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Old Posted Mar 27, 2012, 4:16 AM
nygirl1 nygirl1 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 564
The best of the Bronx part 15: Morris Park and Pelham Parkway

We will continue now into the center of the Bronx on the other side of Bronx Park to the neighborhoods of Morris Park and Pelham Parkway

Morris Park is a middle class residential community in the center of the eastern half of the Bronx. The area was popular in the past due to the Morris Park racetrack which most of the neighborhood originally developed around. The track hosted the Preakness and Belmont stakes which ran for years in the neighborhood. Only 20 years after its construction the racetrack burned down. Instead of rebuilding the land the large track sat on was divided into plots and transformed into the quiet residential community it is today. The low-lying neighborhood consists of mostly one and two family homes as well as apartment buildings. The community is largely Italian based and next to Bensonhurst and Staten Island among the largest Italian neighborhoods in the city. The Columbus Day Parade, held in Morris Park annually since 1977 has made the neighborhood locally famous.

Pelham Parkway

One of the most interesting neighborhoods in the borough of the Bronx is the Pelham Parkway which sits centrally located near Bronx Park. The neighborhood is a high density residential community dominated by large multi story apartment complexes and co-op buildings. What characterizes this neighborhood aside from its national ties are the large and often imposing Art Deco and Tudor apartment blocks with their central gardens. They really make the street-scape of Pelham Parkway “pop”. Recently the neighborhood has seen new construction which is a neat contrast to the pre war built environment although this began taking place mostly after I toured the neighborhood. Pelham Parkway is significantly diverse with small pockets of Arab, Guyanese, African American, Puerto Rican, Russian, Italian, Jewish and Irish populations but the area is predominantly Albanian. In fact Pelham Parkway has the largest concentration of Albanians in the city of New York. Lydig Avenue which runs through the neighborhood and is buzzing with activity is the center of Albanian life in the city. If the character of the neighborhood isn’t defined by its housing stock, or as the Albanian claim on New York City then it’s the beauty of the parkway itself which is officially named the Bronx-Pelham parkway as it connects the Bronx and Pelham Bay parks. The parkway is lined with large trees on either side and buildings are only allowed to be constructed off the parkway if they are 150’ off the thoroughfare.

Brooklyn: The Motherland.
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