder's in the Belmont section of the Bronx was closed when we walked past on a Saturday night during prime dinner hours recently. Their website says the restaurant is closed for renovations, but geez, since the place opened a few years ago it seems that it's been closed more than it's been open.

Well, if any of you readers end up buying this baby, please do invite us over for some ribs and pulled pork soon.

Click HERE to view the full listing for this property.


Round'em Up

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

A beloved Melrose eatery faces possible closure after it is served an eviction notice...The community is rallying together to raise funds to keep the restaurant open. [Welcome 2 Melrose]
BD Note: We've yet to visit Coqui Mexicano, but it sounds like a great place. We're wondering...What is the reason for the eviction? Are they behind on rent? Is it healthcode violations? We trust the Mayor of Melrose will fill us in on the scoop. Folks are saying that gentrification is playing a role in the potential closing of the eatery due to the fact that there is a lot of new construction happening in the area. Two thoughts regarding the gentrification speculation: 1) I thought most of the new construction happening in Melrose was affordable housing. 2) If Coqui Mexicano is simply way behind on their rent, isn't the eviction just a dollars and cents issue? Give us the scoop, Mayor!
'Soda buyback' event at Richard R. Green Middle School attracts one lone bottle of soda - and it was a Sprite Zero [Village Voice]

Councilman Jimmy Vacs has the Pompeii Lounge in E. Tremont in his crosshairs...Neighbors complain that the club is bringing unsavory patrons to the normally quiet area [Daily News]

The Silver Fox reports all the week's juicy political gossip and provides us with some entertaining Pedro commentary [Daily News]

There's a baby boom going on at the Bronx Zoo...this weekend's visitors will get to see a baby brown collared lemur and a baby silver leaf langur []


Monday, April 26, 2010

Photo of the Day

House at the end of Bay Street, City Island
Photo by ErLu

'BronxWorks Rocks' Annual Fundraiser

BronxWorks, a community organization which helps individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being, will be hosting its annual fundraiser on Thursday, 5/6 from 6 to 8:30pm at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium. The honorees for the evening will be:

Bill Aguado
Prominent Bronx arts advocate, former Executive Director of the Bronx Council on the Arts, and a longtime BronxWorks board member

Sean Delany
Executive Director of Lawyers Alliance for New York, and for many years BronxWorks Board Chair and legal counsel

John Fouhey
Of Davis Polk & Wardwell, pro bono legal counsel for BronxWorks, and former BronxWorks board member
Please click here to purchase tickets or find out other ways that you can show your support for BronxWorks.


Round'em Up [Updated]

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

A snippy Pedro Espada Jr. huffily walked out on a Ch. 2 'Eye on New York' interview with Marcia Kramer on Friday [Daily News]

Update: Thanks to a BD commenter for pointing out that Espada also sat down with WABC's Diana Williams...Click here to check out the video - interview starts at 3:30. Espada's attempts to defend himself are laughable.

City Limits sizes up the viability of Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter's campaign now that Pedro Espada Jr. is facing so many serious legal legal hurdles []

According to a recent online poll, 83% of Crain's readers feel that Pedro should resign from the state Senate [Crain's NY Biz]

Bill Samuels, Democratic Candidate for State Senate President and Lieutenant Governor, has announced that disgraced State Senator Pedro Espada will be the first incumbent targeted for defeat by the New Roosevelt Initiative’s Independent Expenditure campaign [ and New York Times]

Environmentalist Majora Carter has developed a perfume that may be pumped into the common areas of a Longwood building which sits near a sewage plant in order to improve the constant stench there [Daily News]
BD Note: Okay, usually the commenters on the Daily News website are kind of wackadoos, but I can't help but agree with commenter RickEvans033050 on this one. He writes, "Hiding a pollution problem by covering it up with perfume odor is more befitting the polluter than the "enviro-guru". I'm VERY disappointed."
Students, teachers, and parents fear for the future as University Heights High School is forced to relocate from their location on Bronx Community College's 50-acre campus...they say that the college setting has played a role in the success of the students there. [New York Times]

The Westchester Square Merchants Association is excited by the possibility of the Bronx Council on the Arts relocating to a prime corner property in the heart of their retail strip [Crain's NY Biz]

Bronx-born Francine Kellman, the head of Pacific Housing Advisors, is set to invest in major renovations of a dilapidated Morris Heights building... And she has made a 40 year commitment to maintain the property as affordable [Daily News]

