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Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets | bronx things to do holidays bronx xmas events bronx christmas tree lightings bronx hannukah menorah lightings bronx kwanzaa candle lightings bronx holiday events bronx holiday holiday things to do bronx nyc 11.14.18 - 626
Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets

Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do

Bronx Holiday Shopping, Bronx Christmas Tree Lightings, Bronx Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Bronx Kwanzaa Candle Lightings & Bronx Holiday Markets

Updated December 14, 2018 from 11/18/18 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Holiday Events / Bronx Events & Things To Do / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The holidays are a special time of the year. In ancient times there were harvest celebrations to give thanks and enjoy the bounty of the year after a long season / year of work.

There were also winter solstice celebrations to commemorate the end of the darkening of the skies. Many cultures celebrate with a festival of lights, and in Christian cultures the holidays are marked with holiday lighting, tree lightings, candle lightings - as well as the celebration of giving through the most well known and most generous man in the world - Santa Claus.

Meanwhile, back in the Bronx we celebrate in a number of ways, which carry on some of these ancient traditions. The following provides the dates / times / locales and some details regarding many of the various Bronx holiday celebrations and Bronx holiday markets for folks to enjoy between now and the end of the year.

Click here to read our report about Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do NYC.



Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC | bronx new years eve parties bronx new year eve restaurants bronx new years eve celebrations diners restaurants cafes new years bronx NYE bronx nyc usa 11.14.18 - 905/1049dec11
Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC

Bronx New Years Eve Parties & NYE Restaurants Bronx

New Years Eve Parties in Mott Haven, Port Morris, Melrose, Fordham, Concourse, Parkchester, Bedford Park, Belmont, University Heights Neighborhoods in the Bronx

ADDITIONS COMING WEEK OF 12/18 - 21 / December 13, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Holiday Events / Bronx Events & Things To Do / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

New Years Eve occurs on a Sunday this year, meaning that it's going to be one helluva party weekend. It looks like the celebrations begin as early as Thursday or Friday before winding down for the year.

While New Years Eve is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like St. Patrick's Day, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

Click here to read more about our round up of New Years Eve parties in the Bronx - New Years Eve restaurants Bronx.



Bronx Things To Do This Weekend

Los Nutcrackers, St Paul's Holiday Concert, NYBG Bar Car Nights & Holiday Train Show, History, Zoo & Art

bronx things to do bronxDecember 14, 2018 / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 50 on Friday and Saturday, dropping into the low 40's on Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 40's on Friday, dropping to the high 30's on Saturday and Sunday. A third of an inch of Rain is forecast with a probability of 60% late Friday, ending early Saturday, with the rest of Saturday looking good. But on Sunday the probability of another third inch of rain rises to 80%, the threat of which lasts throughout the day, ending about 8 pm - so you should be able to do things, but may run into a bit of rain sometime in the day. Winds will be 10 - 12 mph on Friday and Saturday, rising to a gusty 20 mph on Sunday. The Humidity will be in the high 70% range throughout the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

The photo at right shows a view of Manhattan from the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx along the #4 subway line earlier this week.

 

Friday & Weekend - Los Nutcrackers & Holiday Train Show at NYBG

bronx things to do bronxThe photo at right shows La Isla Community Garden on a cold wintry day earlier this week. One of the members told me that about one hundred people attended their first holiday celebration in the garden in the Highbridge neighborhood of 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 / Weekend tickets are $30 / $28 / $18 and weekedays $23 / $20 / $10 / under 2 free]. The holiday train show is currently running - click the holiday events link below for details.

The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance or BAAD Bronx at 2474 Westchester Avenue is hosting a presenting a performance Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo beginning Friday, November 30 & Saturday, December 1, 6, 7, 8, 14 & 15 [$25 / $20 at www.baadbronx.org].

The Bronx Zoo is located at 2300 Southern Blvd in the Fordham Manor neighborhood of the Bronx. Admission $70 / $40 for designated drivers. 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].

Holiday shopping and holiday events are underway. Click for details of Bronx holiday events & markets.

 

Saturday - BAAD Los Nutcrackers & Bar Car Nights at NYBG

bronx things to do bronxThe photo at right shows the Holiday Lights & Christmas tree in the plaza of the HUB shopping district in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx on Monday.

Bar Car Nights at NY Botanical Gardens at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham and Belmont neighborhoods on Saturday from 7 - 10.30 pm for adults 21 and older. Purchase food at the Bronx holiday market pop up, and drinks from seasonal bars, before or after visiting the holiday train show [always on] at night. Visit the fire pits at the Leon Levy Visitor Center, see ice sculpting demonstrations, listen to dueling pianos at the Pine Tree Cafe and listen to roving acapella groups. Weekend tickets are $30 / $28 / $18 and weekedays $23 / $20 / $10.

The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance or BAAD Bronx at 2474 Westchester Avenue is hosting a presenting a performance Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo beginning Friday, November 30 & Saturday, December 1, 6, 7, 8, 14 & 15 [$25 / $20 at www.baadbronx.org].

At Wave Hill at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood there are weekend programs including walks and talks [$8 / $4 / $2 / parks / history].

Holiday shopping and holiday events are almost done. Click for details of Bronx holiday events & markets.

See events posted above that run thru Friday & Weekend and scroll down for Bronx Farmers Markets and Bronx Street Fairs and Festivals.

 

Sunday - St Paul's Holiday Concert in Parkchester

bronx things to do bronx The photo at right shows a street scene in the Highbridge Neighborhood of the Bronx. Highbridge has an interesting view, as it literally looks down on Manhattan.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church located at 1891 McGraw Avenue in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx will host the 37th annual concert beginning at 4.30 pm. It's a holiday event favorite which they describe as,

"Celebrate the Yuletide season with Handel's Messiah ... The Bronx Concert Singers (BCS) and music director Robert René Galván ... [perform] ... their 37th Annual Holiday Concert ... with professional soloists and orchestra, at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church...".

Tickets cost $20 / $15 / $5 at www.brownpapertickets.com / Tel - 718.822.4535.

At Wave Hill at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood there are weekend programs including walks and talks [$8 / $4 / $2 / parks / history].

The Bronx Zoo is located at 2300 Southern Blvd in the Fordham Manor neighborhood of the Bronx. Admission $70 / $40 for designated drivers. 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].

See events posted above that run thru Friday & Weekend and scroll down for Bronx Farmers Markets and Bronx Street Fairs and Festivals.

Holiday shopping and holiday events are almost done. Click for details of Bronx holiday events & markets.

 

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 opened a new group exhibit entitled A Different World on Friday November 2nd. There will be a closing festival on Friday, November 30th and on Saturday December 1st. The gallery hours are Wed - Fri 12 noon - 6.30 pm and on Saturday 12 noon - 5 pm. You sometimes need an rsvp for special events, which you can obtain at www.bronxartspace.com [free].

* The Bartow-Pell Mansion is hosting a film screening of The Women of the Ramapough / The Lenape Nation from 2 - 4 pm. Free w/ admission at www.bartowpellmansionmuseum.org.

Pregones / Doc Film.

Week Beginning 12.17.18 - TBD

TBD.

 

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. Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx.

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above.

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


USPS Service Alert for December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Business / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Donald Trump proclaimed Wednesday, December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.  Out of respect for the 41st President of the United States ... and consistent with the Presidential Proclamation, the United States Postal Service will suspend regular mail deliveries, retail services and administrative office activity on December 5, 2018. 

The U.S.Postal Service informs us that they,

"will provide limited package delivery service on that day to ensure that our network remains fluid and we do not experience any impacts to our package delivery operations that might negatively affect our customers or business partners during the remainder of our busy holiday season."


Thanksgiving – America’s Communal Holiday

The Pilgrims Legacy: Love, Sharing & Community Empowerment

thanksgiving day senitments nyc what thanksgiving day means to meNovember 19, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / Thanksgiving Holidays in NYC / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

For the past couple of days, I’ve been searching for something to say about the Thanksgiving holiday.

My Mother died this Fall, and it will be my first Thanksgiving without a living parent, so I reckon that’s led me to musings about who we are, and what we’re doing, and why we’re all here.

If you’re looking for answers to those questions in this little story, I can save you a few minutes by telling you that you won’t find any definitive answers here.

Anyhow, after various false starts, I happened upon a childhood storybook that I had saved since I was a first grader. I was young enough to still like fairytales and old enough to be learning to read. The book, A Gateway to Storyland, by Platt & Munk Co, was given to me around the holidays. The fairytale storybook contains a warm, loved feeling that I oftentimes get when I open it. When I was younger I read it numerous times, as the words and the illustrations fed the imagination.

 

Unselfish Parental Love Manifested by Empowering Progeny

Love comes in many forms, but the purest form is unselfish love. The love of truly giving something with no thought of anything in return. That love is likely most often given generationally – from parents to children – from one generation to another. And one of the greatest gifts is the gift of teaching someone something that they will be able to put to good use throughout their lives. Parents do this all the time, when they teach their children's skills and impart some of their knowledge and wisdom ... just as my parents did many years ago, by giving me a well illustrated fairytale book to encourage my learning to read.

Pilgrims: Shared Communal Resources to Actualize a Dream

At Thanksgiving time we commemorate one of America’s first settlements, founded by the risk-taking, resource-pooling, communal sharing Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims were early English settlers who arrived on these shores in the early 17th century [1600’s]. They came here because they wanted a measure of freedom and self-determination that they were forbidden in Europe or what we call the ‘old country’. They wanted to practice their faith in a way that differed from the established Church of England. They took great risks, pooled / shared their communal resources to obtain a ship, the Mayflower, to cross the Atlantic in mid September of 1620, landing here at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on November 9, 1620.

 

Help Comes from a Foreign People in a Strange Land

Per Wikipedia, they survived a hard winter in 1621 with the help of the Wampanoag, an American Indian tribe. The Pilgrims were the immigrants, and the Indian natives welcomed them. The Wampanaog taught the Pilgrims how to catch eels, and how to grow and harvest corn. Thus the Pilgrims ended 1621 with a good harvest which they celebrated and shared with their new friends, expressing their thanks to a higher power, aka God, for the success of their endeavors. Hence the celebration entered into American lore, as the first Thanksgiving.


NYC Marathon Runs Through the Bronx

Since 1976 the NYC Marathon Has Run Through the Bronx

November 13, 2018 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Sports / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On November 4th, 2018 over 52,000 runners traversed the lower part of the Bronx borough. The Bronx is part of a 26 mile long course that's been used by the NYC Marathon for a long while.

According to Wikipedia the current race configuration was first outlined and used in 1976. Wikipedia also reports that the NYC Marathon is the largest marathon in the world. The NYC Marathon originated in 1970, running around Central Park, but picked up so much interest that it was expanded just six years later to its current five borough course.

Literally tens of thousands come out to watch the runners traverse their neighborhoods. And the locals are joined by likely tens of thousands more, who come to cheer their runners onward. The spectators come from all over the nation and all around the world. It's a very festive day / weekend and the city is packed with visitors.

Generally the NYC Marathon weekend officially begins in Central Park with official festivities, the configuration of which has been evolving over the years. The race is generally sponsored by a large national or multi-national company, which uses the event promotionally to create awareness around their brand name. I've noticed that recently the branded promotional merchandising of items appears to have expanded significantly.

This year I covered the NYC Marathon in Brooklyn, but below is a video I shot in the Bronx in 2017, but didn't post. It's still a short, fun one and a half minute watch. Enjoy.


Ballot Questions Tuesday

Most Pols Urge Folks to Vote Yes - I Respectfully Disagree

November 5, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / New Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Tomorrow on your ballot you will find three ballot initiatives which appear designed to encourage participation in the electoral process. One pol informed me that NY State had the 8th lowest turnout in the nation in 2016 and these ballot initiatives are an effort to engage the public.

Most NYC public officials have come out in favor of the initiatives, with their rationale being that it will encourage participation by the electorate. While I applaud their initiative and efforts, I disagree with the specific proposals.

#1. Campaign Finance. To increase public matching from 6:1 to 8:1. To reduce the maximum campaign contribution from up to $5,100 for Mayor to $2,000 and from $3,950 to $1,500 for city council members. To reduce the requirements to qualify for those funds. And to make those funds available earlier in the campaign.

I like the idea of increasing the matching from 6:1 to 8:1 as an incentive to increase voter participation in elections. But that's where my support for this proposal ends. If my reading of the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2009 / 2010 in the Citizens United Case is correct that part of the ballot proposal is unconstitutional. While I don't know the specifics of how they've loosened the requirements to qualify for matching public funds or exactly how soon a candidate can access them - I've yet to hear of any major viable candidate complaining that their inability to qualify for or access public matching funds caused them to drop out of or lose a race. So making it easier for political candidates to obtain public money doesn't seem like a good idea to me - but I certainly understand why it would seem like a good idea to pols.

