by Gary Axelbank
January 28, 2019
Maybe the thousand-plus people who were part of Saturday’s day-long festival of music, arts, and exposition of Bronx culture at the Bronx Brewery didn’t quite realize it, but they are in the center of an emerging culture that for the first time is lending definition to a Bronx way of life based on music, the arts, and food.
“With the new technologies that are available for us, we are at the place in the Bronx where we’ve decided we want a smorgasboard, a trade show, and a talent show, the kinds of things that go on everywhere else,” said Marco Shalma of Round Seven who co-founded the incredibly popular Bronx Night Market that ran all summer and this past weekend launched a preview of It’s the Bronx, which will have its first official event the weekend of March 22 in the refurbished Union Crossing building.
This weekend’s event hardly looked like a preview. There were two dozen Bronx perfomers from a range of disciplines including R&B, hip hop and rap, and spoken word. On display were a half-dozen fashion installations, and numerous visual artworks. There was a large tent in the Brewery yard so that people enjoying some of the best in Bronx culinary could do so in warmth even on a winter’s day.
“These are exciting times to be in the Bronx,” Shalma said, “because the community’s demanding equity in things they see in the rest of the world and they’re saying ‘we deserve this and deserve better’. The vibrations were intoxicating and the creative energy was exploding. It was maginificent to see.”