ATM skimmers have been targeting Woodlawn residents []


Saturday, April 24, 2010

For Those On the Hunt

...or just for the real estate voyeurs out there, here are some interesting open houses this weekend:

3555 Kings College Place #2E- affordable 1 bedroom, near Oval, Woodlawn Cemetery - $110K
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday April 25th - 1pm - 3pm

Mount Hope
1855 Grand Concourse #66 - renovated sponsor unit, art deco, 1 bedroom - $149K
OPEN HOUSE: Saturday April 24th - 12pm - 1:30pm

Kingsbridge Heights (Van Cortlandt Village South)
3033 Sedgwick - multifamily duplex, corner property, garage, yard, 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 half baths, - $599K
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday April 25th - 1pm -3pm

1038 Evergreen Avenue - a whole lot of house for less than $400K, 5 bedrooms , 2 baths - $389K
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday April 25th - 12:30pm - 2:30pm


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mall Opens in Queens and Employees Feel "Relief"

I read this interesting piece in last weekend's New York Times and I've been meaning to post it on here all week...

A new mall recently opened in the Rego Park section of Queens, bringing with it about 1,000 new jobs. Some key excerpts from the piece:

Relief seems to be the predominant emotion among the workers within the new stores. Almost every one of them approached had spent considerable time unemployed.

Lindora Holmes, 57, another Century 21 salesperson, said she was jobless for more than two years, after she was laid off by an auto parts manufacturer in Long Island City.

“It’s good to be back,” she said.

Sales jobs at the malls generally pay $8 an hour — not much above the $7.25 minimum wage. But, Ms. Holmes said, “It’s better than not having anything at all,” adding, “If your manager sees how you work, it’s an opportunity for you to move up to the next level.” [New York Times]
“Anybody who’s traveling from this end of Queens doesn’t have to go to Nassau County and Roosevelt Field,” said Frank Gulluscio, district manager of local Community Board 6. “Everything’s right there — parking, food and great retail. We’re not sending those jobs out to Nassau. We’re keeping them right here in New York City.” [New York Times]
I'll give you one guess as to where I'm going with all this...that's right, I'm wondering how the new employees at The Shops at Kingsbridge Armory would have felt about actually having landed employment with a shot of upward mobility in this shiteous economy if Related's plans had actually moved forward. And before you all shout "subsidies, subsidies!!" at me, please click here to read a helpful comment from BD Reader Jay Shuffield pointing out some of the misconceptions surrounding the subsidies that Related (not the actual retailers) were set to get from the City in the now defunct Armory deal.

I just couldn't let the week end without bringing up the Kingsbridge Armory, could I? I know, I'm annoying!


Still a Few Spots Left in Spring Sprouts Gardening Progam for Kids at NYBG

We just heard from the folks over at New York Botanical Garden that there are a few spots left in their popular Spring Sprouts Gardening Program which takes place in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden (which has recently welcomed a cute new bunny named Darwin). Here are all the details:
Children’s Gardening Program 2010

Kids plant, tend, and harvest fresh produce with the help of instructors through the New York Botanical Garden’s celebrated Children’s Gardening Program.

As featured on NBC Nightly News, the program allows kids the chance to cook and eat vegetables, meet new friends, and make a lasting connection with nature. Age-appropriate activities are offered in two special programs in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden: Garden Sprouts (ages 3-5) and Garden Crafters (ages 6-12).

Secure your tot’s spot in Garden Sprouts this spring!
There’s still room in Sections B (May 5 – June 9) and D (May 7 – June 11) starting next month. Please click here to access the brochure with all registration information.
You can also pre-register for Summer Sprouts and Crafters starting in July.
Please click here to find out about more family activities at NYBG.
We can't wait until Pearl is old enough for this program - it looks awesome! Here's a video clip of the NBC Nightly News segment which aired back in January:


Round'em Up (Updated)

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

Cuomo has subpoenaed the records of ten Senate staffers with ties to Espada's SoundviewHeathCare Network [Daily News]
BD Note: This article also points out that Espada received his first subpeona from Cuomo two months before the leadership coup he plotted took place - so there goes Espada's theory that this investigation is a politically motivated 'witch hunt.'
Espada may be running out of steam due to all these investigations - he's now resorted to simply calling Cuomo a "bully" [ via Daily News' Daily Politics]

