The Bronx in New York City

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The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated. Located north of Manhattan and Queens, and south of Westchester County, the Bronx is the only borough that is located primarily on the mainland (a very small portion of Manhattan, the Marble Hill neighborhood, is physically located on the mainland, due to the rerouting of the Harlem River in 1897). The Bronx's population is 1,400,761 according to the 2010 United States Census.

The Bronx is divided by the Bronx River into a hillier section in the west, closer to Manhattan, and the flatter East Bronx, closer to Long Island. The West Bronx was annexed to New York City (then largely confined to Manhattan) in 1874, and the areas east of the Bronx River in 1895. Although the Bronx is the third-most-densely-populated county in the U.S.,

The Bronx underwent rapid growth after World War I. Extensions of the New York City Subway contributed to the increase in population as thousands of immigrants flooded The Bronx, resulting in a major boom in residential construction. Among these groups, many Irish Americans, Italian Americans and especially Jewish Americans settled here. In addition, French, German, and Polish immigrants moved into the borough. The Jewish population also increased notably during this time. In 1937, according to Jewish organizations, 592,185 Jews lived in The Bronx (43.9% of the borough's population), while only 45,000 Jews lived in the borough in 2002. Many synagogues still stand in the Bronx, but most have been converted to other uses.

In Prohibition days (1920–33), bootleggers and gangs were active in the Bronx. Irish, Italian and Polish gangs smuggled in most of the illegal whiskey.

After the 1930s, Irish Americans started moving further north, and German Americans followed suit in the 1940s, as did many Italian Americans in the 1950s and Jews in the 1960s. As the older generation retired, many moved to Florida. The migration has left an African American and Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican and Dominican) population, along with some Caucasian communities in the far southeastern and northwestern parts of the county.

In the 1970s, the Bronx became identified with a high rate of poverty and unemployment, which was mainly a persistent problem in the South Bronx. Some property owners committed arson on their own properties for insurance claims as it was more lucrative to get insurance money than to refurbish or sell a building in a severely distressed area. These Bronx fires and urban decay would paint a face of New York City in the 1970s as a down-and-out city in a state of decline. Indeed, out of 289 census tracts in the Bronx borough, seven different tracts lost more than 97% of their buildings to fire and abandonment between 1970 and 1980; while another 44 different tracts had more than 50% of their buildings meet the same fate. However, starting in the 1990s, many burned-out and run-down tenements were replaced by single- and multifamily housing.

By 2000, the Bronx had a population of about 1.2 million, and its bridges, highways, and railroads were more heavily traveled than those of any other part of the United States.

Fighting decline

Starting in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, the Bronx went into an era of sharp decline in the residents' quality of life. Historians and social scientists have put forward many factors. They include the theory (elaborated in Robert Caro's biography The Power Broker) that Robert Moses' Cross-Bronx Expressway destroyed existing residential neighborhoods. Another factor in the Bronx's decline may have been the development of high-rise housing projects. Yet another may have been a reduction in the real-estate listings and property-related financial services (such as mortgages or insurance policies) offered in some areas of the Bronx — a process known as redlining. Others have suggested a "planned shrinkage" of municipal services, such as fire-fighting. There was also much debate as to whether rent control laws had made it less profitable (or more costly) for landlords to maintain existing buildings with their existing tenants than to abandon or destroy those buildings.

In the 1970s, the Bronx was plagued by a wave of arson. The burning of buildings was mostly in the South Bronx and in West Farms. The most common explanation of what occurred was that landlords decided to burn their low property-value buildings and take the insurance money as profit. After the fiery destruction of many buildings in the borough, the arsons slowed by the turn of the decade, but the after-effects were still felt into the 1990s.

Since the mid-1980s, some residential development has occurred in the Bronx, stimulated by the city's "Ten-Year Housing Plan" and community members working to rebuild the social, economic and environmental infrastructure by creating affordable housing. Groups affiliated with churches in the South Bronx erected the Nehemiah Homes with about 1,000 units. The grass roots organization Nos Quedamos' endeavor known as Melrose Commons began to rebuild areas in the South Bronx. The ripple effects have been felt borough-wide. The IRT White Plains Road Line began to show an increase in riders. Chains such as Marshalls, Staples, and Target have opened stores in the Bronx. More bank branches have opened in the Bronx as a whole (rising from 106 in 1997 to 149 in 2007), although not primarily in poor or minority neighborhoods, while the Bronx still has fewer branches per person than other boroughs.

Although not actually a city, in 1997, the Bronx was designated an All America City by the National Civic League, signifying its comeback from the decline of the 1970s. In 2006, The New York Times reported that "construction cranes have become the borough's new visual metaphor, replacing the window decals of the 1980s in which pictures of potted plants and drawn curtains were placed in the windows of abandoned buildings." The borough has experienced substantial new building construction since 2002. Between 2002 and June 2007, 33,687 new units of housing were built or were under way and $4.8 billion has been invested in new housing. In the first six months of 2007 alone total investment in new residential development was $965 million and 5,187 residential units were scheduled to be completed. Much of the new development is springing up in formerly vacant lots across the South Bronx.

