Tag Archive | "Riverdale"

Riverdale and Kingsbridge Gasoline Stations Sell Last Drop

As early as Wednesday morning, motorists in the West Bronx experienced shortages and limits on refueling their vehicles in many stations. Today, stations are  completely closed, The Riverdale Press reports.

A supply terminal in Brooklyn is awaiting a third-party pipeline and gasoline barges to replenish depleted stock after a buying frenzy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

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Bronx Kids: Lace Up Your Skates

The new skating rink under construction in Van Cortlandt Park. (MARGARET BADORE / TheBronx Ink)

For the past three decades, any Bronx child who wanted to learn to figure skate or play hockey had to travel to either Yonkers, Rye, or one of Manhattan’s outdoor park rinks.

“When I started skating the closest rink was Rye Playland,” said Lauren Hunt, 27, who grew up in Throgs Neck and is now the skating school director at World Ice Arena in Flushing, Queens. Few of her friends in Throgs Neck knew how to skate. “I was fortunate enough to have a mother who was willing to drive to Westchester and beyond.”

A new city ice skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park is expected to  to change this. Scheduled to open on November 15th, the new outdoor rink promises public skating sessions, performances and a skating school where children and adults can take classes.

Van Cortlandt Park was once home to a seasonal rink near the tennis courts, but it has been closed since 1983. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to bring an ice rink back to Van Cortlandt Park during his State of the City address at the beginning of 2011. A partnership between RD Management and Ekstein Development, which runs rinks elsewhere in New York City, won the bid to build it from the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy.

According to project manager Ron Kraut, the conservancy hopes to attract 50,000 to 60,000 visitors between November 15 and March 1. During the same four-month period last winter, World Ice Arena had over 82,000 visitors and City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City saw just under 33,000 skaters.

The rink’s management tapped Alana Kelton to run the skating school in part because her in-laws owned the prior Van Cortlandt Park rink, once known as Kelton’s Tennis and Ice Skating.  “I was familiar with the Riverdale area,” she said. Kelton has been teaching ice skating for over 40 years and is also the director of skating at the Hommocks Park ice rink in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

The skating school plans to follow the Ice Skating Institute’s learn-to-skate program, which is geared towards teaching new students the fundamentals. These classes teach basic skills needed to play hockey, figure skate or just ice skate for fun. Kelton said she likes the Institute’s program because the levels progress sensibly and allow skaters to move up quickly.

The new rink will be primarily aimed at recreational skating. “We’re going to focus on what the community wants,” said Kristi Tortorella, the general manager. “It’s mainly there as a service for the community, rather than being a competitive facility for skaters.”

Terence Mulvey, a Riverdale resident, said he thinks a nearby rink will be good for the area. He is considering enrolling his 7-year-old son in skating lessons. “Just yesterday, he expressed an interest in playing hockey,” said Mulvey.

For Kraut, the ice rink is a social gathering place where young people, families and children can find a common interest. “Our objective is to teach the Bronx how to skate.”

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Bronx serial sex-offender irks Riverdale neighbors and cops, NY Daily News

One of the Bronx’s most prolific perverts makes for a creepy neighbor at a Riverdale co-op – and a source of serial frustration for cops, the New York Daily News reports.

Gerard Patrick Matthews, 51, has been busted 18 times in the city and Westchester County since 1990 on 29 counts of public lewdness, exposure, assault and obscenity.

He has been convicted more than a dozen times, serving several short jail stints.

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Riverdale landlord sued for racial discrimination, News Junky Journal

A Bronx landlord of a Riverdale building is being sued by the Justice Department for race discrimination, News Junky Journal reports.

A Manhattan U.S. Attorney filed the civil rights violation lawsuit against the landlord for allegedly discriminating against African-Americans seeking apartments.

According to the civil rights violation complaint, Loventhal Silver Riverdale LLC, Goodman Management Co. and superintendent Jesus Velasco had “engaged in conduct constituting illegal discrimination” since at least April of 2009.

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Riverdale Deli Serves Up Seder

It’s a rainy Monday afternoon on the corner of 235th Street and Johnson Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. On any other Monday many storefronts would be open and ready for business in this predominantly Jewish neighborhood, but many businesses catering to this community closed at noon for Passover.

With an estimated population of 21,600 observant Jews, according to The Jewish Community Study of 2002, Rabbi Judith S. Lewis, of the Riverdale Temple still says the community is diverse.

People of various ethnic backgrounds and of different ages, scurry along the sidewalks attempting to stay dry. While others park along the street to grab last-minute items, like Manischewitz and packages of matzo in bulk.

The strip is a world market, loaded with ethnic restaurants from Chinese and Indian to Thai and Japanese, with Italian eateries too, none of which are crowded, because many have rushed home already to prepare the seder.

Although he expects business to be slow the week of Passover, Salim Ahmed, owner of Cumin, a local Indian eatery, keeps his restaurant open for other customers who may be in the mood for some spicy cuisine.

“It’s usually like this during Passover,” Ahmed says, looking around his empty restaurant. “This year Easter’s this week too, so I know it’ll be slow.”

He says he decreases the number of staff working and also prepares less food to adjust to a slow week. But he’ll probably see some regulars during the week like modern Jewish families or those who don’t practice.

Ruben Velazco displays the seder plate available at Liebman's Delicatessen in Riverdale, Bronx. (Photo: Sonia Dasgupta/ The Bronx Ink)

Ruben Velazco displays the seder plate available at Liebman's Delicatessen in Riverdale, Bronx. (Photo: Sonia Dasgupta/ The Bronx Ink)

Liebman’s Delicatessen, off 235th Street, is the only business that is busy, with customers rushing in and out the front door with their orders of potato kugel, coleslaw, sweet-smelling brisket and roasted chickens.

The deli, which has been in the neighborhood since 1953, serves traditional foods and isn’t Kosher for Passover, according to its owner, Yuval Dekel, who grew up in the neighborhood and worked at the family business his father bought in 1981.

“I was thrusted into this business after my pops passed in 2002,” says Dekel, who runs the deli alongside his wife and brother-in-law.

“Most of the Kosher establishments are closed, but they should remain open since Passover is the busiest day of the year,” he adds.

As customers pile into the restaurant to eat a quick lunch with family, the staff promptly fills orders. Dekel says the restaurant rents a refridgerated truck for the holiday to hold the extra orders of meat and poultry. The menu stays traditional to cater to the families and people who have been coming there for years.

“We also have people order ahead for the holidays,” he says. “This year there’s been a lot of chopped liver, but also brisket, roast chicken, stuffed cabbage and matzah ball soup.”

The only changes to the menu since Dekel took over are two chicken marinades — olive oil with rosemary and thyme with lemon.

“If I changed too much, people wouldn’t come,” he says.

Although other Jewish restaurants cleaned their entire store over the weekend for Passover, he says Liebman’s operates through the weekend until 5 p.m. on Monday when they close for the week.

As the afternoon wears on, the number of pedestrians on the street decrease as some head to local synagogues and others join families to celebrate the holiday.

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