Let Interchangeable Boutique Help You Update Your Wardrobe Just in Time for Summer

Not so secret confession: I am super cheap. I hate spending money on things and when I do, there’d better be a sale or coupon I can use. (The money I save goes towards traveling! So that’s not a bad trade off, right?)  However, my frugality does come at a price- pun not intended, I promise. I wear things until they have a holes in them, and even then I might just keep wearing it. Now that I’m writing this, I realize how horrible that sounds.

Thankfully, Interchangeble Boutique is here to save the day. Next Sunday, June 4 from 3-7 pm at Mott Haven Bar and Grill, they’ll host a pop up shop where you can exchange some of your new or like new clothing for some new to you items.

Check out how it works below:

1. You bring in the clothing, shoes, and accessories you no longer use in new or like new condition, freshly laundered and that are in style.
2. We price the clothing you bring which then becomes a credit.
3. You shop and pay for your purchase with a portion of the credit you received and the other portion in cash or credit card.
Also, if you mention that you heard about the pop up shop here on The Bronx Socialite, you’ll get 10% off!
Here’s to looking mad cute this summer 😉
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The Education of Margot Sanchez is the Book I wish I Had Growing Up

The March read for the book club I joined this year, Readers & Shakers, was The Education of Margot Sanchez by Bronx-raised Lilliam Rivera.

The young adult novel follows Bronx teen Margot Sanchez and her quest find herself set against the backdrop of the battle over the gentrification of the South Bronx. When I was a teen, I loved reading romance comedies, but was also (and still am) an absolute nerd for politics and news. There never seemed anything that was somewhere in the middle. I think The Education of Margot Sanchez is a step in the right direction.

The novel takes place over the course of a summer. Margot, whose family lives in Riverdale, but owns two supermarkets in the South Bronx, not far from St. Mary’s, is desperately trying to fit in with the “popular” girls at her affluent prep school. Forced to work in her family’s supermarket for the summer, she spends her time trying to avoid creepers and drama with the cashieristas. One day, she meets Moises, a young community activist trying to prevent developers from coming into the neighborhood to build luxury buildings that are obviously not for any of the locals *swoon.* On top of all of this, she’s also trying to figure out her friendship with her best friend from elementary school, who instead of attending the elite prep school, has gone to an art high school and made a bunch of new friends, causing Margot to feel insecure.

I’m so glad I’m not a teenager anymore.

With all of the Bronx references and the complexity and endless drama that comes with adolescence, I know that 16 year old Lisa would have really enjoyed this novel. Then again, so did 27 year old Lisa.

I did feel that the ending was a bit rushed and I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly! But, I think the desire to want more from a book in this way isn’t a deal breaker. At the book club, we talked about keeping the audience in mind, which is also important. For a teen, it may not be a big deal or they may not even notice.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot and definitely recommend checking it out and supporting a writer from the Bronx.

Also, the cover is gorgeous!

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Feasting at Fish N Ting

I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in Eastchester. Not having a car/ hating driving/hating  buses makes a bit difficult for me to get there, but there are definitely some gems up there. I was recently introduced to one – Fish N’ Ting. Located on bustling Boston Road, it’s easy to zoom right past it, but that would be a huge mistake.

The first thing you should do is request to sit outside. There’s a beautiful deck that’s enclosed during the winter and has heaters so you get the best of both worlds.

I ordered the rasta pasta with shrimp that was a massive portion and a henny colada. Usually I would side eye any place that has henny coladas, but they were very good. And very strong. I also had some of the rum punch, which was also delicious. My friends ordered the special which was a whole red snapper, which was amazing. I know I need to return soon to have one all to myself instead of just a bite. We also had absolutely no room for dessert, so I definitely need to come back and treat myself.

You can check them out on Yelp or Instagram.

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Perfect Spring Saturday

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend at my backyard the New York Botanical Garden. After a long week of back to back rain, I was glad that it was not only sunny, but hot enough to break out my new maxi skirt. Win-win.

Last time I attended the Wine Weekend, I sampled so many delicious wines and even took one home with me! My favorites Brotherhood Winery and Winemakers New York,  were there among so many others. I got to sample a rose honey wine from Mysto Mead and a sweet blush wine from Hudson-Chatham Winery. I wanted to buy some pear cider from Brotherhood, but I waited until the end and they were sold out of everything!

It was also great to see the new CHIHULY exhibit. Dale Chihuly’s colorful and intricate glass sculptures enhance the beauty of the garden and are simply beautiful. To think of how much effort went into these sculptures is really breathtaking. See for yourself below and be sure to visit the New York Botanical Garden to check out the daffodils!

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Celebrate the Literary Culture of the Bronx at the 2017 Bronx Book Fair

Saturday, May 6, the Bronx Book Fair returns for an annual celebration of literature. This year’s line up is even better than ever (and I’m not just saying that because I’m facilitating a workshop and am on the planning committee!) Check out the schedule below:

11:00-12:00

Focus on Vendors
Kick off your day by browsing (and buying!) books from over 30 vendors in the Bronx Library Center’s spacious lower level. Vendors will be present throughout the event through 7:00 p.m.