Geography

Adjacent counties

  • Westchester County – north
  • Queens County, New York (Queens) – south
  • New York County, New York (Manhattan) – southwest
  • Bergen County, New Jersey – west

Location and physical features

The Bronx is almost entirely situated on the North American mainland. The Hudson River separates the Bronx on the west from Alpine, Tenafly and Englewood Cliffs in Bergen County, New Jersey; the Harlem River separates it from the island of Manhattan to the southwest; the East River separates it from Queens to the southeast; and, to the east, Long Island Sound separates it from Nassau County in western Long Island. Directly north of the Bronx are (from west to east) the adjoining Westchester County communities of Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Pelham Manor and New Rochelle.

  • (There is also a short southern land boundary with Marble Hill in the Borough of Manhattan, over the filled-in former course of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. Marble Hill's postal ZIP code, telephonic Area Code and fire service, however, are shared with the Bronx and not Manhattan.)

The New York Public Library maintains a Map Rectifier facility that reconciles old maps of the Bronx (and elsewhere) with current cartography.[1]

The Bronx River flows south from Westchester County through the borough, emptying into the East River; it is the only entirely freshwater river in New York City. A smaller river, the Hutchinson River (named after the religious leader Anne Hutchinson, killed along its banks in 1641), passes through the East Bronx and empties into Eastchester Bay.

The Bronx also includes several small islands in the East River and Long Island Sound, such as City Island and Hart Island. Although it is part of the Bronx, Rikers Island in the East River, home to the large jail complex for the entire City, can be reached only by water, by air, or—since 1966—over the Francis Buono Bridge from Queens.

The Bronx's highest elevation 280 ft, is in the northwest corner, west of Van Cortlandt Park and in the Chapel Farm area near the Riverdale Country School. The opposite (southeastern) side of the Bronx has four large low peninsulas or "necks" of low-lying land that jut into the waters of the East River and were once saltmarsh: Hunt's Point, Clason's Point, Screvin's Neck and Throg's Neck. Further up the coastline, Rodman's Neck lies between Pelham Bay Park in the northeast and City Island.

† (New York City's last freshwater marsh was in Van Cortlandt Park until displaced in the 1930s by the junction of the Mosholu and Henry Hudson Parkways.)

Almost 27%,15.4 sqmi of the Bronx's total area is water, and the irregular shoreline extends for 75 sqmi.

Parks and open space

Although, in 2006, it was the third most densely populated county in the United States (after Manhattan and Brooklyn),

Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries in New York City, sits on the western bank of the Bronx River near Yonkers. It opened in 1863, at a time when the Bronx was still considered a rural area.

The northern side of the borough includes the largest park in New York City - Pelham Bay Park, which includes Orchard Beach - and the fourth largest, Van Cortlandt Park, which is west of Woodlawn Cemetery and borders Yonkers.

Nearer the borough's center, and along the Bronx River, is Bronx Park. Its northern end houses the New York Botanical Gardens, which preserve the last patch of the original hemlock forest that once covered the entire city, and its southern end the Bronx Zoo, the largest urban zoological gardens in the U.S.

The Bronx is the only New York City borough with a Hispanic majority, many of whom are Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. In 2000, The Bronx had some of the nation's highest percentages of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans with 24.0% and 10.0%, respectively.

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, White Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin represented over one-fifth (22.9%) of The Bronx's population. However, non-Hispanic whites formed under one-eighth (12.1%) of the population. Out of all five boroughs, The Bronx has the lowest number and percentage of white residents. 320,640 whites called the Bronx home, of which 168,570 were non-Hispanic whites. The majority of the non-Hispanic European American population is of Italian and Irish descent. People of Italian descent numbered over 55,000 individuals and made up 3.9% of the population. People of Irish descent numbered over 43,500 individuals and made up 3.1% of the population. German Americans and Polish Americans made up 1.4% and 0.8% of the population respectively.

At the 2009 American Community Survey, Black Americans made the second largest group in the Bronx after Hispanics and Latinos. Blacks of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin represented over one-third (35.4%) of the Bronx's population. Blacks of non-Hispanic origin made up 30.8% of the population. Over 495,200 blacks resided in the borough, of which 430,600 were non-Hispanic blacks. Over 61,000 people identified themselves as "Sub-Saharan African" in the survey, making up 4.4% of the population.

Native Americans are a very small minority in the borough. Only some 5,560 individuals (out of the borough's 1.4 million people) are Native American, which is equal to just 0.4% of the population. In addition, roughly 2,500 people are Native Americans of non-Hispanic origin.

