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Nature's Wonders at Wave Hill in the Bronx

Historic Wave Hill in Riverdale Overlooks the Hudson River

bronx things to do bronxApril 23, 2018 / Riverdale Neighborhood / Bronx Parks / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Wave Hill is a 28 acre estate, in the western section of the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx, overlooking the Hudson River. The estate was built in 1843 by William Lewis Morris, a lawyer, to accommodate his large family. Morris was a descendant of one of the Bronx and America's founding families, which included a 17th century colonialist who migrated here following the Cromwellian Wars in Britain, a contributor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a vast land holding family in the Bronx.

Wave Hill evolved over the years, starting as a Georgian Revival home, but later converted to a Victorian manor by Publisher William Henry Appleton [1866 - 1869]. Appleton purchased a section of the estate from Morris's heirs following his death.

President Theodore Roosevelt [1870 - 1871], author Mark Twain [1901 - 1903], Italian Conductor Arturo Toscanini [1942 - 1945], and the British delegation to the UN hosted John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer and Queen Elizabeth [1950 - 1956] over numerous summers there. The Wave Hill of today includes what was once two estates, which were merged by Financier turned Conservationist George W. Perkins in 1903. Perkins added the greenhouses and the second house of the estate which I believe [unconfirmed] was called Glyndor. It burned in the early 1920's and was replaced by a smaller Glyndor II, completed in 1927. Wave Hill was inherited by daughter Dorothy Woosley Freeman and her husband Edward.

Wave Hill was donated to New York City in 1960, designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983 and added to the Riverdale Historic District in 1990.

In 2011 Wave Hill closed for two years for renovations. In 2013 it reopened, with enhanced facilities that included upgrades to the Sally and Gilbert Kerlin Learning Center where family art projects are conducted, and enhanced lighting and sound [2014] in the Amour Hall which is host to musical performances. A new space, the Sarah and Geoffrey Gund Theater was added where lectures are held and films are shown and the cafe was expanded and the dining room renovated.

Today all areas are used to accommodate public programs, many of which include a fee, and many of which are free with admission. Local artists, musicians and performers are oftentimes showcased. We periodically post their events on the weekends, so stay tuned.

Sources for this story include Wikipedia.org / LivingPlaces.com / WaveHill.org.


Bronx Things To Do This Weekend

Earth Day Events, Ruben Diaz 75th Birthday, Bone White, Kids Comic Con, Orchids at the NY Botanical Gardens, Zoo, Art, Theater, Film & History

bronx things to do bronx April 20, 2018 / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Good Weather . The Temperature highs will be in the low 50's Friday, rising to the low 60's Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 40 throughout the weekend. There's No Rain in the weekend forecast. Winds will be a blustery 20 mph Friday and then falling to a low breeze of 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be about 40% throughout the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

ID Studio Theater in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. The photo at right shows folks waiting outside of ID Studio Theater prior to a performance - see details below.

 

Friday & Weekend - Orchid Show at NY Botanical Gardens, Bronx Zoo & Bronx History

bronx things to do bronxThe photo at right shows people on an MTA Subway traveling north to their destination in the Bronx.

The New York Botanical Gardens at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham and Belmont neighborhoods is home to a number of other interesting exhibits, including copies of Darwin's first editions and a somewhat virgin forest dating back a couple of centuries [10am - 6pm / kids / $23 / $20 / $10 / under 2 free]. Last weekend the ORCHID SHOW returned and will run through April 22nd.

The Bronx Zoo at 2300 Southern Blvd offers a variety of activities for adults and kids including Sea Lion & Penguin feedings, Camel rides, Bug Carousel rides, 4 D Theater, Wild Asia Monorail and a Zoo Shuttle . The zoo is open and costs $27 for kids and $37 for adults or a year-long family pass which includes membership for $200.

The Bronx Historical Society is located at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue at 208th Street in the Norwood neighborhood. The Society also runs the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage at 2640 Grand Concourse at East Kingsbridge Road in the Belmont neighborhood is open Thursday & Friday 10 am – 3 pm, and both Poe Cottage and the Bronx Historical Society are open Saturday 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm [$5 / $3 / history].

 

Saturday - Kids Comic Con, Bone White @ ID Studio Theater, Ruben Diaz Turns 75, Art & Film

bronx things to do bronxThe photo at right shows some of the beautiful buildings along the Grand Concourse not far from the Bronx Museum. The several mile long street was modelled after the Champs Elysee in Paris during the early 1900's and is lined with beautiful, well made, art deco buildings.

The 12th annual Kids Comic Con is being hosted at Bronx Community College at 181st Street & University Avenue from 10 am to 6 pm and it's free [free / kids].

Ruben Diaz Sr. is celebrating his 75th birthday at a church service in Foxhurst beginning at 7 pm.

Performances of Bone White, a play wherein two men confront each other and themselves - exploring their identity and humanity - beginning at 8 pm and 6 pm Saturday and Sunday respectively at ID Studio Theater at 311 East 140th Street [free but rsvp at http://idstudiotheater.org].

It's Earth Day in the Bronx. Wave Hill, the Bronx Zoo and the NY Botanical Gardens all have programs commemorating the day [kids / parks].

See events posted above in the Friday & Weekend section that continue through the weekend.

 

Sunday - Bone White, Orchid Show at the Botanical Gardens, Bronx Museum & Zoo

bronx things to do bronxThe photo at right shows a view of Manhattan from the Throgs Neck neighborhood side of the Whitestone Bridge.

The Bronx Museum at 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx is open, as are venues like the Bronx Zoo, NY Botanical Gardens and Wave Hill that run events or provide access on weekend - see details above.

