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Documenting the Firme Rydaz’ Bronx Pilgrimage

March 23, 2010


Every year, the Bronx-based lowrider bike club the Firme Rydaz make a pilgrimage devoted to La Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12, her Feast Day. They walk their bikes and a heavy, huge, handmade effigy of the Virgin from their neighborhood in the Bronx, hundreds of blocks to 14th street at the cusp of midtown Manhattan. Filmmaker/photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero documented their somber journey in his moving short documentary Our Lady of the Bronx tracking them through the New York frigid air and showing the beauty of two Mexican traditions—one five centuries old, the other mere decades new—where street culture intersects with religious devotion. As they make their way to offer flowers and sing happy birthday to La Virgen in a cathedral, the film depicts an act of deep love for an icon who not only symbolizes Catholicism, but represents Mexico, while illuminating the divides and diversity throughout New York City. (via Daniel Hernandez)

Documenting the Firme Rydaz’ Bronx Pilgrimage