Oh New York. It is known as “the city that never sleeps”, “the big apple”, and “the melting pot”. Its five boroughs encompass some of the most diverse and cultural areas in the world. The Bronx is one of them. The Bronx is the northern most borough and is easily the most misunderstood of the five. Contrary to its unflattering image, The Bronx is home to some of the most beautiful scenic gardens and land in New York. It is also home to the talented actress Kerry Washington, star of ABC’s Scandal and this year’s box office smash hit Django Unchained, who calls the Bronx home. AStarWasBorn.com chatted with Washington who was eager to put the rumors to rest, and tell everyone about what her home borough has to offer. (Click here for AStarWasBorn.com’s full interview with Washington).
Movies like to tell people that the Bronx is a city filled with project housing and graffiti but that could not be further from the truth. Of course the area is a sub city of Manhattan, but The Bronx is also surrounded on many sides by water and holds some of the most stunning parks in all five of the boroughs. The Botanical Gardens of New York are famous worldwide for their beauty. Well guess where they are located? That is right, the Bronx. Right in the middle of the urban jungle is some of the world’s most beautiful gardens. From wild flower exhibitions to the Thain Family Forrest, visitors can’t go wrong taking a day to stroll round such breathtaking gardens. Another great park to visit is Pelham Bay Park. Pelham Bay Park is New York City’s largest park, and is three times bigger than Manhattan’s very famous Central Park. It is a public park that has everything travelers could ask for: barbecuing areas, hiking, fishing, water sports, recreational sports facilities, biking, and sports fields. It is also attached to Orchard Beach, which contains some of the best views of the city scape. Another park very similar to that of Pelham Bay Park is Van Cortlandt Park. This park has many of the same amenities as Pelham Bay Park, but it also includes an ice skating rink for the winter. It is yet another beautiful site to see with its gardens and fountains in the Bronx.
Parks and Recreation are not the only attractions the Bronx has to offer. The Bronx is also home to one of the most beautiful areas in all of New York: Riverdale. Riverdale is a neighborhood known to be just a beautiful site to walk through. Most of the homes have been maintained from the twentieth century and have undeniable character. The area’s best tourist attractions is Wave Hill, which is a serenity garden for visitors.
Of course when you’re in the Bronx it is essential to go to a Yankee’s game. Whether you love them or hate them, the Yankee’s game is fun for everyone. The revelry and the rivalries never get old as you see some of the craziest fans in the world root for the home team. The new Yankee Stadium is a site to see with its food vendors and family activities, it holds some of the best entertainment New York has to offer.
Photo credit: Enzo Franco Sparacino
The Bronx Zoo is also a great spot to spend the day. The Bronx Zoo is 265 acres and contains 4,000 animals of 650 species. This is one of the largest attractions the Bronx boasts.
For arts and theaters lovers the Bronx is a fantastic place to get your entertainment fix. The Bronx brags that it is the birthplace of hip-hop, which makes perfect sense since the Lehman Performing Arts Center is a cultural mecca for music and entertainment and one of Kerry Washington’s tips on places to visit in The Bronx. The center puts on all types of shows from musicals like the Chorus line to symphonies like the Chinese Orchestra.
Photo credit: Ozan Kilic
For people interested in cultural art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a place worth spending a day at. The museum focuses its exhibitions on 20th century contemporary art and mostly showcases the art work of Asian, African, and Latin Americans.
If you are looking for good food the Bronx is the place to be. While many travel to Manhattan to eat in “Little Italy”, the Bronx has its own “Little Italy” on Arthur Ave in the Fordham area. Some food critics even call the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue, “The Real Little Italy” and Bronx native, Kerry Washington counts this as one of her favorite spots in the city. Arthur Avenue is a stretch of authentic Italian bakeries, delis, restaurants, and merchants, all with one goal: to provide the Bronx with the best Italian food around. Most of the business owners on Arthur Avenue have been there since their great grandparents moved to America during the days of European immigration. Arthur Avenue is known for having the freshest food. People from all over come to eat and buy their food on the famous street. Antonio’s Trattoria, Roberto’s, and Trattoria Zero Otto Nove, are all Arthur Avenue’s top rated restaurants. If you are short on time though, enjoy a classic slice of New York pizza at Cafe al Mercado. Arthur Avenue also hosts its annual Ferragosto in September, which as a celebration of family, friends, and of course the harvest that yields such fantastic food. Arthur Avenue is the perfect place to end a long day of fun in the Bronx.
The Bronx is also famous for its huge barbecue parties during the summer. With all its parks, the Bronx hosts many festivals that bring people together during the summer. What better way to spend a summer day than relaxing in the sun with the grill on? Tourists are welcome to enjoy the scene and activities as they indulge on some of the best burgers, spare ribs, corn on the cob, and potato salad in town.
The Bronx is making a comeback. With all the things to do and see, it is hard to believe that more people have not already been there! For people who travel to Manhattan often, take a day to see what the Bronx has to offer, it could be a great surprise!
Additional Photos courtesy of: Bronx Museum of Art, ilovethebronx.com, Little Italy photo courtesy of berkeleyhomes-dot-com
For more information on the Bronx visit: http://www.ilovethebronx.com/.