Performances of Bone White, a play wherein two men confront each other and themselves - exploring their identity and humanity - beginning at 8 pm and 6 pm Saturday and Sunday respectively at ID Studio Theater at 311 East 140th Street [free but rsvp at http://idstudiotheater.org].

The New York Botanical Gardens at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham and Belmont neighborhoods is home to a number of other interesting exhibits, including copies of Darwin's first editions and a somewhat virgin forest dating back a couple of centuries [10am - 6pm / kids / $23 / $20 / $10 / under 2 free]. Last weekend the ORCHID SHOW returned and will run through April 22nd.

The Bronx Zoo at 2300 Southern Blvd offers a variety of activities for adults and kids including Sea Lion & Penguin feedings, Camel rides, Bug Carousel rides, 4 D Theater, Wild Asia Monorail and a Zoo Shuttle . The zoo is open and costs $27 for kids and $37 for adults or a year-long family pass which includes membership for $200.

 

MOSTLY DONE. ASTERISKED EVENTS HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED.

* The Bronx Art Space at 301 East 140th Street - #1 in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx is hosting an exhibit entitled Historical Amnesia from February 14th thru March 24 [art / free]. The exhibit is

"Curated by Gabriel de Guzman, Historical Amnesia exposes and grapples with the lasting effects of colonialism, exoticism, and intolerance on today’s culture. Featuring Kris Grey, Sara Jimenez, jc lenochan, Joiri Minaya, and Jade Yumang, artists sift through forms of loss, obscurity, and trauma by using the body as a conduit."

* The Bronx Doc Film Center at 614 Courtlandt Avenue in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx is hosting an ongoing fatherhood series entitled Father Figure: Portraying African American Fatherhood Pops [film / I think free but donations welcome]. Their gallery hours are Thursday & Friday from 3 to 7 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

* On Saturday, March 24th, from 1 - 6 pm, there is a closing reception event about the current exhibit by Gordon Matta-Clarke entitled Anarchitect, at the Bronx Museum at 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. The event is discussion between Curator Jessamyn Fiore and Gordon Matta-Clarke's sister [art / free].

* The Lehman College Performing Arts Center at 250 Bedford Park Blvd is hosting a performance by the Moscow Festival Ballet beginning at 4 pm performing works entitled Cinderella [music / $25 - $45 & kids / seniors $10].

* At Wave Hill at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood there's a performance by TBD [$28 / $24 includes admission / history]. There's also usually a Garden Walk given free with admission beginning at 11 am, except on Sundays when it begins at 2 pm.

 

Next Week Beginning 4.23.18 - TBD

* Through the week at Hostos College in the Longwood Art Gallery at 450 Grand Concourse off 149th Street is hosting an exhibit entitled Her Art Will Be Cannibal which is about the female perspective on patriarchy, race and class in multi-media [free /art].

 

Bronx Farmers Mkts, Street Fairs, Member Events Calendar

Click here for reports about Bronx street fairs, Bronx farmers markets, Bronx shopping venues and restaurants in the Bronx.

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above.

BOOK REVIEW NEXT WEEK: The Mystery of Rusty Bedsprings by I. P. Knightly.


Spring Has Arrived

The Trees are Blooming and Warmer Weather is on its Way

historic richmond town staten island nycApril 17, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This weeks our deciduous trees have begun budding and flowering. We can see the bright pea green buds and the white tree blossoms popping out everywhere. This unique period of springtime lasts only a week or two, so enjoy the majestic beauty while it lasts.

The photo to your right shows what is a very ordinary view of a back wall of apartment windows in NYC, as it comes alive with nature's beauty. The budding trees add oxygen during the day and carbon during the night to our atmosphere. And provide shelter from the hot sun during the summer and some privacy between neighbors as well.

So enjoy these magical week(s) as nature blossoms and our deciduous trees awake from their wintry slumber.


Bronx Special Elections April 24

For the 32nd NYS Senate & 80th NYS Assembly District Offices

April 2, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods - Foxhurst / Bronx Politics & Government / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx special nys senate nys assembly election 2018On Tuesday April 24th a few Bronx voters will go to the polls to decide who is to represent them in the special election for a Senate [District 32] and an Assembly Seat [District 80]. The NYS Senate seat was vacated by Democrat Ruben Diaz Sr. who was elected to be an NYC Councilmember representing District 18 replacing term-limited Annabel Palma. The NYS Assembly seat was vacated by Democrat Mark Gjonaj, who was elected to be an NYC Councilmember representing the 13th District, replacing James Vacca.

 

While these seats were vacated as of the beginning of January, Governor Cuomo decided to delay holding the special elections until after the budget was expected to be passed on April 1, 2018. Elections are held 70 days following the Governor's call for them.

 

The IDC - Republicans Running as Democrats

Critics contend that Cuomo's delay of the special elections disenfranchised over a half million NYS Senate voters adn nearly a million NYS Assembly voters from the process. Republicans currently have a majority in the NYS Senate, as they are joined through caucuses with eight Republicans who run as Democrats including Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx, who founded the IDC, David Valesky of Oneida and Madison Counties in upstate New York, David Carlucci of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Diane Savino of Staten Island / Brooklyn, Tony Avella of Queens, Jose Peralta of Queens, Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, and Marisol Alcantera of Washington Heights / Manhattan. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn also runs as a Democrat but caucuses with the Republicans. The Democrats have a significant majority and control the NYS Assembly. Click here for a report about who the Bronx members of the IDC Independent Democratic Caucus are and what they do and don't represent.

