Bronx, New York
The Bronx, New York
|Borough of New York City|
|Motto: "Ne cede malis" - "Yield Not To Evil"|
The Bronx is shown in orange.
|Country||United States of America|
|Borough created||1898 (County in 1914)|
|• Type||Borough (New York City)|
|• Borough President||
Ruben Diaz, Jr.|
— (Borough of the Bronx)
|• District Attorney||
Robert T. Johnson|
— (Bronx County)
|• Total||150 km2 (57 sq mi)|
|• Land||110 km2 (42 sq mi)|
|• Water||40 km2 (15 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||90 m (280 ft)|
|Population (July 1, 2012)|
|• Density||12,507/km2 (32,393/sq mi)|
|(2012 pop. as estimated in July 2012; density is July 2006 est. pop. on land area as of 2000)|
|Time zone||Eastern Standard Time (North America) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Code prefix||104|
|Area code(s)||347, 718, 917. 646.|
|Website||Official website of the Bronx Borough President|
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. Coextensive with Bronx County, it was 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, because of the rerouting of the Harlem River in 1897). The Bronx's population is 1,385,108 according to the 2010 United States Census. The borough has a land area of 42 square miles (109 km2), making it the fourth-largest in land area of the five boroughs, the fourth most populated, and the third-highest in population density.
The Bronx is divided by the Bronx River into a hillier section in the west, closer to Manhattan, and the flatter eastern section, closer to Long Island. Technically, the West Bronx is divided from the East Bronx by Jerome Avenue—the continuation of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue—making the West Bronx roughly one-eighth the size of the East Bronx. The West Bronx was annexed to New York City (then largely confined to Manhattan) in 1874, and the areas east of the Bronx River were annexed in 1895. The Bronx first assumed a distinct legal identity when it became a borough of Greater New York in 1898. Bronx County, with the same boundaries as the borough, was separated from New York County (afterwards coextensive with the Borough of Manhattan) as of January 1, 1914.
Although the Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., about a quarter of its area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo in the borough's north and center, on land deliberately reserved in the late 19th century as urban development progressed northwards and eastwards from Manhattan with the building of roads, bridges and railways.
The Bronx River was named after Jonas Bronck, who created the first settlement as part of the New Netherland colony in 1639, and eventually lent its name to the entire borough. The native Lenape were progressively displaced after 1643 by settlers. The Bronx received many Irish, German, Jewish and Italian immigrants as its once-rural population exploded between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. They were succeeded after 1945 by African Americans and Hispanic Americans from the Caribbean basin — especially Puerto Rico and later the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. In recent years, this cultural mix has made the Bronx a wellspring of both Latin music and hip hop.
The Bronx contains one of the five poorest Congressional Districts in the U.S., the 16th, but its wide variety of neighborhoods also includes the affluent and middle to upper income Riverdale, Schuylerville and Country Club. The Bronx, particularly the South Bronx, saw a sharp decline in population, livable housing, and the quality of life in the late 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in a wave of arson. Since then the communities have shown significant redevelopment starting in the late 1980s before picking up pace in the 1990s into today.
New York's five boroughs overview
|Borough||County||1 July 2012
|Source: United States Census Bureau|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 2.1 Adjacent counties
- 2.2 Location and physical features
- 2.3 Parks and open space
- 2.4 Neighborhoods
- 2.5 Shopping districts
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government and politics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Education
- 8 Cultural life and institutions
- 9 Screen, literature and song
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The history of the Bronx during the 20th century may be divided into four periods: a boom period during 1900–29, with a population growth by a factor of six from 200,000 in 1900 to 1.3 million in 1930. The Great Depression and post World War II years saw a slowing of growth leading into an eventual decline. The mid to late century were hard times, as the Bronx declined 1950-85 from a predominantly moderate-income to a predominantly lower-income area with high rates of violent crime and poverty. The Bronx has experienced an economic and developmental resurgence starting in the late 1980s that continues into today.
New York City expands
For generations a mostly rural area of small farms supplying the city markets, the Bronx grew into a railroad suburb in the late 19th century. Faster transportation allowed for rapid population growth in the late 19th century, involving the move from horse-drawn street cars to elevated railways and the subway system, which linked to Manhattan in 1904.
The South Bronx was for many years a manufacturing center and in the early part of the 20th century was noted as a center of piano manufacturing. In 1919, the Bronx was the site of 63 piano factories employing more than 5,000 workers.
