Producing More Cowbell


As a young musician, Calixto Rivera couldn’t find the sound he was looking for in a cowbell. So he came up with a solution that would change his life – and the course of salsa music:  “I decided to just make it myself.”

For the last 40 years, Rivera has reigned as the cowbell king of the Bronx, drawing musicians from around the world to JCR Percussion, his modest storefront shop on Odgen Avenue. He specializes in the production of three bells: the cha-cha bell, the timbale bell and the bongo bell, which vary in size and sound. Cowbells of different pitches are custom made to order.

With the help of his wife, Lilly, and his apprentice, Greg Askew, Rivera produces up to 200 cowbells a week. According to Guitar Center, his biggest client, competing cowbells are manufactured in bulk at factories.

Rivera, who is in his 70s, is proud to say that he’s the only one still making them by hand.

Food for All at Hunts Point


Hunts Point Market is a 329-acre industrial park that distributes food to 23 million people within a 50-mile radius. Each day, hundreds of trucks leave the south Bronx peninsula packed with produce, fish and meat. Those trucks head toward supermarkets and restaurants – as well as the city’s food pantries.

The Hunts Point Economic Development Corp. gave a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the market during a “food tour” of the sprawling hub.

This Is What New York City Could Look Like In 2033

cropped-3303075.jpgArchitectural renderings allow us to peer into the future of our beloved city without a crystal ball. New York City has some big changes coming, and here are 17 future attractions that will transform the Big Apple as we know it.

1. The New Penn Station

This summer a multibillion dollar plan will finally get underway to brighten up the dank rail station and better accommodate the 600,000 people that pass through it each day. But it’ll be a while before the much-maligned space looks fresh and tidy. Madison Square Garden, which sits on top of the transit hub, renewed its permit to occupy the space earlier this year. But MSG’s previous 50-year permit was renewed for only 10, setting up a dispute between the City Council and MSG’s owners, who are facing mounting pressure to relocate. Continue reading “This Is What New York City Could Look Like In 2033”