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Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC | BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx & shoppers' tips includes bronx farmers markets bronx green markets Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village green markets farmers markets bronx nyc
Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC

Bronx Farmers Markets 2021

March 2, 2021 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

See HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 23 BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village farmers markets and in between.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Bronx Farmers Markets.



Things To Do & News Updates NYC

Movie Theaters, Taxi Drivers, Gun Arrests, the NRA Russia & Trump, Central Park & Bronx Golf Course Concessions Bidding Deadline March 19, 2021, CoVid Testing & Vaccination Stats & Daylight Savings Time Two Weeks Away

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism February 26, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. Friday won't see any rain, but on Saturday there's nearly a 100% chance of a small amount [a quarter inch] of rain in the morning. Saturday afternoon should be clear. On Sunday there's also a high probabilty of a half inch of rain, most likely to fall around midday, with a lingering probability lasting the rest of the day [40% - 60%]. Temperature highs will be in the mid 40's to low 50's throughout the weekend and the temperature lows will be in the mid 30's on Friday and hovering around 40 the rest of the weekend. Humidity will rise from the 40% range to near the 70% range on Friday and then stay between the 70% - 80% range the rest of the weekend. Winds will be 50 - 10 mph all weekend.

 

Things To Do, News Briefs & Updates

- NYC Movie Theaters Can Reopen March 5, 2021

Governor Cuomo announced that movie theaters will be able to reopen at 25% capacity March 5th, 2021.

-Taxi Driver Blockade Brooklyn Bridge in Support of Medallion Debt Restructuring

One story that seemed to receive little attention was a taxi driver blockade of the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday afternoon on February 10th. They were making a statement, following a City Council hearing on loan forgiveness / restructuring for taxi driver medallion debt, earlier in the day. The 25,000 member taxi driver union was supportive of the action. NYC government officials are trying to find a way to help taxi drivers, but are constrained by the current fiscal challenges arising from the CoVid crisis.

- January Gun Arrests Up 75% & Full Year 2020 were Up 29%

At the end of January, NYC Police Commissioner Demot Shea said that 417 gun arrests had been made that month, up 75% versus a year ago. He also noted that last year gun arrests were up 29% versus 2018. He rhetorically asked the question, "what's changed that there are so many guns making their way into NYC?"

- The NRA, Guns, Russian Cash & the Trump Money Laundromat

According to an April 2, 2018 report in Rolling Stone, the NRA President, David Keene, was an honored guest in Moscow at a 2013 event hosted by The Right to Bear Arms group. Prior to and during the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia courted the NRA, including hosting members at all expense paid events.

According to the report, the Russian group was deceitfully presented as 'grassroots' organization, led in part by Maria Butina, seeking comraderie with like minded gun enthusiasts. The reality appears to be that they were working under the influence of the Russian government, in an effort to infiltrate politically conservative groups in the U.S., to become what was alleged to be money laundering conduits for campaign cash to the Trump and other Republican political campaigns.

The NRA was founded in 1871 in New York and recently moved its headquarters to Texas. In February 2019 NYS Attorney General Tisch James filed a lawsuit against the NRA seeking to dissolve it because, the brief contended, it had become so corrupt and self serving and had failed to comply with numerous laws.

In August 2019 the two Republican members of the Federal Election Commission [Caroline Hunter & Matthew Petersen] blocked an investigation into whether Russia had used the NRA as a money laundering machine to funnel [$30 million] cash to Trump and Republicans in the 2016 election. In the 2016 election NRA donations spiked $35 million which was believed to have come from Russian government influenced agents, like the Russian oligarchs. According to an August 20, 2019 report,

" ... The [FEC] split 2-2 vote fell along partisan lines, with the FEC’s two Republicans voting against any further inquiry into whether Alexander Torshin, a sanctioned Russian official, and Maria Butina, a convicted Russian agent, grew close to the NRA in order to help direct the group’s 2016 political donations...."

See earlier reports we did on Mitch McConnell which identify Russian oligarch funding he, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and other top Republicans received from the Russian oligarchs in 2016 as reported by Open Secrets which is a non-profit group that 'follows the money' of election campaign contributions.

- Unexplained Wealth / Trump Taxes Released to Manhattan DA

Donald Trump's taxes were just released to the Manhattan District Attorney's office, after years of Trump obstruction. You see, Donald Trump's Taj Mahal Casino was alleged to have committed 106 violations of money laundering in its first year and a half in the early 1990's. It was reportedly a favorite hangout of Russian mobsters who were alleged to cash out $10,000 or more in a single day. Trump's Taj Mahal paid nearly a half billion [$477 million] to settle the Treasury Department fines, but without admitting guilt.

In the 2000's, in spite of what seemed Trump's lackluster businesses performance, he was flush with cash. Spending profligately on the Turnberry resort in Scotland, which reportedly cost $79 million and into which he spent another $200 million, as an example. There was an effort to apply a UK law called the Unexplained Wealth Order to Trump's finances in Scotland, but Slippery Donald Trump somehow appears to have escaped this sort of public scrutiny likely in a manner not unlike how he kept authorities at bay for so long regarding a look at his tax returns.

 

Dealmaker Donald Loses More Business

- Bidding Begins for Concessions at Central Park Rinks & City Owned Bronx Golf Course Bearing his Name

I didn't realize that the Trump Golf Course in the Bronx was a city owned golf course.

I thought it was private. I have never golfed there, in part because of that. Anyhow, Mayor de Blasio found Trump in violation of one or more of the terms of his agreement with NYC regarding operating the golf course and the concessions at Wollman and Lasker rinks in Central Park. I believe the violations are in relation to Trump's role in fomenting the insurrection, or possibly his fraudulent stop the steal campaign. Nonetheless, the licenses to operate the concessions are up for bidding and the deadline is March 19, 2021 for those interested in operating them. Contact the Mayor's office or the Parks Department for details.

 

Putin's Goal: Undermining American Democracy?

- Long Live the New Russian Czar & New Chinese Emperor?

According to various reports the Russian 2016 election interference effort was designed to undermine Americans' faith in their democratic processes, and to exploit American social and cultural divisions. From mid 2016 to early 2017, the Russians made at least 4.4 million interactions, and millions more in the years beginning shortly after the 2012 election.

I'm not sure what the Russian end game is. But so far I'd say the Russians were pretty successful in achieving the goals outlined above. What I think Putin fails to appreciate, is that in spite of our divisions, we remain a government by, for and of the People - while Putin's Russia is just that - a Russia where Putin thrives, while Russians strive to obtain some measure of voice, freedom and power within their own nation.

What's the difference between 'President' Vladimir Putin and the Czar? What's the difference between 'President' Xi Jinping and the Chinese Emperor? The 'Presidents' both live surrounded by extreme wealth and luxury like the Czar and Emperor, while the people must grind it out each day just to get by. The peoples of these nations have no voice in their own country, even as they do all the crap work to make their nations function.

Putin doesn't like that the American people have some power, some voice in their national dialogue because eventually the Russian people are going to want some of that too. And Putin and Xi Jinping don't like to share their power and wealth with anyone - let alone the people / peasants of their nations.

 

- CoVid Testing & Vaccinations

The city, state and nation appear to be accelerating the CoVid vaccination rates. According to the Governor's website, the city has administered about 1.7 million vaccination doses, and is well over the 1.0 million mark for people vaccinated in NYC. The state has administered nearly 4 million vaccination doses, and more than 2.5 million people [includes NYC] which is 12.5% of the population. According to the Washington Post, some 46 million Americans have received at least one vaccination shot. That's about 13.9% of the population of 330 million Americans. So at all levels of the nation, people are taking the precautionary measure of getting vaccinated. That's the good news.

But there's more good news. Those testing positive continues to decline both in the city and in the state. At present the positive testing rates for NYC are around 4% and for NYS is about 3%, so we're pulling well away from the near capacity overload status we saw a month ago.

But that said there's also some bad news. About 5.7 thousand people were in the hospitals with CoVid yesterday, about 1.1 thousand of them are on respirators, and 89 people died from it. But that's not the worst of it. New CoVid variants are springing up everywhere that are more contagious and more deadly. At first it was in Britain, then South Africa. More recently it's been in California and most recently here in New York.

The good news is that the vaccines do help protect those vaccinated from the new variants - BUT may not be as effective in protecting against them. So caution is the operative word, and maintaining the big three plus one should remain in effect. The big three are: 1) Masks, 2) Social Distance and 3) wash your hands. The plus one is stay home if you're not feeling well.

 

- Third Vaccine to Hit the Market & Eligibility Expanded

The J&J vaccine was approved this week, so there are now three suppliers of vaccines. It's not quite as effective against the original CoVid strain [85% vs 95%], but you need only take one dose for that level of protection. I'm still researching how the vaccines stand up to the new variants, but it's all so new that it may be a while. The bottom line is that you're far more protected from the virus if you're vaccinated, than if not, and your likelihood of severe CoVid is greatly reduced if you're vaccinated than if you're not.

Also this week it was announced that the eligibility to get the vaccine will continue to expand in tandem with the growing production of vaccines. The vaccine distribution and administration capabilities at the local level are already largely in place. Effective next Monday, March 1, 2021 those ages 55 - 64 can schedule an appointment for a shot. On March 16, 2021 those ages 45 - 54 can schedule an appointment to get a shot. To see the eligibility chart, including those eligible now based on comorbidities, go to the following website [copy and paste].

https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov

 

Daylight Savings Time Only Two Weeks Away

The temperatures are in the 40's and the sun is out. Sunrise is about 6.30 am and sun doesn't set until almost 6 pm these days [5.45pm] and Daylight Savings Time is only a couple of weeks away. Indoor dining is now available, and seeing a movie in a theater is only a week away. CoVid infections and hospitalizations are down. CoVid vaccinations are up. So things are getting better ... much better.

President Biden has purchased enough vaccination doses to enable all Americans to get vaccinated by mid summer. Of course there's the cautionary reminder that the new variants are in full motion, and viruses work 24/7 with no days off and no vacation. So we must remain diligent, disciplined and manage our expectations in accordance with reality. But there are plenty of good reasons for some cautious optimism.

Australian born billionaire and propagandist mogul, Rupert Murdoch's Wall St Journal recently irresponsibly predicted or announced that CoVid is over come April 2021. Of course Murdoch's Fox News was telling Americans to ignore CoVid, and go on their cruise vacations about this same time last year. So follow the 'news' provided by Murdoch's seemingly mendacious media, at your own peril.

And have a nice weekend.


Black History Month to End Soon

PBS has been Airing Some Excellent Documentaries about African Americans Role in Our Nation's History

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism February 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC History / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. There will be a small bit of rain today between 11 am - 4 pm. Thereafter the rest of the week should be dry. The temperature highs will be in the 40's all week and the temperature lows will be in the 30's. The winds will be 5 - 10 mph except on Wednesday, when it will be a drafty 13 mph. Humidity will be in the 70% range today, dropping into the 60% range on Tuesday & Wednesday, then down into the 50% range on Thursday and Friday.

All tolled, it looks like a pretty fair week.

PBS - Finding Your Roots - Histories

Last night I came upon one of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Finding Your Roots documentaries on PBS. For more info about this series see - https://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/

As I watched, I recollected how in my youth, I had considered Black hisotry to be a superfluous extension of American history. That perspective was, of course, born of youthful ignorance. Since then, I have come to appreciate the importance of Black Studies in providing a more comprehensive view of American history over the centuries. In part, I have PBS to thank, because they have aired and I have watched, quite a number of documentaries - some or all of which they funded or produced - particularly since the CoVid pandemic began.

In the program I viewed last night, one of the people on Gates' Finding Your Roots series was being informed about her family's history. It struck me when Gates referenced her great, great, great, great grandfather on a bill of sale by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Over the past decade or so, I've become more interested in my own family's history. We knew a fair amount about those ancestors within temporal reach, going back to our great grandfathers, but little beyond. That was until a couple of summers ago when I found that one of the members of our extended family had a collection of scribbled notes and diagrams that recorded our lineage - some of which appears to date back to colonial times and the Revolutionary War. Up until this discovery, I had thought we had become Americans in the latter half of the 18th century.

But it occurred to me, based on Gates' reference to the great, great, great, great grandfather mentioned above, most African Americans' family histories date back at least a couple of centuries. Gates' documentary series delves into the histories of oftentimes, somewhat famous, African Americans who were descendants of slaves, or famous white Christian or Jewish Americans who are descendants of families that owned slaves.

Gates' geneological and genetic explorations also find interesting tidbits, like the fact that comedian Larry David and Senator Bernie Sanders are distantly related. PBS Producer Ken Burns is a descendant of a slave owner, but also related to Abraham Lincoln. And Brian Gumbel discovered he had some previously unknown Jewish ancestry.

Out of Gates' explorations into the past, we learn many things, not the least of which is that African Americans worked the fields, growing cotton and food that fed and clothed the nation, and provided their 'owners' with a tidy profit. It's worth noting that in the early 1800's about 75% of the nation worked in occupations related to agriculture [today it's about 10 - 11%]. But following the Civil War, African Americans' contribution to the nation went far beyond that, including serving our nation in two world wars, providing needed labor for the auto industry and significantly contributing to our culture and history.

PBS - The Jazz Ambassadors

Earlier this month there was a PBS documentary called The Jazz Ambassadors which delved into the role of African American musicians, playing in nations around the world, in an American State Department outreach program during the Cold War. The program was used to establish, support and strengthen the ties between Americans and ethnic / non white peoples around the globe. I forget the exact statistic, but in the documentary it pointed out that globally Caucasians are in the minority.

I had previously seen other PBS documentaries about African American jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. In these documentaries they talked about how jazz, which we think of as an American music genre [and it is], was created and popularized by African American musicians. This was where African Americans were able to get one of their first solid cultural footholds in American society, in their ongoing struggle for parity in the American mainstream, after being demonized and degraded by colonial slavery.

Another PBS documentary, by Ken Burns, delved into how Jackie Robinson fought racism to become the first African American to play Major League Baseball on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The color barrier had previously been broken in another sports category, football, just a year earlier, by Kenneth Washington in 1946 who played for the Los Angeles Rams. Earl Lloyd was the first African American to play NBA basketball in 1950 - only a day ahead of Chuck Cooper of the Boston Celtics. Other professional sports followed including in golf, tennis and NASCAR race car driving, which were at one time all white and all male.

PBS - Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & the NAACP

Another PBS documentary that aired this month in recognition / celebration of Black History Month was about the life of Thurgood Marshall - the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Marshall still holds the record for winning more Supreme Court cases than any other lawyer.

What Marshall did, was to hold the American justice system accountable for upholding the ideals as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. The documentary told the story, which included the following.

" ... In 1944 - Smith vs Alwright - Overthrew the white primaries setting the stage for the modern voting rights movement. In 1946 - Morgan vs Virginia - Struck down racial segregation in interstate public transportation. In 1948 - Shelley vs Kramer - Ended the legality of racially restrictive covenants which signaled the end of racially segregated housing. In 1950 - Sweatt vs Painter & McLaurin vs Oklahoma - A major graduate school case that set the stage for Brown vs Board of Education. 1954 - Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka Kansas - Mandated the desegregation of America's schools. In 1956 - Browder vs Gayle - Ended the practice of segregation on buses and ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1961 - Garner vs Louisianna - Ruled that people could not be convicted for peaceful sit-ins in dining establishments, eventually leading to the end of discrimination in public accommodations found in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And on October 2, 1967 Thurgood Marshall was appointed the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court. ..."

What I've Learned about African Americans & U.S. History

All of these documentaries have helped deepen my understanding of American history and appreciation of the contributions made by African Americans in music, sports, law [particularly civil liberties], and history. Of course it doesn't stop there, and in some manner, it just starts there. Few ethnic groups, if any, have worked harder to obtain a place at the American table and in the American conversation, about who we are and who we should be.

This kind of change doesn't happen in fascist nations like China or Russia. China is suppressing free speech in Hong Kong where students want the city to remain free and China is using Nazi-like tactics to destroy the Uighurs and their culture, in a manner not unlike what the Chinese had done previously in Tibet. And Xi Jin Ping seems to be on a democracy blitz krieg in Hong Kong. Russia, at present, is a state that is under the control of a strongman, who doesn't defeat opponents based on his accomplishments or his ideas - but rather by locking up or poisoning the competition.

Real change, necessary change - like we saw with the Civil Rights movement in the mid 20th century - invariably begins by those at the bottom. Change is demanded by those not in power - because those in power are just fine with the way things are. Because the status quo has been built by them, for them. Like the Saudi royals, who rule a culture that strips women of any semblance of equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law.

President Lincoln said that we are a nation,

" ... of the people, by the people and for the people ..."

President Kennedy said,

" ... Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable. ..."

So I am thankful to all of those Republicans who stood up for what was right, at great risk to their own careers - and in some cases to themselves - these past couple of months. While we may disagree on specific policy issues, I laud their courage and integrity, for standing up against the strongman, dictator wannabee - Donald Trump - at a critical juncture. It is Americans like them, who help preserve our democracy, ensuring a smooth transition of power, which makes possible the changes we've seen with respect to African Americans' place in our society, and for women as well.

One of the reasons America stands out in the world, is because it is a nation that empowers and enables its people - not suppresses and exploits them. It's not hard to understand that enabling people is a good thing and that suppressing and exploiting them is a bad thing. And ultimately that is how we'll all be judged.

Have a good week.


Things To Do This Weekend NYC

Also Updates on Economy, CoVid & More

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism February 19, 2021 / Things To Do NYC / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the mid to high 30's and the temperature lows will be in the low to high 20's all weekend. Winds will range from 5 - 10 mph throughout the weekend. Humidity will drop from the high 70% range on Friday to between 50% - 60% the rest of the weekend. There's a forecast of one to two inches of precipitation on Friday and then none the rest of the weekend.

FYI - Next Wednesday, February 24 the temperature highs will near 50 degrees. The photo at right shows a scenic holiday greeting card vista in Queens earlier this month.

 

Large Scale CoVid Vaccination Centers Operating in All Boroughs

Over the past month, a number of governmental efforts have all been converging on beating back the Corona Virus. At the federal level the Biden Administration has secured hundred of millions of vaccination doses so that by mid year anyone who wants to get vaccinated should be able to do so.

On the State and City level, the Mayor and Governor have set up a number of sites, including at least one mega vaccination site in each borough. In Manhattan the Javits Center opened in mid January, in the Bronx Yankee Stadium opened the second week of February as did CitiField in Queens, in Brooklyn the Brooklyn Army Terminal opened in mid January and on Staten Island Empire Outlets opened today Friday, February 19, 2021.

There are two large supplemental sites planned for opening at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Jamaica. I believe they both will be open tomorrow, Saturday February 20th - both opening ahead of some of the first announcement plans, which were scheduled for Wednesday, February 24. This is an outreach effort to ethnic communities which have been lagging behind the general population in getting vaccinated.

Eligibility for Vaccinations. The first few waves of openings were allocated to healthcare workers, first responders and folks over 65 years of age. On Monday, February 15, 2021 the Governor opened up the CoVid vaccinations to those with comorbidities which includes cancer and weakened immune systems, pregnancy, heart conditions, pulmonary liver chronic kidney and sickle cell diseases, diabetes, neurologic conditions, obesity and mental disabilities.

 

NYS & NYC CoVid Vaccination Information Websites

To learn more about eligibility, what to bring to prove it, where, when and how to get vaccinated visit.

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page

https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov

Government Seems to be Functioning Again. While there are likely to be snafus along the way. All levels of government seem, as best they can, to be coordinating reasonably well to accelerate vaccinations as quickly as possible by working on vaccine supply, distribution and administration. To date over 40 million of 330 million Americans have been vaccinated. And nearly 4 million New Yorkers have been vaccinated - leading the nation in doing so.

New CoVid Variants. But none too soon, as the more contagious and deadly U.K. variant seems to be spreading fast - but that's as a percentage - and currently off a very low base [under 1,000 but not for long]. The vaccines provide some level of protection against the new variants, but not as robustly as against the original strain, which means that even after getting vaccinated, one should remain cautious and continue to practice CoVid saftey guidelines of social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.

 

NYS & NYC Economy - Restaurant Restrictions Loosening

As you know, restaurants opened for indoor dining at 25% capacity effective February 12th. The Governor also extended the hours of operation from a 10 pm closing time to an 11 pm closing time. Effective next Friday, February 26th, restaurants will be able to accommodate 35% capacity - consistent with current New Jersey guidelines.

The NYS CoVid positivity testing rate fell below 4% this week, while the rate for NYC fell below 5% this week. Manhattan leads with the lowest testing rate at about 3%, while the Bronx has the highest testing rate at 6%.

Large Scale Sports Events Open 2/23/21. Large scale entertainment venues may reopen at 10% capacity beginning Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 beginning with the NY Knicks at Madison Square Garden and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.

 

NYC Economy - MTA Moves to Extend Operating Hours & Mayor Working to Open Cultural Events

There were a couple of recent announcements made this month about efforts directed toward resumption of the new post pandemic normal. One was by the Governor / MTA that effective Monday, February 22nd, the MTA will extend the subway operating hours from 12 midnight to 2 am and open at 4 am instead of 5 am as it has done since the pandemic began. The overnight hiatus has been used for subway car deep clearning.

And I want to generally congratulate the MTA on the noticeably cleaner subway cars - although likely operating at only 30% of the traffic it had accommodated just a year ago is likely also a contributor. I do have one constructive criticism: About the only part of the subway cars that doesn't get cleaned seems to be the windows, which is an easy way to signal to riders that the cars are clean [or dirty]. That's been a missed opportunity all pandemic long.

Another announcement was that beginning March 1, 2021 through October 31st the Mayor is going to enable artists, dancers, actors, musicians and performers of all stripes, through a recently announced program called Open Culture, to use one of 100 street locations for performances and rehearsals - as long as they operate within CoVid safety guidelines. The program is being operated through the Street Activity Permit Office where folks may submit their applications for a permit.

Use this url to learn more or apply for a permit.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cecm/about/sapo.page

Have a nice weekend and stay safe by keeping on doing what you're doing. We're getting there.


Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do presidents day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx presidents day weekend events bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

Presidents Day Weekend Things to do in the Bronx NYC

UPDATED FOR COVID 2021 - Things To Do in the Bronx over the Presidents Day Weekend

Updated February 10, 2021 from 2/9/21 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 30 throughout the three day weekend beginning on Friday, dropping to the high teens nightly, except on Saturday when the low temperature will also be around 30. Precipitation - There's an 80% chance of about two inches of snow late Saturday / early Sunday morning as of this post. Winds will be relatively stable hovering around the 10 mph range throughout the long weekend. The Humidity will range between 60% - 75% throughout the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

The image at right shows Wave Hill, where President Theodore Roosevelt spent a couple of summers. Wave Hill is a horticultural enclave and Teddy Roosevelt was an American Conservationist. I imagine if alive today, Roosevelt would certainly being doing whatever he could to combat climate change.

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.

 

A Few Valentines Day / Presidents Day News Items - Indoor Dining Resumes, Folks with Co-Morbidities become Vaccine Eligible, Vaccine Production & 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining in NYC resumes on Friday, February 2, 2021 at 25% capacity. NYS positivity rate is about 4%, while the NYC positivity rate is about 8% - but both have been declining since the Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year surge began in late November / early December of 2020.

This past weekend, Governor Cuomo announced that folks with CoVid comorbidities will be eligible to receive vaccinations effective Monday, February 15, 2021. According to the Governor's website, the CoVid co-morbidities [say that fast five times] include the following:

"... Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease Will Be Eligible ..."

Vaccine production for the U.S. is nearing the 1.5 million doses daily required to meet Biden’s upwardly mobile 100 million vaccinations in the Biden Administration's first 100 days. As of this writing about 10% of all New Yorkers as well as 10% of all Americans have received at least one CoVid vaccination dose.

 

Trump's Failed Capitol Riot of 2021 Seems Not Unlike Hitler's Failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nycThe second Trump impeachment trial began today, Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. Generally I find the rushing of the trial to be an insult to the American people, and the U.S. Constitution philosophies of due process and rule of law. The government officials prosecuting and managing the trial should take all the time required to educate the American people about who Donald Trump really is - not who he says he is.

They need to use the Impeachment Trial to highlight how Trump has significantly battered our democratic processes, undermined Americans' faith in our democratic institutions, personalized the power of the presidency, breached the rule of law, and appears to have colluded with the Russians to undermine our government over the past five years. Oh, yeah, and it all culminated in that lame Capitol Riot Insurrection which was not unlike and had striking similarities to Hitlers' lame / failed Beer Hall Putsch in Germany in 1923.

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nyc

Ten years later Hitler rose to power as the Nazi Party leader and proceeded, like Trump did during his presidency, to usurp and personalize the power of the state thanks in part to the Goebbels / Murdoch/propaganda machines which misled the citizenry in each nation about who these two leaders were, and also victimized minorities in both nations. In the Beer Hall Putsch, 16 Nazis and four policemen died. In the Capitol Riot four Trumpsters and one policeman died.

 

Hitler was found guilty of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch, but still rose to power. Will the Senate take the precaution of sanctioning the Donald, or continue to enable the dysfunctional democracy damager - possibly destroyer?

 

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC

bronx things to do presidents day weekend bronx presidents day weekend events bronx nycA day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.

In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.

In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.



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Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

UPDATED FOR COVID - Valentines Day / Romantic Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

February 5, 2021 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with, still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner in or around the Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead [now] to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants in the Bronx

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in the Bronx / romantic restaurants Bronx NYC where you will find short descriptions or links to Bronx restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



*As Trump's Impeachment Trial Looms, It's Important to Put Things in Context ...

Trump's Russian Mobster Ties, Trump's Taj Casino Violation of Money Laundering Laws & Russian Interference in Favor of Donald Trump in the 2016 Election

Did Trump's Apparent Hedonism & Amoral Proclivity Toward Racism & Violence and Financial Mismanagement, Attract Russia to Using Him to Sow Social & Political Discord in America?