Asian Americans are a small but sizable minority in the borough. Roughly 49,600 Asians make up 3.6% of the population. Roughly 13,600 Indians call The Bronx home, along with 9,800 Chinese, 6,540 Filipinos, 2,260 Vietnamese, 2,010 Koreans, and 1,100 Japanese.

Multiracial Americans are also a sizable minority in the Bronx. People of multiracial heritage number over 41,800 individuals and represent 3.0% of the population. People of mixed Caucasian and African American heritage number over 6,850 members and form 0.5% of the population. People of mixed Caucasian and Native American heritage number over 2,450 members and form 0.2% of the population. People of mixed Caucasian and Asian heritage number over 880 members and form 0.1% of the population. People of mixed African American and Native American heritage number over 1,220 members and form 0.1% of the population.

In 2009, Hispanic and Latino Americans represented 52.0% of the Bronx's population. Puerto Ricans represented 23.2% of the borough's population. Over 72,500 Mexicans lived in the Bronx, and they formed 5.2% of the population. Cubans numbered over 9,640 members and formed 0.7% of the population. In addition, over 319,000 people were of various Hispanic and Latino groups, such as Dominican, Salvadoran, and so on. These groups collectively represented 22.9% of the population. At the 2010 Census, 53.5% of Bronx's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).

{{US Census population |1790 = 1781 |1800 = 1755 |1810 = 2267 |1820 = 2782 |1830 = 3023 |1840 = 5346 |1850 = 8032 |1860 = 23593 |1870 = 37393 |1880 = 51980 |1890 = 88908 |1900 = 200507 |1910 = 430980 |1920 = 732016 |1930 = 1265258 |1940 = 1394711 |1950 = 1451277 |1960 = 1424815 |1970 = 1471701 |1980 = 1168972 |1990 = 1203789 |2000 = 1332650 |2010 = 1400761 |footnote=Sources: 1790–1990;
2000–2010

Immigrants from Ghana have clustered along the Grand Concourse.

Based on sample data from the 2000 census, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 47.3% of the population five and older spoke only English at home, while 43.7% spoke Spanish at home, either exclusively or along with English. Other languages or groups of languages spoken at home by more than 0.25% of the population of the Bronx include Italian (1.36%), Kru, Igbo, or Yoruba [West Africa] (0.72%) and French (0.54%).

Bronx residents born abroad or overseas, 1930 and 2000
1930 United States Census

11 out of 150 members of the New York State Assembly (the lower house of the state legislature) represent districts wholly within the Bronx. Six State Senators out of 62 represent Bronx districts, half of them wholly within the County, and half straddling other counties. All these legislators are Democrats who won between 65% and 100% of their districts' vote in 2006.

Votes for other offices

In the 2004 presidential election, Senator John F. Kerry (Democratic/Working Families) received 81.8% of the vote in the Bronx while President George W. Bush (Republican/Conservative) received 16.3%.

A year later, the Democratic former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer won 59.8% of the borough's vote against 38.8% for Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Republican/Independence) who carried every other borough in his winning campaign for re-election. In 2009, the Bronx voted slightly more strongly against the successful re-election of Mayor Bloomberg, who received 37% of the Bronx vote (as an independent supported by the Republican and Independence Parties) against 61.2% for New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson (Democratic and Working Families).

In 2006, successfully-reelected Senator Hillary Clinton (Democratic, Working Families & Independence) won 89.5% of the Bronx's vote against 9.6% for Yonkers ex-Mayor John Spencer (Republican and Conservative), while Eliot Spitzer (Democratic, Working Families & Independence) received 88.8% of the Borough's vote in winning the Governorship against John Faso (Republican & Conservative), who received 9.7% of the Bronx's vote.

In the Presidential primary elections of February 5, 2008, Sen. Clinton won 61.2% of the Bronx's 148,636 Democratic votes against 37.8% for Barack Obama and 1.0% for the other four candidates combined. At the same time, John McCain won 54.4% of the borough's 5,643 Republican votes, Mitt Romney 20.8%, Mike Huckabee 8.2%, Ron Paul 7.4%, Rudy Giuliani 5.6%, and the other three candidates 3.6% between them.

In the Presidential general election of November 4, 2008, Sen. Obama won 87.8% of the Bronx's vote (338,261) on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines of the ballot, Sen. McCain won 10.8% (41,683) on the Republican, Independence and Conservative Party lines, and other candidates won 1.3% (1,342) between them. The Democratic candidate's percentage of the Presidential vote increased by 6% from 2004, while the Republican presidential candidate's percentage declined by 5.5%.

After becoming a separate county in 1914, the Bronx has supported only two Republican Presidential candidates. It voted heavily for the winning Republican Warren G. Harding in 1920, but much more narrowly on a split vote for his victorious Republican successor Calvin Coolidge in 1924 (Coolidge 79,562; John W. Davis, Dem., 72,834; Robert La Follette, 62,202 equally divided between the Progressive and Socialist lines).

