Tag Archives: Bronx

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:

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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. 

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The worst step on the step street. Dangerous! 

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Just a wider look at all the damage. 

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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. 

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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

 

 

 

 

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4 Days to Go — Voters on THURSDAY, Sept. 13 Can Put an End to the IDC

9 Sep

You, or people you know,  may think the state’s IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) is done and gone. Yes, State Senator Jeff Klein, its founder and leader, no longer has the fancy office or leadership positions handed over by his GOP pals, who wouldn’t be leading the NY State Senate without his help. But Klein and other IDC political pals use IDC money for their campaigns even though they’re not supposed to. They’re still using money that was raised for the IDC. Take a look:

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So this has been reported before, but more voters should know that the IDC is indeed still functioning campaign-wise and it’s just one of the many ways Klein has used — and still uses —  the IDC to benefit his current campaign and those of his entire tawdry team.

According to an article in City & State, Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement office of the New York State Board of Elections, recently issued a letter arguing that, “in order to be in compliance with a June court ruling, members of the IDC must return hundreds of thousands of dollars that was funneled through a finance account to the members from the state’s Independence Party. Of the $2.5 million that the IDC raised in conjunction with the Independence Party, Sugarman pinpointed more than $1.4 million that needs to be refunded.”

Meanwhile, Alessandra Biaggi is getting incredible endorsements and grassroots from so many organizations, unions, and elected officials (including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has come to the Bronx to campaign for her several times). And all of that is great, but what’s even more critical to her campaign is your support financially and volunteer-wise. Just go to her website and do whatever you can! (Oh and here is the recent endorsement of The Daily News.)

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State Senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, a real Democrat, at a forum for State Senate candidates, organized by the Northwest Bronx Community and Coalition last month. Klein didn’t show up. Photo by Jordan Moss

Construction of Indian Restaurant in Kingsbridge Under Way

7 Aug

A store that was a grocery/deli on W. 238th St. and Broadway until a few months ago has been gutted, uncovering its beautiful brick walls. A worker there told me today that it’s going to be an Indian restaurant. That’s very cool because there’s been no such thing in Kingsbridge in a good long while (there was one on 231st Street for a little while after we moved here from Norwood in 2005).

Holiday Photo Sale at Bronx Documentary Center

5 Dec

The Bronx Documentary Center in Mott Haven is having a holiday photo sale between December 10th and 18th. For precise dates and times, check out their site. This is cool. Incredible documentary photos, by great documentary photographers, available for holiday gifts in the Bronx!

Petition for Safety at Ft. Independence Intersections

28 Nov

Crossing Ft. Independence Street in Kingsbridge Heights is dangerous for everyone — kids, adults, and drivers. There are no crosswalks in 2 essential areas. Time for the city act. If you live, work, or go to school in the area – or just plain care – sign this petition and  share link with others. We want the city’s Department of Transportation to act ASAP. Thanks!

Arts and (Photo)Graphs: My Opening at An Beal Bocht

28 Jun

Hey Bronx (and Beyond) Pals: My art and photo exhibit –  at An Beal Bocht (cool, artsy Irish pub/cafe in Riverdale/Bronx) opens on July 6, next Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m. It’s at 445 W. 238th St. in Riverdale, a short (if somewhat steep) walk from the 238th St. 1-train station. An Beal Bocht will provide some food. They’d just like you to shell out a little dough to buy some booze or whatever else (water, juice, soda, whatever) you’d like to take a swig of. Don’t worry if you come later – even a lot later – than that. I’m figuring it will go on until at least 10 p.m., or probably beyond that when the last one of us heads out the door. Here are a couple of photos of what I’ll be showing.

One of my abstract paintings, collage, whatever you wanna call it:

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One of my photos … (Guess where and when? 😉

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OK, hope you can make it, but if you can’t the exhibit will continue through the month of July. Thanks! If you have any questions, just email me at bronxmatters@gmail.com.

‘Little Free Library’ on Bronx Block

12 Feb

Even with its 1.4 million people the Bronx has only one general bookstore: Barnes & Noble in Bay Plaza by Co-op City. (I’d love to be wrong about this, so please let me know if I am.)

That said, we can all regularly share and exchange books we’ve read — but don’t need around the house anymore — in an outdoor book cabinet. Think that’s a good idea? Well it is, but it ain’t mine.

Down our Bronx block on Giles Place in Kingsbridge Heights (also known as Van Cortlandt Village) our friends and neighbors, Sarah and Brian Aucoin, installed a Little Free Library in their front yard last year. They painted it beautiful colors with their two sons, Artie and Ozzie. It’s simply a house-shaped wooden cabinet and a glass door on a pole.

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A ‘Little Free Library’ on Giles Place in the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. Photo by Jordan Moss

Little Free Library is actually a nonprofit that provides these all over the world. But for now, the Aucoins’ library appears to be the only one in the Bronx.

The book cabinet allows anybody who walks by to see what’s available, take what they would like to read, and/or share what they’ve already read. It’s clearly been a big success. The shelf is regularly full and from week-to-week the titles continue to change.

Oh, it appears that the Aucoins’ Little Free Library launch is beginning to spread. Another wooden post similar to the one at the Aucoins’ house is going up next door. But that post is a bit shorter so it looks like the library is going to be for the little (or soon-to-be) readers in our area! How cool is that?

Stay tuned!

 

City Limits Highlights 40 Years of Critical Reporting

3 Feb

City Limits is 40 years old this year. For most of its life thus far it was a hand-held magazine, but for a couple of years now it’s been a website with the same critical coverage of urban policies that affect all New Yorkers and their neighborhoods.

Celebrating its impressive anniversary (how many nonprofit publications are around for four decades?) City Limits highlights a story from each of those 40 years (including my piece -part of a series produced by Tom Robbins and his excellent students at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – about a boy’s death following a fire in a disastrous Bronx building long-ignored by its landlord.)

What City Limits also has up and running are essays by many of its former editors including Robbins, Alyssa Katz and Doug Turetsky. (Bronx and Norwood neighborhood resident Jarrett Murphy is the current editor who made this whole lookback happen.)

Take a read and pass it on. It’s good for everyone to know more about where we were and focus on what policies still need focus and change.