Bronx Narratives held their first ever gallery-like exhibition at the Bronx Art Space on September 12th in partnership with the Lantern Community Center. The event featured numerous interactive stations where participants were able to get their photo taken, share what the Bronx has taught them, reflect on what home means to them and screenprint thoughts on canvas.
Our first panel discussion “GIRLS TALK” where we dissected a few topics that were on the mind of women was a success. We thank all of the panelists, attendees and the NYPL for making this event possible.
The opening event for the monthly Bronx Night Market took place Saturday, June 28th at Fordham Plaza. This free entry, open-air festival is a collaborative endeavor between Edible Bronx and BLOX featuring local artisans, merchants and music performers from throughout the borough, with some from across the river (we saw you Harlem!). With over 35 vendors in attendance on what felt like a record scorcher day, locals and those who braved non-air-conditioned subway trains (I invited two friends from Queens...their love was real!) had the chance to experience some of what makes up the Bronx’s thriving food culture. Popular vendor booths included Empanology, Next Stop Vegan, and The Bronx Beer Hall. Save for ice cream vendors Creme and Cocoa Creamery, Scoops In Cahoots, and my personal favorite, Tripla Panna Ice Cream, attendees enjoyed live musical sets from Anthony Anderson and DJ Bronxura and had the opportunity to purchase merchandise from local businesses such as The Bronx Native and The Tea Factor.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that the market showcases all the diversity of food culture in the Bronx, yet I am excited to see what the vendor make-up of the market will reflect throughout the remainder of the summer. The size of this borough is awe-inspiring to me, and yet can often times overwhelm people and their perception of all the things the Bronx truly has to offer, including good food. As someone who has traveled more than an hour for a meal (and yes it was worth it!), the Bronx Night Market, however, provides a unique opportunity to bring two important groups together: the Bronx consumer, and the Bronx business owner. It’s not uncommon for many Bronx locals to travel outside of the borough to satisfy hungry bellies and curious palettes, whether it be for Saturday brunch or a casual dinner date. With the majority of the borough working on the island, we forget that there is a trail of money that makes its way back uptown, eager to be spent on amenities such as wining and dining, as well as supporting all other things local. Bronx natives are hungry. We, too, like our Brooklyn and Queens brethren, like to eat, like to be able to spend our weekends close to home, like to be able to spend our money close to home. The Bronx Night Market serves as a reminder to consider all the options here within the borough before hopping on the subway to the others, to continue to give our home a chance and to push ourselves to be curious about what’s going on in our own backyard (or whatever is synonymous to a yard because I don’t know too many people who have front and backyards).
If the turn out from the first event is indicative of attendance at future market nights, organizers may want to reconsider other location options! It was one of the few events I have attended this summer where I witnessed a merging of various Bronx communities in a single location. Of course, proximity to a major public transportation hub and subway lines contribute to Fordham Plaza being a rather reasonable setting, including its vicinity to local commerce along Fordham Road, Arthur Avenue roughly a ten-minute walk away, and nearby local attractions such as the Bronx Zoo and Bronx Botanical Gardens. One can make a whole day’s outing simply touring along this main strip.
In any case, I reserve whatever criticisms I have, as this effort to unify the Bronx community through the celebration of food and local artisanal and entrepreneurial commerce deserves an applause. If you missed out on the opening event, be sure to be there on July 28th at 1 Fordham Plaza.
For more information visit: www.thebronxnightmarket.com/
Remember: support local, but more importantly, support home.
To end the month of June, we kicked off a three day experience in partnership with The Citizen Caravan, a mobile camper and pop-up bar.
Throughout the three days, we had different themed nights which included: Movie Night co-hosted with The Bronx Filmmakers Collective, Game Night at the Gun Hill Brewery and a Live Podcast co-hosted with The Bronxer, where we interviewed Trill Cooker and Jason of Empanology.
A recap from Spring pop-up and fashion show to celebrate our merchandise release at Verde Flowers.
