The Mott Haven Herald, a great community newspaper produced by CUNY students (launched by Riverdale Press Pulitzer Prize winner Buddy Stein, a retired Hunter College and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism professor) highlights great Mexican restaurants in Melrose, the community east of the Grand Concourse, north of East 149th Street. The only one I’ve been to is the excellent low-key Xochimilco Family Restaurant. Looking forward to trying out the others reported on here.
WHEDco (Women’s Housing and Econcomic Development Corporation) is scheduled to break ground on on a large mixed use development in the next year, according to Curbed.
“Today, WHEDco is working on its most ambitious project yet: Bronx Commons, a 361,600-square-foot mixed-use development with affordable housing, a rooftop farm, retail space, and cultural programming from the Bronx Music Heritage Center. Although the organization has come a long way since its formation, the mission is more or less the same: livable, affordable housing that builds up the neighborhood too.”
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.
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.
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.
Harry Bubbins, head of the Friends of Brook Park, lays out his position on why the city’s financial support of FreshDirect taking over a chunk of the south Bronx’s waterfront has gotta go.. He calls on Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to get back to his previous positions and on Mayor de Blasio to follow his current ones.
Do you want the Citi Bike program up and running — uh, biking — in the Bronx?
Think the Bronx is, or was ever, in tough shape? It certainly was, especially in the 70s and 80s, but that seems like nothing compared to what Detroit is going through now. What do you think?
Anyone with kids in city schools knows how limited or completely absent sports and phys ed are in public schools. Jim Dwyer focuses on this issue in the Bronx.
Norwood News reports on the 52nd Precinct cracking down on barbecuing in local parks. Community orgs are doing the same.
Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s (better) Little Italy, is now home to a new Latin fusion joint, reports Bronx News 12.
Former Council member Oliver Koppell, a veteran Riverdale-based politician who occupied several other key political positions, may have an uphill climb to defeat incumbent Jeffrey Klein, a Democrat who has formed a separate committee to partner closely with Republicans. Some key former Koppell allies are backing Klein, but
Koppell is gathering support and enthusiastically taking it on. City Limits files a detailed report.
Former assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson is headed behind bars for three years for taking bribes from a company wanting legislation to temporarily ban additional adult day care centers. In February, I reported in City Limits that Governor Cuomo was publicly struggling with a decision of whether to have the election to refill District 79 soon or wait until the regular primary on Sept. 9. The latter date won out and there won’t be an assemblyman in that district for another six months following the general election. The same is true for District 77, an office former-assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson left when she became a member of the City Council.
The city celebrated its Shop Healthy Program in the Bronx. Through advertising, the project highlights healthier foods which the Department of Health says works by drawing more customers to food that’s better for them.
Congressman Charles Rangel, who now represents part of the northwest Bronx, leads challenger Adriano Espaillat, now a state senator, 41 to 32 percent in a poll conducted by the New York Times, NY1, and Siena College. (Data chart included.)
And according to the Daily News, Rangel and another candidate in his district have a lotta dough. And Espaillat? Not so much.
The ninth murder this year in the northeast Bronx’s 47th Precinct took place on East 229th Street yesterday. That’s eight more murders than there were last year at this time. The New York Times covered this problem May 18 as well.
(To find out more about crime in your precinct or neighborhood, click here and here for city data from NYPD and DoITT. Tell Bronx Matters if you think this data is helpful or how it can be more helpful.)
Speaking of food, a historic pizza joint, Patsy’s Pizzeria, is opening a Morris Park location next month, the Daily News reports. According to the story, the 81-year-old Patsy’s is considered to be the first pizzeria that sold pizza by the slice.
The Ghetto Film School, based in Mott Haven, is partnering with 20th Century Fox to open a partner school in Los Angeles, the Daily News reports.
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Here are some links we think are important and/or interesting …
Evictions are way up in the city, particularly in the Bronx. Sally Dunford of West Bronx Housing and Neighborhood Resource Center, tells WNYC: “I don’t even advertise our services because I’m too afraid of what would happen if we actually started advertising.”
Some delectable photos of dishes served up at the Khmer New Years Festival on Marion Avenue recently.
