Dear Bronxites. Say goodbye to many of your favorite organizations, likely to be shut down in the next few rounds of fundraising, most of which support the youth, the arts, and those who are destitute.

The lengths of dubiousness which the GOP has gone into getting this bill passed makes it clear; Congress is gambling with the lives of millions of people who rely on charitable and government social services by increasing the deficit to fund tax cuts.

The elimination of the charitable deduction for 31 million middle and upper-middle income taxpayers causes such damage to the not for profit sector; it will have no choice but to oppose the bill.

Because the bill increases the standard deduction, fewer people would take the itemized deduction for charitable contributions which would lead to a decline in charitable giving.
Charities had pushed for people to be able to deduct their donations regardless of whether they itemize. While some GOP lawmakers took up their cause, a universal charitable deduction was not included in the bill.
When Trump ran on DRAINING THE SWAMP, did you know he was talking about us????


On October 7th the Third Ave Bridge finally received the attention it deserves from its surrounding community. Blox NYC and the Third Avenue Bid led a group of volunteers clad in orange t-shirts with the now recognizable Rocking The Bridge logo, in a massive clean up of the infamous and neglected bridge. That Saturday morning I joined friends and volunteers from the Mott Haven Bar & Grill, The Hub BID, The Mott Haven Historic District, Empanology, community residents, and of course members of Blox NYC. With brooms, bleach, gloves, and paint donated by the Altmark Group, we split up into teams. The groups shoveled human waste, painted the pillars under the bridge, and swept up used condoms, needles, and cigarette butts. News 12 reported on our efforts, hopefully bringing citywide attention to a chronic problem.



 This was my first time on the bridge. As I joined Samuel Brooks from the MHHD sweeping up what seemed to be an endless amount of used cigarettes and coffee cups, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of pedestrian traffic. We had to dodge bikers, joggers and step aside for people making their way to Harlem. With such a huge amount of pedestrian traffic on a Saturday morning, I could imagine how busy it is on weekdays. For the city to let the bridge fall into its current condition is simply unacceptable. Marco Shalma founder and CCO of Blox NYC and Blox TV says, “What upsets me is families having to walk through piles of feces and garbage. Rocking The Bridge was an initiative that we founded to create a situation where we can take control over that.” After using social media and phone calls to try and get the city’s attention about the bridge’s condition, it was decided that the community must go about this alone and lead by example.


The Rocking the Bridge Initiative, was sponsored by The Bruckner Building. Owner Daren Hornig says, “You only get to make a first impression once. So I think the impression of coming over the bridge which connects Manhattan to The Bronx is critical. You want it to be clean, safe, and you want it to be an environment that people feel is welcoming. The essence of Rocking The Bridge is bringing the community together.” 

The generosity of local businesses must be recognized. Filtered provided free coffee to participants, and Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen made sure cold beers were available that afternoon. This was the first of a series of community clean up events. The next cleanup date is October 21st, followed by a block party on the 22nd. What’s a better way to celebrate a job well done?





artsIt’s not often you see people taking pictures of a public school, but when you walk by the murals at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education which shares its building with Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists, then it all makes sense. I visited the 83-year-old community arts organization, located on the 6th floor, to learn more about the murals and their upcoming exhibit Arte de La Borinqueña.

Along the entrance of the school at 928 Simpson St. you’ll see three murals, each with its own story and meaning. The murals were created by Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez and his team at Somos Arte and painted by TATS CRU, a Bronx based professional muralists group. The project took about a week to complete. The first mural is of Las Tres Hermanas, a trio of sisters who became activists for the arts. The second mural is a Puerto Rican superhero named La Borinqueña which I’ll get to later, and finally on the entrance doors of the school is a mural of students making art, playing music, sports, reading, and engaging in positive extracurricular activities.

artsLa Borinqueña’s mural was based off a snapshot from writer and creator Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez’s best-selling and critically acclaimed graphic novel. He designed the mural, and three members of TATS CRU, each with their specialty did the paint job. Accompanying La Borinqueña are Puerto Rican icons Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Josê “Dr. Drum” Ortiz and Melinda Gonzalez, who are shown celebrating a graduation with students. The staff at the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education hope this mural will inspire all students who walk through these doors to accomplish their goals. Casita Maria’s Associate Director of Creative Arts Programs Gail Heidel tells me, “La Borinqueña whose powers come from her Puerto Rican heritage and culture is also a metaphor for all people to look to their history and culture for strength.”


