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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Melrose Murals

East 151st @ Melrose Avenue

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Before The Grand Concourse...

... there was Mott Avenue.  This picture is of the mosaic station name on the south bound 2/5 subway at 149th Street and Grand Concourse.   This station really has some beautiful tile work that needs to be preserved.   There are even tiles which read "UP TOWN" and "DOWN TOWN" from a time when the words were written separately and not like today's modern downtown and uptown.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Breakfast at Local Deli? What's the Catch?

Well there is no catch - except that free breakfast was made available to anyone who walked in between the hours of 5:30AM to 11AM today for the grand opening of our newest night owl and 24 hour establishment, Star One Gourmet Deli.

Located on Melrose Avenue at the corner of East 152nd Street, Star One Gourmet Deli is the latest business to open its doors in Melrose.  Over the last few weeks no less than 5 business have opened their doors for the first time to Melrose residents, not including Boricua College which opened up officially yesterday (more on that in a few).

Local residents were very impressed that a business was giving away free breakfast to local residents during such bleak economic times (a quick survey of the eager customers on line said they didn't believe last week's report that the recession was over since June of 2009).

Minerva Herrera of Melrose said that what Star One Gourmet Deli is doing today, "is a very beautiful thing in today's world and nice for their new customers."  She went further on to say that she wishes them many beautiful and successful years.

"Welcome2Melrose" Star One Gourmet Deli!  Great way to create a loyal customer base on your first day!

Here's to your success!

New customers patiently waiting for a rare treat - free breakfast!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dr. Richard Izquierdo, Former Welcome2Melrose Person of The Year On Fox 5

Tune in today or set your DVRs to catch former Welcome2Melrose Person of the Year, Dr. Richard Izquierdo, on Fox 5 at 9:15 AM. As you may remember, he founded a charter school which opened its doors this year, The Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School - a first of its kind in New York State, focusing on providing students with a tract that will have high school students graduating with an EMT certificate and be able to immediately be gainfully employed upon graduation.

Congrats, Doc, on your success which in turn is our community's success!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Metro North Service Suspended between Grand Central Station and Well...the Rest of the Region

Due to a fire at the 138th Street lift bridge between Manhattan and The Bronx, service is currently disrupted between Grand Central Station and the Bronx and beyond.  So if you're traveling to Connecticut, Westchester County and areas up North (or from those areas and into Grand Central Station for that matter), make sure you stay tuned to your favorite local news station to keep up to date on when service will be restored.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poverty Rate Paradox

According to an interesting article posted yesterday in The Christian Science Monitor, although the poverty rate has increased, the crime rate has indeed fallen.  This challenges the long-held assumption that there is a tie between high poverty rates and high crime rates.  What do you think, fellow Melrose residents?  Is there a strong tie?  We do have, after all, the dubious distinction of living in the poorest congressional district in the country.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome Home General Colin Powell

On Thursday, September 9th, General Colin Powell attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new low-income cooperative apartments in Longwood bearing his name - The General Colin Powell Apartments.  It was a proud day for Bronxites as we listened to him speak proudly of his Bronx years.

General Colin Powell, born in Harlem and raised on Fox Street in the Longwood neighborhood of the Bronx, entertained the crowd with stories of growing up in the South Bronx and the diversity of his neighborhood from the Puerto Rican bodega owners, the Jewish shopkeepers as well as West Indian and African-Americans all getting along in one neighborhood.  He spoke of how in Europe in particular, people are most fascinated with the first chapter of his book  "My American Journey", which dealt about the years he lived in the Bronx. General Powell even mentioned that before the advent of the Internet there was the "AuntNet" - the network of his aunts as well as local mothers who always looked out the apartment windows to look after the kids.  He quipped that "...nothing traveled faster than information on the "AuntNet" when you got into trouble."

The General Colin Apartments (originally called the Fox-Legget Cooperative Apartments), located at 715 Fox Street, is a 50 unit cooperative project built with "sweat equity" as 12 of the 50 units were constructed by the unit's owners themselves in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.  It is also a platinum LEED certified green building in the tradition of the continued greening of the Bronx by developer Les Bluestone of BlueSea Development.  As you may recall, Mr. Bluestone is the man behind the beautiful Eltona in Melrose which is also LEED certified as well as dozens of green townhomes in Melrose.  