#2. A Civic Engagement Commission. To establish a civic engagement commission of 15 members, with 8 appointed by the Mayor, 2 by the City Council Speaker, 1 by each of the five Borough Presidents. The Commission Chair would be appointed by the Mayor and given a staff. The mission of this group would be to encourage civic engagement in the budgeting process by working with local groups and setting up translators at local poll sites.

How different is this from the role played by the Community Boards? The NYC.gov website states,

"The purpose of each New York City Community Board is to encourage and facilitate the participation of citizens within City government within their communities, and the efficient and effective organization of agencies that deliver municipal services in local communities and boroughs."

This seems redundantly bureaucratic to me. Instead of adding layers of bureaucracy, they should be working to make the existing government apparatus more meaningful and effective.

#3. Set Term Limits For Community Boards & Require Borough Presidents to Seek out Diversity. They want to limit Community Board members to four consecutive two year terms. And require Borough Presidents to seek out diverse people to serve as board members.

The only place I like term limits is in the Executive branch - because that's where most of the real power is vested. I don't like term limiting council members, assembly members, congress[wo]men or Senators because they are the locus of institutional knowledge. So I don't like seeing community board members term limited because they understand how the system works, and by the time the new ones move up the learning curve, term limits forces them from office, leaving those who lobby these groups with most of the control.

As for diversity - I'm all for it - but there are plenty of anti-discrimination laws already in place. At some point people have to begin to organize and stand up for themselves. Based upon the last eleven years of local reporting, the people of NYC appear to be pretty good at doing that. And if people feel they are being discriminated against, I suggest seeing a non-profit or for profit attorney about pressing your case.


Election Day Tuesday 11/6 - Please Vote

November 5, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / Gotham Buzz NYC.

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

The New York State general election is tomorrow - Tuesday, November 5th.

The polling booths will be open from 6 am to 9 pm Tuesday.

To find your poll location click on the graphic above.

Once on the website, input your address, and then click the icon to the right of it to get the results of the search. You have to look for the super-tiny icon near the lower right corner of the screen.


Joe Crowley Runs Against Candidate of the Party he Chairs

Crowley’s Name is on the Ballot - BUT NOT AS A DEMOCRAT

October 29, 2018 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

I can just see it now 'Crowley Wins'.

On Wednesday morning, November 7th, our television screens will be filled with video and interviews with Congressman Joe Crowley. The reporters will be asking him how he won back the congressional seat he lost in the Democratic primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - by running as the 14th District Congressional candidate on the Working Families and Women’s Equality tickets.

I can see Joe Crowley, who seemed not to really concede to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez back in June, tell the cameras how “honored and humbled” he is to have received the majority vote of the 14th District – even though he was running AGAINST the candidate of the party he chaired.

 

More Political Theater - Coming to a TV Screen Near You?

If this scenario plays out, the political theater will be as worthy of watching as North Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham’s Oscar award winning outrage, which sold the narrative that turned Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh from an alleged compulsive gambler, drunkard and rapist - into the 'dry your tears' victim of the Clintons and the Democrats. It’s worth mentioning that Lindsay Graham’s political committees accepted $800K from the companies of a Russian Oligarch according to OpenSecrets.org.

But in the day of an often-enough propagandistic press [Fox News, WSJ & NY Post], or the oftentimes mindless parrot press [the Mainstream Media TV networks], I wonder whether reporters will ask Crowley why he left his name on the ballot of two other parties, while he chaired the party of the candidate he defeated?

Will the reporters ask Congressman Joseph Crowley why he or the party didn’t recuse him from the Queens Democratic Party Chairmanship, while he challenged the candidate chosen by the Democratic voters in the June 2018 primary?

Will they ask Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley if he worked the Democratic party machinery behind-the-scenes to make sure that Democratic voters would turn out to vote for HIM - NOT the Democratic nominee - on election day?

And will they ask Crowley if he brokered a deal with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Bronx Democratic Party Chairman Marcos A. Crespo to obtain the help of the Bronx Democratic party machinery apparatus to get out the vote for Crowley in exchange for helping Diaz with a [rumored] 2021 mayoral run?

Or will Crowley shy away from getting into tight quarters with reporters [that's why most of Trump comments are done on the helicopter / airplane tarmacs - so he can end the conversation whenever he wants], or only speak with those who will coddle him - like the Donald?

 

Alexandria Wins Primary & Why Crowley Didn't REALLY Concede

In the June primary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won 15,897 votes to Crowley’s 11,761 votes. But in 2016 Crowley received 147,587 votes, to the Republican challenger’s 30,545 votes, so Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has to win ten times more votes in the general election on November 6th than she did in June. And Crowley only has to win a bit more than half the total of Democrats in the general, to defeat both Ocasio-Cortez and the Republican rival.

This seems a steep hill to climb for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – especially if the Democratic machine apparatus run by the Queens and Bronx borough head haunchos, work against the nominee picked by the voters of their party. And this outcome seems somewhere between possible and probable given Crowley’s re-election as Queens Democratic Party Chairman on September 17, 2018 at a meeting held in Flushing where Crowley retained his hold on the Queens Democratic party in a landslide vote he won 60 – 4.

In a September 17, 2018 report the NY Post stated,

“One stunned attendee said the 60 electors acted as if Crowley didn’t lose his own election in a blowout to progressive star Ocasio-Cortez. “They acted like never ever happened. They buried their head deep in the sand. It’s incredible,” the insider said.”

 

Democratic Political Insiders Re-elect Crowley - Were They Voting on Inside Information?

But maybe these political insiders didn’t bury their heads in the sand. Maybe these insiders know how very clever Congressman Joseph Crowley is, as he has managed to hang onto the Democratic Party Chairmanship since 2006, in spite of spending most of his time in Washington, D.C. where he [and his family] have lived for nearly two decades.

So perhaps these insiders expect Crowley to defeat newcomer Ocasio-Cortez on November 6th and that is why Crowley did not make the effort to remove his name from the ballot and - as mentioned above – never really conceded to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

A July 15, 2018 report in the Washington Post tells us,

“Ocasio-Cortez said Crowley had “stood me up” for scheduled concession calls and accused him of seeking to mount a third-party challenge to keep his seat in November.”

The Washington Post goes on,

“Responding directly on Twitter, Crowley blamed Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for the failed calls and said “the race is over.” His showing last month entitled Crowley to run as nominee of the Working Families Party, and vacating the [Working Family] party’s line on the November ballot would entail either changing his address or accepting nomination for another office.”

Crowley’s defense of his remaining on the Working Families Party ticket seems less than sincere given Cynthia Nixon just gave up her position on the Working Families Party ticket as a candidate for NYS Governor, by using the “running for another office” loophole to vacate the spot in favor of NYS Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to an April 16, 2018 report in Politico, the Working Families Party can only select another candidate under certain conditions. They tell us the conditions are that,

“Party leaders can pick a new candidate if their existing candidate dies, moves out of state, or is nominated for another office — usually a judgeship — that might be vacant.”

An October 11, 2018, NY State of Politics report informs us of how easily getting off the ticket really is. They said,

“Nixon formally dropped her bid for governor this month and was transferred by the WFP to an Assembly race; she is not actively campaigning and has endorsed the incumbent Democrat, Deborah Glick. The WFP endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who defeated Nixon in a Democratic primary on Sept. 13.”

So Queens Democratic Party insiders appear, by virtue of their near unanimous re-election of Crowley, to be expecting Crowley to prevail over Ocasio-Cortez. But the Queens pols are not saying this, and the knucklehead media are not reporting this, as it doesn't fit into the Democrat - Republican struggle for control of congress. It's a side show.

 

Odds of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defeating Joseph Crowley?

The historical votes, as noted above, appear to be in Crowley’s favor. Joe Crowley also has deep ties to the Democratic machine in Queens, which he has operated since 2006. And he likely has deep ties to the Bronx Democratic machine, given his length of time in office as the Queens Democratic Party boss. So Ocasio-Cortez is running against the man who chairs the party she represents. What are the odds of her taking away the legislative position of the Queens Democratic party Chairman?

Working in Ocasio-Cortez’s favor is all the publicity she has received as darling of the new Progressive wing of the Democratic party. And she is riding what appears to be a wave of female and minority activism arising in the wake of the tyrannical Donald.

I put in a call to the Working Families Party to get their take on things, but they have not returned the call, which makes sense. They can likely only lose by commenting.

So who will win this race? Nobody is paying attention to it, because either way it’s a highly probable Democratic win. Crowley seems to have all the incumbent structural advantages, while Ocasio-Cortez is riding some gender, ethnic and cultural momentum. I’m no expert, but I’d rate this race a toss-up, or possibly even leaning Crowley. But all I know I just shared with you - so your guess is as good as mine.

But YOU will decide on Tuesday, November 6th ... And then we'll all know.


Bronx Halloween Parties - Bronx Restaurants & Bars Halloween in the Bronx | bronx halloween parties bronx halloween restaurants bronx halloween celebrations mott haven halloween parties fordham halloween parties university heights halloween parties river dale halloween parties city island halloween parties bronx nyc usa 10.27.17 - 54 / 10.15.18 - 725 // 11.14.18 - 1006
Bronx Halloween Parties - Bronx Restaurants & Bars Halloween in the Bronx

Bronx Halloween Parties 2018

Halloween Parties in Mott Haven, Fordham, University Heights & Other Neighborhoods in the Bronx

October 17, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx Restaurants Little Italy / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Halloween occurs on a Wednesday this year. The Bronx Halloween party celebrations begin as early as Friday, October 26th running through the weekend, with some also on Halloween day itself.

Halloween is one big costume party, where the theatrical side of people, is given a small opening. Halloween provides people the opportunity to create and play roles they have wanted to play, that the day-to-day keeps submerged. Is it their Doctor side or their Jekyll side - or something uncategorizable?

In the photo at right is a woman dressed in an interesting mask in a prior year in NYC. In theater professional actors are paid to assume and perform roles, but on Halloween it's an all-volunteer, unpaid, theatrical free-for-all ... but that very chaos of creativity is what also makes it so much fun.

Click here to read more about our round up of Halloween parties in the Bronx 2018 - Halloween restaurants Bronx.



Pregones Theater in the South Bronx

The Bronx is Hitting its Stride as one of NYC's Great Cultural Centers

October 22, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx / Music Dance & Theater Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last summer the Pregones Theater or Teatro Pregones hosted a block party in tandem in the Concourse neighborhood with Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The recognition by Lincoln Center for the quality of Pregones Theater programming, shows just how far Teatro Pregones has come in earning the respect of one of the nation's most elite cultural centers. But this is nothing new for the Bronx these days.

Since gaining recognition for Rap and Hip Hop, the Bronx became known for its music, art and culture. Rap is said to have begun starting in 1973 when the first known hip hop party was thrown by DJ Kook Herc at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the nearby Morris Heights neighborhood in the Bronx.

The Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were organized in the mid 1970's by John Saddler who took the name of Grand Master Flash. One of the Furious Five members, Keef Cowboy, is credited with coming up with the name hip hop. In 1979 The Sugar Hill Gang's Rappers' Delight reportedly brought Rap and Hip Hop into the mainstream. And in the following three decades, Rap and Hip Hop went mainstream, with rappers and hip hop artists emerging from all around the nation and all around the world.

In 2015 Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known as Cardi B, emerged as a national artist, after a few of her videos went viral. In 2017 Kardi B put out a single, Bodack Yellow, that quickly rose to #1. I went to listen to it on Youtube and it uses an Arabian theatrical motif, where Kardi B talks about dancing. Kardi B was formerly a strip club dancer and she rapped about how she doesn't need to dance for 'you' anymore. Once a poor nobody with some looks and talent, Kardi B became a rich and famous somebody almost overnight. Her video has received 668 million views.

Within the same month, Boogie wit da Hoodie , whose birthname is , put out an album, The Bigger Artist, that also went to #1. That video received 21 million views. Thus, these two artists - along with a number of others, moved the Bronx back into the limelight of Rapper / Hip Hop culture.

The reason I mention all of this, is because as you watch the video below, you'll notice the rich cultural poetry, and emerging sense of theater, emanating from two of the guest performers I saw that day. Pregones Theater / Teatro Pregones continues to host other talented artists throughout the year in both Spanish and English ... and if the block party is any indication ... far beyond these two languages alone.


Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont | new york pizza festival belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx arthur ave pizza in the bronx ny pizza festival photos video
Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont

New York Pizza Festival in the Bronx

1st Annual NY Pizza Festival in Bronx Little Italy was a Success

October 7, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

It was a warm, humid afternoon as I made my way north to the Arthur Avenue section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I was on my way to the first annual Pizza Festival hosted by the Belmont BID [Business Improvement District] in the Bronx Little Italy.

As I made my way east from the subway and began to enter the neighborhood, I began to feel the transformation of entering another world. Visiting Bronx Little Italy on Arthur Avenue had never felt like this before. Perhaps it was the laziness of a Saturday afternoon in the Fall, or possibly the increased pedestrian traffic associated with the Pizza Festival, but Arthur Avenue looked great in all of its Italian splendor.