AUDITORIUM

12:00-12:10

Welcome/Opening Remarks

Michael Alvarez, Associate Director for the Central Bronx Neighborhood Libraries at The New York Public Library
12:10-12:55

“The Business of Writing” : Literary Organizations discuss needed elements for a successful writing career.

Panelists: Kevin Larimer, Editor-in Chief of Poets & Writers Magazine and Michael Mejias, literary agent at Writer’s House. Moderated by Americo Casiano Jr
1:00-1:45

The Bronx “Book Desert”: Fighting Back through Public Libraries and New Bookstores
Panelists Noëlle Santos (Lit Bar), Oren Teicher (American Booksellers Association), Melissa Coss Aquino (Bronx Community College) and Gesille Dixon (Director of Bronx Libraries for the New York Public Library) will discuss the lack of bookstores in the Bronx and what the borough is doing about it. Moderator: Robert Farrell.
2:00-2:30

Keynote Speaker

Kevin Young, poet, essayist, Director of the Schomburg Center for

Research in Black Culture and incoming Poetry Editor of the New Yorker Magazine.

Introduction: Michael Alvarez, Associate Director for the Central Bronx Neighborhood Libraries at The New York Public Library
2:40-3:25

The Next Chapter

Our panel of writers and poets will discuss their writing and publishing careers, sharing their personal experiences as young writers to present.Topics to include ageism, genderism, racism, their thoughts on the key to longevity and what’s the next chapter to a long and distinguished career? Writers and poets at all levels as well as those interested in literary pursues will appreciate their insights.

Panelists: Edward D. Currelley, Ed Friedman, Kate Rushin, and Carmen D. Lucca. Moderator: Lorraine Currelley
3:30-4:00

Get to Know Your Library

Bronx Library Center staff discuss the roles of librarians and the importance of reading and literacy in the Bronx.  Facilitators:  Jean Harripersaud, Managing Librarian of the Bronx Library Center and Michael Alvarez, Associate Director for the Central Bronx Neighborhood Libraries at The New York Public Library.
4:05-4:50

We’re Here!

LGBTQ writers of color discuss opportunities, support, writing, and social justice issues under the new presidency. Panelists: Imani Rashid, Meriam Rodriguez, and Orlando Ferrand. Moderator: Charles Rice-González
5:00-5:45

A Weaving of Voices

A poetry and spoken word presentation featuring Cyd Charisse Fulton, Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, Jesus “Papoleto” Melendez and Noel Quinones. Facilitator: Oscar Sanders
6:00-6:45

Musical Performance

Jackie Flowers Quartet performs

6:45-7:00

A Gathering of Community

CONFERENCE ROOM (Upper Level)

12:40-2:00

Speed Coaching

Poets and Writers: Need assistance with writing or performance? Perhaps you have some ideas you need assistance with? Consult with one of our Speed Coaches: Mercy Tullis-Bukhari,  Edward D. Currelley, Peggy Robles Alvarado & (Coordinator), Lorraine Currelley. Ramatu Mohammad (Time Manager). ALL SESSIONS ARE FREE, but are limited and early registration is required.  Click on link for details.

CONFERENCE ROOM (Lower Level-C1)

12:10-12:55

Women’s Literary Workshop

The Abuela Stories Project will be at The Bronx Book Fair. Award winning performance poet Peggy Robles- Alvarado and Bronx blogger Lisa Gomez will facilitate a workshop using The Abuela Stories Project Book as a tool to generate original writing. Writers of all ages, identifiers, genres and levels are welcome. To end our workshop, participants will share their work to cheers, claps and finger snaps in our open mic! The Abuela Stories Project Book will be available for purchase but will not be required for the workshop. Join us for an afternoon of Abuela Stories at The Bronx Book Fair! For more information on The Abuela Stories Project Please visit abuelastories.com
1:00-1:50

“How to Publish” Getting Your Work Out.

Facilitator Gary Johnston will talk to attendees about how to get your work published.
2:45-3:30

Zine Publishing and Beyond

Learn different ways of self-publishing, and walk away with ideas on how to create, print, and distribute your own publication.  Facilitators: Margot Terc, Ana Maria Hoffman, and Tammy Lopez.
3:45-4:30

Funding Literary Artists and Literary Institutions (Nonprofits).