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism February 2, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The photo at right shows the headline title and photo of a Politico story about Trump's first trip to Russia in 1987, where all expense were paid and he was a guest of the Russian government.

According to Wikipedia's report on Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,

" ... According to the special counsel investigation's Mueller Report (officially named "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election"), the first method of Russian interference used the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked troll farm, to wage "a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton". The Internet Research Agency also sought to "provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States" ..."

 

Mobster Don? A Russian Mobster Con? A Russian Asset?

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism Russia's aiding of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign was certainly successful in amplifying political and social discord in the United States.

The photo at right is from a Guardian story on January 29, 2021 about how Trump appears to have been long cultivated as a Russian asset to incite social and political unrest in the United States of America. Russia has used race and ethnicity in its efforts to stir social unrest in the U.S., as well as discredit the United States abroad, since the Cold War began in the 1950's.

And one has to wonder if Russia is still not holding the Donald's feet to the fire, as Putin is believed to operate an Assassination Bureau, using the Russian mob, through which Trump had done business with via Felix Slater. The Wikipedia report on Slater describes him as,

" ... is a Russian-American mobster, convicted felon, real estate developer and former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City. ... In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to his involvement in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian Mafia, and became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ... During Donald Trump's 2016 presidential trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism campaign, Sater worked with Michael Cohen, former attorney for The Trump Organization, to broker a deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, asserting to Cohen that he could boost Trump's election prospects through his Russian contacts. ... On July 9, 2019, Sater appeared before the House Intelligence Committee, but repeatedly withheld testimony and documents concerning the details of a false joint defense agreement and thus remains under subpoena..."

The photo at right shows real estate developer Donald Trump with Felix Slater and one of the principals of Bayrock, a real estate development firm. Bayrock has offices in Trump Tower and Slater was convicted of stock fraud and is believed to have been a Russian mobster. The photo was taken in the first decade of 2000.

 

The Trump Administration's 13 Executions Appear Racist & Reveal Trump's Penchant for Violence

angry president screaming hate and anger into the airThis report is part of a serious look into Donald Trump's apparent proclivity toward inciting racism and violence such as in the case of the 13 federal executions done between July 2020 and January 2021. Donald J. Trump resumed death penalty killings, which appears pretty racist as the executions skew heavily toward African American men, vis a vis African American males representation in the general population.

Reportedly five of the 13 executions were of Black men and one was of an American Indian. Together Blacks and Indians make up 15% of the U.S. population, while making up nearly half [46%] of the executions ordered by Trump. Also, one of the executions was of a woman, Lisa Montgomery, the first in 67 years [1953].

angry fuhrer screaming hate and anger into the airAccording the AP News, Trump broke with a 130 year tradition of suspending excecutions during the transition of power. Trump also executed more people during his Administration than any president in 120 years, and broke a 17 year tradition of no federal executions. The Washington Post states that Grover Cleveland was the last president to preside over double digit executions during his presidency, and also the last president to preside over executions during the transition of power.

The first photo under the above headline is of Donald Trump spewing his hatred out into the universe. It strikes me as not unlike what we saw in Nazi Germany in the 1930's as Hitler rose to power by using race and hatred to galvanize the masses, eventually leading to war and the collapse of Germany.

Mass media manipulation, via the Nazi 'Big Lie', is an essential ingredient to stealing control. The Nazi Big Lie is repeating something unbelievable so many times, that people will eventually believe it. This is not unlike Trump's 'Stop the Steal' big lie, which has been debunked by 60 lost court cases, a half of dozen unfavorable vote recounts in numerous different states including those presided over by Trump voting Republicans. And yet Trump's Big Lie has been continually repeated by so many Republicans - including in the leadership - such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

 

Trump's Character is One of a Con Man Who Apparently is a Terrible Manager of Finances

angry fuhrer screaming hate and anger into the airI know some Trump supporters believe that the investigation of Donald Trump's involvement with Russia was a hoax. But quite honestly, there are a lot of Trump supporters who've been drinking way too much of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News propaganda cool aid, and have too long ignored the facts about 'the real' Donald Trump. This ignorance also plagued many of the people formerly conned by the Donald.

The 'real Donald Trump' is a first rate con man as lawsuits filed against Trump University, Trump Charities, Trump SoHo, and by contractors, lenders and investors would inform them. And years before the Donald ran for president, Trump was indicted for laundering cash [Russian Oligarch?] through his casinos and / or real estate. Recognizing these facts might help his supporters better understand who the man really is. For reasons I haven't yet fully fathomed, Trump supporters have vested near godlike faith in the Donald, not unlike how members of the Nazi party bestowed unequivoval faith in Adolph Hitler in the early 1930's and well past Hitler's death in 1945.

People resort to conning others because they're desperate. Either desperate in reacting to events like bankruptcies [Trump] or desperate because they can't accumulate enough money or power quickly enough [Giuliani / Murdoch].

The photo to your right was included in a May 22, 2017 CNN report about Trump's Taj Mahal's hundred(s) of money laundering violations.

 

Early on, People had Scant Idea of Who Hitler Really Was

Similarities between America 2020 & Germany Early 1930's

similarities to donald trump and adolph hitler 1933 time man of yearTherein [the con] lies the tale and the warning. In the early 1930's Hitler didn't publicly appear to be the man who would one day set the world afire and cause the deaths of an estimated 80 million people or about 5% of the world population, which included 20 million Russians who fell to the German wermacht [war machine], six million Jews who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust, and the 20 million Chinese who fell to the Japanese Imperialists, along with tens of millions of others.

 

Time Magazine did six covers featuring Adoph Hitler, which includes one for his death in 1945, but also one as Man of the Year in 1939 - on the dawn of his blitzkrieg of Europe [the Time Magazine cover to the right was first published in 1933].

As a child, and quite honestly up until about five to ten years ago, I had always wondered how Hitler was able to amass so much power without being challenged.

 

How to Accumulate Unshakeable Power?

Mass Deception via a Relentless Barrage of Bigger & Bigger 'Big Lies' & Recruitment of Talented Enablers Willing to Make the Faustian Bargain

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism The answer? It's all about manipulation and deceit of well meaning, as well as other people, who ignore all the signs along the way. Kind of like how ALMOST ALL LEADING REPUBLICANS are conducting themselves today. They're prioritizing themselves and their careers before their constituencies, before their country, and above doing the right thing.

I urge people to beware of ignoring the early signs of an amoral, narcissitic, maniac hellbent on serving himself regardless of the expense on all others. But attention also need be paid to the many enablers - like talented Nazi filmmaker Leni Refenstahl and munitions head, architect & rally theatrics stage organizer Albert Speer - both of whom helped make Nazi Germany possible, as they traded in all semblance of any morality, to enrich and empower themselves. They ignored the ugly truths they eventually told us they saw happening before their very own eyes - and ignored it - in furtherance of their own careers.

trump russian asset trump money laundering trump violence trump nazis trump racism These two top Nazis were incarcerated for quite a while after the war, but spared execution by the American government officials who presided over the Nuremburg trials [my father was at Dachau as a Stars and Stripes very cub reporter]. As such, they lived to tell us their tales, which I have found useful in trying to understand what happened back then, which helps me understand what is happening now. Remember,

"... those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it ..."

And Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman, political philosopher and contemporary of the Founding Fathers, who lived in the 1700's warned us.

" ... All it takes for evil to succeed, is for enough good [wo]men to do nothing ... "

That statement is no less true back during the American Revolution than it is today.

In the photo above right, you can see that one need not pay attention to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's words, but rather his actions. He chastised Trump shortly after the Capitol Riot, where QAnon followers, among others, stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt our democracy. But within less than a month after the riot, McCarthy flew to Mara Lago to kiss Trump's ... ring, apparently motivated by his desire to further his own career and one day become Republican House Majority Leader. And McCarthy also reluctantly and only lightly reined in QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Greene, who has made some unbelievable comments for anyone holding House office. On Monday, Greene said she would be visiting Donald Trump soon.

The graphic above right shows all the incredible ties between Trump and Putin's Russia during the 2016 campaign assembled by NY Magazine for a July 2018 story.

Editor's Note to the Mainstream Media - he is FORMER president Trump - not president Trump. You would think after all we've been through, you would get that right, but I've seen numerous instances by the highly paid corporate broadcasters, where they got that wrong.

Stay tuned as we'll have more on this over the next couple of weeks.


A Snowstorm Drops Over a Foot of Snow on NYC

nyc things to do this weekendFebruary 1, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As usual, the corporate TV stations and TV networks hyped and sensationalized a big fluffy storm, that only decades ago, would have been just another stormy winter day, that all of us kids wished for, so we didn't have to go to school.

But all that has changed, as now a snowstorm just means kids are attending school from home. If one relied on television broadcasters to tell them what's going on in the wintry world, they're likely to have stayed home and inside, out of fear, instead of enjoying one of nature's most magical days.

I think the folks on TV are afraid of the cold and hot and rain and snow, and perhaps life itself ... or is it that they just want you to be afraid, so you'll stay home watching life pass you by on TV, moderated by the knuckleheads who make the big bucks by hyping stories for ratings?

Dunno.


This Weekend Things To Do

We're in the Process of Transitioning Back from Two Terrible Viruses, to the Post-Trump, Post-Pandemic Normal

nyc things to do this weekendJanuary 28, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will range from about 20 on Friday, rising to about 30 on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will range from about zero Friday early morning to the low 20's the rest of the weekend. Winds will range from about 15 - 20 mph on Friday, down to about 10 mph on Saturday and around 5 - 10 mph on Sunday. Humidity range from 30% - 40% on Friday and Saturday, rising to 40% - 50% on Sunday. There's a forecast of one to seven inches of precipitation beginning late Sunday evening going through Monday.

The photo at right was taken earlier this month at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan.

 

Introduction to the New Post Pandemic Normal

nyc things to do this weekendWithin the past week or so, the number of vaccinations have doubled to about 20 million nationally. Both NYC and NYS are near the front of the pack, due in part to the Mayor's and Governor's efforts to move us beyond CoVid.

President Biden seems focused on moving the nation out of the pandemic by mandating the wearing of masks in all federal buildings, and on all interstate modes of transportation. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure the nation has enough PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] and vaccines including the needles, vials and people to administer them. Lastly, Biden committed to purchasing an additional 200 million doses of vaccine, for the nation to receive delivery of by, or before, the end of the summer.

This is a sea change of pandemic response from the federal government vis a vis the lackadaisical approach [and denial] of the pandemic by the Trump Administration.

The photo at right shows a couple of women photographing themselves in front of the new Moynihan Train Station near Penn Station in Midtown.

Things To Do This Weekend - For Real

I've been updating things in order to resume publishing activities within the boroughs. Think of this weekend post as a small beginning of what to expect as we transition to the post pandemic new normal for things to do in the five boroughs of NYC.

 

Most Events Still Online, but that Should Begin Changing ...

nyc things to do this weekendQNS. Sixteen pool halls reopened this past week in NY after taking the Governor to court regarding CoVid restrictions. Amsterdam Billiards on the UWS in Manhattan was one of the participants. So was BQE Billiards in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, which I visited this weekend to see how that's going [see photo at right].

http://bqebilliards.com/

QNS. The LaGuardia College Small Business Development Center in Long Island City, Queens is ready to help small businesses gain access to government assistance to get through the rest of the pandemic. Here's a link.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

If you're in another borough, they can help direct you to resources in your borough too.

BX. One Book One Bronx, has moved its programs online. They just completed a book about being a lesbian senior in Brazil. The next book is a narrative of sonnet and song entitled Olio by Tyehimba Jess about African American musicians and performers in the period from just before the Civil War to WWI. The online discussions begin Tuesday, February 2nd from 7 - 8.30 pm. Use the following link to register.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvcu6oqDMsGtTIxfguhKTdAJNvxoXwhB_t

SI. The National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island is open from 11 am - 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday. They have a number of exhibits at the museum and appear to be resuming special exhibits beginning in March.

http://lighthousemuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/

MHTN. The Frick Museum in Manhattan is still in online mode, offering art programs and workshops which have received such a positive response, that some are fully booked [some of the free ones : )]. See the following link for more info.

https://www.frick.org/programs

MHTN. The Winter Art Show, usually held at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has gone online from January 22 - 31. To view and / or purchase the artistic and cultural works use the following link.

www.winterartshow.org.

BK. The William Vale Hotel at 111 North 12th Street in Brooklyn has an outdoor skating rink called the Vale on its rooftop on the 23rd floor that's open from 12 noon to midnight on Saturday and until 10 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $20 / $12 and an rsvp is recommended.

https://www.thewilliamvale.com/vale-rink/


Donald Trump Accomplishments / Failures

What did Trump Really do While President? Was the Slogan - Make America Great Again - Just Another Big Lie?

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richJanuary 25, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

There’s an old saying from about a century ago, that goes something like this,

“Good government doesn’t make good headlines.”

After watching the Trump Administration, I’ve come to believe there’s an apt corollary, which goes something like this,

“Bad government makes great headlines.”

 

Did Bad Government Make Great Headlines & Drive Murdoch's Fox TV Ratings and Profit?

And Australian born billionaire and propagandist media mogul Rupert Murdoch - the silent hand who pulls the strings on the people and the pols on three continents - should know.  Because he appears to have been profiting by exploiting that knowledge and the truth for decades.

But we’ve entered a new era since Trump won the presidency in 2016 because both men were born rich and behave as if the rules don’t apply to them.  And unfortunately, they mostly don’t.

 

Above the Law? 

Billionaires Murdoch & Trump Seem to Pummel Those Who Stand up to Them, Sharing Similarities to What Hitler & Goebbels did in Germany in the Early 1930’s, at the Dawn of the Rise of the Nazis

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richTrump has reportedly financially screwed numerous small contractors, employees, investors and lenders – not to mention the American people - as during his Administration the federal government took on an additional $6 trillion in debt to provide fiscal stimulus and tax breaks to billionaires like Murdoch and himself, as well as to mega millionaires like Sean Hannity of Murdoch’s Fox News propaganda outlet.

Murdoch, in a similar fashion, has publicly abused hundreds, thousands and possibly millions of people by famously hacking their phones for headlines in Britain through his Newscorp, indirectly yanking Britain out of the EU through his Brexit campaign, and indirectly sending troops from his native Australia, as well as Britain and the U.S., to Iraq - by virtue of his media influence in those nations and by cajoling his current business partner, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and one time friend, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 

Putin, Murdoch & Goebbels Know Full Well that the Pen is Mightier than the Sword - Because You Can Incite Millions to Vote Against Their Own Interests [Murdoch's Brexit] & Thousands to Commit Acts of Violence & Vandalism [Trump's Capitol Riots] - and the Inciter is rarely, if ever, Held Accountable for it

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richVladimir Putin seems, better than most, to understand the current dynamics of operating effectively within the world in which we live. This means that the pen is mightier than the sword.  Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist knew this full well too.  And Rupert Murdoch appears to have been practicing the dark propagandistic arts for decades. 

 

The graph at right shows how well the British people fared economically after Murdoch seemed to manipulate the British people's vote regarding the Brexit referendum.

But, while the British people appear to have generally lost in the deal, the billionaire Murdoch and his rich friends did avoid further taxation from the European Union. And perhaps even more importantly, Murdoch appears to have maintained his tight grip on the Conservative Party in the U.K. and his most valuable propaganda asset there - Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

 

Militarily & Economically Using the Pen Enables Significantly Less Spending on Hardware & Risking GIs' Lives

The U.S. spends about $740 billion on defense annually, while Russia spends just one tenth of that amount, $70 billion, on their defense.  Meanwhile, the Chinese spend about $250 billion annually on defense, and they account for the second largest in military expenditures, after the U.S..

So with all that military spending by the U.S., it is Russia who appears to have managed to create an incredible amount of chaos within our nation, by using very cost effective propaganda techniques to interfere in our elections.  Russia also appears to have exploited the celebrity and greed of several American businessmen for its own purposes. 

 

Getting Started: Russia Needed Proponents to Popularize & Publicize its Demagogic Propaganda - Murdoch's Fox & Trump?

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richYes, I am talking about Donald Trump. It seems former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may have been a secretive enabler of both the Russians and Trump. This was while Ross was one of the leading figures at the Bank of Cypress, which at the time was rumored to be a big money laundering bank for the Russian Oligarchs.

Reportedly Ross was an enabler of Trump by appearing to facilitate / launder some of the Russians’ rubles into Trump’s real estate business, thus enabling Trump to avoid bankruptcy and maintain liquidity in the 2008 real estate downturn.  And enabler of the Russians, by seeming to help facilitate their relationship with the Donald, which appears to have been used to create chaos on the American political scene starting in 2016. 

As pointed out in prior reports, the billionaire Russian Oligarchs, showed up numerous times during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as shortly thereafter - before the investigation into the Donald’s ties to the Russians began in early 2017 [see prior reports in our Trump section].

You'll infrequently or even rarely find reports about the REAL Donald Trump on Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, because Trump appears not to just be a Russian asset - but also a Murdoch asset. See our prior reports for what appears a quid pro quo.

 

Multi-Millionaire Fox 'News' Propagandist Hannity Rips Another Ratings Busting Russian Yarn?

fox news / sean hannity conspiracy theorist loses lawsuit to family of seth richFox News recently settled a lawsuit [November 2020] where they are alleged to have broadcast numerous false reports of a cooked up a conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered because he was connected to the release of DNC emails to the Russians. Sean Hannity seemed to be the point man, and after the lawsuit came out, Hannity said that nobody would ever 'censor' him. But I guess the lawsuit did, because Hannity has not said a word about his exclusive Seth Rich conspiracy theory story ever since. And that was nearly four years ago.

Pay attention when Sean Hannity tells you that he has an exclusive, and that you will only hear this 'news' from him. Like the Seth Rich story, it may be that you'll only hear it from him, because perhaps it's not real news. In fact it could just be a narrative that Hannity created, to gin up his ratings, so he can keep getting paid tens of millions of dollars each year by Fox 'News' Murdoch, who seems to use such tricks to 'earn' even more.

Hannity got his start in the media by reportedly amplifying another conspiracy about gays and AIDS. He went on to hype the Iraq War by seeming to scaremonger people about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. And then Hannity hyped the conspiracy theory murder of Seth Rich - which some believe was a conspiracy cooked up by Hannity in tandem with Donald Trump after Trump had become president - in an effort to distract the American people from the Russia investigation.

In settling the suit in 2020, Fox 'News', a highly suspect news source, required that Seth Rich's parents not talk about it until AFTER the 2020 presidential election.

 

Trump Accomplishments & Failures - Continued

So, keeping the above short story in mind, let’s look at what the Donald really achieved for America, and you can determine for yourself who were the real beneficiaries of the Trump presidency.

Why does the Truth Matter?

More coming over the next week or two ...

Stealing.


This Weekend Things To Do NYC

Making the Transition Back Toward a Pre-Pandemic Lifestyle

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycJanuary 22, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will be in the low to mid 30's and the temperature lows will be in the low to mid 20's. It will be dry, with the humidity fairly stable all weekend at about 40% and no precipitation is in the forecast. The wind will range between 7 - 17 mph.

The photo at right was taken in Little Italy this week. As you know, many of the restaurants have set up outdoor dining to accommodate guests. I ventured out for dinner this week, and it's not as uncomfortable as it looks, especially if you bring along what football fans know of as a seat warmer [a pad to sit on].

 

CoVid Continues, as do the Vaccinations, buts ...

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycIn NYC there was some good news, in that vaccinations have caught up to the supply. But the bad news is that the Trump vaccination plan didn't exist, and the federal government is unable to live up to its commitment on vaccine supplies. I guess the Donald was too busy trying to use what seemed his fraudulent stop the steal fundraising promotion to be bothered with trying to prevent the rapid rise in deaths we've seen since CoVid arrived here about a year ago.

But we now have a new president who, unlike his predecessor, is qualified for the job. And who appears to be interested in doing the job - in lieu of making headlines every day. I think things will get sorted out in the next few months and by sometime in the summer, we should be moving toward the post pandemic normal.

But that said, beware, as the British Prime Minister said that the new strain of Corona Virus - first detected in his nation - spreads 50% - 70% more easily and is somewhere between 20% - 30% more deadly.

NYS has three boroughs right now that are testing at 9% - Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx - but Brooklyn and Manhattan are testing well below that, so the NYC average is about 6% and appears to be flattening again, as the post holiday surge abates.

The photo at right was taken in Chinatown this week.

 

Things To Do This Weekend in NYC

nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNew Yorkers are chomping at the bit to return to a post pandemic normal. As shown in some of the December posts, many of the larger cultural venues have come back, albeit with abbreviated hours and at CoVid adjusted capacity, mostly requiring reservations.

But some of the smaller venues are also beginning to re-emerge. We've seen a couple of art galleries - Plaxall in Queens and another in Brooklyn - host art openings / exhibits within the past month using the same safety protocols as the larger venues.

There's also been a lot of online activity as well, as the world adjusts to bubble social infrastructure, by migrating some of their work online.

The photo at right was taken in SoHo this week.

More coming Saturday on things to do this weekend in the five boroughs of NYC.


Was Trump's Administration Defined by Racism & Violence?

Trump Reportedly Committed a Violent Act at an Early Age & Appears to have Embraced Racism & Incited Violence Numerous Times Since ...

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 19, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

 

Trump Condemns Violence - The Empty Words of a Spiteful Man?

A full week after there was a riot at the Capitol - that Donald Trump helped promote, spoke at along with his small coterie of family and friends, and then departed to watch on TV - he made the following statement, as he was being impeached for the second time by Congress.

“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week ... Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

One thing we know for certain is that Donald Trump is one of the world's most prolific liars, and so it was that on January 13th, 2021 - just a week before his presidency was to end - he told one of his most unbelieveable lies - that he's against violence. The hollow ring in his words was heard round the world.

It's a well known adage that it's best to measure a man by his deeds - not his words. And with Donald Trump that advice is especially relevant. Donald Trump's life is a scatter book of a bit of violence he committed himself, but mostly which he appears to have incited others to do.


How the President, a Former NYC Mayor and Murdoch's Fox News Seemed to Incite the Capitol Insurrectionists

Rudy Giuliani, Nicknamed America's Mayor by Murdoch's Fox News, Appears to have Helped Incite the Band of Simpleminded Trumpsters to Insurrection

Updated January 11, 2021 from 1.8.21 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Rising Film Star [Barat2] and Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, appears to have devolved into something of a national freak show or farce over the past five years. Perhaps longer. But in the past few months, he's become something of a national disgrace.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamFox News seems to use nicknames for their propaganda assets, like referring to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the 'Iron Lady' and President Ronald Reagan as the 'Gipper'. Rudy Giuliani seems to be yet another Fox propaganda asset and, as such, is oftentimes referred to as America's Mayor by Fox pundits.

This is not unlike how Murdoch's Fox News nicknames themselves America's Newsroom. This was a trick used by Hitler and Goebbels, using words and images to create the illusion that they, the Nazi Party [in this cae the Fox Nation with red, white and blue colors] was the same as the state - and thus represented all that was right and just. But remember - just because Murdoch's Fox News says it's so - doesn't make it so [like they used to call themselves 'Fair & Balanced' before they started fearing a lawsuit for false advertising]. But, the Australian born billionaire's overwhelming control and / or ownership of America's television media [see our special section on Murdoch and the 21st Propaganda Press on Gotham Buzz] does give him a leg up in attaching and making both good and bad labels stick to people, places and things.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamOn Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Rudy Giuliani joined Donald Trump and Donny junior at a Trump rally in Washington, D.C. near the White House. The Donald had promoted this gathering as something 'wild' and related to his seemingly phony stop the steal / election fraud fundraising claims. At the rally Trump told his supporters, numbering about 5,000 [per the park permit] to march down to the Capitol and that he'd be there with them.

I think it's safe to say that the Trump supporters who came to this event came prepared to continue to be misinformed and misled by the con men standing on the stage in front of them. After the speeches the audience mindlessly did as Trump had instructed them, and began marching toward the Capitol - but without their fearful leader [bonespurs acting up again?]. The Trumps and Giuliani were not to be found when the group arrived at the Capitol. What a surprise!

When the Trumpsters reached the barricades in front of the Capitol, the police in charge of protecting it, seemed to give way. What exactly transpired at this juncture we'll find out eventually, but one thing we do know for certain is that Trump didn't deploy as many of the National Guardsmen as he did for his tear gassing photo op with the Bible last summer. So Vice President Mike Pence had to step in to call up more National Guardsmen who eventually secured the Capitol - but not until after it had been ransacked [including one report of defecation].


Honestly, Just How Simple-minded are Trump Republicans?

Donald J. Trump Raises $200 Million in one Month Based on Unsubstantiated Election Fraud Claims

So Senators Ted Cruz & Josh Hawley - Not Wanting to be Kept out of What Seems a Great Scam - Are Fundraising Based on Their Bid for an Unnecessary Election Audit

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamJanuary 5, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

Classic con men like Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley appeal to certain kinds of people. Too many of them appear to be complete rubes, right out of the old W.C. Fields films ["never give a sucker an even break"].

Most of Trump's, Hawley's and Cruz's 'stop the steal' supporters seem as likely to be sincere in their 'patriotic' Trump / Cruz / Fox News media manipulated intentions, as they are likely to be just plain stupid.

This may help explain why Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were so quick to take up the seemingly fraudulent torch of Trump's 'Stop the Steal' campaign. They appear to be staging a phony 'patriotic' effort by objecting to one or more of the contested swing states list of electoral college delegates. The Cruz / Hawley motivation appears to be to put on a show of political theater for an unneeded election audit, in order to fill the Cruz / Hawley campaign coffers with the money of incredibly naive full grown American white men and miscellaneous other Trump Republican donors.


New Years Resolutions 2021: The Road Ahead

A Few Axioms To Keep In Mind Throughout The New Year

things to do manhattan this weekendJanuary 1, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Holidays / Gotham Buzz NYC.

