Yesterday ended Bronx Week 2011, and our 4-day Pop-Up Shop, Museum and Cultural Showcase at 614 Courtlandt Ave. The landmarked building, which only recently was renovated to its former glory, was
purchased by acclaimed photojournalist Mike Kamber last year. Mike graciously let us set up shop in his first-floor storefront, giving us the perfect location to celebrate the borough.
The event was a resounding success. Mike reached out to fellow photogs Ricky Flores and David Gonzalez, and the trio supplied some
amazing shots of The Bronx from the 1980's. Bronx graffiti legends Tats Cru put three of their works on display on the walls, as did
borough up-and-comer Sean Paul Gallegos (who has been getting some serious buzz as of late), and the world-acclaimed Daniel Hauben. The multi-talented Chief 69 kept the crowds entertained
with his break dancing, when he wasn't busy showing off his painting skills.
As the word got out across the borough, and the crowds kept coming, more performers showed up to show their talents. Among the surprise performances was a trailer presentation of the hit movie
Gun Hill Road, and an impromptu concert by singer Kathryn Hoxie
(accompanied by Anthony Ramirez Sr.).
In addition to the amazing artists who shared their talents, this event would not have been what it was without the contributions of Deco
by Designers who helped make the storefronts windows works of art in themselves, and Jonas Bronck's Beer, for bringing his delicious brew
to the South Bronx, as well as the four area restaurants that supplied their delicious dishes for the Taste of Melrose on Saturday afternoon. For those interested in learning about the history of
the building and the surrounding neighborhood, the Bronx County Historical Society set up a display which included photographs
from the 19th Century of the surrounding area, as well as the storied history of this part of the borough.
Throughout the four days, we saw a steady stream of visitors show up from across the borough, most of whom heard about the event through word of mouth or through our growing and vibrant Facebook
page. If attracting visitors from Riverdale, Throggs Neck, Co-Op and Kingsbridge to a four story walkup on Courtlandt Avenue in Melrose doesn't say Bronx pride, we're not sure what does. People
from all walks of life wanted to come see for themselves what the borough had to offer.
Finally, we couldn't have asked for a better community to share our Bronx love with. As people came off the 2 and 5 trains on their way home from work, or passed by from a day full of classes at
Alfred E. Smith High School, they couldn't help but notice the huge, decorated plate glass windows adorned with Felicia's designs. Once inside the shop, they were at once surprised (that an art
gallery magically appeared in their midst) and proud to see all that their neighborhood and their borough has produced.