Since then, the Bronx has always supported the Democratic Party's nominee for President, starting with a vote of 2–1 for the unsuccessful Al Smith in 1928, followed by four 2-1 votes for the successful Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Both had been Governors of New York, but the Bronx voted against two former Republican Governors who ran for President: Charles Evans Hughes in 1916 and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944 and 1948.)

The Bronx has often shown striking differences from other boroughs in elections for Mayor. The only Republican to carry the Bronx since 1914 was Fiorello La Guardia in 1933, 1937 and 1941 (and in the latter two elections, only because his 30–32% vote on the American Labor Party line was added to 22–23% as a Republican). The Bronx was thus the only borough not carried by the successful Republican re-election campaigns of Mayors Rudolph Giuliani in 1997 and Michael Bloomberg in 2005. The anti-war Socialist campaign of Morris Hillquit in the 1917 mayoral election won over 31% of the Bronx's vote, putting him second and well ahead of the 20% won by the incumbent pro-war Fusion Mayor John P. Mitchel, who outpolled Hillquit city-wide by 23.2% to 21.7%.

Education

Education in the Bronx is provided by a large number of public and private institutions, many of which draw students who live beyond the Bronx. The New York City Department of Education manages public noncharter schools in the borough. In 2000, public schools enrolled nearly 280,000 of the Bronx's residents over 3 years old (out of 333,100 enrolled in all pre-college schools). There are also several public charter schools. Private schools range from élite independent schools to religiously-affiliated schools run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Jewish organizations.

Educational attainment: In 2000, according to the U.S. Census, out of the nearly 800,000 people in the Bronx who were then at least 25 years old, 62.3% had graduated from high school and 14.6% held a bachelor's or higher college degree. These percentages were lower than those for New York's other boroughs, which ranged from 68.8% (Brooklyn) to 82.6% (Staten Island) for high school graduates over 24, and from 21.8% (Brooklyn) to 49.4% (Manhattan) for college graduates. (The respective state and national percentages were [NY] 79.1% & 27.4% and [US] 80.4% & 24.4%.)

High schools


In the 2000 Census, 79,240 of the nearly 95,000 Bronx residents enrolled in high school attended public schools.

Three campuses of the City University of New York are in the Bronx: Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College (occupying the former University Heights Campus of New York University) and Herbert H. Lehman College (formerly the uptown campus of Hunter College), which offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is a Catholic liberal arts college in Riverdale under the direction of the Sisters of Charity of New York. Founded in 1847 as a school for girls, the academy became a degree-granting college in 1911 and began admitting men in 1974. The school serves 1,600 students. Its campus is also home to the Academy for Jewish Religion, a transdenominational rabbinical and cantorial school.

Manhattan College is a Catholic college in Riverdale which offers undergraduate programs in the arts, business, education, engineering, and science. It also offers graduate programs in education and engineering.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Yeshiva University, is in Morris Park.

Two colleges based in Westchester County have Bronx campuses. The Catholic and nearly-all-female College of New Rochelle maintains satellite campuses at Co-op City and in The Hub. The coeducational and non-sectarian Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, founded by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy in 1950, has a campus near Westchester Square.

By contrast, the private, proprietary Monroe College, focused on preparation for business and the professions, started in the Bronx in 1933 but now has a campus in New Rochelle (Westchester County) as well the Bronx's Fordham neighborhood.

The State University of New York Maritime College in Fort Schuyler (Throggs Neck)—at the far southeastern tip of the Bronx—is the national leader in maritime education and houses the Maritime Industry Museum. (Directly across Long Island Sound is Kings Point, Long Island, home of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the American Merchant Marine Museum.)

Cultural life and institutions

The Bronx's P.L.A.Y.E.R.S. Club Steppers performing at the 2007 Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival in Brooklyn. (Note the T-shirts' inscription "I ♥ BX" [Bronx], echoing the ubiquitous slogan "I ♥ NY" [I Love New York] ).

Author Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life (1846 to 1849) in the Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island.

The Bronx's evolution from a hot bed of Latin jazz to an incubator of hip hop was the subject of an award-winning documentary, produced by City Lore and broadcast on PBS in 2006, "From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale". Hip Hop first emerged in the South Bronx in the early 1970s. The New York Times has identified 1520 Sedgwick Avenue "an otherwise unremarkable high-rise just north of the Cross Bronx Expressway and hard along the Major Deegan Expressway" as a starting point, where DJ Kool Herc presided over parties in the community room.

