I spent a wonderful hour this morning at the opening ceremony of Silvercup North - the spacious new, third motion picture and television production studio of Silvercup Studios in the Port Morris area of the Bronx - where New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was the featured speaker.
Everything about this ceremony was right. I grew up in the Bronx, a little north of Port Morris around Allerton Avenue and White Plains Road. I've been a professor at Fordham University (the Governor's alma mater), across the street from the Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo, since 1998.
I grew up eating Silvercup bread. The very sign makes me hungry and smells good. "The Bronx is Back" looked good, too. And although I moved up to White Plains from the Bronx with my family in the early 1990s, the Bronx was never really gone for me.
The is the first time I've had the pleasure of hearing Andrew Cuomo speak in person. And it was a pleasure, indeed. Our governor is articulate, humorous, and sharp as a whip. Somewhere down the line, I'd like to see him run for President. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who introduced Cuomo, also has a great future ahead. Like the Governor, Diaz got involved in politics via his father, Ruben Diaz, Sr., who is currently a NY State Senator and took a bow from the audience.
The Suna Brothers, who brought Silvercup Studios to prominence in Queens in the 1980s, were on hand. Silvercup Studios has already made an enormous contribution to New York and the world's popular culture. The studio was talked about on panels at The Sopranos Conference I organized at Fordham University in 2008 - lots of The Sopranos was filmed at Silvercup in Long Island City.
As many of you know, time travel is one of my passions - as a reader, viewer, and author. I was therefore delighted to hear, and consider it a most auspicious omen, that the first production in Silvercup North will be ABC-TV's Time after Time, based on the movie about the young H. G. Wells. What more could you ask for! (Shameless plug, H. G. Wells makes an appearance in my Ian's Ions and Eons - the name of a time-travel agency located a little off Johnson Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.)
As icing on the cake of this morning, it was great to see Gary Kesner, Executive VP at Silvercup. Gary and my wife Tina were in class together many years ago at the Bronx High School of Science - there's the Bronx again - and we've stayed in touch all too sporadically over the years.
Thanks to Jim Jennewein, Artist in Residence at Fordham University, for inviting me to this event, and to Rachel Honan, photographer and our student at Fordham, who conversed with us before the speeches.
Good times for the Bronx on street and screen beckon ahead!