David Gonzalez provides us with an update on the ongoing unraveling of a new religious social service agency supposedly being established in Brooklyn by Rev. Isrido Bolanos, a shady pastor who promised hundreds of Latino evangelical Christians around the city positions with a salary of $65,000, a new Lexus, and the opportunity to buy a church building for $1 [New York Times here and here]
BD Note: Rev. Isribo Bolanos even promised one man a position which paid $11,000/month. The would-be employee believed the job was legit because Bolanos has been saying that he received a grant from World Vision, an international relief agency. These promises of big fat paychecks and free Lexuses should have been the first warning flag that Bolanos was a con artist - everybody knows that only Pedro Espada Jr. makes that kind of bank working in the non-profit world.
Update: Just received the following clarifications from David Gonzalez, the writer of the above mentioned pieces: "The Lexus, $5K and buildings were promised only to a small circle of pastors who were his "Executive Council." Also, the man I used as my lead, Mr. Malagon, was offered $11K/month as the combined salaries for him, his wife and his daughter.

A fact-finder has substantiated claims that an assistant principal at Bronx High School of Science harassed members of the math department [Riverdale Press]

Loyal patients of Espada's Soundview HealthCare Centers say that although they've noticed some signs of shabbiness in the clinics lately, it would be a huge loss to the community should they be shut down [New York Times]

'Greening the Ghetto' efforts are still alive and well 10 years after Sustainable South Bronx was established in order to fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx [NY1]

The Silver Fox made an appearance on this week's BronxTalk to discuss all the goings on in local politics [BxNN]


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get Green South Bronx Earth Fest This Weekend

Friday, 4/24, from 12pm to 4pm, St. Mary's Park (St. Ann's Avenue and 147th Street) will be the site of the 2010 Get Green South Bronx Earth Fest.

Clean out your apartment and head on down to properly dispose of your electronic equipment and clothes, as well as learn about a variety of green initiatives and sustainability issues.

Please click here to access the website for the event for more info.

You can also click here to access the event's Facebook page.


Petition to Save CB 7

As most of you probably know by now, part of Mayor Bloomberg's proposed plan to balance the City budget includes a series of cuts that will amount to an approximately 30% budget reduction for community boards across the city. Community Board 7 is asking residents to voice their concerns regarding this issue by printing out the below petition, signing it, and sending it into City Hall. We're printing ours out right now!
Petition Letter to Save BxCB 7


Fordham 'Superman' (Updated)

This video seems to be making the rounds pretty quickly on the interweb and we figured we'd post it because, well, it's not everyday the Fordham Rams sports teams do anything that impresses us!

*Update: Here's a link to a Daily News article about the play.


Bring FreshDirect to the Bronx!

If you read the ole BD regularly, you know there was quite a kerfuffle following a post about FreshDirect's new initiative to deliver their convenient products to Westchester County.

A BD reader emailed and expressed her frustration that FD would literally be driving through the BoogieDown to deliver food, but not deign to stop in non-Riverdale Bronx nabes.

For some reason a Riverdale resident found it rather objectionable that the demographic hoi polloi of the Northwest Bronx would desire or could afford to buy groceries.

A quick call to Fresh Direct shed some light on the matter:

The customer service person I spoke to said that FD does not do market research into per capita income, or other such statistics to decide why and where to expand. In fact, he indicated that they generally respond to demand voiced through phone calls and emails. The end result of the call: Fresh Direct would love to service the Northwest non-Riverdale Bronx; we just need to ask them.

So I implore you, dear readers, to call FD's corporate number between the hours of 8am-5pm (718-928-1000) to request service to your part of the Bronx. You should also email FD on their website. Additionally, you can simply go to their website and create an account with your address - if enough accounts are created, they will extend services! To do this, first enter your zip code in the purple box at the bottom of the homepage that says "Find out if we're delivering to your neighborhood!" You will most likely be directed to a page that says "Home Delivery Not Available In Your Area." Beneath that message, enter your email. You'll be taken to a page that says "Welcome to Fresh Direct!" At the top of the page click on "New Customer? Sign Up." Enter all of your contact into here, and you've officially created an account.

Ansd lastly, make sure to join the newly formed facebook group "Bring FreshDirect to the NorthWest Bronx!!" (generously set up and run by BD reader Lis).

Not from the NW Bronx? Establish your own Facebook group (and still call and email FreshDirect), and be sure to let us know about it so we can update this post with links to your groups. FreshDirect made it very clear that they would love to service the Bronx, they just need to know about Bronxites' desire to be served!


