"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Ain’t it Grand?


There is a wonderful article about the Grand Concourse by Constance Rosenblum in the Times today:

You have to exercise your imagination to conjure the past; this part of the Bronx is in many respects a diamond in the rough. Many of the lustrous structures that defined life in these precincts have been irrevocably transformed, and even those that haven’t are Potemkin villages, their fine facades masking troubled lives: the Bronx, after all, is still a borough in which one of every three families lives below the poverty line.

But a trip down this particular memory lane has much to recommend it beyond pure nostalgia. As the boulevard nears its centennial in November, a journey offers a vision of its past, present and future — a chewy slice of urban history festooned with murals, mosaics and other Art Deco touches.

While you are at it, dig the nifty multi-media tour too.


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1 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 21, 2009 12:00 pm

Years and years ago after a late Yankee game, my dad took me for a ride on the Grand Concourse.

I've never feared for my life like that.

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 21, 2009 1:06 pm

If you’re game for a long trek, start near the boulevard’s southern tip at 149th Street for a glimpse of a celebrated work of art that dates from the Depression, 13 murals by Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda Bryson Shahn, in the lobby of the Bronx General Post Office that depict the American worker in all his nobility.

You, you, you're like New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps and the, the father with the Ben Shahn drawings, right, and the really, y'know, strike-oriented kind of, red diaper, stop me before I make a complete imbecile of myself.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 21, 2009 1:37 pm

[1] Were they all lurking about and/or shooting dice; waiting for that opportunity for an intrepid stranger on safari to drive by so they could run up and jack the car and drag you off in different directions, kicking and screaming to the nearest corner store to make you buy imported Coca Cola?

Or was it just that everyone looked kinda mean and scary? >;)

(come to think of it, that would make a funny short film...)

4 jalepa   ~  Aug 21, 2009 1:47 pm

Thanks for posting this about the Concourse. I live right across the street from Poe Park. There area nmber of older residents in my building that often talk to my sister, and me about the 'good ol days.' It's always nice to read about the history of your home. It's funny because I can see how things around here might look scary to an outsider, but to me it's just the place where i grew up, and always will be. Thanks again!

5 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 21, 2009 1:50 pm

Right, I'm a bigot, I know, but...for the left.

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 21, 2009 2:14 pm

I also liked this:

On the southwest corner stands the massive Bronx County Building, once the borough’s judicial heart. (Remember the courthouse scenes in “The Bonfire of the Vanities”?)

I mean I DO remember them...but I kinda wish I didn't.

7 Raf   ~  Aug 21, 2009 3:06 pm

It’s funny because I can see how things around here might look scary to an outsider, but to me it’s just the place where i grew up, and always will be.

Same here, I will always love the energy of the Concourse. Fordham Rd too

8 Yankee Mama   ~  Aug 21, 2009 4:37 pm

My mother grew up in the Bronx. We had cousins on the Concourse. They were the swanky cousins. I love looking at the sites. It reminds me Havana in NYC.

[2] Love the Annie Hall bit. One of the best all-time lines.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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