Video by Dave Jeffers / Photos by Hunter Reveur
My immediate thought was, “Why are there chairs at a punk show?”
I had just walked up the stairs to the second floor of the Bronx Museum where a projector lit up the spacious room and chairs were laid out in several rows. The projector displayed the flyer for the night’s event, which was a collaboration between the museum and Bronx Natives.
I was looking through the pamphlet of the Bronx Museum events for the upcoming months during my last visit and I noticed the information for a punk night at the museum. My immediate reaction was one of unwavering excitement – a punk show at a Bronx museum? The event itself was inspired by Gordon-Matta Clark’s exhibit Anarchitect which I thoroughly enjoyed for its contemplation on the intersection of anarchy and architecture.
Part of that inspiration immediately made sense to me – punk and anarchy often went hand in hand. Punk music has roots in rebellion, in fighting against the mainstream culture and against systemic structures. But, it wasn’t until after the show that I started to think about the intersection of punk and architecture.
My original question of, “Why are there chairs at a punk show?” would be the foundation for exploring the idea of how physical space plays an important part in holding space for marginalized communities.
How physical spaces, especially a public space such as a museum, are organized in such a way for individuals to feel welcomed into a space. Accessibility, physically, emotionally and mentally, it is created by physical organization – chairs, tables, stage, and lighting all affect the way we perceive spaces and whether they feel right for us. As someone who grew up going to shows since the age of fourteen, I was taken aback by the presence of chairs facing a stage. I grew up on shoulder-to-shoulder shows. On the other hand, as someone who enjoyed art shows of all varieties, it only took me a second to understand that the chairs were simply staging. At the end of the day, I was in a museum and museums are very calculated spaces.
The night began and people filed into the chairs. I was pleasantly surprised that folks of all kinds flowed through the room and I was grateful for the chairs and the accessibility they offered.
Two Bronx-based bands Da Pop and Statik Vision performed while the folks at Bronx Native sold merch and drinks and set the tone for the night with their high energy. The show itself was a treat. Despite the chairs, despite the inevitably organized nature of an event hosted at a museum, a mosh pit opened up. There was something quiet, but high-energy about the crowd and the space that night. It was a silent vibration underneath the toes – steady, peaceful but forceful. I knew that feeling well, it is one I’ve experienced at every show I’ve ever gone to. I wasn’t surprised that by the end of the night, there were people dancing around and moving chairs so that they could move their bodies next to one another.
But, overall I was still in awe for days after. I saw a mosh pit open up, led by people of color, in front of bands of color in the middle of a museum in the Bronx.
Museums can often be exclusive places that aren’t socially, economically, physically accessible for marginalized folks to visit, much less to host punk-oriented shows in. And the Bronx’s underground art scene is often slept on as well, people (both those who reside in the Bronx and those who don’t) often refusing to host or attend events in the borough. Overall, I knew the weight behind this event before attending. But, to see the subtle magic it produced, was another.
I have always known that physical space matters – but it was this event that made me realize, chairs don’t. Chairs are only a tool, there are other important elements, intangible ones such as intention and energy, that determine the way we perceive physical space.
I think back to the Gordon-Matta Clark’s exhibit. Clark’s work focused on how physical spaces spoke to our environment at large. I wonder what Gordon Matta-Clark felt in the buildings he explored and if he felt an energy that spoke louder than holes in the walls.
The Bronx Native’s Punk Night at the Bronx Museum felt like a small gesture towards making room for marginalized communities – it was an offering for those so often excluded from physical art spaces, the offering was cracking open a window just slightly in a stuffy room in the middle of summer. It was more than a just sense of relief, it was space to breathe.
Our second annual magazine release event was a success. We appreciate everyone who came out and supported. If you weren't able to snag your copy but reside in NYC, you can via one of our retailers. These include: The Miles Coffee Bar, Verde Flowers, Casa Magazines, Quimby's Bookstore NYC and MoMa PS1.