October 4th is opening night for the Arte de La Borinqueña exhibit. 35 different professional artists have created their prints of La Borinqueña, all of which will be on display until January 6, 2018. The prints were donated by London-based gallery: Art You Grew Up With International. Limited prints will be on sale for $200 with the proceeds going to hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico. “We want to raise as much money as possible for Puerto Rico.” says Marketing and Media Manager for Casita Maria Luis Pagan. The exhibit opens on the eve of New York Comic Con. There are hopes that avid collectors will attend the exhibition as a pre-game for the biggest comic book convention in New York City. The opening reception is from 6-8pm. Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez will be in attendance.


The chances of such program passing legislation are as good as an Anthony Wiener's 2020 presidential campaign. None!
I read four comprehensive articles about the subject, and when I say 4 I mean 2. The bottom line is, that though a government-run single-payer-health-care system providing insurance coverage to all Americans sounds amazing, this shit ain't happening.


Sanders wants to make sure that Americans don't pay out of pocket when they visit the doctor. He wants us to have a coverage package that is more generous than even Canada and Norway has, by including eye and dental care and no deductible. He claims that the reduced administrative waste caused by having to deal with thousand of insurers in the current system will counter the increased cost of his Medicare-for-all plan.


Sounds good, right? Here's the thing:

1. Sanders still hasn't explained how we are going to pay for that.
2. Most Dems are not close to even considering such a leftie concept, especially those up for reelection in red states.
3. Should we even mention enormous tax increase? *see #1
4. Insurers, drug companies, and all their 'beneficiaries' will put up a bloody fight

Bernie understands that and says: “Nobody has all the answers. What I can say is we are going to be listing some revenue-raising proposals, which will generate more than enough money to pay for what we want to do.”  The idea sounds great, though the timing, cost, and the support don't. I, personally, think that Bernie knows what he is doing, why he is doing it, and more importantly, why now.


Think about it; Trump uses a simple, yet brilliant tactic consistently - move the status quo so far to your direction and force your opponent to compromise well in your territory. We've seen it in every move he made, including, of course, The Obamacare. If anyone in D.C is smart enough to realize that - It's Sanders, understanding, that if you want to leave things where they are, at least until we relieve ourselves of president-num-nut in 2020, you have to pull a hard left, so you can end up where you've started.



Make sense? Once again, Bernie is a mofo'ing gangsta!

Read more about the detail here.

nuclear war



This year, North Korea has already fired 18 missiles tests, and responses from Trump have been filled with threats and aggression. So, ya know what that means? We're fucked! It's time to grab your water canteens, ponchos, and hatchets before impending nuclear war turns life, as we know it, into a Book Of Eli - Mad Max sequel

So how does one go about creating a nuclear survival kit? What are the priorities? Does one only pack survival tools or pack a batch of items that bring joy while on the dusted roads? What's more important: having a large bag of necessities or traveling light? We're not sure, so we created a list of 20 possible items and asked New Yorkers to choose the five they NEEDED to have with them.

Our list:

  • Condoms
    • Cause who wants to bring more children into this world.
  • Game of Thrones (Book series)
    • Cause when else are you going to have the time to read it?
  • Solar panel underwear
    •  Cause you need energy in all the right places.
  • Fidget spinners  
    • Just cause.
  • Noise canceling headphones 
    • Cause you’ll need something to help ignore your family in that closed off bunker.
  • Reusable toilet paper
    • Cause when the world goes to shit...
  • Nail Clipper 
    • Cause society is over, but you’re not an animal.
  • Porn Playing Cards
    • Cause sometimes you need to play while you play.
  • Permanent Markers.
    • Cause ya know.. They smell nice.
  • Spam
    • Cause what other foods will survive the apocalypse.
  • Astronaut/Space Food
    • Cause astronauts know how to survive.
  • ToothBrush + Toothpaste Kit -
    • Cause ya breath stinks.
  • Machete
    • Cause it’s the quintessential Apocalypse item.
  • Water Purifier
    • Cause clear water is the quintessential life item.
  • Rope 
    • Cause whether, for fun or hobby, you’ll need to tie something up.
  • Needle & Thread
    • Cause clothes, and skin.
  • Coffee
    • Cause even at the end of the world; you need Bustelo.
  • Butane Stove
    • Cause hot food bro!
  • Flares
    • Cause if there is any chance of being found, this is it.
  • Band-Aids
    • Cause I’m stuck on Band-aids and Band-aids stuck on me.

What's in your kit?


