City Island is a waterfront town that feels like a fishing village. The area is best known for its seafood restaurants, views, museums, and boats. More than 4,300 people live in this half-mile square space. Residents who are born on the Island are called ‘clamdiggers’, and those who are not, are considered ‘musselsuckers.’ The wildlife here consists of ducks, geese, gulls, parrots, mute swans, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, deer, coyotes, turkeys, and many other types of animals. There is one public school and one New York Public Library on the island. Besides enjoying the seafood from the local businesses, people can rent boats and buy antiques. A fun fact is that scenes from the movie Bronx Tale were filmed in City Island.
Pelham Bay Park
Once in the hands of the Siwanoy Indians, Ann Hutchinson, the Continental Army, and Robert Bartow, Pelham Bay Park is full of history. Killed by the Siwanoy Indians as she tried to set up a colony there, Ann Hutchinson’s name lives on, since the river beside the park is named after her. Robert and Marie Bartow eventually became the owners of the estate, where their mansion still remains. In 1888, the city acquired the land and turned it into a park, which is known for its massive space (three times the size of Central Park), animal and plant diversity, walking and bicycling paths, hiking trails, beach, and sporting and play areas. In 1933, a bronze statue built on top of a grove, the Victory Column and Memorial, was dedicated as a memorial for World War I veterans from the Bronx, and is also known as a perfect location to take wedding pictures.
The New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is known for being full of life, which is odd, given that museums are usually known for their ancient artifacts. This museum has over one million plants spread out over 250 acres of land. The plants come from tropical, temperate, and desert environments. Not only does the garden leave a lasting impression on its guests, but its programming is just as impressive, with stunning exhibitions. The museum provides an educational experience for both students and professionals: students get to explore different types of plants, teachers are able to receive training, and scientists contribute to one of the largest botanical research programs in the world.
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, USA +1 718 817 8700
If you want to see some of the most amazing animals from around the world, then there is no better place to do it in New York City other than the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo is among the largest zoos in the world. On November 8th, 1899, when its doors opened, there were only 843 animals inhabiting the zoo. Today, it houses roughly 4,000 animals from 650 different species, demonstrating the zoo’s commitment to providing a safe habitat for animals, as well as creating a remarkable and fun place to visit. One interesting fact about the Bronx Zoo is that Fordham University sold the land to New York City for only $1,000, under the condition that it would be turned into a zoo.
Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, USA +1 718 367 1010
Anheuser-Busch InBev, is the largest beer manufacturer in the world in terms of market share. Their New York City wholesale and distribution operation is located in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Their move to the Bronx was meant to revitalize the area with economic growth. They are very committed to improving the cleanliness of the environment. Indeed, they power part of their fleet of trucks with alternative energy, and theirs is the first operating industrial building in the Bronx that is LEED-certified, which means that the building was constructed under green standards. Their program also contributed to creating more open space for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as providing waterfront access. Anheuser-Busch, 550 Food Center Drive, Bronx, NY, USA +1 800 640 4040
In 1937, Soundview Park was acquired by New York City and is currently operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Once a landfill and marshland, today the park is admired for its view into Manhattan, its fishing, and its sports. The park has 6 baseball fields, 6 hand courts, 6 basketball courts, a running track, a soccer field, and a walking and biking path. The corner of the outer perimeter of the park is where the Bronx River opens into the Eastern River. Going in the opposite direction, the salt water in the Bronx River turns into fresh water at West Farms, which is located a few miles up before reaching the Bronx Zoo.
Parkchester was once known for their whites-only policy in a residential complex for the middle class, and it was a welcoming place for WWII veterans. But before that, it was a location for homeless children, where they were able to receive training for future employment. The area is comprised of 112 buildings, which are between seven and 15 stories tall, consisting of 8,000 units in total. The buildings were built by a group of architects in red brick, with terra cotta figures on the corners. In the middle of the complex, there is an oval park with the well-known Fantasia Fountain, created by Raymond Granville Barger. To add to the history of Parkchester, Macy’s first satellite store has been part of the complex since 1941. Despite the racial segregation in the past, African Americans, Hispanics, and South Asians are now part of the community, which proves the ethnic change of the Bronx.
CUNY Colleges and Feature Films
City University of New York (CUNY) Campuses in the Bronx are an attraction for students as well as feature films. The buildings and scenery of Bronx Community College can be seen in at least 13 films, which include: A Beautiful Mind (Russell Crowe), Maid in Manhattan (Jennifer Lopez), Mona Lisa Smile (Julia Roberts), and Burn After Reading (Brad Pitt). Furthermore, Pink Panther, the movie, was filmed on the Lehman College Campus, which featured Steven Martin. Mayor Bloomberg, along with CUNY’s administration department, created a way to show film directors around the campuses allowing them the option to decide where they wanted to film. The money made by these colleges is used to improve their programs. So far, the Bronx has been a place of choice for movie producers.
Bronx Community College, 2155 University Avenue, Bronx, NY, USA + 1 718 289 5100
Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY, USA +1 718 960 8000
The New Fulton Fish Market
Some are in the business of buying sneakers and others are in it for the fish; many buyers of fish go to The New Fulton Fish Market to buy fish for their businesses. The Fish Market recently moved to the Bronx in 2005, after being in operation since 1807 near Wall Street, and it is the oldest fish market institution in the United States. The Market is an indoor refrigerated facility, where suppliers can store their fish, and sell them to other wholesalers, retailers, and restaurants from around the country. It is considered the largest consortium fish market in the United States, and is located in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx.
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
Edgar Allan Poe, known as a great literary figure, moved to this Cottage in 1846 to help his wife, Virginia, with tuberculosis. The fresh air in the Bronx, he thought, could help cure her illness. He rented the cottage for $100 a year, which was expensive in those days for a struggling writer. Poe cared for his wife in this cottage until 1847, when she died. Edgar Allan Poe died in 1849, leaving behind some of his greatest works, many of which were written in this cottage. Some of the poems that one may be familiar with are Annabel Lee, which he tributes to his wife, and Ulalume. The Cask of Amontillado, considered one of the great short stories in American literature, was also written in the cottage. One of the greatest experiences about this historical place is that the furniture inside the cottage is said to be the same as when Edgar Allan Poe and his wife lived there.
Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY, USA, +1 718 365 5516
By Ismael Rodriguez
Having recently completed his MBA with a Marketing concentration from Nyack College, Ismael enjoys history and culture of all backgrounds, especially that of New York City. He can be found visiting many museums and landmarks in Manhattan, as well as taking long walks in the Bronx while listening to music or talking to a friend.