3 Places to Buy Groceries Online Instead of Fresh Direct

Yesterday was the ribbon-cutting for the new Fresh Direct facility down in Port Morris despite protests from community members regarding environmental and health in an area already plagued by high asthma rates. Never mind the fact that Fresh Direct only delivered to Riverdale prior to this deal, despite having to drive through out borough to deliver to Westchester from their location in Queens. South Bronx Unite, who has been fighting against this since Day 1, has all of the details of why the opening of this facility is bad for the borough. Welcome2theBronx also wrote up an excellent article about the opening yesterday.

But Lisa, isn’t the Bronx a food desert? What about #Not62? Don’t we deserve access to fresh groceries?

100% We absolutely do. But we can’t allow businesses and the politicians who support them to ignore the legitimate concerns of the community by using outdated environmental reports and disregarding the health risks that will be exacerbated by the additional traffic.

But Lisa, I hate grocery shopping. I just want to order online and have it be done with. 

Word. Me too. Have you lugged a grandma cart and reusable bag filled to the brim with groceries a half hour on the bus because the supermarkets closest to you are absolute garbage? (Here’s looking at you, Met) I have and it’s awful, so allow me to show you some other places you can order from.

  1. Peapod

Run by Stop & Shop, you have access to their Nature’s Promise brand which offers an array of organic goods. True story: once, I was throwing a party at my place and didn’t have time to go shopping beforehand (because of my poor time management skills) and I just plugged everything in online and schedule my delivery for that morning at 7 am and my grocery shopping was done and I wasn’t even out of my pajamas yet.

2.  Shoprite 

 

A new Shoprite opened up recently in Bruckner Plaza. Bronx Mama did a write up on it and it looks absolutely amazing. (Adulthood is being excited about how cool a supermarket is, right?)  If like me, it’s too far to get to in person, you’re in luck. You can order from them online. Shoprite stays having sales, so you’re bound to save some coins while you’re at it.

3. Jet

The best mango I ever had was sent to me by Jet. It was amazing. I still think about it to this day. The cool thing about Jet is that they deliver your groceries in these insulated cooler type things so your groceries are just as cold as if you had gotten them yourself (unless you’re taking that half hour bus ride). I’ll be honest that I don’t like being stuck with the insulating material, so it’s the least environmentally friendly of these options (but you know, probably still better than diesel trucks driving through your neighborhood). You can also buy an abundance of other things like clothing and household items from them.

Honorable mentions: 

For groceries that aren’t produce.

Boxed – like Costco or BJ’s except without the membership fees.

Thrive Market – Like WholeFoods except with a membership fee.

It’s worth noting that it’s farmers’ market season, so stop by one and support some local farmers. Or you can check out a CSA, which I am a member of and the quality is unparalleled.

Also worth noting is that this is not a sponsored post. I just want us to make informed decisions that are in our best interest. We should be holding our elected officials accountable when they rally for these companies, while choosing to ignore or disregard serious issues raised by our communities.

 

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A Day at the Opera

Until Saturday, I’d never been to an opera. It was something I always thought I should do eventually, but made no real effort to go. So when I learned that the Metropolitan Opera Summer Series was happening in Williambridge Oval Park as part of SummerStage, I knew I had to check it out. Plus, it was the first time that they’ve ever performed in this park, which is pretty cool.

We’ve all seen some kind of opera on tv at some point in our lives (I am specifically thinking of this episode of Hey Arnold) but let me tell you that seeing it in person is something totally different.

Performing a variety of songs from Verdi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner (among others!)  Gabriella Reyes de Ramirez (soprano), Gerard Schneider (tenor), and Adrian Timpau (baritone)  did such an amazing job conveying the passion and conviction of each song that it didn’t matter that I didn’t actually understand what they were saying. It’s really moving and captivating, not to mention that their vocal abilities are insane.

While this was their only show in the Bronx, they have two more shows coming up in Jackie Robinson Park in Manhattan and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. I highly recommend checking it out if you can.

