Autumn is the Perfect Time to Fall for the Bronx

Interactive Tours throughout the season offer visitors opportunities to discover and rediscover the Bronx.

Hikes, bikes, foliage and food! This season there is something for everyone in the Bronx. The “Fall for the Bronx Action Tours” is a series of activities designed to offer visitors an enjoyable, as well as informational experience.  

“The Fall is a magical time in the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Whether you are travelling here from around the world or around the block, there are so many fun things to do”.  

“It’s also a perfect opportunity to experience some of the wonderful things this borough has to offer” stated Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of the Bronx Tourism Council.

Each guided tour is themed and includes sites, historical content and interactivity. All tours, with the exception of Tour de Bronx, offers round-trip trolley service from the visitor’s center located at 810 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.  

Saturday, October 6th, NAUTICAL TOUR

The fun begins with a guided trolley tour throughout City Island, a small community located at the edge of New York City just beyond Pelham Bay Park. After the tour, participants will visit the Nautical Museum, dedicated to City Island’s past and present nautical heritage, including the contributions of famous yacht-builders and sail makers.

Break for a light lunch meal (cost not included in registration fee) at a local seafood restaurant then visit a local art gallery, take in a photo exhibit and chat with long-time residents and artists.

End the day aboard the 65-foot Island Current IV and fish for blues and striped bass. Gear and bait are included in registration fee courtesy of Captain Chris.   

Sunday, October 14th, TOUR de BRONX

Participate in a FREE family-fun event promoting healthy living through physical activity! Choose the 25 OR 40-mile course that runs through the borough’s 61 communities! Great for the novice rider as well as the biking aficionado!

Both rides feature great neighborhoods, waterfronts, historic districts and end with a music festival at the New York Botanical Garden. This event is FREE, but registration is required

Saturday, October 20th, NATURE TOUR

Enjoy a walk through the African Plain Exhibit at the Bronx Zoo. Trek past lions and zebras and get as close to the Serengeti as you can in the Bronx!

Then head to New York’s real Little Italy and enjoy lunch at the famous Mike’s Deli at the Arthur Avenue Market (cost of food not included in registration). Hear about the rich cultural history of the Italian-American experience in the Bronx.

Experience the ecology, industry and history of the South Bronx waterfront while paddling your own canoe on the Bronx River. Bronx River Alliance staff will guide you on a two mile tour as you encounter the wildlife, the working river and three of New York City’s newest waterfront parks while learning about the return of this amazing Bronx resource

Saturday, October 27th, FOOD TOUR

Begin your epicurean journey with a visit to the La Finca Del Sur community garden in the South Bronx. Enjoy an exciting tour of a real-life urban farm and partake in a cooking demonstration utilizing organic herbs and vegetables that you can bring home for the family!

Then head to New York’s real Little Italy and enjoy a lesson on making home-made mozzarella. Sample cheeses and enjoy a light lunch in the famous Mike’s Deli in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market (cost of lunch not included in registration). Hear about the rich cultural history of the Italian-American experience in the Bronx.

The tour continues at the popular Bronx Ale House on the west side in Kingsbridge, where you can enjoy a tasting of unique Bronx craft beers! Representatives will give a presentation on the Bronx Pale Ale and the Bronx Rye Pale Ale. Pair your beer with the famous Bronx Ale House’s veggie burger sliders, recently voted the best in the city by the New York Daily News. Samples and sliders are courtesy of the Bronx Ale House.

Saturday, November 3rd, HIKING TOUR

Take a walk through Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries in New York, designated as a National Historic Landmark. Pay tribute to illustrious Bronxites and other notables interred there. Take a guided tour of the gravesites of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Herman Melville, Celia Cruz and more.

Then enjoy a Garden Highlights walk through Wave Hill, overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Stroll through the Aquatic Garden, a friendly environment for fish, frogs and dragonflies. Partake in a light lunch at the Wave Hill Café (cost of food not included in registration).

The day ends at historic Van Cortlandt Park with a hike on the Putnam Trail, where the New York Central Railroad’s Putnam Division once ran. Learn about the Van Cortlandt and Vanderbilt families and what the park has in common with New York’s famous Grand Central Station.

