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Friday, October 24, 2008

A new name for the South Bronx?

The Times' David Gonzalez has an article on the City Room blog about recent efforts to re-brand parts of the South Bronx "Downtown Bronx." Not everyone, he reports, has warmed to the idea, including Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano.

“I know the South Bronx was once a bad word,” Serrano told The Times. “But it changed. Imagine you have a guy who ran into trouble when he was young but he straightened his life out. Would you change his name — unless he was in the witness protection program? So why change the name of the neighborhood?”

On a similar note, many residents, it seems, are reluctant to use the "SoBro" moniker. "SoBro just sounds awkward to me," commented one BoogieDowner reader. "Not every neighborhood can become a portmanteau. Before you know it you will be able to go from SoBro, north through MoHi, hit BePa and then end up in KiBri."

Talking of neighborhoods names, we received a press release this afternoon about a new restaurant that's opening in Manhattan on 137th Street, near 12th Avenue. That's West Harlem, right? Not according to the release. Apparently, the BODY Lounge and Restaurant is located in the "Harlem Meat Packing District."



    As the credit crisis worsens, homes are being foreclosed. Areas in NYC are being hit hard.


    SUPREME COURT -- COUNTY OF BRONX -- LASALLE BANK, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR MLMI INVESTMENT SERIES 2006-FM C/O WILSHIRE CREDIT CORPORATION, Plaintiff, AGAINST HERIBERTO ANDREW, ET AL., Defendant(s) -- Pursuant to a judgment of foreclosure and sale duly dated 4/23/2008, I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Bronx County Courthouse, Room 600, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY, New York, on 9/8/2008 at 2:00 PM, premises known as 2680 BAILEY AVENUE, Bronx, NY 10463. All that certain plot piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the New York City, Borough of Bronx, County of Bronx and State of New York, Section, Block and Lot: Block: 3239 Lot: 30. Approximate amount of judgment $407,062.82 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index #22605/06 Patricia A. Finn, Esq., Referee Steven J. Baum PC, Attorneys for Plaintiff, P.O. Box 1291, Buffalo, NY 14240-1291 Dated: 8/6/2008 1064852 au11-M s2

    However, many of the mortgage companies themselves are subject to scrutiny. One particular company is the Wilshire Credit Corporation. Located in Beaverton, Oregon, it is a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch. A consumer website lists several pages of complaints regarding Wilshire.


    The complaints vary from lost documents to unreturned phone calls. There is also an issue with Wilshire's slow processing of the "Short Sale". A short sale is used when an owner is near foreclosure. The owner seeks a buyer. With an agreed price, a contract is signed with the buyer and it is presented to the agency which holds the owner's mortgage. The sale of the house represents a partial, yet settled payment for the property. The owner avoids bankruptcy and the bank recoups part of the money owed. In the case of Wilshire, buyers have walked away from deals with owners due to the slow process of the Wilshire machine. As a result, since many of these properties are an "all cash" buy, they resort to foreclosure. The houses remain vacant and the neighborhoods deteriorate. Approvals of short sales extend beyond 90 days.

    Wilshire is a member of HOPE NOW. This is a newly formed agency which promises to help homeowners in trouble. But Wilshire falls short of it's promise according to the guidelines:

    "The new HOPE NOW guidelines state that loan servicers should inform homeowners within 45 days whether their application for a workout -- such as a repayment plan, loan modification or short sale -- has been accepted or denied."

    Area residents who are experiencing difficulty with Wilshire should contact the New York State Attorney Generals office and/or their local government representative.

  2. oh boy would I like to see that whole email. is there any chance you can send it along or post it?


  3. Here's the release:

    Amalia Media, LLC.

    Come discover a forgotten slice of New York City by joining us at the Grand Opening of BODY Restaurant and Lounge. BODY is located in West Harlem, the newly penned "Harlem Meat Packing District."

    As part of a multi-million dollar revitalization project spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg, the brand new "Harlem Piers" will also be opening simultaneously. A tour will be provided throughout this section and led by Harlem tour guide, Savona Bailey.

    As seen in The New York Times-

    This is the next hottest destination in NYC.

    BODY Restaurant and Lounge

    Grand Opening

    DATE: November 11th, 2008
    TIME: 7-10 PM
    LOCATION: 701 W 137 Street (at 12th Avenue)
    New York, NY
    Tel: 212.694.1416
    For directions and RSVP please contact:

    amalia@amaliapr.com or call 201.320.2508

  4. "the newly penned 'Harlem Meat Packing District.'"

    ha! Thanks James.


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