 

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The Spotlight: Melissa C. Potter

So excited to bring back The Spotlight and share this interview with Bronxite Melissa C. Potter, a social justice activist and the Head of Social Impact and Communications leading strategy and campaign management for Odyssey Impact/Transform Films. Keep reading for more!

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Which Bronx neighborhood are you from?

I call Riverdale my adopted home as I resided there for 12 years following my graduation from Northeastern University in Boston. I love the community feel of Riverdale as all that I needed was in walking distance but there were also wonderful opportunities to fellowship with neighbors at La Caja Crossfit, Tin Marin, or in Starbucks.

Where do you currently reside?

I’ve recently moved to the High Bridge section of The Bronx. I am getting to know my neighborhood but appreciate the close proximity to Manhattan for work, and restaurants such as Giovanni’s, Feeding Tree, and Crown Diner.

What are your favorite places in the Bronx?

I am a member of the Bronx Botanical Gardens and make it a point to visit during the annual Orchid and Train Shows. I also really love an evening walk at Van Cortlandt Park. A fun and surprising fact is that you can actually fish in the park. It provides an oasis just blocks away from bustling Broadway. I recommend that anyone visiting The Bronx stops by City Island for an amazing meal at Sammy’s! I am a huge fan of the fried seafood platter and totally indulge in the complimentary bread, cheese and pickled vegetable tray.

How did you get started in social justice advocacy?

I first began my career in the music industry working with some of today’s biggest hip hop artists. I realized that many of these acts felt passionately about issues of social justice and the communities in which they were born and raised. Often, it is difficult to know where to best channel your efforts as it relates to championing causes that are near and dear to the heart. This became my mission, to expose talent to opportunities to give back and to elevate causes that related to our communities such as criminal justice, racial justice and voting rights.

Why do you think film is such a powerful tool in promoting change and creating awareness?

At Odyssey Impact we use film to build a more just and compassionate society and make faith relevant by bringing it into the conversation on social issues. We take the emotions that our films generate and channel them into secular and faith collaborations that inspire changemakers to action – locally and nationally. We give a voice to individuals that often go unheard. We utilize storytelling to spark social change around complex issues. Our audiences gain awareness, have a change of attitude and are driven to action based on their viewing experience – thus going beyond the simple act of being entertained.

Do you have any advice for people who want to get involved in making changes in their communities?

Start small but think big. Work with Odyssey Impact to host a screening, partner with us to educate and take action by finding us on on Twitter @OdysseyImpactNY or by visiting our website.
Look within your day-to-day activities and find small spaces where you may make a difference. It could be utilizing your social media channels to fundraise or raise awareness around an issue, working with a group of friends to clean up a local park or becoming aware of your local lawmakers and starting a petition to take to their office about an issue that you hold dear.
Any upcoming projects you’re working on that we should look out for? 

We are excited for our upcoming impact campaign for an extraordinary film, “The Rape of Recy Taylor”.  Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six young white men in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. You can check your local listings to catch The Rape of Recy Taylor airing on July 2nd on Starz.

Birthday Dinner at La Masa

After the crazy year I’ve had, when my birthday rolled around two weeks ago, I wanted everything to be really chill. What better way to celebrate than a laid back dinner at La Masa in Morris Park?

While I had gotten a taste of their food about a year ago at an event at Bronx Coworking Space, I had yet to actually visit in person.

With cute, modern decor with pops of red throughout the restaurant, La Masa has a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere, which is perfect for catching up with friends and family.

Our server was really friendly and provided us with some really great recommendations for drinks and entrees. [I ordered the sangria which was really refreshing and strong!]

First of all, everything on their menu sounds amazing, it was really hard to decide. Their empanada selection is crazy, with over 15 to choose from, they have savory and sweet selections as well as vegan and gluten free options. I tried the bacon mac and cheese, beef , and cilantro lime chicken. All of them were good, but the ground beef was my favorite. Can’t go wrong with a classic. I did get to try some of the Husband’s apple pie empanada and it was also really good. (I feel like there’s an innuendo lurking somewhere there. Oh well.)