Bronx Special Election Nominees - April 2018

Former Chief of Staff for Gjonaj, Nathalia Fernandez, became the Democratic nominee for the 80th District NYS Assembly seat in mid February, while Luis Sepulveda became the Democratic nominee for the 32nd District NYS Senate seat.

bronx special election april 2018Democrat Sepulveda is facing competition from Reform Party candidate Pamela Stewart-Martinez [the Reform Party is an independent party started by weathy former Republican Texan businessman Ross Perot in the 1990's], and Republican candidate Patrick Delices for the 32nd NYS Senate District. Democrat Fernandez is facing off with Republican Gene Defrancis in the 80th NYS Assembly District.

The 32nd Senate District represents parts of Central and Southern Bronx, while the 80th Assembly District represents Central and Eastern Bronx. The graphics at right show the maps of the Senate and Assembly seats up for grabs in the April 24th special election.

Low Turnout Should Make Upsets Easier

While turnout for special elections is generally low, what's surprising is how few surprises come out of them, given the low numbers with which one could win by mobilizing a small, but committed percentage of the electorate. As of this report, the Democrats are expected to win.


Click here for reports about Bronx holiday events and here for Bronx holiday markets.


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Take Me Out To The Ball Game Baseball Song - 7th Inning Stretch Song History - Yankees Open 2018 Baseball Season | baseball song 7th inning stretch song history take me out to the ball game bronx yankees baseball season 2018 begins
Take Me Out To The Ball Game Baseball Song - 7th Inning Stretch Song History - Yankees Open 2018 Baseball Season

Take me out to the Ball Game ...

Buy me Some Peanuts & Cracker Jack ...

I Don't Care if I Never get Back ...

April 9, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Sports & Bronx Culture / Bronx Buzz NYC.

It's that time of year again, although given we had a snowfall on April 2nd, you'd never know it. The 2018 Major League Baseball season has begun and both the Yankees & the Mets are off and running. The Mets are in first place in the National League East with 7 / 1 after placing second to the last with their Spring Training record. And the Yankees, came in fifth place with their Spring Training record, and are now in the middle of the pack of the American League East with a 5 / 5 record.

American Baseball 7th Inning Stretch Song

I got a hankering for a bit of baseball and the 7th inning stretch, and the song that accompanies it, so what follows is a bit of the history of the Take Me Out To The Ball Game song.

The first baseball song was reportedly created in 1858 and was called The Baseball Polka Song. In 1908 a New York song writer, Jack Norworth, wrote the song and it was set to music by composer Albert Von Tilzer. It was performed in vaudeville acts and also in recordings.

take me out to the ball game song history bronx nycThe song was played at the 1934 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals, whose nickname was the Gashouse Gang because the players were a rowdy, boisterous and reportedly unbathed group. In 1935 the Marx Brothers used it in one of their films, A Night at the Opera. The war likely put its growth on hold, but it returned to popular culture in the 1950's and 1960's. In 1958, on the 50th anniversary of the song creation - the songwriter, Jack Norworth, was presented with a gold lifetime pass to the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball games.

Click here to learn more about the 7th inning stretch song entitled Take Me Out To The Ball Game.



ID Studio Theater - Mott Haven Neighborhood - Latin Theater in the Bronx NYC | ID Studio Theater mott haven neighborhood bronx latin theaters south bronx things to do mott haven bronx nyc
ID Studio Theater - Mott Haven Neighborhood - Latin Theater in the Bronx NYC

ID Studio Theater in the Bronx

Theater Gives Voice & Builds Community in Mott Haven

Posted December 5, 2017 / October 21, 2017 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Theater & Dance /Bronx Buzz NYC.

I had an opportunity to visit the ID Studio Theater this Fall in Mott Haven. I briefly met the Artistic Director, German Jaramillo, who gave me a short tour of the theater, telling me that ID Studio Theater had moved into its new home to its new home at 311 East 140th Street in Mott Haven in the Fall of 2016.

German said he'd been working on renovating the ID Studio Theater new home ever since he'd arrived, to make it capable of providing rehearsal studio and performance space to work on new projects, community space and two studio apartments for visiting and affiliated performers. I had the opportunity to view the community space and the rehearsal space which are shown in the photos at right below. In the photo at right is the outside of ID Studio Theater in Mott Haven.



Bronx Art Space - Mott Haven Neighborhood Things To Do | bronx art space mott haven neighborhood bronx art space arts culture south bronx things to do mott haven bronx nyc
Bronx Art Space - Mott Haven Neighborhood Things To Do

Bronx Art Space in Mott Haven

Bronx Cultural Space Provides Venue for Artistic Expression

November 13, 2017 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Arts & Culture in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A few weeks ago I visited the Bronx Art Space as part of my effort to in some measure capture [and release] the heart and soul of the Bronx in pixels. Beverly Emers was my primary contact and her guidance was invaluable not just into the Bronx Art Space, but also in introducing me in some small way to the surrounding community.

As a bit of background, the Bronx Art Space first opened in 2008 in the South Bronx to provide a communal artistic venue to local artists, musicians, film makers and performers. The Bronx Art Space was co-founded by Linda Cunningham and Mitsu Hadeishi.

I arrived on a Saturday evening to witness one of the Bronx Art Space Gatherings. In 2017 at the Bronx Art Space began hosting the Gatherings, which have been organized by James A. Brathwaite, who I met shortly after I arrived. James told me he’s been organizing at least one Gathering per month. The Gatherings consist of performances by local talent which is offered free to the public.

James told me it’s an opportunity for local dancers, musicians, comedians and performers to get in front of an audience to express themselves and show what they can do. At the time of the October 21st Gathering, James had organized and hosted nine of them year to date.