Each tour (except for the Tour de Bronx) is $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Registration includes rentals and admissions as described. All tours make fun stops for lunch but the cost of lunch is NOT included. Tours depart via trolley at 9 a.m. from the Visitors Center in Manhattan, located at 810 7th Avenue, and return at 5 p.m. Tours take place rain or shine, but the hiking and nature tour may be rescheduled in case of inclement weather.

To purchase tickets, log onto The Tour de Bronx is free, but registration is required at For additional information contact the Bronx Tourism Council at 718.590.2502

These tours are hosted by the Bronx Tourism Council, a program of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) funded by the Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Additional promotional support provided by the NYC & Company Foundation.

About the Bronx Tourism Council: Established in 1991, The Bronx Tourism Council is a subsidiary of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), creating a cohesive and symbiotic relationship between arts and culture and economic development. The role of the Bronx Tourism Council is to promote the borough’s rich history, its institutions, and cultural diversity on a local, national, and international level.


Continue Reading September 29, 2012 at 11:21 am Leave a comment


This is the borough that gave birth to what has become an international phenomenon

Continue Reading July 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

BombaYo presents its Annual Memorial Day Weekend BOMBARbq at El Barrio’s Casabe Houses

– Entertainment includes traditional Puerto Rican Bomba & Plena performances by residents and other community participants

CASABE Houses, a privately managed senior residence located at 150 East 121st Street (Corner of Lexington Avenue) will host BombaYo’s annual BOMBARbq, a community “block party” on Saturday May 26th from 12pm to 6pm. The event is part of the residence’s CACHE Program, established in 2010 and designed to offer activities focused on the culture of Puerto Rico, Latin America, film and the arts to residents and the community-at-large. The term caché is synonymous with panache, flair, or style.

José Ortiz, (a.k.a. Dr. Drum), and Melinda González, founders of BombaYo, which started as a youth project dedicated to preserving the rich Afro Puerto Rican tradition of Bomba, have assembled a unique blend of multi-generational drummers and dancers, some of which live in Casabe Houses. The group, along with the dance troupe Los Robles de Casabe, have performed together as part of the weekly CACHÉ drum circle and at over 19 venues including the United Nations. The eldest of the drum line, Jorge Sánchez, 67, played this form of traditional music as a boy in Santurce, Puerto Rico, but when he arrived in New York as a young man, he abandoned his instrument to pursue work and family. When Mr. Sánchez became a tenant at Casabe Houses a few years ago he, like so many others, resigned himself to living out the rest of his life in solitude at a quiet senior facility alongside other aging seniors. When Dr. Drum introduced the Sunday afternoon Bomba classes to the CACHÉ program along with his partner, dancer Melinda González, Mr. Sánchez had an epiphany and nostalgia got the best of him. He realized his life’s dream was to play the drums again and with rejuvenated spirit Jorge Sánchez has become one of the group’s star performers. The youngest of the group, Idalia Vega, is 15.

Mr. Sánchez is not the only senior who discovered renewed enthusiasm through music. The dance troupe, Los Robles de Casabe is composed of eight seniors and one youth—the eldest is 84 and the youngest is 7 years old. “This high-energy program proves that life doesn’t end at retirement,” stated Dr. Drum, who also serves as CACHÉ’s Bomba Program’s director and instructor. “These folks have entered into a new chapter in their lives, and through the magic of music, they are transformed to a part of their lives hidden within all the years of working for a living, raising children, and all those other day-to-day responsibilities.” Yolanda Sánchez, (no relation to Mr. Jorge Sánchez) one of the founders of Casabe Houses and interim director states, “Since the inception of the CACHÉ program, we have seen, not only our residents invigorated, but the community around us and beyond has joined us in many of the classes and events.” CACHÉ’s many arts programs have attracted participants from throughout New York and New Jersey.

# # #

 About CASABE Houses: Established in 1981, CASABE Houses is a privately managed senior residence where the quality of life for senior citizens 62 and older is strongly emphasized. The 125-unit building offers residents a safe haven of independent, affordable apartments with services that meet the needs of an elderly population. For more information log onto

About CACHÉ: A Free Program offering a series of classes and performances focused on the culture of Puerto Rico, Latin America, film and the arts to residents and the community-at-large. The program, which is a collaboration with some of the community’s art organizations, caters to East Harlem’s seniors, families and older teens.

