by Olga Luz Tirado


2017 is soon ending and some will agree not a moment too soon. But the New Year is for new beginnings and there is a lot to look forward to coming up in the Boogie Down.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts’ 2018 season is filled with traditional favorites such as salsa, bachata, hip hop, symphonies and ballets. But on JANUARY 28, for the first time in over 35 years, the acclaimed Imago Theater will present a new fairy tale experience titled La Belle, Lost in the World of Automaton. This show meshes elements of steampunk and automata with the original classic Beauty and The Beast. See the entire 2018 lineup here.

In FEBRUARY Hostos Center for Arts & Culture will present a celebration of multicultural sharing for African American History Month! Come listen to the wit, wisdom, and humor of The African Drum as it reveals “How The Turtle Got Its Shell” and three more African folk tales woven into the shadow puppet adventures of little girl Kijana and her animal friends.

Linda’s Jazz Wednesdays brings us The Alma Micic Quartet in MARCH at the An Beal Bocht Café. Alma Micic is an internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist and the March show is comprised of nine selections, five original compositions and four standards. For tickets to this show and other Jazz Nights performances, click here.

APRIL is for the birds at Wave Hill with a new exhibit at the Glyndor Gallery. Avifauna: Interplay of Birds + Habitat features artworks that delve into the relationship between birds and their habitats—from the role birds play in propagating plants to changes in how the natural and built environment effects migration patterns. The exhibit opens April 7. But in the meantime, don’t forget that Wave Hill also offers a great concert series. See the 2018 lineup here. Photo caption: James Prosek, Cypress Swamp, North Carolina, 2015. Hand=painted acrylic on sheetrock, 142 x 304 3/4 inches.

In MAY the annual Bronx Week celebration of the best of The Bronx begins on the 10th and ends with a parade, food and arts festival and free concert on the 20th with lots of great events in between. Go to the Bronx Week page on ilovethebronx.com website for the latest news.

Also in May, the New York Botanical Garden will present Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, a major exhibition exploring the artist’s immersion in the Hawaiian Islands in 1939 when she was commissioned by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Food Company) to paint a pineapple for an ad campaign. She painted a lot of beautiful foliage on that trip, but no pineapples. The exhibit will also feature Aloha Nights with Hawaiian entertainment perfect for date night. The exhibit ends in October.

The Bronx River Art Center will launch a new public art exhibit in Starlight Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Bronx International Exposition. The 2018 Bronx Exposition of Science, Art and Technology will open to the public on JUNE 30th and will feature several art installations.

And speaking of the Bronx River, the River House will also open in 2018 as a cutting edge environmental learning laboratory and base of operations for the restoration of the Bronx River and the development of the Bronx River Greenway. The building will incorporate high-level green design elements and will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system, powered with solar panels, and covered with a blanket of shading greenery. Rainwater will also be collected to help flush toilets, feed the landscaping, and wash canoes. It's been called the "Greenest Building in the South Bronx," by The New York Times! Check www.bronxriver.org for updates.

In JULY Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will bring back the Bronx Summer Concert Series at Orchard Beach so get ready to dance on the sand under the sun while listening to local and top bands.

AUGUST is Bronx SalsaFest, a month-long, borough-wide festival of the music, the musicians and the dance. From walking tours to panel discussions to live performances and, of course, dancing – Bronx SalsaFest pays homage to our salsa legends many of whom hail from El Condado de La Salsa: The BX.

In SEPTEMBER, Arthur Avenue comes alive as thousands of locals and visitors descend upon the Real Little Italy to commemorate Ferragosto, an Italian holiday celebrating the Assumption of Mary. There will plenty of food, drink, music, street performers and fun.

Sunday, the 21st of OCTOBER is the 24th Annual Tour de Bronx, the largest free cycling event in New York State. It’s a great way to see the borough with thousands of other cyclists. Did we mention it’s FREE?