A roving foreclosure blockade came to Bronx Supreme Court yesterday, resulting in 14 arrests. It was Organizing for the Occupation’s seventh blockade. They’re headed to Brooklyn on Thursday. An important fact from Daniel Beekman’s coverage of the same action: The Bronx endures fewer foreclosures than Brooklyn and Queens. But no urban county in the state suffers more foreclosures per mortgage than the Boogie Down, said Justin Haines, foreclosure prevention director at Legal Services NYC – Bronx.
Want to learn more about the country’s foreclosure crisis? Read this special report on Pro Publica (a nonprofit investigative news site).
Steve Ritz of the Green Bronx Machine continues to spread the gospel of urban farming and good food to students and the adults in their lives. (Video)
10 very brief Life Lessons of many in the archives of Esquire.
Beyond our borough: Why San Diego is not hopping on the teacher evaluation bandwagon.
The New York World reports: “The state Office of Court Administration will reverse the controversial 2004 merger of the Bronx Criminal and Supreme courts, which attorneys have blamed for lengthy delays that infringe on the rights of criminal defendants.” Read more.
Vince Morgan, a former staffer for Congressman Charlie Rangel who challenged his former boss in the 2010 Democratic primary and planned to do so again, has ended his bid and endorsed Adriano Espaillat.
Community Board 1 residents voted unanimously late last month to condemn the process that led to the approval of the deal that paved the way for Fresh Direct to create its new factory in the Harlem River Yards. The board’s district manager, Cedric Loftin, disagrees.
“Mama’s Boys of the Bronx,” the new TLC reality show that follows a bunch of 35-year-old Italian men who still live at home with their mamas and apparently aren’t shy about reporting and discussion their sexual exploits under the same roof, premiered last night. (Video)
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was a critic of stop-and-frisk when Giuliani was mayor, Michael Powell reports.
Woodlawn Cemetery now has a tour of gravesites foodies will love.
A sculpture installed in West Farms, called “For Closure” is “meant to represent the fragility of the housing market.” (Video)
OK, we’re back with Morning Matters. Sorry to miss the last couple of days.
The Bronx Documentary Center, also in Melrose, has an opening tonight for an important exhibit called, “How the Other Half (Still) Lives: Bloomberg’s Legacy?” by Ana Brigida about conditions in public housing.
Speaking of Melrose, Legal Services is developing a building on a vacant lot near the subway station in the neighborhood’s southern end on Brook Avenue and East 149th Street.
Have you read the incredibly intelligent conversation taking place on Gregory Lobo Jost’s post on the Times declaring gentrification taking root in south Bronx? I’ve been meaning to mention that this isn’t the first time the Times has weighed in on south Bronx gentrification. This piece by the same reporter, Joseph Berger, focused on the artists and professionals heading to the Clocktower and other buildings in Mott Haven. The appearance of arugula in supermarkets and cafes is also a harbinger of a new scene in that piece. Hey, does arugula mean Kingsbridge is gentrifying? The revamped Foodtown on Broadway and 231st has it as well as a section of specialty beers. Speaking of food and drink, the recent Berger article quotes a resident who found a fantastic Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, Xochimilco. But that restaurant, which I happened to be at a few days before that article appeared, is in the heart of Melrose, a whole other neighborhood (which has its own incredible story of rebound that I plan to talk more about here) at least a mile and a half away from the Concourse and 160s. (Incidentally, I had the best chicken mole I think I ever had in my lifethere.)
Though teen violence is way up at Riker’s Island, the Bronx DA’s office rarely prosecutes, according to an article in The New York World. The DA’s office says it’s hard to prosecute when victims don’t cooperate but critics say that wouldn’t be case in the world outside of prison.
A popular middle school teacher, Justin Bravo, was killed while riding on his motorcyle in the tunnel on Mosholu Parkway underneath Jerome Avenue and the 4-train. This tragic accident was virtually steps away from where a pedestrian died in December. Norwood News posted the funeral arrangements.
Hunts Point Express documents local efforts to battle the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, including murals to educate youth on their rights at Rocking the Boat.