For all of us, today starts the beginning of a new year.

If we stay the course with masks, social distancing and hand washing, we should be able to make it to getting vaccinated - at which point things begin to really change to a better normal, but likely not back to a pre-CoVid normal.

The impact of the vaccinations isn't going to happen quickly as Trump's Operation Warp Speed has turned out to be Operation Super Retarded. But Biden takes the reins in another 18 days, and will likely put things back on track, which means we have another six to twelve months before things will begin feeling somewhat normal. The six to twelve months is how long it's estimated that it will take to manufacture, distribute and vaccinate the majority of the 330 million people who live here. The vaccination process alone takes about two months, as there are two shots and a lag time for your body to build the anti-bodies.


You're Looking at the Real Election Fraud ... Straight in the Eyes

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionNovember 30, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Four years ago Donald Trump achieved one of his dreams and became the President of the United States. Now, four years later, we're witnesses to the Donald failing at his ultimate dream - becoming Dictator of the United States - like his buddies Kim Jong Un is in North Korea, Vladimir Putin is in Russia, and his nemesis Xi Jin Ping is in China.

But it hasn't been for lack of trying.

 

Trump Uses Federal Government Apparatus Like a Dictator, NOT an American President

Trump appeared to use the federal government bureaucracy in its most corrupt rendition since the birth of the republic 230 years ago - to lie, cheat and steal his way to victory.

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionTrump called on Bill Barr's Department of Justice to 'investigate voter fraud' when there was none. On December 1, 2020 - a full four weeks after the election Barr finally spoke the truth - that there wasn't any widespread fraud.

Trump seemed to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to fund and operate campaign style food giveaways which included promotional style letters with his name on it, even though it was a federal operation using the American taxpayers' money.

He seemed on numerous occasions to try to bend Republicans in local and state government positions and the courts to go along with his fictional voter fraud claims. As of this writing 27 of the 41 lawsuits filed by Trump / Republicans were either dismissed or lost.

trump tries to steal the election even though AG bill barr & DHS Krebs says it was a fair electionTrump appeared to have one of his lackeys, Louis DeJoy, gerry rig the U.S. Post Office, so the postal organization would be challenged to fulfill its role in delivering mail and absentee ballots to the Boards of Elections. This was identified in August and Congress halted it.

He seemed to use Mike Pompeo's State Department as a campaign promotional tool with part real and part fictional peace deals, as well as using the State Department as a dirt digging operation - again using taxpayers' money - to extort dirt or allegations of dirt, on rival Joe Biden. In late 2019 Trump was impeached for using the government as a campaign tool.

Trump seemed to try to use Chad Wolfe's Department of Homeland Security to foment violence in American cities this summer, so he could run as the 'law and order president'. There was an uproar in Congress about this misuse of the DHS and it was halted.

And Trump even called up the U.S. Military to provide air support for a photo op, where he held up a Bible he had never read, as a symbol of his phoniness.

See below for other enablers in the Senate and Congress, like Mitch McConnell.


Holiday Markets & Holiday Tree Lightings NYC

While Still Dialed Down, There's More Going on than I Thought

holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nyc manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island holiday things to do nyc holiday markets nycNovember 27, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Holiday Events & NYC Holiday Markets / Gotham Buzz NYC.

The following represent an update of the in-person holiday markets and / or the in-person holiday events that will be open this season in all five boroughs.

I found far more going on than I expected ... although admittedly quite a bit less than in prior years ... but that said, there were a few markets or events in each borough.

 

Manhattan Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 7 - 10 pm there's the Rockefeller Tree Lighting ceremony at 5th Avenue at 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Nobody will be allowed in the plaza area, so your best bet of seeing the lights go on at 8 pm are via TV [NBC] from home.

From Saturday, October 30th, 2020 through January 3rd, 2021 the Winter Market at Bryant Park at 6th and 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan is open. Over 100 vendors will be selling their wares from 11 am - 8 pm daily. The market opens at 10 am on the weekends.

From November 16 thru December 24, 2020 the Grand Central Holiday Fair, featuring 40 vendors, has gone virtual at www.grandcentralterminal.com.

Both Union Square and the Columbus Circle holiday markets 2020 won't be open this year.

The weekend of December 4th thru 6th, 2020 the St John the Divine Crafts Fair will go virtual at www.craftsatthecathedral.org. They provide a unique assortment of artistic items, clothing and gifts.

ADD DATES / Chelsea Flea / On Saturdays & Sundays from 8 am - 4 pm at 29 West 25th St.reet between 5th & 6th Aveenues.

ADD DETAILS / Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

 

Brooklyn Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Saturdays from now through December 2020 from 10 am - 4 pm there's the Brooklyn Flea Market under the Manhattan Bridge Archway at the 80 Pearl Street Plaza. Customers and vendors are asked to maintain six-feet of distance, wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.

From Friday, November 27 thru Sunday, December 20, 2020 [Fri / Sat / Sun only] the Makers Show at Citipoint at 445 Albee Square West Brooklyn will be open from 12 noon to 8 pm. They offer crafts, food and drink. You must rsvp via Eventbrite [free] to go and they maintain a number of CoVid protocols.

From Thanksgiving 2020 through New Years 2021 from dusk to 9 pm the Dyker Heights Xmas Lights are burning with joy. The neighborhood holiday lighting extravaganza is located along 11th, 12th and 13th Avenues between 83rd and 86th Streets, and viewing is free.

From December 10 thru 17, 2020 there's the Grand Army Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza beginning respectively at 5 pm / 3.30 pm / 7 pm / 5.30 pm and then 6 pm until Hanukkah is over. In the Prospect Heights / Park Slope neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 10 - 13, 2020 the Brooklyn Ballet will do about 20 minutes of performances of the Nutcracker outside the Jewel Box at 160 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn beginning at 5.30 and 6.30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and an extra performance at 4.30 pm on Sunday and Saturday performances at 6.30 & 7.30 pm. Free.

ADD TIME / On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays December 3 - 27, 2020, there's the Caribbeing Holiday Market at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park featuring handmade arts, crafts, jewelry, spices, ornaments.

ADD DATE / Saturday & Sundays only from 10a - 4p Smorgasburg.com Dumbo Holiday Flea _ Vintage and handmade for sale at Dumbo Archway.

The 2020 Handmade Cavalcade is doing online on 11/28 & 11/29 Only.

ON 11/20/20 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID. On Friday, December 4th, the Fort Hamilton Holiday Market & Celebration will be held at 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway at the fort. The event includes a holiday market and tree lighting, but must rsvp. Free admission.

The 2020 Renegade Craft Fairs formerly at the Expo Center in Greenpoint last year has been cancelled til 2021.

The 2020 Bust Craftacular also appears to be on a CoVid hiatus.

 

Queens Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On December 6th, 2020 from 3 - 5 pm there's the Flushing Holly History Tour on YouTube. Tickets may be purchased for $5 - $35 on Eventbrite.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden holiday market for 2020 has been cancelled due to CoVid concerns.

 

Bronx Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Friday & Saturday, November 27 & 28, Saturdays December 5 & 12, Friday & Saturday December 18 & 19, Saturday, December 26 thru Wednesday, December 30 & Friday January 1, 2021, Saturdays January 2 & 9, 2021 there's the NYBG Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. Admission $30 Adults / Kids 2 - 12 $18 - ONLY Available to Members & Bronx Community Partners only this year due to limited capacity.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays November 20, 2020 - January 10, 2021 as well as Christmas Week all days except Xmas Eve & Day and New Years Day, there's the BX Zoo Holiday Lights. Showtimes at 3.30 pm / 5 pm / 6 pm / 7 pm / 8 pm. Admission $35 Adults / $23 Kids / $32 Seniors.

From 11.27 - 1.10.21 no Mondays & Tuesdays except Christmas / New Year week. Not Xmas or New Years Eves. And not 1.4 - 1.7.21. Lumino City at 20 Randall’s Island Park on Randall’s Island. Admission $29 / $25 for Students & Seniors / $17 for kids 3 - 12.

 

Staten Island Holiday Markets & Holiday Events NYC

On Sunday December 13, 2020 beginning at 2 pm there's the Nutcracker on the lawn of the Alice Austen House at 2 Hylan Blvd. Admission is $25.

On Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6,  2020 from 11a - 4p there's a Makers Sapce Holiday Market. It's outdoors at MakerPark corner of Thompson & Front Street featuring ten unique vendors with handcrafted and vintage items for sale. CoVid Guidelines in effect for all markets.

ADD WEBSITE URL / Saturdays, November 28 - December 19, 2020 from 4.30 - 8.30 pm there are Historic Richmond Town Candlelight Tours at 441 Clarke Avenue in Richmond County. It costs $120 - $150 per group up to six. Rsvp via their website and CoVid restrictions in place.

On Friday, December 4, 2020 - National Lighthouse Museum Golf Outing at South Shore Golf Course on 200 Hugenot Road. 11.30 am registration and Tee Off Time at 12.30 pm. BBQ included. Admission $125 per golfer.

December 20, 2020 from 1 pm – 4 pm there's a Snug Harbor Wreath Making Workshop. Meet at Visitor Info Booth on Chapel Road at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $30 Adults, $24 Students/Seniors & $24 Members. Rsvp, no refunds & CoVid guidelines in effect.

CLICK HERE to view our full report on holiday markets & events in Manhattan, holiday markets & events in Queens, holiday markets & events in Brooklyn, holiday markets & events in the Bronx & holiday markets & events on Staten Island.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on Manhattan holiday markets NYC, and here for Queens holiday markets NYC, and here for Bronx holiday markets NYC and here for Brooklyn Holiday Markets, and here for Staten Island Holiday Markets & Shopping NYC.

CLICK HERE to view a 2019 report on & Manhattan holiday events / Manhattan holiday things to do NYC, & Queens holiday events / Queens holiday things to do NYC, Brooklyn Holiday Events / Brooklyn Holiday Things To Do NYC, Staten Island Holiday Events / SI Holiday Things To Do NYC and Bronx holiday events & Bronx holiday things to do NYC.


CoVid NYC Economic Update

NYC Hotels, Restaurants & Entertainment Continue to Feel the CoVid Pain, Also Real Estate & Construction but Less so, and Things Should Gradually Improve in 2021

things to do nyc things to do manhattan queens bronx brooklyn staten island things to do nycNovember 16, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Business & Real Estate NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

CoVid & Donald Continue Raging

So the CoVid pandemic is raging wildly in the nation, while the Demento in the White House is raging with reckless false claims about the 'rigged election'. The Donald also made these same false claims four years ago, when he won the electoral college contest, but failed to win the popular vote.

This time America's biggest loser lost both the electoral college vote contest and popular vote [by nearly six million], but the fraudster President has found his false claims of a stolen election, is a great way to raise funds from our nation's morons, who somehow still believe his lies. As the saying goes,

"We're all born ignorant. But you have to try really, really hard to remain so."

I consider Donald Trump losing the White House, to be the one silver lining coming out of the CoVid pandemic.

Meanwhile back in NYC, we continue to fare far better than the rest of the nation vis a vis CoVid, perhaps having learned our lessons last Spring. When I look at the CoVid map of the United States, I'm beginning to interpret it as a sort of national I.Q. test. Those places where it's raging most - almost a year since the pandora came out of the box - are states with slow learning media, slow learning government officials and slow learning populations. Otherwise, why would CoVid be raging again, after all that we have learned in the past year?


Rigged Election: Who's Trying to Steal it?

Trump is Battling the Election Results Like He's Battled CoVid, his Trump-Sized Budget Deficit & Climate Change - Ignore the Facts & Change the Perception

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?November 6, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

 

A Sore Loser, Poor Sport & a Rich Old Man's Tantrum?

Donald Trump has never comported himself with any dignity or decency befitting the presidency - so why would anyone expect his presidency to end with it?

Except the low information, no information and disinformation voters who cling to him like he's some sort of savior.

We saw this same sort of phenomena occur in the 1930's and 1940's in Germany. That was a story that didn't end well for that nation - and it would have been far, far worse - were it not for the decency and generosity of the American people.

By all accounts, Biden is the likely victor of the 2020 presidential race. He leads in electoral college votes and it appears he needs to close only one or two more states to finish the race, which in most remaining states and by most accounts, seem to be trending in his favor.

 

America's Top Fixer, Rudy Schmooliani, Fresh Out of Improv Role in Borat2, Returns to Star Role in the TV Presidency of DJT

trump cheating 2020 election mail fraud trump dejoy usps mail fraud by trump campaign?The Trump Campaign began pulling out all stops to halt the fair part of the American electoral process, by summoning America's Fixer, Rudy Giuliani, to lead the litigation publicity program.

Schmooliani had just finished filming his cameo role in Borat 2, but wasted no time in zipping up his pants again, before departing for Philadelphia to make an important stage appearance in the Epilogue segment of the TV Presidency of DJT.

In the photo at right, a still shot taken from the film Borat 2, shows Rudy Giuliani making 'an adjustment to his microphone'. I do hope Rudy washed his hands after tampering with his 'microphone', as these days one can never be sure of what kind of bacterial or viral germs one might be exposed to by touching things.


Kentucky Insanity: Voting Repeatedly for Mitch McConnell & Expecting Things to Change

Kentucky Has the 6th Highest Poverty Rate, Ranks 46th in Healthcare, 44th in Education & 45th in Income While

McConnell’s Leadership Enriches Him & his Taiwanese Born Wife, so that Mitch is Now in the Top Ten Wealthiest Senators Club

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceOctober 26, 2020 Updated from 10/13 & 10/21/20 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Monday night Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squared off against challenger former Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath. She, along with another woman, were the first females assigned to the Marine All Weather Attack Squadron.

Televised debates these days, seem to shed little light on the candidates or issues. This may be in part due to the format of them, as well as the failure of the debate moderators to hold the candidates' feet to the fire by pressing them on tough questions, and the current climate of conversational corruption where politicians pretty much say whatever the hell they want to say ... regardless of the truth.

So I did some of my own digging to learn more about Mitch McConnell. What I found surprised me, given how deep the rabbit hole goes and yet how little attention has been given to one of the most powerful men in Washington. So it may surprise you too.

 

DEFINITION OF INSANITY - Repeatedly Doing the Same Thing Expecting a Different Result

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceThe definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 

The image at right was found in a web magazine, Forward Kentucky earlier this year. Donald Trump fired FIVE inspectors and among them was one investigating McConnell's wife.

What are they afraid of ... the truth?

And that is exactly what Kentuckians appear to have been doing for decades, having reportedly voted for Mitch in various elections approximately THIRTY TIMES in a row. 

Let’s take a look.

 

RICH MITCH - McConnell is the Longest [Self?] Serving Republican Leader in Senate History

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn June 2018, Mitch McConnell became the longest ‘serving’ Senate Republican Leader in the history of the Senate. 

McConnell has been a Kentucky Senator for nearly 36 years, having first taken office in January 1985. 

He’s been the Republican Senate Majority Leader for nearly six years - since January 2015, and the Republican Senate Minority Leader since January 2007 – another eight years and Republican Senate Majority Whip from 2003 - 2007. 

And he’s been ‘serving’ Kentucky as a senator since 1985.

 

POOR KENTUCKY - Kentucky Ranks Near the Bottom in Education, Healthcare and Income

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAnd yet Kentucky has little to show for Mitch's length of service – even though Mitch McConnell keeps telling them how good is for them, as he’s been a member of the elite Republican Leadership for decades.

But McConnell he likes to tell Kentuckians - he's the only top federal political leader who is not from one of the big urban centers on the coasts, even though he’s been living in Washington, D.C. for one helluva lot longer than he ever lived in Kentucky. And he’s married to a Taiwanese born millionairess who has never lived in Kentucky, per se, during the nearly three decades of their blissful married life. 

So what difference does it make where Mitch McConnell claims he is from, if he’s not representing the people of Kentucky?  But rather … representing the big corporate and foreign interests that appear to fund his campaigns and enrich – not the state of Kentucky – but their chosen one, their ‘representative’ Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell.

 

NOT A NATIVE KENTUCKIAN - Why Alabama Born McConnell May not Care About Kentucky

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceI suspect part of the reason that Mitch McConnell doesn’t care that much about Kentucky, is because he wasn’t born there, and he mostly did not grow up there.  McConnell was born in ALABAMA in 1942, and then – by way of GEORGIA – arrived in KENTUCKY in 1956 at age 14. I think it's worth mentioning that McConnell's great, great grandparents – on both sides - were Alabama slave owners, which we’ll get to shortly.

In 1968 McConnell left Kentucky for the big city, Washington, D.C., for a couple of years.  He returned to Kentucky to run for office in 1971, but failed to meet the Kentucky residency requirement.  In 1974 McConnell left Kentucky again for Washington, D.C. to work in the Ford Administration.  Gerald Ford lost the election in 1976, so McConnell returned to Kentucky to run for office again. This time Kentuckians cut him a break and elected him the Jefferson County Executive, an office he held until he was elected in 1984 to ‘represent’ them as a senator, at which time he departed Kentucky for Washington, D.C. where he's been ever since. 

So all tolled, McConnell only spent about 24 years in Kentucky [1984-1956=28-2-2=24], which is not even a third of his 78 years of life.  And McConnell has spent 36 years ‘representing’ Kentuckians in the big city of Washington, D.C. – where he has lived half again as much time, as he has lived in Kentucky.  So while Mitch doesn’t appear to represent Kentuckians – one has to ask how could he - given he has spent so little time there and it was what seems a lifetime ago?

 

McConnell Received Educational Deferment from Military, Followed by Medical Exemption for Optic Neuritis – Not Polio

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceAccording to Wikipedia, after McConnell’s educational deferment from the military expired in 1967, McConnell ‘served’ about a month.  The same report tells us McConnell was diagnosed with optic neuritis – a temporary inflammation in the eye that can cause temporary blindness.  According to a few Google searches, optic neuritis is a common eye problem that self resolves in about four to 12 weeks.  There are severe cases of it, but given McConnell is 78 years old and we’ve heard nary a word of it since his getting out of military service, I suspect his case was 'mild’, not unlike Trump's CoVid case.  McConnell is also said to have contracted polio, but apparently escaped any significant long term impairment, as we see him walking up and down the halls of the Capitol without a problem.

 

MONEY BAGS MITCH - McConnell Supported by Chinese, Russian & Australian Immigrants

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceIn 1984 McConnell became a Kentucky Senator.  And while most Kentuckians don’t like him and neither do most Americans – Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s soon to be media executive, Roger Ailes, ran McConnell's first campaign. Murdoch seems to have been influential in rolling back media regulations beginning around that time, so it wouldn't be a big leap to assume that McConnell helped Murdoch feather his nest through regulatory rollbacks, while Murdoch helped keep McConnell in place as an enabler in hacking through the regulatory environment which had previously held large media corporations in check. Murdoch controls Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St Journal and in 2019 became the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC in an inverted takeover. 

We'll zoom in on why the rich Chinese and Russian born immigrants started backing Mitch McConnell a little further in the story.

 

McConnell Sells Out or Trades in his Old Kentucky Home?

mcconnell mcgrath senate race kentucky who is mitch mcconnell who is elaine chao kentucky senate raceMcConnell was married to a Kentucky woman, Sherrill Redmon, from 1968 [around the time of his military deferment] to 1980 [around the time he was re-elected but a few years before he hit the big time as a senator beginning in 1984].  In the early years in Kentucky McConnell was considered a liberal leaning moderate [his ex-wife and one or more of his daughters still seem to lean more toward the middle, having oppposed the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation]. 

But McConnell's views seemed to quickly change after he hired Roger Ailes, [who later became Fox News CEO], to run his 1984 Senate campaign. This was followed by McConnell 's social climbing upward mobility when he met and married his new Chinese American wife, who connected his campaign to a multi-million dollar money train. Taiwanese born Elaine Chao's mega millionaire father is well connected to the Chinese Communist Party Leadership, owns a Chinese American Shipping Company, and he and her family have donated millions to McConnell, as well as his and Republican PACs.

 

The Decade McConnell Went From Kentucky Mitch to Shanghai Mitch

Following the 1984 election Rolling Stone story reports McConnell,

“As I always say,” McConnell wrote in his book, “the three most important words in politics are ‘cash on hand.’ ”


NYC Economic Update & a Few Things To Do

Voting Registration Online, The Census Payout, CoVid Updates, the Economy & Events

nyc covid pandemic evictions moratorium layoffs hiring covid queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc restaurants hotels retail jobs losses hiring pandemic covid nycOctober 2, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather.  The temperature highs will be in the high 60’s and lows in the low to mid 50’s.  There’s a 10% chance of a tiny amount of rain Sunday.  Humidity will be between 50% and 60%.  And winds will be about 5 mph.  All in all not a bad fall weekend.

 

Check Your Voter Registration / Or Register Online Using Link

The last day to register to vote in NYC / NYS is October 9, 2020.  If you’re uncertain you are registered to vote use this link to check - https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/
And if you find you’re not registered or need to change your voter registration [for example if you recently moved] then use this link to register - https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application

I recommend voting in person if you’re at all able, as nearly one in ten mail in votes are disqualified on technical grounds.  If you’re at risk for CoVid or can’t vote in person for any other reason, then vote by mail, making sure you follow all of the guidelines to the letter including sending it in as soon as possible.  There was a huge mail ballot snafu in Brooklyn, so if you live in Brooklyn and received a mail ballot with an incorrect name on either the ballot or envelope, contact the Board of Elections for a new one.

 

Fill in the Census: We’re Lagging the Nation so We Could Lose a Lot of Federal Funding

nyc things to do this weekend queens manhattan bronx brooklyn staten island nyc things to do this weekend nycThere’s been a struggle over lengthening the time allowed for census takers to obtain census information.  The original deadline was July 31st, which was extended to October 31st, which was shortened to September 30th, which was stayed until Sunday, October 4th.  And today it was re-extended to October 31st. Given the back and forth I recommend filling it out right now, if you haven’t already.

Each person counted in the census is worth about $30,000 to $40,000 per person in federal funding for schools, hospitals, mass transit, law enforcement and social services.  And it only takes ten minutes, which you can do now by clicking the photo at right.  It’s the most amount of money you’ll likely ever make for the time expended in your life, so please do it for yourself, your family and / or your community. Here's the link to the census.

https://my2020census.gov?utm_source=queensbuzz

NYC and NYC lag the rest of the nation in filling out the census, which means we won’t get a proper share of funds and representation in Washington if folks don’t fill out the census and quickly.  Currently just under 64% of New Yorkers have filled out the census, while in the state of Utah just under 71% have filled out the census.  That’s a lot of cash in federal funding we’re leaving on the table.

 

Events & Things To Do in NYC & Cancellations

The International Center of Photography opened its doors on Thursday, October 1st with a new photo exhibit about CoVid.  The exhibit uses photographs collected from around the boroughs, the state, the nation and around the world.  You have to rsvp a spot online at icp.org and adherence to CoVid guidelines is required.

In October a number of normally huge events have gone online including the following. 

The NY Film Festival at Lincoln Center went online beginning September 17th and runs through October 11th - https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2020/ 

Comic Con has gone online for the weekend of October 8th – 11th.

Swimming at indoor pools is now possible effective Wednesday, September 30th at 33% capacity and with CoVid guidelines in place. 

The Rockettes Holiday kickoff and season of performances has been cancelled for this year.  They will participate in some manner in the blended online / staged Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


The Mirage of the 'Trump Economy' Part II

Australian born Billionaire, Rupert Murdoch Seems to use the Wall St Journal, NY Post & Fox News to Create the Illusion that Trump has Some Sort of Economic Magic Touch, but the Truth is $6 Trillion in New Debt & $3 Trillion in Federal Reserve Bond Purchases

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsSeptember 21, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Things To Do NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Few real journalists - if any - have ever honestly accused Rupert Murdoch and most of the large media brands he controls in our nation, of being bastions of truth. In fact, it would seem, quite the opposite - including by some of the people who work for him.

When Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal in 2007 [fact check], there were concerns that he would turn it into another one of his propaganda rags. Shortly after the acquisition, a number of Wall Street Journal reporters fled to Bloomberg News. In fact dozens of them. Those journalists that remained at the Wall Street Journal, had to learn how to operate for an Australian born billionaire who seems to delight in misleading the masses - rather than informing them - in order to profit from the audience's ignorance, to which Murdoch media appear to contribute greatly. Murdoch is kind of like a street hustler whose propagandists do sleight of tongue [hand] tricks, while his political accomplices [puppets like Trump & McConnell] pick the pockets of the audience [Americans].

Not Your Father's Wall Street Journal - A Murdoch Propaganda Rag?

rupert murdochs wall st journal fake news the wall st journal propaganda machine murdoch wsj distorts the newsThis summer over 280 journalists at the Wall Street Journal, became concerned that Herr Murdoch - like Nazi propagandist Herr Goebbels before him - was corrupting the Wall Street Journal into a propaganda outlet, in advance of the election this November. While Murdoch's distortion of the truth in the Wall Street Journal appears to have been going on for years, the event that immediately precipitated the letter, was a misleading - even deceptive - Op Ed by Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence.

In the letter they had a few simple requests. A July 21, 2020 report in the Wall St Journal states,

"... [The WSJ's] Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources ...”

" ... The letter cites several examples of concern, including a recent essay by Vice President Mike Pence about coronavirus infections ... "

“.. [and that] WSJ journalists should not be reprimanded for writing about errors published in Opinion ..."

"... suggests removing opinion pieces from the “Most Popular Articles” and “Recommended Videos” lists on the website, and creating a separate “Most Popular in Opinion” list..."

" ... letter highlighted was an opinion article titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,” which the letter’s authors said was one of the paper’s most read articles in June. The article argued that the “charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today.” The letter says the piece “selectively presented facts and drew an erroneous conclusion from the underlying data...”

i have reported on similar truth distortions by Rupert Murdoch's media, including Fox News, the NY Post and many other media outlets controlled by him in our section about Rupert Murdoch and the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press, which you can find by clicking this link.