The Bronx underwent rapid urban growth after World War I. Extensions of the New York City Subway contributed to the increase in population as thousands of immigrants came to 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, Polish and other 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. The oldest sections of the borough began to become poverty stricken areas.
Between 1930 and 1960, moderate and upper income Bronxites (predominantly non-Hispanic Whites) rapidly began to relocate from the southwestern neighborhoods of the borough. This migration has left a mostly poor African American and Hispanic (largely Puerto Rican population in the West Bronx. Most predominantly non-Hispanic White communities today are located in the East and northwestern sections of the county.
From the mid-1960s to the late-1970s, quality of life for Bronx residents declined sharply. 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 mortgage loans 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 predominantly in the poorest communities, like the South Bronx. The most common explanation of what occurred was that landlords decided to burn their low property-value buildings and take the insurance money as it was more lucrative to get insurance money than to refurbish or sell a building in a severely distressed area. The Bronx became identified with a high rate of poverty and unemployment, which was mainly a persistent problem in the South Bronx.
Out of 289 census tracts in the Bronx borough, 7 tracts lost more than 97% of their buildings to fire and abandonment between 1970 and 1980; another 44 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 multi-unit housing. By the early 1980s, the South Bronx was considered one of the most blighted urban areas in the country, with a loss of 60% of the population and 40% of housing units.
Since the late 1980s, significant development has occurred in the Bronx, first 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 IRT White Plains Road Line (No. 2 and 5) began to show an increase in riders. Chains such as Marshalls, Staples, and Target opened stores in the Bronx. More bank branches 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.
In 1997, the Bronx was designated an All America City by the National Civic League, acknowledging its comeback from the decline of the mid century. 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.
- Westchester County – North
- Queens County, New York (Queens) – South
- New York County, New York (Manhattan) – Southwest
- Bergen County, New Jersey – West
|Bergen County, New Jersey||Eastchester Bay|
| New York County
| Queens County
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 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. Rikers Island in the East River, home to the large jail complex for the entire city, is also part of the Bronx.
The Bronx's highest elevation at 280 feet (85 m) 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 salt marsh: 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. Almost 27%, 15.4 square miles (40 km2), of the Bronx's total area is water, and the irregular shoreline extends for 75 square miles (194 km2).
|Selected Parks and Open Space in the Bronx|
|ac- quired||Name||acres||square miles||hect- ares||square km|
|1888||Pelham Bay Park||2,764||4.3||1,119||11.2|
|Van Cortlandt Park||1,146||1.8||464||4.6|
|1890||Jerome Park Reservoir||94||0.15||38||0.4|
|1897||St. James Park||11||0.02||4.6||0.0|
|1899||Macomb's Dam Park †||28||0.04||12||0.1|
|1909||Henry Hudson Park||9||0.01||4||0.0|
|1937||Ferry Point Park||414||0.65||168||1.7|
|Land area of the Bronx in 2000||26,897||42.0||10,885||108.8|
|Total area ||36,752||57.4||14,873||148.7|
|† closed in 2007 to build a new park & Yankee Stadium |
|Main source: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation|
Parks and open space
Although it was the third most densely populated county in the United States as of 2006 (after Manhattan and Brooklyn), about one-fifth of the Bronx's area, and one-quarter of its land area, is given over to park land: about 7,000 acres (28 km2).
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 county, and its southern end the Bronx Zoo, the largest urban zoological gardens in the U.S.
Further south is Crotona Park, home to a 3.3-acre (1.3 ha) lake, 28 species of trees and a large swimming pool. The land for these parks, and many others, was bought by New York City in 1888, while land was still open and inexpensive, in anticipation of future needs and future pressures for development.
Some of the acquired land was set aside for the Grand Concourse and Pelham Parkway, the first of a series of boulevards and parkways (thoroughfares lined with trees, vegetation and greenery). Later projects included the Bronx River Parkway, which developed a road while restoring the riverbank and reducing pollution, Mosholu Parkway and the Henry Hudson Parkway.
Just south of Van Cortlandt Park is the Jerome Park Reservoir, surrounded by 2 miles (3 km) of stone walls and bordering several small parks in the Bedford Park neighborhood. The reservoir was built in the 1890s on the site of the former Jerome Park Racetrack.
