The Metropolis: Must-sees in The Bronx

The Metropolis: Must-sees in The Bronx

The Bronx is the northern-most borough of New York named after the Dutch colonist Jonas Bronck—who established a 680-acre farmstead there in 1639.

Today, the “boogie down Bronx” is the birthplace of hip-hop, home to the New York Yankees, and its main thoroughfare—the Grand Concourse—was fashioned after the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

In our on-going series of must-sees in New York, we present the following attractions within this diverse and fascinating borough.

 

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Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

Off the Grand Concourse (near Kingsbridge Road) lies a humble, circa 1812 farmhouse where literary master Edgar Allan Poe lived with his wife and mother-in-law in the latter years of his life. The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage—originally located in the Fordham section of The Bronx—was saved from demolition in 1913 and moved to its current site at “Poe Park.”

Old Fordham was a picturesque and rural area. Poe moved his wife Virginia to this cottage in “the country” to help her battle tuberculosis. Poe spent his days there caring for Virginia (although she died three years later) while penning some of his most memorable pieces including “Annabelle Lee,” “Ulalume,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Bells.” It is believed the cottage inspired Poe’s last published work, “Landor’s Cottage.”

This national historical landmark cottage is furnished with period antiques to recreate how it was appointed when Poe and his family resided there. Visitors can take a guided or audio tour in the residence, and view many of Poe’s personal effects including his rocking chair, a broken mirror, and the “rope bed” in which Virginia passed away.

The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo is America’s largest urban zoo. It features 265 acres of attractions, botanical gardens, aquariums, exhibits, and wildlife habitats.

The Bronx Zoo has been open to the public since 1899. Being operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the zoo has cared for many endangered and extinct-in-the-wild species/sub-species including the Thylacine, Barbary LionsJames’s Flamingo, Proboscis Monkeys, and the Sumatran Rhinoceros, among others. Today, the zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals—from aardvarks to zebras—from 650+ different species.

Some of the most popular features of the Bronx Zoo include the Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain, the Butterfly Garden, Nature Trek, Treetop Adventure, Aquatic Bird House and Sea Bird Aviary, Madagascar! and so much more.

Observe animals in their natural habitat, ride the Wild Asia Monorail, witness feedings with sea lions and penguins, pet your favorite farmyard animal, take a spin on an all-insect carousel, and even ride a camel. There’s something for everyone!

New York Botanical Garden

 

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Right next door to the Bronx Zoo is the New York Botanical Garden. Spread across 250 acres, it is one of the largest of its kind in the world. In America, it is the largest urban botanical garden in America, and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

One million plants and living collections are showcased in its 50 gardens—including an international award-winning rose garden of 650 varieties, a Japanese rock garden, a fragrant herb garden, an Azalea garden with year-long blooms, and more.

Stunning collections of daylilies, daffodils, lilacs, orchids, water lilies, lotuses and more abound—as well as magnificent arboretum displays of crabapple, magnolia, birch, dogwood, winter-hazel, holly, and more.

The all-glass, Victorian-style Conservatory is a New York City landmark that features plants and flowers from around the world, themed flower shows, as well as seasonal exhibitions and events.

There are also lots of family-friendly spaces such as Family Garden—where kids of all ages can plant seeds and learn how to grow and take care of a garden plot—and Children’s Adventure Garden with lots of hands-on activities and opportunities to explore and learn about nature and science.

Arthur Avenue (Little Italy of The Bronx)

 

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Arthur Avenue—a.k.a. Little Italy of the Bronx, a.k.a. Belmont—is an Italian-American neighborhood brimming with traditions, history, and lots of local flavor.

The quality butcher shops, markets, bakeries, retail stores and restaurants that make up the Arthur Avenue neighborhood are highly regarded, with many receiving “Best Buy” rankings in Zagat’s survey.

What makes this neighborhood even more special is the small-town feeling of community, and the traditions passed on by generations of Italian families that have owned and operated these establishments since the early 1900s. These people and their establishments celebrate a living legacy of Italian-American food, culture, and history of New York.

This famous neighborhood has its share of star power as well. Celebrities such as Chazz Palmentieri, Anne Bancroft, and members of Dion and The Belmonts hail from Belmont. Robert De Niro helped launch Joe Pesci’s career after meeting him at a neighborhood restaurant where Pesce was working as maître d’. It has always been a destination for entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Clint Eastwood, Liza Minelli, Cher, and…Joe Pesci.

The centerpiece of this famous neighborhood is the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. It offers a dizzying cluster of cafes, fish markets, gourmet coffee shops and delicatessens, butcher shops, pastry and pasta shops, pork stores, gift and housewares stores and more.

The Marmara Park Avenue: A Must-Stay

From our building’s storied past, to our Midtown location, chic style, unique brand of hospitality and fabulous amenities, the Marmara Park Avenue is New York—inside and out.

As a boutique luxury hotel, we like to spoil our guests with elegance, hospitality and comfort. Our hope is that in a city of must-sees, our guests will classify the Marmara Park Avenue as a must-stay in this storied metropolis.

 

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 Look for our next installment in this Metropolis series when we take a look at must-sees in Queens.