Famous Bronxites

An Interview With Maria, AKA Sonia Manzano, As She Says Goodbye To Sesame Street

I remember my first memories of watching television as a young child in the late 70s and early 80s. Each day I would sit down and watch Sesame Street which my mother diligently always made sure was on for me.

For me, it was an extension of school since I was already in Head Start at the age of 4 and Sesame Street, with Oscar, The Count, Big Bird, Burt and Ernie, and of course Maria (played by Bronxite and Emmy award-winning actress and writer, Sonia Manzano), were my after school teachers.

Bronx Actor Lands Role in ‘Southpaw’ Alongside Jake Gyllenhaal

Tomorrow, when ‘Southpaw’ is released in theaters nationwide, a Bronx man will be gracing the silver screen in this sports flick that partially takes place in The Bronx (it’s mostly filmed Pittsburgh but some scenes were filmed in The Bronx).

Dominic Colón, a Bronx native still living in The Bronx, plays Billy Hope’s childhood chum, Mikey, who meet while growing up in a foster home. The role of Billy hope is portrayed by Oscar nominated Jake Gyllenhaal alongside the likes of Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams who also star in the movie.

Hip-Hop Museum Coming To The Old Bronx Courthouse?

After No Longer Empty’s residency and exhibition at the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse, ‘When You Cut Into The Preset The Future Leaks Out’, and over 6,000 visitors—over 75% from the area and not counting youth programs who graced the halls of this hallowed landmark—many have asked what now?

Well one possibility is that The Universal Hip Hop Museum—the only and official Hip-Hop museum chartered by the State of New York—may in fact call the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse Home. A fitting tribute given the fact that The Bronx is the birthplace of the global phenomenon that is Hip-Hop.

Fashion Moda: 35 Years Later Tonight at Wall Works NY

After closing its doors in 1993, Fashion Moda still remains in the consciousness of many Bronxites and the art world. It was a place where The South Bronx (and The Bronx in general) collided with the downtown art scene when it opened its doors in 1980 in The Hub on 147th and 3rd Avenue.

It was a place where local artists mingled with legends like Keith Haring, who’s works also graced the walls of this iconic place.

First Woman In History to Be Honored With a Ticker Tape Parade Has A Bronx Connection

As the frenzy picks up for today’s celebration for the ticker tape parade being thrown in honor of the US Women’s Soccer Team win, it is in fact not a first for women.

Although the US Women’s Soccer Team is indeed a first for a women’s team, there was one woman who got her own parade that has the honor of being the first—someone who eventually made our borough her home and final resting place.

Bronx Born and Raised Gertrude Schimmel, First Female NYPD Chief Dies at The Age of 96

On Monday, May 10th of this year, just a few months after being honored by the NYPD during women’s history month, a Bronx trailblazer passed away at the ripe old age of 96 years.

Gertrude Schimmell, who was the first NYPD female police chief, was born and raised in The Bronx and attended Morris High School before heading on to Hunter College.

Bartow-Pell Mansion; The Jewel Of The Northeast Bronx

Hidden from plain view, Bartow-Pell Mansion has been sitting inside what is now modern-day Pelham Bay Park—New York City’s largest park at 2,772 acres—since 1842 after 6 years of construction.

You’ve probably passed right by it along Shore Road as you pass Split Rock Golf Course taking the back road into Westchester or simply on your way to Orchard Beach.

It is a place steeped with history that not only occupies the mansion but the land it rests upon and even Pelham Bay Park itself.

Historic Poe Cottage Now Open 4 Days A Week

The 203 year old house in the village of Fordham where the great poet Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life is now open 4 days a week for all to enjoy and absorb the history of this celebrated man and his life. Visitors can now enjoy a visit to the cottage on Thursdays and Fridays from 10AM – 3PM, Saturdays from 10AM – 4PM, and Sundays from 1PM – 5PM.

More details below in the press release issued by the Bronx County Historical Society who manages this great, historic treasure of our borough:

Irish Americans And The Bronx: More Than St. Patrick’s Day

Bronx Irish Americans: American Irish History in the Bronx

The Bronx being The Bronx, has always been home to many groups of people and that includes our Irish family here in The Bronx.

In Woodlawn, which is one of the largest Irish communities in New York City is also home to many who have settled straight from the old country back in Ireland.

Late Bronx Hollywood & Fashion Icon Lauren Bacall’s Garments on Display at FIT

The Bronx born and raised beauty, known to the world as Lauren Bacall but to her family and childhood friends by her birth name of Betty Joan Perske, passed away last August at the age of 89. She was the last surviving icon named in Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ list of Hollywood legends — all of whom are gone now.

From 1968 to 1986, Bacall donated over 700 items to The Museum at FIT and now, some are on display in a new exhibition, ‘Lauren Bacall: The Look’ which runs until April 4th, 2015.

Bronx Woman Becomes First Black Female U-2 Pilot In History

Lt. Col Merryl Tengesdal, a Bronx native, has become the first African-American female to ever pilot the U-2 — an ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft used for intelligence gathering and can fly up to altitudes of 70,000 feet. The aircraft is celebrating 60 years this year in flight.

According to an article by the United States Air Force, Tengesdal, “As a child she imagined flying amongst the stars, thousands of miles above the earth’s surface, and today Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal is one of eight female pilots to ever fly the U-2 and the only black female pilot during the aircraft’s history.”