a bronx tale
During a rare visit to the Bronx today, some of Bill de Blasio’s most prominent backers pushed back on charges that the mayoral front-runner has spent too little time in the borough while campaigning for mayor.
During last night’s final debate, Mr. de Blasio was forced to respond to criticism that he’d spent too much time in Manhattan and Park Slope and not enough time in places like the Bronx and the Rockaways since securing the Democratic nomination.
Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio made a rare appearance in the Bronx today, greeting excited voters, handing out candy to trick-or-treating kids and talking up his campaign’s get-out-the-vote efforts in the election’s final stretch.
on the waterfront
Much has been made of the transformation of the city’s waterfront, but it is usually tonier precincts like Manhattan and bourgey Brooklyn getting all the attention. Meanwhile, the Bronx waterfront has undergone a quieter transformation that has still managed to maintain its industrial character while introducing greenspace and recreation to the area.
Yesterday, the latest piece of this aquatic puzzle opened, a fun-looking 1.5-acre park in the Hunt’s Point section of the borough. It includes a new fishing pier, a kayak launch, and a restored shoreline with tidal pools that, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, will naturally absorb storm water runoff. The park is liberally sprinkled with large granite slabs of city history, remnants of the deconstructed Willis Avenue Bridge, which make up much of the comfortable looking boulder seating area and grass retaining wall.
Easy—just stack them on top of each other.
When Mark Messier first announced his intentions to build a new skating complex inside the Kingsbridge Armory, it sounded crazy. This is the Bronx, after all. When it was revealed there would be eight rinks in total, it sounded insane.
But the Kingsbridge National Ice Center recently launched its social media campaign—what bid for a public project would be complete without one?—and on the project’s Facebook page are a number of models that show exactly how Mr. Messier and his team intend to pull off this wild engineering feat.
New York may be home to some of the best boutiques, specialty shops and department stores in the world, but you know what it really needs? A huge outlet mall with brand names for less!
The New York Times claims that New Yorkers, secretly covetous of the bland, sprawling suburban malls that can be found in the city’s hinterlands, are ecstatic to hear that an outlet mall may be opening near Co-op City in the Bronx. (The Lightstone Group, a company that develops and manages outlet malls, purchased a 19.2-acre site in the Ferry Point neighborhood this May, although the group has yet to announce any plans for the site.)
Best Laid Plans
Friday was Adolfo Carrion’s last day working for the Obama administration. He had been ensconced for the past two years in a corner office on the 35th floor of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building downtown, serving as director of HUD Region 2, which is where The Observer met him a few weeks ago to discuss the president‘s flagging urban agenda.
Bronx paraphernalia filled the glass-line space. Near the doorway was a green highway sign, WELCOME TO THE BRONX. On a bookshelf behind his desk, beside family photos, books (Sonia Sotomayor’s biography, Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat) and hardhats of special significance, rested a miniature subway sign for the 161st Street-Yankees Stadium stop. Along the wall stood a T.V. tuned to CNBC, framed newspaper clippings, and not one but two Yankees groundbreaking shovels, one of which had a bat for a handle. Pinstriped paraphernalia was everywhere, declaring the Manhattan-born, Bronx-bred politician’s on-field allegiance.
Mr. Carrion left the Bronx to go work for the administration, first on the campaign trail, then as the inaugural director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs. He left that position to come work at HUD, a move many saw as a demotion, though he insists it was always part of his plan.
New York is not much of a hockey town. The Rangers are the top team in the league right now, and still the awfulness of the Knicks gets more attention. The Super Bowl is sucking up a lot of air time, but even if the Rangers win the Stanley Cup—their first since 1994, second since 1940—the back pages of the tabs will still spend most of their time on off-season baseball news. Sean Avery’s sartorial choices attract more attention than a Henrik Lundqvist shut out.
Thus The Observer almost slipped on the ice in surprise when two reports surfaced yesterday about hockey coming to some unlikely places.
Thought bankers and celebrities were the only people in New York who could afford a five story home? Think again! A five-story marijuana farm was raided in the Bronx yesterday, and the sophisticated operation was occupying a prime piece of real estate, the New York Times reports. The building, at 610 Morris Park Avenue was located on a quiet residential block.
SOC It to Me
The main focus of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City speech today may have been on taking another crack at fixing the city’s schools and streamlining its government, but this is still Mike Bloomberg, remaker of skylines and rebuilder of waterfronts, so there was bound to be a lot of development goodies studding the speech.
Aside from the Kingsbridge Armory announcement, which was previewed yesterday, the proposal that most jumped out was one for the heart of Midtown. “In the area around Grand Central, we’ll work with the City Council on a package of regulatory changes and incentives that will attract new investment, new companies and new jobs,” the mayor said.
The hallowed ground on which “b-boys” and “b-girls” first found their groove will be saved from (a non-allegorical) wrecking ball crew.