BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY February 3, 2019 8
Superstorm Sandy-scarred AMVETS Post 38 reopens
(l-r) Paul Treanor, Post 38 commander Walter Rau, Councilman Gjonaj,
Joseph Velasco and Dennis Lombardi. Photo by Fernando Justiniano
Pelham Bay writer’s fi rst novel addresses gentrifi cation
BY PATRICK ROCCHIO
A well-established author from the
borough has just published his fi rst
novel dealing with a timely theme.
Richie Narvaez, a Pelham Bayite who
is both a college writing teacher and an
author, has just completed work on his
fi rst novel, the forthcoming ‘Hipster
Death Rattle,’ due out in March.
The mystery novel takes place in the
Williamsburg, Brooklyn of yesteryear,
as gentrifi cation starts to take hold of the
community and a serial killer is on the
loose who is going after hipsters, yuppies
and artistic-types who are clashing
with the more established Puerto Rican
and ethnic European communities, said
The story has a cast of characters
who refl ect the beautiful mosaic of New
York’s diverse neighborhoods, according
to the author.
The novel’s protagonist is slacker indie
journalist Tony ‘Chino’ Moran who
is drawn into the mystery of the crimes
that his ex-girlfriend Magali Fernandez
encourages him to investigate.
“(Moran) is a hack reporter who
doesn’t want to do anything interesting
in terms of his work,” said the author.
“But thinking about his mother’s memory
helps him get involved because it is
an elderly woman who disappears, and
Magali really pushes him into an investigation.”
Hipster Death Rattle is the fi rst novel by acclaimed
writer Richie Narvaez, who lives in
Pelham Bay. Photo courtesy of Richie Narvaez
Acclaimed author Richie Narvaez of Pelham
Bay was appointed Bronx Council on the
Arts Artist in Residence at the Morris Park
Library in 2018 and was a judge at for the
2019 PEN Open Book Awards.
Photo courtesy of Richie Narvaez
The narrative also follows two police
investigators, detectives Petrosino
and Hadid, the latter of whom is from
our borough, as they work to solve the
crimes and bring the perpetrator to justice.
Narvaez said that he grew up in Williamsburg,
and that much of the community
as it is portrayed in ‘Hipster Death
Rattle’ is the way it was when he lived
there – during the height of its transformation
from what was primarily an
ethnic community into a trendy neighborhood.
The author, who currently teaches
creative and business writing at S.U.N.Y.
Fashion Institute of Technology after being
an educator at several other colleges,
said he moved to our borough because
his wife Denise is from Bruckner Boulevard.
He feels his novel’s theme of gentrifi
cation is timely, especially since he
said he thinks that many communities
in the southern and northern parts of
the Bronx are starting to experience it.
“There has been a concern about
overdevelopment since the early 2000s
(in my own community) and it is happening
in the south Bronx with parts of
it being rebranded ‘SoBro,’” he said.
Narvaez has been the Bronx Council
on the Art’s Artist in Residence at
the Morris Park Library since October
2018, where he is running a creative
writing workshop one day a week, and
said he has a lot of retirees he is mentoring
in creative writing.
“I have a lovely group that meets
there,” said Narvaez. “I try to give them
some tips and lessons, and they are
slowly moving towards publication.”
He is also a judge for the prestigious
2019 PEN Open Book Awards, and published
his fi rst collection of short stories
The collection, called ‘Roachkiller
and Other Stories,’ received the 2013
Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology/
Short Story Collection.
Narvaez is also a board member of
the Mystery Writers of America.
‘Hipster Death Rattle,’ from Down
and Out Books, is available for pre-order
in print and Kindle format through
BY ROBERT WIRSING
Years after a local waterfront
veterans post was damaged by
one of the worst hurricanes in
recent memory it has fi nally reopened.
Local veterans and elected
offi cials celebrated the long
awaited grand reopening of the
Corporal Walter J. Fufi dio AMVETS
Post 38 on Sunday, January
20 at 1440 Shore Drive.
AMVETS Post 38’s clubhouse
was heavily damaged by Superstorm
Sandy in 2012 and faced a
diffi cult road to recovery in the
Commander Walter Rau
said Councilman Mark Gjonaj
had his contacts at Hutchinson
Metro Center donate their time
and services to get the facility
up to the NYC Department of
Building’s updated regulations.
AMVETS Post 38’s upstairs
community room has been completely
renovated and now includes
a bar, two fl at screen TVs,
surround sound, LED lighting
and several tables and chairs.
Rau thanked Theodore Korony
American Legion Post 253,
Throggs Neck Memorial American
Legion Post 1456, Leonard
Hawkins American Legion Post
156, Samuel Young American
Legion Post 620 and U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 05-02
for supporting Post 38’s renovations.
He also thanked Assemblyman
Michael Benedetto for
providing the funds to build a
temporary sea wall and former
senator Jeff Klein for securing
a $100,000 grant to rebuild the
post’s sea wall and roof.
The $100,000 grant is awaiting
fi nal approval by Dormitory
Authority of the State of New
“It looks like we’re coming
back stronger than ever before,”
Rau said former commander
Anthony Ciaramella, Dennis
Lombardi and Paul Treanor
were instrumental in helping
AMVETS Post 38 rebuild.
As previously reported, the
clubhouse’s entire waterfrontgrade
room was decimated by
the Category 3 major hurricane.
It tore through the building’s
rear northern wall, sending all
of the post’s fi les and documents,
its fi rst fl oor stove, refrigerator,
freezer, tables and chairs, into
The monster storm crippled
Post 38’s boiler, decimated its
fence, undermined its patio and
caused major structural damage
to its seawall.
The storm left the 80-member
post darkened, lacking all
utilities, with a scarred staircase
leading up from the fi rst
fl oor to the second and a community
room with missing ceiling
As a safety precaution, the
FDNY shut off the gas to the
building which was left with
only three full walls.
The storm’s aftermath
quickly depleted AMVETS Post
A $25,000 loan was offered to
them by a sister veterans post to
AMVETS Post 38 repaired
the building’s back wall and
fence, installed new ground
fl oor windows, established temporary
support for the seawall
and restored electric service,
but not its gas service.
Gas service has since been
restored, however the post’s
roof, sea wall and downstairs
commerical kitchen still need
To help fund the remaining
renovations, Rau will complete
a full Ironman triathlon in Ohio
on Sunday, July 28.
AMVETS Post 38’s community
room is available to host
private parties and community
If interested in hosting an
event, contact (718) 822-2003.
(l-r) Colleen McCarthy, Tony Salimbene, Christine Ryall and Tony Ferrara
celebrated Post 38’s long awaited grand reopening.
Photo by Fernando Justiniano