About Our Neighborhood
The fire that occurred on December 28th on Prospect Avenue took the lives of 12 people and many families in our community have been temporarily displaced. The Belmont BID is continuing to work with Councilman Torres, Bronx Parent Housing Network, and the Red Cross to help those affected. If you would still like to donate, you can do so through the Bronx Parent Housing Network. Thank you to the heroic efforts of the FDNY and NYPD, and all the individuals who have helped during this time of need.
The Belmont Business Improvement District would like to thank our partners for all their hard work in organizing donation sites and relief efforts: Councilman Torres, Bronx Parent Housing Network, and the Red Cross. These organizations and their representatives worked tirelessly to help all those affected. In wake of the tragedy, the BID donated $1,000 to help with relief efforts and encouraged our members, the community, and our social media followers to donate what they could, whether it be clothing, food, or monetary donations. I am proud to share that there was such an overwhelming response that after one day of collections, capacity was met at several of the donations sites, and I sincerely thank everyone for their contributions.
Several days after the fire, the Red Cross held a lunch for the families impacted, and I would like to thank White Castle for sending over an abundance food to the event. I would also like to thank Pasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant for sending food to the Church of Saint Martin of Tours.
Father Morris welcomed all to attend his Community Prayer Service held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church last week. Leaders from a variety of religions were present and it was truly beautiful to see so many come together. He also started a Go Fund Me campaign which has raised over $200,000. I am also proud to share that Belmont School PS 205 rallied together and raised more than $15,000 for those affected.
The Belmont BID is also happy to share that the producers of Broadway’s hit musical, A Bronx Tale, will make a donation of $4.00 for every ticket sold to performances from January 16 through January 21 through The Child Reach Foundation to help the families affected.
THIS IS MY ARTHUR AVENUE!
With the beginning of the new year here, it is exciting to look back on the remarkable past year. The year saw exciting achievements come to fruition, especially in regards to our efforts to promote the Bronx Little Italy neighborhood and brand. We are proud to share our community’s vibrant culture and authenticity, which has endured through changing times, sustaining numerous businesses in existence for 100 years or longer. Highlighting what makes this neighborhood unique is essential to ensure that the restaurants, artisan food shops and specialty stores remain here for future generations to come.
Pursuant to this goal, the BID commissioned the first promotional “My Arthur Avenue” commercial (see below). The commercial launched in the fall and featured the spirit and essence of the neighborhood with footage of our welcoming businesses, artisanal products, and loyal customers. It is our hope that this exposure will be a springboard for increased engagement with Arthur Avenue’s unique offerings and rich history.
This exciting year also saw the completion of a 120-foot long mural in the neighborhood. Located on the strategic corner of Hughes Avenue and Fordham Road, artist Mike A. designed the statement piece to welcome visitors to the neighborhood. The mural celebrates the movie and Broadway show “A Bronx Tale” and features other important elements such as Arthur Avenue’s designation as one of the “Great Streets of America.” This project was a great step in promoting the uniqueness and authenticity of our historic community.
A major goal of the Belmont BID is promoting the economic well-being of our businesses and community through showcasing the best attributes of the neighborhood at our exciting events. During the summer months we introduced our new Jazz Saturdays series to highlight the neighborhood’s sophistication as part of the DOT Weekend Walks. This classy event featured talented jazz bands that serenaded shoppers and food enthusiasts, providing a lively addition to the usual weekend hustle and bustle. We also held our third annual Art Show which brought attendees to the neighborhood for a festive viewing of notable pieces from local artists, as well as live art demonstrations. The third annual Community Health Fair held in partnership with SBH Health Systems was a crowd pleaser yet again. This fun street fair incorporated cooking demonstrations, health screenings, and a yoga class, all focused on promoting healthy habits for local families. Over 25,000 attendees flocked to Arthur Avenue for our Ferragosto celebration this year. The crowds indulged in the neighborhood’s old-world charm while savoring Italian delicacies, including sausage and peppers, zeppoles, and homemade pasta to name a few. The live entertainment and street performers were a big hit, immersing visitors in traditional Italian music and theater. For Italian Heritage Month we proudly partnered with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his annual celebration at the Bronx Zoo. We also celebrated Columbus Day with live music and characters in the timeless Arthur Avenue Retail Market. The year came to a close with our annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony starring Santa himself, tons of delicious Italian cookies and hot chocolate, and carolers that sang their way through the neighborhood under our dazzling holiday light displays.
We are confident that 2018 will be nothing short of spectacular. We will continue to promote our special neighborhood and the Italian charm, community, and products it has to offer. You can expect the return of many of our well-loved annual events, as well as some new additions. As always, you can continue to experience the authenticity that enables our neighborhood to thrive. There are an abundance of ways to enjoy “My Arthur Avenue”, and we encourage you to not only discover them – but make it yours. We wish you a happy and healthy year and hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!