"We want to be the compass that helps men of color navigate those journeys.” Jason Rosario stated in an interview with this past June. He was explaining  the impact  a lack of authenticity and vulnerability in a digital landscape had had on men of color and how he's like to counteract it. It's a perfect sentence to summarize the intention of The Lives of Men, an integrated media + lifestyle website, founded by Jason, this past January. Their intention is to focus on chronicling positive and diverse stories of men in color.

The Lives of Men

As the oldest of 5 children, raised by a single mother in the Bronx, Jason has always been a leader and he's now utilizing those skills to help lead the next generation of young men. He hopes the website can serve inspiration and instruction while providing tools not afforded to him while growing up. The website's name symbolizes the complexity of being a back man in America in 2017.  Jason stresses the importance of featuring stories as diverse as the variety of experiences of all men of color and the importance of men being self-aware and in tune with their emotions in an environment that is inclusive to women and the LGBTQ community.





The Lives of MenSo what's on the mind of a black man who has dedicated himself to improving the perception of men of color in a racially tense America in 2017? We asked him. His response: Jay-Z's "4:44" and letting go "because at the end of the day, shit is not that serious."


Check out The Lives of Men and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.



Even if you're knee deep into the current events happening in our country; it's hard to keep up. From Russia to North Korea to Charlottesville: more is going on than can be digested at a reasonable rate. The toddler-like attention span of President Trump and the media doesn't help the situation. We are here to help, however.


Recently, The New York Times published a draft report by scientists of 13 federal agencies concluding that Americans are already feeling the effects of climate change. DUH!!!! The extinction of our favorite seasons of "spring" and "fall" has been proof that the patterns of the world's temperature is changing...rapidly.

But do most people have the ability to explain what global warming is and why it's detrimental to our planet's future🤔? Doubt it😁. If you are one of the few people who saw An Inconvenient Truth and therefore, understand the changes occurring. Are you savvy enough to explain it to your uninformed elders? How about the herds of naysayers sitting on your friend's list? If your response is no - don't fret, big-little brother, pSwitch sat down and explained all the science, in a "slightly scientific way." Now, you can skip the research process and get right to tagging your friends.

Moral of the story: CLIMATE CHANGE! BAD!!

Maybe if the report explained it in a language that our President could understand, he'd finally acknowledge the facts.trump




The South Bronx is changing. New developments are emerging, and they're bringing an influx of new people with them. A slew of brand new restaurants, a luxury coffee shop, and a hotel have already arrived, and there are a plethora of skyscrapers on the rise. News articles have done their fair share to cover residential fears of gentrification and its effect on the community.

peopleHowever, the South Bronx has been plagued with social issues for decades now, and they haven't stemmed from people beginning to move into the district. Though crime has decreased and there have been signs of positive change, these economic and social challenges have mostly been unaddressed throughout the years.  As self-described content warriors, The Blox TV team grabbed their cameras and a microphone and took to the streets to offer an open platform for residents to express the concerns they face freely. To no surprise, we met individuals of all ages and colors expressing their desire to see improvement in a community full of hope, potential, and strong bonds. Issues that arise include struggles with law enforcement, bad parenting, and a lack of social services for the youth, the mentally ill and those released from prisons.




Sammy Sosa represented being Afro-Latino and the challenges we face growing up in a world that deems your complexion to be less than beautiful. A world, let's not ignore, where even family members judge you for your complexion, the way you wear your hair, who you date.

SammyWhen Dominicans and the Internet think of Sammy Sosa it’s an automatic comedy show. If it’s not that he looks like Pepto Bismol it’s that he looks like Neapolitan Ice Cream. It’s what the Internet does; it takes a person and automatically makes them a meme. It’s funny. I laugh. It’s a joke…but it also isn’t.

The Internet gets a hard-on for breaking you down but it doesn’t get a hard-on for building you back up. The easy thing to do is laugh at the memes, but that does nothing to advance the conversation. This piece helps shed some light on some of the root causes of colorism and race in communities of color.

Read more @thelivesofmen


We live in a society that more readily forgives men for cheating than it does women. In fact, in men’s promiscuity has been celebrated as a rite of passage where women are ostracized and further degraded for their sexual freedom.


JAY-Z’s release of his latest album 4:44 has been met with broad criticism from both men and women. Some of the most thought-provoking responses have come from Sisters who believe that JAY-Z’s admission of infidelity and his subsequent apology, only help to emphasize how in some cases a man’s growth and evolution come at the expense of a woman he’s hurt emotionally.


By Jason Rosario @thelivesofmen