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Bronx Museum & Art Galleries Bronx NYC | bronx museum bronx art galleries bronx art museums and galleries south bronx cultural centers in the bronx nyc
Bronx Museum & Art Galleries Bronx NYC

Bronx Museum Anarchitect Closing & Pig Roast

Anarchitect Closing Celebrated w/ Pig Roast on 2nd Floor Patio

March 27, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx South / Bronx Art & Museums / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On Sunday the Bronx Museum held the closing reception for its exhibit entitled Anarchitect. The closing was held on the second floor of the musem and they sold tickets for folks to come and enjoy a pork sandwich prepared by a chef and enjoy a beer made by the Bronx Brewery.

It was a sunny and cool March afternoon as I made my way north on the #4 subway line. I had to get off at 38th Street and take the #1 bus because work was being done on the #4 line.

When I arrived the Bronx Museum cafe was fairly busy and folks were milling around. After checking in I headed up to the second floor to see what was happening.

Bronx Museum Hosts Pig Roast & Bronx Brewery Beer

bronx restaurants bronx bars bronx pubs bronx nycThere's a patio that opens up from the back of the second floor, and oftentimes the museum hosts various artistic and cultural events there. Today, there was a skewered pig roasting over a bed of coals. Chef Angel Jimenez of Lechonera La Pirana, which is a two food truck restaurant that may be found at at 152nd Street and Wales Avenue in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, had prepared the feast. Jimenez who came from Puerto Rico in 1984 has been cooking and feeding his restaurant guests for over a decade. Lechonera La Pirana translates literally into something like Piglet the Pirahna, but I'm guessing means something like devouring pork.

I sampled one of the roasted pork sandwiches and decided to eat it plain, even though everyone else was adding catsup. The pork inside the bread was juicy, flavorful and skillfully cooked, so I didn't need the catsup - but that said next time I'm going to try it. There was a bit of skin included with the pork cuts which I took out. I also sampled a Bronx Brewery beer, which had a citrus name added to it. And again, I was delightfully surprised by the clean, crisp flavor of a medium bodied brew. I hope to sample more of each in the future.

There were a number of people there, from what appeared to be many walks of life, of various ages and in an eclectic mix of small groups of friends and family. I decided I should pay my respects to the artwork, having taken a little break, so I made my way down into the exhibit rooms.

The Bronx Museum Tries to Capture & Reflect one of NYC's Most Fascinating Boroughs

bronx museum bronx art museum bronx art galleries bronx art bronx nycThe first stop was the exhibit room located between the second and first floors. In the room were a number of thick paint on canvass pieces created by Angel Otero and the exhibit was entitled Elegies.

According to the curator, Christian Vivero-Faune, the work references the late Robert Motherwell who between 1948 and 1967 created over 200 paintings which he entitled Elegy to the Spanish Republic, which laments the Spanish Civil War.

Christian tells us that Otero's Elegies aren't elegies in the traditional sense, but are a medium with which to contemplate one's own losses. I found the bright, colorful abstracts works soothing and cheerful.

Click here to continue reading our report about the Bronx Museum in the Concourse neighborhood, including a closer look at the exhibit entitled Anarchitect by Gordon Matta-Clarke. We have also included photos of the work and of the pig roast social on the second floor patio.



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Delivers Bronx State of the Borough Address  | bronx borough president ruben diaz state of the borough address 2018 at bronx science high school bronx nyc ruben diaz sr was also there
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Delivers Bronx State of the Borough Address

Ruben Diaz Delivers State of the Borough Address

Bronx Borough President Provides Holistic Overview of Borough Affairs

February 26, 2018 / Bedford Park Neighborhood Central Bronx / Bronx Politics & Government / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I attended Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz’s State of the Borough Address last Thursday at the Bronx Science High School in the Bronx neighborhood of Bedford Park.

There was a reception that began at 10.30 am and the speech was scheduled to begin at 11.30 am. I arrived a bit after Bronx President Ruben Diaz began his speech.

Diaz began by talking about how much things had improved since he became Bronx Borough President. Crime is down, as homicides have dropped below 100 for the fifth straight year, and he told us that this year was the lowest year on record. He told us that employment is up, that the Bronx has a 5.5% unemployment rate and that 110,000 new jobs have been added since he took office as the Bronx Borough President in 2009. Diaz said that school graduation rates are up, and drop outs are down, but that the Bronx still has the lowest math and reading scores in the city. He went on to say that many high school graduates are unprepared for the future.

The Bronx Borough President noted that there is still far more to do. And it was about what needs to be done, that he spoke about at his 9th State of the Borough Address.

Public Education in the Bronx & NYC is Underfunded

Regarding education, he told us that NYC schools continue to be underfunded. He allocated $20 million last year to technology and auditorium upgrades, and has allocated $60 million on 400 schools since he took office eight years ago. He said that over 50% of NYC schools are overcrowded, and that 60% of elementary and middle school kids were in overcrowded classes last year. He said he would like to see the Department of Education [aka DOE] cap classes at 22 students.

Are Schools in the Bronx & Ethnic Communities Underperforming?

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said that he has been working with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to address what he termed an uneven playing field for Blacks and Latinos. He said that while Blacks and Latinos represented 44% of those taking the Specialized High School Admissions tests, they only received 10% of the offers.

It’s worth noting that this skew is possibly the result of using the test scores to place students. But even if so – it still illustrates the problem of unequal opportunity. And lower test scores by Blacks and Latinos, may be due to underperforming schools in their neighborhoods, which represents a more deeply embedded educational opportunity inequality.