On August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc was a Dee Jay and Emcee at a party in the recreation room of 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx adjacent to the Cross-Bronx Expressway. While it was not the actual "Birthplace of Hip Hop" – the genre developed slowly in several places in the 1970s – it was verified to be the place where one of the pivotal and formative events occurred.<ref name=PBS /> Specifically, DJ Kool Herc:

Beginning with the advent of beat match DJ'ing, in which Bronx DJs (Disc Jockeys) including Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc extended the breaks of funk records, a major new musical genre emerged that sought to isolate the percussion breaks of hit funk, disco and soul songs. As hip hop's popularity grew, performers began speaking ("rapping") in sync with the beats, and became known as MCs or emcees. The Herculoids, made up of Herc, Coke La Rock, and DJ Clark Kent, were the earliest to gain major fame. The Bronx is referred to in hip-hop slang as "The Boogie Down Bronx", or just "The Boogie Down". This was hip-hop pioneer KRS-One's inspiration for his thought provoking group BDP, or Boogie Down Productions, which included DJ Scott La Rock. Newer hip hop artists from the Bronx include Lord Toriq and Peter Gunz, Camp Lo, Swizz Beatz, Drag-On, Fat Joe, Terror Squad and Corey Gunz.

Hush Hip Hop Tours has established a sightseeing tour of the Bronx showcasing the locations that helped shape hip hop culture and has the pioneers of hip hop as tour guides. The recent recognition of the Bronx as an important center of African-American culture, led Fordham University to establish the ongoing "Bronx African-American History Project (BAAHP)".

The Bronx is the home of the New York Yankees, one of the leading baseball franchises. The original Yankee Stadium opened in 1923 on 161st Street and River Avenue, a year that saw the Yankeees bring home their first of 27 World Series Championships. With the famous facade, the short right field porch and Monument Park, Yankee Stadium has been home to many of baseball's greatest players including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez. The Stadium was the scene Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech in 1939, Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Roger Maris' record breaking 61st home run in 1961, and Reggie Jackson's 3 home runs to clinch Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. The original Yankee Stadium closed in 2008 to make way for a new Yankee Stadium in which the team started play in 2009; it's north-northeast of the 1923 Yankee Stadium, on the former site of Macombs Dam Park.

The Bronx is home to several Off-Off-Broadway theaters, many staging new works by immigrant playwrights from Latin America and Africa. The Pregones Theater, which produces Latin American work, opened a new 130-seat theater in 2005 on Walton Avenue in the South Bronx. Some artists from elsewhere in New York City have begun to converge on the area, and housing prices have nearly quadrupled in the area since 2002. However rising prices directly correlate to a housing shortage across the city and the entire metro area.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, founded in 1971, exhibits 20th century and contemporary art through its central museum space and 11000 sqft of galleries. Many of its exhibitions are on themes of special interest to the Bronx. Its permanent collection features more than 800 works of art, primarily by artists from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, and mixed media. The museum was temporarily closed in 2006 while it underwent a major expansion designed by the architectural firm Arquitectonica.

The Bronx has also become home to a peculiar poetic tribute, in the form of the Heinrich Heine Memorial, better known as the Lorelei Fountain from one of Heine's best-known works (1838). After Heine's German birthplace of Düsseldorf had rejected, allegedly for anti-Semitic motives, a centennial monument to the radical German-Jewish poet (1797–1856), his incensed German-American admirers, including Carl Schurz, started a movement to place one instead in Midtown Manhattan, at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. However, this intention was thwarted by a combination of ethnic antagonism, aesthetic controversy and political struggles over the institutional control of public art. In 1899, the memorial, by the Berlin sculptor Ernst Gustav Herter (1846–1917), finally came to rest, although subject to repeated vandalism, in the Bronx, at 164th Street and the Grand Concourse, or Joyce Kilmer Park near today's Yankee Stadium. (In 1999, it was moved to 161st Street and the Concourse.) In 2007, Christopher Gray of The New York Times described it as "a writhing composition in white Tyrolean marble depicting Lorelei, the mythical German figure, surrounded by mermaids, dolphins and seashells."

One national landmark in the Bronx is the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, overlooking the Harlem River and designed by the renowned architect Stanford White. The never–landmarked Yankee Stadium, the "House that Ruth Built" and home to the New York Yankees since 1923, has been replaced with a similar-looking ballpark just across 161st Street.

The peninsular borough's maritime heritage is acknowledged in several ways.The City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum occupies a former public school designed by the New York City school system's turn-of-the-last-century master architect C. B. J. Snyder. The state's Maritime College in Fort Schuyler (on the southeastern shore) houses the Maritime Industry Museum. In addition, the Harlem River is reemerging as "Scullers' Row" [2] due in large part to the efforts of the Bronx River Restoration Project [3], a joint public-private endeavor of the city's parks department. Canoeing and kayaking on the borough's namesake river have been promoted by the Bronx River Alliance. The river is also straddled by the New York Botanical Gardens, its neighbor, the Bronx Zoo, and a little further south, on the west shore, Bronx River Art Center.

