If you love your borough, you’re from the Bronx. If you love hip-hop, you’re from the Bronx. If you love an underdog, you’re from the Bronx. And if you love fromthebronx.com, chances are you’re from the Bronx.
FromtheBronx.com is a social networking platform – think Craigslist, Facebook or MySpace – for past, present and future Bronxites. It’s the brainchild of two SoBro alums.
Anthony Ramirez II and John Martin, raised in Parkchester and Woodlawn respectively, believe in the borough…and they don’t care who knows it.
In 2005, Ramirez and Martin were working at the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation – a neighborhood non-profit. They couldn’t find Bronx posters to hang at the office. So Ramirez and Martin chose to design their own.
They launched Mainland Media and BronxPosters.com, an online source for Bronx memorabilia. Ramirez and Martin – with help from local artists – offer posters, postcards, mugs and handbags. The duo released Bronx t-shirts a few months ago.
One poster highlights the Yankee Stadium neighborhood. Another riffs off borough scenery. Ramirez and Martin hopped a helicopter to shoot aerial photos of the Bronx for a stunning panorama poster.
“That was really exciting,” Ramirez said. “Folks have responded to our posters and t-shirts. We get emails from all over the world. We made it onto a Japanese TV show. Everyone knows the Bronx. It has this mystique.”
Ramirez and Martin are web-savvy. After founding Mainland Media, they noticed a number of Bronx websites and blogs.
Some, like BackintheBronx.com, cater to older Bronxites who’ve moved away. The BoogieDowner blog features real estate listings and promotes the Bronx as a destination. According to Martin, FromtheBronx.com is for everyone.
“We’re bringing people together, active people who want to make the Bronx better,” he said. “The website is a hub for Bronx information, a place to connect and reconnect.”
At FromtheBronx.com, you can add friends, post photos, research events and sound off – Martin enjoys political forums.
Martin and Ramirez hope community organizations will use the site.
More than 80 people have joined FromtheBronx.com already, with no one neighborhood in the lead. Ramirez and Martin hope to add a thousand members this year. The website is free to use.