Community Information

Holiday season events taking place around the borough

By Patrick Rocchio

Bronx Times

The holiday season is being celebrated throughout the borough by many organizations.

From tree lightings in Throggs Neck and Westchester Square to toy giveaways and ongoing promotions at some 80 stores in the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, there will be a lot to do and experience in coming weeks.

In Throggs Neck, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and the Throggs Neck Merchants Association are teaming up to bring the community its annual Christmas Tree Lighting and visit from Santa, who will be giving out toys, courtesy of the merchants, to the kids on Sunday, December 3 in an event beginning at 5 p.m. at Derosa O’Boyle Triangle.

After the tree is lit, Santa Claus is typically spirited to the location on a fire truck provided by Edgewater Park Volunteer Fire Department, and gives away gifts and takes pictures with the children.

Once again this year, the assemblyman said, the St. Benedict’s Choir will entertain the children and their families.

“There is a rather festive atmosphere,” said Benedetto. “It is a community affair bringing people together and everyone has warmth in his or her hearts.”

“It is a great kickoff to the holiday season,” said Bob Jaen, TNMA president, adding that the merchants will distribute over 1,000 toys.

Over on Fordham Road, Santa Claus is coming to town at Bryan Park on Friday, December 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. for the 13th Annual Sparkling in the Heart of Fordham kick-off event.

Toys will be distributed to the first 600 children, and there will be music, performances by Fordham University’s Gloria Dei Choir and entertainer Rhina Valentin, along with raffles and prizes.

There will be a lighting of a 20-foot tree in the park as well.

“It is packed every year,” said Daniel Bernstein, Fordham Road BID deputy director, speaking of the December 1st extravaganza. “Last year we had 3,500 people.”

The event kicks off a promotion that includes discounts at 80 merchants from December 1 to Sunday, December 17, said Daniel Bernstein, Fordham Road BID deputy director.

Participating stores along the borough’s largest shopping strip are offering ten percent discounts, with shoppers who bring a BID newspaper advertisement, a MetroCard, a printout from the BID’s website or an invitation to the December 1 event having access to the discounts.

The Westchester Square Business Improvement District will be hosting ‘old St. Nick’ at Williambridge Road and East Tremont Avenue during their fifth annual Holidays in the Square event on Friday, December 8.

Lisa Sorin, WSBID executive director, said that this year’s event will include not only Santa, who will be giving out toys to children while supplies last in Owen Dolen Park, but also yuletide carolers visiting stores and stilt walkers entertaining crowds.

The event will kick off at 5 p.m. that evening, she said, adding hot chocolate and cider will be served.

At the Throggs Neck Shopping Center, children will have the opportunity to have their pictures taken with Santa Claus on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 and on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 between 2 and 7 p.m.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260?4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bronx Times - December 5, 2017 at 11:42 am

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Zaro’s Family Bakery reopened in Parkchester to fanfare

By Bob Guiliano from The Bronx Times

Zaro’s Family Bakery reopened amid fanfare on Wednesday, November 22, in Parkchester, where it was located from June 1959 until it closed in 2015.

The ceremony was attended by Zaro family members, along with Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.

“We had a short hiatus and we’re now back and thrilled to be back in the Bronx,” said owner Stuart Zaro during the grand reopening festivities.

“Parkchester has been part of our makeup forever,” Zaro said. “We opened a little bit yesterday and mostly today. We’re very proud to have the borough president and his father to join us today to celebrate with us.”

“We are here to announce that Zaro’s is back in Parkchester, and we’re here with Stuart Zaro and the whole Zaro family,” said Diaz Jr.

“When they departed from this place a couple of years ago, I have to tell you it was one of the most emotional days for Bronxites and for this immediate community,” Diaz Jr. said.

Both Diazs expressed thanks that Zaro’s is back in Parkchester, on time for Thanksgiving.

“We have so much to be thankful for,” Diaz Jr. said. “We are thankful for our families, I’m thankful for my dad, I’m thankful for good health in our family, I’m thankful that the Bronx gave me another term to serve for four years.”

Diaz Jr. also spoke about gains in the Bronx on economic development, job creation, new businesses, and also “making sure that those who have been with us for many, many decades still have a home here.”

Michael Zaro announced that when customers came to Zaro’s on its grand reopening the day before Thanksgiving, that 25 percent of the proceeds would be going to Puerto Rico relief efforts.

To commemorate the event, the Zaro family pledged to aid ongoing humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria earlier this fall.

Zaro’s new storefront, at 1309 Metropolitan Avenue, “has an indoor/outdoor feel provided by new glass doors opening on the side,” said Josh Birns, leasing director for the landlord, Olshan Properties, in a news release.

Birns added that the site is “just two spaces down from the original location, still steps from the (#6 Parkchester station). We’re confident this will be another home run location for them.”

Zaros previous location was on Hugh Grant Circle from 1959 to 2015. A Boston Market franchise leased its former space.

It originally opened in 1927 in the Bronx on the Edward L. Grant Highway.

It has six other locations in New York City and one in New Jersey.

“We’re thrilled to be back in the old neighborhood and to see so many warm and familiar faces again,” said Brian Zaro, executive vice president of Zaro’s Family Bakery, in the release. “As we heat up the ovens once more, we do so (Wednesday) in aid of our friends and family in Puerto Rico who are dear to so many of our valued customers in Parkchester and throughout the city.”