History of the Bronx Zoo in New York City | history of the bronx zoo in nyc bronx zoo history bedford park belmont neighborhoods near the bronx zoo nyc
History of the Bronx Zoo in New York City

History of the Bronx Zoo in New York City

The Bronx Zoo is one of the Best City Zoos on the Planet

September 27, 2017 / Central Bronx Neighborhoods - Belmont / Bronx History / Bronx Things to do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The Bronx Zoo is, as the headline says, one of the best zoos in the world. It offers visitors a day of amazing discoveries and safe exploration of natural wild life. The Bronx Zoo stands on 250 acres of land that is cut through by the Bronx River. Inside are tall trees, a wide array of bird species, wild jungle animals shown in habitats resembling their origin, polar mammals, gorillas, snaky reptiles and as Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz would say, “Lions and tigers and bears … Oh my!”

The Bronx Zoo is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. They offer kids rides, a shuttle and select participation in the feedings. There are several public feedings scheduled daily including feeding the Sea Lions at 11 am and 3 pm, with the Penguins being fed at 3.30 pm. In addition they offer an assortment of programs for classes for school aged children and other groups.

The Bronx Zoo also offers a ‘4-D’ theater where you can see real wildlife, a seasonal Asian monorail that takes you through a replicated Asian wildlife refuge, and seasonal camel rides. These are in addition to the feedings mentioned above.

There are four main entrances to the Bronx Zoo. The first is Gate A or the Asia Gate [Bug Carousel} located along the west side of the Bronx Zoo along toward Southern Blvd at about 183rd Street. The second is Gate B, is located off Boston Road, which you get to by heading south on Bronx Park East off the Pelham Parkway. This entrance is located along the east side of the zoo in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood. And the third is Gate C, which is located at the north end of the zoo – and home to the famous gates – along East Fordham Road between Southern Blvd between Bronx Park East. There’s a fourth gate which is located off the parking area adjacent to the Gate B entrance, located on the south east area of the park.

The Bronx Zoo opened in 1899, a year after the City of New York allotted 250 acres to the New York Zoological Society to develop a zoo, to preserve native animals and promote an interest in Zoology. The Bronx Zoo opened as the New York Zoological Park.

A former Smithsonian employee who was a conservationist, zoologist, taxidermist and author, namely William Temple Hornaday, was signed on as the Director of the Bronx Zoo where he remained for the next 30 years. Hornaday was driven by the desire to build a world class zoological institution and by all accounts today, he appears to have succeeded.

Click here to read the rest of our report about the Bronx Zoo - things to do in the Bronx.



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Parkchester Neighborhood - St Raymonds Catholic Schools in the Bronx | st raymond's catholic schools bronx st raymonds boy high school parkchester bronx st raymonds girls academy bronx st raymonds catholic elementary school in parkchester east bronx nyc
Parkchester Neighborhood - St Raymonds Catholic Schools in the Bronx

St Raymonds Girls & Boys High Schools in the Bronx

St Raymond's is the Oldest Catholic Church & Largest Cemetery in the Bronx

December 10, 2017 / Parkchester Neighborhood East Bronx / Bronx Private Schools / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This past summer I took a long bike ride from Central Bronx to City Island. As I made my way along a busy East Tremont Avenue, I noticed a near magnificent Church with expansive surrounding grounds. I shot a few photos, and studied it for a while, taking note that this was St Raymonds in the Bronx. The cross street was Castle Hill Avenue and it was located in the northeast corner of Parkchester.

When I returned home, I looked up St. Raymonds, where I discovered a great deal of history and lore about the institution dating back 175 years to the post Colonial / Pre-Modern era of the Bronx.

St. Raymond's Parish in Parkchester in the Bronx

The land upon which the Church now stands, was purchased in 1842 by Reverend John Hughes who converted the barn into a church. In 1843 construction on a proper church began, and it was completed two years later in 1845 on the feast day of St. Raymond Nonnatus - which is where the parish got its name. St. Raymond Nonnatus spent his life freeing Christians from captivity in the 13th century in Spain and is considered a patron saint of pregnant mothers, because he was delivered by Caesarean section and his mother died. The church was the first Roman Catholic church erected in the Bronx.



City Island Art Fair

Where City, Sea & Country Meet in the Bronx

bronx things to do bronxSeptember 18, 2017 / East Bronx Neighborhoods - City Island / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Just over a week ago, I made my way to City Island to take in their bi-annual art fair. The art fairs are organized by the City Island Chamber of Commerce and generally held the first weekend in June and the second weekend in September.

 

The art fair generally runs about three blocks along City Island Avenue [the main north / south street] between Fordham Street and Schofield Street. There’s a small public space, Hawkins Park, which lies across from the Chamber of Commerce, and is generally the epicenter of all the fun. When I arrived there was a live band performing and some light food and beverage was being served.

 

It’s a quaint art fair and has the faint air of a south Long Island beach town. Most of the residents show up for a spell, and the street fair offerings range from handmade drawings and paintings to jewelry to locally made culinary delights. But that’s not all, as there are tables of objets d’art for the home, books, hand knit sweaters and scarves and leather goods.

 

bronx things to do bronxComplementing the art fair offerings are the quaint stores and restaurants lining City Island Avenue. The shops that line the street offer antiques, old fashioned variety store offerings as well as ice cream, drinks and food.

 

There are a couple of tourist attractions on the island including the City Island Nautical Museum [only open weekends from about 12 noon to 5 pm] and the historic Samuel Pell house, which is privately owned.

 

Perhaps one of the biggest attractions is the sense of having gotten away. The small island isn’t that populated yet, although the main street is pretty heavily trafficked given how remote the island is. But one can easily walk the island, and find water views at nearly every restaurant. On this particular day, it was warm and sunny and many folks were enjoying their meals outside.

City Island on the Bronx is where the city actually does get some sleep.


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Golfing in Historic Van Cortlandt Park

van cortlandt park bronx neighborhoods nycApril 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Sports & Parks / Bronx Buzz NYC 5/17.

