Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Ferry Service Returns to The Boogie Down!!!
For more than 80 years ferry service has been a forgotten transportation option for residents of the Bronx. Instead many Bronx residents had no alternative way to get to and from the city other than driving, taking the bus, or subways in and out. The commute times made it basically a horribly long commute to get to and from work for many residents who don’t or couldn’t afford to live in Manhattan. Several years ago we mentioned that docks were being built up in the Soundview section of the Bronx a neighborhood I know all to well as myself and my siblings grew up there.
Let me paint the picture for you. Imagine a hybrid area that seems part suburban and part inner city. Private homes on one side and projects just a few blocks away from the private homes. A two fare zone to get to and from this area meant for many of us walking to bus routes like the Bx27 or Bx39 taking a ride to the subway with overcrowded, often late more times than not buses, then transferring to trains, that depending on your station stop were either local or connected to an express 6 train to bring you into the city.
Now if you worked in a place like say Brooklyn that would mean once you exited the subway station stop you had to pay another fare to take the bus to your final destination or if in the city paying another fare on a bus to connect you to wherever in the city you had to go. All this while dealing with the chaos that is the MTA wrought with delay after delay and signal problems while playing the standard BS PA “We’re delayed due to train traffic ahead of us”.
Many a time you would sit there sigh and dream of what it would be like to sit on a ferry like the ones that connect Staten Island to Manhattan. A quick 30 minute ride over the water was just a distant dream. Today August 15, 2018 Mayor De Blasio along with local news marked the opening day of ferry service that connects Soundview to 90th Street, 34th Street, and Wall Street. The ferry ride is huge and not only signals that improved commuter life is here for many Bronx residents but that real estate prices are most certainly going to rise for homeowners in close proximity to the ferry. I imagine a rebirth and revitalization similar to the gentrification we’ve seen going on in places like Williamsburg, Queens, & the South Bronx where new luxury condo buildings are going up just over the 3rd Ave Bridge.
Once this ferry service proves it’s worth we should anticipate expansion of service to be a demand as more and more commuters flee packed 6 trains and local buses for this more scenic and preferable transportation option which currently is the same cost as a bus or subway ride. The only question I have is why the hell did it take so long?
Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: The Stand Your Ground Law & It’s Implications
By now everyone in the U.S has probably heard of the Stand Your Ground Law (unless you live under a rock) which was brought to public consciousness with the high profile murder case of George Zimmerman who gunned down 17 year old Trayvon Martin in his father’s neighborhood in Florida back in 2012. George Zimmerman a disgusting excuse for a human-being whose prejudice & racist attitude coupled with the use of the “Stand Your Ground Law” allowed him to basically get away with murdering an African American kid. Make no mistake, a 17 year old is still just a kid. This was a grown man with a hatred of people of color and the desire to become law enforcement who failed to become an officer of the law despite his numerous attempts.
His unhealthy obsession with becoming a police officer drove him to study criminal justice and self defense in particular because he wanted to have a legal means of killing people of color. Despite all the facts of the case America’s stubborn racist mindset and rigged judicial system along with “Lord Voldemort” himself Mark O’Meara convinced a jury that only one person was allowed to use the Stand Your Ground Law when the confrontation occurred between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
Due to his death at the hands of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was unable to testify that he was stalked, attacked, wrestled to the ground as he fought valiantly for his life and ultimately shot at point blank range by George Zimmerman in the dark of night while rain fell.
Without rehashing all the details of that night the implications are clear. If you are a person of color and in particular an African American male/female child or adult, young or old, your life can be taken (without remedy) by anyone be it an ordinary citizen or a police officer. Open season was declared with the not guilty verdict. How did America allow this to happen? The answer is America has always allowed this to happen. Her soil is saturated and drunken full with the blood and bodies of innumerable African American people while the judicial system regards their lost lives as foot notes not worthy of mention and rightfully taken by anyone who sees fit to do so.
