People Dancing Under The Bridge


We deserve better became more than an Instagram hashtag after Rocking The Bridge. The phrase quickly became a powerful message declared by South Bronx residents standing up to stake a claim in the equity of their communitydriven by Rocking The Bridge organized by Blox NYC and the Third Avenue BID in the Mott Haven/Port Morris section of the South Bronx.

The two bridge cleanups took place under (and on) the Third Avenue Bridge, both occurring in October. The first on Saturday, October 7th and the second on Saturday, October 21st. The bridge overpass was swept and cleaned of garbage and drug paraphernalia, carefully disposed of using the proper protocol. Under the bridge on the Bronx side, volunteers spent the day picking up trash as well as painting and power washing the underpass.

The Third Avenue Bridge is used daily, in high volumes, by New Yorkers of all ages, often by children making their way to and from school in neighboring Harlem. Local commuters favorably received all the improvements.

On Sunday, October 22nd to celebrate the clean bridge initiative, the community came together for the Rocking The Bridge block party. A celebration organized by Blox NYC, The Third Avenue BID, Edible Bronx Magazine and Dancing In The Streets. The event was both a local food festival and community outreach opportunity. Offering programs to combat drug abuse, homelessness, and programming that promoted safe sex and Narcan, an over-the-counter drug that can temporarily block opioids from entering the bloodstream used by civilian bystanders in the case of an overdose. St Ann's Harm Reduction program provided information on Narcan, as well as their needle exchange program, which launched in 1990, to effectively reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among South Bronx intervenous drug users.

Local restaurants extended their dining room reach to under the Third Avenue Bridge, creating pop-up restaurants in 6x6 lots, selling their respective specialty food items, each for $5 or less. Participating restaurants included neighborhood favorites Mott Haven Bar & Grill, Ceetay, Habanero, Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen and City Tamale from nearby Hunts Point. With flavors ranging from New American, innovative Mexican, International Gastropub and Asian Fusion,  each offering showcased the diversity and quality of the burgeoning South Bronx restaurant scene.

Local food entrepreneurs included Sol Cacao, Born Juice, Red Hibiscus Bakery, and Check Mate Sweets—each selling locally handcrafted food items. Chef-entrepreneur Jason Alicea, the founder of Empanaology, wowed the crowd with a unique spin on a Latin-American classic, empanadas, serving six out of the box flavors including Truffle Mac and Cheese, Cubano and Red Velvet Tres Leches. 

Event goers enjoyed a DJ spinning Hip Hop and R&B classics as well as top 40 hits, live music and dance performances organized by Dancing in The Street. Various fitness activities and exercise equipment were available under the bridge promoting overall health and wellness. A food canning demonstration provided by The South Bronx Farmers Market, Mott Haven's local farmers market, prompting a discussion on healthy farm-to-table eating all year long.

With an impressive turn out from both sides of the Third Avenue Bridge, the community came together—dancing, eating and drinking for the cause.

For Rocking The Bridge, this is only the beginning of a movement, much larger than one bridge. According to Blox NYC founder and event organizer Marco Shalma, this "is the first cleanup of five bridges in the South Bronx," each connects the Bronx to Manhattan, Shalma notes “all of them are in bad condition and need love and care.” Every bridge is used by residents regularly but is rarely cared for by New York City's Department of Transporation (DOT) responsible for all road and bridge maintenance.

Third Avenue BID director and event co-organizer Michael Brady is hopeful that the cleanup and the Rocking The Bridge event will effectively “bring the conversation of equity to the South Bronx.”

With a powerful message and proactive community behind the Rocking The Bride movement, it is undoubtedly the beginning of positive change and dialogue for South Bronx residents.


Food is the centerpiece of all celebrations and often the most memorable part of any occasion. On October 22nd, the South Bronx community is gathering under the newly cleaned Third Avenue Bridge for a rocking good time—full of good eats.

It wouldn’t be a neighborhood block party without the neighbors and lucky for us, our neighbors happen to be culinary masterminds bringing all the good stuff to the party. Mott Haven on The Go, owned by Rosa Garcia whose flagship restaurant is only a stone’s throw away from the event is pulling up under the bridge to serve up comfort food with a healthy twist. Also, providing the ‘nabe with some seriously good noms are nearby restaurants La Grata, Charlie's Bar & Kitchen and Ceetay. Slinging out their Sunday finest, serving authentic Italian, classic America and Pan-Asian respectively. The diversity of participating vendors is a nod to the diversity and adventurous palates of the Bronx.

(R to L) Pizza from La Grata, Charlie's Chicken Wings, Spring Rolls from Ceetay


Mott Haven’s newest restaurant Habanero is pulling out all the stops with four flavors of freshly made tacos, Tostadas, and Ceviche. The highly anticipated cold-press juice bar Born will be supplying us with our daily dose of vitamins by way of inventive fruit and veggie juice blend concoctions—activated charcoal never tasted so good—alchemy at its finest.