Triumph of The [Rupert's] Will: How Murdoch Manipulates Voter's Perceptions & Public Policy

Australian born Billionaire Appears to use his Media Outlets to Shape Voter's Views, Loading them with Misconceptions, So They'll Elect Compromised Fox Nation Pols, Who Upon Assuming Office, Seem to Reward Murdoch's Media Support, by Crafting Public Policy to Conform to Murdoch's Will, Favoring his Business Interests

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSeptember 4, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / U.S. Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As mentioned previously, I've been doing a fairly deep dive into learning as much about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany as time permits, in order to more fully understand what's happening in present day events.

Media Manipulation for Fun & Profit

I began noticing similarities between Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's manipulative use of his large share of Amerian media in 2016, to what Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Nazis, did beginning in the 1920's until his end in 1945. On May 1, 1945 Goebbels poisoned his children, his wife and himself as the Allied forces neared his home. Hitler and his companions had committed suicide the day before, as Allied forces invaded Berlin. None of them had the courage to stand trial for their crimes against humanity ... although like Mussolini, they may not have made it to court.

 

1. Did Fox 'News' Attempt to Protect the Reputation of a Propaganda Asset via Omission?

fox fake news murdoch manipulates audience perception in order to profitSo today, we're going to look at just a few of Murdoch's media manipulations made in just the past couple of months - and I'm nearly certain that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, I don't have the resource to fact check what is the largest misleading news content producing organization in the nation, and possibly the free world.

Let's start with the first two photos on this page. This story broke in the Guardian on July 7, 2020.

The first photo shows Fox News 'reporting the news' regarding the sexcapades of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell. In the first photo, Fox News conveniently cropped out Donald Trump. In the second photo [at right] we have the 'full picture' aka the truth.

The man who calls everyone else a 'sleezeball' is seen with Melania 'being best', and two of the people alleged to be among some of the sleeziest on the planet [Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell]. Do birds of a feather flock together?

So we must ask why Rupert Murdoch would crop Donald Trump out of the photo? Is it to avoid portraying the Donald in a negative light in order to keep him - a Murdoch asset - in office?

Trump appears to have been a boon to billionaire Murdoch through massive billionaire tax cuts funded by debt to be paid for by America's children and unborn? Or is because Trump's actions in the Middle East vis a visIsrael seemed to serve to legitimize Murdoch's investment in Genie Energy in the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights? Or was it because Trump loosened up the FCC ownership limits for mega media companies like Murdoch's thus allowing the few to control our media, which givens them the power to influence the national democratic conversation - and in Murdoch's case - it seems the power to corrupt it in order to profit from it. Or was it because Trump famously fired all U.S. Attorneys, including Preet Bharara - who was investigating Murdoch's companies for sexual harrassment and phone hacking - less than 24 hours after Sean Hannity on Fox News told him to do just that? Perhaps most importantly, Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, greenlighted the merger of Disney / ABC, which was an inverted takeover resulting in Rupert Murdoch becoming Disney / ABC's largest shareholder.


Democracy in Action: Blue Lives, Black Lives, All Lives Matter in Queens & NYC

A Blue Lives Matter Parade Met by a Black Lives Matter Protest

blue lives matter parade sunnyside queens blue lives matter meets black lives matter protesters in sunnyside queens nycAugust 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Social Issues NYC / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

On Saturday morning around 11 am a Blue Lives Matter parade began on Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside Queens.  I arrived shortly after it began and followed it up to Joseph Sabba Park where several people were to give speeches to the parade participants and attendees.

 

As the parade arrived at Joseph Sabba Park they were met by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who were kneeling on the sidewalk holding placards making Black Lives Matter statements.  The Blue Lives Matter parade participants paused as they came in direct contact.  As I sat there video recording the ‘confrontation’ I wondered whether things might take a turn for the worse and go badly.

 

Blue Lives Matter Parade & Speakers Queens NYC

Whoever was leading the Blue Lives Matter parade, wisely led the Blue Lives Matter parade around the Black Lives Matter protesters - rather than risking walking through them - where someone on one side or another might have escalated the tension to a higher level.

The Blue Lives Matter parade participants and attendees settled in the middle of Joseph Sabba Park and the speeches began.  The first speaker, whose name I didn’t catch, spoke supportively of the police and the important work they do in the community.  He struck a human chord, noting that the men and women who serve in the police force are dedicated to serving the community, among whom are their own families and children.  He ended saying we’re all human.

The second speaker struck a more passionate Blue Lives Matter tone, remarking that the ‘Diaphragm’ Law hindered police from doing their jobs. The Diaphragm Law allows police officers to be subject to a misdemeanor if they constrict a person’s diaphragm in the process of making an arrest.

What I recorded of both of these speeches will be shown in the video.

The signs of the Blue Lives Matter parade participants also showed a range of thoughts and emotions, ranging from striking a supportive and yet harmonious chord, while others were defiantly in support of the police – seeming to ignore the validity of the Black Lives Matter social unrest.  They included Enough with the hate, respect goes both ways, to Reform is for criminals, drug addicts and sex offenders.


Murdoch's Fox News Racism Revealed

Tucker Carlson Omits Key Facts of African American Deaths by Police

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportAugust 18, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / Rupert Murdoch & Fox Fake News Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As far as I know, nobody has ever accused Rupert Murdoch of running an unbiased news operation. In fact, it's seems just the opposite, as countless people have found countless significant reporting errors by his mammoth news operation, which in the U.S. alone represents about half the large corporate branded news content viewed by Americans including Fox News, the Wall St Journal, the NY Post, Barron's, MarketWatch and increasingly ABC News where Murdoch is the largest shareholder.

What is most disturbing, is how the pinocchio propagandists on some Murdoch media outlets appear to omit key facts, in order to put forth narratives that are at odds with the truth, which are then imprinted on the minds of the millions upon millions of viewers who watch and believe what they see and hear on Fox News.

Manipulating what ends up in people's minds is exactly what Joseph Goebbels did as the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's. As in Nazi Germany, Herr Murdoch's propaganda ministry in the U.S., appears to use the media to favor some people or groups at the expense of other people and groups in its reporting. Oftentimes the groups Murdoch appears to favor break along race and economic class lines. We're going to look at how Tucker Carlson appears to have put forth a false Fascist narrative that further victimizes the African American victims of unnecessary violence at the hands of rogue policemen, whose errant behavior is defended far too often by the police unions.

fox fake news tucker carlson racism on fox news tucker carlson distorts the news omits key facts from reportTo be sure, those who fall prey to such mass media manipulation, are also responsible for their own ignorance and subsequent behaviors, including their voting.

Thomas Jefferson said,

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.”

We saw this pretension of ignorance and denial of responsibility by many Germans following World War II, including from those operating in influential posts with access to top levels of the Nazi high command. They pretended their ignorance, but generally the truth wills out.

I'll make my case regarding Murdoch's Fox News and Tucker Carlson's reporting of African Americans appearing to be victimized by rogue policemen on Fox News Tucker Carlson's nationally televised show. I identified a couple of shows, which were broadcast over American airwaves using a high number of FCC licenses, reaching millions upon millions of Americans who appear to have been disinformed in what seems a systematic effort by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's media to provide distorted reporting with respect to incidents of police brutality vis a vis the African American community.

Fox News & Tucker Carlson Twist the Facts to Make a Trap for Fools?

The first incident we're going to review, is Tucker Carlson's Fox News coverage of the Rayshared Brooks shooting in Atlanta on Friday, June 12th, 2020. Rayshard Brooks was a 27 year old African American and father of three who was found misparked in a Wendy's parking lot, apparently sleeping. He was found to have a blood alcohol of nearly .11 which is above the legal limit for driving of .08. Brooks was not stopped while driving, but rather after he had misparked his car in a Wendy's drive thru queue.


Law Enforcement, the Economy, but First Home Sweet Home?

Is Home is Where the Heart is or Where We Sleep?

July 20, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC CoVid 19 Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Casino Royale:  Will the Donald Bankrupt America with Trillions in Spending?

trump bankruptcies casinos trump business failures corrupt donald trumpThe Administration, meanwhile, seems terribly out of touch with reality.  Their retarded response to the CoVid pandemic paved the way for the viral explosion.  One of their greatest mistakes was that they politicized Americans’ choice to defend themselves from the virus by wearing a mask, and they squandered away trillions of the public’s money – with the enabling help of the Democrats – to keep businesses functioning, without obtaining much in the way of concessions from them.

If the Donald is a great negotiator, then he’s negotiating away American’s future, in exchange for a junkie boost to his reelection prospects, and self-enrichment [there was a $160 billion tax break given to real estate developers like Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and he fired five Inspector Generals within the six weeks that the largest spending bills in American history were passed totallying $3 trillion].

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel obtained an equity stake of 20% - 25% from Lufthansa, in exchange for the German government bailout of that airline. And now the Donald and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in discussions to throw away another trillion or more in added stimulus - again without obtaining any concessions from those who will receive it. 

The image at right shows the headline of a January 9, 2019 report in Vanity Fair. This report was published over a year before the $3 trillion in stimulus spending done in March / April of 2020.

Bread Crumbs for the Masses & Melania's "I Don’t Care Do U?"

melania trump character i don't care do you when visiting immigrant children marie antoinette melania trump and childrenThere was $3 trillion in stimulus spending bills passed in late March and early April of 2020.  But the money that working class Americans [161 million people] received in the form of U.S. Treasury $1,200 checks amounts to only $193 million [161 x $1,200] of the $3 trillion stimulus spending done to date.  And then there was the extra $600 per week in added stimulus payments - which paid many unemployed workers more than they had been making and reportedly cost the American taxpayer over $15 billion per week according to a July 17, 2020 CNBC report. 

The CNBC report noted that 25.6 million were on this $600 per week government payout program.  According to the report the reason the total pandemic relief recipients are higher than the unemployed is because the package includes people who are,

“… business owners, self-employed Americans, gig workers and independent contractors who are not typically eligible for unemployment.”

So a rough estimate of the cost of this $600 per week program is 13 weeks x $600 per person per week x 26 million = $203 million.  If you add the payments from these two payout programs together then the total payout to working Americans was [$203 billion plus $193 billion] was $396 billion or 13% of the stimulus spending. Thus it seems - a relatively small number of mega millionaire and billionaire real estate developers like Donald Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and their [industry segment] friends - collected over a third as much as what all working classs Americans collectively received in stimulus handouts.

This self dealing doesn't seem to be anything new for the Trumps. And the Trump insensitivity to those who less fortunate than they are, appears equally legendary. As you can see in the June of 2018 Bazaar report above, Melania Trump demonstrated an incredible insensitivity during a visit to the Texas border detention centers for immigrant children, when she wore a jacket that had the words "I don't care do u" on it.


George Floyd Protest Cinematography, Music & Narrative

June 12, 2020 / NYC NeighborhoodsNYC Social Issues & Crime / News Analysis & Opinion /  Gotham Buzz NYC.

The video below is an interpretive depiction of a protest event in McCarren Park early last week. The piece is  meant to be savored - like food, music and cinematography.





George Floyd & Pink Floyd

Trying to Make Sense in a Senseless World

May 28, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / CoVid in NYC Special Section / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

george floyd protests brooklyn nyc police protests brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens george floyd protests brooklyn nypd police protests bk nycI watched the George Floyd protests unfold on the nightly TV newscasts for a couple of days before venturing out myself to see what I might learn. The protests began on Friday, May 29th in NYC, following the death of George Floyd, an African American who was asphyxiated, apparently due to a Minneapolis policeman holding a knee over George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes which was caught on video.

TV News Appears to Sensationalize More than Inform 

On Saturday night Fox News ran and reran the same footage multiple times of a car burning, seeming to hype and sensationalize the footage into a full blown ‘riot’. The a lot of the Fox footage was taken from the air, in a helicopter which they lease (reportedly) for millions annually, which again repeatedly showed video of the crowd below, which appeared to be mostly our men in blue. So given little good video, they talked about groups dallying into the police and back again – but really didn’t seem to have any video to support their claims. The next day Mayor de Blasio reported that there were no deaths and no serious injuries to members of the NYPD or the crowd. But there was some looting.

An NBC news account made the situation seem far more chaotic than it was by shaking the camera, providing the appearance of chaos. And so on.

More Photos & Video Coming Wednesday

Covering the George Floyd Protests in NYC from the Ground - Not from a Cushy Corporate Media Chopper   

The ‘crisis’ seemed to be more manufactured by the TV news, than by what was actually happening on the streets, which is why I decided I needed to cover this myself. Second hand TV news seems increasingly like garbage news, but before I could make such a claim, I had to see for myself.

Having grown up in a newspaper family, I’ve been watching the news and presentation of it all of my life, beginning with the Kennedy assassination, which my father made all of us watch as he said it was history in the making. Back then the news was owned by dozens, if not hundreds of independent newspapermen and broadcasters, so like social media, there was a variety of news presentations and you could pick from them.

Today large multi-billion dollar corporations control most of the news we see, and it seems their focus is largely centered around profit driven ratings instead of a fair and balanced presentation of the news. This is why they seem to hype, sensationalize and distort Americans’ perceived reality in order to keep them glued to the tube. And the hyping and sensationalizing is not getting better – it’s getting worse.

No longer can you turn on the TV to be informed, but rather to be scared, angered and far too often – to become disinformed.


Many NYC Farmers Markets are Open

Farmers Markets are Essential Businesses, Provide Fresh Food & a Nice Outing

manhattan farmers markets manhattan green markets manhattan nycMay 1, 2020 / NYC Shopping / NYC Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Last weekend, on Saturday, I ventured out to enjoy the beautiful weather. I was not alone, as for the first time in a month and a half there were a number of people moving about the neighborhood.

I headed down to the farmers market to see what that looked like under the new normal. The food looked fresh, and there was plenty of it - although this was in mid morning.

The experience wasn't much different than what you'd expect. People wore face masks and there were lines created by social distancing. I was glad to see that farmers markets are essential businesses, as it augments a strained food supply chain, and provides folks with an opportunity to get out of the house in about as safe an environment as you can get. Here's a link to the dates, times, locations and selection of the 2020 Queens farmers markets, Staten Island Farmers Markets, Brooklyn Farmers Markets, Manhattan Farmers Markets and Bronx Farmers Markets.

I can't say people were smiling, not just because their faces were covered by masks, but there's been a gradual mood deterioration as we pass the second rent due date of the CoVid pandemic. Many people aren't standing in the farmers market social distancing line, but rather standing in food pantry lines. And for many, their economic fates are up for grabs, as we collectively try to navigate our way back to work. Many believe that economic activity is likely to be dampened by the CoVid pandemic for some time to come.

On the bright side, the Governor and the Mayor announced plans to begin daily sanitization of the MTA subway system beginning Wednesday, May 6th. The plan is to close the terminal stations of the subway lines from 1 am to 5 am, daily - providing shuttle buses to and from the last stop for passengers. And then, in those four wee hours of the morning, the NYPD and NYC social services will swoop into clear out the homeless population that has started making the subway their new home. It seems a good and humane plan.

Sanitizing the subway lines should go a long way toward preparing us to get back to the new normal by helping to dampen - if not eradicate - the transmission of the CoVid virus. This collaborative effort by both the Mayor and the Governor will help all of us to get back to work and play. So things are moving in the right direction, albeit not at a viral pace.

Have a nice weekend. The weather is going to be in the 70's during the day and 50's at night. And no rain, but some clouds.



Through Wind, Snow, Rain, Sleet & CoVid - Education Goes On

Or … the Wild and Whacky World of Online Learning in the Age of CoVid

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycApril 27, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As we anxiously await the return to the new normal, being bombarded by repetitious daily TV newscasts, the Donald’s Daily Disinformation Show, and what seems Rupert Murdoch’s unending propaganda in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox News, there are a few bright spots, but you have to look for them.

I thought the migration from school classrooms might be one of them, so I set out to find out what that experience felt like to both educators and students at the elementary, high school and college levels. As I interviewed only two students and two teachers, this is an anecdotal report about the migration from classroom to computer.

The mass migration began the week beginning March 9th, 2020. College students around the nation, including the CUNY and SUNY systems, were told their classes were being discontinued and they were instructed to pack their things and return home. By the start of the next week, beginning March 16th, NYC public elementary and high schools were also closed. Private schools more or less closed their doors in tandem with the public schools.

During that week of disbandment, the world of education began a mad scramble to figure out how to continue the education process – without classrooms, schools and interpersonal contact. This was not a mean feat.

Nonetheless, educators scrambled, ramped up to speed using interactive platforms like Zoom and Google Hang Out, which includes Google Meet & Chat, and Google Docs. The educators also started figuring out how replace lectures and moderated classroom discussions by using videos and presentations / documents.

Based on the four interviews I conducted, it seems there wasn’t any one formula used, but rather a whole slew of different approaches. Teachers used more different approaches to online learning – depending not just on the subject matter - but also on the audience aka the class.

College Professor’s Experience Migrating Online

covid online learning nyc schools during covid brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid outbreak nyc public private education nyc during covid pandemic spring 2020 nycThomas Bolin is a religious studies professor at a small liberal arts college. He teaches three classes – one is about American Evangelicalism, which examines the changing face of religion in America. He teaches two classes of Ancient Wisdom, which examines Biblical, Roman and Egyptian philosophies. This course ends with each student creating their own personal philosophy.

Professor Bolin said he started by taking a technology inventory of his students including computer and internet access. The real technological issue wasn’t access to devices as nearly everyone has a smart phone and computer but rather access to internet with enough bandwidth at the times needed.

After he’d completed the technology inventory, he set out devising a teaching game plan. To that end he began developing videos, which he posted so that the students could access asynchronously – meaning on their timeframe. His reasoning was that as some of his students lived in different time zones, and some had issues accessing high speed internet at home because of shared bandwidth and devices, this would enable all to keep pace with their classroom peers.

He said he receives a slew of student emails after each video post, which he answers personally. He said he also checks in with each of his students at least once per week.

Professor Bolin also said that he began creating reading guides for many of the assigned readings to initiate interaction, circular discussions and he paired student to interact.

I asked him if he was working more or less these days. He said more … that the five day week had become a continuous stream of seven day weeks … that work filling his days has become like gas filling a room.

He noted that it’s far more difficult to tell how plugged in each student is to the subject matter. He said that it was likely for that reason that Princeton went to Pass / Fail when they initiated the migration from in class to online. He opined that in spite of the additional work he’s had to do, the students were likely getting a reduced educational experience. And hence, he reasoned, the pass / fail is a means of acknowledging the reduced expectations.

I’m paraphrasing but he said something like, “Education is learning about and through community, interpersonal interactions, which ultimately lead to growth. That’s not something that can be well replicated online.”



CoVid Crisis – Back to Work Part II

Jury Rigging / Do It Yourself Methods to Get Back to Work

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycApril 24, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

NY Pause Continues Through May 15th Pending an Update

First a couple of announcements were made the past couple of weeks which hint at when we will begin returning to the new normal. With hospitalizations declining / stabilizing and intubations and new positives declining, Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause to May 15th, which keeps open essential businesses, but closes the non-essential businesses until such time as there’s enough slack in the healthcare system / hospitals to accommodate any sort of resurgence in Corona Virus patients that may occur as a result of the re-opening.

Governor Cuomo told the Donald NYC and NYS wouldn't need the USNS Comfort any longer, as the emergency crisis has subsided. As noted in an earlier report, the build out at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was put on hold, pending a more definitive direction in the CoVid hospitalization numbers. The photo above shows a retailer temperature screening customers before they enter the store [photo credit Dantanyan].

Large Public NYC Events Cancelled thru May

Biggest Events in June Aren’t Likely to Occur & NYC Public Pools will Likely Remain Closed Through the Summer

covid disease characteristics spread nyc brooklyn manhattan bronx staten island queens covid disease mitigation spread characteristics covid nycAs mentioned previously, Mayor de Blasio seemed to think that the NYC public school system will remain closed through the end of this school year. The Mayor also said that large public gatherings won’t resume until at least June 1st, and even after, that the three largest public events in NYC in June [the Israel Parade, the Puerto Rican Parade and the Gay Pride Parade in both Manhattan and Queens] aren’t likely to take place this year - but no final decision has yet been made. Other large public events including street fairs and other parades will not take place through May and there will be an update before then about what happens beginning in June.

The Mayor also said that NYC public pools will likely not open this summer because of the challenges of keeping people socially distanced / safe from the spread of the Corona Virus. Also, the Plastic Bag ban enforcement was pushed back to May 15th some time ago. As of this report, that enforcement date still stands, but like so much related to the CoVid 19 crisis, the date could be extended further. And the special election for Queens Borough President was cancelled and will be held in tandem with the NYS primary and general election. Lastly, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks are still planned, but like everything this Spring, is still subject to change.



Back to Work Part I: Understanding the CoVid 19 Enemy

Review SARS-CoV-2 Characteristics – Function & Contagion

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020April 17, 2020 / / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

As noted in my last report, we’ve moved from emergency management to crisis management. That is simultaneously the good news and the bad news. I expect the crisis in one form or another will be with us for some time to come. But forecasting what the future looks like is at best a precarious endeavor.

Everyone is now trying to figure out a way back to the new normal, which means living with a incurable virus in our midst, until such time as therapies, cures or vaccines are found and proven to be successful.

So what does the path forward look like?

The image at right was created by Brooklyn artist Craig Ward of bacteria he collected on the subway and made into artistic renditions.

Governor Cuomo Begins Sketching a Back to Work Plan

covid 19 virus characteristics contagion spread mitigation containment theapies cures covid 19 pandemic 2020For starters Governor Cuomo extended NY Pause through May 15th. NY Pause is the directive to close social gathering places and venues, schools and non-essential businesses. Within the past week Mayor de Blasio said the NYC Public School system would not reopen this school year.

Governor Cuomo laid out a sketch of a conceptual plan, which likely came from one of the consultant groups, as it looked a lot like the growth share matrix devised by Boston Consulting Group. The growth share matrix was designed for companies to use to evaluate the businesses they are in, to determine whether to continue investing in them or to begin cashing out of them. The divisions in high growth businesses that are profitable are the ones to keep backing, while the companies in the low growth low profitability businesses are the ones to sell, close or grind out every last dollar.

Governor Cuomo’s matrix axes [plural for axis] has high and low infection rates along the y axis and more essential / less essential along the x axis. The more essential and less potential infection the quicker you’re back to work. The less essential and the higher the potential infection, the longer before you’re back to work.



Cuomo, de Blasio & YOU have been doing Great

New Yorkers Appear to Turn Corner on the Corona Virus Crisis

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 12, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I hope you had a good Easter / Passover weekend.

Based on what I observed, albeit with very limited movement and anecdotally, New Yorkers appeared to stay at home, self isolating over the holiday weekend.

This sort of compliance with government guidance is what has enabled us to stem the spread of the - at times lethal - Corona Virus. And the levelling happened none too soon, as parts of the NYC hospital system were operating at full capacity - and in some cases over capacity.

Most of the metrics for the virus have been levelling off or even going down, while the only positive metric - daily discharges - continues to rise.

We appear to be transitioning from emergency management, to crisis management, and government officials are now even beginnning to look ahead at transitioning us back to what will be the new normal.

 

NYS & NYC New CoVid 19 Cases Level - Even Show Signs of Falling

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNew CoVid 19 cases in NYS were down fairly sharply yesterday, based on the numbers presented by Governor Cuomo. But the drop may be due to weekend reporting discrepancies. In any case the number of new cases appears to have levelled off in both New York state and in New York City.

The key statistics that the Governor and the Mayor have been closely monitoring include new and net hospitalizations, new and net admissions to the Intensive Care Unit, and new and net intubations aka use of respirators. As you can see from the graphs, all have been falling. This data was collected from the Governor's daily press briefing, as well as from other media outlets such as the New York Times, on the days when the Governor didn't present all of the key metrics in his press briefing.


Riding the Rails During the CoVid Pandemic in NYC

Observations of a Blogger While Covering the CoVid Story

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysApril 9, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I've been covering the CoVid Pandemic since it began in NYC, starting in the first half of March. At first my attention was focused on the closures by the Governor and Mayor as they began shuttering social events, social interactions and ultimately the economy.

It wasn't long before I shifted my attention to the growing numbers of people testing positive for the Corona Virus in NYC and NYS. This was followed by photographing the efforts by the NYC Mayor and the NYS Governor to build out additional healthcare capacity, to accommodate the projected growth of sick people, resulting from the spreading pandemic. They had a very limited time frame to complete this build out, before the influx of new Corona Virus patients overwhelmed the existing NYC and NYS healthcare capacity.

Most recently I've turned my attention to the economic hardships currently being borne by New Yorkers, particularly in small businesses and the folks working in essential services.

I've witnessed many people thanking the folks working in essential services - including healthcare, public transit, grocery and pharmacy outlets, and first responders - and I want to add my own thanks for all of the work they do, to keep the rest of us moving.

The photo above was taken about a week ago. A little bit of natural beauty helps keep things in perspective.

 

Reporter Travelogue - Startling Beginning With Closures

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysThis is a travelogue about riding the MTA rails, along with essential workers, to do my part by providing independent first hand reports and context regarding what's happening here in NYC vis a vis the Corona Virus pandemic. Most of what I report is either not reported by the sensationalist, ratings-driven TV network news, or it's diminished in their reported accounts because it's contextual - not shocking.

The pandemic first hit my radar while I was covering a theater event at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. At that time I first heard that the Governor had started instituting surprising - and what at the time seemed draconian - measures designed to stymie the growing tide of CoVid 19 infections. In short order these actions were followed by the Mayor and it included shutting down restaurants and non-essential services.

The photo at right shows shuttered businesses along Court Avenue in Brooklyn during the NYC CoVid lockdown.

At the moment these governmental measures appear to be working, but I suspect maintaining discipline during the Passover and Easter holidays will be challenging. Afterall we have now spent over a month in communal isolation. But if people don't comply with the guidance provided by government officials, the pandemic will quickly resurge, and lengthen the time before we can all get back to the new normal. The Governor cited several examples from around the world including Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Influenza pandemic of 1918 in the U.S..