In 2006, a five-year, $220-million program of capital improvements and natural restoration in 70 Bronx parks was begun (financed by water and sewer revenues) as part of an agreement that allowed a water filtration plant under Van Cortlandt Park's golf course. One major focus is on opening more of the Bronx River's banks and restoring them to a natural state.
Wave Hill, the former estate of George W. Perkins — known for a historic house, gardens, changing site-specific art installations and concerts — overlooks the New Jersey Palisades from a promontory on the Hudson in Riverdale.
The number, locations and boundaries of the Bronx's neighborhoods (many of them sitting on the sites of 19th-century villages) have become unclear with time and successive waves of newcomers. In 2006, Manny Fernandez of The New York Times wrote,
"According to a Department of City Planning map of the city's neighborhoods, the Bronx has 49. The map publisher Hagstrom identifies 69. The borough president, Adolfo Carrión Jr., says 61. The Mayor's Community Assistance Unit, in a listing of the borough's community boards, names 68. World Heritage Encyclopedia, the online encyclopedia, lists 44."
East of the Bronx River, the borough is relatively flat and includes four large low peninsulas, or 'necks,' of low-lying land which jut into the waters of the East River and were once saltmarsh: Hunts Point, Clason's Point, Screvin's Neck (Castle Hill Point) and Throgs Neck. The East Bronx has older tenement buildings, low income public housing complexes, and multifamily homes, as well as single family homes. It includes New York City's largest park: Pelham Bay Park along the Westchester-Bronx border.
Neighborhoods include: Clason's Point, Harding Park, Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester (under Board 9), Throggs Neck, Country Club, City Island, Pelham Bay, Co-op City (Board 10), Westchester Square, Van Nest, Pelham Parkway, Morris Park (Board 11), Williamsbridge, Eastchester, Baychester, Edenwald and Wakefield (Board 12).
City Island and Hart Island
City Island is located east of Pelham Bay Park in Long Island Sound and is known for its seafood restaurants and private waterfront homes. City Island's single shopping street, City Island Avenue, is reminiscent of a small New England town. It is connected to Rodman's Neck on the mainland by the City Island Bridge.
East of City Island is Hart Island which is uninhabited and not open to the public. It once served as a prison and now houses New York City's Potter's Field or pauper's graveyard for unclaimed bodies.
(Bronx Community Boards 1 to 8, progressing roughly from south to northwest)
The western parts of the Bronx are hillier and are dominated by a series of parallel ridges, running south to north. The West Bronx has older apartment buildings, low income public housing complexes, multifamily homes in its lower income areas as well as larger single family homes in more affluent areas such as Riverdale and Fieldston. It includes New York City's fourth largest park: Van Cortlandt Park along the Westchester-Bronx border. The Grand Concourse, a wide boulevard, runs through it, north to south.
Neighborhoods include: Fordham-Bedford, Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights (Board 7), Kingsbridge, Riverdale (Board 8), and Woodlawn (Board 12). (Marble Hill, Manhattan is now connected by land to the Bronx rather than Manhattan and is served by Bronx Community Board 8.)
(Bronx Community Boards 1 to 6 plus part of Board 7 —— progressing northwards, Boards 2, 3 and 6 border the Bronx River from its mouth to Bronx Park, while 1, 4, 5 and 7 face Manhattan across the Harlem River)
Like other neighborhoods in New York City, the South Bronx has no official boundaries. The name has been used to represent poverty in the Bronx and applied to progressively more northern places so that by the 2000s Fordham Road was often used as a northern limit. The Bronx River more consistently forms an eastern boundary. The South Bronx has many high-density apartment buildings, low income public housing complexes, and multi-unit homes. The South Bronx is home to the Bronx County Courthouse, Borough Hall, and other government buildings, as well as Yankee Stadium. The Cross Bronx Expressway bisects it, east to west. The South Bronx has some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country, as well as very high crime areas.
Neighborhoods include: The Hub (a retail district at Third Avenue and East 149th Street), Port Morris, Mott Haven (Board 1), Melrose (Board 1 & Board 3), Morrisania, East Morrisania [also known as Crotona Park East] (Board 3), Hunts Point, Longwood (Board 2), Highbridge, Concourse (Board 4), West Farms, Belmont, East Tremont (Board 6), Tremont, Morris Heights (Board 5), University Heights, and Fordham (Board 5 & Board 7).
