The Grand Concourse, Boulevard of Bronx Dreams

The old Concourse Plaza Hotel on The Grand Concourse at 161st Street.


Recently, NYC& Co, New York City’s official tourism marketing arm listed the Grand Concourse as a destination making, “This close-knit area is perfect for a day trip. It’s packed with cultural attractions, homey restaurants and hip-hop history, all a quick subway ride from Midtown.”

Check out the video they created below:

This reminded me of an article in The New York Times where Constance Rosenblum wrote about our beautiful boulevard (and also published a book on it called “Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx” ).

She says in the article called ‘Grand, Wasn’t It?’ (although I very much disagree with it because to me it is STILL Grand):

“THE Grand Concourse, the four-and-a-half-mile boulevard that for much of its life was described as the Champs-Élysées of the Bronx, has often sat for its portrait, as have many of the handsome buildings along its flanks. But there is one image that captures in poignant fashion exactly what the street represented in the mid-20th century.

It is a grainy black-and-white snapshot of a boy named Sam Goodman, a third-generation boulevard resident, wearing a dressy coat and hat and standing in front of the Lorelei fountain in Joyce Kilmer Park. Anyone who knew the area would recognize the luscious white-marble concoction of mermaids and riverfront siren, which had been created in Germany in 1893 and brought to the Bronx with much fanfare six years later.

Lorelei was not the boulevard’s only charmer. This broad, tree-lined street, the ultimate prestige address for vast numbers of the city’s upwardly mobile Jews, was also home to a movie palace where stars twinkled in a midnight-blue ceiling, a grand hotel where political intrigue played out amid marble columns and crimson carpets, and a stellar collection of Art Deco apartment houses.

Continue reading the rest via The Grand Concourse, Boulevard of Bronx Dreams –”

If you haven’t read the book, check it out below.  It’s a wonderful read and gives a great history of the Grand Concourse much of which many know but also a wealth of history that you may not know.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.