The Metropolitan Opera 2019 Summer Recital Series Returns to the Bronx June 15

The Metropolitan Opera, in association with the City Parks Foundation, presents their Summer Recital Series in 2019, bringing six free performances to all five boroughs in June . Now in its 11th year, the Summer Recital Series gives New Yorkers in all 5 boroughs a chance to experience the beauty of opera in a peaceful outdoor setting all for free.

This Saturday, June 15 at 4 pm,  the series returns to the Bronx with a performance in Williamsbridge Oval Park. Metropolitan Opera stars Leah HawkinMario Bahg, Joseph Lim and pianist Dimitri Dover will perform an early evening of arias and duets from some of opera’s most beloved works. For more info, click here.

 

I attended last year and it was an amazing performance!  Definitely make sure you stop by if you can!

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Dinner & Drinks with a View at Zona de Cuba

With the opening of Zona de Cuba coinciding with my birthday week, I decided to add it on the the week’s festivities. The much hyped rooftop bar and restaurant is the first of its kind here in the Bronx in that it is fully on the rooftop (as opposed to say, Pine, where the restaurant is on the lower level and there is a bar on the upper level). When I found the entrance (hint: it’s NOT on the Concourse, but on the other side of the building), there was a long line of people waiting to get in. The entrance isn’t super flashy or anything, but you can tell it’s upscale and they are serious about that dress code because a guy was definitely turned away.

A friend was already waiting upstairs for us and said the place wasn’t really crowded, so I’m not sure why the line took so long (they also didn’t fill the elevator up as much as it could have, without being too packed. There was only one elevator in use.). There was a line for people with reservations, but when we had called to make them the day before, the line was busy. The woman at the front said they would be revamping the reservation process soon. (Update! They have updated their website to allow reservations online.) The whole entry process could definitely be streamlined.

Once we finally made it upstairs, we loved the decor. Whoever designed this place deserves all the applause. There are comfortable couches (definitely a must) in the interior dining area, surrounded by an assortment of lush greenery, and chandeliers adorning the ceilings. The outside area offers up surprisingly gorgeous views of Harlem amid brightly colored couches and flags from various Latin American countries.

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My friend who had arrived before us had yet to receive her drink, after waiting over half an hour. The waitress who dropped it off, turned and walked away without acknowledging me or my other friend, so we had to flag someone else down who was as attentive as she could be given how hectic things seemed to be for the servers. She had mentioned that there was a back up at the interior bar and ended up taking our drink ticket to the bar outside. (I’m not sure why this was, there appeared to be only one bartender outside, while there seemed to be 4 inside.) My drink, the te picó  el burro de Tito was not my favorite. The flavors tasted watered down and overall wasn’t a strong drink, which was disappointing for a $15 cocktail. My friends did like their drinks, though – the tamarindo con tu Henny and the guava mojito.

Our food, however, did come out at a decent time. I ordered the como pollo con grano, which was essentially a fancy arroz con pollo. The portion size was huge, I ended up having leftovers for like two days afterward.

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Later in the evening, a live band started to play and people began to dance. The music was very loud throughout our visit, so Friday night is probably not the time to have any deep conversations here.

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Overall, it’s a gorgeous venue and I hope they’re able to work out some of the kinks to make it a really great place to hang out.

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 Kevin Harris Project Jazz Concert

Mark your calendar for this upcoming jazz concert presented by the Bronx Community Health Network.

From BCHN:

On Sunday, October 8 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, BCHN is presenting a benefit jazz concert and awards event at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, featuring music by jazz trio The Kevin Harris Project. The program will be emceed by BronxNet’s Rhina Valentin.  Honorees include Dr. Susan Beane, Vice President and Medical Director at Healthfirst.

 

BCHN Jazz Concert Bronx Museum

Bronx SummerStage Schedule

I think one of the main reasons I look forward to summer in NYC is to take advantage of all of the awesome free things going on throughout the city. Case and point: SummerStage concerts! Check out the July 27-30 schedule below!

Thursday, July 27th from 7PM –9PM – Made in the Bronx presented by BAAD!

  • Modern, folk, flamenco and house dance from Bronx artists. Dance workshop 7pm for all ages and levels with Sekou McMiller, popular New York-based dancer and choreographer heating up the stage with his Contemporary Latin Fusion class that he has taught to students around the world.

