March 2010
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Archive for March, 2010

Scaglione Brothers Bakery & Deli, a Place that Matters

scaglione bros bakery

The Scaglione Brothers Bakery & Deli was nominated to the Census of Places that Matter for being a cherished feature of the Morris Park neighborhood in the Bronx.  Since the 1950s, three generations of the Scaglione family have been making fresh bread and focaccia daily in their Morris Park Avenue location, making it a mainstay of this Italian-American neighborhood.

The Sicilian immigrant father of current owner, Joe Scaglione, Sr., opened the first Scaglione family bakery on East 113th Street and Second Avenue prior to World War II.  In 1944, the Scaglione family moved their bakery from East Harlem to White Plains Road in the Bronx, and they relocated again in 1950 to their current location.  In the post World War II era, the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx was growing as an Italian-American neighborhood, making it an ideal location for the bakery.  Many Italian-American families looking for affordable single family homes to buy left their neighborhoods in Manhattan and southern Bronx for Morris Park. The Italian-American presence is still strong in Morris Park, which has one of the highest Italian-American populations in New York City and which is known to rival the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue for being the borough’s quintessential Italian-American neighborhood.

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MAS Members Can Help Save Parks and Preservation Funding

eldridge street synagogue front lower east side

Essential preservation funds, historic sites and parks will be impacted by proposed state and federal budget cuts. MAS encourages its members to take action to urge lawmakers to restore funding for these important programs.

“In these difficult economic times, some may argue that preservation and parks are luxuries we can do without. But preservation isn’t just about reminding us of our past. The restoration work funded through Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America has generated sorely needed jobs and helped to build sustainable communities. New York State’s Parks and Historic sites offer inexpensive recreational opportunities to New Yorkers just when they need them most,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla.

The proposed federal budget cuts may eliminate two long-standing historic preservation funds, Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. The former was established in 1998 by President Clinton and is a public-private partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since its creation, the program has awarded almost $294 million in federal grants to over 1,100 preservation efforts across the country. In turn, these grants have leveraged more than $377 million in required matching- and non-federal funds, and the funded construction projects alone have created more than 16,000 jobs.

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Landmarks-to-Be by the Sea

coney island usa building

Even though it’s not yet summer, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has Coney Island on its mind. On Tuesday, March 23, the LPC will hold a public hearing on two important historic buildings in Coney Island: the Shore Theater and the former Childs restaurant on Surf Avenue (now home to the arts organization, Coney Island USA).

In response to the hearing’s announcement, MAS President Vin Cipolla said: “These two buildings are incredibly intact remnants of early 20th-century Coney Island. The former Childs restaurant, now owned and invigorated by the arts organization, Coney Island USA, is a wonderful example of how Coney Island’s historic resources can be part of a revitalized Coney Island. The Shore Theater, although currently in disuse, has the potential to be a great performance space in Coney Island and to enhance the area’s revitalization. I commend the Landmarks Preservation Commission for taking steps to protect these two important Coney Island buildings.”

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This Sunday, Stroll Through Rosebank, Staten Island, with MAS

alice-austen-house

Next Sunday, join tour leader and architectural historian Francis Morrone as he leads what is becoming an annual visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Alice Austen House in Rosebank, Staten Island.

Recently, we asked Francis what it was that appealed to him so much about a quiet corner of a little-known borough. He replied:

“Both the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Austen house are among the lesser-known gems of New York. The former is a great folk-art shrine, a stunning example of how old-world folkways and spiritual traditions have been translated to the big modern city. The Austen house has it all: a colonial house transformed into the city’s finest surviving Downingesque cottage; the story of Alice herself, whose life exemplifies the progressive woman of the early 20th century and who was also a great pioneering photographer; and a unique, beautiful waterfront setting. What the two have in common is that they show layers of time, and tell complicated, compelling stories. Rosebank, as a whole, symbolizes a whole Italian-American way of life, the semiotic transposition of contadini values to the New World. This resonates powerfully with me, for it is bound up with my own family history and intense interest in Italian-American history.”

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“I LEGO N.Y.” Available Now at Urban Center Books, the MAS Bookstore

i-lego-ny-book

I LEGO N.Y. is an imaginative new look at life in New York City constructed entirely out of LEGOs. The former New Yorker illustrator, Christoph Niemann, posted photographs of his creations along with his handwritten captions on his New York Times blog. Resident and honorary New Yorkers around the world responded enthusiastically to the clever and minimalist inventions, which captured both the iconic (the Empire State Building) and the mundane (man standing on a subway platform) in fewer LEGO pieces than one might think possible.

This book includes all of the original images, plus 13 new creations. The resulting collection is delightful in its simplicity and moving in its ability to capture the spirit of life in New York in so few strokes.