Facilitated by Americo Casiano, this workshop will focus on basic funding available to both the writer of creative literature (fiction and poetry) and nonprofit organizations whose focus is the Literary Arts and/or whose mission is the promotion of the fine arts in which creative literature (fiction and poetry) serves as one of its programming focuses. It will begin with a short summary of the funding landscape in general and then focus on the central theme of the workshop.
4:35-5:20

Youth on the Mic

A youth poetry and spoken word presentation, featuring Oyindamola Shoola (Bronx Community College), Rebecca  Perez (Bronx Community College), Gabrielle O’Connor (Lehman College), Dimitrios Lefas (Lehman College), and Sasha Smith, BCC alum and Poetry Project 2016-2017 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow. Facilitated by Melissa Coss-Aquino.
CHILDREN’S STORY HOUR ROOM (2ND FLOOR)
11:00-11:45

Children’s Programming: Bilingual Storytime

Stories, music and movement!
1:00-1:45

Family Time

A program for the family (Parents with children are invited to participate in reading aloud and craft.  Each child that attends will be given 1 free book.

2:00-2:45

Mother’s Day Card Making

Each child will make a card for Mother’s Day

As always, the fair is FREE! It’ll be held at the Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Rd.

 

Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend 4/29 & 4/30

This weekend the New York Botanical Garden will be celebrating the bloom of 300,000 newly planted daffodil bulbs along with a wine tasting from local vinters and live music. As if that weren’t enough, visitors will get a chance to check out the new CHIHULY exhibit. Check out the schedule and ticket information below:

  • Wine Tasting & Refreshments: Enjoy a flight of local wines from New York and New Jersey from 12–5 p.m.

    Participating wineries include: Baldwin Vineyards, Pine Bush, NY; Brimstone Hill Vineyard & Winery, Pine Bush, NY; Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY; City Winery, New York, NY; Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent, NY; Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook, NY; Mysto Mead, Carmel, NY; Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills, NY; Tousey Winery, Germantown, NY; Villari Vineyards, Sewell, NJ; Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick, NY; Whitecliff Vineyard, Gardiner, NY; and Winemakers New York, Massapequa, NY.

  • Live Music by Milton: Milton will perform acoustic bluegrass and folk tunes at 12, 1, 2, 3, & 4 p.m. each day.
  • Botany of Wine: Beyond the Grape: NYBG botanists talk about the botanicals that go into making wine and how the nuances of flavor come about at 1 & 3 p.m. in the Perennial Garden.
  • Daffodil Hill Tours: Meet at the Native Plant Garden entrance to take a walk with an NYBG guide and learn more about NYBG’s plans to dramatically expand its historic Narcissus collection.
    Tours at 1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 each day.

    Non-Members: Adult (21+): $38, includes souvenir wine glass ($10) and All-Garden Pass ($28) Members: $10 souvenir wine glass

    Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Trip Recap: South Africa

To continue sharing some of my travels you, I figured I’d do some trip recaps to give some insight into some of the amazing places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. In August 2016, my friends and I embarked on a trip to visit Johannesburg, Phalaborwa, and Cape Town.

Lodging

In Johannesburg, we were lucky enough to stay with my friend’s cousin. Staying with a local is the best way to really get a feel for a place.

In Phalaborwa, we stayed at Sunbird Lodge, a cute guesthouse with beautiful grounds you could probably spend hours admiring.

In Cape Town, we stayed at a loft via Airbnb. Centrally located and around the corner from the most delicious eatery, Eastern Food Bazaar. I hate to go to the same restaurant more than once when I travel, but this was so worth it.

Things to Do

My favorite thing about Johannesburg was visiting the Apartheid Museum. As someone who is mixed (black & Puerto Rican), in South Africa I’m considered “coloured” which is a really weird experience. Obviously, we have our own racial issues here in the U.S., but it’s very different, of course, than what South Africa has been through. We didn’t have a whole lot of time, but I’m very glad we visited. There’s so much history that I had no clue about.

In Phalaborwa, we went on a safari – something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. We saw baboons, zebras, elephants ,giraffes, impalas, bison, and so many more I’m sure I’m forgetting. It was an incredible experience.

Cape Town had so so so much to offer. The exchange rate is pretty awesome for us, so I did lots of shopping. One of my favorite shops was a thrift store named Afraid of Mice.  We got a great club recommendation from the employees there, after our first attempt was a bust. So, we headed to Coco that night, where AKA was making an appearance (He is apparently the South African Kanye West). It was probably one of the best club experiences I’ve had (except for the fact that unlike in NYC, people can smoke indoors, so I definitely smelled like straight up Marlboro afterward.)  And last, but definitely not least, we made a trip to Table Mountain.  With its breath-taking sights and the signature cable car ride up, it’s not to be missed.

Getting Around 

Of course, while In Jo-burg, we got around with my friend’s cousin. However, in Phalaborwa, you can walk around, of course,  but Kruger is definitely the main draw. There are also Hippo Crossing signs everywhere, and they are actually very deadly, so we arranged to be picked up with whichever tour guide we were using that day. We used Little Shingwedzi Safaris for the much of our travel in town, to/from the airport, and to our boat tour. In Cape Town, we were able to walk around to most places and we just took Uber any other time.

 

 

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