So I took my time walking south along the Avenue to Crescent Street where the festival was being held. There were plenty of people out and about, enjoying the afternoon in the neighborhood, and Arthur Avenue had dressed up to impress, showing its charm as a competitive alternative to the more touristed Little Italy in Manhattan.

ny pizza festival bronx new york pizza festival photos & video italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants belmont neighborhood bronx photosWhen I arrived at Cresent Street there were blocks of small white tents lined up along one side of the street. A large but dispersed crowd was milling around many of the booths, even though I had arrived around 4 pm, well past the opening at noon.

I made my way past the entertainment to get a closer look at the pizza makers, their ovens and their wares. Making pizza looked to be a fairly simple process for these pros. The Belmont BID website said there were about 34 pizza makers from NYC who were there to compete for the attendees' interest and sales.

I began talking to some of the pizza makers, who seemed to be having fun. I caught up with Mayor de Blasio midway through the festival. He was surrounded by a lot of the pizza makers and / or the NY Pizza Festival attendees, and there seemed to be a bit of back and forth and picture taking and what not. So I took a few photos too, before moving on to Gino's Pizza.

  • CLICK here to read the rest of our report about the NY Pizza Festival Bronx including a short video of the event.


Things To Do Columbus Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC | things to do columbus day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx columbus day weekend bronx nyc 10.17.18 394
Things To Do Columbus Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Columbus Day Weekend Things to do in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Columbus Day Weekend

October 6, 2018 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 70 Friday & Saturday, rising to 80 on Sunday & Monday. The temperature lows will be around 60 Friday & Saturday, rising to near 70 on Sunday & Monday. There's a 0% chance of rain on Friday & Saturday, rising to 10% on Sunday and 20% on Monday. Winds will be about 10 mph throughout the weekend. The Humidity will be near 60% on Friday & Saturday, rising to 70% the rest of the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

Click here for Bronx Buzz - things to do Columbus Day Weekend in the Bronx.

You can still attend Bronx street fairs, go bicycling in the Bronx NYC, play soccer & other games in Bronx parks, go shopping in the Bronx NYC, attend Bronx parades, visit a local Bronx farmers market, watch theater, visit the Bronx theaters, performing arts & art museums, and eat out at one of the Bronx restaurants.

And it's all happening right here in our favorite borough - the Bronx. So take your time to sort through the days and locations and start planning your weekend.

Columbus Day Weekend Events in the Bronx

Click here to obtain information about things to do Labor Day Weekend 2017 in the Bronx. And our things to do / Bronx events calendar is updated monthly with between 50 - 100 different Bronx fun / cultural events.

bronx things to do columbus day weekend bronx columbus day weekend nyc

Bronx Public & Private Parks

The Bronx have a number of public parks of which a few include swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Bronx Parks including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

NYC Golfing In The Bronx & Queens

NYC has four golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites.

The Bronx has several public golf courses: Mosholu Golf Course, Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course and Pelham Bay Park Golf Course - all of which are accessible via the MTA / subway.

Click here for things to do Columbus Day Weekend in the Bronx.





Kavanaugh: Have Republicans Abandoned Family Values and Law & Order?

Are Trump & Republicans Rushing the Nomination of a man who may be a Lying, Partisan, Alcoholic, Sex Offender with a Gambling Problem?

October 2, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been treated to a new season of a made-for-TV series, the Unreal Presidency of Donald J. Trump. The Donald is the star TV shock jock protagonist. He is an elderly man who appears hell bent on seeing just how far he can exercise executive privilege to serve his own ends, before some of the other 320 million people in the nation will actually stand up to stop him.

brett kavanaugh hearingsThere are many antagonists including those who have filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution [using the office of the presidency for personal profit] and there are many grassroots Democrats who are pushing their representatives on the idea that Trump was exactly the kind of president the Founding Fathers had in mind when they included the Impeachment process in the Constitution.

The past and current episodes of the Unreal Presidency of D.J. Trump have been a made-for-TV-News ratings sensation. The current episodes have been focused on Trump’s rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, a nominee with hair-raising disqualifications, to the Supreme Court. The Trump propaganda machine - friend Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Fake News - has been the ratings winner of this taxpayer funded drama.

And Murdoch’s Fox News proudly declared that on Friday, September 28, 2018 with the following headline [see above],

“Fox News dominates ratings on coverage of dramatic Kavanaugh-Ford hearing.”

Murdoch’s Fox Fake News uses red, white and blue iconography all over its broadcast studio, calling themselves ‘America’s Newsroom’. Their hijacking of America’s colors and flag, is reminiscent of how the Nazis hijacked German nationalism in the 1930’s for their own ends. The Nazis claimed to be the one true patriotic party of Germany.

The Appearance of Due Process for TV Cameras?

The reality comes from Trump and the Republicans using Executive Privilege to withhold critical documents from the Senate, also limiting the time Senators were given to question Kavanaugh, and at first denying an authorized investigation into some of the most egregious allegations that have arisen against Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

michael moore's new movie fahrenheit11/9Trump’s opposition, the minority political party in both the Senate and House, want access to documents surrounding one of the two roles that Kavanaugh played in the Bush Administration [2003 – 2006], when it is believed Kavanaugh ignored or supported illegal torture, illegal surveillance of the American people, and possibly worked with documents Kavanaugh knew to be obtained illegally.

What’s more, the allegations surrounding Kavanaugh’s character seems serious enough to disqualify him, including lying under oath, attempted rape, alcoholism and that he has a gambling problem. These allegations, if true, would impugn the integrity of the Supreme Court, as an impartial body that deliberates over the laws that govern our society.

Supreme Court Justice Nominee or a Supreme What?

The photo at right shows Kavanaugh at the hearing, demonstrating some of his famous anger management issues. His lying about his inability to control himself is at the core of the Senate's reluctance to confirm him - as he is alleged to have gotten into a bar dispute after repeatedly drinking too much, to have repeatedly sexually offended several women where alcohol was also involved, and to have erupted in rage following a gambling bout.



Doc Film Center in the Bronx

Film Based Cultural Center Attracts Eclectic Group for presentation of Carlos Villalon’s Coca: The Lost War on Drugs

doc film center melrose movies in the bronx cinema film bronxSeptember 24, 2018 / Melrose Neighborhood Bronx / Arts & Film in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

In July I visited the Doc Film Center in the Bronx to attend a new film by Carlos Villalon about the failed war on drugs. I arrived as it was getting dark, disembarking from the #5 train at the HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis in the neighborhood of Melrose. I walked north a couple of blocks and took a left, coming upon the Doc Film Center which is housed in a three story building that looks to be in the neighborhood of a century old.

The HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis / Melrose Avenue intersection was once referred to as the Times Square of the Bronx. It is still a fairly robust shopping district during the daytime, but after hours when the stores close, it has a sort of abandoned feel. I went in knowing that the crime rate in the Bronx, like the rest of the city, is down significantly versus prior years.

In the past five years, according to the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, the murder rate for the entire Bronx has been below 100. This is in a borough that is home to 1.471 million, so the murder rate is below 1 murder for every 14,710 people in the Bronx. It’s worth adding that a third of Bronx murders are from gang related violence, which sometimes includes collateral damage.

 

Architecture Near the Hub in Melrose: 1900 - 1930

melrose neighborhood bronx architecture bronx near hub melrose neighborhood bronxThe NYPD has been having some good success in taking down gangs in Bronx as well as NYC. In March of 2016, they reportedly completed the biggest bust in the Bronx, capturing 89 gang members. There are numerous places in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are far more dangerous, but Bronx historically has been given the worst reputational rap, and that impression, while changing, still lingers. I attribute it to LOCAL TV NEWS COVERAGE, which seems to PRIMARILY report crime stories when covering the Bronx.

As I walked to the Doc Film Center I observed the architecture around which I found myself surrounded. The Hub heyday was back in the early 1900’s running into the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit. Thus many of the buildings in the area are from that time period, which to me, is what I’ve come to think of as New York classical architecture and building. They made them quite well back then, as America was flexing its economic strength.

Inside the Doc Film Center I walked along the wooden floors to a large room with incredibly high ceilings, like what you would expect to find in a high school gym. There were chairs lined up looking toward the front of the building where the speaker had already begun his presentation.

What followed was a journey into the drug wars. As Carlos Villalon took us on a journey through the South American jungles, into Coca: The Lost War on Drugs …


Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx | feast of st anthony our lady of mount carmel church belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx
Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

Feast of St Anthony in the Bronx

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Celebrates the Feast of St Anthony in the Arthur Avenue & Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx

September 18, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Things To in the Bronx / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

 

I had the pleasure of attending the 112th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. The affair began on Wednesday and ran through the weekend.

I arrived on a Saturday at the triangle of streets joining Cresent Avenue, Cambreleng Avenue & 187th Street in the Little Italy section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I shot some video capturing some of the rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment, which was present every night of the fair.

 



No IDC NY Wins Big & Cuomo Buys Back In

No IDC NY Supported Candidates Won Six of Nine Senate Contests & Cuomo's Donors Spent $21 per Vote

2018 democratic primary in nyc nys elections voting booth photosSeptember 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYS Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Andrew Cuomo and his wealthy corporate backers appear to have won him a third term as NYS Governor. The win reportedly cost them over $21 million – thus reducing the the return on their political investment by requiring a significant upfront payment.

But you needn’t worry about Cuomo or his wealthy corporate backers, as campaign contributions are reportedly very good investments, providing returns that range from modest to excessive. Do a search for studies conducted in 2004 by Harvard University, and in 2017 by Kellogg Graduate Business School at Northwestern for greater detail.

The photo at right shows voters on Thursday evening, September 13th, signing in to cast their votes.

 

Cuomo Defeats Nixon - Voting Interest Nearly Triples vs 2014

governor andrew cuomo nys governor photoWith 99% of the precincts reporting, Andrew Cuomo won 975,552 votes to Cynthia Nixon’s 511,585 votes – that’s 65.6% for Cuomo and 34.4% for Nixon. Nixon won many of the counties surrounding Albany, Tompkins County and Lewis County near Syracuse.

Cuomo won the rest of the state, but won by smaller margins in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while winning by wider margins in the other boroughs. Please note that the September 13, 2018 election totals and percentages shown in this story were reported by the New York Times this morning. The contextual and historical figures and percentages were reported by a multitude of other generally reliable sources.

In the photo at right is Andrew Cuomo marching in the June LGBT parade in the West Village of Manhattan in a prior year.

Had Cuomo only won as many votes as he'd secured in the 2014 primary against Zephyr Teachout, Nixon would have trounced him. In 2014 Andrew Cuomo received 327,150 votes to Zephyr Teachout's tally of 180,336 votes, with the percentages reflecting about the same as this year [64% / 36%] - but the ad spending by the Cuomo campaign was up significantly and so were the vote tallies on both sides. Thus in 2018, almost three times as many voters showed up at the polls during the primary election, but as you will see below - that's still only about 10% of the total potential electorate.

Cuomo Outspends Nixon by 8:1 - Pays $21 per Vote

Andrew Cuomo’s campaign reportedly spent over $21 million this year, versus Cynthia Nixon’s $2.5 million. Thus Cuomo outspent Nixon by over eight to one. And Cuomo's campaign spending in the primary of 2014 was reportedly under $10 million, thus translating into a doubling of what corporations and wealthy donors must pay to keep Cuomo in office.

 

Campaign Contributions by the Rich Few, Beat the Multitude of Small Contributions of the Middle and Working Classes

cynthia nixon campaigning with jumaane williams in nyc nys 2018Nixon reportedly received donations from 43,000 individual contributors [reportedly a state record], while Cuomo received donations from well under 4,000 contributors. This is why campaign finance reform will never happen with the same people in office [regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans] – because while the system may not be working for the people, it is certainly working for the pols and their donors.

The way things work today - pols appear to receive campaign contributions from corporate / wealthy donors who appear to essentially ‘buy’ the office. And then the corporate / wealthy donors appear to be able to pass or block legislation with the help of the pols they supported. As for the government by the people and for the people – well that only happens if the people pay attention to what’s going on, get involved in the political process, and show up to vote.

A quote that was attributed to Jefferson, appears to have originated from Reagan, seems appropriate here: A people that believes they may be ignorant and free, believes in something that never was and never will be.

In the photo at right are Jumaane Williams, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Cynthia Nixon, candidate for Governor at a June rent rally on the steps of the NYC Public Library on 5th Avenue just south of 42nd Street.

The Real News is How Few Participate in our Democracy

Approximately 1.5 million New Yorkers showed up to vote yesterday – in a state with a population of nearly 20 million. In the 2016 census report, 15.7 million New Yorkers were eligible voting age citizens – so about 10% of the potential electorate decided this electoral primary outcome. Honestly it’s shameful, especially when you take note of the fact that people in Russia and China are literally risking their lives / freedom to enable people participation in the process of choosing those who make the laws, establish and enforce public policy and control the government apparatus.