The Spring is a good time to get out the golfing clubs to continue or resume work on a golf game. The sport is aerobic and good for one's health, regardless of gender.

Van Cortlandt Park is home to one of the oldest continuous operational golf courses in the United States, dating back well over a century.

The Van Cortlandt golf course in the Van Cortlandt neighborhood of the Bronx is pretty easily accessible by subway, coming up along the Upper West Side of Manhattan on the #1 train.

In addtion to the golf course, there's a public swimming pool and an historic home that's worth a visit. Golfing with a cart costs about $46 / person for late-in-the-day golfing and $70 per person with a cart during prime time. Subtract about $20 for the cart on the off-hours and maybe subtract about $30 for the cart during prime time.

Also in Van Cortlandt Park is the Van Cortlandt House Museum. The Van Cortlandt House is reortedly the oldest house in the Bronx borough as it was built in 1746.


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Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in the Bronx

bronx street fairs bronx street festivals bronx April 4, 2018 / Bronx Farmers Markets / Bronx Street Fairs / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A few Bronx farmers markets might be open year round, but most of them are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Bronx farmers markets will begin opening in the Spring of 2018, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July of 2018. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in the Bronx.

Bronx street fairs, on the other hand, are entirely seasonal. Some of them hit the streets as early as April 2018. The number of Bronx street fairs rises during the late spring and continues through the dog days of summer [July / August], including into the late part of the Fall. By the end of November the Bronx street fairs go on hiatus, with a few returning as early as April. Click here to view a full schedule of the Bronx street fairs.


Cigars Made the Old Fashioned Way

February 19, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx cigar shops bronx cigar makers handmade cigars in bronx belmont nycA while back I was strolling through Bronx Little Italy on Arthur Avenue. I spent a bit of time inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market which was founded back in the 1930's by one of NYC's most famous Mayors, Italian American Fiorello LaGuardia. The market was an effort by the former Mayor to clean up Arthur Avenue as many vendors sold their goods out in the open air on the street.

Inside the old-fashioned, indoor market there are a dozen or more vendors selling food and other items. The vendor that caught my interest on this particular voyage, was the cigar maker busily toling away, rolling his fresh tobacco products on a table near the front of the market.

LCD Cigars bills itself as the original cigar of Arthur Avenue. The cigar maker comes from Latin America and has many years of experience making fine cigars. I bought a couple to bring home and enjoyed the smooth draw of the fresh rolled man-sized cigars.

I misplaced my notes of that voyage, but in addition to the rolling table where he makes cigars, he operates a small store which sells a selection of cigars and accessories, like cases to protect the cigars while traveling - one of which I purchased to ensure the cigars would make it safely home. You can find him in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market or buy from him online at LCDCigars.com.


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Italian Restaurants & Arthur Avenue

April 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx Restaurants Little Italy / Bronx Buzz NYC 5/17.

arthur avenue bronx italian restaurants arthur avenue belmont neighborhood bronxI visited Arthur Avenue recently while exploring the central neighborhoods in the Bronx. Arthur Avenue is known as the Little Italy of the Bronx because Italians have owned and operated restaurants there for nearly a century.

The street is only five blocks long and is located just south of Fordham University, beginning at the north end at Fordham Road. Near the center of Arthur Avenue is a retail emporium called the Arthur Avenue Retail Market that legend says that Fiorello LaGuardia spearheaded back in the 1930's.

The Arthur Avenue Retail Market is home to a number of shops and restaurants including the maker of handmade cigars, as well as a local brew pub.

Along the rest of Arthur Avenue you'll find some quaint streets, as well as a number of Italian restaurants and bakeries.

Arthur Avenue is located near both the Bronx Zoo and the Bronx Botanical Gardens, so it's a nice place to refresh either on your way in or on your way out.

The photo at right was taken at Enzo's Restaurant across from the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.


Click here to view our report about Bronx Halloween parties NYC and Bronx New Years parties NYC.


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NYC / NYS Congestion Pricing 3.0

NYS Senators Liz Krueger & Brad Hoylman Host Community Transit Discussion

nyc congestion pricing nycMarch 5, 2018 / Midtown Manhattan / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was a cool Thursday evening as I made my way to the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown. The CUNY Graduate Center is located on Fifth Avenue just north of 34th Street kiddy-corner from the Empire State Building.

I was headed to a community discussion about the public transit crisis facing NYC. I suppose, not surprising, was that one of the Congestion Pricing representatives, Alex Matthiessen, was there to present. Alex started out the conversation with a presentation of the new Congestion Pricing Plan, which is now called Fix NYC, telling us how this Congestion Pricing plan was different from the two prior ones floated by the Bloomberg Administration and by Mattheissen’s Move NY group a few years back.

Click here to read our report about NYC Congestion Pricing posted in March 2016 when we took a pretty in-depth view at who has been pushing this plan [consultancies & businesses that will profit from the infrastructure build out], how much of the London implementation revenue went back into improvements in that city [about 50%], how congestion pricing didn’t reduce traffic, but time shifted traffic in a New Jersey bridge / tunnel implementation [they had claimed emissions reductions and used a ‘green’ label to promote the last version of this plan], and other important things to consider regarding implementing a ‘new and improved’ congestion pricing system along the East River Bridges.

nyc congestion pricing nycMatthiessen started by telling us things we all know, from firsthand use of the century-old subway system, that is the backbone of the NYC public transit system – namely that it’s crowded and has been slowing down due to capacity constraints, maintenance and improvements like the installation of the new signaling system which should enable the MTA to insert more cars on the track.

