A Taste of Bronx Cookspace

Friday, I had the chance to visit Bronx Cookspace, one of WHEDCo’s many programs aimed at helping the Bronx community. The Cookspace provides commercial kitchen space and equipment to entrepreneurs in the food industry. It also offers resources to members to help them with different aspects of starting a business, such as insurance, product marketing, and networking opportunities. Membership packages start at $140/month or without a package at $25/hour.

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Here are some other cool facts about Bronx Cookspace:

  • 66% of the tenant are own by women
  • 76% of the tenants are people of color
  • 43% of tenants are Bronx-based (A number I’d personally love to see increase over time.)

But, let’s cut to the chase – the food. *insert hungry face emoji*

Everyone I encountered was super friendly and served up some delicious treats, but here are my favorites:

Sustainable Snacks – healthy and delicious dark chocolate-covered bite-sized snacks that you can take with you on the go. I tried the spicy cherry with almond and blueberry and pecan flavors and they were so delightful, and that’s coming from someone who will literally choose almost any flavor over chocolate. I also just love the pairing of fruit and nuts and the idea of providing an alternative snack option (although Takis are amazing…) Another bonus of course is that the owner is a Bronx resident!

5 Island Blend – Created by a husband and wife duo Randall and Guiatrie Sapp, these sauces bring the flavor without all the extra added salt. I loved listening to their stories (and of course trying a sample of chicken which had been marinated in the sauce and then topped with a little extra sauce for extra flavor. A cool fact I learned was that Mr. Sapp was actually born in the building that houses WHEDCo back when it was Morrisania Hospital. Can you get any more local than that?

Joon – I got to try something new when I stopped by Joon’s station, which serves up Persian stews in crispy rice cups. I got to try to the chicken walnut pomegranate and it was soooo good. They can usually be found at the Queens Night Market out by the Hall of Science, but hopefully we’ll see them at some Bronx events soon (hint hint).

Sweet Zahra – Another new experience was getting to try Persian Love Cake which  was adorned with flowers and fresh cardamom. This combination of flavors along with the perfectly sweet icing was so unique and of course, delicious.

 

 

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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.***

 

Enjoy FREE Films at Bronx Terminal Market’s Rooftop Film Series

If the heat and humidity of this past week is any indication, this summer is going to be one that will require me to be as relaxed as possible – and what better way than lounging around watching free movies outdoors?

The Bronx Terminal Market’s Summer Rooftop Film Series starts up Tuesday, June 24 with When Harry Met Sally and featuring a line up including blockbuster film Frozen (which I still have not seen), The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. There’s also a bunch of pre-film festivities scheduled for you to enjoy if you show up early enough!

Check out the flier below for details.

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Sometimes Real Estate Agents Make Me Laugh…

RETRACTION: Sorry, all. In a fit of both overzealousness and bad journalism, a fan of the blog pointed out to me that, yes, Mott Haven actually used to go by North New York. According to the omnipotent Wikipedia, back around 1898 Port Morris and Mott Haven were known as North New York. So, yeah go figure. Now, whether or not it’s relevant to use it today, I don’t know. But thought I should set the record straight!

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In their efforts to gentrify* the South Bronx, real estate agents do all kinds of things to make the Bronx seem not as scary, or sometimes not the Bronx at all. Check out this screenshot I took of an apartment listing on Trulia:

North New York? Now granted I always joke that I live on the way upper east side, but I will say in the same breath that I live in the Bronx. And yes, the street numbers continue from Manhattan to the Bronx, but I’m just really curious as to who actually calls Mott Haven North New York.  SoBro is one thing, but I can’t accept North New York.

As a sidenote, the agent did include within the listing that the apartment is in the Bronx. But still…  :-/

What ridiculous neighborhood names have you heard?

*Know that when I say gentrify, I am referring to the Webster’s definition with extra emphasis on the displacement of lower-income residents.