A Diner/Restaurant at Former Van Cortlandt Library Site? (Bronx)

6 Dec

OK, people don’t complain to me about this. I never hear anyone say, “Oh, I wish we had a good restaurant on Sedgwick Avenue.” But I think of it every darn time I walk on the block and I’ve got a vibe that many locals reading this will agree, or have their own suggestions for what we need on the block (it literally is just about a block, maybe even less).

The thing I think about most is that there are many elderly residents in this area. Yet, aside from a pizza place, there isn’t a single restaurant they can easily walk to and have breakfast, lunch or dinner. And if there were a diner, or some good breakfast/lunch joint, that would benefit everybody.

Here’s where it could be … where the Van Cortland Library used to be (they’ve moved to a beautiful new building on Cannon Place).

IMG_2181

Whether you agree with this or not, I think we all agree that we need something good and useful here, and we should try to figure out what is most wanted by Van Cortlandt Village and Kingsbridge Heights neighbors. So, what do you think? Just comment below and I’ll repost what you’d like to see. Thanks!

-Jordan Moss

New Van Cortlandt Library Looking Great

17 May

5.17.19 – This is what will be the new wonderful and large local Van Cortlandt Library on Cannon Place in Kingsbridge Heights replacing the smaller on Sedgwick Avenue. Looking forward to its completion!

Eastern Bloc Artists’ Exhibit at Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home (in Riverdale/Bronx)

13 May
Fremund

Richard Fremund (Czech, 1928–1969), Easter Landscape (Velikonocni Krajina), 1963, oil on canvas, 35 x 45 1/2 inches.

If you love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home, in Riverdale. It’s free and wonderful to see. Here’s info on the exciting exhibit and opening on May 19 to check out …

“Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition, From the Eastern Bloc to the Bronx: Early Acquisitions from The Art Collection, on view in the Derfner Judaica Museum from May 5–August 25, 2019. A reception and curator’s talk will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1:30–3 p.m. in the Museum, located at 5901 Palisade Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. 718.581.1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. Photo I.D. required for entry at all times. 

“The exhibition is part of the Derfner Judaica Museum’s 10th Anniversary celebration, which will include several events and activities throughout the summer.” More info here

 

Rabin

Oscar Rabin (Russian, 1928–2018), Cats Under Crescent Moon, 1963, oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 43 ½ inches

love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home,  in Riverdale. (It’s free and wonderful to see.) Here

Poetry Reading at Hebrew Home/Derfner Judaica Museum in Observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day

30 Apr

Tomorrow evening, Wed. 5/1, at Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home in Riverdale (northwest Bronx), there will be a free poetry reading and film screening. More info here:

Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale will host a poetry reading and film screening in observance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on Wednesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. A pre-event reception will be held in the Museum, followed by the program commencing at 7 p.m. in the Winter Garden on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion located at 5901 Palisade Avenue, in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. to 718.581.1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. Photo I.D. required for entrance.

Link to Facebook invite here.

Swan Lake (Van Cortlandt Park)

22 Apr

Van Cortlandt Park Swan

Saw this beautiful swan today in Van Cortlandt Park Lake. I see one or two there often, but they never cease to attract my attention. Photo by Jordan Moss

What Should We Do With Van Cortlandt Library Space?

21 Apr
DSC_1084.jpg

Van Cortlandt Library on Sedgwick Avenue will soon be leaving this space for a new, larger site on Cannon Place. What should replace it? Photo by Jordan Moss

This is a photo of the current Van Cortlandt Library, but it will only exist for another couple of months. The one that will replace it is twice as large, allowing more, and separate, rooms for kids and adults. And from the photo I saw of the design, it’s infinitely more attractive. It’s being built right now on Cannon Place. It should be open by the end of summer. Fingers crossed.

But in the meantime, what should go in the old space? It’s for rent, and who knows, maybe for sale (phone number in photo).

Here’s what I think: it should be a diner or breakfast/lunch joint. Yeah, sure I’d also like a Thai or Indian restaurant or an art gallery or … a lotta stuff. But I really think that a diner wold benefit the most people in the vicinity. There’s no place for anyone to sit down for a quick breakfast or lunch before they get on the bus, or go to work at PS 95 across the street. And, except for the pizza place, there’s really no place for the elderly and people without cars to take a walk and have some breakfast, lunch or dinner. We all love pizza but not every single time we want/need to go get something to eat.

That’s my view. But I’m interested in yours. And if there’s a collective community view of what should be there, let’s all shout it out loud to everyone we know who could help spread word to business folks interested in what we are interested in.

