New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wild Ride

On my recent excursion to Hunt's Point in the Bronx, I saw many incredible sights and this diner was one of them. My friend's immediate comment was that this must be an insurance wreck - i.e. arson for insurance money. In the 1970s, areas like the South Bronx saw a wave of arson. I have no idea if this was the case with this diner - I was just dumbfounded to see something like this completely open to the public. Nothing was cordoned off. I was able to walk freely through the rubble amidst broken shards of glass, metal framework while avoiding electrical conduit hanging from the ceiling. See here for photo of the inside.
Hunt's Point is not typical of the Bronx and I will do that borough justice in time. But it has had its disproportionate share of urban blight and is one of the poorest areas in the United States. Areas like the South Bronx have been virtually synonymous with urban decay. Like most areas in the city that have seen decline, the South Bronx has more recently experienced revival and renewal.
There is a wide variation of urban environments and neighborhoods in the Bronx, some quite affluent like Riverdale and others with strong cultural and ethnic roots like the Italian district at Arthur Avenue (see my posting here). The borough has a large amount of parkland - Van Cortlandt Park, Woodlawn Cemetery, the Bronx Zoo, Pelham Bay Park, Crotona Park, Claremont Park and the New York Botanical Gardens. With the exception of the zoo and botanic gardens, the Bronx is not a destination, so most residents or visitors to New York City will never see much or any of the borough.
I expect that most readers of this website will not make a pilgrimage to Hunt's Point or other neighborhoods like it. For a wild ride through the five boroughs, jump on this train ...

2 comments:

Rick said...

There was not a fire. The place was stripped of all of its metal for scrap money. No arson hear.

• Eliane • said...

You are right, besides the Botanical Garden, Arthur Avenue and Riverdale, I don't know how The Bronx looks like. It is also quite difficult to find friends willing to explore the neighborhood.