Tostadas from Habanero
Tostadas from Habanero


Unique Latin flare won’t be in shortage at the event, Jason Alicea creator and owner of Empanology will be selling a seasonal lineup of empanadas, spoiler: these are not your Grandma’s empanadas—were looking at flavors like The Cubano, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Truffle Mac N Cheese. City Tamale keeps their menu for the event more traditional, with signature classic tamales aka Mexican food for the soul.

Truffle Mac Empanadas

But the deliciousness doesn’t stop there, South Bronx Farmers Market will be Rocking the Bridge with a sweet vendor, Red Hibiscus Bakery selling Pumpkin Soup, perfect for a late October day and mini fruit pies.

With over ten confirmed food vendors serving everything from sweet to savory, Rocking The Bridge block party will definitely be rocking your palate.


Picture a pair of Caribbean islands right off the coast of Venezuela. Fertile soil, tropical climate, lush rolling hills crowded with row after row of cacao trees. Trinidad and Tobago make up one of 15 countries around the world that produce high-quality cacao.

Dominic, Nicolas and Daniel Maloney, co-owners of Sol Cacao, grew up there—and even years after moving to New York City during their primary school years, they still have cacao pumping through their veins. Recognizing that the abundance of pure chocolate they had known in Trinidad wasn’t readily available here in the U.S., they created a chocolate company that combined their interest in nature, health and agriculture.

Walking into their production facility in Port Morris on a recent Saturday morning, it’s apparent that, while bare, it holds endless potential waiting to be unearthed. A makeshift roaster sits prominently in the large open space, and the smell of roasting cacao vaguely resembles the scent we all know to be chocolate.


Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Bars at Sol Cacao

“There aren’t as many machine options for chocolate making, especially compared to the coffee industry,” says Dominic Maloney, “We’re, like, 30 years behind them.” Dominic oversees the daily operations at Sol Cacao. He shows off their roaster, one that looks more like an invention from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids than a state-of-the-art machine. “There are a lot of people experimenting, creative people, trying out new things,” he continues, his love for the craft apparent as he proudly takes us through the creative process. “There’s no blueprint for chocolate yet.”


After the whole beans are roasted, they’re tossed into the makeshift machine and are agitated to remove the outer husk and shell, spouting out cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground with raw cane sugar for 48 to 72 hours, tempered, molded into perfect bars, wrapped in gold foil and placed lovingly into a linen paper wrapper, all done by hand.

The health properties of chocolate also played a role in the creation of their family business, as they all maintain a vegetarian lifestyle. This aspect of the business has been particularly significant to Nicolas Maloney, a registered nurse and “visionary” at Sol Cacao. “Food plays an important part of your life, from when you’re young to very old,” he says. “It’s important to put healthy things in your body.” Cacao in its pure form contains heart-healthy anti-inflammatory properties and flavonoids.

But don’t think you can just pick up any bar at your local drug store and call it a “super food.” Most mass-produced chocolates are loaded with fillers, stabilizers, palm oil, preservatives and chocolate flavorings, rather than the real-deal beans.

Currently, Sol Cacao offers three single-origin bars, from Peru, Ecuador and Madagascar. The result is dark and smooth; it melts to a thick velvet coating in your mouth—decadent and complex, slightly bitter, sour and a touch sweet. Each bar has a different flavor profile—that’s the beauty of a single-origin product: the purity of the beans and the ability to taste the distinct notes of each strain of cacao, flavored by its native soil. All are vegan and full of said health benefits.

Sol Cacao chocolate bars
Sol Cacao chocolate bars, photo by Alex Rivera

Read more about Sol Cacao at Edible Bronx 



One of the hardest parts of being in a relationship is figuring out how to end it—cause let's be real, not all relationships are meant to last. If that were the case, I’d be married already {SPOILER} I’m single as fuck.

New Yorkers—we have no chill, but at the same time embody all that is cool—Jay-Z said it best “like Che Guevara with bling on” we’re complex. In cities densely populated like our beloved NYC, it’s hard to do anything in private, I mean, people groom themselves and eat seven-course meals while riding the subway, why should your relationship be any different. If you can make out on a park bench, you can break up in public.

So you’re ready to end it. Where do you break it off? Now, I don’t condone public dumping per say, but if I did, this is how (and where) I would do it.


Johnnys Reef Restaurant
Johnny's Reef

Johnny’s Reef

2 City Island Ave, Bronx, NY
It’s busy, like very very busy; you might be thinking this is not a public dumping attribute—it is, no one wants to cause a scene. No fuss, no muss. Plus, who can get mad while drinking cold beer and frozen daiquiris from a plastic cup, all while eating a basket full of fresh fried seafood, topped off with views of the Long Island Sound and the Throggs Neck Bridge? Nobody! It’s fucking perfect. Good for a first date, great for a last date. Only hiccup here is the lack of public transportation, either come separately or think ahead and get yourself an Uber at least 10 minutes before breaking it off, you don’t want to linger after this one.



Jake’s Steakhouse

6031 Broadway, Bronx, NY

This is a special one, it’s not super public and it’s sure as hell not cheap—but this is a good way to end a more significant relationship, a last hoorah if you will. Linen tablecloths and delicious steakhouse fare (try the Bacon Salad, yum!). Enjoy one final night together and reminisce about the good ol’days. Ask for the check, pay the bill (you owe your non-significant other that much) and run, don't walk, out the door.





