Week in Rewind: Bronx Night Market returns, community catches solar eclipse, book-mobile aim for literary resurgence and more

Bronx Night Market opening night
Bronx residents enjoyed the return of the Bronx Night Market on April 6.
Photo Gabriele Holtermann

Bronx Night Market returns to Fordham Plaza for seventh season

Bronxites were bursting with excitement as the popular Bronx Night Market returned to Fordham Plaza on Saturday, April 6, even though founder Marco Shalma had initially pulled the plug on the popular cultural event last year due to safety concerns and quality-of-life issues.

Shalma, founder and owner of Masco Hospitality Group (MHG), told Bronx Times that it was a difficult decision to “call it quits” last year. However, after an outpouring of support from the community, they wanted to give the market another chance.

“We had over 10,000 [direct messages] telling us, first of all, everybody was saying ‘thank you.’ ‘Thank you for doing this for so long. Thank you for bringing it to the Bronx,’” Shalma said. “And the second comment, the most common comment, was, ‘why can’t we have something good in the Bronx?’”

‘Once in a lifetime’: Bronxites catch glimpse of Monday’s partial solar eclipse

Bronxites headed outside Monday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the partial solar eclipse event.

At Yankee Stadium, fans flocked for one of the most-watched natural events in history on April 8 that just happened to coincide with a baseball game.

Jeremy Krugman of Long Island, 21, called today’s game a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

“I go to, like, 12 games a year. But with the eclipse being at this game, I’m really really excited,” he told the Bronx Times.

Bronxites flocked to Roberto Clemente State Park to view the eclipse on April 8. Photo Paul Frangipane

Bronx Bound Books aims to continue trend of literary resurgence in the borough

The presence of Bronx bookstores is currently on the rise and the founder of a local independent bookstore is making sure that the trend continues as she pursues a permanent brick and mortar location in the borough.

Latanya DeVaughn is the founder of independent bookstore Bronx Bound Books, a “book-mobile” modified school bus which promotes literacy throughout the borough and the region by selling books at affordable rates at various locations and venues.

DeVaughn’s aim is to make books more accessible for young people as well as adults, while simultaneously combating the well-documented literacy crisis that has plagued the borough in recent years.

Devaughn (l) with television host Jenna Bush Hager in late February during Bronx Bound Books’ TODAY Show feature. Photo courtesy Latanya DeVaughn

Bronx-based nonprofit partnering on $200K in microgrants for POC restaurant owners

Owning a restaurant is no joke — equipment can break; hiring reliable cooks and servers is tougher than ever; January and February are painfully slow, but the summer months are slammed — and Bronx nonprofit Oyate Group is offering microgrants of up to $10,000 to help our favorite eateries keep going through it all.

The Rising Restaurateur grant — taking applications until the end of April — is open to Black, Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Indigenous restaurant owners in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester County and the Bronx. Applicants must own a single business with no more than 30 employees and maximum $2M in annual revenue.

Oyate Group partnered with Grubhub and the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar and Lounge Association to bring the total grant amount to $200,000, to be awarded in increments ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per business. Half of the total amount will be given to members of the Latino Restaurant Association, so those members are especially encouraged to apply.

The rooftop space at Rosa’s At Park in Mott Haven. Photo courtesy Rosa Garcia

Bronx foreclosures reach highest peak in four years with 43 filings

Within the first three months of 2024, the Bronx has filed 43 foreclosures according to PropertyShark. This is the borough’s highest number of cases in four years since Q1 2020, with 85 foreclosures.

The Bronx was ranked third in number of foreclosures among the boroughs this quarter. Queens had 191 cases and Brooklyn had 130.

Though PropertyShark still calls the Bronx the “least active foreclosure market” due to its low total case numbers since 2020, the borough saw a sharp uptick compared to former quarters. The Bronx saw a 72% year-over-year increase from early 2023 — making the highest jump of anywhere in the city — and an even more dramatic increase of 139% since last quarter in late 2023, according to the PropertyShark report.

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