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Kingsbridge Armory Re-Do Update

20 Jan

 

armory

The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Photo by Jordan Moss.

In the latest Kingsbridge Armory status update, the Norwood News recently reported that the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) will receive a $30 million loan from Empire State Development for its first redevelopment phase of the massive landmark facility. The Armory will become the largest ice-skating center in the world, with nine rinks. Completing the initial phase of work is scheduled for April 2017. That’s more than 20 years after initial debates and activism were launched to plan the armory’s future.

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Phenomenal Bronx Documentary Photo Exhibit in a Muffler Shop. No Kidding.

7 Oct
Just one impressive photo in the unusual, creative exhibit scene at Vasquez Muffler on Jerome Ave. This photo in exhibit is by Osaretin Ugiagbe. This blog photo by Jordan Moss.

Just one impressive photo in the unusual, creative exhibit scene at Vasquez Muffler on Jerome Ave. This photo in exhibit is by Osaretin Ugiagbe. This blog photo by Jordan Moss.

The Jerome Avenue Workers Project, a remarkable exhibit put on by the Bronx Photo League and the Bronx Documentary Center, had a remarkable, packed opening on Oct. 3 at — get this — Vasquez Muffler at 1275 Jerome Ave.  Sixteen photographers took photos of community residents and workers in the south Bronx neighborhoods that Jerome Avenue links, like Mount Hope and Mount Eden. Though the exhibit is independent, its focus is linked to efforts by community organizations like CAAAV and Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition which are working with residents to challenge and change city plans that would rezone the area. That would allow landowners to sell their property to housing developers. The city plan, they say, will not be affordable and will essentially lead to illegal removal of local tenants, a crisis growing around the city.

The exhibit is on until Oct. 18. The hours are Monday – Saturday 4 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s a bit of what to expect: 

Vasquez Muffler was packed for the Workers Project photo exhibit opening on Oct. 3. Photo by Jordan Moss

Vasquez Muffler was packed for the Workers Project photo exhibit that opened on Oct. 3. Photo by Jordan Moss

Bronx photographer Adi Talwar took two photos for the exhibit including this at a hair dresser in the area. Photo by Jordan Moss

Bronx photographer Adi Talwar took two photos for the exhibit including this at a hair salon in the area. Photo by Jordan Moss

The Bronx’s Perenially Padlocked Jerome Park Reservoir Open This Weekend!

29 Sep

It may not sound like a big deal if you don’t have live relatively close to the Jerome Park Reservoir. But residents of Kingsbridge Heights, Bedford Park, Norwood, Van Cortlandt Village, etc. have not been able to see the reservoir close-up in what is essentially their neighborhood backyard. Until now. The DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) is opening up the fence this weekend. There are no plans for future accessibility. But as long-time reservoir activist Anne Marie Garti states in the following email she just sent around, the only way you’re possibly going to get more accessibility is if you show up this weekend. She also points out that the southern section of the reservoir (which makes up its vast majority) is empty right now, as it was for many years before this year. I agree with her that it must be filled before we all show up. Here’s all the info from Ms. Garti:

The NYC DEP will be opening the Jerome Park Reservoir to the public this coming Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th.  This is a pilot to gauge public sentiment. If you want the reservoir opened regularly, you should show up!

Anyone can come to walk or run around the reservoir between 12:30 – 2:30 pm

You must use the entrance just south of 205th Street (near the Bronx HS of Science and Gatehouse 5), on the west side of Goulden Ave.

“Phones, bags and cameras will not be permitted on the tour. We will provide an opportunity to check phones, however please do not bring any bags or cameras. Please ensure you wear closed toe shoes. All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver before being admitted.”

http://nycwater.tumblr.com/post/129652145158/if-you-will-be-joining-us-at-jerome-park-reservoir

For some reason, the DEP has decided to drain the 60+ acre south basin. If the agency doesn’t want to be accused of sabotaging this rare event, we suggest that water be put in there before Saturday!

Tours will be held in the morning. However, no more  tickets are available.
https://jerome-park-reservoir-tour.eventbrite.com

We hope to see you there on Saturday and Sunday between 12:30 – 2:30 pm.
West side of Goulden Avenue, south of 205th Street (across the street from Bronx Science)
Anne Marie

Still Waiting for Citywide Coverage of Staten Island Courthouse’s Disastrous Delay

2 Jun

There is still no certainty regarding when an architecturally impressive, yet incomplete, courthouse will open for business on Staten Island, after more than a decade of delay and more than $100 million over budget.

And there still hasn’t been any citywide coverage!

As I mentioned in Bronx Matters’ last post on this, this is an ongoing fiscal travesty following a similar construction, and civic, disaster in the Bronx. There has been zero citywide coverage in Big Apple newspapers as far as I can tell, even as the crisis continues. What’s up with that?!

Here are links to a more recent article and editorial from January on the Staten Island Advance’s silive.com website.

The Advance says Mayor de Blasio can’t predict the move-in date,  but Gov. Cuomo should be interviewed too, as it’s the state’s Dormitory Authority that is responsible for the construction. Heck, at this point, every city and state elected official should be called on it too as no one seems to be making any noise.

Bronx Matters’ ears are wide open.

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

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.

Plan for Mott Haven Transformation Unveiled in Bronx

11 Nov
Mott Haven residents view proposed neighborhood upgrades at a meeting on Nov. 5. Photo by Maura Ewing/Mott Haven Herald

Mott Haven residents view proposed neighborhood upgrades at a meeting on Nov. 5. Photo by Maura Ewing/Mott Haven Herald

Mott Haven residents reviewed proposed changes to their neighborhood after two years of participating in planning the upgrades. Read full story in Mott Haven Herald.