The CoVid Curve Appears to be Flattening

Growth in Daily Hospitalizations & ICU Patients Appears to Slow

March 31, 2020 / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS / NYC Neighborhoods / Corona Virus in NYC & NYS CoVid 19 / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Please note I tried to contact the Governor's Office for comment on this and have not yet heard back from them. I know they're busy, and we're not from the MainStream Media.

corona virus nyc covid 19 nyc nysNearly three weeks ago, Governor Cuomo issued an order for social distancing, by initially limiting social gatherings to fifty people or less. Mayor de Blasio supported the move that same day. As such most of the cultural venues in New York City suspended normal operations and events pending further notification or some future date. That was nearly three weeks ago.

That action was subsequently followed by further actions, limiting social gatherings to ten people and eventually just immediate households. On March 15, 2020 Mayor de Blasio issued an order asking bars and restaurants to close their doors except for deliveries / take out. That was more than two weeks ago.

A week ago while I was out photographing the empty, eerie NYC landscape, I noticed somewhat casually that somewhere between 10% - 25% of retail outlets were still open in Manhattan / Queens. Just a few days ago, while making another sweep through a couple of neighborhoods, the percent of those open had dropped to ghost town levels of 10% and less.

The bad news is that there's been a near stop to 'non-essential' life here and that there's an economic reckoning most folks are facing tomorrow on April 1st as bills come due.

The good news is that I've been tracking the numbers provided by Governor Cuomo and the curve does appear to already be flattening. The Governor has hinted at this by noting that the hospitalization rate had gone from doubling every 2 - 3 days at the outset a few weeks ago, to doubling every six days as of about a day ago.

But the good news goes beyond that. A couple of days ago, the Governor changed what numbers he was releasing to the public.


************

 

NYS Primary Today & Bronx Politics

The Presidential  and Congressional Primaries are Today

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations

June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. 

The long delayed NYS primary election is today.  On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and a number of  other candidates - all of whom have suspended their campaigns.    And Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination.  So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.

Political Calculus 15th District Congressional Race 

There are also a number of congressional races including in the 15th Congressional District in the Bronx.  The 15th Congressional District runs from the NY Botanical Gardens in Bedford Park near Bronx Little Italy down to Port Morris & Mott Haven and from Marble Hill to Parkschester.   The incumbent is Jose E. Serrano.  Serrano is retiring due to Parkinson's disease.  Serrano held the seat since 2013, following the retirement of Charles Wrangel, who had held the seat for 20 years beginning in 1993.

More than 12 candidates filed papers to run for the office, but only a dozen of them made it on the ballot.  A May poll - the only one I could find - by Data for Progress showed that the top two contenders for the Congressional seat were Ritchie Torres [20%] and Ruben Diaz Sr [22%]Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former City Council Speaker, came in far behind at about 6%, as did NYS Assemblyman Michael Blake and NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez - both of whom were also candidates for NYC Publica Advocate.   

In that poll, fully 34% were undecided.  It's worth mentioning that Ritchie Torres has raised the most cash - by far - hauling in $1.3 million, Michael Blake had raised $800K, while the remaining candidates raised $300K [Mark-Viverito] or significantly less.   

Ritchie Torres is a young Afro-Latino [Puerto Rico] who is the first openly gay city councilmember from the Bronx supporting gay rights and a woman's right to choose.  While Ruben Diaz Sr. hails from Puerto Rico and opposes a women's right to choose and gay rights on religious grounds.     I don't think the other candidates are in the running given their finances and their polling stats - but I could be wrong, so we'll see.

Click on the image above to access the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood.  Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote.  So try to be brave, but also be careful as the CoVid pandemic isn't likely to end anytime soon.  

The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.



Bronx Things to do - Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC | memorial day weekend bronx things to do memorial day weekend the bronx nyc
Bronx Things to do - Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC

Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Memorial Day Weekend

May 14, 2020 / Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This page contains a few of the classical things to do in Bronx over the Memorial Day Weekend in normal times, as well as what's available during the CoVid pandemic. Go to the Things To Do section of this site for an enhanced list of options.

I know Memorial Day Weekend is fully a week away, but given it's such a changed landscape due to the CoVid pandemic, I thought you might want more time to think about how you're going to spend the weekend.

Weather. As of this posting the weather forecast is as follows. The Temperature highs will be in the low to mid 70's and the temperature lows will be around 60 all three days of the long weekend. There's a 20% chance of rain all weekend. Winds will range between 5 - 10 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend. Click for an up-to-date forecast of Brooklyn Weekend Weather.

Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do post mid afternoon Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. The photo at right was taken in May of a prior year at the Bronx Museum in the Concourse neighborhood.

 

Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in the Bronx

Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.

According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.

About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

 

Memorial Day 2020 Events in the Bronx

According to a March 27, 2020 report in Military News the U.S. Navy cancelled Fleet Week due to the CoVid pandemic. The annual celebratory week in NYC was originally scheduled to run from Wednesday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Unfortunately this year attending Bronx street fairs - Bronx NYC, doesn't appear to an option due to the CoVid pandemic. That's not the only activity that will not be available to us, as visiting Bronx theaters, performing arts & art museums, and eating out at one of the Bronx restaurants NYC also won't be available come Memorial Day Weekend.

But things are slowly moving in the right direction. For example you can obtain restaurant food via delivery or carry out - we posted some of the restaurants performing this service as of Mother's Day in our Mother's Day Restaurants in the Bronx report.

Unfortunately shopping in the Bronx, will also be limited to groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores [aka essential services], but local Bronx farmers markets are classified as an essential service, so that provides another outing option.

You can also go bicycling around the Bronx so be mindful to observe the rules of the road [click link]. The 5 Boro Bike Ride 2020 was cancelled and unfortunately could not be re-scheduled, so we'll all have to wait until 2021 [hopefully].

So there are some things happening right here in our favorite borough - the Bronx. Take your time to sort through what's available and start planning your weekend.

bronx things to do Bronx NYC

Bronx Public & Privately Run Parks

The Bronx has a number of New York City Parks, most of which will be open, including the restrooms which will be cleaned daily with disinfectants.

But the normal park service options aren't available during the CoVid pandemic. These include no barbeques, no team sports and both the public swimming pools and the playgrounds will remain closed. But the beaches will be open, although no swimming will be allowed and the beaches will only be open for limited periods - generally from 10 am - 6 pm. NYS public marinas are open for non-commercial activities.

New York City parks in the Bronx include the following.

South Bronx. Yankee Stadium & Mullaly Park in the Concourse neighborhood. Also Soundview Park along the Bronx River in the Soundview and Clason Point neighborhoods and Baretto Point Park in Hunts Point along the East River.

North West Bronx. Van Cortlandt Park is one of the most famous, as it has swimming facilities as well as a golf course and historic house from Revolutionary War times. This is located north of Norwood and Kingsbridge, and east of the Riverdale neighborhoods.

bronx things to do Bronx NYCCentral Bronx. The Crotona Nature Conservancy is located in the Claremont Village and West Farms neighborhoods.

Both the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens are non profits that are run independently, but receive government funding. The NY Botanical Garden is more closely reliant upon NYS funding, while the Bronx Zoo is reliant on NYC funding, but run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, an independent non-profit. As of this posting both institutions indicate that they will remain closed due to the CoVid pandemic, pending further notice.

The Bronx Zoo is across Fordham Road from the Bronx Botanical Gardens and also has one of the finest collections of live animals around. It's located in the Fordham Manor / Belmont neighborhoods. See photo above right.

The New York Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit as they have one of the finest collections of Darwin's original edition publications and a depth and breadth of flora that's hard to find. This is located adjacent to Belmont, Norwood and Bedford Park neighborhoods. See photo above right.

East Bronx. There's the Pelham Bay & Split Rock golf courses, where you will also find the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. A bit south and east of there is Orchard Beach which overlooks Pelham Bay and Queens.

Click into the neighborhood / history section for a listing of Bronx public swimming pools. We'll be adding to the Bronx Parks NYC section sometime in the future.

 

NYC Public Golf Courses in the Bronx - Currently Closed due to CoVid 19

The Bronx has three public golf courses all are accessible via the MTA buses / subway. Mosholu and Van Cortlandt Park are located in the northern section of the Bronx, while Pelham Bay / Split Rock is located in the eastern section of the Bronx, not far from City Island.

Queens has four public golf courses, Brooklyn has two, Staten Island has three. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. And use the links below to see what's doing for Memorial Day Weekend in the other boroughs.

Click here to obtain information for a general listing of things to do in Bronx NYC. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Bronx fun / cultural events.

Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in the Bronx.



Bronx Mothers Day Restaurants - Bronx Moms Day Restaurants Bronx NYC | bronx mothers day restaurants bronx mothers day brunches mott haven mothers day bronx fordham university heights mothers day riverdale mothers day restaurants city island concourse belmont morris park parkchester bedford park melrose throgs neck mothers day restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx Mothers Day Restaurants - Bronx Moms Day Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Mother's Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

Mothers Day Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

May 9, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 10, 2020. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.

Normally it's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Manhattan, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester;; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations - BUT this year reservations, per se, are not an option. But delivery and take out are.

It's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in the Bronx, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.

Mother's Day History - Restaurants In the Bronx

The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis in honor of her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt it as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in the Bronx where you will find links to Bronx restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines.

We've identified over a half dozen Bronx restaurants that are doing take out / delivery on Mother's Day in the Bronx. Enjoy.



Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC | BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx & shoppers' tips includes bronx farmers markets bronx green markets Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village green markets farmers markets bronx nyc
Bronx Farmers Markets & Green Markets - Bronx NYC

Bronx Farmers Markets 2021

March 2, 2021 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

See HOURS, MAPS, ITEMS / SELECTION of the 23 BEST Farmers Markets / Green Markets in Bronx, w/ savvy shoppers' tips. This report includes the Mott Haven Farmers Market, Concourse Green Market, Coop City Farmers Market, Fordham Manor Green Market, Parkchester Farmers Market, City Island Farmers Market, Hunts Point Farmers Market, Claremont Village farmers markets and in between.

Click here for dates, times, locations of the Bronx Farmers Markets.



Bronx Things To Do This Weekend

This Weekend Some Events Cancelled & Some Institutions Closing Doors for a Couple of Weeks due to the Corona Virus Pandemic

bronx things to do bronxMarch 13, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will be in the high 60's on Friday, dropping to the high 50's on Saturday and low 50's by Sunday. The temperature lows will be around 40 on Friday & Saturday, dropping to the low 30's by Sunday. Rain is in the forecast for Friday ONLY, likely gone by 11 am. It will be cloudy later in the day on Saturday only. Winds will be 15 mph on Friday, dropping to between 5 - 10 mph for the rest of the weekend. The Humidity will be around 70 on Friday dropping to about 40% for the rest of the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

MTA / Public Transit / Click here for the MTA Weekender.

The photo at right shows some folks riding the subway this week who've taken the precaution of wearing surgical masks to prevent getting infected by the Corona Virus - see details below.

 

Corona Virus - A Brief History of Growing Awareness

The Corona Virus outbreak was first reported by the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan in China.

By January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 Governor Cuomo called a NYS State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what at the time was the Corona Virus epidemic, as there was a rapid spike in the number of reported cases in NYS. At the time NYC had reported about a dozen known cases.

On March 10, 2020 Governor Cuomo ordered a quarantine of a neighborhood in New Rochelle.

On March 11, 2020, Mayor de Blasio followed suit, and declared NYC in a State of Emergency in an effort to get out ahead of what was called a pandemic by the World Health Organization on the same day.

And today, March 13, 2020, last but not least, Donald Trump declared a State of Emergency in the United States in order to accelerate the nation's slow response to the evolving public health crisis.

 

Corona Virus Precautions - Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

By now you'd have to be blind, deaf and mute not to have heard that you should thoroughly wash your hands and not touch your face without having cleaned your hands.

In a March 11, 2020 report, the Sacramento Bee, which is a well respected news outlet run by McClatchy Newspapers, informed us that the National Institute of Health conducted a study that shows that the Corona Virus can remain alive for up to three days on some surfaces under the right conditions.

As such you should also step up your cleaning practices, specifically with respect to things and places that you touch regularly - like the TV clicker or your mouse and keypad and cell phone and keys.

 

Corona Virus Transmission by Air

And that same National Institute of Health Study also showed that the virus could remain alive in the air for a few hours. This discharge would have to come from an infected person, most likely with a cough, but I reckon just talking and breathing could do it too.

This is why scientists recommend we keep some distance - some six feet - from one another. Especially people coughing and that is why ill people are advised to remain home until they feel better - so that they don't infect the rest of us. But that said, infected people may take between two and fourteen days to show signs of the illness and thus realize it. The median incubation period for the Corona Virus is five days, 98% of the people who contract it show signs by 12 days, so by 14 days it is believed that those who have contracted the Corona Virus will show it. This is why most places have been shuttered for two weeks at a minimum.*

Some say masks won't necessarily prevent infection, because the masks aren't built to filter out the micro organisms one might inhale and the masks are not tightly fastened to the face. They may be correct, but the masks can't hurt and may reduce what you breathe in. There's a secondary problem with the masks in that some folks have been hoarding them, making it more difficult for health professionals who are working on the front line of this crisis, to obtain them.*

The disease is believed to be highly transmittable, with conflicting reports on whether it is more or less transmittable than the flu. Live Science, states that it's more than two times more transmittable than the flu, while another source says it's not as transmittable as the flu. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that there are two strains.*

 

The Corona Virus is Potentially Lethal - but Skews Older

bronx things to do bronxAt present, it is estimated to have a 2.3% death rate versus something like a 0.1% death rate for the flu. So that means it's over 20 times more lethal than the flu, and at present without any existing cure nor vaccine. Which is why there's so much concern.

But that said, to put this in context, a March 7, 2020 Live Science report informs us that,

" ... So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 100,000 illnesses and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... "

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that the risk for people varies according to age, as it is believed people who are ill, have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems are most likely to die from the disease - see chart at right.

 

Living Your Life in the Age of the Corona Virus

So, as part of the NYS State of Emergency both the Governor and the Mayor are in agreement that all events of 500 or more people are presently banned. Governor Cuomo also issued an order to close CUNY and SUNY effective March 18, 2020 for the rest of the semester.

The Mayor and Governor have decided to keep the primary and secondary public school system open, but advise anyone who is not feeling well to stay home. While tests reportedly show that children can contract the disease as easily as adults, you can see by the chart above, that children don't die from it at anywhere near the same rate as older people. I know - not dying from a disease - isn't exactly comforting.

But, unlike better resourced private institutions, the students attending public school aren't as able to 'go remote' and conduct classes and homework electronically. Another part of this equation is that these students parents aren't in a position to stay home with them, and many of their parents are critical to the healthcare, educational, law enforcement, fire and emergency response and transportation infrastructure.

I've provided the above information to help folks better understand the complexiities the Governor and Mayor are dealing with in making these decisions. And this doesn't include how badly the small business entities are getting hit, which closing things only makes worse. This affects them paying the rent, paying their employees - all of whom have to make ends meet ... somehow.

 

Things to Do This Weekend in the Bronx?

Not much really. Here's a link to the things to do in the Bronx last weekend, which contains a number of web addresses, should you want to look for yourself, but most institutions are taking the position of exercising an abundance of caution and thus have closed.

 

Bronx Things To Do, Farmers Mkts & Street Fairs

March 2020 - Click here for reports about Bronx holiday events & markets and Bronx farmers markets, Bronx things to do and Bronx street fairs.

Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx. Click for details of New Years parties in the Bronx or here for Bronx shopping venues and restaurants in the Bronx.

Also see Friday & Weekend Events above.

 

MOSTLY DONE. ASTERISKED events above have NOT been updated.

* On Tuesday, March 3rd, from 6.30 - 8 pm there's a Book Club at the Bronx Art Space at 305 East 140th Street #1 in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. The book being discussed is A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley. The event is hosted by One Book One Bronx which

"... seeks to resuscitate the beauty of reading, restore the intimacy of books and culture, and create a space that mines the cultural narratives of Bronx neighborhoods ..."

That seems as ambitious as it is laudable [free / literature / www.bronxartspace.com].


Bronx Irish Pubs Bars Restaurants in Woodlawn Heights near Yonkers | bronx irish pubs woodlawn heights bronx irish restaurants bronx irish pubs bars restaurants near Yonkers st patricks day parade bronx nyc usa
Bronx Irish Pubs Bars Restaurants in Woodlawn Heights near Yonkers

Bronx Little Ireland in Woodlawn Heights

A Visit to Woodlawn Heights is a bit like a Trip to Ireland

March 10, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx / Central Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, I took a long ride north on the #2 subway line to 233rd Street in Wakefield. I then headed west on 233rd Street down a long hill, over the Bronx River Parkway, and into Woodlawn Heights. Woodlawn Heights is nestled in north of Woodlawn Cemetery and east and south of Van Cortlandt Park and it's also south of and adjacent to Yonkers and west of Wakefield.

As I entered the Woodlawn Heights neighborhood, walking north along Katonah Avenue, I felt a bit as if I'd been whisked away to Ireland. Of course there were Irish bars and pubs that lined the street, but there was also an Irish grocery store. And I imagine if I had more time to spend, I'd find other related gems. But today I was on a mission to scout out a few Irish pubs in anticipation of the Yonkers St. Patrick's Day Parade which happens a week from Saturday on March 21st. Be advised there are two other Bronx St Patricks Day Parades this Sunday, March 15th in Throgs Neck and in Eastchester the details of which you'll find by clicking the link above - along with suggestions for Bronx Irish pubs and restaurants.

It was a quiet Sunday night and the neighborhood was fairly quiet as most are wont to be on a Sunday night. I started my journey by stopping at John Mulligan's Fireside Pub. And lo and behold it wasn't long before standing in front of me was John Mulligan himself.



Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC | nyc bronx st pats day bars irish pubs restaurants bronx nyc st pats day throgs neck city island morris park mott haven norwood kingsbridge fieldston van courtlandt bronx irish pubs restaurants bars bronx irish restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC

St Pat's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx

Bronx St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day in the Bronx Neighborhoods of Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square [near Morris Park], Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers

February 25, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / St Patricks Day Parade Throgs Neck Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

St. Patrick's Day is upon us once again and it's time for one and all, regardless of genetic history, to don their green clothing and head out to the Irish bars for a pint of ale or to the Irish restaurants for some down home Irish fare ... or something like that.

This report is about some of the Bronx Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit ... more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Morris Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square, Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers.



Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do presidents day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx presidents day weekend events bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

Presidents Day Weekend Things to do in the Bronx NYC

UPDATED FOR COVID 2021 - Things To Do in the Bronx over the Presidents Day Weekend

Updated February 10, 2021 from 2/9/21 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Presidents Day Weekend Weather. The Temperature highs will be around 30 throughout the three day weekend beginning on Friday, dropping to the high teens nightly, except on Saturday when the low temperature will also be around 30. Precipitation - There's an 80% chance of about two inches of snow late Saturday / early Sunday morning as of this post. Winds will be relatively stable hovering around the 10 mph range throughout the long weekend. The Humidity will range between 60% - 75% throughout the weekend. Click for Bronx Weather.

The image at right shows Wave Hill, where President Theodore Roosevelt spent a couple of summers. Wave Hill is a horticultural enclave and Teddy Roosevelt was an American Conservationist. I imagine if alive today, Roosevelt would certainly being doing whatever he could to combat climate change.

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.

 

A Few Valentines Day / Presidents Day News Items - Indoor Dining Resumes, Folks with Co-Morbidities become Vaccine Eligible, Vaccine Production & 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today

Governor Cuomo announced that indoor dining in NYC resumes on Friday, February 2, 2021 at 25% capacity. NYS positivity rate is about 4%, while the NYC positivity rate is about 8% - but both have been declining since the Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year surge began in late November / early December of 2020.

This past weekend, Governor Cuomo announced that folks with CoVid comorbidities will be eligible to receive vaccinations effective Monday, February 15, 2021. According to the Governor's website, the CoVid co-morbidities [say that fast five times] include the following:

"... Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease Will Be Eligible ..."

Vaccine production for the U.S. is nearing the 1.5 million doses daily required to meet Biden’s upwardly mobile 100 million vaccinations in the Biden Administration's first 100 days. As of this writing about 10% of all New Yorkers as well as 10% of all Americans have received at least one CoVid vaccination dose.

 

Trump's Failed Capitol Riot of 2021 Seems Not Unlike Hitler's Failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nycThe second Trump impeachment trial began today, Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. Generally I find the rushing of the trial to be an insult to the American people, and the U.S. Constitution philosophies of due process and rule of law. The government officials prosecuting and managing the trial should take all the time required to educate the American people about who Donald Trump really is - not who he says he is.

They need to use the Impeachment Trial to highlight how Trump has significantly battered our democratic processes, undermined Americans' faith in our democratic institutions, personalized the power of the presidency, breached the rule of law, and appears to have colluded with the Russians to undermine our government over the past five years. Oh, yeah, and it all culminated in that lame Capitol Riot Insurrection which was not unlike and had striking similarities to Hitlers' lame / failed Beer Hall Putsch in Germany in 1923.

things to do presidents day weekend manhattan nyc presidents day events ues uws midtown east village soho tribeca upper west side upper east side things to do presidents day weekend manhattan events presidents day weekend manhattan nyc

Ten years later Hitler rose to power as the Nazi Party leader and proceeded, like Trump did during his presidency, to usurp and personalize the power of the state thanks in part to the Goebbels / Murdoch/propaganda machines which misled the citizenry in each nation about who these two leaders were, and also victimized minorities in both nations. In the Beer Hall Putsch, 16 Nazis and four policemen died. In the Capitol Riot four Trumpsters and one policeman died.

 

Hitler was found guilty of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch, but still rose to power. Will the Senate take the precaution of sanctioning the Donald, or continue to enable the dysfunctional democracy damager - possibly destroyer?

 

Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC

bronx things to do presidents day weekend bronx presidents day weekend events bronx nycA day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.

In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.

In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.



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Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

UPDATED FOR COVID - Valentines Day / Romantic Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

February 5, 2021 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with, still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner in or around the Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead [now] to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants in the Bronx

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in the Bronx / romantic restaurants Bronx NYC where you will find short descriptions or links to Bronx restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



Closure of Rikers Island Moves Another Step Forward

In Oct 2019 NYC Council Designated Neighborhood Jail Locations in Four Boroughs

Community Board One in Astoria Only Approved the Closure of Rikers Island

rikers island closing rikers island correctional facility history rikers island development astoria queens rikers island hunts point bronxJanuary 26, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics / Bronx Politics & Government / Queens Buzz NYC & Bronx Buzz NYC.

A week ago, on Tuesday, January 21st I attended the Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor where the board was asked to approve the closing of the Rikers Island Detention Facility effective sometime before the end of the year 2026.

The photo at right was taken from an airplane while landing at LaGuardia in a prior year. Rikers Island Correctional Facility is a stone's throw away from LGA.

 

Queens Community Board One in Astoria Votes on Rikers Closure

The presentation consisted of two slides. One highlighted the social / moral blight that Rikers Island had become. The second slide simply proposed the request in very limited terms - the closing of Rikers Island and the conversion of it to a ‘public place’. The presentation to the Committee was done by a team lead by Dana Kaplan, Deputy Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

So please note that the Community Board had no role in the placement of neighborhood jails, nor did they sign off on anything that may become of Rikers Island going forward. They only approved the closing of the Correctional Facility and the allowance of use for it as a "public place".

I spoke with CB1 District Manager Florence Kolouris after the meeting about what exactly that meant. She told me that there isn’t any definition, per se, given for public place – but a couple of examples of prior public places include Lincoln Center, Fort Totten and Queens Borough Hall.

The Community Board approved the measure with a recommendation that CB1 be kept in the loop throughout the closing process, including any demolition. Plenty of questions followed regarding what would become of the 400 acre island. Nothing concrete was proposed at this time, but the audience was assured that any changes would have to come through the Community Board via the ULURP process [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure].

 

The Bronx & Queens - Rikers Island Community Jurisdiction & Prison Population

rikers island closing rikers island correctional facility history rikers island development astoria queens rikers island hunts point bronxIt’s worth noting that technically Rikers Island is a part of the Bronx – not Queens – even though the only road traveling onto the island originates in the Astoria / East Elmhurst neighborhoods of Queens. In addition to Queens Community Board One, Bronx Community Board Two, representing the Hunts Point neighborhood, also has influence over the island. Since the Dinkins Administration in the 1990's, there's been a floating barge facility that's docked in Hunts Point, that is considered a part of the Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

Currently there are an estimated 7,000 plus inmates on Rikers Island. At its height, in 1991, Rikers Island held an estimated overcapacity inmate population of nearly 22,000. By the time the facility is to be closed in 2026, the inmate population is expected to have declined to between 3,000 and 4,000.

The photo at right shows the Rikers Island Correctional Facility which will be closed by the end of 2026.


Bronx Little Italy Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue in Belmont Bx | bronx little italy bx arthur avenue bronx italian neighborhoods bronx shops restaurants arthur avenue bx
Bronx Little Italy Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue in Belmont Bx

Bronx Little Italy, Savor the Flavor

Bronx Little Italy Still Has Some Old World Charm

January 21, 2020 / Belmont Neighborhood Bx / Bronx Shopping NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The past couple of years I've had the opportunity to spend some time in Bronx Little Italy which is located in the Belmont neighborhood in the central Bronx. The neighborhood is just south of Fordham University and the New York Botanical Gardens and just west of the Bronx Zoo, so it's well positioned to accommodate visitors to these attractive destinations. But most of the traffic in Bronx Little Italy still comes from within the neighborhood itself, the surrounding Bronx neighborhoods, and from the greater NYC metro area neighborhoods, into which the descendants of Belmont Bronx Italian families had moved.

