"It's really good for that neighborhood," Ms. Velazquez, 53, said of the new malls. "It's murder to drive, and we're going to have stuff at our fingertips."
Still, many Riverdalians prefer the drive to Westchester -- or a walk down Johnson Avenue -- to the short trip to Kingsbridge's shopping options.
A Riverdale lawyer waiting for the Bx7 bus on a recent weeknight said he might consider shopping at the BJ's Wholesale Club and other stores coming to West 237th Street or some of the stores soon opening at a mall on West 231st Street. But the prospect did not fire Bill Lamot's imagination.
"I would say most people from Riverdale don't really come down here other than to ride the train," said Mr. Lamot, 50. "I guess if people happen to be down here, they might shop here."
The first of several large stores at Broadway Plaza on West 231st Street opened last week. An Aldi's, Sports Authority and TJ Maxx are expected to follow the Party City later this fall, although the mall's developer did not answer inquiries seeking dates and other details.
A Petco at West 237th Street is opening on Saturday, Sept. 27, according to a press release from the store. Other large stores in the same shopping center, including a BJ's, are expected to open in October, according to developer Metropolitan Realty & Associates.
That site is called Riverdale Crossing -- perhaps a reference to the fact most Riverdalians will be crossing by on their way to work.
"I know they're building something there, but I've never checked what it will be," Riverdalian Peter Drubetskoy, 37, said while waiting for the bus on West 231st Street.
While relatively affluent Riveralians will keep their distance from the new stores, which target middle- and low-income consumers, the malls could transform the character of Kingsbridge itself.
Professor Setha Low, who researches the anthropology of space and place at CUNY's Graduate Center, said the new sites could bring a subtle form of gentrification to Kingsbridge.
"People in the lower and middle classes of New York are not living a very luxurious life," she said. "Very small adjustments can change the economy of a neighborhood."
"It's always hard to completely predict, but malls in general, especially when they include big box stores, do tend to create a change," she added.
Ms. Low went on to say the Broadway malls could have a ripple effect on the cost of renting a home in Kingsbridge, driving some residents out.
She added that large public spaces centered around stores, such as Westchester Square, make for "the kind of life that many of us think is important to a healthy and just city."
The mall's developers did not answer requests for access to the sites. Rumors suggest Broadway Plaza will include a Starbucks that could open onto a wide sidewalk off of Broadway itself. But the amenity seemed to fall short of Ms. Low's ideals.
"If the idea in New York is we're trying to create a more just city, I think we have to stop for a minute and think about what three malls will do about the entire ecology of the neighborhood," she said, grouping River Plaza on West 225th Street with the nearby Broadway malls.
While Riverdalians and experts might be skeptical of the new sites, Kingsbridge residents seem to welcome the influx of shopping options.
"I'm just looking forward to it," said Janet Armagon, 53. "I think a lot of people from the Kingsbridge area would come up here."]]>
Mr. Silverstein was preceded in death by his father, Joseph. He is survived by his mother, Millie (for whom he was the primary caregiver in recent years); daughter, Jaclyn Michelle (Jake) Youmans of Oceanside, California; sister, Jane (Ted) Feigenbaum of Las Vegas, Nevada; brothers, Richard of Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, and Mark "aka George" (Maureen) of Las Vegas, Nevada; nephews, Jon, Brad, Andrew, Nicolaas and Michael; niece, Kerry; many dozens of cousins; and, based on his memorial service at The Riverdale Y on June 27, a huge extended "Riverdale family" of friends, co-workers, and Greystone Avenue neighbors.
Please send contributions to Ronald McDonald House.]]>
A great story and then a sequel
A short lovely poem that tells it all
A long novel you'll love to recall
Using the same words, so many times
Creating wonderful thoughts and rhymes
The power of words, a symphony
Music to our ears and yes, to see!
Grace L. Guthrie]]>
For at least the second time in a year, a swastika was carved into a baseball field in Riverdale (Riverdale Press, 8/13/2014). The swastika is a symbol of hatred, of Germany's attempt to dehumanize people perceived to be different because of race, religion, sexual orientation or political view.
This ideology led to the Holocaust, the murder of six million Jews and so many others. There is no place for this display of hatred in our community -- not on a baseball field, not anywhere.
Baseball great Jackie Robinson, a man who experienced the effects of prejudice, once said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being."
The swastika is disrespect. It is raw prejudice. It is a reminder of the depths to which humanity can sink. We applaud the 50th Precinct for investigating this as a hate crime.
In a world where violence is rampant, we need our baseball diamonds, playgrounds, schools, places of worship, shopping areas and community gathering places to be places of respect. To paraphrase Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, our community should be one that recognizes that human beings are infinitely different and therefore infinitely precious.
