UPDATE: Deal Made for Barnes & Noble to Remain 2 More Years in Bay Plaza

23 Oct

UPDATE: As I predicted, bookstore won’t shut down; 2-year deal is made. Go to welcome2thebronx.com for more info.

Headline a bit of a prediction, but quite likely nonetheless. Barnes & Noble in Co-op City was headed for closure because of a rent rivalry with Bay Plaza landlord Prestige Properties and Development. But last night, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced a noon press conference today with both bookstore and landlord big-shots present in Bay Plaza at his sides. Bound to be good news, right? We shall see in a couple of hours.

Incidentally, back in 1999, as editor of the Norwood News, I wrote about then-Assemblyman Stephen Kaufman, who successfully hectored Barnes & Noble:

He doesn’t represent any of the neighborhoods we serve, but east Bronx Assemblyman Stephen Kaufman deserves credit for shepherding a Barnes & Noble bookstore to the borough. Like many Bronxites, he couldn’t fathom how a borough of 1.2 million people had only two small general-interest bookstores. Like few others, however, he did something about it. He bugged, bothered, cajoled and convinced Barnes & Noble officials, making a strong case that a Bronx branch would succeed “beyond their wildest dreams.”

More here.

And here’s my story about the opening 15 years ago.

“…[B]eginning this month, tens of thousands of titles are being pumped into the borough’s literary circulatory system, thanks to a new Barnes & Noble superstore that debuted on Dec. 1 in Bay Plaza.”

More here.

Jay Moss, Bronx Sculptor, Shows His Stuff

20 Oct

My dad, Jay Moss, is a 91-year-old World War II vet. A sculptor, in relatively good shape, he’s still at it in his Riverdale apartment.

An opening of his first exhibit in about 13 years — Sculpture and Social Consciousness — will be at Manhattan College in Riverdale, this Wednesday evening (10/22) from 4 to 7 p.m. (It’s in the Alumni Room of the O’Malley Library, 1st floor, Room 100. Guards at the college entrance can send you in the right direction to park, walk, etc. Address is 4513 Manhattan College Parkway. Here’s a map.)

My dad’s work is not all, or directly, focused on war, but most of the art you’ll see is simply not what it would be if he missed the war age-wise or otherwise.

I love his work more than ever.

Here’s just a few of the 40-plus sculptures in the big show:

Jay Moss, my dad, has commented that ideally he'd like this Oscar to be given to Cheney and Rumsfeld. (Photo by Adi Talwar)

Jay Moss, my dad, has commented that ideally he’d like this Oscar for Torturers to be given to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. (Photo by Adi Talwar)


'Prisoner' and 'Demented Clown' before shipping to Manhattan College last Thursday. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

‘Prisoner’ and ‘Demented Clown’ before shipping to Manhattan College last Thursday. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

'Tenement Family' (Photo by Adi Talwar)

‘Tenement Family’ (Photo by Adi Talwar)


Two Fort Independence Intersections in Bronx Unsafe, Parents Say

30 Sep

By Jordan Moss

Crossing Guards control traffic around the city in key places where kids are headed to, and from, school. Stop signs and traffic lights are at many corners, but there is nothing like either at a very wide section of Fort Independence Street where Giles Place leads to Kingsbridge Terrace.

Heading to Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Yalitza Perez and her 2-year-old daughter (upper left) begin their cross of Fort Independence Street where there are no crossing guards, crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

Heading to Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Yalitza Perez and her 2-year-old daughter (upper left) begin their cross of Fort Independence Street where there are no crossing guards, crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

About a block west of this intersection is a three-way intersection — where Fort Independence Street, curves north as it meets up with Heath Avenue. DOT did make this intersection clearer last year. But there are no places for walkers to cross at this intersection either.

There are also no crosswalks at this complicated intersection of two wide, curvy streets: Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

There are also no crosswalks at this complicated intersection of two wide, curvy streets: Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

Each of the three parents I spoke to yesterday morning, even as they rushed to drop their children off at school on Kingsbridge Terrace, strongly said that something needs to be done.

With her 10-year-old daughter, Anna Prince crossed from the corner of Giles Place and Fort Independence after looking both ways several times.

“It’s very hard,” she said. “I always think about there being a light or a crossing person.”

Soon after Prince, Yalitza Perez crossed, headed to the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to drop off her 2-year-old daughter.

“It is so dangerous to cross there,” Perez told Bronx Matters, adding how critical “a crosswalk, a light, or anything,” is to make it a safe crossing.

Headed to PS 360, a couple of blocks past the community center, Patricia Rodriguez crossed the same intersection with her three fourth-grade children (two are twins). She feels the same way as Perez and Prince, and added, “There are some parents that let kids walk for themselves so it’s not safe at all.”

The city’s Department of Transportation did not respond to questions about the Kingsbridge Terrace-Giles intersection, but did about the lack of a crossing area where Fort Independence Street connects with Heath Avenue.

