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Middle class Catholic school kid turned worldwide pop star Jennifer Lopez is finally back to her east Bronx roots.
Twelve years after J.Lo touted her supposed Bronx street cred in her hit “Jenny from the Block,” the musical artist will perform for the first time in her home borough.
Jenny from “the block” will now be Jenny at the beach, headlining a free concert at Orchard Beach on June 4 sponsored by the State Farm insurance company.
More than 25,000 J.Lo fans quick enough to score a free ticket will flood the Riviera of the Bronx to see their hometown star hit the stage.
“I’m humbled and honored to be doing my first ever concert in the Bronx,” the 44-year-old Lopez said in a statement. “I can’t wait to go back home and give a show to the people and community that inspired me. Of all the summer days I spent in Orchard Beach, this is going to be one to remember!”
Truly a Bronx gal?
J.Lo has long repped the Bronx in her songs. On “Jenny from the Block” she brags, “No matter where I go, I know I came from, from the Bronx!”
But the entertainment icon has hardly set a public foot in her home borough since becoming a world star.
She’s done so while leveraging her Bronx roots to boost her career, charge critics.
Lopez grew up in Castle Hill and attended Preston Academy, an all-girl’s high school in Throggs Neck – not exactly roughing it.
“She likes to use this false ‘woe-is-me’ story, and she’s never corrected that narrative,” said Ed Conde, who has criticized the pop singer for years on his blog Welcome2theBronx for being a Bronx no-show.
Giving $$$ back
This year though, J.Lo is finally showing the Boogie Down some love.
All Bronx residents were eligible for a free ticket, which sold out in a matter of minutes. On top of that, 150 more free tickets were offered to volunteers who cleaned up the Orchard Beach shoreline on May 28.
Besides headlining the June 4 concert, the pop star recently teamed up with Montefiore Medical Center to announce the building of a new community health facility.
J Lo is also involved with the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s clearly a PR move, and a good PR move,” said Conde. “But if you were going to use the Bronx narrative for so many years, why is she just coming back now?”
City Island traffic woe
Meanwhile, locals in City Island are also not impressed, but for a different reason. Concerned neighbors are sounding the alarm about potential traffic mayhem.
The concert is begin admitting folks at 5 p.m on a Wednesday, which they charge will mar the workday commute.
“We are simply asking that this entertainment event not significantly disrupt our lives,” the City Island Civic Association stated in a letter to the Parks Department and local officials.
“Already, residents are being told to take the day off from work if they can to avoid being caught in this apocalyptic situation. Who can afford to do that in today’s economy?
©2014 Community Newspaper Group
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