Prominent shopping areas in the Bronx include Fordham Road, Bay Plaza (in Co-op City), The Hub, Riverdale/Kingsbridge Shopping center and Bruckner Boulevard. Shops are also concentrated on streets aligned underneath elevated railroad lines, including Westchester Avenue, White Plains Road, Jerome Avenue, Southern Boulevard and Broadway. The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market contains several big-box stores, which opened in 2009 south of Yankee Stadium.
The Bronx Hub
The Hub–Third Avenue Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) is the retail heart of the South Bronx, located where four roads converge: East 149th Street, Willis, Melrose and Third Avenues. It is primarily located inside the neighborhood of Melrose but also lines the northern border of Mott Haven. The Hub has been called "the Broadway of the Bronx." It is the site of both maximum traffic and architectural density. In configuration, it resembles a miniature Times Square, a spatial "bow-tie" created by the geometry of the street. The area is part of Bronx Community Board 1.
The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market
The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market is a shopping center in The Bronx that encompasses less than one million square feet of retail space, built on a 17-acre (69,000 m2) site that formerly held the Bronx Terminal Market, a wholesale fruit and vegetable market as well as the former Bronx House of Detention, south of Yankee Stadium.
The $500 million shopping center, which was completed in 2009, saw the construction of new buildings and two smaller buildings, one new and the other a renovation of an existing building that was part of the original market. The two main buildings are linked by a six-level garage for 2,600 cars. The center has earned itself a LEED "Silver" designation in its design.
The renovated Prow Building, part of the original Bronx Terminal Market.
Morris Heights, a Bronx neighborhood of over 45,000.
Street scene on Fordham Road, a major street in the Bronx.
Roads and streets
The Bronx street grid is irregular. Like the northernmost part of upper Manhattan, the West Bronx's hilly terrain leaves a relatively free-style street grid. Much of the West Bronx's street numbering carries over from upper Manhattan, but does not match it exactly; East 132nd Street is the lowest numbered street in the Bronx. This dates from the mid-19th century when the southwestern area of Westchester County west of the Bronx River, was incorporated into New York City and known as the Northside.
The East Bronx is considerably flatter, and the street layout tends to be more regular. Only the Wakefield neighborhood picks up the street numbering, albeit at a disalignment due to Tremont Avenue's layout. At the same diagonal latitude, West 262nd Street in Riverdale matches East 237th Street in Wakefield.
Three major north-south thoroughfares run between Manhattan and the Bronx: Third Avenue, Park Avenue, and Broadway. Other major north-south roads include the Grand Concourse, Jerome Avenue, Sedgwick Avenue, Webster Avenue, and White Plains Road. Major east-west thoroughfares include Mosholu Parkway, Gun Hill Road, Fordham Road, Pelham Parkway, and Tremont Avenue.
Most east-west streets are prefixed with either East or West, to indicate on which side of Jerome Avenue they lie (continuing the similar system in Manhattan, which uses Fifth Avenue as the dividing line).
Approximately 61.6% of all Bronx households do not have access to a car. Citywide, the percentage of autoless households is 55%.
Several major limited access highways traverse the Bronx. These include:
- the Bronx River Parkway
- the Bruckner Expressway (I-278/I-95)
- the Cross-Bronx Expressway (I-95/I-295)
- the New England Thruway (I-95)
- the Henry Hudson Parkway (NY-9A)
- the Hutchinson River Parkway
- the Major Deegan Expressway (New York Thruway) (I-87)
Bridges and tunnels
Many bridges and tunnels connect the Bronx to Manhattan and Queens (3). These include, from west to east:
To Manhattan: the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, the Henry Hudson Bridge, the Broadway Bridge, the University Heights Bridge, the Washington Bridge, the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, the High Bridge, the Concourse Tunnel, the Macombs Dam Bridge, the 145th Street Bridge, the 149th Street Tunnel, the Madison Avenue Bridge, the Park Avenue Bridge, the Lexington Avenue Tunnel, the Third Avenue Bridge (southbound traffic only), and the Willis Avenue Bridge (northbound traffic only).
To Manhattan or Queens: the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, formerly known as the Triborough Bridge.