Round'em Up

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

In case you haven't heard, Pedro Espada's Soundview HealthCare centers were raided by the AG's office, FBI, and IRS yesterday [New York Times, Washington Post/AP]

Many elected officials (including Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.) feel that Espada should step down [,]

As potential challengers emerge, a look at how the vast legal problems surrounding Pedro Espada Jr. could spell trouble for his re-election bid [New York Times]

A profile of potential Espada challenger Dan Padernacht [Riverdale Press]

Congressman Jose Serrano will be leasing office space in the recently rehabbed BankNote building in Hunts Point for use as his new Bronx headquarters [Crain's NY Biz]

The patients at Espada's Soundview healthcare centers could be the first victims of his alleged wrongdoings if the AG orders the centers to be shutdown [Daily News]

It's he-said, she-said between a Riverdale Yoga teacher and a CB 8 member regarding thousands of dollars of fines the yoga teacher has been charged by DSNY for posting flyers around town advertising her business [Riverdale Press]

High levels of lead have been found in the ballfields at the half-renovated Harris Field, and many charge that the City knew (or should have known) about the lead levels prior to the start of the now severely over budget and behind schedule renovation [Daily News]


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Diaz to Espada: Step Down

Pablo Guzman from CBS-2 News has this little chestnut in a recent report:
Ruben Diaz Jr. is the Bronx borough president. He's Democrat, like Espada. Except now he thinks the time has come for Espada to get off the stage.

"I think that when you have such a cloud over your head, I think that he should seriously think, and consider taking care of these problems right now, and maybe stepping aside," he told CBS 2.
We're sure Rubencito's suggestion that Espada step down has nothing to with the latter's suggesting that the former's job should be eliminated to help close the state's massive budget hole. Here's an idea for closing the budget: don't steal $14,000,0000.


Fresh Direct Now Drives Through the Bronx to Deliver to Westchester

We recently received this infuriating email from a BD reader...Grrrr, so frustrating!
I just read that FreshDirect is expanding their delivery coverage into
Westchester County.

Up until now, I had been giving FreshDirect the benefit of the doubt
as to their reasons they don't serve the Bronx. After all, I thought
their business model of allowing people to order groceries on the web
for home delivery depended not on population density alone, but on
density of population with internet access, bank accounts, and credit

But now they're driving through the Bronx to get to a county where
they most certainly have to drive considerable distances from location
to location to make deliveries? In Manhattan, they usually park the
truck once and deliver to several households at once with a hand
truck, and that made sense to me. But now they're demonstrating that
they're willing to drive to make a delivery, just not within the
Bronx. That infuriates me. People in the Bronx need access to fresh
groceries, and I have a hard time believing they'd get fewer customers
per square mile here than they do in Westchester.

Currently, FreshDirect seems to only deliver to Riverdale in the
Bronx. I entered several Bronx zip codes into their lookup widget:
For those of you who don't know, the Fresh Direct warehouse is located in Long Island City, Queens. So yep, they'll be cutting through the BoogieDown in order to bring a convenient grocery shopping option to our neighbors up in Westchester, and even some in Connecticut!


BREAKING NEWS: Feds, IRS Raid Soundview (Espada's Week From Hell Continues)

The Washington Post (from the AP) is reporting that FBI and IRS agents have raided Pedro Espada's Soundview HealthCare Network a day after AG Cuomo released a damaging complaint against Espada's shady financial dealing with Soundview. Is this another investigation to add to the ever growing list?

Agents were seen removing boxes, files, and campaign materials from Soundview.

Let's see what the big boys find!

Just resign already, Petey. Just resign.


Round'em Up

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

Here's a little BD summary (with poetry!) and round up of all the Espada 'sushigate' linkage [New York Times, New York Times Editorial, NY1, Albany Times Union, Daily News' Daily Politics, Associated Press, BxNN, Crain's NY Biz, Huffington Post, Gawker]

One reporter gets down to the bottom of just how someone can possibly spend $20,000 on sushi takeout [New York Times]

Even Bronx residents who depend on the healthcare services they receive at Espada's clinics are turning on him [Daily News]

In an effort to save buildings which have fallen into disrepair due to foreclosure, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will gather today with members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Association to announce a legal motion that would force banks that hold buildings' mortgages to take on the responsibility of upkeep and repairs to the buildings [New York Times]

Bronxites will be rallying tomorrow evening at 7:30pm at the Bartow Community Center to protest the MTA's possible elimination of certain bus lines [Daily News]


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Espada the Poverty Pimp; Soundview HealthCare the Whore

So I am sure you've all heard about the complaint filed by AG Cuomo against Pedro Espada and his use of the "non-profit" (yes, they are sarcastic quotation marks) Soundview Health Center.