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at

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Throggs Neck Restaurant Week offers cool deals during dog days of summer


By Arthur Cusano

Bronx Times

The Throggs Neck Merchant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week kicked off Thursday, August 18 at Rosy’s Manor Hall on East Tremont Avenue.

Merchant association president Stephen Kaufman said the event, which runs from August 19 to September 14, is aimed at boosting business in what is often seen as a quiet time for neighborhood eateries, and as a way to draw attention to what he considered a burgeoning dining destination.

“I think we’re becoming a real restaurant row,” Kaufman said. “The restaurants are great and we want them to develop a relationship where customers can dine on great food and not have it cost a fortune.”

The association held a restaurant week in January, which Kaufman said was very successful

“It was brutal outside, but a lot of the restaurants did great, they made money,” he said.

Yamada Japanese restaurant manager Kelly Chen was one of the merchants serving samples of dishes to guests.

She said the event was a good way to bring neighborhood merchants together and help build community.

“I hope this gets even better as more and more restaurants join,” she said.

Yamada was the first in the area to offer sushi in Throggs Neck before it caught on in the outer boroughs.

“Before us, a lot of our customers would go to Manhattan to eat sushi,” she said. “When we opened they were so happy.”

Yamada is offering a special prix fixe deal through September 4: an appetizer, main course and dessert for $25.

In addition to sushi, Yamada also offers a wide variety of Japanese dishes like hibachi and teriyaki.

They recently renovated the restaurant to accommodate more customers and a full bar, offering a large selection of sake.

“Sushi and sake go perfect together,” she said.

Cabo Mexican restaurant general manager Rubin Ramos has operated the eatery for eight months

He said publicity from merchant’s association events like restaurant week go a long way in boosting awareness of neighborhood eateries like his.

“We have good food there, but people walk by the restaurant and they have no knowledge of our food,” Ramos said.

Cabo executive chef Fernando Avelino will offer up a new three-course prix fixe menu special every night for restaurant week, in addition to the regular menu, Ramos added.

“We have pork chops, we have churrasco skirt steaks, we have salmon a la plancha, a lot of stuff – not just tacos and burritos.”

Association technology director Hussein Nouri said the official poster featuring participants would soon be all over the neighborhood.

“We’re going to start putting them out in all the neighborhoods and putting them in windows,” he said. “We advertise on Facebook and so far we have over 2,000 people who have signed up for our updates.”

For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bronx Times - December 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

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Ribbon cut on $2 million in renovations at Morris Heights Health Center

By Patrick Rocchio

Bronx Times

Morris Heights Health Center celebrated the completion of $2 million in renovations that should help in its delivery of community-based health care.

The community-based health center had a lot to celebrate at a ceremony on Thursday, August 11.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera was on hand to cut the ribbon.

The renovations were funded by $1.5 million in NYC Council Bronx delegation money and over $500,000 from Cabrera in capital improvement funding, according to the councilman.

Gabriel Vonleh, MHHC president, said that Cabrera was instrumental in securing funding from the city council, and said the councilman had come to the aid of the medical center when MHHC asked for help.

“What they have done is to change the entire look and feel of the atrium and some of our exam rooms, and Vonleh. “They have brought positive success to this community, bringing (MHHC) to the level of any high end medical center.”

In the ceremony celebrating the occasion, Cabrera said that MHHC was a beacon of hope in the community.

“It (now) looks like a very welcoming, inviting family health center right here on Burnside,” said the councilman.

He added: “These upgrades greatly improve the quality of care provided to this community.”

Among the improvements to MHHC was second and third floor upgrades to all patient exam rooms, renovations to an atrium, as well as new ceiling tiles, flooring and sinks.

They also include a new waiting area and fire alarm system, as well as improved air conditioning and ventilation, energy efficient lighting and asbestos abatement.

The celebration of the upgrades coincided with National Health Center Week, which was recognized at several points in the program.

As part of the week dedicated to recognizing the contributions of community based healthcare providers, Senator Gustavo Rivera presented a proclamation celebrating MHHC as part of the weeklong celebration.

The senator said that MHHC is a long-standing community center that is federally qualified to provide health care, and that the organization is “engrained in the community.”

“The difference between (MHHC) and other types of organizations like hospitals, for example, is that they are based in the community, they are operated by people in the community, (and) they understand community issues,” said Rivera, adding that people can get affordable and quality health care at MHHC.

Orlando Roboredo gave MHHC a proclamation from the mayor’s office. Roboredo is Americorps program manager for the Community Health Care Association of New York State.

MHHC’s LEAP Awards were presented to employees who exemplify the community health center movement.

Award winners were Merril Alexander, Jonelle Chang, Tommy Chen, Justine Flores, Heidi Kolman, Kay-Ann Lawrence, Kimberly Lopez, Dr. N’Gadie Kamara-Taylor, Johnny Urena and Amy Xu.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260?4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

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[THROGGS NECK] Throggs Neck Christmas Tree Lighting Brightens Spirits


By Robert Wirsing

Bronx Times

The Throggs Neck community had a merry time celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree lighting sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto on Sunday, December 4 at DeRosa and O’Boyle Triangle.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus traveled all the way from the North Pole to meet local children and help distribute gifts supplied by the Throggs Neck Merchants Association.

Source: Bronx Times Reporter

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bronx Times - at 2:41 pm

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