He then switched to the tolling on the bridges used by private motorists, where he talked about the toll structure, which he characterized as ‘unfair’, telling us that the motorists who use the East River Bridges are getting a free ride. I couldn’t help but think that many of the motorists, who generally work and / or live in the boroughs, pay pretty huge sums of money in property or business taxes and / or rent, so to characterize them as getting a free ride didn’t seem to factor in the whole scenario.

He then showed us the ‘Fix NYC’ plan which would change these rates, raising them for the East River Bridges and for Manhattan riders south of 60th Street, while reducing them for the bridges heading to New Jersey or upstate New York. The last piece of his presentation included a timeline for the implementation of this plan, which included:

1) Identifying ‘transit deserts’ where public transit isn’t that effective.
2) Imposing added fees on for hire vehicles like taxies, Uber and others operating in the south of 60th Street Manhattan zone.
3) Set up and begin operating tolls on all East River bridges, with some possible exceptions.
4) ‘Lock boxing’ the revenue so that it can’t be used for other political agendas.

What I found interesting about the ‘Fix NYC’ plan versus the prior version, the ‘Move NY’ plan was:

nyc congestion pricing nyc1) That they weren’t making the misleading claims previously proffered about saving the environment by reducing traffic.
2) They continued not to discuss the expense of the implementation and operation, nor about what percentage of the proceeds will actually make it to funding public transit improvements [not that I would necessarily believe the ‘estimates’, as in political implementations they are all too frequently underestimated on the cost side and overestimated on the revenue side].
3) And none of this really ‘fixes’ the public transit system, which Matthiessen originally highlighted in the beginning of the presentation – as the subways and buses – not so much the roads. I understand that the buses use the roads, but it’s important to note that buses represent less than 25% of public transit rides.

So, while the ‘Fix NYC’ doesn’t seem to really fix anything, it does appear to be a very expensive method of taxing people for something for which they are already paying in their state and local taxes. Matthiessen told us the plan would raise $1.5 billion, but did not present that as a ‘net of costs’ number. He compared it with other taxation methods like raising gas, sales, auto registration or millionaires’ tax [proposed by Mayor de Blasio], which would cost very little to implement as the infrastructure and operating costs for collecting those taxes are already in place.

Following Matthiessen’s presentation, a panel of speakers came onto the stage. Each then gave a short presentation of who they were and what they’re working on related to NYC’s transit problem.

First up was Polly Trottenberg who is the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. She began by telling us what public transit the city controls versus what is controlled by the state.

To be continued later tonight or tomorrow.


Bronx Shopping Malls, Bronx Shopping Centers & Bronx Shopping Districts | bronx shopping malls bronx shopping centers bronx shopping districts shops and shopping bronx nyc
Bronx Shopping Malls, Bronx Shopping Centers & Bronx Shopping Districts

A Changing Retail Landscape in the Bronx

Bronx Shopping Malls, Bronx Shopping Centers & Bronx Shopping Districts in Transformation

October 18, 2017 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Shops & Shopping Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This is a compendium of many, possibly most of, the largest shopping malls and shopping centers in the Bronx. Over the past decade or so a number of shopping malls have been erected and many existing shopping centers have been renovated / refurbished as the Bronx undergoes the process of transformation and in some areas, gentrification.

I've grouped the shopping malls by geographical location, using the same definitions used in the neighborhood section of this site - South Bronx, Central Bronx, Eastern Bronx and North & Western Bronx.

  • South Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The general boundaries for the South Bronx are the Harlem River to the south and west, the East River to the south and east, White Plains Road to the east and roughly the Cross Bronx Expressway at about 174th Street to the north.
  • Central Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The general boundaries for the Central Bronx are the Cross bronx shopping malls bronx shopping districts bronx shopping centersBronx Expressway at about 174th Street to the south, the Bronx River Parkway [Morris Park & Bronx River Avenues] as well as the Bronx Zoo and NY Botanical Gardens to the east, Woodlawn Cemetery and Van Cortlandt Park to the north and the Major Deegan Expressway [Bailey Avenue] to the west.
  • North & West Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The Major Deegan Expressway [Bailey Avenue] to the east, the northern Bronx boundary around 263rd Street to the north, the Hudson River to the west and the Harlem River to the south.
  • East Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The northern boundary of the Bronx along the north at about Kingsbridge Road [rises further north for Wakefield], the Bronx River Expressway [along Bronx Park East] north of the Cross Bronx Expressway and White Plains Road south of the Cross Bronx Expressway on the west [about 172nd to 177th Streets] and the East River to the south and east [leading into the Long Island Sound].

Click here to read our report about the changing retail landscape in the Bronx, including a solid listing of most of the major Bronx shopping malls, Bronx shopping center and Bronx shopping districts in NYC.



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St Patricks Day Parade Bronx - The Irish Neighborhood of Throgs Neck in the Bronx NYC | st patricks day parade bronx irish neighborhoods bronx nyc st pats parade bronx nyc
St Patricks Day Parade Bronx - The Irish Neighborhood of Throgs Neck in the Bronx NYC

Bronx St Patrick’s Day Parade in Throgs Neck

20th Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Throgs Neck, Bronx

March 12, 2018 / Throgs Neck Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On Sunday I made my way north into a southeastern neighborhood in the Bronx, to attend the 20th annual St Patrick’s Day in Throgs Neck. It's worth mentioning that the Throgs Neck neighborhood is also known as Throggs Neck, and apparently while the double g is the correct name and only spelling of the bridge [Throggs Neck Bridge], the Throgs Neck neighborhood uses both spellings.

It was a chilly Sunday morning, following the switch to Daylight Savings Time, so I began the day running a bit behind schedule, made worse by repair work being done along the #7 subway line in Queens.

The photo to your right shows folks milling along East Tremont where there's an Throgs Neck St Patrick's Day Parade after parade party.

