Contact Welcome2Melrose at: 347-92-MELRO or via email at:

Friday, February 26, 2010


The State of the Borough Address has been suspended due to the Nor'easter which has swept the region.  No date has been set and we will let you know as soon as it has been rescheduled.
For those of you who don't have to go to work and or school, ENJOY!!!! Send in your pics!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Shortly before 1pm Tuesday afternoon, a fire broke out inside Queen's Nails Salon at 615-619 Melrose Avenue, destroying Family Barber Shop as well as Seck African Hair Branding stopping just short of PeaceLove Café.  Owners of the nail salon who have been there for 12 years said that the fire started in the ceiling at the entrance to the store.

The damage also extended to the apartment above Queen's Nails as firefighters broke through walls to contain the fire.

Employees of Family Barber Shop which has stood in the community for almost 20 years expressed concern for employment during these tough economic times.

According to officials of the FDNY, the fire was labeled an accident and not suspicious, however, firefighters on the scene blamed faulty wiring.  A representative for
Stellar Management who was on the scene to assess the damage refused to comment when questioned on the situation and the building's superintendent became aggressive, shouted expletives and was confrontational.  Commercial tenants have also expressed concerns with the layers of wirings that management has let accumulate over the years as businesses closed and opened.  A representative from the NYFD told the building's manager that, "now may be a good time to properly wire the commercial spaces to prevent something like this happening in the future."

No injuries were reported by the fire department.

Reporting live from the Village of Melrose,

Ed García Conde
The "Mayor" of Melrose

Firefighter inspects PeaceLove Cafe

Queen's Nail Salon where the fire originated.

Family Barber Shop - A local business served the community for almost 20 years.

Seck African Hair Braiding Salon

Monday, February 22, 2010

Man Shot Dead by Police in Melrose

Satnam Singh apparently went off the edge and beat his mother, Kaul Balbir, over the head with a frying pan.  According to police reports they ordered Singh to drop the pan repeatedly but when he refused to cooperate, the officers shot him 5 times (according to the police) and was pronounced dead on the scene.  Not sure how a man with a frying pan should have been killed by the cops...perhaps a shot to the leg to disable him would have been more appropriate?  Is this another case of police brutality?  According to NY1, the NYPD is currently investigating the incident but after an incident last year where police officers from the same 40th Precinct brutalized a man who was already subdued, an independent investigation might be a better route.

The incident occurred at The Dorado located at 3055 Third Avenue between East 156th and East 157th Streets directly across from its sister building, The Orion Condominiums.  The Dorado is one of the newer buildings in Melrose and was opened less than a year ago during the late summer.

As reported by NY1, the victim, 61 year old Kaul Balbir is currently listed under critical condition at Lincoln Hospital.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Field of Nightmares - The Yankees Taketh and The Yankees Do Not Giveth

The City of New York and the New York Yankees gladly took away our parks to build their new stadium, with big promises of great new parks to replace those taken away but now, 18 months after the Old Yankee Stadium closed its doors to the public, we are left with an old relic which still stands in the way of what is the proposed Heritage Park which was reported by Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News in greater detail.  New estimates are now talking about perhaps the park will be open in late 2011.  

On Thursday, February 18th between 6pm and 8pm at 198 E 161st Street, 3rd Floor, we the people of Melrose, the Concourse and the communities that for almost a century have lived under the shadow of the famed New York Yankees have an opportunity to voice our anger, disappointment and concern over the lack of sympathy from city officials about the snail pace of construction of the new parks.  At the center of this delay is a small yet vocal community group proposing to save Gate 2 of the original stadium.  There are enough elements of the original stadium which will be preserved.  

Below is a letter written to Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation by local resident, William Casari to which a number of local residents, including myself attached our names for emphasis on this matter:      