NYS Lieutenant Governor Race - Hochul Defeats Williams - Upstate Beats NYC

The Lieutenant Governor’s race was closer, as Jumaane Williams put in a solid performance winning 640,530 votes to Kathy Hochul’s 731,459 votes. Hochul won 53.3% of the vote to Jumaane Williams’s 46.7% of the vote. Williams won big in Brooklyn [his home], Manhattan, Columbia and Tompkins Counties, losing the rest of the state.

What I found surprising here, is that the Bronx which is mostly Latin and African American, went for Hochul instead of Williams who is an African American. I surmised that this was likely made possible through the efforts of the establishment Democratic party apparatus, which is controlled by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

 

NYS Attorney General Race - James Defeats Teachout & Maloney who Split the Upstate White Vote

letitia james attorney general candidate 2018 photoLetitia James won the Attorney General position, beating out Zephyr Teachout and Sean Patrick Maloney. James received 578,412 votes to Teachout’s 441,567 votes and Maloney’s 356,602 votes. The percentages were James with 41.6%, Teachout with 31% and Maloney with 25% of the vote. James won all of the boroughs of New York City, the two counties on Long Island, as well as Westchester and Rockland counties [the latter two counties are suburban outreaches of NYC].

Teachout won most of the eastern part of the state running from north of Westchester to the Canadian border – including most of the counties around Albany, while Maloney won most of the western part of the state, and a couple of counties just north of Westchester. Teachout and Maloney appear to have split the upstate White vote.

In the photo at right, Letitia James, candidate for NYS Attorney General at a community function in Queens, earlier this year.

 

No IDC NY Candidates Trounce Most of the Former IDC Members

zephyr teachout candidate for attorney general photo w/ alexandria ocasio-cortez astoria queens bronx nyc teachout photo ocasio photoOne of the big issues to be decided during this primary season was the fate of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, thereby giving the Republicans majority control of the NYS Senate. Eight of the senators became members of the Independent Democratic Caucus [IDC] which was founded by Bronx NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein, only a year or two into Cuomo’s first term. The creation of the IDC was said to be with the tacit approval of Andrew Cuomo, so that the NYS Governor could prevent the Democratic agenda from becoming too progressive.

Prior to the beginning of the 2018 primary season, an all-volunteer group formed, calling themselves the No IDC NY. The No IDC NY set as its mission, to dislodge those Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans. The No IDC NY effort proved fairly successful, as six of the nine Democrats who had caucused with the Republicans, were defeated. The following is a short tally of those races.

In the photo at right, Zephyr Teachout endorsing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just as Teachout was making her candidacy for the office of NYS Attorney General known.

 

Queens NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Queens. No IDC NY supported candidate John Liu defeated incumbent Tony Avella in Queens with 53% to 47% of the vote. No IDC NY supported candidate Jessica Ramos trounced incumbent Jose Peralta with 55% to 45% of the vote.

Manhattan NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Manhattan. No IDC NY supported candidate Robert Jackson handily defeated incumbent Marisol Alcantera in the Washington Heights / Inwood area with 56% versus 39% of the vote.

Bronx NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in the Bronx. No IDC NY supported candidate Alessandra Biaggi decisively defeated the IDC Founder incumbent Jeffrey Klein winning 54% of the vote to Klein’s 46%.

Brooklyn & Staten Island NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Brooklyn & Staten Island. No IDC NY supported candidate Zellnor Myrie defeated incumbent Jesse Hamilton 54% to 46%. But both incumbent Diane Savino of Staten Island and incumbent Simcha Felder of Brooklyn handily defeated their No IDC NY supported challengers. Incumbent Savino won 67% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Jasmine Robinson’s 21% of the vote and incumbent Simcha Felder won 66% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Blake Morris’s 34% of the vote.

Upstate NYS Senate Races

In the NYS Senate in Upstate NY. No IDC NY supported candidate Rachel May won 52% of the vote to incumbent David Valesky’s 48%. But incumbent David Carlucci held onto his seat with 54% of the vote to No IDC NY supported candidate Julie Goldberg’s 46%.


Election Day Thursday 9/13 - Please Vote

September 12, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Politics & Government / Bronx Buzz NYC.

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

The New York State primary election is tomorrow, Thursday September 13th.

The polling booths will be open from 6 am to 9 pm Thursday.

To find your poll location click on the graphic at right.

Once on the website, input your address, and then click the icon to the right of it to get the results of the search. You have to look for the super-tiny icon near the lower right corner of the screen.

Remember that if you really want things to change, then you can't keep electing the same representatives.


Has the Democratic Party Tipped the Scales … Again?

Democratic Machine Releases Direct Mail Ad, Falsely Attacking Cynthia Nixon

September 11, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.y

A Democratic Machine Big Lie?

democratic party attack ad nixon photo september 2018Over the weekend, the NYS Democratic Party Committee, sent out a mailer which falsely claims that,

“… inexperienced Cynthia Nixon. Who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities.”

The claim in this Democratic Party mailer is akin to Hitler’s Big Lie. Hitler’s Big Lie, according to Wikipedia is,

“… [Hitler’s] 1925 book Mein Kampf, [talks] about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

It’s a big lie because Cynthia Nixon is a mother to three Jewish children with whom she attends a local synagogue.

Andrew Cuomo’s Implausible Denial?

andrew cuomo takes the low road andrew cuomo cynthia nixonGovernor Andrew Cuomo, when queried about who was behind this ‘dirty politics’ mailer replied on Sunday in Manhattan,

“I didn’t know about the mailer. I haven’t seen the mailer.”

The New York Times wasn’t buying it. After having endorsed Cuomo less than a week earlier, on September 4th, the Times Editorial Board in a September 9th opinion said the following,

“Sorry, Mr. Cuomo, but that strains credulity.”

They went on to note that,

“Mr. Cuomo dominates the state Democratic Party. It acts ethically or abominably at his direction, or at the very least, with his campaign’s blessing.”

Byron Brown – NYS Democratic Party Chair & Cuomo Ally

It’s worth noting that the new Chair of the New York State Democratic [Party] Committee is Byron Brown. Brown was appointed to the post on May 23, 2016, and is a Cuomo political confidant. So it would seem Cuomo’s ignorance of the mailer is either extreme incompetence – or more likely – an outright lie. Let’s briefly examine the facts.

Democratic Party Chair Byron Brown was born and raised in Queens in the 1950’s, as was Andrew Cuomo. Brown went on to become the Mayor of Buffalo from 2005 – 2017, and as early as 2006, when Andrew Cuomo began campaigning for NYS Attorney General, Byron Brown was described in a November 23, 2006 New York Times report as a “political confidant” of Andrew Cuomo’s.

A May 30, 2006 report in the Buffalo News states that Byron,

"... seconded Cuomo's nomination [for NYS Attorney General] at the convention on May 30, 2006."


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 9.5.18 - 278
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

Updated September 7, 2018 / March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

There's an NYS State primary election this month. 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.

The following is a list of challengers, eight of which I obtained off the NoIDCNY.org website. For some reason Blake Morris - Simcha Felder's challenger - was not included on their website. I have just contacted them to find out why.

  • Jessica Ramos is challenging Jose Peralta in District 13 in Queens.
  • John Liu is challenging Tony Avella* in District 11 in Queens.
  • Robert Jackson is challenging Marisol Alcantera in District 31 in Washington Heights / Inwood / Manhattan.
  • Alessandra Biaggi is challenging Jeff Klein in District 34 in the Bronx.
  • Zellnor Myrie is challenging Jesse Hamilton in District 20 in Brooklyn.
  • Blake Morris is challenging Simcha Felder in District 17 in Brooklyn.
  • Jasmine Robinson is challenging Diane Savino in District 23 in Brooklyn / Staten Island.
  • Julie Goldberg is challenging David Carlucci in District 38 in nearby upstate New York.
  • Rachel May is challenging David Valesky in District 53 in upstate New York.

* A Word About NYS Senator Tony Avella as He Appears to be a Real Independent

Of all of the IDC candidates listed above, NYS Senator Tony Avella deserves special consideration. NYS Senator Avella CHALLENGED Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens Country Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley when both of these men, and many in their parties, supported real estate developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz took a position that appeared somewhere between supportive of the developments to - at best - indifferent.

NYS Senator Avella advocated on behalf of the community to thwart billionaire and mega millionaire real estate developers from grabbing Queens parkland - AND WON. In doing this, NYS Senator Tony Avella, appears to be more like a Maverick or Independent, resembling legislators like deceased U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat), both of whom have charted their own path through party-dominated politics.

Avella is an important independent voice in the Queens, NYC and NYS community, which the Democrats in his district will have to decide whether or not to keep.



Things To Do Labor Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC | things to do labor day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx labor day weekend bronx nyc 8.31.17 - 186
Things To Do Labor Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Labor Day Weekend Things to do in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Labor Day Weekend

August 31, 2018 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

You can still attend Bronx street fairs, go bicycling in the Bronx NYC, play soccer & other games in Bronx parks, go shopping in the Bronx NYC, attend Bronx parades, watch theater, visit the Bronx theaters, performing arts & art museums, and eat out at one of the Bronx restaurants.

And it's all happening right here in our favorite borough - the Bronx. So take your time to sort through the days and locations and start planning your weekend.

The photo at right shows a golfer at the Pelham Bay / Split Rock Golf course in Pelham Bay Park.

Labor Day Events in the Bronx

Click here to obtain information about things to do Labor Day Weekend 2018 in the Bronx. This events calendar is updated monthly with between 50 - 100 different Bronx fun / cultural events.

bronx labor day weeekend things to do bronx nyc

Bronx Public & Private Parks

The Bronx have a number of public parks of which a few include swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Bronx Parks including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.

There are also a number of free public swimming pools in the Bronx which are open through the Labor Day Weekend.

The photo at right shows Orchard Beach in the Bronx in August. On Sunday afternoon they have a salsa concert where folks also dance if it's not too hot.

NYC Golfing In The Bronx & Queens

The Bronx has three public golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. The golf courses include Van Cortlandt Park, Mosholu Golf Course - also in Van Cortlandt Park and Pelham Bay / Split Rock which are in Pelham Bay Park in the eastern Bronx. All of these golf courses are accessible via the MTA / subway.

Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites.

Click here for things to do Labor Day Weekend in the Bronx.



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.

* Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx.


Is Donald Trump a Hostage of Russian Murderers, Capitalists & Thieves?

Is the Trump & Bambino Crime Family so Criminal or Financially Compromised, that They are Betraying America?

Updated August 27 - August 23, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The first part of this report will show you some of the many known Trump family ‘social’ interactions with key Russian Oligarchs [Kleptocrats?] close to Putin, and of the Trump campaign officials and consultants known meetings with Czarist President Vladimir Putin’s government officials.

Do Americans really think all of the following interactions were just coincidence? Just a couple of billionaire women and campaign officials just have a little old fashioned czarist fun?

Part I: Trump Family & Campaign Russian Interactions 2016

I can’t help wonder whether Ivanka Trump and her Russian-Oligarch-loving friend Wendi Deng Murdoch [Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife rumored in March of 2016 to be Putin's girlfriend (denied much later by Deng)], weren’t conduits through which information passed between then candidate Donald J. Trump and Russian czarist President, Vladimir Putin?

Why hasn’t the FBI called them in for interrogations about what they may know, based on their numerous interactions with the Oligarchs throughout the presidential campaign season of 2016?

Why haven't they called in billionaire propagandist Rupert Murdoch who controls Fox Fake New, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post - all of which unabashedly promoted the Trump candidacy with distorted, and at times false news reporting, as well as the suppression of stories relevant to the election? Murdoch was reported to speak somewhere between daily and weekly to Trump, following the election, as was his surrogate pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity. Both had business with the federal government and - as far as I know - neither has registered as a lobbyist, even though both men appear to have profited handsomely since the election of Trump as a result of Trump policies, FCC rules changes and for Hannity a new multi-million loan agreement with far more generous terms.

Trump Family & Campaign Officials Hold Nearly a Dozen Meetings with Russians Close to Putin Throughout 2016

On March 2, 2016 Rupert Murdoch, who controls two of America’s six largest media content companies, tweeted that the GOP “would be mad not to unify” around Trump, if he’s the Republican nominee. Murdoch controls the Fox News, WSJ & NY Post propaganda machine that catapulted Trump into the Oval Office in November 2016, along with the help of the Russians.

Some of Known 2016 Interactions of Trump Family & Campaign w/ Putin's Russia

1. In March [NEED TO VERIFY THAT IT WAS 2016 & THAT IT WAS RYBOLOVLEV'S or another Oligarch's] yacht was spotted in same harbor / next to Bob Mercer, a Trump friend. Bob Mercer, publisher of the National Enquirer, was recently given immunity. Mercer had bought and sat on a story damaging to Trump regarding an alleged extra marital affair. Did Mercer, who reportedly had a stake in Cambridge Analytica, meet with Rybolovlev on behalf of Trump?

