Though I’m a native of the South Bronx, I have never felt as though I fit into the Bronx, leading to a love-hate relationship. There are days where I love the Bronx; the culture, style, history, and easy commute into the city and then, as quick a light switch; I hate the Bronx. It’s dirty streets, regular trash on the sidewalks, strange smells which come out of nowhere but the Bronx is changing. New buildings, restaurants, art galleries are opening. According to the latest NYU Furman Center report, a center which researches city’s housing and urban policy listed Mott Haven, the neighborhood I live in among the city’s top gentrifying neighborhoods. With rents going up 28% since the 1990’s. The Bronx is finally transforming, but I know that the changes aren’t meant for me.

I grew up living in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, the world’s most famous sports arena. My mom is a teacher, and my dad is a photojournalist, both of whom are old school community activists, who started a nonprofit: Dred Scott Bird Sanctuary, which focus on educating city’s youth on environmental sustainability. I was never a child of the Bronx, with the high crime rates, unemployment, and low education attainment but that doesn’t mean I didn't know it. I was classmates and friends with kids who were, that if my life circumstances were different, I could have been them. But the kids, who were like “me,” we all knew each other. We didn’t fit into the stereotypes on both ends, always trapped.

After I completed my undergraduate degree, I moved from my parents’ neighborhood to Mott Haven neighborhoods or “Piano District.” The name has never bothered me; any causal Historian would tell you New York City's neighborhood have always been rebranded. The Upper West Side was once Bloomingdale, Wingate in Central Brooklyn used to be Pingate and Yellowhook is now Bayridge. Everything changes cause everything for sale. I think about this every morning as I walk on my street, littered with newly refurbish historic brownstones and construction of nearby condominiums. Condominiums, which down payments are several times the net income of residents in the government housing nearby.

As reported by 2012, census record, about 27 percent of the population in the Bronx live below the poverty line versus 20 percent in Brooklyn. When gentrification hits here, most of us won’t be able to afford it, and those of us who survive the first wave of gentrification will eventually be pushed out by the second and third waves. That’s the pattern of it, some survive, but mostly everyone is priced out. That’s what happened to my friends who lived in Harlem, Kipps Bay, Washington Heights, Inwood, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. It’s like being a dinosaur seeing the asteroid racing across the sky.

Now, all of us children from the Bronx both the “good” and “bad” kids see it coming and understand it. You become suspicious of the smallest changes to, “our block,” a street being fixed, a new coffee shop, new restaurants, etc. There’s becomes no more separation amongst us, but then there’s a sense of pride that finally our moment has arrived to be acknowledged and treated like human beings. We just question if it really for us. Love and hate indeed.


An upscale hotel is coming to the South Bronx next year. Set to open in 2018, The SoBro ParkHotel is currently under construction and will be located between Park Ave and Canal Place. The 4-star hotel will have 71 rooms, parking for visitors and guests, and an outdoor terrace. The hotel’s biggest draw will be the impressive restaurant and bar. Most hotels in the Bronx have rented their ground floor space to pharmacies, so this is definitely out of the norm and will be a nice attraction for the booming Mott Haven neighborhood.





Other hotels in the area include the recently opened Comfort Inn and Suites between Third Ave and Rider Ave, and a soon to open high-end hotel at 335 Grand Concourse, about a block away from Bronx Post Place. Building hotels in this transit-rich part of the Bronx which is served by the 2, 4, 5, and 6 trains is a brilliant move. Not only are guests 1 or 2 stops away from Manhattan, but they also have access to popular Bronx cultural institutions such as The Bronx Museum of The Arts, Yankee Stadium, and the Bronx Zoo. According to Fred Dixon CEO of NYC and company, Bronx tourism is up 14 percent. In 2015 The Bronx Tourism Council launched its first Visitor’s Guide.


The revitalization of the South Bronx has caught the eyes of tourists who will demand quality lodging in an exciting neighborhood. There are plenty of places to cut loose such as Charlie's Bar & Kitchen, Mott Haven Bar & Grill, and Habanero Mexican Cuisine just to name a few. Enhanced pedestrian spaces are currently under construction which will be decorated with street furniture, and guests at the SoBro Park Hotel will be a few blocks away from the Mott Haven Historic District which has its own tour guide! One can hope when they return home they will share their experience with family and friends and help erase the negative stigma that is attached to the South Bronx.

Hotel image credits go to Trise Development.


Private Desk. Photo: Bronx Flex Space

When two co-working spaces opened up in the Bronx five months apart in the same neighborhood separated by only a few blocks, it was a clear sign of improvement. 149th Street in the South Bronx known as our "downtown," has been going through a slow but steady revitalization. The massive La Central Housing development, the Roberto Clemente Plaza, Triangle Plaza, Bronx Coworking Space, and more recently Bronx Flex Space are just the beginning of what's happening at the Hub.

What used to be John's Boxing Gym on the 3rd floor of 452 E. 149th Street is now an extremely affordable co-working space tailor made to attract local entrepreneurs, artists, or someone who simply needs a quiet place to work away from home. The windows at the front of Bronx Flex Space allows natural light to brighten up the rooms while keeping out the noise from one of the busiest neighborhoods in The Bronx. Glass separates each shared and meeting space with each room displaying a unique art piece hanging on the wall. The wooden floors still show battle scars from its former days as a boxing gym. Personally, I hope it doesn't get polished. It's a neat reminder of its previous life. Surrounded by plants and portraits, you have to be careful you don't get too comfortable on the black leather chairs at the front of the space. Otherwise, a nap could sneak up on you.

Lounge area. Photo: Bronx Flex Space

Bronx Flex Space owned by Evangelina Sosa opened its doors in May 2017. Kimberly Wynters, the Director of Marketing and Media, sat down with the Bronx Pulse to tell us more.

How did you get involved with Bronx Flex Space?

I was a tax preparer at the owner's other business Bronx Tax. When the season was completed they took myself and my colleague out to lunch and asked if I would step in as the Director of Marketing and Media, as she is the general manager.

What was attractive about the South Bronx? There is a tremendous amount of foot traffic, and it is very accessible by public transportation. You can take three subways, and so many bus lines go through here.

Who are your customers? Start up businesses, at home workers, OCIA holds workshops here, and now The Bx Arts Factory will use our space for staff meetings.

You're the second coworking space to open in the neighborhood. Do you feel this will attract similar companies to The South Bronx? I believe if we are successful others will follow.

Where do you hope to see Bronx Flex Space 3 years from now? We want to make this accessible to the point where we are the leading coworking space in The Bronx.

What are your plans for Bronx Flex Space? We want to provide services for artists, give them a space to work and offer them the chance to auction off their work.

What are your feelings about The Bronx and its resurgence? The Bronx has its flavor, and we're proud, look at us we are a minority woman-owned business. Getting into co-working has shown me how far we can take The Bronx. People are starting to see its value.

For more information visit their website and follow them on Instagram @bronxflexspace