Adrian Benepe
Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

The Arsenal, Central Park 
830 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10065  
Dear Commissioner Benepe:  
        I’m writing to let you know that I don’t support the saving of Gate 2 as part of the Heritage Field design at the Old Yankee Stadium site.  I have had many conversations with friends and neighbors who live near the stadium and on the Grand Concourse—I have added their names and addresses to this letter indicating that they are against saving Gate 2 as well.  All of us who live in the community are anxious to have Heritage Field finished as soon as possible and will live with the design of the park forever, unlike the “Save Gate 2” folks who are all from outside the neighborhood.  We don’t need a towering piece of concrete to remind us of the history of Yankee Stadium.  Plenty of other reminders are already part of the new park’s design.   
      The arguments to save Gate 2 don’t make sense as many elements from the old stadium are being preserved.  And the New Yankee Stadium with many architectural elements inspired by the old stadium is right across 161st Street! 
      From local resident Killian Jordan’s December 2009 letter to you: “Proponents [of Save Gate 2] say that we will lose the distinctive visual features of the old Stadium. Actually, community residents (many of whom are also fans) have been very pleased by the clear and distinctive features that will remain to celebrate the old stadium. Two huge multi-ton segments of the single most recognizable feature—the frieze—of the old stadium will stand at the north side of the park.  They're an unmistakable visual emblem of the entire stadium, both the new one and the old one.  Another visual emblem that will be preserved is "the bat"—the smokestack-like structure that can be seen from miles away.  The enormous sections of the frieze, with its sentimental import and imposing physical presence, will be accessible to everyone—to see, to touch, to lean on.  The main new ball field will maintain the geographic orientation of the old field, with clear markers of that relationship. A number of plaques in the neighboring walkway will call attention not only to Yankees history, but also to other significant events that took place here. 
      I believe that you yourself have wondered aloud why we can’t “create a great new park that acknowledges” the proud history of the stadium. Local residents would like to note that the frieze and plaques and bat and the field’s footprint will all do that—there is absolutely NO danger of the site’s origins disappearing into history.”  [Killian Jordan letter to Adrian Benepe, December 18, 2009]. 
      I am concerned about the attention being paid to the “Save Gate 2” and the meetings supporters have had with local officials including yourself.  What the community needs now is for the Old Yankee Stadium to be demolished ASAP and construction of Heritage Field to begin without Gate 2.   
      I would appreciate your feedback on the status of the demolition of the Old Yankee Stadium and the start of construction of Heritage Field.  I will be in attendance at the February 18th Community Meeting.  Thank you for your consideration.

William Casari, et al.
Everyone interested should try their best to come to this meeting because there is strength in numbers.  To RSVP, or for more information please contact Michele Lignore-Diaz at 718-430-4617 or 

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Word From Our Sponsors...

Welcome2Melrose has partnered up with Google AdSense and has also become an Amazon Associate to provide you with ads as least intrusive as possible.  By clicking on these ads and searching through our custom search interface and purchasing your products you can help build a foundation which we are working hard to get off the ground.  

The goal of the Welcome2Melrose Foundation will be to provide scholarships each year to a young boy and a young girl from within Melrose to attend Cardinal Spellman High School - a leader in parochial schools for over 50 years now.  Some other goals are to start a tree guardianship program for the hundreds of new trees planted in Melrose over the last year and also a paid internship program for local Melrose high school honor roll students where they can work at local businesses and gain experience in the many fields represented in our wonderful neighborhood - we are home to dozens and dozens of law firms, family owned restaurants, medical and dental offices - all of which our bright young kids can gain priceless experience from and get ahead in the world before they even graduate high school.

So please, feel free to visit our Google AdSense sponsors if there is anything that interests you - and YOU DON'T HAVE TO PURCHASE ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN! We get paid a small fee for every Google AdSense link you click on, not by purchasing our sponsors products.  As for Amazon ads, we get a small percentage of anything you purchase through us whether it be a link to a particular book or by searching Amazon's vast selection of products including millions of books.
A big Melrose THANK YOU for your continued support through your daily readership and comments!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Melrose Murals

Bike Shop on Courtlandt Avenue @ East 150th Street - another fine example of graffiti in The Bronx.
(Melrose Murals Archive Project)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Melrose Murals

David Gonzalez of the New York Times wrote a most excellent piece on graffiti yesterday, "Graffiti’s Story, From Vandalism to Art to Nostalgia," slide show included. The publishing of the article is rather timely for Welcome2Melrose since we are currently archiving all local works under the Melrose Murals Project.

Today's pictures are from a mural on East 151st Street between Morris and Courtlandt Avenues on the side of a local bodega.  "Gusto" is thanked on the upper right corner of the mural...perhaps the store owner or building owner.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Comedy Show at Yankee Stadium Wednesday, February 10th

Don't forget to get your tickets as they are quickly selling out and space is limited!  Last month's show on January 6, 2010 was sold out and over 150 people were turned away at the door for a chance to be a part of history at NYY Steak for the first EVER comedy show at the legendary stadium.

This month's show will feature such great talents like Rich Vos from Comedy Central and NBC's Last Comic Standing, Sara Contreras of Latin Divas of Comedy and Gerald Kelly of BET Comic View and HBO Def Comedy Jam.  The show is hosted by none other than Davian Velez, a Bronx native and a 10 year veteran of the comedy circuit around the country featured on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and Mun2.

So what are you waiting for? Call Davian Velez at 646-271-1595 or NYY Steak at 646-97-STEAK (78325) and get your tickets and make sure you tell them you heard about the show here on Welcome2Melrose!