Kingsbridge Armory to become an Ice Rink

Mark Messier

A few weeks back, the members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition,the  Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA), and the Mary Mitchell Center had a small historic demonstration outside of the The Kingsbridge Armory, also known as the Eighth Regiment Armory. 

The Armory which is located on West Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx was built in the 1910s and  is possibly the largest armory in the world.

The demonstration was a celebration. The Armony which was closed to the community since 1996, is scheduled to reopen due to the redevelopment proposals announced last year.

The Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) includes:

  • More than 50,00o square feet of community space
  • 9 year round indoor ice rinks
  • 1 Million to sponsor local children’s ice time
  • 100% Living wage jobs and 51% local targeted hiring for local residents
  • mentoring and after-school programs
  • a small business incubator and opportunities for minority own businesses

The community seemed excited for the reopening of the armory but not too many seemed that excited about it becoming an ice-rink. I do not think  many Bronx residents are New York Ranger fans. When Mark Messir, who is pictured here, was announced to the platform, not to many people knew that he was a former professional ice hockey player (myself included).

Nevertheless, I don’t think that matters. I think what matters the most  is through the Armory, many will be introduced to new and different sports, many will be able to support themselves and their families with jobs and more children will have places to go after school. Dreams will be made and goals will be reached.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

This pass Saturday, I went to the Museum of Natural History with two little children from my church, Azeria and Jeremiah.

I received museum vouchers when I attended the Young People’s  Unity day at my church and planed to go to the museum alone; however, changed my mind and decided to babysit for fun…yeah, I love children that much!

I’m glad I did because we ended up hanging out with Therese and Peter. We met at the museum and had so much fun together that we plan to have another play-date this weekend.

While I enjoyed the Butterfly Garden, the Journey to the Stars and the other exhibitions I thought the Flight of the Butterflies was the best one! It’s a short documentary on the monarch butterflies. It speaks about their journey from the United States to Mexico every fall. Before I watch this documentary I thought the butterflies died at the end of the summer. I didn’t know they actually migrated across seas to a place in Mexico!

At the end of the documentary, two things came to me: God is simply AWESOME and I its time to travel to Mexico!

Lovers with a Watcher

Lovers

 

Watch while we love

and watch while we fall

in love we watch each other

and hold one another

and look for a future

together

that is limitless

but not flawless

that is full of surprises

that are unavoidable

watch

and you’ll see

 

 

Sometimes I look at a photo and make up a poem on the spot…all I do is watch.

Rokafella: The Story of a Female Break Dancer

Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting female Break Dancer, Rokafella, in East Harlem. I met her at a meet and greet hosted by Momma’s Hip-Hop Kitchen.

I am not into Break Dancing but was interested in her story of how she became a female Break Dancer during a time when it was strictly for the fella’s  and how she had enough stamina to actually keep it up until today.

This is the story she told me:

My name is ‘Rokafella’ because I seriously used to ‘rock the fellas’ back in the day. I used to show the guys that women could Break Dance too. I used to spin on my head and everything…I started Break Dancing in 1994. I danced all types of styles; Hip-Hop, House, Salsa, and African. I felt Break Dancing was missing so I started to Break Dance. Even though I danced all those genres, I am known for my Break Dancing.

I came up against misogyny and the gender thing. The better I got at my craft, the more people were resistant to hiring me. I had this determination to continue because I was capable of continuing my training. The more I trained, the more determined I became. 

My parents were not really supportive of me Break-Dancing because they saw me struggling; and you know, parents don’t like watching their children struggle…

It was in Manhattan where I trained. I was in an all guy group. One of the guys from the group is my husband today.

Today, I am still dancing. Along with my husband, Kwikstep, I founded a dance company name Full Circle. It is a dance organization that preserves Break-Dancing and other Hip-Hop dance forms. 

This year Rokafella will be performing at Teatro Pregones Theater with her husband, Kwikstep. They will be sharing their love story with the world on stage on Thursday, February 14 at 7pm. If you are in the Bronx and are looking for something different to do on this Valentine’s Day, I would encourage you to attend Rokafella’s show.

Rokafella and students from Full Circle will be performing at Hosto’s Community College March 2. This is their fifth year being apart of Momma’s Hip- Hop Kitchen’s program.

Rok- da- Bridge

Photo Credit: Yu Wadee

Line at Post Office

Post Office

 

Beginning in August of this year, 2013,  the Post Office will not be open on Saturdays because every Saturday  it is open, it  looses 25 Million dollars a day. By closing it down on Saturdays, it will be saving over a billion dollars a day.

The last Saturday that I went to the Post Office was last month. It was so crowed and everyone there seemed to be edgy. The line was the longest I ever saw at the Post Office.

For people who can’t get to the Post Office during the week, and depend on the Post Office being open on Saturdays, it’s going to be even harder for them.

The main reason for the Post Office troubles seems to be the internet.