 

Public Transit Between Flushing Queens & Throgs Neck Bronx

bronx st pats parade throgs neck st patricks day parade photos bronx st pats parade throgs neck photosIn the downtown section of the Flushing neighborhood of Queens I had planned to take the 44 SBS bus, but was [wrongly] advised to wait for the Q50. The Q50 came far less frequently, but it did get me there. That said, it’s worth noting that the 44 SBS would have been faster, because four of them passed me while I was waiting for the Q50.

 

I departed the bus just off the Hutchison River Parkway at Lafayette Street and started walking east passing St Raymond's Cemetery. St. Raymond's Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the city and associated with St. Raymond's Schools [one for Boys and another for girls] in Parkchester. Click here to see an earlier report we did regarding St. Raymond's Schools in nearby Parkchester, which is only a neighborhood [Schuylerville] away.

 



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Jeff Klein IDC vs No IDC NY - Independent Democratic Caucus in the Bronx | jeff klein independent democratic caucus bronx IDC bronx No IDC NY nyc nys bronx nyc
Jeff Klein IDC vs No IDC NY - Independent Democratic Caucus in the Bronx

Jeff Klein's IDC: Republicans Running as Dems?

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with Republicans which Enables Republicans to Control the NYS Senate

March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

There's an NYS State and Federal election this year. The primaries will be held on Thursday, September 13th; instead of on Tuesday, September 11th, in recognition of 911. And the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

As in any year, the elections are important, but perhaps made more so this year, by what appears to be the anarchistic destruction and disrespect, for our government institutions and processes, by Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump Republicans: Debt Bomb Deficits Levied on America's Children to Enrich the Richest?

The Donald passed a stimulus tax bill that is expected to increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and there are some pundits who put the figure higher. He and the Republicans passed this budget busting stimulus tax bill, while the economy was operating at levels considered above a full employment economy [5% unemployment is considered standard / normal] and at a time when wages were rising over 2%.

Inflation above 2% is considered to be detrimental to economic stability by the Federal Reserve, so stimulating the economy while it's at full employment with rising wages is about the opposite of what makes sense, especially when you consider the funding for it is coming from America's children and most of the benefits for it are going to the wealthiest people on the planet. We posted a report analyzing the Trump Tax Reform Bill slightly before it was finalized, which includes a lot of facts and figures to help provide context to better understand what was in the bill they passed.

The Independent Democratic Caucus Aligns with NYS Senate Republicans & Gives Them Control

In 2010 / 2011 NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein broke away from the Democratic Party and formed the Independent Democratic Caucus which aligns with the Republican Party, thereby giving them control of the NYS Senate. The effect of this is that bills passed by the Democratic controlled NYS Assembly are indefinitely tabled, or in lay man's terms pretty much killed, in the Republican-controlled NYS Senate. The Republicans control the NYS Senate, because eight NYS senators who run as Democrats [IDC Independent Democratic Caucus], either vote with or kill bills with the Republicans.

Democratic NYS Assembly Bills Effectively Killed by IDC

According to the Democratic Senate Conference, the Republican controlled NYS Senate - with the help of their Republicans running as Democrats allies - have effectively killed one education bill providing full day kindergarten funding, three wage / leave bills, four voting rights bills including the allowance of early voting, four immigration bills including one related to the DREAM Act, four housing bills including several pertaining to NYC rent laws that help renters, three criminal justice bills including creation of correctional ombudsman and sealing of marijuana possession records [as marijuana is rapidly being legalized in states across the country], one related to LGBTQ issues, and six regarding healthcare, several of which pertain to women's reproductive rights.

The IDC Deception: Republicans Running as Democrats?

The net effect of this is that Democrats are, in a sense, cheated or tricked out of their majority by what appears to be Republicans running as Democrats. The Independent Democratic Caucus or IDC includes Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx, who founded the IDC, David Valesky of Oneida and Madison Counties in upstate New York, David Carlucci of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Diane Savino of Staten Island / Brooklyn, Tony Avella of Queens, Jose Peralta of Queens, Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, and Marisol Alcantera of Washington Heights / Manhattan. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn also runs as a Democrat and caucuses with the Republicans.



Trump Tax Plan: A Morally Bankrupt President’s Gift?

Are Billionaires Trump & Murdoch Bilking America’s Unborn Babies?

trump tax plan for rich billionaires steals from americas unborn babies trump tax plan sucksUpdated 12/26/17 _ December 19, 2017 / New York City Neighborhoods / New York City Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Like many of you, I have been watching the Trump Tax plan make its way through Congress. While Trump and his cohorts were whipping together the tax package, I was doing research on the possible implications of some of their tax policy proposals.

According to an October 20, 2017 PolitiFact report [based on the plan at that time, which has since been modified],

"... in the first year of changes, the top 1 percent are projected to draw a little over half the tax savings. The threshold of 80 percent going to the top 1 percent is projected for the tenth year."

While directionally this statement is likely to hold [meaning the plan is biased toward the rich], the exact numbers as to how biased the Trump Tax Plan will be for the wealthy - based on the final bill - remains to be calculated.

In this report we look at a number of tax cuts included in the final bill including repatriation of overseas profits, reduction of the estate tax, reduction of the corporate tax and the blue vs red state tax increase. We include a review questioning why the Trump Administration is pushing this deficit expanding / debt increasing fiscal stimulus package - when we're in a full employment economy with rising wages. We also include how the Trump Tax Cut Plan has been treated propagandistically by Rupert Murdoch's media outlets, as he appears to personally and corporately benefit immensely from the tax cuts.

But before we begin, we take you on a quick review at some key characteristics and prior dealings of the man behind the plan – Donald J. Trump.


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