On this week’s show we visit Belmont and the Arthur Avenue, Bronx’s famous Little Italy.My guests will be Rediscovering New York regular Justin Rivers, Chief Experience Officer and Lead Tour Guide for Untapped New York, and Peter Madonia, owner of Madonia Brothers Bakery, and chairman of the Belmont Business Improvement District.
Justin Rivers is the chief officer and lead tour guide for untapped New York. He started his career as a New York City Middle school English language art teacher. He drags his students To historic lesser-known parts across the city to help bring New York to life, he was a Player and producer of an off Broadway show called the eternal space that centered on the demolition of Pennsylvania station.This is what made him fall in love with untapped New York which he partnered with for his remnants of Penn station tour. Justin is also the founder of a nonprofit organization called character connection initiative. It is character education and mindfulness to the school curriculum
Justin takes us for a walk through Belmont also known as the Little Italy of the Bronx. It is the heart of the Bronx as it is in the middle of the botanical gardens and the Bronx zoo. The sue annoyed Native American Tribe Treated this area of the Bronx as their home base, but the tobacco industry is what really made Belmont popular for its rich soil and a perfect claimant to grow tobacco. The trains were another big change as it Brought with them more urban development, with that came the Italians and the pushcart culture. As the pandemic continues untapped New York adapted with its social distance tours, They also have taken a step in the virtual world as they now give virtual tours, Which has now given them a global audience.
Peter Madonia Is the third family owner of Madonia bakery on Arthur Avenue. Madonia is a staple on Arthur’s Avenue as it’s celebrated over 100 years of business. Peter is also the Chairman of the Belmont Business improvement District. Which works to advance the well-being Of local businesses in the community By promoting Little Italy and the Bronx brand it’s strong ethnic heritage And leadership in the culinary marketplace. Peter has a legacy of public service most recently He spent 12 years as the chief operating officer at The Rockefeller foundation. Prior to his work at the Rockefeller foundation he was chief of staff to mayor Michael Bloomberg from 2002 - 2006 and so much more.
Peter’s grandfather started the bakery during the 1918 pandemic. Peter had no interest in running the family business, So instead he ventured out for a career at City Hall,But after the passing of his brother he made the personal decision to return to the family business. Madonia has changed with the times but also stuck to their original recipes if you want to get a taste of New York go sink your teeth into Madonia bakery.