People can point to the “holocaust” it’s survivors and the descendants of survivors with empathy and remembrance along with monetary compensation for them to help with their recovery from those concentration camps. Under former President Obama, America gave $12 million dollars to “Jewish” holocaust survivors and/or their descendants. What do people point to when it comes to the innumerable number of African/Afro – American lives lost to slavery, rape, murder, public lynching, Jim Crow, & convict leasing programs not to mention the mass incarceration of Afro-Americans brought on by the Clinton era? Nothing…not a peep.
“Stand Your Ground” is just another legal affront to African American people and should be stricken from the law books. One should not be afforded the protections of Stand Your Ground” when initiating a conflict and then claiming self defense to justify murder. Do you notice when a person of color tries to use “Stand Your Ground” that defense isn’t allowed? What are we to do? As it stands we’re currently damned if we do, double damned if we don’t. Perhaps with backs to the wall the answer is (if there is no legal recourse or protection for African-American people) to arm yourselves anyway. Personally, I think it better to have a chance at self defense than no defense at all. Fuck a system that doesn’t give a shit whether you live or die so long as money can be made off your talents, your labor, your physical body, your life, your property, and your intellect. This onslaught can’t go on unchecked and unchallenged.
What I know from experience is that it’s only when you stand up for yourself that people respect you. What incentive is there to change anything if the people affected aren’t willing to fight for the change?
For most people lets face it MLK Jr. Day has become a day in which not a lot of emphasis is really put on celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.
It’s a day where the kids get to be home from school relishing a 3 day weekend of binging on junk food, watching TV, playing video games, and/or going to the movies while the mainstream media plays either an excerpt or the entire “I have a Dream” speech (depending on the network) in remembrance of Dr. King.
Most people say a few words about how great the “I have a Dream” speech is and was and what the dream speech means today. As a black man living in NYC modern day I see that the dream still hasn’t been realized and I’m not sure that it ever will be just based on the past few years happenings.
As a black man living in a “post MLK Jr. America” I keep thinking about the lack of leadership we have in the black community today. At the same time I wonder why is it that America so readily celebrates MLK Jr. but acts as if Malcolm X never existed or shouldn’t be in the same breath as MLK Jr. Personally I believe we should be celebrating both of these iconic black leaders not just one.
We can agree that both of these great men were critical to the mindset of waking up the world to the plight of black people living the daily grind and constant uphill battle facing us as a nation and people living in a country that practices the opposite of what it preaches. From slavery, to segregation, to Jim Crow, to Civil Rights Era, to modern day slavery reincarnated as the American Prison Industrial Complex the reality is America still is what it always was.
The reason why MLK Jr. is celebrated is because he was the less threatening of the two leaders within the black community. The belief that passive nonviolence would eventually overcome the atrocities we face continually, while being told to wait for justice that almost never comes, was more appealing than a man waking up to the reality of his plight in a system that is designed around his oppression, suppression, theft of his property, ignorance of his/her rights & labor being supplied without the commensurate compensation if at all.
Malcolm X’s “By any means necessary” meant there would be active resistance when necessary in the defense and protection of one’s life, family and/or property. History has shown that nothing has ever been achieved through just passivity alone. It takes action, it takes being willing to die for the rights and freedoms this country is supposed to afford all it’s citizens even if that fight is against fellow citizens who refuse to acknowledge that not just they, but all of human beings deserve the same respect and rights afforded to some.
Tell us what’s really changed since the days of MLK Jr. and Malcolm X with regards to the plight of black people living in America today.
We watched in horror as a cowardly low life cop wannabe reject got away with the murder of a 17 year old Trayvon Martin using a law that only afforded the killer (Zimmerman) the application of the law of stand your ground. The victim’s last screams for help were stolen as was his young life and claimed by his killer George Zimmerman to bolster claims of self defense. No weight was given to the fact that Zimmerman was in fact the aggressor or that Trayvon Martin also had a right to stand his ground. The only problem was there no video evidence to show us what exactly happened and the knowledge of the law and the media vilification of a 17 year old allowed a murderer to go free recast as the actual victim. This is some America.