Rabbi Barry Dov KatzConservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale]]>
That other paper [The Riverdale Review] criticized Oliver Koppell for comparing Klein to a cold-blooded reptile, BUT it was his own spokeswoman, CANDICE GIOVE, who, as a reporter for the New York Post, wrote a story headlined "Coldblooded Pol's Ethics Gap."
She reported that Klein is "as slippery as his pet iguana... Klein has gamed the system -- and possibly broken the law -- for years, thumbing his nose at city zoning regulations, getting tax breaks he isn't entitled to, and failing to disclose his assets to state officials. His ethical breaches range from a dubious mortgage and scandal-scarred political donors to questionable court appointments and renting his Senate office from a firm with alleged mob ties."
These were her words. Except for Klein's going to court to stop the Moreland Commission -- everything in the Koppell campaign piece was from Klein's own spokeswoman.
There is an interesting postscript to this story and that is that the original article in March 2012 has Candice Giove's byline but the online version now omits her name. I didn't even know you could do that, and who did that, and why?
Well, I can guess why and it is wrong, but not as wrong as all of Klein's misdeeds as reported by his own spokeswoman.
Lorraine Coyle Koppell]]>
In your Aug. 14 editorial, "All politics is local," you noted the New York State Senate candidates' views on two controversial development proposals, the Montefiore Medical Center and the Hebrew Home expansion. Your analysis of local issues omitted a third contentious development.
Last September, more than 200 residents of North Riverdale attended a community meeting to express their dismay over the plan to build a mixed-use residence for severely mentally ill individuals and senior citizens. Among other issues, the plan lacked appropriate support for the population it was seeking to house. The community voiced concerns over the height of the building, lack of parking and the impact of the addition of more emotionally challenged individuals on a neighborhood which already hosts over two hundred people diagnosed with mental illness at the Riverdale Manor.
All the elected officials and candidates in attendance, save one, recognized the disastrous impact this plan would have on the community. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz commented, "If I wouldn't want this in my neighborhood, I don't want it in yours." State Sen. Co-majority Leader Jeff Klein listened to the neighbors and set to work. He prevailed upon the sponsor, Selfhelp, to eliminate the emotionally ill component. He succeeded in making it a residence for well elderly.
Last month, Mr. Klein sponsored a meeting with the developer, elected officials and community members to begin to resolve the other concerns. In addition, Mr. Klein, as part of his quest for affordable housing for the middle class, is seeking to make local seniors eligible for residence in the project. This represents yet another instance where Mr. Klein put the community first and stood with the neighbors. His challenger, not so much.
Mr. Klein has already switched party alliances, taken a strong stance against Montefiore Medical Center's plans and brought millions of dollars to the district -- all of it at least in part because he doesn't want to let challenger Oliver Koppell make him look bad. To think a newspaper would have the gall to invite him to a debate! That is just too much for Mr. Klein to stand.
Still, we would not be doing our duty to the community unless we invited him to a session with Mr. Koppell at an easy-to-reach site like the Riverdale Temple, The Y or any of the venues used by the community board for its meetings.
We were willing to co-host the debate with The Riverdale Review, which doesn't hide its pro-Klein views, or other Bronx newspapers.
For a few weeks, Mr. Klein's camp strung us along. We were momentarily convinced that as powerful a politician as he had enough respect for Riverdale voters and the democratic process to defend his extensive record on matters from Montefiore Medical Center's plans here -- which many residents fear will be realized in spite of legislation co-authored by the senator -- to the stalled Women's Equality Agenda and Child Victim's Act.
As the window of opportunity for a debate rapidly closed, we finally wheedled an answer out of Mr. Klein.
His campaign's excuse for dodging the debate is no surprise -- proud as he can be of many of his legislative accomplishments, the senator is incorrigibly heavy-handed with journalists -- and this time around, he claimed we have "irresponsibly covered this race."
Mr. Klein's refusal to debate in front of a community where he has ceaselessly sought to score points over the past eight months is a shame on the senator. But the real loser is Riverdale. Residents will not get to hear Mr. Klein and Mr. Koppell debate at length about housing for the mentally ill at 6469 Broadway; they won't see the candidates face off over Montefiore Medical Center's proposed facility; and they won't learn what the two really think about the Hebrew Home for the Aged's plans to expand, among other heated, hyperlocal issues.