In NOVEMBER we savor the flavors of our diverse cuisine with Savor The Bronx Restaurant Week featuring a diverse array of multicultural cuisine. Go to our YouTube channel and check out some of the videos.

And that brings us back to DECEMBER. Make sure you subscribe to Go Bronx, the official eNewsletter for The Bronx Tourism Council to know what’s happening in the borough. 


The Bronx is home to many immigrants and as such we strive to keep our ethnic traditions alive. There are many shops that offer a variety of items from trinkets, food items and apparel. Travelling to one continent from another is simply a matter of driving or taking public transportation.


At Mary Anne’s Irish Gift Shop, a family-owned boutique, one can find all sorts of hand-knit sweaters and scarves. It’s also one of the few places in the city that carries hand-painted spongeware by Nicholas Mosse, a famous potter from County Kilkenny. The store also has a wide array of jewelry and other gift items for the holidays. Nothing says Erin go bragh like a beautiful Claddagh ring or a hand-made Tipperary stuffed animal.

Neighborhood: Riverdale
Address: 5694 Riverdale Avenue
Website:  maryannesirishgiftshop.com
Hours of operation:
Mon - Sat:  10AM–6PM
Sunday: 12pm-3pm





A great place to find fine Italian imports is in the heart of the Real Little Italy on Arthur Avenue. Cerini Coffee & Gifts offers everything from pasta bowls, fancy espresso machines or Lavazza Coffee. They also carry a variety of authentic food items and decorative wall art.

Neighborhood: Belmont
Address: 2334 Arthur Avenue
Website:  cerinicoffee.com
Hours of operation: Mon-Sat:  9AM–6:30PM, Sun: Closed




Shalom and baruch haba (hello and welcome) to everyone who enters Riverdale Judaica, the premier store for Jewish gifts and religious items. Not only is it a great place to purchase stylish yarmulkes and colorful mezuzahs, but it is also ideal for Hebrew books and for good conversation on customs and ceremonies.

Neighborhood: Riverdale
Address: 3706 Riverdale Avenue
Hours of operation:
Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm
Sun: 11am-6pm





If you’re looking for decorative arts you will appreciate the craftsmanship of African folk art sold at African Masidi & Company. There, you’ll find a selection of textiles, jewelry, tribal masks, wood sculptures and pottery. They also offer an array of world music as well as  traditional musical instruments like the mbira (thumb piano), djembe (West African goblet drum), and various other percussion-like dried gourd shakers. You can even enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of having your hair braided by an in-store hairdresser specializing in plaits.

Neighborhood: Kingsbridge
Address: 5616 Broadway
Hours of operation:
Tues-Fri: 10AM-8PM
Sat: 9AM-6PM





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OFF THE EATEN PATH: A United Nations of Bronx Flavors

BRONX EATS: Top Restaurants Share Secret Recipes


OFF THE EATEN PATH: A United Nations of Bronx Flavors

with Myra Alperson

The Bronx is one of the most diverse boroughs in the city of New York. Of course there is no shortage of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Mexican restaurants considering the borough’s overall Latino population is over 50%. But The Bronx is also home to African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities, and the cuisine is evidence of it.

 In the Van Nest section one can enjoy a delicious Yemeni meal and then choose from one of four markets to buy exotic nuts, dips, cheeses and much more from North Africa and the Middle East. One such place is Al-Meraj, located on 1903 White Plains Road.
Take the #2 train to the Bronx Park East station. Head one block east to White Plains Road and Rhinelander Avenue and you'll feel as though you've just crossed continents!
YUMMY TIP: An all-time favorite is the fresh ground coffee with cardamom; the counterman will grind it on the spot for you.

The Bronx has, not one, but two Cambodian markets both within walking distance of each other. Phnom Penh-Nha Trang is located at 2639 Jerome Avenue and Battambang Market at 229 East Kingsbridge Road. You'll see products from Thailand, Vietnam, China and the Philippines.
YUMMY TIP: Look for home-made specialties, including delicious banana fritters, red bean pudding and sticky rice, made from Cambodian recipes. The owners are always willing to help so don’t hesitate to ask.
Take the #4 the D train to Kingsbridge Road.