- IND Concourse Line (B D trains)
- IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (1 train)
- IRT Dyre Avenue Line (5 train)
- IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 train)
- IRT Pelham Line (6 <6> trains)
- IRT White Plains Road Line (2 5 trains)
Two Metro-North Railroad commuter rail lines (the Harlem Line and the Hudson Line) serve 11 stations in the Bronx. (Marble Hill, between the Spuyten Duyvil and University Heights stations, is actually in the only part of Manhattan connected to the mainland.) In addition, trains serving the New Haven Line stop at Fordham Road.
Race, ethnicity, language, and immigration
According to the 2010 Census, 53.5% of Bronx's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race); 30.1% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 10.9% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 3.4% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.6% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.2% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). The U.S. Census considers the Bronx to be the most diverse area in the country. There is an 89.7 percent chance that any two residents, chosen at random, would be of different race or ethnicity. The borough's formerly most populous ethnic group, white, declined from 98.3% in 1940 to 45.8% by 2012.
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, down from 34.4% in 1980. 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.
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). 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.
Approximately 44.3% of the population over the age of 5 speak only English at home, which is roughly 570,000 people. The majority (55.7%) of the population speak non-English languages at home. Over 580,600 people (45.2% of the population) speak Spanish at home.
According to the 2005–2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the borough's population was 23.0% White (13.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 34.5% Black or African American (30.6% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.8% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 40.4% from some other race and 2.4% from two or more races. 50.7% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race (23.3% of Bronx's population were Puerto Ricans). 31.7% of the population were foreign born and another 8.9% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parents. 55.6% spoke a language other than English at home and 16.4% had a Bachelor's degree or higher.
As of 2010, 46.29% (584,463) of Bronx residents age 5 and older spoke Spanish at home as a primary language, while 44.02% (555,767) spoke English, 2.48% (31,361) African languages, 0.91% (11,455) French, 0.90% (111,355) Italian, 0.87% (10,946) various Indic languages, 0.70% (8,836) other Indo-European languages, and Chinese was spoken as a main language by 0.50% (6,610) of the population over the age of five. In total, 55.98% (706,783) of the Bronx's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English. A Garifuna-speaking community from Honduras and Nicaragua also makes the Bronx its home.
|Bronx residents born abroad or overseas, 1930 and 2000|
|1930 United States Census||2000 United States Census|
|Total population of the Bronx||1,265,258||Total population of the Bronx||1,332,650|
|All born abroad or overseas ‡||524,410||39.4%|
|Foreign-born Whites||477,342||37.7%||All foreign-born||385,827||29.0%|
|White persons born in Russia||135,210||10.7%||Dominican Republic||124,032||9.3%|
|White persons born in Italy||67,732||5.4%||Jamaica||51,120||3.8%|
|White persons born in Poland||55,969||4.4%||Mexico||20,962||1.6%|
|White persons born in Germany||43,349||3.4%||Guyana||14,868||1.1%|
|White persons born in the Irish Free State †||34,538||2.7%||Ecuador||14,800||1.1%|
|Other foreign birthplaces of Whites||140,544||11.1%||Other foreign birthplaces||160,045||12.0%|
|† the 26 counties now within the Republic of Ireland||‡ beyond the 50 states & District of Columbia|
Population and housing
At the 2010 Census, there were, 1,385,108 people living in Bronx, a 3.9% increase since 2000. As of the United States Census of 2000, there were 1,332,650 people, 463,212 households, and 314,984 families residing in the borough. The population density was 31,709.3 inhabitants per square mile (12,242.2/km²). There were 490,659 housing units at an average density of 11,674.8 per square mile (4,507.4/km²). Recent Census estimates place total population of Bronx county at 1,392,002 as of 2012.
There were 463,212 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.4% were married couples living together, 30.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.37.
The age distribution of the population in the Bronx was as follows: 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males.
Individual and household income
The 1999 median income for a household in the borough was $27,611, and the median income for a family was $30,682. Males had a median income of $31,178 versus $29,429 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $13,959. About 28.0% of families and 30.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.5% of those under age 18 and 21.3% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
Since New York City's consolidation in 1898, the Bronx has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for all municipal functions.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 with powers mostly derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate. The 1989 Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris case declared the Board unconstitutional, and since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations.
On April 21, 2009, a special election was held to choose Carrión's successor. Democratic New York State Assembly member Rubén Díaz, Jr., running on the "Bronx Unity" ticket, won this election with 29,420 votes (86%) against 4,646 votes (14%) for the Republican Anthony Ribustello ("People First") and 11 votes for write-in candidates. On May 1, 2009, Assemblyman Diaz was sworn in as the 13th Borough President of the Bronx (For his predecessors, see the List of Bronx Borough Presidents.)
