compiled by Mike Fitelson
There were cheers at Coogan’s Restaurant during the Yankees-Twins game on Fri., Oct. 9, but they weren’t for the Bronx Bombers.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson visited the W. 168th Street mainstay and was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.
“We’ve got a guest star that walked in right now,” said Coogan’s owner Peter Walsh over a musician’s P.A. system. “He’s not like some downtown guy who buys an election.”
Thompson encouraged patrons of the bar to get out and vote on Nov. 3, but kept his comments short.
“I’m interrupting the Yankees and I know better than that,” he said.
Thompson was all business on Tue., Oct. 13 during the first debate with incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the recently renovated El Museo del Barrio. Hosted and broadcast by cable news channel NY1, it seemed that a smiling City Council Member Robert Jackson appeared front and center in nearly every crowd shot the network made.
According to a spokesperson, Jackson, the chair of the City Council’s Education Committee said he attended the debate to show his support for Thompson.
Because of mayoral control, the spokesperson said, “We have a pretty adversarial relationship with Mayor Bloomberg.”
The decrepit, graffiti scarred building at 452 Ft. Washington Avenue owed by Dorothea Levine is looking a little bit better.
Levine and her tenants are locked in a court battle to get a host of repairs made – like replacing ripped out bathrooms – for residents who have save over $500,000 in a legal rent strike.
The building looks better because someone called it in to State Senator Eric Schneiderman’s anti-graffiti line and the workers at City Solve power washed and painted the building late at night. City Solve owner Bruce Pienkny said the building was so bad he ran out of solvent.
“It was such a big job we ran out of chemicals on the 180th Street side,” he said.
Pienkny and City Solve have removed graffiti from six or seven residential buildings and is contracted to do 50. Anyone who would like to take advantage of the program can call Senator Scheniderman’s office at 212-544-0173.
If the weather is nice, Swinder’s Cove is a great place to have a lunch – but most people get there by land. On Oct. 4, a group of teens from the South Bronx rowed up to shore in the eight boats they had built themselves. According to The New York Times, the high schoolers were part of the Rocking the Boat after-school program, which teaches at risk teens how to build rowboats and then takes them around the island. The former landlubbers started their journey at Pier 40 on Manhattan’s west side, stopped in the neighborhood for lunch, and ended their journey where they started. The event was a fundraiser that brought in $60,000 for the program.
Some local eighth-grade students also broadened their horizons, but this time with both feet on terra firma. After reading about Yeshiva University’s new Glueck Center for Jewish Study in the Manhattan Times, Mr. Al Blount’s English class from I.S. 143 in Washington Heights got a tour of the new building. After a tour, the group visited a Sukkah on campus, a temporary hut built during the holiday of Sukkot in which people share meals and prayer. They also learned about the four plants that are used with special blessings in the synagogue.
Special congratulations are due to Casa Duarte Cultural and Performing Arts Center director Debralee Santos. On Oct. 4 she and her family welcomed her son, Matthew Patrick into the world. According to Santos, her new son has “blazing gray eyes and equally potent lung capacity.”