NYC Borough Series: The Bronx

When people think New York City, their minds often don’t wander past the island of Manhattan. The problem is, NYC consists of five boroughs and Manhattan is just one of them. Sure, Manhattan is the one with the famous skyline, the buildings with names you recognize, and the sights you recall from movies, but the other boroughs have quite a bit to offer on their own.

Of the five New York City boroughs, there’s only one so important that it needs “The” to preface its name: The Bronx. The borough that’s home to the Yankees and the city’s best zoo resides to the northeast of Manhattan, separated by the Harlem river. The Bronx is known for its beautiful open space, culturally diverse community and delicious food on Arthur Avenue, but has so much more to offer.

5 Fast Facts:

  • The Bronx is home to NYC’s largest Park – Pelham Bay Park
  • The Bronx was originally called Ranachqua by the Siwanoy Indians
  • From 1900-1930, population increased by over 1 million people
  • From 1930-2010, population only increased by about 100,000 people
  • The Bronx High School of Science is widely considered the premier science magnet school in the US

The Yankees

The New Yankee Stadium Gate #4

The New Yankee Stadium

The Bronx is home of the New York Yankees, the world’s most recognizable sports brand. The original Yankee Stadium was opened in 1923 and has been the home of some of the most famous baseball players of all time including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and so many more. It was the scene of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech in which he declared himself the “luckiest man on the face of the earth,” the Greatest Game Ever Played, and the record breaking 61st home run by Roger Maris. In 2008 it was torn down and the new Yankee Stadium was built, which still stands on the corner of 161 Ave and River Street.

Pop Culture

The Bronx is highlighted quite a bit in popular culture, though not nearly as much as some of its counterparts. Robert De Niro’s A Bronx Tale, as well as much of the novel Underworld, takes place on or around Arthur Avenue. The borough was also home to Edgar Allan Poe for a short time as well as one of the key starting places of hip hop music.

Many famous people got their start in The Bronx, including Mary J. Blige, Carly Simon, Lou Gehrig, Vin Scully, Kemba Walker, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The borough was also the home the infamous crime boss, John Gotti.

Food

via flickr / Bob Jagendorf

via flickr / Bob Jagendorf

The Bronx’s Arthur Avenue located in the Fordham section of the borough is home to NYC’s “other” Little Italy, though many believe that it should be the other way around. While Manhattan’s Little Italy has gone the way of tourism in recent years, Arthur Avenue still has some of the best, original Italian food on all of NYC.

Parks

bronx botanical garden

New York Botanical Gardens

One-quarter of the land area in The Bronx is dedicated park land, including Pelham Bay Park, which is New York City’s biggest. Van Cortlandt Park, NYC’s fourth largest, is also considered one of the most beautiful green areas in the city. One of the most popular parks in New York City is Bronx Park, which is home to two my favorite places, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. While The Bronx may not be the most popular tourist destination in terms of boroughs, it is quite arguably the most beautiful. If you ever want to get out of the city without getting out of the city, you should take a trip to The Bronx.

So what’s your favorite part of The Bronx? We didn’t even touch on some of the more visited spots, like the Grand Concourse or the Bronx Museum. While the Borough does have a lot of negative connotations with it, we choose to think of The Bronx are the prettiest borough of them all. With all of the green land and open space, who wouldn’t want to spend more time there? Oh and Yankee Stadium. Nothing better than catching the Yanks form the bleachers.

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