The press and broadcasting

Newspapers The Bronx has several local newspapers, including The Bronx News [4], Parkchester News, City News, The Riverdale Press, Riverdale Review, The Bronx Times Reporter, Inner City Press [5] (which now has more of a focus on national issues) and Co-Op City Times. Four non-profit news outlets, Norwood News, Mount Hope Monitor, Mott Haven Herald and The Hunts Point Express serve the borough's poorer communities. The editor and co-publisher of The Riverdale Press, Bernard Stein, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for his editorials about Bronx and New York City issues in 1998. (Stein graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1959.)

The Bronx once had its own daily newspaper, The Bronx Home News, which started publishing on January 20, 1907 and merged into the New York Post in 1948. It became a special section of the Post, sold only in the Bronx, and eventually disappeared from view.

Radio and television One of New York City's major non-commercial radio broadcasters is WFUV, an National Public Radio–affiliated 50,000-watt station broadcasting from Fordham University's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. The radio station's antenna is atop an apartment building owned by Montefiore Medical Center.

The City of New York has an official television station run by the NYC Media Group and broadcasting from Bronx Community College, and Cablevision operates News 12 The Bronx, both of which feature programming based in the Bronx. Co-op City was the first area in the Bronx, and the first in New York beyond Manhattan, to have its own cable television provider. The local Public-access television station BronxNet provides Government-access television (GATV) public affairs programming in addition to programming produced by Bronx residents.

Screen, literature and song

On screen (film and television)

Middle 20th century movies set in the Bronx portrayed densely-settled, working-class, urban culture. Hollywood films such as From This Day Forward (1946), set in Highbridge, occasionally delved into Bronx life. Paddy Chayefsky's Academy Award-winning Marty was the most notable examination of working class Bronx life was also explored by Chayefsky in his 1956 film The Catered Affair, and in the 1993 Robert De Niro/Chazz Palminteri film, A Bronx Tale, Spike Lee's 1999 movie Summer of Sam, centered in an Italian-American Bronx community, 1994's I Like It Like That that takes place in the predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood of the South Bronx, and Doughboys, the story of two Italian-American brothers in danger of losing their bakery thanks to one brother's gambling debts.

The Bronx's gritty urban life had worked its way into the movies even earlier, with depictions of the "Bronx cheer", a loud flatulent-like sound of disapproval, allegedly first made by New York Yankees fans. The sound can be heard, for example, when Spike Jones sings "Der Fuehrer's Face" (from the 1942 Disney animated film of the same name), repeatedly lambasting Adolf Hitler with: "We'll Heil! (Bronx cheer) Heil! (Bronx cheer) Right in Der Fuehrer's Face!"

Other movies have also used the term Bronx for comic effect, such as "Bronx", the character on the Disney animated series Gargoyles.

Starting in the 1970s, the Bronx often symbolized violence, decay, and urban ruin. The wave of arson in the South Bronx in the 1960s and 1970s inspired the observation that "The Bronx is burning": in 1974 it was the title of both a New York Times editorial and a BBC documentary film. The line entered the pop-consciousness with Game Two of the 1977 World Series, when a fire broke out near Yankee Stadium as the team was playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Numerous fires had previously broken out in the Bronx prior to this fire. As the fire was captured on live television, announcer Howard Cosell stated, "There it is, ladies and gentlemen: the Bronx is burning". Historians of New York City frequently point to Cosell's remark as an acknowledgement of both the city and the borough's decline. A new feature-length documentary film by Edwin Pagan called Bronx Burning is in production in 2006, chronicling what led up to the numerous arson-for-insurance fraud fires of the 1970s in the borough.

Bronx gang life was depicted in the 1974 novel The Wanderers by Bronx native Richard Price and the 1979 movie of the same name. They are set in the heart of the Bronx, showing apartment life and the then-landmark Krums ice cream parlor. In the 1979 film The Warriors, the eponymous gang go to a meeting in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, and have to fight their way out of the borough and get back to Coney Island in Brooklyn. The 2005 video game adaptation features levels called Pelham, Tremont, and "Gunhill" (a play off the name Gun Hill Road).

This theme lends itself to the title of The Bronx Is Burning, an eight-part ESPN TV mini-series (2007) about the New York Yankees' drive to winning baseball's 1977 World Series. The TV series emphasizes the boisterous nature of the team, led by manager Billy Martin, catcher Thurman Munson and outfielder Reggie Jackson, as well as the malaise of the Bronx and New York City in general during that time, such as the blackout, the city's serious financial woes and near bankruptcy, the arson for insurance payments, and the election of Ed Koch as mayor.

The 1981 film Fort Apache, The Bronx is another film that used the Bronx's gritty image for its storyline. The movie's title is from the nickname for the 41st Police Precinct in the South Bronx which was nicknamed "Fort Apache". Also from 1981 is the horror film Wolfen making use of the rubble of the Bronx as a home for werewolf type creatures. Knights of the South Bronx, a true story of a teacher who worked with disadvantaged children, is another film also set in the Bronx released in 2005.

