From the Bronx: Social Media Brings a Voice to the Forgotten Borough
In the 1970s, the Bronx was in a sharp decline. Poverty has high, property values were low, and the borough suffered from a wave of arson. It took decades for the area to recover from its mid-century decline. Today, the Bronx is a flourishing hub for start-ups, social enterprises and community based solutions. For many, the rise of technology and social media were the keys to bringing their businesses to life and shedding a light to the outer boroughs.
April 28 , 2014
In general people have a negative view of the borough. When they think of the Bronx they usually think of high crime rates, the crack epidemic, they think of burned out buildings. The Bronx is no longer burning it's not 1977 the crack epidemic is over.
I mean point-blank we would not be where we are right now without the Internet, without Facebook, without social media in general. We have the largest social media following of any organization in the borough except for the Yankees and who's going to beat the Yankees? Nobody.
A lot of these kids are walking around this borough without any positive sense of self. It was all about reintroducing Bronx-ites to the Bronx through positive Bronx themed merchandise. We had pop-up shops throughout the borough and we had one in the Arthur Avenue retail market in a little Italy section of the Bronx.
Arthur Avenue is the second largest tourist destination in the borough behind Yankee Stadium. We had other Bronx businesses come in and showcase what their wares where and what their business was about and one of those things happen to be craft beer from the Jonas Bronx beer company. The other vendors in the retail market, they really liked what we did, they like the audience we brought in and asked us what would we do with this space if we could stay here permanently and we purposed a Beerhall.
We share our space with a butcher shop, we got a cigar shop, we have a produce section an Italian deli. This building has been here for 74 years. A majority of these shops have been here 45+ years.
Beer halls are inherently communal spaces so you have Bronx-ites meeting other Bronx-ites, Bronx-ites interacting with tourists, the idea was that it was a space not just for coming and drinking beer but also to engage with people in your community.
What were really trying to do is bring it up from within make sure that young professionals somewhere between 24 to 32 are really taken the time to think about, this is where I was born and raised there's no reason for me not to reinvest, stay within the borough and help not only bring myself up but bring the people around me up.
The fact that were capable of presenting our perspective and reaching so many people with just say one post per day it's an amazing thing I mean you can't top it.