The heart of Bronx Little Italy runs along Arthur Avenue south of East Fordham Road / 189th Street to East 184th and Crescent Road. It also expands a bit east and west, along 187th and Crescent Road, but the epicenter is along Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue was named after Chester Arthur who was the 21st President of the United States [1881 - 1885].

 

Brief History of Little Italy in the Bronx

bronx little italy bronx arthur avenue belmont bx bronx little italy shops shopping restaurants dining bx little italyThe Belmont section of the Bronx was once owned by the Lorillard family, who were wealthy tobacconists in the 1800's. Some of their cigarette brands included Salem, Kook and Winston, which were among the top selling cigarettes, back when it was fashionable to ingest cancer causing agents in such a manner. They named the area Belmont, which means beautiful mountain, as the neighborhood is comprised of hilly areas. In the late 1800's, as the Gilded Age ended, the Lorillard estate was broken into segments and sold off by the heirs.

According to Wikipedia the first wave of Italian immigrants starting coming to America following the unification of Italy in 1861 and ran for the latter part of that century. The second wave of Italian immigrants came between the turn of the 20th century [1900] and ending around the time of the beginning of WWII [1938 - 1940]. Many Italians flocked to the Bronx, and Arthur Avenue in the Bronx became a center of Italian food and culture. And it's been that way ever since.

One of the main attractions on Arthur Avenue is the Arthur Avenue retail market, which was founded in part by NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. LaGuardia was of Italian and Jewish descent and a reformer, who promoted the market as a means of moving street vendors off the street and inside, as outside vending was somewhat unsanitary and believed to be a health issue.



Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do martin luther king day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx MLK day weekend bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

MLK Day Weekend Events in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will range between 30 and 40 throughout the three day weekend. The temperature lows will be in the low 20's throughout the weekend - except on Saturday when the low will be in the high 30's. Rain or Snow is forecast on Saturday, but NOT on Friday, Sunday & Monday. Winds will range from 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend, except on Friday when it will be in the low 30% range. Click for Bronx Weather.

Click here for Bronx Buzz - things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in the Bronx.

Brief History of Martin Luther King Holiday in NYC

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister who became the leading voice for African Americans' non-violent civil rights movement beginning in the mid 1950's through to his assassination in 1968. In 1983, the third Monday of every year was set aside to honor Martin Luther King for his service to the nation. The third Monday was chosen, as it was the nearest Monday to the anniversary of King's birthday, which was January 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King Day has grown to take on an even larger meaning, as it is oftentimes referred to as a day on, versus a day off. Organizations around the city and nation have used the day to call people into action to address the needs of the community through volunteering and service.

Martin Luther King Holiday Special Events in the Bronx NYC

On Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm the Food Bank of NYC is organizing an event entitled Done in a Day from 10 am - 4 pm at 355 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point neighbohood of the Bronx. The program attracts volunteers who will give some of their time for the Food Bank projects.

On Sunday from 4.30 - 7 pm the New Life Rehobeth Church at 1375 Mace Avenue in the Bronx is hosting a movie with dessert for the whole family and it's free.

On Monday there's an MLK Day of Service from 9 am - 4 pm at the Riverdale Y at 5626 Arlington Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The day of service attempts to tackle various social and community problems.

On Monday from 10 am - 2 pm the East Bronx IPC [Episcopalian / Anglican] invites folks to attend their MLK Day of service and social gathering at 781 Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx. They collect donations for scholarships, some of which I believe are awarded on that day [unconfirmed].

On Monday, January 20, 2020, there's a Community Interfaith Service at Trinity Baptist Church to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 808 East 224th Street between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues beginning at 10 am. All are welcome but please rsvp at 718.590.3989 or email smalave@bronxbp.nyc.gov. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is expected to be in attendance.


Things To Do MLK Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 20, 2019 / Things To Do in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do MLK day weekend bronx martin luther king day weekend nyc

Bronx Museums & Cultural Institutions - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend

Bronx is home to two great institutions borne in pursuit of preservation and understanding the natural world around us - the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. A segment of the Enid A. Haupt Observatory at the NY Botanical Gardens is shown in the photo at right.

The Bronx Zoo is located at at 2300 Southern Blvd near the Belmont, Fordham Manor, West Farms, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

The New York Botanical Gardens is located at at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham, Belmont and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

Bronx Historical Sites / Bronx History - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

The Bronx have a number of historical sites which are open to the public on weekends, and sometimes weekdays. The Bronx Historical Society is located in the Valentine-Varian house at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue at 208th Street in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. The Valentine-Varian house is the oldest remaining farmhouse in the borough and second oldest house, dating back to 1758. The Bronx Historical Society hosts a number of exhibits as well as an array of programs throughout the year.

There's also the Van Cortlandt House in Van Cortland Park, which is a beautiful colonial home of one of the Dutch settlers. It was built in 1748 and is the oldest house in the Bronx borough. It is located at Broadway and West 246th Street in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at the end of the #1 subway line.

The Bartow Pell Mansion is also worthy of a visit. It was erected in 1836 and is a Greek revival architecture style home - one of the last of that area / era. The Bartow Pell Mansion Museum is pretty active in its programming which includes cultural and historical. It is located at 895 Shore Road, across from the golf course in Pelham Bay Park.

And there's Wave Hill in Riverdale. It's the site of beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson River. They offer regular programming including concerts, garden walks in the better weather and talks. It is located at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.




Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as NYC Mayor

This Contains the Part of Bloomberg's Record You Won't See in His Ad Campaign

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc record of mayor bloomberg while mayor nycDecember 16, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Politics & Government / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I started reporting for Queens Buzz in the second half of 2007, in anticipation of the website opening in 2008. At the time, politics wasn't in the docket. But over time, as I watched government and political events unfold, I couldn't ignore the huge gap between what was happening - versus what was reported to be happening.

Thus over time I began reporting on NYC, NYS and eventually national politics, doing in-depth research along the way, so that I could provide our readers with a fresh point of view, based on facts and knowledge, with scant pandering to the politicial spin.

While I only began tuning into NYC politics as a reporter during Michael Bloomberg's third term, I had picked up information about him prior to that as an aware NYC resident / voter. My first glimpse into Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-democratic tendencies came about in 2004, during the Republican Presidential Convention, when Bloomberg appeared to illegally lock up people protesting the wars and policies of then president George W. Bush. But before I delve into that aspect of Bloomberg's performance, I want to highlight a few others.

 

Disdains Democracy: Overturns Mayoral Term Limits

michael bloomberg mayor bloomberg corruption bloomberg record as nyc mayorIn 2008, just a year before former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was about to be term limited out of the Mayor's Office, he convinced the NYC City Council to override the plebiscite that term limited his time in office as the Mayor.

Thus Michael Bloomberg sought and won a third term - which he essentially bought - by funding his campaign with nearly $100 million of his own money, to defeat an relatively unknown candidate, retiring City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Thompson was not given much support by the Democratic Party in that election, likely because they didn't believe he would do anywhere near as well as he did, and they were competing with a billionaire who could / would and did greatly outspend the competition. The final vote was 50.7% for Bloomberg and 46.3% for Thompson.

 

Did Former Mayor Bloomberg Override Term Limits in Order to Cash In NYC's Municipal Real Estate Holdings?

The deals on the Bronx Terminal Market, Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South & Flushing Meadow Corona Park were all begun in 2007. So were the two multi-billion dollar [each] subway line extension projects - the Q and the #7.

All of the real estate developments and the two major subway infrastructure projects seemed to greatly benefit one person - Stephen Ross and his privately held Related Companies. Stephen Ross went from not being counted as a billionaire at the beginning of Bloomberg's Mayoralty, to becoming the richest real estate developer in New York City within a couple of years after he took office.

It's worth noting that Bloomberg's net worth during this period shot up too. And that Bloomberg LLP, the company he founded, also operates in NYC and is also privately held.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Real Record as Mayor

The Real Record of Mike Bloomberg's Accomplishments as Mayor - Doubling of Homelessnes, Taxpayer Funded but Privately Owned Luxury Apartments, Massive Public Land Giveaways to Friendly Developer, Massive Public Transit Spending Benefitting Same Developer, Privatization / Profitization of Many Public Schools, Failure to Negotiate with Unions, City Time Scandal & Racist Stop N' Frisk Policing Program

The report includes:

michael bloombergs record as nyc mayor mike bloomberg accomplishments mike bloomberg record mayor nyc1) HOMELESSNESS: Bloomberg had a horrendous record on homelessness which broke all records & doubled during his Mayoralty.

2) AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Bloomberg sold the public on funding 'affordable' apartments that rented for $48,000 per year. These were publicly funded but privately owned apartment units that Bloomberg sold to the public as 'affordable' in order to gain passage of the bills authorizing them.

3) PUBLIC LAND GRAB. Four huge real estate developments appeared to be given to Stephen Ross & Related Companies which are now worth billions. The public lands reportedly sold for $1 apiece include Hudson Yard, Hunters Point South and the still pending Flushing Meadows Corona Park development. I'm not sure but Bronx Terminal was also transferred in a sweet deal to the real estate developer Stephen Ross & Related Companies.

4) PUBLIC SPENDING BENEFITTING FRIENDLY DEVELOPER. Bloomberg pushed two subway line extensions that seemed to disproportionately benefit Stephen Ross & Related Companies. The subway line extensions were 1) the #7 subway line extension that supported Stephen Ross & Related Companies Hudson Yard development and 2) the Q subway line extension which greatly enhanced the value of Stephen Ross and Related Companies Upper East Side properties.

5) PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Bloomberg's privatization of a significant portion of the NYC public school system which appeared to tear apart the NYC public school system by enabling for profit private charter schools, disproportionately favoring Eva Moskowitz and Success Academy, to recruit the best students of the NYC public school system, while leaving the rest behind in the hands of the public and unions;

6) UNION BUSTER? Bloomberg's failure to sign a single major union contract during his 12 year administration and the

7) GIULIANI / BLOOMBERG CORRUPTION. City Time corruption scandal.

8) RACIST POLICING POLICY. Presided over racist Stop N' Frisk policing policy.

CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the part of the Mike Bloomberg's record of Mayor. The part of the Bloomberg record you won't see in his $33 million ad campaign to convince Democrats to vote for him. Billionaire Bloomberg, like the billionaire President, seems to have an inclination to distort the truth.


Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC | bronx new years eve parties bronx new year eve restaurants bronx new years eve celebrations diners restaurants cafes new years bronx NYE bronx nyc usa
Bronx New Years Eve Parties - Bronx New Years Even Restaurants & Bars New Years in the Bronx NYC

Bronx New Years Eve Parties & NYE Restaurants Bronx

New Years Eve Parties in Mott Haven, Port Morris, Melrose, Fordham, Concourse, Parkchester, Bedford Park, Belmont, University Heights Neighborhoods in the Bronx

December 29, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Holiday Events / Bronx Events & Things To Do / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

New Years Eve occurs on a Tuesday this year. It looks like the celebrations begin as early as the weekend before winding down for the year.

While New Years Eve is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like St. Patrick's Day, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

Click here to read more about our round up of New Years Eve parties in the Bronx - New Years Eve restaurants Bronx.



Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets | bronx things to do holidays bronx xmas events bronx christmas tree lightings bronx hannukah menorah lightings bronx kwanzaa candle lightings bronx holiday events bronx holiday holiday things to do bronx nyc
Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do & Bronx Holiday Markets

Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do

Bronx Holiday Shopping, Bronx Christmas Tree Lightings, Bronx Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Bronx Kwanzaa Candle Lightings & Bronx Holiday Markets

Updated December 29, 2019 from 12.8.19 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Holiday Events / Bronx Events & Things To Do / Bronx Shops & Shopping / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The holidays are a special time of the year. In ancient times there were harvest celebrations to give thanks and enjoy the bounty of the year after a long season / year of work.

There were also winter solstice celebrations to commemorate the end of the darkening of the skies. Many cultures celebrate with a festival of lights, and in Christian cultures the holidays are marked with holiday lighting, tree lightings, candle lightings - as well as the celebration of giving through the most well known and most generous man in the world - Santa Claus.

Meanwhile, back in the Bronx we celebrate in a number of ways, which carry on some of these ancient traditions. The following provides the dates / times / locales and some details regarding many of the various Bronx holiday celebrations and Bronx holiday markets for folks to enjoy between now and the end of the year.

Click here to read our report about Bronx Holiday Markets / Bronx Holiday Events & Things To Do NYC.



NYC Marathon Coming Through the Bronx

New York Road Runners 49th NYC Marathon on Sunday

bronx things to do bronxOctober 29, 2019 / Bronx Things To Do NYC / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The New York Road Runners / NYRR is hosting its 49th NYC Marathon on Sunday. The NYRR was founded in 1958 and has been organizing the NYC Marathon since 1970. The proceeds from the race go toward the programs of the runner non-profit. They report that the NYRR serves 670,000 people, of which 250,000 are youth, annually.

There are plenty of festivities this week surrounding the affair. Some are held at the NYRR Run Center [NYRR headquarters] at 320 West 57th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan, while others are held at the NYC Marathon Pavilion in Central Park at 67th Street and Central Park West, near the Tavern on the Green in Manhattan.

The other pre-race activities [see location addresses above] include a discussion on Tuesday about the NYC Marathon Book Club from 6 - 8 pm at the NYC Marathon Pavilion. On Wednesday there's a forum of Celebrity Charity Runners who talk about why they are running at the NYC Marathon Pavilion from 7 - 8 pm. On Thursday evening between 6 and 7 pm the NYRR presents the awards for the NYRR Hall of Fame inductees at the NYC Marathon Pavilion. On Friday at the NYRR Run Center there's an NYRR Running History Tour which runs from 10 - 11.30 am.

The pre-race festivities culminate the Saturday evening before the race, when there's an early dinner [3.30 - 8.30 pm] for the runners at the NYC Marathon Pavilion that is prepared by the chefs from Tavern on the Green. They call it the Marathon Eve Dinner. It has a sort of holiday ring to it.

NYC Marathon Times, Route & Statistics to Beat

Statistics 2018. According to the NYRR.org website, in 2018 there were 52,813 runners, from 129 countries, their average run time was 4.40 [hours.minutes] and they raised $40 million for charity. This year there are a number of primarily TV game show celebrities running to raise money for charity.

According to Wikipedia, in 2018 records for participation were broken, yet again, with 30,669 men and 22,143 women participating. The fastest runs times were approximately 2.05 [hours.minutes] for men and 2.20 [hours.minutes] for women.

NYC Marathon Organized at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island

As you can imagine, organizing the 52,000 plus runners in the NYC Marathon, is an annual logistics feat. The NYRR has organized the race into four Waves. Each Wave begins at a different time. Within each Wave there are three Start Times which are color coded green, orange and blue. In addition to three different start times for each wave, there are six different Corrals, A through F, where runners gather to be released into the race during their wave and start time.

NYC Marathon Start Times 2019

The NYC Marathon begins at 8.30 am at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. From there over 52,000 runners departed last year, and the race continues to grow in popularity. The first group to begin the race are in the wheelchair division, followed by the handcyclists. These two groups depart between 8.30 am and 8.52 am.

The next group departs at 9.10 am and it comprises the professional women competing for the title. They are followed a half hour later, at 9.40 am, by the professional men. It is at this time [9.40 am] that the first wave kicks in, with its three start times. The second wave begins at 10.10 am, the third wave begins at 10.35 am and the fourth and final wave begins at 11 am.

NYC Marathon Best Guess Viewing Times

The 16 mile mark of the 29 mile NYC Marathon is at the Queensboro Bridge. That's a bit more than halfway. If you divide the average run time of 4 hours and 40 minutes, to get 2 hours and 20 minutes, you can figure out - depending on which wave / start time your loved ones are in, roughly when they'll be at the halfway mark. And then you can add to that time if you're viewing in Manhattan, or subtract from that time if your viewing in Brooklyn, or be there at the start time if you're on Staten Island. For the Bronx adding three hours to their start time should give a good proximation of when they'll be coming through Mott Haven.

NYC Marathon Route 2019

The NYC Marathon had originally circumvented Central Park, but it quickly outgrew that locale.

Staten Island NYC Marathon Route. The route used today has been in place for a long time, possibly decades. It starts at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, crossing the Verrazzano Bridge.

Brooklyn NYC Marathon Route. The NYC Marathon travels along 4th Avenue through most of southern Brooklyn, then taking a short turn eastward on Lafayette in Downtown Brooklyn, before resuming the northern trek along Bedford Avenue through Williamsburg into Greenpoint, where the course jumps onto Manhattan Avenue at McCarren Park.

Queens NYC Marathon Route. The next step is across the Pulaski Bridge into Long Island City Queens, where the NYC Marathon zigs west to Vernon Blvd, marches north along Vernon Blvd, and then 44th Drive and 21st Street before crossing the Queensboro Bridge.

Manhattan NYC Marathon Route. In Manhattan the NYC Marathon travels north along First Avenue.

Bronx NYC Marathon Route. The NYC Marathon route traverses the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Port Morris and then Mott Haven neighborhoods of southern Bronx. The NYC Marathon then heads west along 135th Street to 138th Street in Mott Haven and turns south heading back through Port Morris, over the Madison Avenue Bridge to Manhattan.

Manhattan NYC Marathon Route. In Manhattan the NYC Marathon travels south along 5th Avenue and into Central Park at 125th Street coming down inside the park to end at the NYC Marathon Pavilion.

Whew. I'm plum tired out just cataloguing the route, let alone running it : )

** LINK. Here's a link to the NYC Marathon route map. Enjoy.


2nd Annual NYC Pizza Festival in Bronx Little Italy

The 2nd Annual NYC Pizza Fest in the Bronx was a Sequel that was Hit

October 21, 2019 / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The 2nd Annual NY Pizza Festival was held on the weekend of October 5th & 6th in Bronx Little Italy in the Belmont neighborhood near Fordham University. The festival was held over the weekend attracting thousands to the area to come sample some of the best pizza in New York City and surrounding area ... and there was even a pizza maker from Naples in Italy who had come for the event. I'll have more at a later date, but in the meantime you can sample some of the atmosphere and see some of the gourmet pizza served at the event.


Fordham Road Food Festival

Video & Short Report on the Fordham Road Food Festival

October 1, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This video provides a good look at the entertainment, games, crowds and food available at the Fordham Road Food Festival last Saturday. We'll add more to this report in the future.

 


Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade 2019

Video & Short Report on the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade

September 22, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Parades / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This video provides a good look at many of the performances included in the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade. We'll add more to this report on Monday.

 


Boogie on the Blvd by the Bronx Museum

September 16, 2019 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx NYC / Bronx Things To Do NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC

The Bronx Museum hosted Boogie on the Blvd last weekend. The following video shows a bit of a prior Boogie on the Blvd in the Bronx, along with some clips of other Bronx Museum programs and events over the past couple of years.


Central American Independence Parade After Party in the Bronx

September 11, 2019 / Claremont Village East Tremont & West Farms Neighborhoods Bronx / Bronx Events NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I attended the Central American Independence Parade after party in Crotona Park in the Bronx on a Sunday a couple of years ago. Last Sunday 9/8/19 the event returned and there were food stalls selling various delicacies representing the cuisine of many of the nations that make up Central America - but primarily the Honduras. There were also shopping opportunities for arts, crafts and cultural objects, as well as clothing.

On Sunday the parade started on a somber note, departing at 12 noon from East Tremont Avenue & Southern Blvd, which is the site of the Happy Land Fire Memorial, where in 1990 about 100 people lost their lives - mostly Honduran Garifuna people who were celebrating carnival. The parade celebrates Central Americans, most notably the Honduran Garifuna, and winds its way down Boston Road, and then Charlotte Street to Crotona Park East - ending between Crotona Avenue and Claremont Parkway.

Bronx Central American Independence Parade After Party in Crotona Park Bronx

At the after party in Crotona Park there was main stage set up not far from the Crotona Park amphitheater located along the southwest corner of Indian Pond. The amphitheater was built with stone seating embedded into the landscape and is reminiscent of the ancient amphitheater ruins at Delphi in Greece, but it wasn't used by the event organizers. On the main stage there were numerous musicians, dancers and performers, who entertained the crowd, and representing many Central American nations - but as noted above - mostly from the Honduras.

The video below captures some of the flavor of the Central American Independence Parade after party in Crotona Park in the Bronx a couple of years ago. Enjoy.


Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx

bronx monastery hunts point nycJune 19, 2019 / Hunts Point Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx History NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon a monastery in the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. The better I get to know the Bronx, the more surprises I find ... like an archeologist peeling away the layers and finding yet another series of layers that begin to tell the tale of one of the most misrepresented boroughs in NYC.

The Corpus Christi Monastery is located at 1230 Lafayette in the Hunts Point neighborhood. Only a little placard, posted on the monastery grounds wall, tells you what lies within.

The photo at right shows the Dominican monastery located in the Hunts Point Neighborhood of the Bronx.

 

The monastery was completed in 1891 according to Wikipedia. The NY Times reports that it's located only four blocks away from the infamous Fort Apache the Bronx. And yet within the cloistered walls, there's a serenity that likely hasn't changed much over the past century and a quarter.

bronx monastery hunts point nycThe photo at right, showing the Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx, was collected by the Museum of the City of New York and dated circa 1920.

The monastery is inhabited by the Dominican nuns who practice a contemplative life. They came to the Bronx in the 1880's by invitation of Father Corrigan who wanted a community of the contemplative in the Bronx. Today the monastery is the oldest monastery of the Dominican Order in the United States. An April 28, 2016 CBS report noted that the monastery is in need of donations for repairs, which they were hoping to complete for the 800th anniversary of the order in May of 2016 ... but it looked like they weren't going to reach their goal.

On Sundays about 50 members of the community join the contemplative nuns in attendance at the church for mass.


The Hunts Point Fish Parade

Coming to a Bronx Barretto Park Near You

bronx things to do bronxJune 11, 2019 / Hunts Point Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx Parades NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade. The parade returns this year on Saturday, June 15th.

The Hunts Point Fish Parade is a community parade, celebrating the history and ongoing revival of the Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx. The parade begins at Hunts Point Riverside Park, which is periodically used as a landing and / or launching point by the Bronx River Alliance. The Bronx River Alliance is a green kyaking, canoeing and sailing organization, that conducts many of its events along the Bronx River.

The Hunts Point Fish Parade is organized by the Point Community Development Corporation - or Point CDC - which is a non-profit dedicated to the cultural, economic and youth development of the Hunts Point neighborhood. To that end they march down to Barretto Point Park, which is a recently refurbished NYC Park that has something of an incredible view looking south along the East River into Manhattan and Queens.

bronx things to do bronxIn Barretto Park I found a number of tables set up, many of which last year contained political candidate information, but also information on healthy eating and exercise, generally tied to local organizations within the community offering such products and services. There were basketball games held in the park, as well as impromptu pick up games being played by some of the children, and down along the waterfront there was entertainment by a number of different local groups.

I'll try to post a bit more about this later today / this week. But again note that the 16th Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade is on Saturday, June 15th, with the parade registration beginning at 10 am, the parade beginning about 11 am - both at Hunts Point Riverside Park. And the parade ends at Barretto Park, where the festival begins at 12 noon and runs until a quarter to 5 pm.


St Anthony Festival in Bronx Little Italy

Next Week the Bronx Little Italy Festival of St. Anthony Returns to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx

June 4, 2019 / Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx / Bronx Restaurants NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx feast of st anthony our lady of mount carmel church belmont neighborhood arthur avenue bronx little italy bronx feast of st anthony videoNext week on Wednesday, June 12 from 6 pm to 10 pm - The Feast of St. Anthony. begins in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. It's the 113th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street. The festival includes a number of religious and church services, beginning on Wednesday and ending on Sunday with a procession that begins at 5 pm. The general public is welcome to attend the church services as well as the Italian flavored festival in the Little Italy section of the Bronx, located just south of Fordham University, adjacent to Arthur Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.

The St. Anthony festival includes rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment every night. We attended last year and put together a short video to give you a sampling of what rides and games to expect when you attend, which has been posted below. The food is not really shown very much in the video, but is a bit in the report, but it's generally a mix of Italian, Latin and grilled fare.

Festival Location / Hours. The festival runs from Wednesday, June 12th through Sunday, June 16th and the hours are Wed & Thurs from 6 - 10 pm / Fri until 11 pm, Sat from 2 pm - 11 pm / Sun from 2 pm - 10 pm. The festival is located in the triangle of streets along Cresent and Arthur Avenues & 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx [along East 187th street from Arthur to Beaumont Avenue, and along Crescent from Cambreleng to Belmont Avenue].

It's free to walk around but you'll need to pay for the rides and food, but they're competively priced.

We also wrote a short report on the Festival of St. Anthony near Arthur Avenue in Little Italy in the Bronx, which you can read by clicking the prior link.



Orchard Beach Opens for Season

Bronx Beach in Pelham Bay Park Opens for 2019 Summer Season

May 27, 2019 / Orchard Beach Bronx Neighborhoods / Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Orchard Beach opened over the Memorial Day Weekend. The 1.1 mile beach is open from 10 am - 6 pm, at which time there's a lifeguard on duty. Swimming is prohibited when a life guard is not on duty.

It's located at the southern end of Pelham Bay Park, which you can easily drive to where parking is $8 during weekdays and $10 on weekends. You can also get there via bicycle or a combination of taking the #6 subway to the last stop which is Pelham Bay Park and then taking the #12 bus to Orchard Beach. If you're interested in dining, City Island is nearby and you can take the #29 bus there or walk / cycle as it's about a mile.

Orchard Beach in the Bronx has free shower, changing and bathroom facilities. You can also barbeque there.

The video below shows one of many entertainment events at Orchard Beach over the summer, which we'll have more on as the summer arrives.


 


The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Wandering Along an Architectural & Construction Marvel

bronx things to do bronxMay 14, 2019 / Highbridge Neighborhood Bronx / Bronx History NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I came upon a pedestrian walk way while exploring the Highbridge neigbhorhood in the Bronx. I soon found it was called the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and that a stone aqueduct, completed in 1842, lie beneath the smooth level walk way I was making my way along.