We watched in horror as the news media showed the bullet riddled body of a young 18 year old Michael Brown Jr. laying dead in the street of Ferguson, MO for at least several hours. The officer responsible for his killing able to lie and give an account of what he said led to him shooting an unarmed teenager as many times as he did when he was in no threat of danger to himself. Eyewitnesses were dismissed as confused or mistaken as to what actually happened and with no video to show the public of his tragic last moments, both the judicial systems refusal to indict an officer and the power of the blue wall protecting their own once again meant there would be no justice.
We watched as another officer shot a 12 year old Tamir Rice to death literally in 2 seconds based off some asshole calling the police acting as if a child playing with a toy gun was a grown man walking around brandishing a real gun. We watched as Freddie Gray’s spine was severed at the hands of the police in Baltimore before he was loaded into the back of a police van. They claimed he had a weapon when he was arrested and was arrested for simply running when he saw those who would ultimately take his life.
The fact that he ran was used as justification for his arrest and subsequent death. They can claim he broke his neck inside that van all they want but the video showing his arrest clearly shows he was unable to stand up on his own two feet let alone walk as he was dragged in obvious agony to the back of a police van before he was loaded inside.
The accounts of the officers as far as what transpired after he was inside the van we can take with a grain of salt. Cops lie and routinely lie especially when it comes to their accounts of what happens when they interact with the public at large. The prosecutor Mosby never had a chance to get justice for Freddie Gray because there is no independent prosecutor to prosecute police officers when they run afoul of the law themselves.
They are above the law and every time they kill a citizen of the U.S in unjustifiable cold blood and they aren’t prosecuted and found guilty, reinforces the idea that the police are above the law. They not only get paid leave after they kill, they get to go home spend time with their families, and whine about how unfair their treatment is by the media and anyone questioning them. Meanwhile they continue to have jobs afterward and probably get promoted.
We watched as police officers murdered Eric Garner on video and no one was punished for his death even though there was clear video evidence of wrong doing. No indictments. How does that work?
We watched as a police officer Michael Slager murdered Walter Scott on video unbeknownst to the officer who then planted a taser on or next to Scott’s body after he shot him to death to claim Scott went for his taser so he had to shoot him. Without that video from a bystander we would only have heard the officers account and the public as well as the judicial system would have believed the officer. As for the victim Walter Scott, his account wouldn’t be believed even if he had lived to tell it without video corroborating it.
We watched as the killer of Jordan Davis (Michael Dunn) got convicted not for his murder but for the attempted murder of his three surviving friends. How crazy is that? Even the ballistics showed Michael Dunn a liar and was not in any imminent threat of grave bodily harm from the teenagers he met and exchanged words with over loud music. They were all unarmed young black teenagers and tragically one of them lost his life and received no justice. Save for his friends surviving, Michael Dunn would be free today just like George Zimmerman.
We watched in horror as the news reports came out about the historical Black Church Massacre in South Carolina where Dylan Roof murdered nine congregation members including the pastor of the church after sitting among them for over an hour. His motivations were clear and that he was able to not only walk away alive after committing the heinous acts he did but was rewarded with Burger King tells us everything we need to know about America. I’ve yet to hear of a case in which a black suspect is wanted for killing that many people and is taken first of all ALIVE, and secondly to Burger King to eat afterwards courtesy of law enforcement. Roof’s conviction and death penalty sentence is one glimmer of hope for an ocean of black victims still waiting for justice.
We witnessed all these things while America watched it’s first Black President at the end of his second and final term in office. I can’t even recall a memorable speech the outgoing president made with all these killings of unarmed black people by fellow citizens and/or police alike. The only one that comes immediately to mind is the president saying if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. It’s that kind of Duh moment that just leaves one shaking his/her head like What? As January 20th rapidly approaches and America ushers in the Trump Era I think it sufficient to say we have very far to go if we’ll ever see dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized. I don’t think I’ll live to see it come to fruition in my life time.
Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Spring towards Summer 2016!
😀 Finally the weather in the city has started to make us believe that Spring is definitely sprung. Making it through another day is a blessing we can only give God thanks for. Channeling my inner “green”. Nature in the concrete jungle 2016!Check out the touch of Green HydrangeaThe Super Close Up on a “Touch Of Green” Hydrangea
All images are the property of www.thejnsreport.com (c) 2016. All rights reserved.
Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Dining Out: The Nocciola Experience 2016!!!
In our last food experience we talked about eating at home and saving some green. This time around we visit East Harlem’s Nocciola Restaurant for a dining experience out. Located between 2nd and 3rd Ave on E 116th Street. Nocciola gives the neighborhood a much needed upgrade to the stereotypical barrio restaurant experience. The food and service at Nocciola is also a significant upgrade versus restaurants past.Upon entering Nocciola you see this blackboard above The concept of housemade pastas and only wines for consumption with no hard liquor is a good alternative to most of the food options in East Harlem’s restaurant scene. We started our dinner off with complimentary bread and olive oil with pesto for dipping our bread in.The Bread is very very good here.You just want to soak up all that delicious olive oil based dip into the bread and slowly savor the flavor.
Dinner @ Nocciola
To get things started for an appetizer after the bread I opted to share a side of creamy polenta with mushrooms & shaved parmesan cheese. This was so delicious. I’ve had polenta numerous times at various places but this was the creamiest polenta I’ve ever had. The contrast in textures to the meaty mushrooms on top really livened things up.A closeup on that creamy polenta & mushrooms.For our main course we chose whole Branzino and Pappardelle pasta. This is yet another great pasta I’ve never tried before now. It’s a meatsauce with broad long strips of pasta. I thoroughly enjoyed fork full after fork full of this dish. I recommend going with the full portion plate.The Branzino was cooked to perfection. There were grilled potatoes, asparagus, & a grilled lemon wedge adorning the plate. A nice bottle of Pinot Grigio helped us wash down our meal before desert.Nocciola has quite an extensive list of wines. If your not sure of what you’d like the servers can definitely point you in the right direction and allow you to taste a wine before deciding whether or not you will have a glass or the full bottle. The pannacotta is rich and pairs well with the fruit and powdered sugar & chocolate sauce. It’s not a heavy desert which is perfect after everything we ate. On a scale of 1 – 5 dinner plates. Nocciola gets 4 1/2 out of 5 dinner plates. We recommend Nocciola to anyone interested in changing from the “usual” dining experience and give your palate something different. The menu boasts more than what you have seen here and I’m sure will not fail to please.
Till next time this has been dining out with THEJNSREPORT: The Nocciola Experience 2016!!!
Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Cooking At Home With THEJNSREPORT: Pasta, Tomato Sauce & Chicken Breasts
😀 So I began the latest cooking at home experience by going to a favorite go to dish that’s so easy anybody can make it. Now whether you’re a traditionalist or a semi homemade personality it’s all the same to me when it comes to saving time, making something delicious and healthy at home saving some coin vs eating out. Yes ladies and gents I adore Spaghetti & Meat Sauce with or without meat balls and pretty much almost any take on spaghetti & sauce within reason.
So we’ll begin with the ingredients:
2 packages of frozen organic skinless & boneless chicken breasts
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons white pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 jar of your favorite store brand tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Thyme
Kosher Sea Salt season to taste
Adobo all purpose seasoning season to taste
1 package linguine or spaghetti
In a sauce pan add the olive oil and the finely chopped garlic let it simmer on low flame while taking the chicken breast and prepping it for seasoning. Next take the 2 large tomatoes and quarter them. Carefully add the tomatoes into the saucepan with the olive oil and garlic.