Friday July 28th from 7PM – 9PM – La India

  • Legendary South Bronx Princess of Salsa, is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter of salsa and house music. There will also be a all ages and levels salsa workshop at 6PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 7PM

Saturday July 29th from 5PM – 7PM – Frankie Negrón

  • Salsa’s next definitive voice effortlessly blends tradition with pop, rock and reggaetón. There will also be percussion and dance workshops at 4PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 5PM

Sunday, July 30th from 5PM –7PM – Lisa Lisa

  • 80s superstar who brought freestyle to the mainstream with hits like I Wonder if I Take You Home. 

The Art of TATS CRU Opening This Week at BronxArtSpace

Internationally renowned graffiti artists, TATS CRU, will be the subject of a new exhibit at  BronxArtSpace. It’ll kick off with a block party this Saturday, June 3rd and an artist talk and documentary screening on June 22nd.

From BXNYCreative:

The Art of TATS CRU will show a representation of past projects through photographs and videos produced by Miguel Teck Arteaga. There will be works on canvas by NICER, BIO, and BG183, and a new mural collaboration reproduced as a poster to commemorate the exhibition. “We are looking at a unique rise to art world success. It’s inspirational in that it illustrates that every artist doesn’t need to follow the standard, art school, gallery system, connection-based path,” says co-curator Eileen Walsh.

The Block Party will feature homegrown, Bronx entertainment. DJ Pusha will keep the party going, with additional dance performances by BBoy & Emcee Chief69, and Hip-Hop legend Rokafella’s Full Circle Souljah‘s dance troupe.

Live music performances by up and coming Bronx MINDIE artists Statik Vision, and alternative music group, The Nobodies, and a presentation by spoken word artist and rapper, Safiel Vonay.

The exhibition for this event is sponsored by JCAL Development Group. Neighborhood businesses participating in the block party include ID Studio TheatreZaro’s Bakery, La Grata Italian RestaurantFiltered Coffee, and Bronx Native. We are also happy to have the support of Port Morris Distillery and The Bronx BreweryThe Bronx Children Museum will host creative activities for children and families, and will have their museum on the Go Bus parked on the street outside the gallery. The event is free of charge and all are welcome.

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Photo Courtesy of BXNYCreative

Bronx Summerstage Calendar — Fat Joe Performs Tonight!

Annual NYC summer staple Summerstage is back this year. Featuring acts including Fat Joe (“Lean Back” is part of the soundtrack to my high school life) , DJ Kool Herc, and even the Metropolitan Opera, the series brings music, film, and dance to Crotona Park and St. Mary’s Park this year.

Check out the full schedule below:

Day

Date

Time

Artist

Park

Boro

Genre

Tuesday

Jul 5

7:00 PM

George Lamond / DJ Lucho

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 6

7:00 PM

Fat Joe / Tony Touch hosted by Lyricist Lounge

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Thursday

Jul 7

7:00 PM

Tribute to Latin Jazz Great Dave Valentin

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Friday

Jul 8

7:00 PM

Nuyorican Poets Cafe: Craig ‘muMs’ Grant’s “A Sucker Emcee”

Crotona Park

BX

Theater

Saturday

Jul 9

7:00 PM

Acrobuffos / Rob & Miss Jane / Sxip’s Hour of Charm / It’s Showtime NYC

Crotona Park

BX

Circus

Sunday

Jul 10

7:00 PM

DJ Kool Herc / Little Shalimar / Screening: Rubble Kings

Crotona Park

BX

Music & Film

Tuesday

Jul 12

7:00 PM

Johnny Rivera / Joan Català

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 13

7:00 PM

Joe Bataan Meets Setenta / Joan Català

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Wednesday

Jul 13

7:00 PM

The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring Michelle Bradley, Kang Wang, Yunpeng Wang, and Dan Saunders

Crotona Park

BX

Music

Thursday

Jul 14

7:00 PM

Tito Rojas

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music

Friday

Jul 15

7:00 PM

Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue / Screening: We Like It Like That

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Music & Film

Saturday

Jul 16

7:00 PM

Full Circle Souljahs Presents: From The Streets To The Stage/Behind the Groove / Master Class: Kwikstep and Rokafella

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Dance

Sunday

Jul 17

4:00 PM

Legacy Women / Recess Monkey / Music with a Message / Double Dutch Dreamz

St. Mary’s Park

BX

Family