It would also have been beneficial to see Mr. Koppell, who has cast himself as the squeaky-clean reformer in the race, further defend himself from Mr. Klein's allegation that the former councilman had a conflict of interest when it came to rezoning the proposed site of Montefiore's new facility years ago, or that he betrayed his constituents by sponsoring legislation to rescind term limits and grant Michael Bloomberg another four years as mayor.
Gary Axelbank, host of "BronxTalk," did an excellent job as moderator of a televised debate that's available online at www.bronxnet.org. But, as we feared, few of the issues discussed were relevant to our specific corner of the borough.
The Press will print and post issue-by-issue statements from the primary candidates in each local race in next week's newspaper, and each senate candidate has his own website touting his positions. Mr. Koppell's is www.koppell4ny.com and Mr. Klein's is www.jeffkleinny.com.
We urge every local Democrat to research the candidates, although high voter turnout is not expected at the Tuesday, Sept. 9 primary. Unfortunately, by refusing to debate in front of Riverdalians, Mr. Klein has shown when it comes to participatory democracy, he does it on his own terms.]]>
Jason Delgado, 29, is scheduled to appear back in the Bronx Supreme Court on Sept. 2. According to police, Mr. Delgado shot Roderick Romney, 24, of Reservoir Avenue, once in the throat area in front of 2766 University Ave. with a .38-caliber revolver before 5 a.m. on June 29, killing him.
Before the murder, the two men had an argument while leaving El Mangu Sabroso Restaurant at 80 W. Kingsbridge Road, cops said.
Mr. Delgado was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Bronx District Attorney's Office.
Mr. Delgado pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 29, when he was arraigned.]]>
There are a lot of misconceptions about Riverdale, the charming, sprawling, affluent neighborhood in the north Bronx. I grew up in Riverdale and lived here for the first 18 years of my life. Afterwards, I moved away for college, and then law school. During the first 18 years as a Riverdale resident and Horace Mann student, I had a specific impression of Riverdale: quiet, spectacular in the summer with its pools and tennis courts, and very family oriented.
My impression of Riverdale has changed after all these years. It's still as idyllic as ever, but I'm just not sure it's for me. I moved back to Riverdale with my husband after law school in 2013. I am a practicing attorney and he is a law student. All of our friends live in Brooklyn or Manhattan. In the middle of my latest Riverdale stint, I find myself constantly scrolling Trulia for apartments in Manhattan in an attempt to figure out what we can afford. We love our weekends in Manhattan eating brunch at sidewalk cafes, shopping and going out with our friends. We feel like it caters to us. It really gets us, in a way that Riverdale simply doesn't. The question is, does it want to?
While we have seen some of the attractions that we love in Manhattan come to Riverdale, it isn't enough to satiate us. Partially, I blame the politicians in Riverdale. After becoming familiar with their platforms, it has become clear to me that I am not their target demographic, and while I accept that, they should know that those who are catering mostly to the middle-aged and elderly population in Riverdale are pushing out an entirely new generation of young professionals. My husband and I do not have children, we are not interested in religiously driven activities and at this juncture in our lives, we are not particularly interested in educational reform. We are looking for activities and surroundings that make Riverdale fun, lively, free-spirited and active. We want food trucks parked outside for our enjoyment, we want movie nights and concerts in Seton Park to occur all summer. We want 5K races for charitable causes, round robin tennis tournaments, silly dog parades on Halloween to participate in and outdoor cafes for brunches.
I recognize that some of my ideas are idealistic, and most likely will never come to Riverdale. Nonetheless, I would love to see walking tours of historic Fieldston, a bed and breakfast overlooking the Hudson River for my in-laws from Maine to stay in, a movie theater that I don't have to drive to, a bookstore back on Riverdale Avenue, an art walk once a month where all Riverdale artists can display their work for the public and a waterfront down by the Riverdale Yacht club that brings the entire Riverdale community together.
hy can't we have it all in Riverdale? And why, in 28 years, have none of these ideas ever been fully implemented for residents to enjoy? Blame can be placed all around -- on politicians, real estate agents and even those like myself who are oftentimes so consumed in their own careers that they do not take enough time to focus on their community. However, as a community, we need to reflect on what Riverdale was, is, and what it should be in the future. We need to constantly question officials running for office in our district and ask them what their plans are for the 20- and 30-somethings who may be interested in a life outside Manhattan. We need to plan, and dream and think big for our cherished neighborhood.
Hopefully, these changes I speak of will begin to occur in Riverdale. Hopefully my husband and I will not constantly feel that we have to leave Riverdale to enjoy ourselves on the weekends. But, until that happens, you can find me on Trulia's website hoping that an Upper West Side apartment drops just a little bit more into my price range.
Julianna Orgel is a Riverdale resident... for now.]]>