'The Irishman' earns 10 Oscar nominations


Kingsbridge is getting a little bit of love from Oscar after a Martin Scorsese movie that filmed here last year picked up several Academy Award nominations on Monday.

“The Irishman” — which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci — earned 10 nominations, including best picture and best director, just one short of the 11 leading nominations from another Bronx-filmed feature, “Joker.”

Both Pacino and Pesci picked up supporting actor nods against a field that includes Tom Hanks for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Two Popes” and Brad Pitt from “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” It also earned a nomination for best adapted screenplay for Steven Zaillian, based on Charles Brandt’s book.

“The Irishman” was released in theaters last November, but almost immediately made its way to the Netflix streaming service as well. Some of its key scenes featured in trailers for the film were shot both inside and outside the American Legion on 3035 Corlear Ave., which featured Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa.

Another contender with local connections wasn’t so fortunate with Monday’s unveiling of the nominees. Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer’s documentary “Ask Dr. Ruth,” which highlighted her career as a sex therapist and her time during the Holocaust that made her an orphan, was not nominated for best documentary feature. Although Ruth herself lives in Hudson Heights, many members of her family live in and around Riverdale, and she’s a regular staple at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale.

Oscar winners will be revealed Sunday, Feb. 9.


Diaz wants more Bronx homeowners

New York City has done a lot to try and keep some control over housing costs, but Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., feels much more can be done — especially when it comes to home ownership.

Many programs in the city focus primarily on rentals, Diaz said in a lengthy report he released Monday. That has allowed the land market to run almost without limit as speculative investors have targeted minority neighborhoods where land acquisition costs are lower, and there’s less resistance for new construction.

“For generations, becoming a homeowner has provided many Americans with the opportunity to build wealth and transfer that wealth across generations,” Diaz said, in a release. “Although we live in a dense, high-cost city, any plan to tackle the housing affordability crisis must include solutions to preserve homeownership, and give first-time homebuyers the tools they need to invest in the future.”

Diaz wants to expand small homeownership preservation programs, creative incentives for homeowners to maintain their homes, and when homes do need to come down, to replace them with co-operatives or condominiums, among other ideas.

New York City has some of the lowest homeowner rates in the country at 32 percent, while the Bronx has the lowest in the city at 19 percent.