Next cover the sauce pan while seasoning the thawed organic chicken breasts with the Adobo, thyme, black pepper & white pepper. Coat all sides of the breasts before placing carefully into the sauce pan.
Cover the sauce pan and let the chicken cook some with the tomatoes and olive oil and garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes. When the tomatoes begin to dissolve stir the sauce pan and add half of the jar of tomato sauce to the sauce pan/pot. Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the chicken breasts and cover the saucepan allowing the sauce to continue to cook the chicken. After 10 minutes uncover the sauce an using a knife and fork begin to cut the chicken breasts into strips or cubes as desired (Can be done prior to placing in the sauce pan right after seasoning). I like to play with this option. Sometimes cutting up the chicken breasts either before or after placing into the saucepan.
In another pot of boiling hot water add two tablespoons of olive oil and several healthy shakes of kosher salt before adding the entire package of spaghetti pasta. Let cook till al dente (usually about 8 minutes) then strain and hold to add to the simmering tomato & chicken breast sauce. After straining carefully add the pasta to the sauce and keep flame low as you stir together the sauce and pasta. Leave flame low and cover pot. Serve when ready to eat. Add additional spices as desired. There you have it, Spaghetti & Chicken Breast with Tomato Sauce for dinner. Mmm mmm son!!!
Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Latest Thoughts…Laquan McDonald
Awoke this morning to the “Breaking News” that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel effectively “fired” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. We are told by the news media that the video of the murder of another young black teen Laquan McDonald was withheld from the public for 13 months before a court order made it’s release happen last week. Red Flag
My initial thought was why the hell was this video not released till now? Of course we know why. These past few years have shown us increasing will by police to murder black males in broad daylight let alone any time they feel like with little to no fear of repercussions or accountability.
In the past, stories of police corruption, excessive force, & unjustified killings could easily be ignored or quashed because there wasn’t video evidence to support the claims counter to the “officers account”. In todays’ surveillance society we see that even with the knowledge that they (Police) can and will be recorded executing their duties on the job whether it be it body cams, cell phone cam or dashboard cam, some police don’t care.
This boy Laquan McDonald was executed plain & simple and with overkill! It was chilling to know that Nine out of Sixteen shots struck this boy in the back while he was down on the ground! I don’t know how the superiors and peers of this killer cop could justify him not immediately being arrested and charged with murder.
Perhaps the reason for the withholding of the video’s release has to do with all the protests erupting all over country because of the murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jr, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray just to name a few. That horrific video would be akin to pouring gasoline on an explosion. Chicago much like Baltimore would have erupted I believe had this video been made public immediately.
The fact that cops were able to lie and pass this assassination off as a routine justified killing with a mischaracterization of the facts is something we should come to expect. The only dispute to their version of events was the existence of the dashcam video showing this coldblooded murder of a teenager. Doesn’t matter that he was a black teen, he was a kid and this cop murdered him in cold blood. There was no justification for his killing.
In my mind what the F&%$ was there to investigate after having seen the video? A state and federal investigation has been used as the excuse for the video’s non release up till now. The fact that Mayor Rahm Emanuel only asked for the Police Superintendent’s resignation now speaks volumes. The Police Superintendent McCarthy’s termination should be the tip of the iceberg. It’s reported also that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the county prosecutor fought to keep the video from being released. Why should they still be employed by the city of Chicago?
They say public trust is gone and has to be rebuilt. That’s an understatement. Wholesale policy changes and independent oversight must replace the rank and file days of old. Removal from duty of those who allowed this killer cop Jason Van Dyke to not only remain free to kill again but draw a paycheck should be a part of that rebuilding process.
Lastly, there must be accountability. Officer Van Dyke must have his day in court and justice be served for Laquan’s family to have peace and closure. There must be accountability in order to begin healing and for the city of Chicago to say something positive came out of the senseless killing of yet another black male.