Take a Tour: the South Bronx's Grand Concourse
Tours & Attractions
by nycgo.com staff, 04/03/2013
- april 2013 nyc neighborhood highlights/
- nyc boroughs/
Grand Concourse—a majestic Bronx thoroughfare designed by Louis Aloys Risse in 1890 and opened in 1909—is a worthy attraction for architecture, history and culture buffs.
Those who take the B or D train to 167th Street—or the B, D or 4 train to 161st St./Yankee Stadium—will find a wide boulevard that was intended to be New York's answer to Paris' Champs-Élysées, and which today is lined with the nation's largest collection of Art Deco and Art Moderne apartment buildings—not to mention a considerable number of Tudor-, Colonial- and Renaissance-Revival structures. In 2011, the Landmarks Preservation Commission granted the Concourse between 153rd and 167th Streets designation as a historic district.
After admiring the motorway itself and the architecture lining it, take the time to visit the places listed below.
Even in the off-season, fans can visit Yankee Stadium—located just a few avenues from Grand Concourse—for a guided tour. The jaunt includes stops at Thurman Munson's old locker, in the on-site New York Yankees Museum, and the legendary Monument Park, where rooters can pay tribute to Yankee greats like Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth (who lived on Grand Concourse many years ago). Speaking of Yankees history, Heritage Field—located on the site of the original "House That Ruth Built," adjacent to the new park—gives young baseball players a chance to play ball on the same grounds where such legends as Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle once competed.
You can also hang out at NYY Steak—an eatery built right into the upscale ballpark (the successor to the original House That Ruth Built, which was across the street)—and grab a drink at the nearby Stan's Sports Bar or Yankee Tavern, which is not officially affiliated with the team.
To purchase tickets to Yankees games, visit ticketmaster.com.
Of course, the Bronx's legacy stretches far beyond the stadium's outfield walls. The Bronx Central Post Office (located at 558 Grand Concourse), which opened in 1937, is notable for the 13 large murals on its walls. The pieces, inspired by Walt Whitman's poem "I See America Working," depict everyday people doing the jobs that keep the City and country running. They were finished in 1939 by painter Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda.
The Bronx Walk of Fame, which begins at 161st Street and moves south, pays tribute to some of the many notable personalities with roots in the borough, a diverse group that includes Colin Powell, Fat Joe, Mary Higgins Clark and Doris Roberts. The stars are honored with plaques bearing their names on light posts.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts showcases art that shares its namesake borough's diversity. Admission is always free.
To see even more of the borough's creative offerings, hop aboard the free Bronx Culture Trolley, which departs from Hostos Community College's Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos on the first Wednesday of each month (except in January and September). The vehicle makes stops in the South Bronx Cultural Corridor, where you'll find theaters, galleries, museums and other art-related venues.
Another South Bronx Cultural Corridor establishment, BronxArtSpace—an institution managed and run by a collaboration of artists, curators and filmmakers—hosts a wide variety of programs including visual-art exhibitions, experimental-film screenings and dance, music and theater performances. Participating artists come from all around the globe, but include a sizable local contingent.
Still more performing arts are on offer at Pregones Theater—which presents an ever-changing lineup of original musical and theatrical productions with a focus on Puerto Rican and Latino artists and themes.
On the John Cardinal O'Connor campus of The College of New Rochelle, the Gordon A. Parks Gallery & Cultural Arts Center hosts more than its fair share of art exhibitions, poetry readings, musical performances and other cultural events.
The Bronx Documentary Center screens films, exhibits photographs and even offers educational programs as part of its ongoing mission to support journalists, teachers, filmmakers and others who have an important role in the local, national and global dialogue.
The Grand Concourse area features abundant dining options as well. Court Deli, which dispenses reliable standbys like pastrami and corned beef, is popular with fans looking to grab a bite before Yankees games. The nearby Feeding Tree presents Jamaican cuisine including jerk chicken, oxtail and stewed beef. The focus at Molino Rojo, meanwhile, is on Puerto Rican– and Dominican-style food. Offerings include plantains, fried pork chunks and rice and beans. The Clock Cafe and Martini Bar serves New American fare along with its wine and cocktails, and stays open late. And at G•Bar, patrons can savor Italian flavors in a trendy lounge setting that many nights includes live bands or a DJ. If you're looking to do some shopping in addition to grabbing a bite to eat, you may be interested in checking out Bronx Terminal Market, a mall that features a number of national retailers. During the summer, be on the lookout for Rooftop Films screenings at the venue.