Are Ivanka Trump & Wendi Deng Murdoch Shills for Billionaires / Oligarchs?

2.a. Less than a month later, on March 31, 2016 US Weekly, a gossip magazine, reported that the former wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was dating Vladimir Putin. Two days later, on April 2, 2016 Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, was seen on a boat associated with the yacht of Roman Abramovich, a Russian Oligarch considered among Putin’s closest ‘friends’. Abramovich's wife, introduced to Ivanka years earlier by Deng, is reported to be a friend of Ivanka's.

2.b. A month later, on May 2, 2016, Wendi Deng Murdoch was seen at the Met Gala along with her close friend Ivanka Trump. Wendi Deng Murdoch was, at the time, rumored to be Putin’s girlfriend, and she had named Ivanka Trump as the trustee for Wendi Deng Murdoch’s children's $300 million trust, which was reported in 2015 to hold numerous shares in Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Ivanka served as a trustee for Deng until December of 2016 when she stepped down.

In 2014, following the Murdoch’s divorce, Rupert Murdoch reportedly accused his ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch of being a Chinese spy. This appears to have been corroborated by U.S. Intelligence, which warned Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner that Deng was a spy, following Trump’s Electoral College victory in December of 2016.

3. In May of 2016 Roger Stone, a long time friend of Donald Trump [attended two of three weddings], who had worked for him on prior occasions, met with a Russian who offerred him dirt on Clinton. Stone initially denied the meeting took place, before admitting it. According to Wikipedia, two Stone associates claim he collaborated with Julian Assange of Wiki Leaks to release dirt on Clinton. In August of 2015, Roger Stone stepped down from his official role in the Trump campaign.

4. On June 9, 2016 Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner met with a Russian spy, Natalai Veselnetskya, at Trump Tower in Manhattan to get dirt on Clinton. At first Donald Trump Jr. lied to Americans about the real purpose of the meeting claiming it was about adoption, before admitting it was to get dirt from the Russians on Clinton.

The Trump / Murdoch Mob? The Donald Publicly Invites Russian Interference

Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, waited until July 25, 2016 – nearly four months after the reports broke – to deny that she was dating Vladimir Putin.

On July 27, 2016, two days after Wendi Deng Murdoch’s denial of a relationship with Putin [she was reportedly never seen with him, but seen on Russian Oligarch yacht(s)], Trump publicly invited Russia to hack and release Clinton’s emails, when he stated the following at a nationally televised press conference in Florida.

“I will tell you this: Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Did he mean they will be rewarded by the propaganda press of unrelenting Trump supporter, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch, or by the entire American press?

The Trump Family & Campaign Meetings with Russia Continue

5. In July 2016, Carter Page, a financial and oil man, who spent years in Russia and was reportedly sympathetic to Russia, traveled to Moscow to give a speech. He met with a former cabinet member of ex-president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. Page initially denied this meeting took place and later his 'memory came back to him'. Page was the Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor from March 21, 2016 until September 2016, when it was disclosed that Page had allegedly met with at least one U.S. sanctioned Russian Oligarch, Igor Sechin of Russian conglomerate Rosneft.

6. On August 14, 2016 Wendi Deng Murdoch, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner vacationed together in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Likely not coincidently, Russian Oligarch, Rybolovlev’s yacht was reportedly moored there at the same time, and his private plane was reported to have landed there too.

Seven years earlier, following the real estate bubble crash in 2008 / 2009, Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev paid Donald Trump $95 million for a house Trump had purchased for $41 million only four years earlier. Rybolovlev, a member of Putin’s inner circle, eventually demolished the home, leading people to question whether Rybolovlev had financially bailed Trump out during the real estate and stock market crash of 2008. At the time Trump was again allegedly in serious financial straits, following a string of six bankruptcies that began in the 1990's and bled into the 2000's.

Around that same time in 2008, while the American real estate bubble was bursting, Elena Baronoff, a former Russian ‘attaché of cultural affairs’ [spy?], began helping Trump sell property in Sunny Isle, Florida. She sold nearly $100 million of Trump real estate to Russians, reportedly at top dollar [inflated?] prices, which led some pundits to question whether the Trump's were laundering money via real estate sales. In 2007 Ivanka got her start with her father's company, also working on a project in Panama, which reportedly was suspected of laundering what was believed to be Russian and drug cartel money.

Trump sales agent Baronoff reportedly contracted leukemia in 2014 and conveniently died in 2015, right around the time Donald Trump began testing the waters for his presidential candidacy.

7. On September 12, 2016 Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch and Oligarch Abramovich’s wife Dasha Zhukova were photographed attending the U.S. Open together. One report credits Wendi Deng Murdoch with introducing Ivanka Trump to Dasha Zhukova, billionaire Russian Oligarch Abramovich’s wife, and there are reports that the two have been friendly for nearly a decade.

Was the Murdoch Propaganda Machine Colluding with Russia & Trump?

Murdoch's WSJ was reported to have held a story in the fall of 2016 about the Donald and his mob connected past - allegedly for editorial reasons. But if I recall correctly, the WSJ Editor, Paul Gigot, also said something along the lines of holding it to stave off a Clinton victory. I NEED TO VERIFY THIS.

Eleven days prior to the election, on October 28, 2016, the case involving Clinton’s emails was reopened, because some of them were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had issued related reports about them a couple of months earlier, and Murdoch Fox News regular Rudy Giuliani [now Trump’s lawyer] foreshadowed the timely release of the news - that there were more Clinton emails - on Fox News. Giuliani is reportedly paid over a half million dollars to be a paid contributor on Fox Fake News.

Within days the FBI had sifted through them, informing the public that there wasn’t anything new.

7. Russian Oligarch Rybolovlev was tracked to North Carolina by the Daily Kos, just five days before election day 2016 at the same airport where candidate Donald Trump had landed only 20 minutes earlier to make a campaign stop. Rybolovlev reportedly paid $95 million to Trump for a mansion he demolished, and for which Trump had paid $45 million only four years earlier. It was reported to be worth about $25 - $30 million less at the time.

I found it interesting that Rybolovlev's battery company in America was reported to build batteries in what look like storage containers, and upper management is mostly comprised of ex-Russian government people [agents?]. Rybolovlev recently closed down the company and Russia is reportedly withdrawing money from America, as Mueller probe gets closer to closing in on Trump. I can't help wonder whether the Russians were planning to use these 'batteries in containers' to ship other things - like say weapons technology, people, drugs - in and out of our country?

666. On November 8, 2016, Devilish Donald Trump was elected president. Numerous Oligarchs planned to attend Trump’s Inauguration. Even Putin was rumored to be planning to attend.

Going into the voting booths, most Americans were not fully aware of Trump’s mobster ties dating back into the 20th century, nor even remotely aware of all of the ties Trump has had with what appears Russian-like mobsters over the past 20 to 30 years.

The Inauguration of Benedict Donald - J. Trump

Several Oligarchs showed at Trump's Inauguration [and helped fund it?] including Vekselberg and Maskevitch. Reports said they were expecting great things during the Trump years. Are / were they expecting to convert American democracy into a Putin kleptocracy, Russian style?

PRIME COLLUSION PARTICIPANTS? Ivanka Trump, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch & Sean Hannity

Is Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of the powerful, multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch who controls the Fox Fake News propaganda machine above the law? Is the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump Kushner, who appears to be a shill for the Trump Organization above the law?

Is Rupert Murdoch, whose WSJ buried a negative Trump story before election above the law? Is pseudo anchorman Sean Hannity, who Michael Cohen advised on real estate & who famously ordered Trump to fire ALL U.S. Attorneys - which Trump did the next day - immune from questioning? Murdoch's Fox Fake News & Hannity went on to do a very sympathetic, propagandistic interview with Assange in captivity in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following the election. Both men have, during the Trump presidency, been reported to be in constant contact with Trump [daily to weekly phone calls].

CLICK here to read the rest of our report about whether a financially compromised president who appears a hostage of the Russian mob-like kleptocrats who appear to be possible murderers and thieves of the Russian people's wealth.


What I Found: Unite The Right Rally in D.C.

Media Reality Distortion - How Out of Whack is America's News / Information System?

August 13, 2018 / Government, Media & Politics USA / Washington, D.C. / Gotham Buzz NYC.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeJust over a week ago, I made the decision to travel down to Washington, D.C. to cover the Unite The Right Rally scheduled Sunday, August 12th, on the anniversary of the same rally organized by the same group in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is located about 100 miles south / mostly west of Washington, D.C.

In the rally a year ago, White Supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis participated in the rally and it became violent. One person was killed in the event when an alleged neo-Nazi drove his car through the crowd, and two officers monitoring the event in a helicopter died, when the aircraft crashed [I believe it was an accident]. And somewhere between 19 and 34 people were injured in clashes between the Unite The Right rally participants and Antifa along with other counter protesters.

The D.C. event was scheduled in D.C. because Jason Kessler, the Unite The Right Founder, couldn’t get a permit in Charlottesville for the first year anniversary of the Unite The Right event. After some skirmishing over the permitting with the local Washington, D.C. authorities, Kessler prevailed and was given a permit to hold a march and rally ending in Lafayette Park, just south of the White House.

At one point there were discussions about arranging separate public transit buses for the Unite The Right rally members from their staging area a several miles west of the White House, to the march starting point at Foggy Bottom Metro Station. But the D.C. public transit union resisted, as the majority of their members are African Americans, and the union reportedly opined that they didn’t want to do anything to facilitate the Unite The Right rally.

unite the right donald trump media malpracticeMeanwhile there were somewhere between a half dozen and dozen counter protester groups that organized to protest the Unite The Right rally. Several of them also sought and received permits.

On Friday Christian and Jewish groups joined forces for an interfaith teach-in and interfaith vigil. This was according to The DCist, which I found to be the best source of information regarding planning / preparing to cover the event on Sunday. The DCist also noted that Black Lives Matter DC in collaboration with several other activist groups held a workshop at an Episcopalian Church.

On Saturday, a Presbyterian Church held a prayer service at Foggy Bottom Station in advance of the rally, where they prayed and chalked some of the sidewalk where the Unite The Right marchers would begin on Sunday.

On Sunday a counter protest, Shut It Down DC, organized a permitted counter protest in Freedom Plaza a few blocks east of Lafayette Park, from where they would march to Lafayette Park beginning at 3 pm. The DCist reported that the Shut It Down DC group included the D.C. Antifascist collective, Hoods4Justice, March for Racial Justice, and others.

Black Lives Matter DC organized to meet a couple of blocks north of Lafayette Park, and would then march south to the park. A group from NYC began their march on August 3rd to D.C. where they planned an event at the MLK monument from 12 noon to 4 pm on Sunday [#AgapeMarch]. And a group, The Real White People’s Rally, led by a local tour guide, Tim Krepp, was scheduled to counter protest at Lafayette Park from 1 to 4 pm.

The DCist also mentioned about a half dozen other counter protest group events, but for the most part those noted above, were the ones most relevant to my planned coverage.

I headed down to D.C. a bit anxious, given the violent skirmishes that occurred at the rally a year ago in Charlottesville, and the following instructions on the unitetherightrally.com website.

Do NOT bring these items:
-Guns
-Pepper spray, clubs, knives or other weapons
-Shields
-Non-approved flags

ALWAYS Be aware of your surroundings. Do not talk to the media.
Do not engage in any fighting.
ALWAYS be a good representative for our cause.

My thoughts were that if you have to provide instructions like these to the people you expect at your rally – there’s a good likelihood that some of the unwanted weapons will be there. I had read that last year people brought guns to the rally in Charlottesville – but I also reasoned that in Washington, D.C. the gun laws are likely far less permissive than in Charlottesville, Virginia. And there were reports that the D.C. police were preparing for the worst.

Anyhow, I arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Sunday afternoon at about 3 pm. It was hot, humid and rain was in the forecast for later in the afternoon. I took the Metro subway from Union Station to the Metro Center stop, which was only a few blocks away from Freedom Plaza. Once on the street, as I began to get my bearings, I asked a young woman if she could tell me in which direction Freedom Plaza was. She was also headed to the counter protest, so we walked over there together. Ironically, her name was Hope.

CLICK here to read the rest of my report about covering the Unite The Right Rally in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 2018. COMING THIS WEEKEND 8/18 - 19/18. The story has become something bigger than I first envisioned. It's in a rough draft which I hope to finish, edit and add photos to this weekend.


Pregones Theater La Casita Block Party

Pregones Theater Hosted the La Casita Block Party of Poets, Musicians & Artists & a bit of Pregones Theater History

August 6, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood / Bronx Theater / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxOn Sunday I made my way over to the Pregones Theater in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. Pregones is located at 575 Walton Street, only a couple of blocks from Hostos College and the Post Office in the Bronx. Today was their annual block party, the origins of which, date back to the early 2000's. Pregones Theater moved to this location on Walton Street in the Concourse neighborhood in 2005.