Every currently elected public official in the Bronx has first won the Democratic nomination (whether or not also nominated by other parties). Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in the Bronx include environmental issues, the cost of housing, and the alienation of parkland for new Yankee Stadium.
Since its separation from New York County on January 1, 1914, the Bronx, has had, like each of the other 61 counties of New York State, its own directly elected District Attorney, the county's chief public prosecutor. Robert T. Johnson, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Bronx County since 1989. He was the first African-American District Attorney in New York State.
Eight members of the New York City Council represent districts wholly within the Bronx, while a ninth represents a Manhattan district (8) that also includes a small area of the Bronx. (All of them were Democrats in 2008.) One of those members, Joel Rivera (District 15), has been the Council's Majority Leader since 2002.
The Bronx also has 12 Community Boards, appointed bodies that field complaints and advise on land use and municipal facilities and services for local residents, businesses and institutions. (They are listed at Bronx Community Boards).
Legislative and congressional representatives
In 2008, three Democrats represented almost all of the Bronx in the United States House of Representatives.
- José M. Serrano (first elected in March 1990) represents New York's 16th congressional district, which covers much of the South Bronx. It was, in 2000, the poorest of the nation's 435 districts (42.8% below the poverty line); it was also the most Hispanic of New York state's 29 congressional districts (62.8%) and the youngest (34.5% under 18 years old; 6.7% over 65).
- Eliot Engel (first elected in 1988) represents the 17th District which includes parts of the northwest Bronx as well as parts of Westchester and Rockland counties.
- Joseph Crowley (first elected in 1998) represents the 7th District which spans the East Bronx and includes Co-op City, City Island, Pelham Bay, Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Parkchester, Castle Hill and Throgs Neck, as well as parts of northwest Queens.
- (Riker's Island, the city's main jail complex, is included in the 15th District, which covers Upper Manhattan and utilities facilities in Astoria, Queens. It is represented by Charles B. Rangel, first elected in 1970. In 2006, the Congressional election returns in this district included no votes from the Bronx or Queens.)
All of these Representatives won over 75% of their districts' respective votes in both 2004 and 2006. National Journal's neutral rating system placed all of their voting records in 2005 and 2006 somewhere between very liberal and extremely liberal.
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
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%.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (June 2013)|
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%.)
In the 2000 Census, 79,240 of the nearly 95,000 Bronx residents enrolled in high school attended public schools.
Many public high schools are located in the borough including the elite Bronx High School of Science, Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, DeWitt Clinton High School, High School for Violin and Dance, Bronx Leadership Academy 2, Bronx International High School, the School for Excellence, the Morris Academy for Collaborative Study, Wings Academy for young adults, The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, Validus Preparatory Academy, Bronx Expeditionary Learning High School, Bronx Academy of Letters, Herbert H. Lehman High School and High School of American Studies. The Bronx is also home to three of New York City's most prestigious private, secular schools: Fieldston, Horace Mann, and Riverdale Country School.
High schools linked to the Roman Catholic Church include: Saint Raymond's Academy for Girls, All Hallows High School, Fordham Preparatory School, Monsignor Scanlan High School, St. Raymond High School for Boys, Cardinal Hayes High School, Cardinal Spellman High School, The Academy of Mount Saint Ursula, Aquinas High School, Preston High School, St. Catharine Academy, Mount Saint Michael Academy, and St. Barnabas High School.
In the 1990s, New York City began closing the large, public high schools in the Bronx and replacing them with small high schools. Among the reasons cited for the changes were poor graduation rates and concerns about safety. Schools that have been closed or reduced in size include John F. Kennedy, James Monroe, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, Evander Childs, Christopher Columbus, Morris, Walton, and South Bronx High Schools. More recently the City has started phasing out large middle schools, also replacing them with smaller schools.
Institutions of higher education
In 2000, 49,442 (57.5%) of the 86,014 Bronx residents seeking college, graduate or professional degrees attended public institutions.
Several colleges and universities are located in the Bronx.
