She doesn’t turn the big 5-0 until July 24, but Jennifer Lopez has already been celebrating her milestone birthday with her “It’s My Party” tour, which, after kicking off in June, hits Madison Square Garden on Friday and Saturday. (J.Lo will also play the Prudential Center in Newark on July 19.)
In honor of the Bronx native — who famously repped the borough on her 2002 hit “Jenny From the Block” — we’ve mapped out some special spots along her New York journey.
2210 BLACKROCK AVE., THE BRONX
This address in the Castle Hill section of her borough was the site of Lopez’s childhood home, where she lived with her Puerto Rican-born parents, Guadalupe Rodriguez and David Lopez, older sister Leslie and younger sister Lynda. Growing up, baby J.Lo got her Catholic school education in the Boogie Down, graduating from all-girls Preston High School in the Throgs Neck neighborhood.
THE 6 TRAIN
This MTA subway line was the inspiration behind the title of Lopez’s debut album, 1999’s “On the 6,” which went triple-platinum and spawned the hits “If You Had My Love” and “Waiting for Tonight.” The aspiring star would ride the 6 train between Manhattan and the Bronx early in her career, standing clear of the closing doors while going to work and auditions.
YANKEE STADIUM, 1 E. 161st St.
No doubt, the home of the Bronx Bombers holds more of a special place in Lopez’s heart now that she’s engaged to retired New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who got down on one knee and popped the question with a 15-carat diamond sparkler while the lovebirds were in the Bahamas in March. In celebration of their one-year anniversary on Feb. 3, 2018, J.Lo even rocked a jersey emblazoned with A-Rod’s Yankees number, 13, while performing at a Super Bowl party.
THE WALDORF-ASTORIA, 301 Park Ave.
“Maid in Manhattan” — Lopez’s hit 2002 romantic comedy in which she plays a hotel housekeeper who gives her love to Ralph Fiennes — was shot on location at both the Waldorf-Astoria and the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown. This year, the actress was back on location in her hometown to shoot another movie, the stripper flick “Hustlers,” due to hit theaters in September.
CLUB NEW YORK, 252 W. 43rd St.
Before the dawn of Bennifer — the name bestowed upon Lopez’s romantic union with former fiancé Ben Affleck — she was half of her first supercouple with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. But the “J.Lo” album collaborators suffered a major scandal in 1999, when shots rang out while they were at the now-defunct Club New York in Times Square for rapper Shyne’s album release party. Combs was arrested on gun possession charges, though later acquitted, while Lopez spent 14 hours in jail for questioning.
During Lopez’s 2004-2014 marriage to third husband Marc Anthony, the crooning couple lived in Brookville on Long Island, dwelling in a lavish Georgian-style brick mansion. Strong Island will forever have powerful significance for J.Lo as the place where she gave birth to her and Anthony’s now-11-year-old twins, Max and Emme.
BROOKLYN, northeast corner of 86th Street and Fifth Avenue
In the 2016-2018 NBC crime drama “Shades of Blue,” Lopez badged up to play Detective Harlee Santos, a corrupt NYPD officer at the former 64th Precinct in Brooklyn. The series, co-starring Ray Liotta, was filmed on location, with Jenny hitting the blocks of the borough.
BARUCH COLLEGE, 17 Lexington Ave.
Before Lopez‘s career kicked into high gear when she became a Fly Girl dancer on TV’s “In Living Color” in 1990, she had enrolled for some higher education at Baruch College in Gramercy Park. But she dropped out after only one semester, going against her parents’ wishes and moving into Manhattan to pursue her diva dreams.
BALLET HISPÁNICO, 167 W. 89th St.
Taking some early steps that would eventually lead to her current gig executive-producing and judging NBC’s “World of Dance,” Lopez studied and performed at Ballet Hispánico in the Upper West Side as a teen. And even at 50, she’s still shaking her famous booty better than dancers half her age.
Author: Chuck Arnold