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Friday, July 29, 2011

Norwood Walks Aim to Build Community and Commerce

Kids line up for face painting during a Weekend Walks event on E. 204th Street in Norwood.
(Photo by Alex Kratz)
By Alex Kratz

On Sunday, hundreds of local residents spilled onto the middle of E. 204th Street for the Weekend Walks event, which included shopping, face painting, fitness instruction and lots of kids playing in an open fire hydrant courtesy of the fire department.

Hosted by Community Board 7 and Mosholu Preservation Corporation, Weekend Walks is a city initiative designed to bring community and commerce together on streets throughout the five boroughs. On E. 204th Street, a two block stretch between Bainbridge and Hull avenues was blocked for shopping and a host of other activities.

Lowell Green, the chair of Board 7’s transportation committee, first learned about the Weekend Walks program last summer and signed the board up to help host the event over the winter. Green, however, was skeptical that the board could pull it off without a co-host. In the early spring, Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC), a nonprofit that manages affordable housing and promotes economic development in the Norwood area (and also publishes the Norwood News), teamed up with Board 7 to help organizing and promoting the event.

Michael Lambert, the deputy director of MPC, said he hopes Weekend Walks will help build momentum and interest for an E. 204th Street business corridor beset by two tragic fires in the past two years.

Representatives from several area businesses, including Ridgewood Furniture, Foodtown, Freilich Jewelers, McKeon Funeral Home, Papa John’s Pizza and the new Beso Lounge, participated in the event.

Weekend Walks continues the next two Sundays, July 31 and Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m.


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