The Bronx was the setting for the 1983 film Fuga dal Bronx, also known as Bronx Warriors 2 and Escape 2000, an Italian B-movie best known for its appearance on the television series Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The plot revolves around a sinister construction corporation's plans to depopulate, destroy and redevelop the Bronx, and a band of rebels who are out to expose the corporation's murderous ways and save their homes. The film is memorable for its almost incessant use of the phrase, "Leave the Bronx!" Many of the movie's scenes were filmed in Queens, substituting as the Bronx.

Bronx born and reared Nancy Savoca's 1989 comedy True Love, explores two Italian-American Bronx sweethearts in the days before their wedding. The film, which debuted Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard as the betrothed couple, won the Grand Jury Prize at that year's Sundance Film Festival.

The CBS television sitcom Becker, 1998–2004, was more ambiguous. The show starred Ted Danson as Dr. John Becker, a doctor who operated a small practice and was constantly annoyed by his patients, co-workers, friends, and practically everything and everybody else in his world. It showed his everyday life as a doctor working in a small clinic in the Bronx.

Penny Marshall's 1990 film Awakenings, which was nominated for several Oscars, is based on neurologist Oliver Sacks' 1973 account of his psychiatric patients at Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx who were paralyzed by a form of encephalitis but briefly responded to the drug L-dopa. Robin Williams played the physician; Robert De Niro was one of the patients who emerged from a catatonic (frozen) state. The home of Williams' character was shot not far from Sacks' actual City Island residence. A 1973 Yorkshire Television documentary and "A Kind of Alaska", a 1985 play by Harold Pinter, were also based on Sacks' book.

Gus Van Sant's 2000 Finding Forrester was quickly billed "Good Will Hunting in the Hood." Sean Connery is in the title role of a reclusive old man who 50 years earlier wrote a single novel that garnered the Pulitzer Prize. He meets 16 year old Jamal – actor Rob Brown – a gifted, Bronx reared basketball player and aspiring writer, and becomes his mentor. The movie includes stock footage of Bronx housing projects from 1990, as well as some other scenes shot in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In literature

The Bronx has been featured significantly in fiction literature. All of the characters in Herman Wouk's (1948) live in the Bronx, and about half of the action is set there. Kate Simon's Bronx Primitive: Portraits of a Childhood is directly autobiographical, a warm account of a Polish-Jewish girl in an immigrant family growing up before World War II, and living near Arthur Avenue and Tremont Avenue. In Jacob M. Appel's short story, "The Grand Concourse" (2007), a woman who grew up the in the iconic Lewis Morris Building returns to the Morrisania neighborhood with her adult daughter. Similarly, in Avery Corman's book The Old Neighborhood (1980), an upper-middle class white protagonist returns to his birth neighborhood (Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse), and learns that even though the folks are poor, Hispanic and African-American, they are good people.

By contrast, Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) portrays a wealthy, white protagonist, Sherman McCoy, getting lost off the Major Deegan Expressway in the South Bronx and having an altercation with locals. A substantial piece of the last part of the book is set in the resulting riotous trial at the Bronx County Court House. However, times change, and in 2007, the New York Times reported that "the Bronx neighborhoods near the site of Sherman's accident are now dotted with townhouses and apartments." In the same article, the Reverend Al Sharpton (whose fictional analogue in the novel is "Reverend Bacon") asserts that "twenty years later, the cynicism of The Bonfire of the Vanities is as out of style as Tom Wolfe's wardrobe."

Don DeLillo's Underworld (1997) is also set in the Bronx and offers a perspective on the decline of the area from the 1950s onwards. John Patrick Shanley's "Savage in Limbo" is set in a 1980s Bronx bar called 'Scales' where the frustrated characters feel they are unable to move.

In poetry, the Bronx has been immortalized by one of the world's shortest couplets:

The Bronx
No Thonx
Ogden Nash, The New Yorker, 1931

Nash repented 33 years after his calumny, penning in 1964 the following prose poem to the Dean of Bronx Community College:

I can't seem to escape
the sins of my smart-alec youth;
Here are my amends.
I wrote those lines, "The Bronx?
No thonx";
I shudder to confess them.
Now I'm an older, wiser man
I cry, "The Bronx? God
bless them!"<ref name="thonx"/>

In song

Passing through: The theme song to the 1960s U.S. television comedy series Car 54, Where Are You? begins "There's a holdup in the Bronx." And the song "New York, New York" (by Betty Comden and Adolph Green from the 1940s musical comedy and film, "On the Town") explains that "The Bronx is up and the Battery's down." Another song, "Manhattan" (by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the 1925 musical "Garrick Gaieties"), declares "We'll have Manhattan,/The Bronx and Staten/Island too./It's lovely going through/the zoo."

Bronx Local: While hundreds of songs about New York City, Manhattan and Brooklyn can be found in Wikipedia's List of songs about New York City and also in Marc Ferris's 5-page, 15-column list of "Songs and Compositions Inspired by New York City" in The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995), only a handful refer to the Bronx.

