One hand, I understand it the Bronx has gotten a bad historical rap, the South Bronx, most of all.
But for those who are sleeping on the Bronx, wake up and smell the fresh Bustelo brewing. The Boogie Down is on the up and up!
This northern borough’s African American & Puerto Ricans residents birthed hip hop and rap, grafitti and breakdancing. All cultural rich art forms that revolutionized urban culture and influenced almost everthing that came afterwards, from music, to clothes, to visual arts, to language, to MTV, poetry and more but enough of the history lesson.
Those who venture northwards will find that the South Bronx has been revitalized, just over the bridge is a span of antiques shops and artists lofts, known as SoBro (or South Bronx). There are poetry reading such as at the Bruckner Bar & Grill and a large poetry/writing comunity.
There are First Nights events:
First Friday at The Bronx Museum of the Arts
“Join The Bronx Museum of the Arts for its free First Friday program, From Salsa & Bachata to Merengue & Son: The Popular Music of Two Islands, featuring live band performances and DJs covering popular musical genres from Cuba and Dominican Republic. A new series launched in September, First Fridays offers film screenings, art performances, music and other special events the first Friday of every month. In conjunction with the festivity, the Museum will offer tours guided by student docents from the Bronx High School of the Visual Arts of Quisqueya Henriquez: The World Outside, a collection of works by the Cuban-Dominican artist currently on display.” More info on the site.
And, forget the windows on Fifth, in the Bronx, the Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Light show will take your breath away. For those who miss the suburbs and the pretty decorated homes, just drive up Pelham Parkway….
“For three decades, the Garabedian family has decorated their home and yard at 1605 Pelham Parkway North with a handcrafted holiday extravaganza that includes more than 50,000 small lights, religious figures, ballroom dancers, Victorian-era characters, and pop-culture icons. The family, which runs a dressmaking business, crafts the dolls, their costumes, and the stages and props all by hand, only the lights and Christmas tree are bought in a store.
Powered by 37,000 volts, the Christmas House can be seen from blocks away and is a yearly attraction for Bronx residents and others who come to enjoy home-spun Holiday cheer.”
The Bronx has experienced a rebirth and been a home to likes of Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, Edgar Allan Poe, Chaim Potok, Mark Twain, Danny Aiello, Woody Allen, Anne Bancroft, Joey Bishop, Red Buttons, James Caan, George Carlin, Tony Curtis, Stacey Dash, Chazz Palminteri, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Stanley Kubrick, Linda Lovelace, Sonia Manzano, Garry Marshall, Carroll O’Connor, Jerry Orbach, Al Pacino Regis Philbin, Rob Reiner, Neil Simon Mary J. Blige,Diahann Carroll, Grandmaster Caz, Willie Colón Grandmaster Flash, Kool DJ Herc, Fat Joe, Billy Joel, Héctor Lavoe, Jennifer Lopez, KRS-One, Tito Puente, Big Pun, Carly Simon, Regina Spektor, Luther Vandross, Mario Vazquez, Veronica Vazquez, Howard Dean, Ed Koch, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Colin Powell, Theodore Roosevelt, Eliot Spitzer, Lou Gehrig, Jake LaMotta, and Ralph Lauren just to mention a few.
The apartments buildings on Grand Concourse once again are luxury co-op homes to those smart enough to snatch them up just as did families did once the art deco apts were built.
Those who think the Bronx has nothing to offer them, out to think again, this brimming with culture borough has got it all, class, wit and soul.