This borough also has some of the best Bangladeshi food around. Many markets and restaurants are clustered on or near Starling Avenue in the Parkchester section of The Bronx. A popular favorite is Bangla Garden at 1864 Westchester Avenue. The street level restaurant has just a handful of tables, but you can go downstairs to eat. Vegetarians will love the menu. Right next door is Bangla Town Supermarket at 1860 Westchester Avenue, with a great selection of products from South Asia and other specialties from around the world.
YUMMY TIP: The spinach rice and their chicken kofta in a yogurt sauce is especially tasty.
Take the #6 train to the Parkchester station.

Myra Alperson is the founder and owner of Noshwalks and Noshnews. Noshwalks is a walking tour company that specializes in food tours. Go to www.noshwalks.com for more information, check Noshwalks on Facebook or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Customize your tour. It’s a great culinary adventure for friends, family, school groups or business colleagues.


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Shopping Around The World in The Bronx

BRONX EATS: Top Restaurants Share Secret Recipes


Top Restaurateurs Share Secret Recipes!


The Bronx is known for a great many things: The largest urban zoo in the country, the winningest team in Major League Baseball, and the birthplace of hip hop. It’s also known for its diversity which is evident by the variety of cuisines represented in its restaurants. In a new series called BRONXeats, we will share some recipes from some of the top eateries in various parts of this borough.

Moules Marinieres courtesy of City Island’s BistroSK

Born in Alsace-Lorraine, France, restaurateur Stephane Kane made City Island the home of BistroSK, the only French restaurant in The Bronx. Established in 2011 BSK specializes in Gallic favorites such as escargot persillés (escargot in a garlic and parsley butter sauce) and coq au vin (chicken stew in red wine). But the restaurant is also known for the best mussels this side of the Atlantic.

Download Chef Paredes’ recipe for Moules Marinieres.

See restaurant’s video here.



Mike’s Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana as seen on Food Network

Arthur Avenue is considered the Real Little Italy and was recently named one of America’s Greatest Streets by the American Planning Association. Celebrity Chef and 3rd generation Arthur Avenue business owner David Greco shares his secret eggplant parmigiana recipe. The best part of this recipe is that you don’t have to go far to get the ingredients. Everything can be found at Mike’s Deli inside the Arthur Avenue Market. Oh, and one little piece of advice…it’s pronounced MOO tsah rela. If you ask for 
MAH tsa rela David will look at you funny. Here is a “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” champion Eggplant Parimigiana by Chef David Greco of Mike’s Deli.

Download David Greco's Famous Eggplant Parmigiana recipe


Moss Café Scottish Drop Scones

Emily Weisberg grew up in a small town in Wisconsin surrounded by farmland and has worked in restaurants for many years. When she moved to The Bronx in 2014, she found it difficult to locate farm-to-table options that would nourish her dietary preferences in the borough. Banking on the idea that others shared her need for organic, vegetarian, pescatarian and kosher options, she opened up Moss Café, a quaint eatery located in Riverdale. The majority of the produce comes from local farms and farm coops lending itself to an ever-changing menu inspired by the season. The restaurant, with its culturally-diverse staff and customer base, has become a hub where the community comes to connect over a glass of wine, beer or some espresso.

Download Emily’s recipe for Scottish Drop Scones

See restaurant’s video here






Shopping Around The World in The Bronx


OFF THE EATEN PATH: A United Nations of Bronx Flavors

On October 4, 2016, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined the American Planning Association (APA) and elected officials, business and community leaders from across the city as the APA named Arthur Avenue as one of the Great Streets of America, as part of the organization’s annual list of Great Places in America in celebration of National Planning Month.

Arthur Avenue is one of the classic streets of New York City, combining ethnic and economic diversity and a strong commercial and cultural base. It celebrates its rich Italian heritage and cultures with highly-rated restaurants, butcher shops, fine bakeries, world-class delis and groceries, and shops of all kinds, all in dense, compact mixed-used buildings.