Dancing Crane Cafeteria at The Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 

I love everything about this breakup scenario; it’s riddled with delicious irony. Spend the day (okay, like an hour) walking around the beautiful zoo grounds. Take in views of the exotic animals held in captivity, all the while relishing in the fact that in a matter of hours, you’ll be free. Top of the day with a trip to the cafeteria—the magnificent symphony of children crying and throwing tantrums will mask the fit occurring opposite you. This is a breakup fit for the drama queen/king in your know who you are.




Pancakes with syrup

Royal Coach Diner

3260 Boston Rd, Bronx, NY

A diner? Yes, a diner. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Royal Coach has a booth waiting for you anytime the mood strikes. Food is way better than your average diner, like way, way better, so it’s not an insult to bring someone here, at all, regardless of your current relationship status. Plus, breakfast for dinner can ease even the heaviest of hearts. Give me a short stack STAT. 




Iced Mocha Latter

Mon Amour Coffee & Wine

234 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 

The morning after a breakup. The ultimate fucked up way to break up with someone. You wake up full of regret and just can’t go another day being tied down, so you walk together to your local coffee shop. This one is all about the execution; it must be done at a classy joint to take away a bit of the sleaze you're about to sling at your not-so-loved one. Mon Amour is perfect—it’s all about the ambiance; brick walls, Parisian flare, AMAZING pastries and great coffee. Though, I’d direct your other half towards one of their delicious iced beverages; it’ll hurt less. You also might want to change your number.



In an age when most relationships play out via social media, it’s come to a point where public breakups are almost expected. So, there you have it, five very different locations for all your dumping needs. I didn't do it, but if I did, these are by far my favorite places to break up with someone in the comfort of the public eye.


Have you ever dumped someone in public, or been dumped? Tell us where!




Alexis Faraci, the owner of the Bronx Baking Co., is passionate about creating high-quality authentic Bavarian pretzels, right here in the Bronx. As a Mott Haven resident, she’s seen first-hand the ever-expanding craft beverage corner erupting in neighboring Port Morris.


Pretzels“If you’re going to have a high-quality beer you should serve something authentic with it—and beer and pretzels go together like peanut butter and jelly,” she says. Noting two reasons for that happy pairing: “It’s salt. There is something nice about pairing something hoppy with something salty. And it keeps you in your seat longer, it’s a good base coat for beer.”

The Swabian pretzel comes from the Bavarian region of southeast Germany, known for “its fat bottom and skinny arms” that allow for the pretzel to be equal parts crunchy and soft—perfect for tearing and sharing.

4 pretzels
Faraci says she fell into pretzel making as she followed the craft beer movement and noticed that the stateside pretzel game was severely lacking. Having spent a good amount of time in Bavaria, Germany, with friends who live abroad, Faraci appreciated the baking tradition.

“In Germany pretzels and pretzel bread are served with everything,” she says. “Germans eat pretzels the way New Yorkers eat bagels; it’s something that’s just everywhere.” As a newbie to baking and pretzel making, Faraci dove headfirst into the craft of hand rolled pretzels.

Now more than ever, the demand is growing. “We’re talking about the craft beer movement, people are putting a lot of energy and thought into brewing great beer,” she says. “Their customers really appreciate it and are becoming beer connoisseurs.” Currently, Bronx Baking Co. products can be found at beer halls and gardens in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as our Bronx-based beer hot spots: Gun Hill Brewery, The Bronx Brewery, and The Bronx Beer Hall.







Words by Amanda Celestino. Photos Courtesy of Alexis Faraci

Original Link



If you always wanted to take a vacation in France. Now, we have a Bronx version that is almost as good as the real thing. On an island that more closely resembles Martha’s Vineyard than the Bronx there is a treasure trove of nautically inspired eateries, lining City Island Avenue from stem to stern. Among them lies a pearl: Bistro SK, the Bronx’s only French restaurant.


Inside the charming bistro, you’re transported to France—and not because of the Eiffel Tower decked out with white lights sitting beside the front door. It’s the reclaimed hardwood floors throughout the intimate dining room, with personal touches like mismatched salt and pepper shakers, vintage French posters and antique dinnerware—all from the owner’s personal collection.



Other than a few nautical accents, the restaurant doesn’t subscribe to its Island surroundings, “I want to be different than the other restaurants here. It’s all seafood. Me, I want to be my own identity,” says owner Stephane Kane.  The menu is outfitted with French classics that highlight what bistro cuisine is meant to be—Escargot Persillade (snails baked in a puddle of garlicky herbaceous butter) and Steak Frites (unctuous grilled hanger steak aggressively seasoned with a side dish of crisp fried potatoes)—quick and casual, like the French equivalent of a diner, but oh so much better. The dishes, while simple and rustic, are rich with history, quality fresh ingredients and are thoughtfully prepared. So save on the air fare, and visit our local France. 


By Amanda Celestino. Photos by Daniel Kwak @FoodCre8ive

To read the full story about how Bistro Sk came to be, CLICK HERE