Ferris's extensive but selective 1995 list mentions only four songs referring specifically to the Bronx:

  • "On the Banks of the Bronx" (1919), William LeBaron, Victor Jacobi
  • "Bronx Express" (1922), Creamer and Layton
  • "The Tremont Avenue Cruisewear Fashion Show" (1973), Jerry Livingston, Mark David
  • "I Love the New York Yankees" (1987), Paula Lindstrom

But Wikipedia's own list also currently mentions:

  • "Alfie From The Bronx" by The Toy Dolls
  • "Back To The Bronx" by 2 Live Crew
  • "Boogie Down Bronx" by JVC Force
  • "Bronx" by Kurtis Blow
  • "The Bronx" by Regina Spektor
  • "Bronx Backyard" by The Johnny Seven Band
  • "The Bronx Is Beautiful" by Robert Klein
  • "Bronx Keeps Creating It" by Fat Joe
  • "Bronx Tale" by Fat Joe
  • "" by A.I.G.
  • "Cousin in The Bronx" by Kaiser Chiefs
  • "Cross Bronx Expressway" by Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz
  • "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz
  • "Ha Ya Doin? Yankees" – The Haya Doin'? Boys
  • "Here Come the Yankees", by Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman
  • "Jenny From The Block" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Styles P & Jadakiss
  • "On The Streets Of The Bronx" by The Moonglows
  • "Our Lady of the Bronx" by Black 47
  • "Rockin' the Bronx" by Black 47
  • "South Bronx" by Boogie Down Productions

See also

  • Bronx gangs (1950s-1960s)
  • Bronx cheer (gesture)
  • Bronx Bombers
  • Joseph P. Day, early land auctioneer
  • List of people from the Bronx
  • List of counties in New York
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Bronx County, New York

Further reading

  • Barrows, Edward, and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (1999)
  • Baver, Sherrie L. "Development of New York's Puerto Rican Community", Bronx County Historical Society Journal 1988 25(1): 1–9
  • Briggs, Xavier de Souza, Anita Miller and John Shapiro. 1996. "CCRP in the South Bronx." Planners' Casebook, Winter.
  • de Kadt, Maarten. The Bronx River: An Environmental and Social History. The History Press (2011)
  • DiBrino, Nicholas. The History of the Morris Park Racecourse and the Morris Family (1977)
  • Federal Writers' Project. New York City Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs of the Metropolis: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond (1939) online edition
  • Gonzalez, Evelyn. The Bronx. (Columbia University Press, 2004. 263 ISBN 0–231-12114-8), scholarly history focused on the slums of the South Bronx online edition
  • Goodman, Sam. "The Golden Ghetto: The Grand Concourse in the Twentieth Century", Bronx County Historical Society Journal 2004 41(1): 4–18 and 2005 42(2): 80–99
  • Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City, (Yale University Press and The New-York Historical Society, (1995) ), has entries, maps, illustrations, statistics and bibliographic references on almost all of the significant topics in this article, from the entire borough to individual neighborhoods, people, events and artistic works.
  • Jonnes, Jull. South Bronx Rising: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of an American City (2002) online edition
  • McNamara, John History In Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names (1993)
  • McNamara, John McNamara's Old Bronx (1989)
  • Olmsted, Robert A. "A History of Transportation in the Bronx", Bronx County Historical Society Journal 1989 26(2): 68–91
  • Olmsted, Robert A. "Transportation Made the Bronx", Bronx County Historical Society Journal 1998 35(2): 166–180
  • Rodríguez, Clara E. Puerto Ricans: Born in the U.S.A (1991) online edition
  • Samtur, Stephen M. and Martin A. Jackson. The Bronx: Lost, Found, and Remembered, 1935–1975 (1999) online review, nostalgia
  • Twomey, Bill and Casey, Thomas Images of America Series: Northwest Bronx (2011)
  • Twomey, Bill and McNamara, John. Throggs Neck Memories (1993)
  • Twomey, Bill and McNamara, John. Images of America Series: Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay (1998)
  • Twomey, Bill and Moussot, Peter. Throggs Neck (1983), pictorial
  • Twomey, Bill. Images of America Series: East Bronx (1999)
  • Twomey, Bill. Images of America Series: South Bronx (2002)
  • Twomey, Bill. The Bronx in Bits and Pieces (2007)
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Northern Borough: A History Of The Bronx (2009), popular general history
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Bronx in the frontier era: from the beginning to 1696 (1994)
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Beautiful Bronx (1920–1950) (1979), heavily illustrated
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Birth of the Bronx, 1609–1900 (2000), popular
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Bronx in the Innocent years, 1890–1925 (1985), popular
  • Ultan, Lloyd. The Bronx: It Was Only Yesterday, "The Bronx: It Was Only Yesterday 1935–1965 (1992), heavily illustrated popular history

External links

General links

Places in the Bronx

Bronx history

The Bronx today



Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bronx