If you haven't seen the nitty-gritty yet, here a few articles and blog posts with all the sordid details from the NY Times, BxNN, and the Liz Benjamin-less Daily Politics.

Long story short: Espada is accused of stealing roughly $14,000,000 (fourteen MILLION! dollars) in state and federal funds intended to be used at Soundview for poor Bronx residents to pad his lifestyle and that of his family and friends and to help fund his political campaigns. [$20,000 on sushi, $50,000 for a Bronx apartment in which he doesn't live, a $9,000,000 severance package that would bankrupt his own "non-profit," trips to Vegas, Miami, and Puerto Rico, and a whole host of other outlandish personal expenses paid for with tax-payer money given to Sondview in the form of grants.]

The ole BD isn't surprised at all, and we hope that this civil complaint becomes the much deserved criminal charges Westchester Pete has been dodging for years.

Pedro learned his poverty pimp methods from the best.

Here's a little poem forwarded to BoogieDowner from a tenants' lawyers listserv that sums up his scumbaggery rather well:

I am Pedro Espada and I speak for the poor.
I speak for them so they don't ask for more.
More housing, more jobs, more schools they might ask.
My poverty act is a difficult task.
I'm for these things, each one, or at least so I say,
I say it enough to keep reporters at bay
I made millions from Soundview by looting the store,
I'm a tough talking millionaire who speaks for the poor.

Here's hoping that the Bronx won't stand for this nonsense in the September primaries: vote for either of the challengers - anyone but Pedro.

*Our fave photo of Pedro above is thanks to John DeSio*


Norwood Food Co-op Accepting Members for 2010 Summer Share

The Norwood Food Coop CSA is accepting members for the 2010 summer share. Members receive a share of the weekly local organic vegetable harvest from Norwich Meadows Farm, usually 5-8 different items per week. Past seasons have included deliveries of tomatoes, lettuce, squash, peppers, beans, beets, carrots, onions, and potatoes. Members can also order additional special items for a cost like fruit, cheese, milk, eggs, and more. The season lasts from mid-June to early November; single shares, which feed 2-3 people per week, cost $315. Weekly pick-up takes place in Norwood on 206th Street at Epiphany Lutheran Church. Food stamps/EBT are accepted. For more information visit or call (718) 514-3305.


Round'em Up

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

Pedro Espada Jr. is "losing no sleep" over the most recent accusations being brought against him by federal investigators [Daily News' Daily Politics, and more on Espada over at, BxNN]

The Silver Fox has all this week's juicy political gossip, including news that Carmen Baez (former City Councilwoman Maria Baez's daughter) was fired from her position of deputy clerk in charge of the Bronx marriage license bureau...The City's Dept. of Investigation is said to be looking into allegations related to possible theft of time, job performance, and residency issues. [Daily News]

The new Bronx Family Justice Center has opened on 161st Street to provide assistance to women who are the victims of both physical and emotional abuse [NY1]

Spring programming, including walking tours, outdoor concerts, and lectures, is up and running at Woodlawn Cemetery [Daily News]

Tiki Barber has backed out of hosting the 2nd Annual 'Run for the Wild' event to benefit endangered tigers because of the negative publicity surrounding his recent affair with a 23 year old that has lead to a split with his wife of 11 years (who is super pregnant with twins!) [Daily News]

The MTA says it will not implement any additional measures in order to bust fare-beaters along the Bx12 Select Service bus route [Daily News]

Bronxites are frustrated by how long it is taking the DOT to fill huge potholes that are causing dangerous driving conditions [Daily News]


Monday, April 19, 2010

Grand Concourse Historic Preservation Meeting Tomorrow Evening

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be hosting a community meeting regarding the proposed historic preservation of the Grand Concourse tomorrow evening, 4/20, at 7pm at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Please see the flyer below for additional details.
Grand Concourse Mtg


Round'em Up (Updated)

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

A round up of links and summary of the investigation the feds have launched regarding tax and money laundering allegations involving Pedro Espada Jr. and his son [BoogieDowner]

Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter officially kicked off her campaign to challenge Pedro for his Senate seat on Saturday, 4/17, outside of the Bronx Library Center [New York Times, NY1, Daily News' Daily Politics]

The good folks over at Gawker admit they don't know much about Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, but they do know she's not Pedro Espada Jr. and that in itself is good enough for them []

Marlene Cintron, head of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, spells out her plans to revive the economy in the Bronx, including her goal to bring a major hotel to the area near Yankee Stadium [NY1]

The first full-length painting of Superman which was used to promote the 1940 Superman radio show hangs in the library of Lehman College [New York Times]
BD Note: The article refers to Lehman College as being in Van Cortlandt, what??
Embezzler Richard Izquierdo Arroyo is still serving as chief of staff to his grandmother, Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo [Gotham Gazette]

A school in the Soundview section of the Bronx offers boxing as the part of the sixth grade curriculum
[New York Times]

Actor/director Edward Burns is a teacher at the Ghetto Film School in the South Bronx [Daily News]

Charter Review Commission member Anthony Perez Cassino points out that the Bronx "shares a kinship with the folks from Staten Island" since it can at times seem as if both areas are the forgotten boroughs of NYC []

Rumors are swirling that Adolfo Carrion Jr. may want to be Andrew Cuomo's running mate should he run for NY State Governor [Daily News]

More and more New Yorkers seem to be raising hens in their backyards [Daily News]


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Espada Up in Smoke? Connecting the Dots.

Phony addresses on either side of the state, sleazy political veterans, and large sums of money might, just might (pretty please!), be the investigation that breaks the camel's back for Pedro Espada.

WCSBTV-2 and Marcia Kramer broke the story that the feds are investigating Westchester Pete's connections to a company called A-1 Multiservices, LLC, reportedly run by Espada's son and said to be located at a cigar shop (pictured below, courtesy of ErLu) on 2384 Hughes Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx.
The only problem is that the landlord has no clue about this company:
"I don't know who this guy is," landlord Salvatore Dimaggio said. "Nobody ever told me that name."

DiMaggio is the landlord at the Hughes Avenue building. He says letters occasionally arrive for A-1, but he returns them because there's no A-1 at that address. []
It turns out that the company paying A-1 is a similarly shadowy entity on the other side of the state with ties to Espada's post-coup $150K/year counsel, Steve Pigeon. The clandestine company funneling money to A-1 is a GDP Consulting, whose address state records indicate as 7305 Porter Road in Niagra Falls, NY (pictured below, courtesy of Charles Lewis/Buffalo News). The only problem? The Buffalo News is reporting that said address is actually the home to Parenti Accounting Group.
The Buffalo News is also reporting that there is absolutely no physical or material indication of GDP sharing the space on Porter Road with Parenti. Although, there does seem to be some connection to Steve Pigeon.
Jerry Parenti, chairman of the accounting business, is the father of Gary D. Parenti, a longtime political associate of Pigeon. [...]

But what ties, if any, Gary Parenti might have to GDP remains unclear.

“Talk to Gary about that,” Jerry Parenti said Saturday. A telephone number he provided for his son was not working, and Gary Parenti did not return a message left with his father. []

I don't know about you, but this whole situation sounds awfully fishy to me. I think I smell Tom Golisano involved in this. There always needs to be a money man, right? Golisano and Pigeon's relationship centered around political spending and maneuvering is long. It kind of makes sense when you learn that GDP was formed July 23, 2009 - a mere two weeks after the Golisano-backed (funded?) coup propelled Espada to Majority leader ended. Maybe we should add any payments from GDP to A-1 to the list of ways people profited from the coup.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

For Those On the Hunt

...or just for the real estate voyeurs out there, here are some interesting open houses this weekend:

Bedford Park
2962 Decatur Avenue #5B - 770 sq ft 1 bedroom, in the ole BD's backyard - $139K
OPEN HOUSE: Saturday April 17th - 12pm-2pm

Grand Concourse
1100 Grand Concourse #1H - a stone's throw from Yankee Stadium and down the block from the Bronx Museum of the Arts, pre-war 2 bedroom - $299K
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday April 18th - 1:30pm-3:30pm

Pelham Parkway/Bronx Park East
665 Thwaites Place #2k - 1 bedroom co-op, near the Botanical Garden, Zoo and the 2 and 5 trains - $135K
OPEN HOUSE: Saturday April 17th - 11am-2pm

5157 Post Road - semi-detached brick one family, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, [price chop!] - $599K
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday April 18th - 2pm-3pm


Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Concert at Hostos This Weekend

A nice free event for this Sunday...see the flyer below for details.