According to the press release issued by New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development some of the features of this project are:

  • Green roof that insulates and reduces storm water runoff
  • Co-generation system that produces electricity and hot water
  • Healthy indoor environment through non-toxic materials and controlled filtered ventilation systems
  • Educational materials for residents on green, healthy lifestyles
  • Decorative ironwork and lobby art pieces in honor of General Colin L. Powell by artist BĂ©atrice Coron (who also designed the decorative ironwork for the Eltona)
  • Employment of ex-offenders for construction jobs through Wildcat Service Corp. and construction job training for graduates from Harlem Congregational Communities Inc.

Let's hope that the Bronx continues to lead the rest of New York State as the forefront of green housing and green initiatives!  Don't believe that statement? Well did you know that Melrose is the ONLY Silver LEED Certified neighborhood in the ENTIRE State of New York?

A big Melrose THANK YOU to all who made these affordable possible, especially to BlueSea Development for their continued leadership in providing not only affordable housing, but QUALITY housing which we can all be proud of.
Photo Courtesy of HPD/HPD/L. Racioppo

General Colin Powell and The "Mayor" of Melrose
Photo Courtesy of BronxVibe

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome2Melrose Celebrates One Year Blogging!

On September 10th, 2009, Welcome2Melrose was born and began bringing you all the best which Melrose has to offer.  For so many years mainstream media as well as the rest of the world didn't talk about the great things the South Bronx in general has to offer so I had to take matters into my own hands.

This past year has been a wonderful journey which has brought me closer to you, the readers, Melrose residents and all Bronxites as well.  Welcome2Melrose has received wonderful attention from traditional media such as The New York Times, News12 The Bronx, New York Magazine and even the Bronx' very own talk show, BronxTalk, hosted by Gary Axelbank.  When Coqui Mexicano, our beloved local restaurant and cultural institution was in trouble, Welcome2Melrose broke the story and both the New York Times and the New York Daily News followed suit after reading about it here in Welcome2Melrose.

Going forward into the next year, look forward to many exciting changes and additions to Welcome2Melrose as we continue to expand in order to better serve our community and viewers alike.  As always, we are open to your suggestions so do not hesitate in shooting us an email at or calling us directly at 347-92-MELRO.

Thank you all once again for your support in this endeavor.  It has been a great year and here's to many more to come!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ghetto Film School in the News...

Check out this article in the New York Times about this wonderful institution in neighboring Port Morris/Mott Haven.  The Ghetto Film School has been around for the last ten years and is giving our great borough a chance to fulfill their dreams in the film industry. Great things are happening in the South Bronx!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Times at the 1st Ever Bronx Blogger Fiesta!

I want to give a big thanks to all of you who showed up to the first ever Bronx Blogger Fiesta. 

When Clarisel Gonzalez of Puerto Rico Sun Communications and Bronx Latino approached me about co-hosting this event, we did not know exactly where this was going to go and how it was going to end up.  Well it went beyond my expectations.  Being that this was the first event of its kind, the positive feedback which I received throughout the night told me that the beat must go on.
Tonight we tapped into only a fraction of the brain power, or as Lance Rios of Being Latino stated, "like-minded progressive people," that reside in The Bronx - can you imagine how much farther we can go if we continue this momentum?  

The Bronx is a wonderful place which we love to call home.  There are so many amazing places and great things to do in the Bronx but we are also not blinded to the darker side of life and the long way we have to go to restore the power and dignity our great borough once possessed. Together, if each and every one of us contributes whatever talents we possess into a larger pool, we can make a difference. Whether it's the passion of Tanya Fields who through grass roots activism is teaching local residents to take control of their environment and food supply, or Richard Izquierdo, MD (aka Doc) who has selflessly given back to his community of Hunts Point for almost 50 years through providing the best healthcare network in the South Bronx (and now first class education to the children of the South Bronx) it can be done.  Each and every individual has started somewhere small and kept the momentum going.  

Thank you once again for attending tonight's event and let's get to work - the borough we love, The Bronx, and its residents, our fellow neighbors, need our help.  

A big special thanks to Gary Axelbank of BronxTalk  and his wife Susan for also taking time out of their busy schedules and joining us.  Jorge I. Montalvo...what can I were amazing and thanks for happily volunteering as were great and of course, Darada David, owner of PeaceLove Cafe for kindly donating the space for tonight's event!

Peace and Love,
Ed Garcia Conde
The "Mayor" of Melrose

Oh and the BoogieDowners sent their regrets for not being able to attend.  They have their hands quite full with their lovely new addition!!!