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[VIDEO] Bronx blog links parents and connects kids

[VIDEO] Bronx blog links parents and connects kids

Nicole Perrino is the creator of, a blog dedicated to informing parents about child-friendly activities taking place throughout the borough.

By Semhar Woldeyesus and Camilo H. Smith

Posted in Former Featured, Video0 Comments

A Bronx Dozen

A Bronx Dozen

Valentine's Day goodies (Photo Credit: April Warren)

Tired of roses? This Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Ink has you covered. We’ve listed the best date spots in the borough. And if you are single this Cupid season, take a friend!

By Linda Thrasybule, April Warren, Michelle Bialeck and Semhar Woldeyesus

1. Nothing says “I love you” like a roach

Check out the exhibit  of roaches at the Bronx Zoo! The zoo has 58,000 species and with a donation on Valentine’s Day, you can name at least one of these creepy crawlers after someone you love (or hate).

2. Give bling

(Photo Credit: Linda Thrasybule)

Stop by Mary Anne’s Irish Gift Shop and peruse their collection of Claddagh rings, an Irish ring traditionally given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring.

The distinctive design originated from an Irish fishing village of Claddagh. It features two hands holding a heart, symbolizing friendship, loyalty and love. Mary Anne’s is located 5694 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471. (718) 549-7660

3. Bloody valentine and vino

Donate blood at Montefiore’s Blood Bank, and then regain your strength at Patricia’s for dinner.  It’s home of the biggest wine list in the Bronx and features a menu filled with traditional Italian food.

4. Flan and flicks

Visit Conti’s,  the 90-year-old bakery at 786 Morris Park Avenue. Listen to oldies play in the background, as the smell of coffee permeates the air. Take your baked goodies and go rent the comedy Doughboys a film inspired by life behind the bakery counter.

5. Enlist the experts

Forget about homemade cards. Take your kids to the Kingsbridge Library to do Valentine’s Day inspired arts and crafts.

6. It’s not just another manic Monday

Looking for some tranquility?  Check out photography by Nat Solomon, born and raised in the Bronx.

7. Dance the night away

Brush up on your moves at Andrea’s Dance Studio. Open ballroom class from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

8. Run and relax

Run the Valentine’s Day Marathon with your loved one or with a friend this Sunday, February 13 in Van Cortlandt Park. The event is free and races include a 10K, a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon. Short distance runners are welcome.

The race starts at 10 a.m. on the main parade grounds of Van Cortlandt Park, right in front of the Tortoise and Hare statue. Then, on Monday, relax those tired muscles at Escape Salon & Wellness Spa where holiday specials include couples and hot stone massages and facials.

9. City Island

Take a winter stroll down the beach to find the most famous tree in the Bronx.Or warm up  inside one of City Island’s popular restaurants: The Lobster Box, Artie’s and Seashore. Over a roaring fire, you can watch a Hibachi chef prepare dinner for two at Ohana Japanese Hibachi Seafood and Steakhouse.            500 City Island Avenue (718) 885-0700

10. Stretch and sweat, stretch and sweat

Heat up from the bitter cold at Bronx’s Bikram Yoga Studio. 5500 Broadway,  Suite B

11. Discover the Martha in you

Make an authentic Bronx-style Italian dinner at home. First, pick up the Arthur Avenue Cookbook, and then pick up all your ingredients at the Arthur Avenue Italian Market.

12. Mix and mingle if you’re single

Join the Bronx Singles group on You never know, you just might meet that special someone!

Posted in Bronx Life, Bronx Neighborhoods, Former Featured0 Comments

Espada set to publicly address corruption charges

Former State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., organized a rally to publicly fight charges that he embezzled more than $500,000 from a network of health care clinics he founded and continues to operate. Billed as a “unity press conference,” the rally was held in front of Soundview Health Center and featured State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and Bishop Fernando Rodriguez, president of the Latin American Chaplains Association. [NY- Bronx News Network]

Posted in Newswire0 Comments

Fueling the Future

Fueling the Future

As his arms reach deeper into the canister outside of a pizzeria in Morris Park, Jean Joachim looks away. “Sometimes you see dead rats,” he says. “Not at this restaurant though- they’re pretty good with the oil.” Joachim, a service technician works for Tri-State Biodiesel (TSB), a green energy start-up that collects used cooking oil from restaurants and converts it into biodiesel.

On Wednesday night, Joachim and his manager, Andrew McCloud are harvesting oilcans from Patricia’s.  Famous for their brick oven pizza and Tuscan-style fare, the family-owned restaurant also dishes out a healthy serving of grease, 70 gallons a week to be exact.  Not to its customers of course, but to TSB, which collects it for free and ships it to a refinery where it gets transformed into biodiesel.

To prevent restaurants from dumping oil into kitchen sinks, New York City requires businesses to install a mechanism to collect grease and provide proof of regular waste disposal through an outside collection service. Restaurants that do not adhere to the rules properly can be fined up to $10,000.


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In the back kitchen of Patricia's, a sous chef prepares the latest order (Photo Credit: Semhar Woldeyesus)

“ I used to have gallons and gallons of the stuff, just piling up in the back,” says John Defonzo, Patricia’s manager. “We have to comply with city bylaws, we just can’t dump the stuff anywhere.”

TSB takes advantage of the city waste requirements, by offering to collect the oil at routine intervals, or whenever restaurants request a pick up. In the Bronx, the TSB truck makes an average of 22 stops a day, collecting roughly 700 gallons of oil.

At a Sunoco station in the South Bronx, fleet trucks fill up on the recycled restaurant grease. The alternative fuel is offered as a blend (with petroleum) to improve vehicle efficiency or pumped outright as 100 percent biodiesel. The station has become the first in the city to sell biodiesel. But Dehran Duckworth, a sales manager at TSB says that that the idea of burning cleaner fuel is nothing new. “Engines were first created to burn vegetable-based fuel.”

Meanwhile, in the back alley of Patricia’s restaurant, ribbed plastic pipes are stretched and twisted from the TSB truck deposit filter. Muddy brown gobs of grease are sucked slowly out of the canister, and while Joachim dunks the ends of the green and black pipes repeatedly, McCloud monitors the deposit filter attached to the truck.

Over a roaring engine, he yells, “when all this stuff gets filtered at the plant you see all kinds of things-chicken bones, raccoons, you name it!”

Patricia Borgognone (for whom the restaurant is named after) considers her choice to go green a no-brainer. The restaurant owner and her partners signed up for the recycling program after being frustrated with the lack of responsiveness from a previous waste collector.  “It’s for my grandkids, I care about the future.”

And the future may mean more recycled grease. Across the nation, alternative fuel producers like Tri-State Biodiesel exhaled a sigh of relief when Congress chose to extend the biodiesel tax credit in December. The incentive however, is only guaranteed for another year.

But TSB sales manager Duckworth remains hopeful. He believes that future opportunities for expansion are by no means limited. “New York City has approximately 30,000 restaurants. We only serve 3,000,” he says. “So we are really just beginning to scratch the surface.”

Posted in East Bronx, The Bronx Beat1 Comment

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