NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of people packed the Bronx for Jennifer Lopez’s first concert in her hometown borough.
The pop icon performed Wednesday night at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park, 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported.
Jenny from the block stunned the crowd in shimmering emerald green in her return to the Bronx.
“I’m excited,” Gina Fernandez, of Belleville, N.J., told CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock ahead of the show, ” … Since I was little, I remember dancing to her songs.”
“I’m dying to hear classics,” said Emily Moncalvo, who was born and raised in the Bronx. “I just feel like the whole Bronx is going to be here, to be honest.”
“It’s actually my first concert ever,” said Sally Bonilla. “I’m a New Yorker, but I’ve always been working. I’m a retired teacher. I just retired, so now I get to go to these crazy things with all the young people.”
The free show delighted J-Lo’s fans.
“It was awesome. She is an amazing performer. I had a great time,” Michelle Torres-Rivera told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
While there was plenty of excitement, residents of nearby City Island had feared that the show could create a traffic nightmare.
“I would prefer that this concert was not happening,” said City Island resident Ellen Murphy.
“It shouldn’t happen here if it’s going to create this kind of havoc,” resident Tom Vivolo added.
One reason for the concern: The primary path to Orchard Beach is the Pelham drawbridge. The City Island Civic Association said was worried the road off of Interstate 95 heading to City Island Road would turn into a parking lot.
Event organizers told CBS 2 that the NYPD developed a traffic plan dedicating a lane specifically for City Island residents.
Over the weekend, J-Lo tried squashed some of the concern by saying her fans won’t create any problems.
“Our crowd is not as big as the July Fourth crowd, so don’t worry,” she said. “Our crowd is not as big as the Memorial Day crowd. It’s going to be awesome coming back to the Bronx to do a concert for free for the neighborhood that raised me.”
At 3 p.m. New York City Transit began operating a special event shuttle bus between the Pelham Park No. 6 subway line and Orchard Beach.
A special bus stop was also set up at Orchard Beach for departing customers.
Police said that only 16,000 fans showed up and that many took mass transit, so there were no traffic troubles.
Even with traffic concerns, some in the area were excited about the spotlight being shined on the Bronx.
“If people are able to get onto the island, it could be wonderful and beneficial to all the businesses here,” said Marianne White of the City Island Ale House.
Doors for the concert, which is part of the State Farm Neighborhood Sessions, opened at 5 p.m.
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