May 25, 2012 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

East Harlem Seniors Invite All Communities to Weekend of Discussion and Celebration

 – Screens controversial documentary followed by panel discussion

–       Celebrates the Puerto Rican Community with Jíbaro Music and Local Art

CASABE Houses, a privately managed senior residence located at 150 East 121st Street (Corner of Lexington Avenue) will host two events on May 4th and 5th. Both events are part of the senior residence’s CACHE Program, established in 2010 and designed to offer activities focused on the culture of Puerto Rico, Latin America, film and the arts to residents and the community-at-large.

Friday May 4th, 6pm – 9pm

Beginning at 6pm, the CASABE Houses will screen the documentary Precious Knowledge followed by a panel discussion from progressive educators. The film, which premieres on PBS May 17th, touches on the controversial ban of the highly successful Mexican-American Studies program at a high school in Tucson, Arizona. Other communities throughout the United States watch closely as teachers and students fight back in this modern civil rights struggle. Panelists discuss why a ban on ethnic studies happening at the epicenter of the immigration debate in the age of identity politics should matter to New York’s Latino community. Discussion will also include a brief history of the ground-breaking legal suit won against the state of California by the Puerto-Rican/Mexican Mendez family in Mendez v. Westminster in 1946, eight years prior to the well-known Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

Blanca Vázquez will moderate the panel of experts. Ms. Vázquez teaches in the department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York. She was the founding editor of CENTRO, the Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, at Hunter College.  An alumnus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she is also an adjunct organizer for the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s faculty and staff union.

Edwin Mayorga is a parent, educational justice organizer with the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), and a doctoral student in Urban Education at CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation seeks to examine the “racialization” of Latinos in El Barrio through education reform policy and practices from the 1970s to today. Prior to becoming a doctoral student Mr. Mayorga taught elementary school in the NYC public school system (District 3) and has been organizing with NYCoRE for the last 8 years. He is also a participant in the National Latin@ Education Research & Policy Project (NLERAP), a writing fellow at Hostos Community College, and part-time faculty at Hunter College and New York University.

Jaime Estades is President and Founder of the Latino Leadership Institute, an organization that promotes Latino participation in the electoral process by instructing and developing new candidates’ campaign managers and community organizers. He is also an attorney specializing in immigration, a Social Worker and Adjunct professor of Social Welfare and Policy at the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University.

Pedro Pedraza is a founding staff member of the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College, CUNY. The Centro is a research center initiated via a grant from the Ford Foundation to create within CUNY studies focused on the experience, art, history culture and language of the mainland Puerto Rican community. His initial research was focused on analyzing the nature of the bilingualism of the NY Puerto Rican community via ethnographic, attitudinal and sociolinguistic studies.

Saturday, May 5th, 2:00 -P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc. a community-based cultural institution founded in 1980, brings its annual “El Show del Jíbaro” to the CASABE Houses. The presentation features “La Rondalla de Cuatros de La Casa” (The Cuatro Music Ensemble of La Casa) a blend of folkloric and contemporary musical expressions of cuatristas, trovadores and folkloric dancers.

The “Art by the Fence Exhibition” will feature an exhibit of paintings created by community members with a passion for art during the Creative Painting Workshop conducted by La Casa. The goal of the workshop is to encourage creativity, self-confidence, knowledge of the various schools of art, and artistic culture.

# # #


About CASABE Houses: Established in 1981, CASABE Houses is a privately managed senior residence where the quality of life for senior citizens 62 and older is strongly emphasized. The 125-unit building offers residents a safe haven of independent, affordable apartments with services that meet the needs of an elderly population.

About CACHÉ: A Free Program offering a series of classes and performances focused on the culture of Puerto Rico, Latin America, film and the arts to residents and the community-at-large. The program, which is a collaboration with some of the community’s art organizations, caters to East Harlem’s seniors, families and older teens.