When I returned home, I found a whole history of the Old Croton Aqueduct and the positive impact it had on New York nearly two centuries ago, and it was designed and built so well, that it continues to play a role in many New Yorkers' daily lives.

The photo at right shows the pedestrian trail that runs atop the Old Croton Aqueduct in the Bronx.

I'll have more later today about the history and the impact of the Old Croton Aqueduct. Along with the history, you'll learn quite a bit about the history of popular locations today in both the Bronx and Manhattan.


Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo - Photos of Bronx Zoo on the Bronx Buzz | bronx zoo video tour bronx zoo photos bronx zoo in nyc bedford park belmont neighborhoods near the bronx zoo nyc
Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo - Photos of Bronx Zoo on the Bronx Buzz

Video Tour of the Bronx Zoo with Photos

The Bronx Zoo Provides an Enjoyable Learning Experience

April 30, 2019 / Belmont Neighborhood / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Bronx Zoo. Tickets to the Bronx Zoo aren't cheap as admission is $40 / $35 / $30 or you can obtain a year long membership pass for three adults and four children for $210. On Wednesdays, you can make a voluntary donation or even be admitted free, but you have to pay for admission to special exhibits. It's worth mentioning that the Bronx Zoo is far too big to really 'do' in one day.

bronx zoo bronx things to do bronx zoo nycThe Bronx Zoo sits atop 265 acres and is run by a non-profit environmental conservation organization, the Wildlife Conservation Society. While the official address of the Bronx Zoo is 2300 Southern Blvd, there are three other entrances to the park - one at Southern Blvd at Bronx Park South, another at Bronx River Parkway and Pelham Parkway and the one through which I entered, the Asia Gate, at 180th Street and Tremont Avenue. For most New Yorkers using public transit, the Asia Gate is your best bet via subway as the #2 & #5 subway train stop at 180th Street is only a block away.

Although the base entrance fee is free on Wednesdays, the park asks for additional charges to gain admittance to special exhibits, of which there are at least eight. The special experience exhibits include: 1) the Bug Carousel, 2) the Congo Gorilla Forest, 3) the Nature Trek, 4) the Jungle World, 5) the Butterfly Garden, 6) the Zoo Shuttle, 7) the Wild Asia Monorail and 8) the Children's Zoo. I visited only one of them, Jungle World, as to 'do' one of them properly, I recommend allotting about an hour or more of time.

The Jungle World is one of the first special exhibits accessible from the Asia Gate.




Mediums of Exchange at Lehman Art Gallery

Two Site Art Exhibit Explores the Role of Money in Society

bronx things to do bronxApril 9, 2019 / Bedford Park Neighborhood / Bronx Art Scene / Bronx Buzz NYC.

There's an art exhibit entitled Mediums of Exchange that opened at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Tribeca / Downtown Manhattan on January 31st, 2019 and ended March 30th. But it was a two site / two part art exhibit, with the second site opening in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx at the Lehman College Art Gallery on February 9th and which runs through May 4th, 2019.

It's a group show, that showcases 35 artists, most if not all of whom I believe are NYC based [unconfirmed]. And the exhibit explores the role of money from a social, psychological and economic point of view. On Wednesdays there are artist talks beginning at 5 pm. I am currently in the process of trying to find out if the artist talks are held every Wednesday or only periodically [ad hoc] and then how late the gallery stays open on those evenings, because the Lehman Art Gallery is normally open from 10 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

I hope to post more about this exhibit at a later date. The image above was taken from the Lehman Art Gallery in the Bronx.


Daughters of the Stone

The Tale of 5 Generations of Afro-Caribbean Women

bronx things to do bronxApril 2, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods - Concourse / Bronx Culture & Literature / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to attend a book talk by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa at the Andrew Freedman Home in the Central Bonx neighborhood on the Concourse.

The Andrew Freedman Home is worth the trip in itself and it was a rare treat to hear a distinguished author in such a distinguished setting. But I was not alone in savoring the moments.

The room was full, mostly of women, many of whom likely were of some Puerto Rican or African descent, and they had come to learn more about their shared past as described by one woman who had fictionalized some of the history of five generations of her family.

I'll have more later today on the Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa at the Andrew Freedman Home on Friday, March 15th.


NYS Rent Regulations up for Renewal

NYS Assembly and NYS Senate to Strengthen, Renew or let Expire NYS Rent Regulation Laws

queens things to doMarch 19, 2019 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Government & Politics / Queens Buzz NYC.

On Saturday I attended an event discussing the upcoming legislation pending in the NYS government in Albany concerning NYS rent regulations. Currently about 2 million of the 8.5 million people who live in NYC will be affected.

The primary topic of the event was MCI or Major Capital Improvements, which is a loophole in rent regulations that allows landlords to initiate projects within their buildings and then pass along the project costs to their tenants, in such manner as to provide the landlord with an incremental revenue increase that lasts into eternity, and which encourages landlords to get creative in originating projects in an effort to raise the rents of their regulated apartments at an accelerating speed in order to grow the monthly rent beyond the legal limit of regulation.

What happens then, is that a significant number of longstanding tenants in regulated housing, are priced out of their homes and neighborhoods. Some of the displaced tenants even become homeless. This is why homelessness nearly doubled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg - who looked the other way as NYS rent regulations were being renewed.

The event was held in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, where hundreds - if not a thousand - people came to particpate in the discussion.

I'll have more on this at a later date.


Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC | nyc bronx st pats day bars irish pubs restaurants bronx nyc st pats day throgs neck city island morris park mott haven norwood kingsbridge fieldston van courtlandt bronx irish pubs restaurants bars bronx irish restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx St Patricks Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx NYC

St Pat's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants in the Bronx

Bronx St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day in the Bronx Neighborhoods of Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square [near Morris Park], Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers

February 25, 2020 / Bronx Neighborhoods NYC / Bronx Restaurants NYC / St Patricks Day Parade Throgs Neck Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

St. Patrick's Day is upon us once again and it's time for one and all, regardless of genetic history, to don their green clothing and head out to the Irish bars for a pint of ale or to the Irish restaurants for some down home Irish fare ... or something like that.

This report is about some of the Bronx Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit ... more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from Throgs Neck, Kingsbridge, Fieldston, Bedford Park, Morris Park, Mott Haven, Norwood, Woodlawn Heights, Westchester Square, Middleton Pelham Bay [near City Island], Williamsbridge and one in Yonkers.



Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - Bronx State of the Borough Address - Bronx NYC | bronx borough president ruben diaz jr state of the bronx borough address 2019 bronx state of the boro address ruben diaz jr nys senator chuck schumer bronx nyc
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - Bronx State of the Borough Address - Bronx NYC

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr Unofficially Announces Mayoral Candidacy

Bronx Borough President Diaz Delivers Borough Address 2019

February 21, 2019 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Politics & Government / Bronx Buzz NYC.

I stepped inside the auditorium, at Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School in Mott Haven, just as the National Anthem began. Eden Augustine from the Bronx High School of Science sang the anthem last year and this year it was xyz from H.E.R.O High. The H.E.R.O. stands for Health, Education & Research Occupations.

The Principal of the school, Kristen Cahill Garcia, stepped out onto the stage to say a few words. She noted that Samuel Gompers CTE High School had closed in 2015 and re-opened that Fall as three schools: 1) H.E.R.O. High, 2) a New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities II, and 3) Mott Haven Community High School which is a transfer school for older students. She went on to say that while things have been progressing in a positive direction – there’s still more work to be done.

Senate Minority Leader Schumer Gives Introductory Remarks

The next speaker, was a surprise guest, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer mentioned how he was trying to help with affordable housing and getting more train stations added for commuters in the Eastern neighborhoods of the Bronx. He talked about how we are stronger when we are united, and that the Bronx seems to be united, in spite of the fact that so many of its denizens come from somewhere else. He finished by complimenting Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on his leadership.

Bronx President's State of the Borough Address Well Attended

And the last of the ‘warm up remarks’ was given by a Bronx Borough President's Office staffer [Communications Director John DeSio?] who called off a very long list of people in attendance including: Bronx City Council members, NYS Senators, NYS Assembly members, NYC government officials, people representing federal and state government officials, a few Brooklynites, and high ranking Bronx Borough officials like the head of the NYPD in the Bronx and NYC Parks Department in the Bronx and others. He continued on, mentioning folks from non-profits including a number of people representing higher learning institutions in the Bronx such as ruben diaz jr state of the bronx borough ruben diaz bronx state of the borough 2019 bronx soutb 2019 bronx nyc ruben diaz jrHostos, Monroe and Bronx Community Colleges, members of the leadership teams at Jacobi Hospital and Lincoln Medical Center, and Bronx cultural organizations like the NY Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Museum, the Bronx Council for the Arts, and lastly, but not least, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and several Bronx union chapters like the Bronx Carpenters Union and Bronx Electrical Union. This is not a complete list but it’s a pretty good summary without the full detail.

Not in Attendance - Ruben Diaz Sr?

Notably absent from the list, was NYC Councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr., who made his way into the news with a comment about gays last week – click here to read a short report. I reckon Ruben Diaz Sr.’s absence was probably best for both of them, as they seem to have a good relationship, even though they’re different from one another.

We were treated to a short, entertaining video featuring the Bodega Boys, who reportedly just signed with Showtime for a program at 11 pm on Thursdays. The Bodega Boys started a podcast that put them into the big time. Kind of like how Cardi B started posting videos on YouTube, which went viral and made her into the top billing name she is today.

In the video there was an ‘unofficial announcement’ of Ruben Diaz Jr.’s plans to run for NYC Mayor in 2021 [see photo still from the video above].



Bronx City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr Creates a Stir with Remarks about Gays & Loses Chairmanship | bronx city council member ruben diaz sr nys senator ruben diaz sr bronx government bronx politics bronx nyc
Bronx City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr Creates a Stir with Remarks about Gays & Loses Chairmanship

Ruben Diaz Sr.'s Comments on Gays

NYC City Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. Creates Stir & Loses Chairman Post

February 15, 2019 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

The photo at right shows Ruben Diaz Sr at Ruben Diaz Jr's State of the Borough Address in 2018. This week or so, New York City Councilman Diaz opened his mouth and stuck a cowboy-sized boot in it, declaring that City Hall was, "... controlled by the homosexual community ...". The statement cost Diaz his NYC Council Chairmanship, and the NYC Council then voted 45 - 1 to punish him, following an investigation.

Diaz Sr isn't doing his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, any favors, as his son has been rumored to be contemplating a run for Mayor in 2021.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr tweeted that his father's remarks were antagonistic, not inclusive nor respectful of our diversity, and that his father should apologize. Thus far Ruben Diaz Sr has refused to do so. Diaz, a former minister, ought to pay heed to the Bible, which in the Book of Proverbs tells us that, "Pride goeth before the fall."



Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC | bronx valentines day restaurants bronx valentines dinners mott haven valentines day bronx fordham university heights valentines day riverdale valentines restaurants city island concourse belmont morris park parkchester bedford park melrose throgs neck valentines day restaurants bronx nyc
Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx Romantic Restaurants Bronx NYC

Bronx Valentines Day Restaurants - Bronx NYC

UPDATED FOR COVID - Valentines Day / Romantic Restaurants in or near Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester Bronx NYC

February 5, 2021 / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with, still means a lot to you.

This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. So if you're thinking about doing something this Valentine's Day for dinner in or around the Mott Haven, Fordham, Port Morris, Concourse, Bedford Park, Norwood, University Heights, City Island, Riverdale, Melrose, Morris Park, Westchester Square & Parkchester neighborhoods; it's best to do your research early, and call a week or at least a few days ahead [now] to make the reservations.

Valentine's Day History - Romantic Restaurants in the Bronx

The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.

UPDATED FOR COVID. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in the Bronx / romantic restaurants Bronx NYC where you will find short descriptions or links to Bronx restaurants we've visited in the past or have reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.



Who was Louis J. Heintz?

Joyce Kilmer Park Statues Contain a bit of Bronx History

louis j heintz statue photos joyce kilmer park bronx nycJanuary 29, 2019 / Concourse Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last Fall I attended a gathering at the Bronx Museum where the Chairman of the NY Federal Reserve gave a speech about the economy. He had come to Bronx to take the pulse of things here, as much as or even more than to spread the word about what the Federal Reserve was doing, as - at the time - things were going quite well.

After the meeting I walked back to the subway at 165th Street and Jerome Avenue near Yankee Stadium. On my way, I walked down the Grand Concourse which runs north / south through the center of the Bronx. Alongside the Grand Concourse, immediately north of the Bronx Borough Hall, there's a beautiful park that provides a welcoming spot for one to relax and enjoy a beautiful day, which it was.

As I took in the day, watching the kids play on the northwest end of the park, and older folks sitting on the park benches a bit further south, I started noticed one of the beautiful statues standing stately in the park near the southwest corner. I photographed the statue and researched the man it honored when I returned home. The statue, shown at right, was of Louis J. Heintz.

 

Heintz & the John Eichler Brewing Company of Claremont Neighborhood in the Bronx

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycLouis J. Heintz lived a very short life as he was born in 1861 and died in 1893. He was of German descent and worked in Eichler Brewery at 169th Street, between Fulton and Third Avenue in what is today the Claremont neighborhood. The John Eichler Brewing Company was run by Heintz's uncle. The John Eichler Brewery opened in 1865 and remained in business - save during the Prohibition [1920 - 1933] - until in 1947, The John Eichler Brewing Company discontinued operations. In the 1880's Louis J. Heintz became the President of the Brewers Board of Trade of New York and became a respected businessman.

 

The photo above right shows the Eichler Brewing Company which was featured in the book entitled Images of the South Bronx published by Arcadia Publishing. And shown below is an Eichler Brewing Company beer label, which was probably from the Prohibition given its low alcohol content.

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycHeintz's uncle, John Eichler, was born in Bavaria in 1829. In 1858, having learned the brewing trade, before emigrating to America. He worked for the Turtle Bay Brewery for a few years, before forming a brewery which bought the Kolb Brewery in 1865, which he transformed into John Eichler Brewery. In 1888 Eichler formed the company into a stockholding company, because his health was failing. John Eichler died in 1892. As mentioned above, the company continued until it was purchased in 1947, by which time it had become one of the largest breweries in New York City, producing a half million barrels per year.

 

New York City Annexes Southern Bronx 1874 / Eastern Bronx 1895

New York City expanded the boundaries of the city in 1874 by annexing the southern areas of the Bronx including Kingsbridge, Morrisania and West Farms. Later, in 1895, the East Bronx was added while expanding the city's boundary. And in 1898 the area that is today modern day Queens, the city of Brooklyn and Staten Island were all added to comprise what is today the five boroughs of New York City. Each borough is a separate county of New York State.

Louis Heintz Becomes Bronx Street Commissioner

eichler brewing company photos bronx nycFollowing the annexation of the Bronx as part of New York City in 1874, the people of the Bronx found their street development lacking. In 1889 Heintz began advocating for a position managed independently in the Bronx, to pave and manage the streets. Heintz became the first Bronx Commissioner of Streets in 1890, after gaining agreement starting a year earlier that such a position was needed in order to have the Bronx streets paved.

Heintz died shortly after falling ill, following attendance at President Grover Cleveland's inauguration which was held on March 4, 1893. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Prior to becoming President he was the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of Buffalo.

The photo at right shows the Eichler Mansion at 169th Street and Fulton in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx which was featured in the book entitled Images of the South Bronx published by Arcadia Publishing.

The statue of Louis J. Heintz was cast in 1905 and dedicated in 1909.

Sources: OldBreweries.com, Wikipedia.org, NYCGovParks.org, FindaGrave.com, BronxMall.com and Images of the South Bronx [a book by Arcadia Publishing].


NY Botanical - The Bronx Garden of Eden

An Array of Enticements for World Travelers & Locals in NYC

bronx things to do bronxJanuary 15, 2019 / Bedford Park Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A week ago I headed up to the New York Botanical Garden to view the Holiday Train Show and experience their famous Bar Car Nights. It was a Saturday and the program began around 7 pm. I walked from the subway and arrrived about 8 pm, so I had plenty of time to look around, since it went on until 10.30 pm.

I entered at the western gate along Southern Blvd and walked along the winding path, heading to the pavilion where there were food vendors, a fire and an ice sculptor. Along the path of the Garden Way there were dancers from American Circus Theatre performing slow moving pieces that highlighted the body as form in motion. I paused at the Christmas tree, which was postcard perfect and the sight of numerous photo taking sessions, before heading up to the Pavilion.

The Pavilion is tucked just inside the NY Botanical Gardens southern gate. Local food vendors were tucked in along the walls and a railing in a U shape, with a fire burning in the middle of it. The food vendors are generally participants of the Bronx Night Market, and thus may change from week to week. The Bronx Night Market which is a seasonal pop up market in the Fordham neighborhood.

This week the food vendors were Kernelicious from the Fordham neighborhood serving gourmet popcorn, City Tamale from the bronx things to do bronxHunts Point neighborhood serving Mexican food, Barbeque on a Stick from Long Island City in Queens serving Homestyle Filipino barbeque on a stick, and The Fried Kitchen who are caterers from Port Morris serving fried chicken. They were also serving wine and beer, where a line had formed.

I watched an ice sculptor from Okamoto Studio NYC ply his trade, as it appeared he had nearly completed a sphinx-like cat. Behind him there was the NY Botanical Garden Pine Cafe and beyond that a long separate room, where a couple of local musicians were entertaining a fairly large crowd with some American tunes from the 20th century.

Finally, I was ready to visit the famed Holiday Train Show, which was situated inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The Conservatory is "a stunning example of Victorian-style glass house artistry" and worth a visit by itself. The building was inspired by the Royal Botanic Garden in London and took three years to erect, completed in 1902. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is used to house the Holiday Train Show during the holidays and the Orchid Show in the Spring.

Visitors from around the world come to visit the NY Botanical Gardens, to see the Conservatory, as well as forest that bronx things to do bronxthe Botanical Garden has tried to keep intact since prior to the Revolutionary War in the late 1700's. It's a highly challenging preservation task, given the NY Botanical Garden is situated in one of the largest cities in the world, where winds bring unwelcome vegetational visitors, and pollution doesn't make things any easier.

Inside the Haupt Conservatory I found the Holiday Train Show. The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is also worth a visit on its own, but the Bar Car Night program allows you to satisfy your curiosity on both of these attractions, at the same time. The Holiday Train Show began 27 years ago in 1991.

A film showing how the New York Botanical Holiday Train Show had been constructed was shown at the entrance. This was followed by tables and elevated train tracks where the trains seemed to soar past us. But the real treat lie in wait, as we entered the Conservatory where the lush green vegetation was used as the environment for the trains and associated structures. Overhead, literally dozens of feet above us, were the paned glass windows of possibly a century ago.

bronx things to do bronxPeople were milling about, enjoying the ambiance, the train show detail, and each others' company. While it was early January, the holiday spirit remained intact. I spent a fair amount of time taking it all in before I headed back to the bar, where another group of folks were milling about enjoying the social ambiance. On my way out I passed by some NYBG carolers who had created a chorus of visitors singing some well known holiday tunes. The last Bar Car Nights of the Season was January 12th, but it will return in mid November of this year. And the Holiday Train Show runs one more week, ending Monday, January 21, 2019.

Tickets cost $38 for non-members and $28 for NYBG members. P.S. They also have a restaurant called the Hudson Garden Grill in the Ross Conifer Arboretum, which is between the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the western Southern Blvd Gate. It's open daily from 11.30 am - 6 pm, but they vary the light and full menu based on weekdays / weekends.

Scroll down to view a video of the Bar Car Nights at the NY Botanical Gardens, including the Holiday Train Show.


Bar Car Nights at the New York Botanical Garden

January 5, 2018 / Bedford Park Fordham Central Bronx Neighborhoods / Holiday Things To Do Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

This is a short video capturing the various entertainment offerings included in the NY Botanical Garden Bar Car Nights program over the holidays. There was music, an outside fire surrounded by presumably Bronx restaurateurs' offerings, an ice sculptor performing his art, dancers and singers caroling and performing, and the holiday train show in the Enid Haupt Conservatory, which is worth the trip all in itself. Next Saturday is the last night of this program until next Fall.


NYC Marathon Runs Through the Bronx

Since 1976 the NYC Marathon Has Run Through the Bronx

November 13, 2018 / Mott Haven Neighborhood / Bronx Sports / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

On November 4th, 2018 over 52,000 runners traversed the lower part of the Bronx borough. The Bronx is part of a 26 mile long course that's been used by the NYC Marathon for a long while.

According to Wikipedia the current race configuration was first outlined and used in 1976. Wikipedia also reports that the NYC Marathon is the largest marathon in the world. The NYC Marathon originated in 1970, running around Central Park, but picked up so much interest that it was expanded just six years later to its current five borough course.

Literally tens of thousands come out to watch the runners traverse their neighborhoods. And the locals are joined by likely tens of thousands more, who come to cheer their runners onward. The spectators come from all over the nation and all around the world. It's a very festive day / weekend and the city is packed with visitors.

Generally the NYC Marathon weekend officially begins in Central Park with official festivities, the configuration of which has been evolving over the years. The race is generally sponsored by a large national or multi-national company, which uses the event promotionally to create awareness around their brand name. I've noticed that recently the branded promotional merchandising of items appears to have expanded significantly.

This year I covered the NYC Marathon in Brooklyn, but below is a video I shot in the Bronx in 2017, but didn't post. It's still a short, fun one and a half minute watch. Enjoy.


Pregones Theater in the South Bronx

The Bronx is Hitting its Stride as one of NYC's Great Cultural Centers

October 22, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood Bronx / Music Dance & Theater Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Last summer the Pregones Theater or Teatro Pregones hosted a block party in tandem in the Concourse neighborhood with Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The recognition by Lincoln Center for the quality of Pregones Theater programming, shows just how far Teatro Pregones has come in earning the respect of one of the nation's most elite cultural centers. But this is nothing new for the Bronx these days.

Since gaining recognition for Rap and Hip Hop, the Bronx became known for its music, art and culture. Rap is said to have begun starting in 1973 when the first known hip hop party was thrown by DJ Kook Herc at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the nearby Morris Heights neighborhood in the Bronx.

The Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were organized in the mid 1970's by John Saddler who took the name of Grand Master Flash. One of the Furious Five members, Keef Cowboy, is credited with coming up with the name hip hop. In 1979 The Sugar Hill Gang's Rappers' Delight reportedly brought Rap and Hip Hop into the mainstream. And in the following three decades, Rap and Hip Hop went mainstream, with rappers and hip hop artists emerging from all around the nation and all around the world.

In 2015 Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known as Cardi B, emerged as a national artist, after a few of her videos went viral. In 2017 Kardi B put out a single, Bodack Yellow, that quickly rose to #1. I went to listen to it on Youtube and it uses an Arabian theatrical motif, where Kardi B talks about dancing. Kardi B was formerly a strip club dancer and she rapped about how she doesn't need to dance for 'you' anymore. Once a poor nobody with some looks and talent, Kardi B became a rich and famous somebody almost overnight. Her video has received 668 million views.

Within the same month, Boogie wit da Hoodie , whose birthname is , put out an album, The Bigger Artist, that also went to #1. That video received 21 million views. Thus, these two artists - along with a number of others, moved the Bronx back into the limelight of Rapper / Hip Hop culture.

The reason I mention all of this, is because as you watch the video below, you'll notice the rich cultural poetry, and emerging sense of theater, emanating from two of the guest performers I saw that day. Pregones Theater / Teatro Pregones continues to host other talented artists throughout the year in both Spanish and English ... and if the block party is any indication ... far beyond these two languages alone.


Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont | new york pizza festival belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx arthur ave pizza in the bronx ny pizza festival photos video
Pizza in the Bronx - New York Pizza Festival near Arthur Avenue in Belmont

New York Pizza Festival in the Bronx

1st Annual NY Pizza Festival in Bronx Little Italy was a Success

October 7, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood & Arthur Avenue / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

It was a warm, humid afternoon as I made my way north to the Arthur Avenue section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I was on my way to the first annual Pizza Festival hosted by the Belmont BID [Business Improvement District] in the Bronx Little Italy.

As I made my way east from the subway and began to enter the neighborhood, I began to feel the transformation of entering another world. Visiting Bronx Little Italy on Arthur Avenue had never felt like this before. Perhaps it was the laziness of a Saturday afternoon in the Fall, or possibly the increased pedestrian traffic associated with the Pizza Festival, but Arthur Avenue looked great in all of its Italian splendor.

So I took my time walking south along the Avenue to Crescent Street where the festival was being held. There were plenty of people out and about, enjoying the afternoon in the neighborhood, and Arthur Avenue had dressed up to impress, showing its charm as a competitive alternative to the more touristed Little Italy in Manhattan.

ny pizza festival bronx new york pizza festival photos & video italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants belmont neighborhood bronx photosWhen I arrived at Cresent Street there were blocks of small white tents lined up along one side of the street. A large but dispersed crowd was milling around many of the booths, even though I had arrived around 4 pm, well past the opening at noon.

I made my way past the entertainment to get a closer look at the pizza makers, their ovens and their wares. Making pizza looked to be a fairly simple process for these pros. The Belmont BID website said there were about 34 pizza makers from NYC who were there to compete for the attendees' interest and sales.

I began talking to some of the pizza makers, who seemed to be having fun. I caught up with Mayor de Blasio midway through the festival. He was surrounded by a lot of the pizza makers and / or the NY Pizza Festival attendees, and there seemed to be a bit of back and forth and picture taking and what not. So I took a few photos too, before moving on to Gino's Pizza.

  • CLICK here to read the rest of our report about the NY Pizza Festival Bronx including a short video of the event.




