New York City - Bronx
One can get into the Bronx from Manhattan and other boroughs (except Staten Island) easily by taking any of several subway lines. The Harlem and Hudson Lines of the Metro North commuter railway, which originate in Grand Central Terminal and stop in Harlem at 125 St. and Park Av., traverse the Bronx, with various stops including Botanic Garden, next to the New York Botanic Garden. Local MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) bus connections with Upper Manhattan and parts of Queens also exist. Finally, it is possible to drive across one of the many bridges from Manhattan or the three bridges from Queens, and points north are accessible via several highways. Note that taxis from Midtown or Lower Manhattan can be very expensive.
The Bronx has limited subway coverage, with the subway lines designed more for access to Manhattan than cross-town travel in the Bronx, and many of its bus lines are slow and overcrowded at times. Many people who need flexibility in getting across the Bronx drive. The notoriously overcrowded Cross-Bronx Expressway sometimes cancels out this notion. But with sufficient planning and time, you can enjoy the borough through a combination of subway and bus travel and walking.
The Bronx has a strong character all its own. It is the birthplace of hip hop music, one of the most important truly American musical genres, and home to one of the country's most storied professional baseball teams, the New York Yankees, also known as the "Bronx Bombers". Many ethnic groups have called the Bronx home over the years. Arthur Avenue is still a center of Italian American culture in New York, and many claim it has a more authentic feel than Manhattan's Little Italy. The South Bronx is a center of Puerto Rican culture and life, with a growing Mexican community as well. University Heights and Morris Heights are largely Dominican neighborhoods.
While the southern and central Bronx is comprised of mostly apartment buildings and densely built, the physical environment of Bronx is much more varied than what is normally portrayed in the popular media. For instance, Riverdale is a residential neighborhood of mostly detached single family homes located on bluffs overlooking the Hudson River. It looks more like a quiet suburb than the big bad Bronx. Bronx Park and Van Cortlandt Park are two large and surprisingly tranquil green spaces. City Island, located in Long Island Sound but officially part of the Bronx reminds people more of a small New England fishing village and is worth a visit.
The Bronx has a reputation as an area of run-down apartment buildings and high crime that is not entirely undeserved. The South Bronx still has problems including relatively high poverty and crime rates, drug activity, abandoned buildings and numerous vacant lots. But all of these problems have improved in recent years. Remember that bad reputation of the Bronx has been spread and kept alive mostly by people who do not live there or have never visited. While you should exercise caution if visiting some of the more troubled neighborhoods, don't take outsider's word for it when it comes to the Bronx, explore it and decide for yourself.
• A world-class zoo featuring over 4000 animals. (718) 367-1010
• 48 magnificent gardens and plant collections on a 250-acre historic site. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road, Bronx, New York 10458, (718) 817-8700.
• Public gardens. 675 West 252 Street, Bronx, NY 10471, (718) 549-3200
• Orchard Beach "The Bronx Riviera", 1.1 miles of artificial beach created in the 1930's. Located in Pelham Bay Park at the western end of Long Island Sound.
• Yankee Stadium, "The House that Ruth Built", 161 St and River Ave.
• Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, Poe Park, Grand Concourse at Kingsbridge Road, New York 10458, 718 881-8900. The small wooden farmhouse, built about 1812, once offered unobstructed views of the rolling Bronx hills, perhaps even to the shores of Long Island. It was Poe's home from 1846 to 1849, the last three years of his life. He wrote some of his most famous works, including Annabel Lee, The Bells. Administered by the Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, the cottage is restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings. There's a film presentation and guided tour.
• Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler, SUNY Maritime College, 6 Pennyfield Avenue (the end of Pennyfield Ave; under the Throgs Neck Bridge), NY 10465, 718 409-7218. The main exhibit area encompasses the history of seafaring from the ancient Phoenicians to present day steamship and passenger ship lines. Exhibitions include paintings, models, tools and navigational instruments documenting progress from the earliest sailing vessels to modern technology. Lovely waterfront location, too.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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