April 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment


–         DJ Broadway and DJ Asho to perform at an event featuring the legendary Orquesta Aragón

– Private event seeks to REVIVE THE VIBE of the cultural movement of the 50’s, and 60’s

New York, NY, September 30, 2011Genco Presents, the membership organization whose mission is to recapture the cultural movement that brought LIVE classic Latin Music vibes of the 50’s and 60’s, has added celebrity deejays DJ Broadway and DJ Asho to the October 11th show featuring Orquesta Aragón. DJ Broadway, known as El Cubano del Sabor has been spinning traditional Salsa for over 32 years and still believes that vinyl is king. He developed his love for quality music listening to his father play records from such great artists as Beny Moré, Arsenio Rodríguez, and Orquesta Aragón. “It’s an honor to perform with this legendary group. I’ve listened to their music all my life. It’s like meeting royalty,” stated DJ Broadway.  It’s a sentiment shared by radio personality, promoter, cultural activist and writer Ariel Fernández Diaz a.k.a. DJ Asho who believes that the power of music can transmit ideas and build community. “Aragon is a quintessential orchestra when it comes to understanding the mutations of popular Cuban music from the past century to today,” states DJ Asho.

The concert brings Orquesta Aragón from their native Cuba to New York to recreate the ambience of some of the top dance halls of the 20th century like the Palladium, the Village Gate, Havana San Juan and the Corso. These venues consistently drew diverse crowds dancing to the sounds of Latin luminaries, including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Machito, Beny Moré, and La Lupe. Havana-based Orquesta Aragón, founded in 1939 by Orestes Aragón Cantero in Cienfuegos, Cuba, lauded as the best Charanga band of that era, made their American debut at the Palladium and continues to enjoy a loyal following today. To document this historic appearance, the performances will also be filmed as part of a documentary being produced about the band and its place in Latin music history.

The private party will take place on October 11th at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 W. 18th Street. There will be two New York exclusive performances only at 7pm and 10pm. This is a member’s only event. To become a member and secure attendance to this and other cultural and professional events, log onto

The Genco Presents event is made possible with the collaboration of Cuban Visons; Havana San Juan; and Havana-NY Film Festival.

About Genco Presents…is a membership organization, whose mission is to recapture the cultural movement of the LIVE classic Latin Music vibes of 50’s and 60’s. The club is comprised of individuals who are interested in Latino Arts and Culture. In addition to the Genco Presents… private parties, members will also have opportunities to participate in networking events to be held throughout the city. For more information log onto

September 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm 1 comment


On October 11, 2011, Genco Presents will bring Orquesta Aragón from their native Cuba to New York to recreate the ambience of some of the top dance halls of the 20th century like the Palladium, the Village Gate, Havana San Juan and the Corso where, according to Founder and Producer Geno Chaviano “People used to dress to the nines and dance all night to the rhythms of Danzón, Mambo, Cha Cha Chá and Guaracha, just to name a few.”

Continue Reading September 15, 2011 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

Can Free Online Translation Software Actually Cost?

My agency once represented two young optometrists who had started an online company offering several hundred designer frames at a significant discount. We were helping them create a marketing plan to expand their reach to new markets. They decided the Hispanic Market would increase their bottom line significantly and we proceeded to begin the process of developing a comprehensive strategy plan. The site was very complicated with a lot of navigation, mouse-over animation, product descriptions and several categories such as frames for men, women and children as well as specialty frames which included sunglasses and swimming goggles. There was also a long legal disclaimer, verbose privacy policy, comprehensive instructions on uploading prescriptions, FAQs, and a slew of other editorially-intense landing pages. When we presented them with a plan that included a budget for translations, they squawked and informed me that they could have the entire site translated for free using an online application. Though I pointed out all the discrepancies in the Spanish version (the word “kids frames” was translated into “lentes para cabritos”, literally little goats, and let’s not get started on the legal language), the two decided not to take my advice and the entire expansion project was scrapped. This is a common issue as more and more companies are looking to reach ethnic markets. Throughout the years, our agency has experienced several similar cases, but fortunately we were able to stop the presses and prove to them why they should never, ever, no, no, never use those services no matter what. Never.