It's worth mentioning that Pregones Theater has been serving the Bronx community of actors, actresses, producers, directors, playwrights and their audiences for nearly four decades. Pregones was started in 1979 and recently [2015 - 2017?] merged with another theater company, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, to become the cultural institution that it is today.

The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater began in 1967 and helped give birth to the careers of Raul Julia and Miriam Colon, and recently merged with Pregones. Today Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has venues in both Bronx and Manhattan.

As I arrived I noticed their colorful psychedelic house, the Casita, erected as the backdrop for the stage where performers would take flight to delight the audience. It was around 4 pm and a poet, I know it, was speaking, sweet talking, sugary, short arias of verbalized visuals whose acoustical imagery was as stimulating and winding as a quick jazzy beat. Too fast, to fully comprehend, the details of which lie within.

bronx things to do bronxI remember a subway ride, some history, a street scene, but you really had to be there to get the full gist. You missed. But they'll be back next year and they have numerous performances throughout the year.

Along the sidewalks vendors were selling unique - possibly Bronx made, clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, pottery, purses, knapsacks, paper products and other little finds, many of which you might be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

I stepped inside the theater to check it out. It's a well kept, spacious theater, with seating for somewhere between 50 to 100. And a hall of fame showing accolades for performances and performers of years past.

The folks were friendly and it was definitely an artsy, eclectic and friendly crowd. There were also folks there from Lincoln Center Out of Doors, who in part sponsored the block party performances. And Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater also performed down at Lincoln Center on Saturday, August 4th at 12 noon in Hearst Plaza, as part of their relationship with Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

By the way, 'pregones' in Spanish, means 'cries' in English. But nobody was crying today.

Hasta luego.


Free Summer Concerts in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx NYC | free summer concerts in the bronx free things to do in the bronx summer music bands concerts in the bronx nyc 7.31.18 - 571
Free Summer Concerts in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx NYC

Free Things To Do in the Bronx - Free Summer Concerts in the Bronx

Free Concerts In Bronx Parks - Fordham, Mosholu, Pelham Bay & Van Cortlandt Park NYC

August 17, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Concerts in the Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in the Bronx this summer.

Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free things to do in the Bronx - free concerts in Bronx parks.



Free Summer Movies in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx | free summer movies in the bronx free things to do in the bronx summer foreign films movies in the bronx nyc 7.23.18 - 237
Free Summer Movies in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx

Free Things To Do in the Bronx - Free Summer Movies in the Park

Free Movies In Bronx Parks - Free Outdoor Films in Bronx Parks NYC

July 23, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Films in the Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in the Bronx this summer.

Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free things to do in the Bronx - free movies in Bronx parks.



Free Summer Theater in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx | free summer theater in the bronx free things to do in the bronx summer theatre in the bronx nyc - 7.16.18 - 358
Free Summer Theater in the Bronx - Free Things to do Bronx

Free Things To Do in the Bronx - Free Summer Theater & Shakespeare in the Park

Summer Theater In The Bronx - Van Cortlandt Park, Teatro Pregones, ID Studio Theater & The Point CDC

July 16, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Dance & Theater in the Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This report includes a list of some of the free things to do in the Bronx this summer.

Click here to view a listing of the dates and times of free things to do in the Bronx - mostly free theater in the Bronx & parks.



Bronx Swimming Pools - Free Public Swimming Pools Bronx NYC | bronx swimming pools bronx free public swimming pools bronx indoor swimming pools bronx outdoor swimming pools bronx nyc
Bronx Swimming Pools - Free Public Swimming Pools Bronx NYC

Bronx Swimming Pools - Free Public Pools in NYC

This Bronx NYC Public Swimming Pool Directory Includes Contact Info

Updated July 10, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Swimming Pools, Parks & Sports / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Bronx offers easy access to a wide range of recreational swimming pools. The following is our first attempt to provide you with a view of the range of public swimming pools available in the parks of the Bronx. We encourage you to make use of these facilities because they provide healthy, fun, and frequently free or inexpensive entertainment for both individuals and families with children.

Click here to view a listing of Bronx swimming pools, free public swimming pools in Van Cortlandt, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Concourse, Parkchester, Morris Park, Crotona, Edenwald and East Tremont.



Bronx 4th of July Fireworks - Coop City & Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx | bronx july 4th fireworks 2018 4th of july fireworks bronx best viewing places and times for bronx july 4th fireworks 2018 nyc
Bronx 4th of July Fireworks - Coop City & Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx

4th of July Fireworks Bronx 2018

Coop City Bronx Fireworks Tuesday Night & East River Fireworks Wednesday

July 2, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / July 4th Holiday in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The Macy's 4th of July fireworks will be shown along the East River this year. They were shown along the East River in 2014 for the first time since 2008, and have remained on the East River ever since. Mayor de Blasio had lobbied the change, which now spans five years.

Weather. Highs will be in the mid 80's during the day and in the high 70's at night. There's a 40% chance of rain in the forecast in the morning, but only 5 - 10% chance of rain at night, so it should be a fair night.

The Grucci Brothers will be doing the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC. They have been doing fireworks for many years and the Macy's July 4th fireworks in Manhattan for decades.

Coop City Fireworks Display for July 4th in the Bronx

As mentioned above, the Orchard Beach July 4th fireworks in the Bronx was held on Thursday, June 28th. There's a second 4th of July fireworks in the Bronx that is being held on Tuesday, July 3rd at 9 pm. The fireworks display is held at Little League Field in Co-op City in the Bronx.

For those looking for fireworks on 4th of July 2018, you'll have ample opportunity to view the East River fireworks, as the pyrotechnic performance was expanded in 2016 to provide more viewing access along both side of the East River.

Click here for a report about the 4th of July Fireworks in Bronx NYC & surrounding areas, including times and locations for the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC and Jones Beach on Long Island.



Decisive Victory for Ocasio & Progressives

Democratic Party Insider Joe Crowley Loses in Stunning Defeat

June 27, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC.

alexandria ocasio cortez photo campaign posterCongressman Joseph Crowley suffered an astonishing defeat Tuesday, when Alexandria Ocasio - Cortez defeated him in the 14th district NYS primary for U.S. Congress. According to Vox, with 97% of the precincts reporting, Ocasio-Cortez had received 15,897 or 57% of the vote, while Crowley had received 11,761 or 42% of the vote.

Crowley, age 56, inherited his office and the Queens Democratic Party Chairmanship from Thomas Manton in 1999. Crowley has spent the last two decades in Washington, D.C. rising to the top levels of the Democratic party leadership, considered by many to be one of the top contenders to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the House Democratic Leader.

Ocasio-Cortez is a youthful 28 years old, the daughter of a Bronx native and Puerto Rican mother. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Economics and International Relations. Since then she has worked at a Bronx start up, in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign of 2016, and as a bartender.

Crowley reportedly had a campaign budget of $1.5 million versus $0.3 million for Ocasio-Cortez, raised via small and online donations.

 

Crowley, Pelosi, Schumer & the Democratic Party of Appeasement

Alexandria ran a spirited campaign, tapping into some of the energy and frustration of an increasingly rigged system, which Donald Trump has been hyper rigging since he took office in 2017.

The Donald tweeted that Joe lost because he opposed President Donald. But as oftentimes seems the case with Trump tweets - the reality is quite the opposite. The electorate that supported Ocasio-Cortez are more likely to view Crowley, Pelosi and Schumer as leaders of a Democratic Party of Appeasement who need to be replaced by people who will vigorously fight for the democratic principles upon which this nation was founded. Pelosi, Schumer and Crowley are seen as wet noodle leaders of the opposition - telling their supporters to hush up about any possibility of impeaching Trump.

Appeasers Say Don't Talk About Trump Impeachment ...

Some pundits believe that Trump is exactly the type of president for which the process of impeachment was included in the U.S. Constitution, as he appears to have colluded with a hostile foreign power to win the election, appears to be in numerous violations of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution and is aligning the U.S. with dictators while undermining democracies around the globe with disruptive breaks in our military and economic alliances.

The party of appeasement references British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 when Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement. The Munich Agreement basically ceded the German speaking segment of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Adolph Hitler. Emboldened by Chamberlain's lack of courage to stand up to him, Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and WWII began.

Bernie Sanders championed the "government by the people for the people" wing of the Democratic party in 2016 and Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams and the NYS Senate IDC challengers are running as the voice of this segment of the electorate in the NYS September 13th primaries.

 

Trump Aligns with Dictators Around the World, While Undermining Democracies

congressman joe crowley photo campaign posterTrump has been aligning the U.S. with leaders of totalitarian states and dictators around the world including Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, President Xi Jinping of China and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Trump has been undermining our historical allies - comprised of the real democracies around the world - such as Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and most, if not all, of the rest of Europe and most of Latin America.

Left unchecked, this policy of appeasement by the Democratic and Republican parties could, over the long haul, result in the loss of democracy on the planet. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Joseph Crowley are all seen as the appeasers - and last night Crowley as one of them - took a big loss.

 

Crowley's Congressional District Changed from the 7th to the 14th in 2013

In 2013 the congressional district that Joe Crowley had historically run in [7th District] changed. The 7th district covered the northern and western rim of Queens. Since 2013 Crowley has been running in the 14th congressional district which covers the northern rim of Queens and the southeastern part of the Bronx. The changed district resulted in changes to the demographic composition of the electorate by increasing the Hispanic representation in the district. Also, by including the Bronx in the district, it included an area where the electorate had little familiarity with Crowley.

All of the above likely contributed to Crowley's loss. Joseph Crowley was a gracious loser, complimenting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her well run and hard fought campaign.


Is Nixon the One for NYS?

Cynthia Nixon & Jumaane Williams Support Real Rent Reform

June 14, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC & NYS Politics / Gotham Buzz NYC.

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosOn Thursday afternoon I headed to the NY Public Library at Bryant Park to attend a Rent Reform Rally organized by RealRentReform.org. I had heard that Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, candidates for NYS Governor and NYS Lieutenant Governor, respectively, were to speak at the event - so given the relevance of rent reform and the growing interest in the challengers to the status quo ... I decided to go.

As I emerged from the subway, I wasn't disappointed. There were a thousand plus protesters gathered on the steps of the central library along Fifth Avenue, just south of 42nd Street, gathered to make their voices heard. What struck me as I surveyed the crowd was the cross sectional nature of the people who had gathered. From the young student activists, to the elderly handing out pamphlets, to people of all colors ranging from black to white.

I shot some photos and talked to some of the organizers and attendees to find out what they had come to say. Essentially they were disappointed with Governor Andrew Cuomo's inaction on strengthening rent regulations - which struck me as comparable to the inaction on housing and the rapid rise in homelessness in NYC as happened under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal

NYC Mayor de Blasio helped arrest the rising tide of homelessness in NYC by his actions since taking office in 2014, but there was plenty more to be done, and the Governor and the State of New York hold many of the cards. One of the complaints I heard was that the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal [DHCR] budget had been cut since Cuomo took office, and that there were only eleven lawyers to help tenants avoid evictions and unfair landlord and developer actions statewide.

 

Cuomo Decreases DHCR Staff While 'Appearing' to Increase Real Estate Development Incentives

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosI went online and looked up the budget for the NYS Department of Housing & Community Renewal budget where the agency staff portion of the budget between 2011 and 2017 had been cut from $745 million to $682 million, which is a net reduction of 8.5%. The funds being allocated to the development of housing looked like it had increased substantially [+715%] from $314 million in 2011 & 2012, to $2,245 billion in 2018. But - as I found out - this multi-billion dollar increase is misleading ... so please spend a bit more time and keep on reading.

The 'added billions' goes toward categories entitled State Operations, Aid to Localities and Capital Projects. All of the increase went into a category entitled Capital Projects, which was comprised of two subcategories - Infrastructure Investments and a Housing Program Fund. But the budget increase was saddled with an MOU. The funds were allocated to incent and aid real estate developers to build affordable housing. The net result is that it looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo has cut DHCR agency staff who help residents stay in their homes, while 'appearing' to increase the state money to aid real estate developers to build affordable housing.

Governor Cuomo added $2 billion to the DHCR budget in 2016 referencing a Memo of Understanding [MOU]. While Cuomo claimed to commit $2 billion to building 20,000 new affordable housing units, he saddled the budget increase with a legislative tactic - the MOU. I was told - and the DHCR budget appears to confirm - that most of this money remains unspent and appears to be a revolving budget item that allows Cuomo to claim he's making the investment in affordable housing while not actually going through with it. Real Rent Reformers at the Rally last Thursday alleged that this is a part of a revolving budget game by Governor Cuomo, while the NYS affordable housing shortage continues.

