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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All African-American WWII Combat Unit Topic of Film Screening At PeaceLove Cafe

This Saturday, February 26th, join Italian filmmaker, Fred Kuwornu at PeaceLove Cafe for the free screening of 'Inside Buffalo'.  Inside Buffalo chronicles the story of the 92nd Buffalo Division, an all African-American segregated combat unit that fought in Italy during World War II.

Here's what the invite has to say:

Reconstructing for the first time an important piece of African American history and placing it within the context of Civil Rights history, the award-winning Inside Buffalo tells the story of the 92nd Buffalo Division, the all African American segregated combat unit that fought with outstanding heroism in Italy during World War II.
Called "Buffalo Soldiers," these men fought two wars at the same time: one against the Nazis, the other against racial discrimination. Those who survived found that their contributions went unnoticed upon their return to United Stated.
Director Fred Kuwornu, an Italian filmmaker of African heritage, finds little-known aspects of the story, including details of the friendships forged between African American soldiers and the Italian partisan fighters and villagers they liberated from fascist rule. It is a 2008 meeting with Spike Lee—who was shooting Miracle at St. Anna on location in Tuscany—that inspired Kuwornu to start this very personal voyage of discovery, culminating in the powerful documentary.
The last living African American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII, Vernon Baker, recounts vividly his wartime experiences and the heroism of his unit.
Film screening of the documentary and discussion with filmaker Fred Kuwornu.
Presented in collaboration with the and PeaceLove Cafe'.
Thank to support the Legacy of the 92nd Buffalo Soldiers Division in WWII and American Vets.

Visit Inside Buffalo website
PeaceLove Cafe'
617 Melrose Ave, between 151st and 152nd street, Bronx, NY
(347) 577 6397
Take the #2 or #5 train to 3rd Avenue 149th Street and walk 2 blocks to 617 Melrose Ave between 151st & 152nd Street
or Take the # 2,15,19,21,55 bus to the Hub Area.
Free Admission

Thursday, February 10, 2011

PeaceLove Cafe Hosts Bronx Social Media Week

Bronx Social Media Week was celebrated this past Tuesday, February 8th in Melrose and hosted at PeaceLove CafĂ© by Clarisel Gonzalez of PRSun Communications.  Panelists included an excellent representation of Bronxites such as  Mark Callendar of BronxMedia, Nicole Perrino, founder of Bronx Mama, BronxTalk's Gary Axelbank, and myself, founder and editor-in-chief of  Welcome2Melrose as well as Welcome2TheBronx and mynewyork.
Instead of boring you with my own personal details of the event and for the sake of trying to be as unbiased as possible, feel free to read more on the event by Shannon Lee Gilstad who attended the event and wrote about the evening from her own point of view.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Old Bronx Courthouse Hosts Most Exclusive Dinner of The Year


This past Saturday, the Old Bronx Courthouse in Melrose was open yet again.  This time it wasn't for a tour but for a special dinner for the First Annual Bronx Pipe Smoking Society.  The email invitation was quite simple:  Do not tell a soul of the event, dress code is to be "warm" formal (due to the lack of heat in the empty shell of a building), bring your favorite wine glass and arrive at 7PM SHARP.  Password to get in: Perique.  The fare?  Small game such as possum, fisher, muskrat, raccoon, beaver (yes...beaver...and raccoon).

I arrived at the old, grey landmarked beauty with 3 minutes to spare before show time.  Several other guests also began congregating at the gate all eager to get inside out of the cold - and into the cold again.  At exactly 7PM a gentleman came out to unlock the gate and welcome us to the event.  He asked that we simply follow the candles to the our destination.  As we made our way from the foyer and into the lobby we made a left and followed the trail of tea lights into a pitch black room.  The trail of lights led us to another room with tons of steel debris and a decrepit staircase lined with candles all the way to the top.  We braced ourselves for an awkward climb and within seconds we ascended into a large, cavernous chamber.

A long banquet table was set up to accommodate approximately 30 guests, candle lit and all.  Slowly but surely the guests began to arrive, many with dishes of the rather exotic menu.  Baron Ambrosia, our very own Bronx Culinary Ambassador, was the brainchild of this event and only someone like the Baron could pull this off.

The dishes were all prepared by various chefs and foodies with whatever game was trapped by Jim DeStephano, who the Baron became friends with at native american event.  It was very interesting to listen to the challenges the chef had to prepare something that they typically won't find at a local market further complicated by not having experience in preparing such dishes.  That, however, didn't stop them from creating quite the exquisite dishes.

The Raccoon Sexton, prepared by Julia Sexton, was deliciously sweet and was done as a confit of Adirondack raccoon with juniper berries, sage and rosemary served on a Balthezar baguette.  Rafael Mata Sr. owner of local Melrose Mexican restaurant, Xochimilco, made the Marta Pescadora Con Salsa De Guaje - fisher cooked with guajes and Chile morita served with chayotes over green rice.  Both of these dishes were particular hits.

These small mammals weren't the only exotic dishes on the menu.  In no particular order of exoticness were, Columbian Big Butt Ants (lightly pan-fried and pretty much tasted like popcorn), Dak Dae (a Thai dish of fried silk worm pupae) and last but definitely not least, Som Tum with Maengda which is a mixture of shredded green papaya, tomato, string beans and ground peanuts with giant water bugs.  Yes...water bugs.  And no...I did not try that last one.  I stopped at the Dak Dae which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Mostly everyone tried a little bit of each but there were a few, like myself, who were a little too squeamish to even consider trying the water bug dish.  All in all it was a great evening with great people, sharing stories of their experiences with exotic fare and if anything, we all basically learned how to survive in case of war or disaster.

I wonder what Baron Ambrosia will think of next?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coqui Mexicano and PeaceLove Make It To am New York

Parranda @ Coqui Mexicano

The Scheme @ PeaceLove Cafe
In a recent article on "SoBro" in am New York (note to the readers:  Let's stick with the original names of our neighborhoods, i.e. Melrose, Mott Haven, Port Morris, etc) Coqui Mexicano and PeaceLove Cafe were noted amongst other local establishments as part of the "Artsy Side" of Melrose.  This is something we at welcome2melrose have come to known for quite some time and we are proud to know that the rest of NYC were let in on that very secret.
A big welcome2melrose CONGRATULATIONS to Darada David of PeaceLove and Diego and Danisha of Coqui Mexicano for making us proud!