Recently, Portada, a publication on Latin Marketing and Media, published a picture of a poorly translated product label. The copy in English reads “Best if used by date shown on end of can”. The Spanish translation stated “Mejor de ser usado por la fecha mostrada durante el final de puede” which very loosely translates into “Better if used for the date shown during the end of ability”. Also, the label goes on to say “Store in cool, dry place”. Spanish? “Tienda en un lugar chulo, seco.” The word “tienda” is used for “a store” (the noun) as opposed to “to store” (the verb), and the writer in Portada mentions that “chulo” means pimp, however, in my Puerto Rican Spanish, we use that word as a colloquial term of endearment reminiscent of “cutie” or “hottie”.  Juana Horton, President of Horton Interpreting Services, a company that offers services in over 80 languages, states “Sometimes there are underlying cultural factors that make it difficult to translate certain phrases into another language. This is a shining example of where machine translators and websites fail miserably.”

To illustrate how bad free online services are, we translated an Agencia EFE wire (Spain’s equivalent to the Associated Press) news article from Spanish to English using the same commonly-used online translator. See for yourself:

Caracas / EFE – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez says he is determined to go ahead until 2031 headed the political process, and ensures that the disease has not been a single moment thinking about leaving the presidency in an interview published today in the government newspaper “Correo del Orinoco”.

“I am determined to get to 2031,” Chavez said when mentioning the project to be traced since coming to power in 1999 and aims to meet three decades with a “golden decade”, he says, between 2020 and 2030.

On the personal side, Chávez declared that he thought “a moment” to retire from the presidency. ”

“If there are reasons you would, especially if any, on the physical or mental, would be the first and responsibly” to do so, he said.

“I have reason medical, scientific, human, loving, policies to keep ahead of the government and the candidate with more force than before,” he said, referring to his status as a candidate in the presidential elections at a date yet to be defined, 2012 .

Chavez returned to Venezuela last Saturday surprise from Cuba, where he underwent during the week chemotherapy to treat cancer of which reported last June 30.

Upon his return at the airport in Maiquetia said doctors did not detect malignant cells in her body, but added that there is still risk of a recurrence of the disease.

He said that whatever country is informed about their illness “is set to the truth” and rejected the comments of former Secretary Department deputy U.S. State Roger Noriega, who said last week that the cancer is advanced Chavez and only has a 50 percent chance of living longer than 18 months.

You can clearly see the grammatical horror in the above example, not to mention glaring inaccuracies from the original message. As one of  many examples the line that says “On a personal side, Chávez declared that he thought a moment to retire from the presidency”, a statement that indicates he has thought about leaving the presidency. The original text in fact, states he has NOT thought for an instant that he would leave the presidency. Additionally look at the very last paragraph where it states “Upon his return … doctors did not detect malignant cells in her body” which alludes to the possibility that Mr. Chávez may have had a different kind of treatment during his stay in Cuba. The word “su” (which can mean one’s, his, her, your, its, their) was translated as “her” instead of “his” not taking into account context.

Don’t Translate Words. Integrate Meaning.

Many years ago, when our agency was quite young, we were hired by a private hospital to launch a community awareness campaign on Asthma. The project led to a bigger contract on cardio-vascular health and one of our deliverables included integrating a pamphlet titled “The Heart of the Matter.” Of course in English this indicated a seriousness of the situation; however, it did not translate well into Spanish. After a great amount of discussion with the client and our translator, we decided to alter the content for the Spanish-speaking audience, which also meant altering the tone. The in-language version of the brochure read “Con la mano en el corazón” which, literally, means “with my hand on the heart” and figuratively denotes frankness and sincerity. This approach worked better in a community that values sincerity. Cristina Arsuaga, a federally-certified translator, which is the highest level of certification available in the United States, says “Translation is never literal. You must take an idea and express it in a way that best expresses the original language’s intention. When no equivalent exists, one must search for creative ways of conveying the message.” Free online translation may serve a purpose in helping the reader get the “gist” of what the marketer is trying to say, but a true marketer knows this is not enough. Arsuaga continues, “Unless you understand the nuances of a culture, as well as the context of the text or conversation, there is a good chance you will misrepresent the message.”

Horton goes on to say, “Today, more than ever, global boundaries are disappearing. With the internet and mass media, we are able to connect to people all over the word with the click of a button. This reinforces the importance of cross-cultural communication and underlines the necessity for accurate, high quality translations. Online translation sites can be a useful tool, but cannot and should not replace the role of a real-life translator. Conveying a message accurately from one language into another is a craft that takes years of study and a true understanding of both languages and both cultures.”

August 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm 3 comments

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