This reminds me of another game allegedly played by Governor Cuomo, which was the use of the now disbanded 'Independent Democratic Caucus' [IDC], which Governor Cuomo is reported to have supported. The IDC was comprised of NYS Senate Democrats who caucused with the Republicans - thus essentially making them Republicans running as Democrats. I did a story earlier outlining this subterfuge which you can view by clicking the link.

 

NYS Losing Affordable Housing Stock?

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAnother protester complaint was that somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 affordable homes have been lost during Andrew Cuomo's two terms as Governor and that he has turned a blind eye to landlords and developers cashing in on his inaction. Cuomo's DHCR staff budget cuts would seem to support this allegation, as does Cuomo's inaction on closing loopholes used by developers and landlords to convert rent stabilized apartments to market rate housing stock.

One protester told me that homelessness has risen 36% since Cuomo took office. As of this writing I haven't had time to totally verify this claim - which I hope to do between now and when the primary season ends on election day Thursday, September 13th, 2018 [the election date was moved because Tuesday is 9/11]. But I did find that, at least directionally, these claims are correct.

An example of the growing statewide housing crisis is that in the school year 2012 - 2013, a bit less than halfway through the eight years Andrew Cuomo has been governor, New York had the third highest percentage of homeless students in the U.S. [source: Institute for Children Poverty & Homelessness - aka ICP]. I had thought that homelessness was largely a New York City problem, but as you can see by the map / chart the ICPH published - the problem is statewide.

 

Jumaane Williams & Cynthia Nixon Running for NYS

cynthia nixon photos jumaane williams photosAfter speaking to the protesters a number of people rose to speak. Among them was Jumaane Williams, the NYC Councilmember of the 45th district in Brooklyn. He's challenging NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul who he said was party to NYS Governor Cuomo's inaction.

The following is a video primarily of NYS Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon speaking at the rally. It was the first time I had seen her look like a real contender for the governorship since she announced her intention to run on March 19, 2018. Nixon talked first about rent regulations and one of her own personal experiences, and then she went on to mention other issues that separate her and Jumaane from Cuomo and Hochul.

This is just the beginning of our NYS state elections coverage 2018. I still have a fair amount of research to do to become more familiar with the state's role in so much of what affects us in NYC including affordable housing, the MTA, NYC public education and possibly corruption.

 

Petitions to Help Challengers get on the NYS Ballot

Nixon and Jumaane have about three weeks left to obtain the required signatures to get on the ballot. If you want to help them you can by copying & pasting this link into your browser for Cynthia Nixon for Governor and for Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor

https://cynthiafornewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cynthia-Jumaane-Petition.pdf


The Puerto Rican Parade NYC

Tens of Thousands of Puerto Ricans Celebrate Their Culture

puerto rican parade nyc photosJune 11, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Harlem Neighborhood / Manhattan Parades NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Puerto Rican Street Fair Spanish Harlem

One thing you could never accuse New York Puerto Ricans of, is a lack of pride in their cultural roots. On Saturday there was a huge street fair in Spanish Harlem, lasting most of the day, along a nearly 20 block stretch of Third Avenue between 103rd and 122nd streets in east Harlem.

 

East Harlem used to be the destination for Puerto Ricans coming to New York. And while there's still a large Puerto Rican community there, I think there may be an even larger community in the central Bronx whose Borough President is Ruben Diaz, whose father, NYC City Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr. came from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. So while some of the population may have moved, Puerto Ricans came from around the city and far beyond, to congregate on Saturday and Sunday, and the bask in the atmosphere of their cultural roots.

 

Puerto Rican Parade on the Upper East Side Manhattan

116th street fair spanish harlem street festival st fair east harlem spanish harlem photosThere was food, shopping, music, entertainment and dancing at the street fair on Saturday, and minus the food and shopping, the music, dancing and entertainment were also on display at the huge Puerto Rican parade in Manhattan on Sunday. Numerous floats as well as marching groups of dancers and musicians and social groups joined together to make the parade one long display of Puerto Rica's eclectic mix of African, Latin and American cultures.

 

American Puerto Ricans call themselves Boricuas and everything else is just Bochinche [gossip]. We'll delve more deeply into the Puerto Rican community in Manhattan and the Bronx as time passes.

 


The Ridiculous & Scary Presidency of Benedict Donald

If Trump is so Innocent, Why is his Legal Team Spending so Much Effort on Asserting he can Pardon Himself?

trump photo sean hannity photoJune 4, 2018 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

This would be funny, if it wasn't so real.

 

While Trump loudly and continuously proclaims his innocence, both he and his legal team are aggressively claiming that the president is above the law and can self pardon. These actions and concurrent narratives don't seem very innocent to me.

Is this a Shakespearean comedy of errors by fools?

 

Do They Think Americans Are Morons?

Is Democratic Rule of Law being Ceded to Billionaire Oligarchs?

Rudy Giuliani, once a lawyer who prosecuted the mob, seems to have sold out by becoming a lawyer who now represents mob-like characters, including Donald J. Trump and Turkish Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab.

giuliani photo rupert murdoch photosNot long after Trump began his career in the real estate business in the 1970's, Trump is believed to have associated with the mob, doing business with them on deals relating to the construction of Trump Tower, and in developing casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump reportedly admitted he was friendly with mobsters and I've seen photos of Trump with some. Trump has also sold in the neighborhood of a hundred million dollars or more in real estate to Russians, including an Oligarch, according to Haaretz, an Israeli English language publication. The Oligarchs are considered to be the Russian equivalent to what was the American mob by some. Click here for a brief and likely very incomplete accounting of some of what seem like Trump's nefarious dealings - Donald Trump & the Art of the Steal.

Rudy Giuliani was also hired by Reza Zarrab's defense lawyers - not to plead their case as their attorney - but to do something else, possibly akin to what Trump fixer Michael Cohen does. Giuliani was a staunch candidate Trump supporter in 2016, an unofficial Trump security adviser in 2017, and most recently became a member of the Trump legal team. According to an April 3, 2017 Seattle Times report,

"[Guiliani and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey] were hired by Zarrab’s defense. But oddly, neither is involved in pleading the case in U.S. District Court, leading prosecutors to wonder if the defense is trying to circumvent the regular judicial process by going above prosecutors’ heads. ... He [Zarrab] and several others are accused of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, using a network of companies to mask the true nature of transactions and defraud multiple banks. Prosecutors say they processed hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran and claim to have thousands of pages of bank, email and phone records to prove it. Zarrab pleaded not guilty."

To make a long story short, Trump subsequently fired Preet Bahara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was prosecuting the Zarrab case [and also prosecuting a couple of cases against a company controlled by Trump propagandist billionaire Rupert Murdoch - see link below]. At the time it was believed that Marc Mukasey, Michael Mukasey's son, would replace Bahara. Instead Trump left the position vacant for about a half year, before a New York judge appointed a temporary replacement. The position may not have been filled to avoid the appearance of what it really may have been ... another example of Trump obstruction of justice.

 

Democracy Destroying Don: Trump Claims He's Above the Law

On Saturday, June 2, 2018 the NYT published a story that included the following,

"In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

According to a June 2, 2018 report by The Hill quoting Nick Akerman, the Assistant Watergate Prosecutor,

“First of all, the whole idea that he [Trump] can’t be charged with obstruction of justice — the last time that ever happened in this country is when we were ruled by King George ... That’s what the whole rule of law is about. The president has to faithfully execute the laws.” [Akerman told MSNBC]

 

Axis of Evil: Trump, Giuliani & Rupert Murdoch's Media

Rudy Giuliani began doing rounds on the media circuit, most notably, Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine outlets including Fox News, where he appeared to assert that the president of the United States is above the law. To become better acquainted with what seems to be in it for Rupert Murdoch - who controls Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Barron's, Market Watch, WWOR-TV, Fox 5 and Harper Collins Books - in exchange for his unapologetic propagandistic support of Trump - click the link above.

Trump Corruption Makes the Clintons Look Like Amateurs?

trump white house for sale trump selling out america trump the great greatest american selloutDuring the 2016 campaign Benedict Donald repeatedly labeled Hillary Clinton as Crooked Hillary. That resonated with the American people because the Clinton's appear to have a history of questionable political maneuvering and the billion dollar Clinton Foundation oftentimes seems self-serving.

But in the one and a half years since Trump took office, he's managed to make the Clintons look like small potato amateurs, and you're hearing that from someone who is no fan of the Clintons.

Not Serving the Nation but Criminals Serving Themselves?

Taxpayers Spend Added $60 Million on Trump's Golf Game & Family Travels. In 2017 the U.S. Secret Service budget had to be increased $60 million to keep apace with the Trump family travels. A good portion of that spending appears to be to provide protection for Trump's 100 days of golf which he did in his first 408 days in office.

 

D.C. Swamp Now a Trump-sized Cess Pool

Middle East Wars: American Foreign Policy & Security For Sale?

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trash

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, secured a $30 million investment from an Israeli finance company, Menora Mivtachim shortly after Kushner accompanied Trump on a trip to Israel in May of 2017. In December 2017 the U.S. Embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem following receipt of the investment.

 

A March 22, 2018 report by MSNBC states that The Intercept noted that the Saudi Royal Prince said he had Jared Kushner "in his pocket". Kushner, who has national security clearance, is reportedly an avid reader of Trump's daily security briefing.

 

U.S. to Pay For Murdoch . Cheney . Prince Black Ops?

Blackwater / Academi, Erik Prince, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch & Syria - You Know This Can't be Good

trump swamp trump cess pool trump trash trump white trashAccording to a May 3, 2018 report in the NYT, the U.S. has quietly deployed Special Forces to Yemen, in what appears to be an escalation of help to the Saudi government's involvement in the Yemeni Civil War. The Trump Administration says America is providing refueling, logistics and intel sharing help and the Trump Administration never lies - do they? According to reports in the NYT in 2011 and in 2015 the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis have hired Blackwater [now called Academi] mercenaries and there have been reports of countless civilian casualties in Yemen and torture prisons either in Yemen, or elsewhere in the Middle East, or both.

Betsy De Vos' brother, Blackwater billionaire & Founder Erik Prince, is interested in going to the mercernaries-for-hire business again in the Middle East. According to an April 18, 2018 report in the WSJ,

"... the Trump administration is seeking to assemble an Arab force to replace the US military contingent in Syria and help stabilise the north-eastern part of the country ... [and that Erik Prince] has been informally contacted by Arab officials about the prospect.”

It's worth mentioning that Rupert Murdoch, the global billionaire propagandist, went into business with former VP Dick Cheney through Genie Energy which bought energy rights from Israel in 2013 in the illegally-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. In 2007, on Cheney's watch, Erik Prince's Blackwater allegedly murdered dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians - of which the most notable incident was the Nisour Square Massacre. And Erik Prince is also suspected of attempting to establish a back channel for Trump / Putin in the Seychelles [islands off the coast of Africa] in December of 2016.

It seems like the gang is back in town and American's reputation and government taxed money may be used again by these millionaires and billionaires to further enrich themselves. This time it seems they will make themselves even more fabulously rich on the stolen energy rights of the Syrian people, using the American taxpayer Defense budget to pay for it. An effort to defund some of these operations in March / April 2018 was stopped by one of Rupert Murdoch's many puppets, Senate Majority 'Leader' Mitch McConnell [his wife Elaine Chao was previously on Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Board].

 

Banking Deregulation For Sale?

Kushner also secured a half billion dollars in loans during Trump's first year as U.S. President. After multiple meetings at the White House in Spring of 2017, Citibank made a $325 million loan to Kushner. In November 2017 Apollo Global Management made a $184 million loan to Kushner. The loan they made to Kushner was reportedly triple the size of the average property loan in their portfolio. Apollo's slogan is "We take many paths to value."

In March 2018, Mouse McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate had passed a bank deregulation bill that pulls back the bank reforms made after a bank bailout and economic recovery that cost the American taxpayer over $4 TRILLION DOLLARS. In May 2018 Trump and the Republican Congress, led by Paul Ryan, passed a similar banking deregulation bill.

 

Chinese Trade Deals & American Security For Sale?

A May 23, 2018 report on Bloomberg states,

"Press reports in early May centered on $500 million in expected loans [to a Trump Partnership in Malaysian tycoon developer Hary Tanoesoedibjo] from a Chinese state-owned institution. This was particularly piquant because of Trump’s unexpected announcement on May 13, via Twitter, that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give the Chinese phone maker ZTE Corp., which has been cut off from U.S. suppliers for violating sanctions against trading with Iran and North Korea, “a way to get back into business, fast.” That produced accusations that Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo with Xi."

  • CLICK here to continue reading our report about the Ridiculous Presidency of Benedict Donald including the alleged sale of access to Russian Oligarchs, sale of U.S. federal land and mineral rights, potential corruption at Betsy De Vos' Department of Education, 187 former lobbysists working in the swamp-turned-cesspool, Melania's friend's multi-million dollar windfall, taxpayer funded federal government luxury, possibly a Cabinet member's Mile High Club enrollment on a U.S. Air Force jet and the Trump $1.5 trillion robbery of America's children.

NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

NYCCM Helen Rosenthal Hosts Housing Clinic to Inform Renters of Their Rights

manhattan things to do nycMay 29, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Wednesday, May 25th I went to the Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue at 88th Street to attend a housing clinic designed to inform renters of their rights.

***The following introduction is based on prior research done by me, and was not information provided at the housing clinic. I'll let you know when I segue out of my preamble and into the housing clinic.***

Over the past decade landlords appear to have become increasingly aggressive in trying to wriggle out of NYC and NYS rent stabilization regulations, that govern the rental payments under which about two million New Yorkers live.

It is my understanding that the government contributed land and / or financing to build or repair the buildings governed by NYC / NYS rent stabilization laws in exchange for the pricing rights on rent stabilized units. Many of the new landlords who have acquired rent stablized buildings, may possibly be in violation of approaching their business contract(s) in good faith, as the definition of good faith according to Wikipedia is:

"In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract. It is implied in every contract in order to reinforce the express covenants or promises of the contract. A lawsuit (or a cause of action) based upon the breach of the covenant may arise when one party to the contract attempts to claim the benefit of a technical excuse for breaching the contract, or when he or she uses specific contractual terms in isolation in order to refuse to perform his or her contractual obligations, despite the general circumstances and understandings between the parties. When a court or triar or fact interprets a contract, there is always an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" in every written agreement."

What is at stake, throughout the city, is literally hundreds of millions and more likely billions of dollars in - rental benefits or rental income streams - depending on which side of the struggle you're on. The landlords appear to be trying - using the torturtous side effects of construction including noise, health risk dust [inhalation], privacy loss and apartment functional loss - to wrest away the billions of dollars of rental pricing rights benefits from tenants to be pocketed by the landlords themselves. Given the high dollar value of what's at stake - including people's homes - this seems like attempted grand larceny, especially in cases where landlords are breaking the law to achieve their goals.

This will be continued at a later date. Including the segue into the information provided by the Housing Clinic to inform tenants of their rights.

Tenants' Rights March & Rally - June 14th Midtown at 4.30 pm

P.S. There's a March & Rally scheduled for June 14th, beginning at 4.30 pm, at the NY Public Library at 5th Avenue and 40th Street. They plan to march to Governor Cuomo's office at 3rd Avenue and East 41st Street. For details contact info@realrentreform.org or call 212.979.6958. All but one of the No IDC NY senatorial candidates have been invited to participate, and there's a possibility that NYS gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be there too - as this seems to coincide with her reasons for challenging Governor Cuomo.


Islamic Fashion in the Bronx

Bronx Islamic Clothing Store for Sale

May 21, 2018 / Parkchester Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Holidays in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxIn early May I traveled to the Parkchester neighborhood, to visit one of the Bronx newest Islamic clothing stores, Islam Fashion. With Ramadan only a couple of weeks away, the store proprietor was busy making preparations as Ramadan is the holiest month of the year - and just as during the holidays for Christians, it is also a very social time of the year.

The store, Islam Fashion, was started in the late 1990's [circa 1998] by an enterprising Egyptian immigrant, Mohamed Zohny, who I had met in Queens about a decade ago. Mohamed is one of those legendary entrepreneurial immigrants that one hears about - that keeps the American dream alive - both here and abroad.

Mohamed Zhony - Egyptian American Entrepreneur

Mohamed rolled the dice and immigrated to New York in 1979, at the age of 37, having left a position working at one of the airports in Egypt. When he arrived, he began working in a Lebanese restaurant washing dishes. Three years later in 1982, risking the savings he made from dishwashing, Mohamed started a falafel food truck at 51st Street and 5th Avenue.

Starting an Entrepreneurial Business on the Midtown Manhattan Streets

bronx things to do bronxFor fourteen years Mohamed made falafels out of his food truck and one might say he became a bit of a falafel food truck legend. He was photographed and written about in several glossy magazines, including one where he had his photo taken by famous photo journalist Lou Bopp.

Perhaps my favorite account of Mohamed at this time was the following in the 'Grub' section of a popular NYC magazine.

"Falafel stands abound … [at] Rockefeller Center … during lunchtime. Naturally they run the full gamut of barely edible to scintillatingly delicious. Second place for the title of best falafel is Zohny who has a cart on the corner of 5th Avenue and 51st Street. Not only are his falafels moister and fuller than the competition, but he has also developed falafel assembly into an art. It's a spectator sport to marvel as Zohny choreographs his falafel preparation like a wind-up doll. He can make the chick pea balls while dropping lettuce and tomato and heating the pita bread."

In 1996 then Mayor Rudy Giuliani started making changes to the rules governing traffic and food carts, so Mohamed decided to exit the business. Within two years, Mohamed had embarked on a third adventure, again investing his savings to purchase and then sell Islamic clothing on the Upper East Side on what I understood to be a sort of person-to-person basis.

Opens Islam Fashion Clothing Business in Manhattan with Stores in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx

bronx things to do bronxWithin another two years, in the year 2000, Mohamed signed a lease in Brooklyn and opened an Islamic clothing store there. Nine years later he opened a second store in 2009 in Astoria, where I met him. He's done a bit of advertising on Queens Buzz over the years and I have always found Mohamed to have a friendly smile on his face.

During this time I have had the opportunity to watch him do a bit of business here and there, buying and selling Islamic clothing in his shop. He would invite sellers to sit down for tea, chat and haggle a bit about quality and price, and then settle on a price and complete the deal. It felt like time traveling into Egypt in the space of a few minutes.

In recent years Mohamed, now 75 years old, has begun winding down ... at least a bit. He closed his Brooklyn store due to rising rents, and moved his Astoria store to Parkchester just last year - again due to rising rents. He opened in Parkchester a few months ago and has begun building yet another retail business. Even to this day Mohamed greets the public with a welcoming "Salam Alaikum", which in English means "Peace to you".

Islam Fashion is located at 1701 White Plains Road at Van Nest Avenue in Parkchester. Mohamed is now in the hospital and plans to sell his business. If interested you can reach him via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/islamfashioninc/

I hope and pray that Mohamed has a speedy recovery.


Arthur Avenue - Little Italy in the Bronx

Arthur Avenue Still has Multi-Generational Family Businesses

bronx shops shopping arthur avenue shops bronxMay 15, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood in the Bronx / Arthur Avenue Restaurants Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A bit over a week ago I headed up to the Arthur Avenue restaurant section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. Throughout most of the twentieth century, Arthur Avenue was a densely populated Italian section of the Bronx, full of Italian restaurants, shops and Italian culture. By the early 21st century, where we are now, many of the Italians had moved out into the suburbs or into other parts of the city - but that said there's still a very strong Italian presence, including some of the multi-generational Italian family businesses.

Arthur Avenue is more than a destination for those seeking Italian culture in the Bronx, as Fordham University is only blocks away. Oftentimes Fordham students can be seen milling about in the cafes, restaurants and shops, alongside long time residents from the neighborhood. I've come to view the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, founded in 1940, as sort of the epicenter or hub of Arthur Avenue.

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reportedly spearheaded the development of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market while he was Mayor in an effort to incent the popular, low-priced, but somewhat unsanitary, street pushcart businesses to move in off the streets. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market was, in some measure, one of the early malls, where various independent vendors sold their wares.

Within the same block and blocks, there are also many Italian retail businesses that have survived the economic vagaries of time. Among them is ...

More to come, including photos, later this week.


Port Morris Real Estate Development

The Bronx Neighborhood of Port Morris is Experiencing a Real Estate Development Renaissance

May 7, 2018 / Port Morris Neighborhood / Bronx Real Estate & Business / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxLast Sunday I went exploring two of the neighborhoods in the south Bronx. This report will focus on Port Morris, which is at the southern most end of the Bronx and is found along the Harlem River and the East River.

Port Morris has a long storied history, dating back to colonial times. Given its proximity to Manhattan [just over the Harlem River] and accessibility via the East River and Harlem River, Port Morris was geographically well positioned to be one of the great waterfronts. In fact one of the Morrises had this in mind in an earlier period and planned to make Port Morris competitive with the New York City Harbor and the Lower Manhattan docks. But alas it was not meant to be.

In the mid to late 1800's the piano making business was one of the biggest manufacturing industries in New York City. Piano factories lined the East River in Astoria and in the Bronx. By the mid 1900's the piano business was on the decline, being replaced by radio, television and the like as the primary source of home entertainment.

By the late 20th century the southern Bronx was in decline, but many of the old manufacturing buildings of a bygone era still remained. By the early 21st century southern Bronxians began to witness a growing interest in the Port Morris and Mott Haven neighborhoods due to an evolving business, social and economic climate in New York City.

I'll post more on Tuesday, May 8th.


5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

Bike New York Organizes NYC Bike Ride & Bike Expo New York

5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycApril 30, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Brooklyn Neighborhoods / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This story includes information about the upcoming 5 Boro Bike Ride on Sunday, as well as the Bike Expo New York which precedes it on Friday & Saturday in Red Hook. As of this report, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and the chances of rain appear slim. But bear in mind that the forecast probability of 20% chance of rain last Friday, turned into rain on Saturday evening, so check the weather as we get closer in.

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

Since 1977, every first Sunday of May, Bike New York has organized and promoted the 5 Boro Bike Ride. The ride begins in lower Manhattan, sweeps northward across the Harlem River Bridge to the Bronx, circles back across the Third Avenue Bridge to Manhattan, where it begins its southward trek crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, heading south to Brooklyn after a quick stop north to Astoria Park, and then comes down past the Brooklyn Navy Yards, continuing southward along the west side of 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycBrooklyn, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where it crosses over to the Fort Wadsworth neighborhood in Staten Island before terminating in the St. George neighborhood at the Staten Island Ferry.

 

Proceeds from Non-Profit New York Bike Ride go Toward Sustainable Transportation Efforts

The now famous bike ride was capped at 32,000 riders I believe sometime in the 1990’s, where it still stands today. One report noted that the 5 Boro Bike ride is one of – if not the largest - non-profit bike rides in the nation. The proceeds go to Bike New York programs which are designed to teach people about sustainable transportation, most notably bicycle riding and bike maintenance and safety. Another report noted that the NYPD had considered [don’t know the outcome] charging the organization $1 million for erecting, maintaining and terminating road closures during the New York 40 mile family-friendly bike ride.

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

Bike New York has offices in all five NYC boroughs. In 2015 their cyclist safety and bike maintenance programs reached 15,000 New Yorkers. And they are the organizers of the Bike Expo New York being held at Pier 12 in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday [see details in rest of this story].


Nature's Wonders at Wave Hill in the Bronx

Historic Wave Hill in Riverdale Overlooks the Hudson River

north bronx neigborhood west bronx neighborhood bronx neighborhoodsApril 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.


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 9.5.18 - 278
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

Updated September 7, 2018 / March 21, 2018 / Bronx Neighborhoods & Bronx News / Bronx Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Bronx Buzz NYC.

There's an NYS State primary election this month. 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.

The following is a list of challengers, eight of which I obtained off the NoIDCNY.org website. For some reason Blake Morris - Simcha Felder's challenger - was not included on their website. I have just contacted them to find out why.

  • Jessica Ramos is challenging Jose Peralta in District 13 in Queens.
  • John Liu is challenging Tony Avella* in District 11 in Queens.
  • Robert Jackson is challenging Marisol Alcantera in District 31 in Washington Heights / Inwood / Manhattan.
  • Alessandra Biaggi is challenging Jeff Klein in District 34 in the Bronx.
  • Zellnor Myrie is challenging Jesse Hamilton in District 20 in Brooklyn.
  • Blake Morris is challenging Simcha Felder in District 17 in Brooklyn.
  • Jasmine Robinson is challenging Diane Savino in District 23 in Brooklyn / Staten Island.
  • Julie Goldberg is challenging David Carlucci in District 38 in nearby upstate New York.
  • Rachel May is challenging David Valesky in District 53 in upstate New York.

* A Word About NYS Senator Tony Avella as He Appears to be a Real Independent

Of all of the IDC candidates listed above, NYS Senator Tony Avella deserves special consideration. NYS Senator Avella CHALLENGED Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens Country Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crowley when both of these men, and many in their parties, supported real estate developments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz took a position that appeared somewhere between supportive of the developments to - at best - indifferent.

NYS Senator Avella advocated on behalf of the community to thwart billionaire and mega millionaire real estate developers from grabbing Queens parkland - AND WON. In doing this, NYS Senator Tony Avella, appears to be more like a Maverick or Independent, resembling legislators like deceased U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat), both of whom have charted their own path through party-dominated politics.

Avella is an important independent voice in the Queens, NYC and NYS community, which the Democrats in his district will have to decide whether or not to keep.



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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