Fall Enrichment Program for Youth with Special Needs at Bronx House

From Bronx House

Fall Enrichment 2016

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Imagining a South Bronx Version of MTV’s Cribs

One of the very few things that could motivate me to clean my room as a teenager was the dream that someday, somehow I could be on MTV Cribs. I had all kinds of scenarios in which I would lead the camera crew through my house and to my bedroom, “where the magic happens.” (Though, tbh, the only magical thing happening there was the 14-hour slumbers I was able to pull off. Ah, to be 16.)

So, I’ll never get to be on MTV Cribs, since it’s no longer on (yes, that’s the reason) but a really cool project from ID Studio Theater here in the Bronx is giving some South Bronx residents a chance to show off their homes as part of the “Mott Haven Home Movies: South Bronx Cribs” project.

The idea behind the project is to teach residents to shoot and edit their own episode of “Cribs” to show what living in the South Bronx means to them. This is so so so important in the face of the battle we must fight against gentrification and the displacement of Bronx residents.

Currently, funds are being raised to supplement the grant the project received from the Bronx Council on the Arts. To read more about the project and/or donate, click here. 

***Please note that the project is not affiliated with MTV Cribs.***

 

A Look at the Workers Who Give Life to Jerome Avenue

My first exposure, I guess you could say, to the Jerome Avenue Workers Project was a couple months back the the gentrification conference. I’ve always loved neighborhood feature stories and profiles of the people who make up communities, but this story cuts a bit deeper because by showing us the personal stories of the residents, it puts a face on the people who will be hit the hardest by seemingly endless city developments that often overlook who will be impacted by their projects.

A member of the Bronx Photo League, Giacomo Francia share the stories of these hard-working individuals on a feature in the New York Times this week, entitled “Who Makes the Bronx?”   Check it out here.

3rd Annual Gentrification Conference – Now What?

On a stormy Sunday, Bronxites from across the borough gathered at gathered at the New Settlement Community Center to discuss one of the biggest issues facing the Bronx today – gentrification *cue dramatic music.*  The conference kicked off with a preview of Vivian Vazquez’s documentary Decade of Fire, which takes a look at how the Bronx was abandoned during it greatest time of need, the string of arsons that engulfed the borough in the 70s.

The audience also got a chance to view the Bronx Photo League’s Jerome Avenue Worker’s Project, which profiled workers along the area of Jerome Avenue that would be impacted by the Jerome- Cromwell rezoning proposal. Many are immigrants scraping by as is and with the city’s plan to work with developers to introduce “affordable housing,” their future in the neighborhood is all but done for.

The last and certainly most lively part of the conference was the panel featuring Vivian Vasquez, photographer Rhynna Santos, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, and CASA Tenant Leader Fitzroy Christian. Attendees called out Been on the city’s faulty affordable housing plans and offering up low income neighborhoods up to developers on a platter.

What most moved me was seeing how many people came out, even on such a crappy day, to show their concern for the Bronx and try to protect it from gentrification. It’s rare to see such solidarity here in NYC and it was really motivating. The real test now, is to see what actions we all take to really show that we’re serious.

Let’s not be armchair generals when it comes to potential (and in a sadly increasing rate for small businesses) displacement in the Bronx – we need to get our hands dirty and put in the work to back up our voices.

The Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision has monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month from 6-8 pm at New Settlement Community Center. Childcare and Spanish interpretation is available as is dinner, so spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors.

Bronx Socialite Tote Bags are Now Available at the Bronx Museum of the Arts!

I am so so happy and excited to announce that you can now purchase tote bags designed by The Bronx Socialite at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.  The two designs available at the gift shop are the I heart the Bronx tote and the Bronx Born tote.  Right now the Cafepress store is unavailable so for the time being, these are available exclusively at the museum.

They are roomy, sturdy, and perfect for work, school, or the gym.

Photograph by Lauren Click

Photograph by Lauren Click

Pedestrian Safety in the Bronx

I love walking. I could walk anywhere if I have a decent pair of shoes and the time to spare. It’s such a great way to get a feel for a neighborhood and of course, the exercise is a plus, too. So when I heard about the Walk Safer NYC accident map I was intrigued. I also am a geek for infographics and data because of this one sociology class I took my freshman year of college. Anyway, the site breaks down the most dangerous intersections in the city, contributing factors of the collisions, vehicle type, and so forth. I learned that the worst intersection in the Bronx is Webster Ave. and East Fordham Road, which I cross at least once a week. 😦 Go on and check out the site and see if there are any of those terrible intersections near you! Let’s advocate together for safer streets for us all.

Walk Safe Map

Connect with Your Neighbors on Shoutloc

It’s almost too stereotypical – the New Yorker who lives in a neighborhood for years upon years, but has no idea who their neighbors are. We like our space, which is fine, but being as nosy as I am, I’m always curious about the people around me – what are they like? why does it always sound like the Tasmanian devil is over for dinner? Countless unanswered questions!

You may not get the answers to all of you burning questions, but now there is a way for you to connect with your neighbors an app called Shoutloc.

Created by Bronxite Leo Gjoni, the app allows neighbors to post information or questions about events happening nearby. For example, planning on hosting a yard sale after you’ve finished spring cleaning? Let your neighbors know on Shoutloc to promote it.

Check out the video below  to learn more!