New Bronx Community Board 8 District Manager

22 May

Community Board 8 has a brand new district manager, Patricia Manning. Yet she’s a 30-year veteran of the office. (I remember working with her briefly in the early 1990s, when I was working for the borough president and the Department of Sanitation in Community Boards 11 and 8 on education and helping communities adhere to the brand new recycling law. I also remember her daughter worked (works?) at the Botanical Garden in the Bronx. More news on her new gig in The Riverdale Press.

Next Steps to Revive Land Next to Bronx Step Street?

21 May

On Kingsbridge Terrace in the northwest Bronx neighborhood of Kingsbridge Heights there is a significantly high step street heading down to Heath Avenue and West 229th Street that is in terrible, dangerous condition. At the April meeting of Community Board 8’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, The city’s Department of Design and Construction announced the reconstruction of that step street, with work beginning next spring and ending 15 months later if all goes well. It’s a much needed project that includes something cool: a path to roll your bike  — instead of carrying it — up the steps.

On a related note, yesterday, when I went for a morning run, I saw a large, neighboring bit of land through a circular hole in the wooden fence.

What was this empty area neighboring the 229th Street step street in Kingsbridge Heights? Photo by Jordan Moss

What was this empty area neighboring the 229th Street step street in Kingsbridge Heights? Photo by Jordan Moss

The material on its grounds looks like former playground equipment. Anyone know what this was? Any plans to restore it? Thought I’d check it out with neighbors and other Bronx Matters readers before I checked in with DDC or other city agencies.

-Jordan Moss

Another New Bronx Restaurant Headed Our Way in Kingsbridge

12 May

The newest restaurant addition— there have been many in recent months — that is still under a bit of construction in Kingsbridge is the Tilila Bar and Grill (might be another name in there but not certain). It’s where the Bottom Line on Bailey Avenue (and 231st Street) was for a few years with apparently insufficient success. But the wooden construction-hiding boards covering the place were torn down like a week ago, uncovering a turquoise bar/restaurant that looks more like a cool house, maybe in New Orleans, like my friends the Aucoins, who know NOLA very well, told me.

Co-owner of new restaurant on Bailey Ave. in Kingsbridge, TK, says he hopes it opens at the end of the May. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Co-owner of new restaurant on Bailey Ave. in Kingsbridge,  Jose Severino says he hopes it opens at the end of the May. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Tilila already has feet in local nabes thanks to its co-owners. Jose Severino (in photo above) owns the Burrito Shop on Broadway near Manhattan College, and his partner Henry Gonzalez owns Tin Marin, another popular restaurant up the hill on the other side of Broadway on Riverdale Avenue.

Severino hopes the new joint will open at the end of the month and that looks likely. The furniture appears to have arrived and the walls are filled with art and photographs.

It may not be open yet but as you can see from this pic, Tilila is gettin' there. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

It may not be open yet but as you can see from this pic, Tilila is almost there. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

He told me Tilila is going to include the following: Flamenco once a month; karaoke once a week; a huge bar menu including tapas, chicken, steak and fish. And some time of day (I didn’t get it down precisely) there will be beer for a buck.

As locals know, Tilila adds to the opening of a couple new, and relatively new, restaurants on the same curved block: 100% (great fruit smoothy café open all day and much of the eve) and A Capella Pizza, which just opened last week.

Staten Island Courthouse Construction Catastrophe Mimics Bronx’s. Any Big Media Paying Attention?

30 Apr

Remember back in 2010/11 when the Bronx Hall of Justice courthouse construction went $100 million over budget accompanied by delays and scandalous conditions resulting in mice infestation, roof leaks and sewage pipes letting go of excrement? Well, at least that got some citywide coverage.

I went to Staten Island today to get my ID NYC at an office over there (OK, way over there from the Bronx, but less of a wait list than to get it in the Bronx or Manhattan), and saw the new courthouse there still under construction. I was going to just post the following photo of the lovely building on Instagram. I like the way it looks architecturally much more than the Bronx Hall of Justice.

This Staten Island Courthouse is way behind schedule. Has there been any citywide coverage?  Photo by Jordan Moss

This Staten Island Courthouse is way behind schedule. Has there been any citywide coverage? Photo by Jordan Moss

But I just looked up this courthouse construction on-line and can’t find any citywide coverage about how delayed and costly it has been. Only the State Island Advance has written about it and that was a whole year ago, when it said the construction was “bedeviled by delays for more than a decade.”  Wow! We have four citywide newspapers, and apparently none find this important enough to cover, much less explore any possible problems in other parts of the state. Maybe it’s just that citywide media doesn’t get over there much, or at all, to notice. (How could they not notice when covering the Eric Garner travesty a few blocks away.) Is the same true of the TV networks? And are Staten Island elected officials saying/doing anything about this?

Let me know if I’m missing something here, folks.

-Jordan Moss

Jerome Avenue Rezone Proposal: BronxTalk Examines It Again Tonight (Part III).

6 Apr

Tonight’s BronxTalk will feature the proposal to rezone and rebuild 75 blocks on and around Jerome Avenue from 165th to 184th streets. It’s the third edition of the program in the past five weeks that will be dedicated to this important and controversial project. Several groups have begun organizing to make sure the neighborhoods surrounding Jerome Avenue play a role in determining what zoning changes, if any, are eventually made by the city. CASA, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Latino Pastoral Action Center and United Auto Merchants are among them. Tonight’s show will feature the district managers of Bronx Community Board’s 4 and 5. Hosted by Gary Axelbank, BronxTalk is seen live Monday nights at 9 p.m on BronxNet’s channel 67 and Fios 33.

No Gas in Bronx Apartments on Strong Street

2 Mar
60 Eames Place tenants haven't been able to cook for over a month.

Many 85 Strong Street tenants haven’t been able to cook for over a month. Photo by Jordan Moss

Tenants, with the help of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, are battling the month-long lack of cooking gas in many of their apartments at 85 Strong Street, which is close to Lehman College. CBS-NY had this story. Tenants formed this Facebook page. The Coalition had a meeting with the tenants last Wednesday and by Friday 80 percent of the building got its gas back. There are 72 units in the building and there are currently 96 code violations, according to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development on its website.

Guy Davis in the Bronx Tonight!

27 Feb

If you’ve got some free time tonight, don’t miss blues musician — guitar, banjo, harmonica — Guy Davis at Hostos Community College (E. 149th St. and Grand Concourse – 4 train virtually leads right to the door) tonight at 7:30. It’s only $10, so if you’re into him or blues in general, try and make it there. (I’m not a promoter, just a Davis fan and blues love. Check out this wonderful video where Davis explains how he took up his work.)

Final Gathering at My Dad’s Bronx Sculpture Exhibit 12.9.14

7 Dec
Jay Moss at his exhibit. (Photo by Ron Terner)

                                                       Jay Moss at his exhibit. (Photo by Ron Terner)

To celebrate my dad’s sculpture exhibit at Manhattan College one more time before it closes, we’re having a party there this coming Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 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. Easy to get to by 1-train (last stop, 242nd St./Van Cortlandt Park).

If you’re planning on coming, please e-mail me at jordanmoss.bx-at-gmail.com.

Here’s an article I wrote about his work in The Forward, and David Gonzalez’s wonderful column in The New York Times.

To see photos of his sculpture, go to jaymoss.weebly.com.

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