Doc Film Center in the Bronx

Film Based Cultural Center Attracts Eclectic Group for presentation of Carlos Villalon’s Coca: The Lost War on Drugs

doc film center melrose movies in the bronx cinema film bronxSeptember 24, 2018 / Melrose Neighborhood Bronx / Arts & Film in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

In July I visited the Doc Film Center in the Bronx to attend a new film by Carlos Villalon about the failed war on drugs. I arrived as it was getting dark, disembarking from the #5 train at the HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis in the neighborhood of Melrose. I walked north a couple of blocks and took a left, coming upon the Doc Film Center which is housed in a three story building that looks to be in the neighborhood of a century old.

The HUB at 3rd Avenue, 149th Street and Willis / Melrose Avenue intersection was once referred to as the Times Square of the Bronx. It is still a fairly robust shopping district during the daytime, but after hours when the stores close, it has a sort of abandoned feel. I went in knowing that the crime rate in the Bronx, like the rest of the city, is down significantly versus prior years.

In the past five years, according to the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, the murder rate for the entire Bronx has been below 100. This is in a borough that is home to 1.471 million, so the murder rate is below 1 murder for every 14,710 people in the Bronx. It’s worth adding that a third of Bronx murders are from gang related violence, which sometimes includes collateral damage.

 

Architecture Near the Hub in Melrose: 1900 - 1930

melrose neighborhood bronx architecture bronx near hub melrose neighborhood bronxThe NYPD has been having some good success in taking down gangs in Bronx as well as NYC. In March of 2016, they reportedly completed the biggest bust in the Bronx, capturing 89 gang members. There are numerous places in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are far more dangerous, but Bronx historically has been given the worst reputational rap, and that impression, while changing, still lingers. I attribute it to LOCAL TV NEWS COVERAGE, which seems to PRIMARILY report crime stories when covering the Bronx.

As I walked to the Doc Film Center I observed the architecture around which I found myself surrounded. The Hub heyday was back in the early 1900’s running into the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit. Thus many of the buildings in the area are from that time period, which to me, is what I’ve come to think of as New York classical architecture and building. They made them quite well back then, as America was flexing its economic strength.

Inside the Doc Film Center I walked along the wooden floors to a large room with incredibly high ceilings, like what you would expect to find in a high school gym. There were chairs lined up looking toward the front of the building where the speaker had already begun his presentation.

What followed was a journey into the drug wars. As Carlos Villalon took us on a journey through the South American jungles, into Coca: The Lost War on Drugs …


Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx | feast of st anthony our lady of mount carmel church belmont neighborhood bronx nyc italian neighborhoods bronx italian restaurants bronx
Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Belmont near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

Feast of St Anthony in the Bronx

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Celebrates the Feast of St Anthony in the Arthur Avenue & Belmont Neighborhood of the Bronx

September 18, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood Bronx / Things To in the Bronx / Bronx Restaurants / Bronx Buzz NYC.

 

Around the beginning of the summer I had the pleasure of attending the 112th annual Feast of St Anthony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 627 East 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. The affair began on Wednesday June 13th and ran through Sunday, June 17th.

I arrived on a Saturday at the triangle of streets joining Cresent Avenue, Cambreleng Avenue & 187th Street in the Little Italy section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. I shot some video capturing some of the rides, games, raffles, food and entertainment, which was present every night of the fair.

 



Bronx Farmers Mkts, Street Fairs, Member Events Calendar

* Click here for reports about Bronx street fairs, Bronx farmers markets, Bronx shopping venues and restaurants in the Bronx.

* Click here for free summer movies in the Bronx, free summer theater in the Bronx and free summer concerts in the Bronx.


Pregones Theater La Casita Block Party

Pregones Theater Hosted the La Casita Block Party of Poets, Musicians & Artists & a bit of Pregones Theater History

August 6, 2018 / Concourse Neighborhood / Bronx Theater / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxOn Sunday I made my way over to the Pregones Theater in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. Pregones is located at 575 Walton Street, only a couple of blocks from Hostos College and the Post Office in the Bronx. Today was their annual block party, the origins of which, date back to the early 2000's. Pregones Theater moved to this location on Walton Street in the Concourse neighborhood in 2005.

It's worth mentioning that Pregones Theater has been serving the Bronx community of actors, actresses, producers, directors, playwrights and their audiences for nearly four decades. Pregones was started in 1979 and recently [2015 - 2017?] merged with another theater company, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, to become the cultural institution that it is today.

The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater began in 1967 and helped give birth to the careers of Raul Julia and Miriam Colon, and recently merged with Pregones. Today Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has venues in both Bronx and Manhattan.

As I arrived I noticed their colorful psychedelic house, the Casita, erected as the backdrop for the stage where performers would take flight to delight the audience. It was around 4 pm and a poet, I know it, was speaking, sweet talking, sugary, short arias of verbalized visuals whose acoustical imagery was as stimulating and winding as a quick jazzy beat. Too fast, to fully comprehend, the details of which lie within.

bronx things to do bronxI remember a subway ride, some history, a street scene, but you really had to be there to get the full gist. You missed. But they'll be back next year and they have numerous performances throughout the year.

Along the sidewalks vendors were selling unique - possibly Bronx made, clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, pottery, purses, knapsacks, paper products and other little finds, many of which you might be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

I stepped inside the theater to check it out. It's a well kept, spacious theater, with seating for somewhere between 50 to 100. And a hall of fame showing accolades for performances and performers of years past.

The folks were friendly and it was definitely an artsy, eclectic and friendly crowd. There were also folks there from Lincoln Center Out of Doors, who in part sponsored the block party performances. And Pregones Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater also performed down at Lincoln Center on Saturday, August 4th at 12 noon in Hearst Plaza, as part of their relationship with Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

By the way, 'pregones' in Spanish, means 'cries' in English. But nobody was crying today.

Hasta luego.


The Puerto Rican Parade NYC

Tens of Thousands of Puerto Ricans Celebrate Their Culture

puerto rican parade nyc photosJune 11, 2018 / Upper East Side Neighborhood / Harlem Neighborhood / Manhattan Parades NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Puerto Rican Street Fair Spanish Harlem

One thing you could never accuse New York Puerto Ricans of, is a lack of pride in their cultural roots. On Saturday there was a huge street fair in Spanish Harlem, lasting most of the day, along a nearly 20 block stretch of Third Avenue between 103rd and 122nd streets in east Harlem.

 

East Harlem used to be the destination for Puerto Ricans coming to New York. And while there's still a large Puerto Rican community there, I think there may be an even larger community in the central Bronx whose Borough President is Ruben Diaz, whose father, NYC City Councilmember Ruben Diaz, Sr. came from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. So while some of the population may have moved, Puerto Ricans came from around the city and far beyond, to congregate on Saturday and Sunday, and the bask in the atmosphere of their cultural roots.

 

Puerto Rican Parade on the Upper East Side Manhattan

116th street fair spanish harlem street festival st fair east harlem spanish harlem photosThere was food, shopping, music, entertainment and dancing at the street fair on Saturday, and minus the food and shopping, the music, dancing and entertainment were also on display at the huge Puerto Rican parade in Manhattan on Sunday. Numerous floats as well as marching groups of dancers and musicians and social groups joined together to make the parade one long display of Puerto Rica's eclectic mix of African, Latin and American cultures.

 

American Puerto Ricans call themselves Boricuas and everything else is just Bochinche [gossip]. We'll delve more deeply into the Puerto Rican community in Manhattan and the Bronx as time passes.

 


NYC Landlord Harassments Continue

NYCCM Helen Rosenthal Hosts Housing Clinic to Inform Renters of Their Rights

manhattan things to do nycMay 29, 2018 / Upper West Side Neighborhood / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Wednesday, May 25th I went to the Goddard Riverside Community Center on Columbus Avenue at 88th Street to attend a housing clinic designed to inform renters of their rights.

***The following introduction is based on prior research done by me, and was not information provided at the housing clinic. I'll let you know when I segue out of my preamble and into the housing clinic.***

Over the past decade landlords appear to have become increasingly aggressive in trying to wriggle out of NYC and NYS rent stabilization regulations, that govern the rental payments under which about two million New Yorkers live.

It is my understanding that the government contributed land and / or financing to build or repair the buildings governed by NYC / NYS rent stabilization laws in exchange for the pricing rights on rent stabilized units. Many of the new landlords who have acquired rent stablized buildings, may possibly be in violation of approaching their business contract(s) in good faith, as the definition of good faith according to Wikipedia is:

"In contract law, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a general presumption that the parties to a contract will deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract. It is implied in every contract in order to reinforce the express covenants or promises of the contract. A lawsuit (or a cause of action) based upon the breach of the covenant may arise when one party to the contract attempts to claim the benefit of a technical excuse for breaching the contract, or when he or she uses specific contractual terms in isolation in order to refuse to perform his or her contractual obligations, despite the general circumstances and understandings between the parties. When a court or triar or fact interprets a contract, there is always an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" in every written agreement."

What is at stake, throughout the city, is literally hundreds of millions and more likely billions of dollars in - rental benefits or rental income streams - depending on which side of the struggle you're on. The landlords appear to be trying - using the torturtous side effects of construction including noise, health risk dust [inhalation], privacy loss and apartment functional loss - to wrest away the billions of dollars of rental pricing rights benefits from tenants to be pocketed by the landlords themselves. Given the high dollar value of what's at stake - including people's homes - this seems like attempted grand larceny, especially in cases where landlords are breaking the law to achieve their goals.

This will be continued at a later date. Including the segue into the information provided by the Housing Clinic to inform tenants of their rights.

Tenants' Rights March & Rally - June 14th Midtown at 4.30 pm

P.S. There's a March & Rally scheduled for June 14th, beginning at 4.30 pm, at the NY Public Library at 5th Avenue and 40th Street. They plan to march to Governor Cuomo's office at 3rd Avenue and East 41st Street. For details contact info@realrentreform.org or call 212.979.6958. All but one of the No IDC NY senatorial candidates have been invited to participate, and there's a possibility that NYS gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be there too - as this seems to coincide with her reasons for challenging Governor Cuomo.


Islamic Fashion in the Bronx

Bronx Islamic Clothing Store for Sale

May 21, 2018 / Parkchester Neighborhood / Bronx Neighborhoods / Holidays in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxIn early May I traveled to the Parkchester neighborhood, to visit one of the Bronx newest Islamic clothing stores, Islam Fashion. With Ramadan only a couple of weeks away, the store proprietor was busy making preparations as Ramadan is the holiest month of the year - and just as during the holidays for Christians, it is also a very social time of the year.

The store, Islam Fashion, was started in the late 1990's [circa 1998] by an enterprising Egyptian immigrant, Mohamed Zohny, who I had met in Queens about a decade ago. Mohamed is one of those legendary entrepreneurial immigrants that one hears about - that keeps the American dream alive - both here and abroad.

Mohamed Zhony - Egyptian American Entrepreneur

Mohamed rolled the dice and immigrated to New York in 1979, at the age of 37, having left a position working at one of the airports in Egypt. When he arrived, he began working in a Lebanese restaurant washing dishes. Three years later in 1982, risking the savings he made from dishwashing, Mohamed started a falafel food truck at 51st Street and 5th Avenue.

Starting an Entrepreneurial Business on the Midtown Manhattan Streets

bronx things to do bronxFor fourteen years Mohamed made falafels out of his food truck and one might say he became a bit of a falafel food truck legend. He was photographed and written about in several glossy magazines, including one where he had his photo taken by famous photo journalist Lou Bopp.

Perhaps my favorite account of Mohamed at this time was the following in the 'Grub' section of a popular NYC magazine.

"Falafel stands abound … [at] Rockefeller Center … during lunchtime. Naturally they run the full gamut of barely edible to scintillatingly delicious. Second place for the title of best falafel is Zohny who has a cart on the corner of 5th Avenue and 51st Street. Not only are his falafels moister and fuller than the competition, but he has also developed falafel assembly into an art. It's a spectator sport to marvel as Zohny choreographs his falafel preparation like a wind-up doll. He can make the chick pea balls while dropping lettuce and tomato and heating the pita bread."

In 1996 then Mayor Rudy Giuliani started making changes to the rules governing traffic and food carts, so Mohamed decided to exit the business. Within two years, Mohamed had embarked on a third adventure, again investing his savings to purchase and then sell Islamic clothing on the Upper East Side on what I understood to be a sort of person-to-person basis.

Opens Islam Fashion Clothing Business in Manhattan with Stores in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx

bronx things to do bronxWithin another two years, in the year 2000, Mohamed signed a lease in Brooklyn and opened an Islamic clothing store there. Nine years later he opened a second store in 2009 in Astoria, where I met him. He's done a bit of advertising on Queens Buzz over the years and I have always found Mohamed to have a friendly smile on his face.

During this time I have had the opportunity to watch him do a bit of business here and there, buying and selling Islamic clothing in his shop. He would invite sellers to sit down for tea, chat and haggle a bit about quality and price, and then settle on a price and complete the deal. It felt like time traveling into Egypt in the space of a few minutes.

In recent years Mohamed, now 75 years old, has begun winding down ... at least a bit. He closed his Brooklyn store due to rising rents, and moved his Astoria store to Parkchester just last year - again due to rising rents. He opened in Parkchester a few months ago and has begun building yet another retail business. Even to this day Mohamed greets the public with a welcoming "Salam Alaikum", which in English means "Peace to you".

Islam Fashion is located at 1701 White Plains Road at Van Nest Avenue in Parkchester. Mohamed is now in the hospital and plans to sell his business. If interested you can reach him via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/islamfashioninc/

I hope and pray that Mohamed has a speedy recovery.


Arthur Avenue - Little Italy in the Bronx

Arthur Avenue Still has Multi-Generational Family Businesses

bronx shops shopping arthur avenue shops bronxMay 15, 2018 / Belmont Neighborhood in the Bronx / Arthur Avenue Restaurants Bronx / Bronx Things To Do / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A bit over a week ago I headed up to the Arthur Avenue restaurant section of the Belmont neighborhood in the Bronx. Throughout most of the twentieth century, Arthur Avenue was a densely populated Italian section of the Bronx, full of Italian restaurants, shops and Italian culture. By the early 21st century, where we are now, many of the Italians had moved out into the suburbs or into other parts of the city - but that said there's still a very strong Italian presence, including some of the multi-generational Italian family businesses.

Arthur Avenue is more than a destination for those seeking Italian culture in the Bronx, as Fordham University is only blocks away. Oftentimes Fordham students can be seen milling about in the cafes, restaurants and shops, alongside long time residents from the neighborhood. I've come to view the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, founded in 1940, as sort of the epicenter or hub of Arthur Avenue.

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reportedly spearheaded the development of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market while he was Mayor in an effort to incent the popular, low-priced, but somewhat unsanitary, street pushcart businesses to move in off the streets. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market was, in some measure, one of the early malls, where various independent vendors sold their wares.

Within the same block and blocks, there are also many Italian retail businesses that have survived the economic vagaries of time. Among them is ...

More to come, including photos, later this week.


Port Morris Real Estate Development

The Bronx Neighborhood of Port Morris is Experiencing a Real Estate Development Renaissance

May 7, 2018 / Port Morris Neighborhood / Bronx Real Estate & Business / Bronx Neighborhoods / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do bronxLast Sunday I went exploring two of the neighborhoods in the south Bronx. This report will focus on Port Morris, which is at the southern most end of the Bronx and is found along the Harlem River and the East River.

Port Morris has a long storied history, dating back to colonial times. Given its proximity to Manhattan [just over the Harlem River] and accessibility via the East River and Harlem River, Port Morris was geographically well positioned to be one of the great waterfronts. In fact one of the Morrises had this in mind in an earlier period and planned to make Port Morris competitive with the New York City Harbor and the Lower Manhattan docks. But alas it was not meant to be.

In the mid to late 1800's the piano making business was one of the biggest manufacturing industries in New York City. Piano factories lined the East River in Astoria and in the Bronx. By the mid 1900's the piano business was on the decline, being replaced by radio, television and the like as the primary source of home entertainment.

By the late 20th century the southern Bronx was in decline, but many of the old manufacturing buildings of a bygone era still remained. By the early 21st century southern Bronxians began to witness a growing interest in the Port Morris and Mott Haven neighborhoods due to an evolving business, social and economic climate in New York City.

I'll post more on Tuesday, May 8th.


5 Boro Bike Ride Returns Sunday

Bike New York Organizes NYC Bike Ride & Bike Expo New York

5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycApril 30, 2018 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Bronx Neighborhoods / Queens Neighborhoods / Brooklyn Neighborhoods / Staten Island Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

This story includes information about the upcoming 5 Boro Bike Ride on Sunday, as well as the Bike Expo New York which precedes it on Friday & Saturday in Red Hook. As of this report, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and the chances of rain appear slim. But bear in mind that the forecast probability of 20% chance of rain last Friday, turned into rain on Saturday evening, so check the weather as we get closer in.

 

Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Ride Route

Since 1977, every first Sunday of May, Bike New York has organized and promoted the 5 Boro Bike Ride. The ride begins in lower Manhattan, sweeps northward across the Harlem River Bridge to the Bronx, circles back across the Third Avenue Bridge to Manhattan, where it begins its southward trek crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, heading south to Brooklyn after a quick stop north to Astoria Park, and then comes down past the Brooklyn Navy Yards, continuing southward along the west side of 5 boro bike ride nyc new york bike expo nycBrooklyn, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where it crosses over to the Fort Wadsworth neighborhood in Staten Island before terminating in the St. George neighborhood at the Staten Island Ferry.

 

Proceeds from Non-Profit New York Bike Ride go Toward Sustainable Transportation Efforts

The now famous bike ride was capped at 32,000 riders I believe sometime in the 1990’s, where it still stands today. One report noted that the 5 Boro Bike ride is one of – if not the largest - non-profit bike rides in the nation. The proceeds go to Bike New York programs which are designed to teach people about sustainable transportation, most notably bicycle riding and bike maintenance and safety. Another report noted that the NYPD had considered [don’t know the outcome] charging the organization $1 million for erecting, maintaining and terminating road closures during the New York 40 mile family-friendly bike ride.

 

Bike New York Bicyclist Outreach in all Five NYC Boroughs

Bike New York has offices in all five NYC boroughs. In 2015 their cyclist safety and bike maintenance programs reached 15,000 New Yorkers. And they are the organizers of the Bike Expo New York being held at Pier 12 in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday [see details in rest of this story].


Nature's Wonders at Wave Hill in the Bronx

Historic Wave Hill in Riverdale Overlooks the Hudson River

north bronx neigborhood west bronx neighborhood bronx neighborhoodsApril 23, 2018 / Riverdale Neighborhood / Bronx Parks / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Wave Hill is a 28 acre estate, in the western section of the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx, overlooking the Hudson River. The estate was built in 1843 by William Lewis Morris, a lawyer, to accommodate his large family. Morris was a descendant of one of the Bronx and America's founding families, which included a 17th century colonialist who migrated here following the Cromwellian Wars in Britain, a contributor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a vast land holding family in the Bronx.

Wave Hill evolved over the years, starting as a Georgian Revival home, but later converted to a Victorian manor by Publisher William Henry Appleton [1866 - 1869]. Appleton purchased a section of the estate from Morris's heirs following his death.

President Theodore Roosevelt [1870 - 1871], author Mark Twain [1901 - 1903], Italian Conductor Arturo Toscanini [1942 - 1945], and the British delegation to the UN hosted John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer and Queen Elizabeth [1950 - 1956] over numerous summers there. The Wave Hill of today includes what was once two estates, which were merged by Financier turned Conservationist George W. Perkins in 1903. Perkins added the greenhouses and the second house of the estate which I believe [unconfirmed] was called Glyndor. It burned in the early 1920's and was replaced by a smaller Glyndor II, completed in 1927. Wave Hill was inherited by daughter Dorothy Woosley Freeman and her husband Edward.

Wave Hill was donated to New York City in 1960, designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983 and added to the Riverdale Historic District in 1990.

In 2011 Wave Hill closed for two years for renovations. In 2013 it reopened, with enhanced facilities that included upgrades to the Sally and Gilbert Kerlin Learning Center where family art projects are conducted, and enhanced lighting and sound [2014] in the Amour Hall which is host to musical performances. A new space, the Sarah and Geoffrey Gund Theater was added where lectures are held and films are shown and the cafe was expanded and the dining room renovated.

Today all areas are used to accommodate public programs, many of which include a fee, and many of which are free with admission. Local artists, musicians and performers are oftentimes showcased. We periodically post their events on the weekends, so stay tuned.

Sources for this story include Wikipedia.org / LivingPlaces.com / WaveHill.org.


Click here for reports about Bronx holiday events and here for Bronx holiday markets.


south bronx neighborhoods mott haven melrose concourse longwood port morris hunts point morrisania highbridge parkchester neighborhoods bronx neighborhoods bronx buzz nyc

Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC | things to do martin luther king day weekend bronx nyc things to do mott haven concourse fordham belmont van cortlandt park riverdale bedford park melrose hunts point parkchester westchester square schuyler throgs neck bronx MLK day weekend bronx nyc
Bronx Things To Do Martin Luther King Day Weekend - Events Bronx NYC

MLK Day Weekend Events in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 14, 2020 / Things To Do Bronx NYC / Bronx Buzz NYC.

Weather. The Temperature highs will range between 30 and 40 throughout the three day weekend. The temperature lows will be in the low 20's throughout the weekend - except on Saturday when the low will be in the high 30's. Rain or Snow is forecast on Saturday, but NOT on Friday, Sunday & Monday. Winds will range from 10 - 15 mph all weekend. The Humidity will be around 50% throughout the weekend, except on Friday when it will be in the low 30% range. Click for Bronx Weather.

Click here for Bronx Buzz - things to do Martin Luther King Day Weekend in the Bronx.

Brief History of Martin Luther King Holiday in NYC

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister who became the leading voice for African Americans' non-violent civil rights movement beginning in the mid 1950's through to his assassination in 1968. In 1983, the third Monday of every year was set aside to honor Martin Luther King for his service to the nation. The third Monday was chosen, as it was the nearest Monday to the anniversary of King's birthday, which was January 15, 1929.

Martin Luther King Day has grown to take on an even larger meaning, as it is oftentimes referred to as a day on, versus a day off. Organizations around the city and nation have used the day to call people into action to address the needs of the community through volunteering and service.

Martin Luther King Holiday Special Events in the Bronx NYC

On Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm the Food Bank of NYC is organizing an event entitled Done in a Day from 10 am - 4 pm at 355 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point neighbohood of the Bronx. The program attracts volunteers who will give some of their time for the Food Bank projects.

On Sunday from 4.30 - 7 pm the New Life Rehobeth Church at 1375 Mace Avenue in the Bronx is hosting a movie with dessert for the whole family and it's free.

On Monday there's an MLK Day of Service from 9 am - 4 pm at the Riverdale Y at 5626 Arlington Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The day of service attempts to tackle various social and community problems.

On Monday from 10 am - 2 pm the East Bronx IPC [Episcopalian / Anglican] invites folks to attend their MLK Day of service and social gathering at 781 Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx. They collect donations for scholarships, some of which I believe are awarded on that day [unconfirmed].

On Monday, January 20, 2020, there's a Community Interfaith Service at Trinity Baptist Church to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 808 East 224th Street between Barnes & Bronxwood Avenues beginning at 10 am. All are welcome but please rsvp at 718.590.3989 or email smalave@bronxbp.nyc.gov. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is expected to be in attendance.


Things To Do MLK Day Weekend in the Bronx NYC

Things To Do in the Bronx Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 20, 2019 / Things To Do in the Bronx / Bronx Buzz NYC.

bronx things to do MLK day weekend bronx martin luther king day weekend nyc

Bronx Museums & Cultural Institutions - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend

Bronx is home to two great institutions borne in pursuit of preservation and understanding the natural world around us - the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. A segment of the Enid A. Haupt Observatory at the NY Botanical Gardens is shown in the photo at right.

The Bronx Zoo is located at at 2300 Southern Blvd near the Belmont, Fordham Manor, West Farms, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

The New York Botanical Gardens is located at at 2900 Southern Blvd near the Norwood, Fordham, Belmont and Allerton neighborhoods of the Bronx.

Bronx Historical Sites / Bronx History - Things To Do over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend

The Bronx have a number of historical sites which are open to the public on weekends, and sometimes weekdays. The Bronx Historical Society is located in the Valentine-Varian house at 3309 Bainbridge Avenue at 208th Street in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. The Valentine-Varian house is the oldest remaining farmhouse in the borough and second oldest house, dating back to 1758. The Bronx Historical Society hosts a number of exhibits as well as an array of programs throughout the year.

There's also the Van Cortlandt House in Van Cortland Park, which is a beautiful colonial home of one of the Dutch settlers. It was built in 1748 and is the oldest house in the Bronx borough. It is located at Broadway and West 246th Street in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at the end of the #1 subway line.

The Bartow Pell Mansion is also worthy of a visit. It was erected in 1836 and is a Greek revival architecture style home - one of the last of that area / era. The Bartow Pell Mansion Museum is pretty active in its programming which includes cultural and historical. It is located at 895 Shore Road, across from the golf course in Pelham Bay Park.

And there's Wave Hill in Riverdale. It's the site of beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson River. They offer regular programming including concerts, garden walks in the better weather and talks. It is located at 649 West 249th Street in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx.




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Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in the Bronx

bronx street fairs bronx street festivals bronx March 24, 2019 / Bronx Farmers Markets / Bronx Street Fairs / Bronx Buzz NYC.

A few Bronx farmers markets might be open year round, but most of them are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Bronx farmers markets will begin opening in the Spring of 2019, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July of 2019. Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in the Bronx.

Bronx street fairs, on the other hand, are entirely seasonal. Some of them hit the streets as early as April 2019. The number of Bronx street fairs rises during the late spring and continues through the dog days of summer [July / August], including into the late part of the Fall. By the end of November the Bronx street fairs go on hiatus, with a few returning as early as April. Click here to view a full schedule of the Bronx street fairs.


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Click here to view our report about Bronx Halloween parties NYC and Bronx New Years parties NYC.


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