-Jordan Moss

 

 

Assembly Speaker Heastie, Bronxite, Must Do the Right Thing on Raise Recommendation

14 Dec

10.14.18 — Most city residents don’t know who their state legislators are. It’s just a fact. I don’t know of a poll in this regard, but I bet a tiny, tiny fraction of us Bronxites know that an assemblyman from the northeast Bronx, Carl Heastie, is the speaker of the Assembly. A pretty important job especially considering that he and his Democratic colleagues could get some critically important legislation passed, now that the state Senate will be led by Democrats on Jan. 1.

So, Heastie has the power to do good. But there’s word that he might, well, do something very bad. A group of current and former city and state comptrollers was given the power to come up with recommendations regarding whether and how to increase state legislators’ pay from $79,500 to $110,000 on Jan. 1 and eventually to $130,000 in 2021. That would be the top pay for state legislators in the country. The critical caveat the comptroller-team put forward was that legislators’ outside income can only be 15 percent of what they earn in the Assembly or state Senate. That’s because so much of the vast corruption in Albany is related to hidden handshake money deals on legislation that is connected with lawmakers’ non-government gigs.  U.S. congressmen/women and  senators in D.C. are prohibited from doing other work while they’re in Congress for this exact reason.

So making $50,500 more than they make right now is a perfect incentive to do the right thing. Right?

Well, it seems many state legislators don’t think so. If the legislature does nothing (something we want for a change!) in terms of the comptrollers’ recommendations, all of the good stuff they proposed will take effect on Jan. 1. But according to a New York Times editorial today, Speaker Heastie is thinking of what the current State Senate majority leader John Flanagan is thinking: staging a vote in both chambers before Jan. 1 to get their big raise but also to keep allowing a ton of outside money to interfere with the critical government jobs voters hired them for.

Speaker Heastie, a Bronxite and like the second or third most powerful person in state government, needs to to do the right thing: vow publicly that he won’t allow a vote to undercut the comptrollers’ excellent and desperately needed small-‘d’, democratic good-government proposal.

If you agree, give Heastie a call at his office and tell him to the let his pay raise go forth the way the comptrollers recommended. So essentially, no more decision making or voting on this. It should be done, which would be good for democracy in our state. His office number is 718-654-6539 and/or email him at Speaker@nyassembly.gov.

-Jordan Moss

Day 1: Getting Dangerous Summit Place Step Street Fixed and Eventually Replaced in Kingsbridge, Bronx

13 Dec

So the beginning of the title to this post means that I’m beginning today to count the days it takes to replace the unsafe step street between Bailey Avenue and Heath Avenue, which heads right into Summit Place. I know many of us have expressed concerns in various ways about this before, but here I’ll start afresh, with no complaints, just a more focused effort to get this done. The next meeting of Community Board 8’s Traffic and Transportation Committee is on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Amalgamated Houses, 74 Van Cortland Park South, at 7 p.m. I’ll be there and I hope that others who care about this can attend too.

In a recent email exchange with an incredibly helpful member of Community Board 8, Laura Spalter, I learned that replacing this step street is number 6 on the board’s Fiscal Year 2020 capital priorities list, which begins July 1, 2019. (The current list on the CB8 site needs to be corrected or updated, since the step street is not on that list at all.) We need to learn how long it will take to get to #6, and whether the city will adhere to that request at all.

But regardless off whether it becomes a city-authorized capital project plan — which means it would be completely replaced — it would take at least two or three years to plan and complete I’m figuring, maybe even more. But in the meantime, it definitely needs to be repaired. Here are some photos I took the other day:

IMG_5727

This is what so many steps look like on this step street. And aside from all the cracks, many of the steps are uneven in height, exacerbating the potential of tripping and falling. 

IMG_5729

The worst step on the step street. Dangerous! 

IMG_5738

Just a wider look at all the damage. 

IMG_5736

Many of the rail posts, like this one, indicate to me that there were once lights on them. This step street is poorly lit, which makes the cracked, uneven steps even more dangerous. 

IMG_5734

See the big stone block near the beautiful, new graffiti post on the side of this store? Well that’s from one of the posts on the step street. It’s been like that for a long time but the city has done nothing about it. 

Again, if you are concerned about any of the above I look forward to seeing you at the next gathering of the Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting of Community Board 8 (info above). There’s a Facebook site called Friends of Summit Place Step Street. If you have any questions or concerns related to the step street, you can post them there and I, or someone else, will get back to you. Thanks!

—Jordan Moss