“DOT has not received a formal complaint regarding the Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue three-way intersection. We resurfaced and reinstalled roadway markings during the Summer of 2013 at the location,” a DOT spokesman said. “The intersection is not stop-controlled. DOT will continue monitoring the location for safety improvements and work with the local community board with the concerns it may have.”

Ed. note: If you have any concerns or suggestions about the intersections on Fort Independence Street, please comment on this post. Thanks!

Bronxite Ron Terner Celebrates 40th Anniversary of His City Island Gallery

26 Sep

Ron Terner, owner of Focal Point Gallery on City Island for the last 40 years, had an anniversary party starring his own new work a few weeks ago. I couldn’t make it to the opening but the next day my wife and I enjoyed looking at his work (see below), and chatting with Ron about that and more.

I’ve enjoyed Terner’s work since I first saw his photography — probably almost 20 years ago — and I learned a lot when I took his black-and-white printing class. When my wife and I got engaged 20 years ago, we bought a beautiful framed black-and-white photo of his in place of the traditional engagement ring. It’s still up on our living room wall.

Klein continues to explore various forms of art linked to his photography. Below are “photo collages transferred onto homemade canvas,” Terner says.

Go see this exhibit — as soon as you can. It ends 10/2. There is another “Artist Choice” show, from 10/3 to 10/31. (If you can submit your piece by 10/1 you can be in the exhibit.) For more details, check out this link.

Also, Ron was one of 40 phenomenal Bronx photographers who took part in the first-ever Bronx Artist Documentary Project, which is still showing at the Andrew Freedman home. (My dad, Jay Moss, a sculptor, was one of the Bronx artists photographed for this exhibit.)

All three of these artworks are by Ron Terner.

All three of these artworks are by Ron Terner.

terner native american

terner map art

Bronx and Planet Earth

22 Sep

350.org estimates that 310,000 people took part in the People’s Climate March on Sunday to push desperately needed worldwide climate change action. Bronxites supplied a significant contingent. A reported 100 people from Riverdale’s Manhattan College took part, as did members of New Day Church in Bedford Park, La Finca del Sur, and South Bronx Unite, a coalition firmly focused on preventing Fresh Direct from moving its truck-heavy HQ to Mott Haven. (I’d love to know of any other Bronx groups, organizations, schools, clubs, etc. that took part in the Climate March. If you can send that info and a good photo to bronxmatters@gmail.com, I’ll do my best to get them up here. Thanks!)

My family took part with Bronx pals and their kids (from left my daughter Devin, and her friends Shoshana, Frieda and Bronwyn; my wife Margaret Groarke, active in the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition stands behind them).

Photo by Jordan Moss

I met these cool guys, artists from Marble Hill, Bronx (Richard Grunn) and nearby Inwood demonstrating melting ice. They attracted a ton of shots from marchers.

Photo by Jordan Moss

Photos by Jordan Moss

Again, if you know of any other Bronx groups that took part, send info and pic to bronxmatters@gmail.com. Thanks!

-Jordan Moss

Contractor Threatens to Evict Homeless Families as City Cuts Pay for Criticized Homeless Program

1 Jul

Mayor de Blasio is no fan of cluster site housing for the homeless – where companies rent apartments, loan them to those needing housing and technically help those temporary tenants find jobs and regular housing. Since 2004, when Bloomberg launched this program (following a similar program of Giuliani’s) the city has been paying twice as much rent for the homeless than it would otherwise cost. If rent goes for $1,500 on average, apartments for the homeless cost the city about $3,000.

So, as reported in the New York Times yesterday, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, is cutting down what the city is going to pay these companies, some of them nonprofits, to do what they’ve been doing. And one of them, Aguila Inc., is threatening evict homeless tenants they’re responsible for, outraging Barrios-Paoli.

I covered this issue, including Aguila, extensively for the Bronx Bureau of City Limits a year ago and in April. Almost no “homeless” tenant I interviewed said the cluster site process was helping them find work, or secure other regular apartments. De Blasio can’t get rid of cluster site all at once but it other efforts may follow. Meanwhile, whether this administration is able to find other companies who will take less money for the same role – while doing it all better – remains to be seen.

Even though this isn’t front-page news now, and elected officials have had little or anything to say about it (both of these things should be occurring), how the city’s efforts to diminish the cluster-site program is very Bronx relevant. It’s the second smallest borough, but it has about 135 of the 230 — more than half — cluster-site buildings in the city.


13th C.D. Debate with Adriano Espaillat and Rev. Michael Walrond; Rangel Doesn’t Show

17 Jun

Bronx Pre-Summer Sun in Norwood Mist

16 Jun


Mosh library

At the after-school time of about 4:20 p.m. today, Bronx Norwoodians (whose nabe is just north of Mosholu Parkway) young and old enjoyed a hydrant’s brisk water blast in front of Mosholu Library. (Photo by me, J. Moss)


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