Photo of the Day

Art Deco Beauty
601 Pelham Parkway North @ Bronx Park East
Designed by H.I. Feldman in 1937
Photos by G. Tsougranis

The Bronx Throwdown @ The Greene Space on 4/30!

Back in February we posted that WNYC's 'Battle of the Boroughs' was accepting submissions from unsigned bands and ensembles, instrumentalists, singers, DJs, spoken word artists and performance artists of all genres. Well, artists from each borough have now been selected to battle it out in the First Fridays signature series in The Greene Space, which is WNYC's new street-level, state of the art performance venue in Lower Manhattan. The Bronx lineup will be announced this Monday, 4/19!

For just $15, you can attend the 'Bronx Throwdown' on Friday, 4/30, and be among the exclusive in-house audience that will get to vote on the top five artists of the evening. Beer, wine and snacks are on the house!

Click here for all the details or to purchase tickets.


Round'em Up

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

Video of Senator Espada explaining the rationale behind his position that the offices of Public Advocate and Borough President should be eliminated to save money, some of which could be used to increase the power of the community boards [Daily News]
BD Note: I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I actually agree with Pedro on this one...I'd love to see the community boards have more significant power because they're made up of residents who actually LIVE in the community (kinda funny that Pedro of all people is fighting to increase their power when you think about it), not just politicians who always seem to have a loftier end goal than the positions they are currently in.
Real estate developer Robert Knakal gives a nice big (and quite sarcastic) congratulations to activists and politicians that had a hand in killing the Armory/Related development deal in his recent editorial [NY Observer via BxNN]

Michael Ian Black will be on hand at the Bronx Zoo this weekend to entertain kids with his latest children's book as part of the zoo's Animal Tales Extravaganza programming [Zoo and Aquarium Visitor]

A look at how community organizations and activists in the South Bronx are working towards turning green projects into actual paying jobs that will stimulate the Bronx's economy [New York Times]

Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter will officially kick-off her campaign against Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. this Saturday outside of the Bronx Library Center at 11am [The Albany Project]

Sergio Villaverde, an attorney and former police officer, has announced he will challenge Assemblyman Jose Rivera in the Democratic primary this September [BxNN]


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter to Officially Kick-Off Senate Campaign This Saturday

Well, it's official - Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter will be challenging Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. in the September primary. The Albany Project reports that Pilgrim-Hunter will kick-off her campaign this Saturday, 4/17, outside of the Bronx Library Center at 11am. Click here to read the Albany Project's piece for more info.


Photo of the Day

The Holy Family waiting patiently for the construction
at the Williamsbridge Oval Rec Center to come to completion...Photo sent in by BD Reader

BP Ruben Diaz Jr. on BronxTalk

Below is Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.'s appearance on Gary Axelbank's BronxTalk Monday night. Gary has an interesting sit-down with Diaz in which they touch on a variety of issues, including the Kingsbridge Armory, development, sheltering the homeless in the Bronx, the Charter Revision Commission, charter schools, mayoral control of schools, and more.

The only real news regarding the Armory is that the newly developed Kingsbridge Armory Task Force will have their first meeting to tour the Armory on April 28th, and Diaz hopes they'll come up with possible development solutions for the Armory within 6 to 12 months.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Ruben Diaz Jr.'s appearance was when he touched on the planned ex pansion of Med Alliance. The owner/developer hopes to expand the healthcare services offered at his site on Fordham Road and Belmont Avenue, while also adding 58 units of residential housing. Click here for coverage of the issue if you're not familiar with it. We've said in the past that this is just a terrible idea overall because the traffic in that area is already horrendous. It is much to my chagrin that Diaz reports the he voted yes on this project "with recommendations." His recommendation was that the owner of the site should provide a drive through parking lot so that there isn't a "traffic nightmare" with vehicles forced to enter/exit through a small one-way street. Has he driven or tried to walk over in that area lately? It is already a traffic nightmare, and no matter what kind of parking system you implement it doesn't change that fact that you'll have a greater number of vehicles clogging the area trying to either access medical services or get home to their apartments. BAD IDEA. Diaz touches on Med Alliance at the 11:20 mark if you're interested...