For my main course, I got the mahi mahi a la parilla because I can’t think of another place in the Bronx that serves mahi mahi! (If you do, please let me know in the comments!) Both my sister and Husband ordered the bandeja paisa, which is this behemoth of a meal including steak, chicharron, chorizo, maduros, rice, beans, an arepa, salad, and a fried egg. So I picked off of my sister’s plate when I was finished with my own.

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It was a great way to wrap up my birthday and I can’t wait to return and try more empanadas.

 

Shopping the New Marshalls on Third Ave

Last week, Marshall’s joined the bustling shopping district in The Hub. You know Marshalls as the store where you can find absolutely anything and this location is no exception. Because Marshalls offers designer, brand name items at great prices, you can walk out of the store like a baller without breaking the bank. Of course, the best part is that every time you shop at Marshalls, you’ll find something new each time.

I’ve been in some serious need for some retail therapy, so I excited to see what was in store (pun not intended). My first stop was the clothing section where I found some really great workout clothes because it’s not so bad to convince yourself to go to the gym when you look cute! I also snagged some designer sunglasses which came at the perfect time since my favorite ones sadly broke last week.

My favorite find was a pair of black wedges originally priced at $52, but I got them at the Marshalls price of $34.99. I’ll be donning them to a wedding I’m going to this weekend and I’m sure they’ll be in rotation all summer long.

While this location isn’t as big as some of the other Marshalls here in the Bronx, it’s really easy to find each section and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.

Be sure to visit soon and comment below with your #MarshallsSurprise.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. While I have been provided with compensation for this post, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Celebrate Pride Month with the 1 Bronx Festival

From the Third Avenue Business Improvement District:

The Third Avenue Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Bronx LGBTQ Caucus, the Bronx Borough President’s LGBTQ Policy Taskforce, Destination Tomorrow, Boogie Down Pride, and Bronx Pride continue a unified demand for LGBTQ equity by announcing the 2018 Bronx Pride agenda and programming.  The culmination of year-long planning based on a platform of equity for the LGBTQ community in the Bronx has resulted in a multi-faceted policy and program agenda that will be celebrated during the 1 Bronx Pride March and Festival on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in the heart of the downtown Bronx Civic Center at 149th Street and Third Avenue.

The Festival promotes inclusion, community, and dialogue and works toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law.  The Festival celebrates the movement started by Bronxites that laid the groundwork for equity, the next wave of creative thinkers prepared to score their own trails, and each individual in between. The words Resist. Be Heard. Be Valiant. respond to the attacks the LGBTQ community has experienced under the Trump administration and provide a framework to organize and continue the movement forward.

Festival organizers anticipate a least 15,000 attendees, over 120 vendors, and international and local artists which communicate the message that we are 1 Bronx.  “It is our hope and intention that the 1 Bronx Pride Festival breaks down barriers for the community and gathers positive energy that promotes 1 Pride and 1 Bronx” stated Michael Brady, Executive Director of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District.

 

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Tacos & Margaritas at Cocina Chente

I don’t know about you all, but probably 75% of the pages I follow on Instagram are just restaurants I want to try out someday. Cocina Chente in Riverdale is no exception. Bright colors, a hanging bicycle, a cute outdoor eating area, and of course gorgeous (and tasty) food – these are the things Instagram foodies dream of.  My friend and I decided to check it out on one of the few and far between nice weather days we’ve been having.

The first thing I noticed was the decor – someone put a lot of thought into all of the little details here and it absolutely pays off. The ambience is fun and lively, with a million conversations going on at once (in a good way. Have you ever been to a quiet restaurant? It’s weird.)

It was super packed, but we were able to get a table pretty quickly. I ordered the carnitas tacos and my friend opted for the tequila-lime salmon. I wanted to try the chili tacos, but they don’t allow mixing and matching, so I’ll give them a try next time. Both were really good, but I think I liked the salmon even more than the tacos. Of course, we kept the margaritas flowing all night.

Their brunch menu also looks super legit so hopefully I’ll get try it out soon.

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