“This is a tremendous recognition for Arthur Avenue, and The Bronx is proud to celebrate today as this amazing street is named one of the greatest in our nation by the American Planning Association,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Belmont community is filled with amazing restaurants and shops, and is one of the finest tourist destinations in the region, if not the world. We already knew how great this neighborhood is…but now the rest of the country knows that the best place to be is right here in The Bronx, right here on Arthur Avenue.” 

 “Arthur Avenue is an example of how careful planning, public engagement and innovation can create a better place to live, work, play and visit,” said Carol Rhea, FAICP, president of APA. “This collaboration have made Arthur Avenue a legacy and destination.” 

As part of National Community Planning Month, APA’s Great Places in America program recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces in the United States that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces of 2016 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

“This distinction is an honor that further cements Arthur's Ave indelible contributions and significance to the Bronx and New York City. The street's remarkable history, long-standing businesses, cultural importance and people who have made it great is now receiving the recognition it rightfully deserves, and I am proud to represent the district where Arthur Avenue is located,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

“As Chairman of the Business Improvement District and one of many third and fourth generation business owners on Arthur Avenue, I want to express our gratitude for honoring Arthur Avenue as one of the five best streets in America.  Generations of Italian families, and those that support this community, have helped insure Arthur Avenue remains vibrant, authentic and true to its deep cultural roots. Anyone who has walked, shopped or dined on Arthur Avenue appreciates its unique qualities as an al fresco shopping bazaar. We hope the gracious recognition we received today will inspire many more and future generations to come find out what makes Arthur Avenue, or as so many refer to it ‘the neighborhood,’ such a special place,” said Peter Madonia, Chairman, Belmont Business Improvement District and Owner, Madonia Brothers Bakery.

“The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation is delighted that Arthur Avenue is being recognized for their iconic neighborhood and businesses that provide a warm and savory flavor to our borough.  It is an area that is full of hard working small businesses that is unique and beloved by all including the many tourists that frequent it daily.  We look forward to supporting it for decades to come,” said Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

"Since 1981, the Belmont Library has sat adjacent to Arthur Avenue, offering key services to the vibrant community while enjoying the energy, uniqueness, and spirit of the Bronx's own Little Italy," said New York Public Library Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall. "The dedicated staff at this branch can certainly attest to the greatness of this storied street and the people that bring it to life. We are proud to honor that tradition with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and The American Planning Association."

“Arthur Avenue embodies the American Dream that has made our Borough so strong. It is an economic engine that has deep roots within the Italian American culture and that continues to draw and captivate visitors whether they live around the corner or across New York State,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I am very proud to join Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the American Planning Association in recognizing Arthur Avenue as one the greatest streets in our country.” 

“Arthur Avenue is one of our gems. Tens of thousands of tourists come through this area we call the real Little Italy to experience the food and the culture of Italian Americans here in The Bronx,” said Olga Luz Tirado, executive director, The Bronx Tourism Council.

Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 260 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces around the country. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement and a vision for the future.

For the third year, members of the public can suggest their favorite public space, neighborhood, or street to earn a “People’s Choice” designation. During the first half of October, individuals can offer suggestions via APA’s social media channels using the hashtag #APAgreatplaces. APA will select five finalists that the public can vote on via APA’s website. The “People’s Choice” winner is announced in early November 2016.

For more information about these streets, as well as APA’s Great Neighborhoods and Public Spaces for 2016 and previous years, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

You can also find more information on National Community Planning Month by visiting www.planning.org/ncpm.


News Coverage:

PIX11: Arthur Avenue to be honored as one of America’s Great Places

Next City: Ranking Public Spaces That Put Community First

Metro: Bronx’s Arthur Avenue named Great Street of America

CBS New York: Bronx’s Arthur Avenue Recognized As One Of The ‘Great Streets Of America’

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