Fordham University, was founded as St. John's College in 1841 by the Diocese of New York as the first Catholic institution of higher education in the northeast. It is now officially an independent institution, but strongly embraces its Jesuit heritage. The 85-acre (340,000 m2) Bronx campus, known as Rose Hill, is the main campus of the university, and is among the largest within the city (other Fordham campuses are located in Manhattan and Westchester County).
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.
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
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 around 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
On August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc was a D.J. and M.C. 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. Specifically, DJ Kool Herc:
extended an instrumental beat (mixing or scratching) to let people dance longer (B-boying) and began MC’ing (rapping) during the extended breakdancing. ... [This] helped lay the foundation for a cultural revolution.
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 Big Pun, 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 and Mariano Rivera.
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 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 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) 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
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 press and broadcasting
Newspapers The Bronx has several local newspapers, including The Bronx News, Parkchester News, City News, The Riverdale Press, Riverdale Review, The Bronx Times Reporter, Inner City Press  (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!"
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. Rumble in the Bronx was a 1995 Jackie Chan kung-fu film, another which popularised the Bronx to international audiences. Last Bronx, a 1996 Sega game played on the bad reputation of the Bronx to lend its name to an alternate version of post-Japanese bubble Tokyo, where crime and gang warfare is rampant.
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.
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.
The 2012 documentary "South Bronx United" features the Mott Haven neighborhood and its conflict over the online grocery delivery service Fresh Direct's move of their trucking facility from Long Island City to the South Bronx.
The Bronx has been featured significantly in fiction literature. All of the characters in Herman Wouk's City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder (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 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:
- 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!"
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 World Heritage Encyclopedia'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 World Heritage Encyclopedia'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
- "Bronx Bombers" by Grandmaster Flash
- "The Bronx Is Beautiful" by Robert Klein
- "Bronx Keeps Creating It" by Fat Joe
- "Bronx Tale" by Fat Joe
- "Bronx War Stories" by A.I.G.
- "BX Warrior" by Tim Dog
- "BX We Invented Hip-Hop" by Tim Dog
- "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
- "From BX" by Tim Dog
- "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
- "School of Hard Knocks" by Swizz Beatz and Drag-On
- "South Bronx" by Boogie Down Productions
- "Lost in the Flood" by Bruce Springsteen
- "Bulls In The Bronx" by Pierce The Veil
- Bronx Bombers
- Bronx Borough Hall
- Bronx cheer (gesture)
- Bronx gangs (1950s-1960s)
- Bronx court system delays
- Joseph P. Day, early land auctioneer
- List of people from the Bronx
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Bronx County, New York
- 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.
- Chronopoulos, Themis. “Paddy Chayefsky’s ‘Marty’ and Its Significance to the Social History of Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, in the 1950s.” The Bronx County Historical Society Journal XLIV (Spring/Fall 2007): 50-59.
- Chronopoulos, Themis. “Urban Decline and the Withdrawal of New York University from University Heights, The Bronx.” The Bronx County Historical Society Journal XLVI (Spring/Fall 2009): 4-24.
- 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 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) ISBN 0-300-05536-6), 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) ISBN 0-941980-16-2
- McNamara, John McNamara's Old Bronx (1989) ISBN 0-941980-25-1
- 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
|Commons has media related to The Bronx, New York City.|
|has a travel guide for Bronx.|
- Bronx Borough President's Office
- The Bronx Times
- Bronx County, NY Website
- Weekly Bronx Report from Inner City Press
- The Bronx River Alliance
- Bronx Council for Environmental Quality
- Throggs Neck Merchant Association
- The Bronx Market
Places in the Bronx
- The Bronx Museum of the Arts
- The Bronx Zoo
- The New York Botanical Garden
- Bronx River Art Center
- Wave Hill: New York Public Garden and Cultural Center
- Walking tour of the Grand Concourse Boulevard-Cross Bronx Expressway area
- Walk in the Bronx
- Yankee Stadium
- East Bronx History Forum
- Museum of Bronx History
- The Bronx County Historical Society
- The Bronx: A Swedish Connection
- Report of the Bronx Parkway Commission, December 31, 1918, retrieved on July 24, 2008
- Remembrance of Synagogues Past: The Lost Civilization of the Jewish South Bronx by Seymour Perlin, retrieved on August 10, 2008
- Forgotten New York: Relics of a Rich History in the Everyday Life of New York City
The Bronx today
- The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, retrieved on August 15, 2008
- The New York Times, published and retrieved on September 19, 2008