South Bronx to SoBro


Growing up in the Bronx in the 50s and 60s, I always liked my neighborhood. I lived  just north of the Yankee Stadium, and the main thoroughfare, the Grand Concourse, was known to us as the Champs Elysee of the Bronx. A topic for a separate article is why you never want to be the "x of the "y (while the Samoset Golf course in Rockland, Maine calls itself  the Pebble Beach of the East, Pebble Beach has likely never heard of the Samoset).  Parisians probably never had much familiarity with the Concourse either.

My neighborhood became part of the South Bronx, when it went through a steep decline  in the late 60s, early 70s, much of it after neighborhood residents fled en masse to the new Coop City in the North Bronx. . By the late 70s, and hundreds of arson fires later, Presient Carter saw the blight in the South Bronx as a symbol of what needed to be repaired in urban America.

So it is with some satisfaction to read that the South Bronx is becoming trendy again . Of course,  with new apartments in Manhattan selling for as much as $3,000 a square foot, and the crime rate  down sharply citywide the last fifteen years,  inexpensive apartments in the outer boroughs, such as the Bronx,  have become more desirable  for the not—Plutocrats who still inhabit the city in  great numbers.  I am not planning on moving back, but I am happy to see some others making the move.  Tom Wolfe's next novel of urban decay may have to be centered elsewhere.

Richard Baehr    6 25 05