In Celebration of a Great Work

Along with the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center,  I am preparing for the long, historical, event-filled weekend (it’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s day on Monday. Saturday is National Volunteer Day and to top things off President Obama will be sworn in for a second term).

For starters, tomorrow, Mary Mitchell will be hosting a celebration of Dr. King with the children by simply helping the children to understand the importance of what Dr. King did for the American people. I hope the children look at Dr. King as a man who did something they can all do- dedicate their time and love to their  community, state, and country and even the world. (Do you know Martin Luther King Jr. is the only lay person in American History to actually get a national holiday?)

Some, as children, learn about Dr. King really young but not all understand that he was not great because his name was King or because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he was great because he did the work that God called him to do and put his entire heart into his work. If only more people would work more diligently, perhaps our communities would be a little better.

I was listening to an old recording of my deceased apostle, Bishop Goodwin, and he said: Paul told Timothy, stir up the gift that is in you…[if] you want the Victory, stir up the gift.”

In other words, whatever that is good, that God is calling you to do- do it and do it well. You may be a child and your duty may be to go to school. Don’t go to school and be a disappointment to your parents. Be the best student you can be…Whatever it is that you are on this earth to do- whatever that is good- do it and do it well.

puzzle

Living life to be Golden!

Hi y’all doing this is Sam Sam taking over for his sister for tonight. LWB © *;

This is Golden Man. You have the ”Golden Child,” but he is the Golden Man…

About 4 to 5 years ago, someone I knew took a picture with this young man. And coming out of Juniors tonight I seen him once again doing the same thing  What a kawinkydink… He is usually around and or between 42 and 34 street downtown Manhattan. (And he talks if you talk to him, not a total mime yet. Also obviously he is around the tourist and crowed areas. He has to make that money like everyone else.) He said the picture that you see above is from when he first started, about the first week to month. That was his spot right at olive garden downtown. As he begApril's Golden Manin to learn about his new trade he began to venture out. People when you see other people trying to make a living with various odd legal and reasonable jobs such as this young man or selling legal goods on the street. Please don’t look down on them because you don’t know what you may have to do when it is all said and done. You may not have money or food for them if they are asking for that, but a “how your doing”, “nice work”, or “good job” goes a long way even on a bad day.
But that’s my bit for today have a good one and as a lady I know says: ”Stay bless ladies and gentlemen.”

Judge Llinet Beltré-Rosado

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 I went to the  honorable Llinet Beltré-Rosado induction ceremony to witness her become a judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

I am glad I went for a number of reasons.

First of all, I really wanted to go for self-inspiration. When you get around people who are following their dreams and are succeeding, it makes you want to succeed.

Next, I wanted to hear her testimony. It’s something about listening to strong people testimonies that helps you become stronger.

I am happy she invited me to support her but I felt I wasn’t doing much considering her friendship and kindness to my family and my community, which means so much more to me.

I learned a lot about her that I didn’t know before, like, in her ‘free’ time, she volunteers for the community as a member of Community Board 4. In the words of our Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., the community board is partly responsible for the decreasing of  gun violence (we currently have the lowest gun violence since 1966) and work to create a more family knit community within the Bronx.

I knew a little of her family’s success story. For example, I knew of how her mom was a single parent from Dominican Republic and raised her daughters in the projects where they all rose to greatness. One is employed by Columbia University and the other is an artist. I only knew of them but got to meet them and actually hear them speak. Even though I do not understand Spanish, when one of her sisters, Casilda, made reference to the Trujillo era, I felt the revolutionary spirit inside the court room! If she spoke a little longer, tears probably would have been shed.

One last reason I wanted to attend is when you are young and your journey is being created; it is important to listen to how others made it to their destination you never know if you would have to take a similar step.

Moreover, I think God wanted me to be there;  for when it came time for her to be sworn in as a judge, there was no Bible in the court room! She got sworn in on my tiny Bible.

Induction Ceremony

Maria José Nolasco

Maria Jose Nolasco

Maria José Nolasco who sang the National Anthem of the Dominican Republic at Hon. Llinte Beltré- Rosado’s induction ceremony. She has a beautiful voice.

Hat of the Month

A week ago, my cousin who is a milliner and a seamstress,  Nandi J. Shuler, sent me an email. She was recognized in an UK newspaper for her first felt hat. She attended a two-day hat blocking course in Atlanta, GA in September and learned how to block a straw capeline and a felt hood.

According to the article, Nandi used to think that block hats were made on factory machines but when she found out she could learn the craft by hand, it perked her interest.

Apparently she took the hat blocking course taught by Jan Wutkowski in September and by the first week of October had already made her first felt hat (which is what she is recognized for).

When I saw my cousin in October, I was impressed by the hat she was wearing and asked her where she got it from; nevertheless, I was not really surprised when she replied ‘I made it’.

You can read the full article at www.HATalk.com.

CONGRATULATIONS Nandi!

Hat of the Month

Don’t forget to purchase my 2013 calendar for only $45.00.