New York Times Lists South Bronx as One of 52 Places in The World to Visit in 2017

Take a walking tour of The South Bronx by Loving The Bronx’s Nilka Martell

The New York Times issued its list of 52 Places to Go in 2017 and surprisingly has listed the South Bronx as a destination among dozens of other domestic and international destinations.

As if gentrification creeping in wasn’t enough, now we have one of the leading newspapers in the world urging people to descend upon our borough and in particular, the South Bronx.

Oh and The New York Times failed miserably. In their blurb about The South Bronx they only mentioned new, gentrifying businesses without any real roots in The Bronx.

But Curbed calls them out on it:

Of course, the riverfront hotel isn’t the only venue on that list that’s being developed by Somerset Partners. Along with Chetrit Group, the firm (headed up by billionaire Keith Rubenstein, he of the $84.5 million Upper East Side townhouse) is behind a larger redevelopment of the South Bronx (once calling it “the Piano District”), and has funneled millions of dollars into creating housing and new businesses in the area.

The Times piece neglects to mention this, though—something of a glaring omission, considering that Somerset also helped, in one way or another, with the creation of Filtered, the coffee shop the Times mentions, along with the Bruckner Market(which will include Douglas Rodriguez’s restaurant), La Grata, and 9J. (Somerset and Chetrit were also behind the disastrous “Bronx Is Burning” party that took place last November—another fact the Times omits.)

New York City experienced a record breaking 60. 3 million plus for 2016 with over $60 billion in economic activity as a direct result.

But very little of that trickles to the outer boroughs (unless you’re Brooklyn) including The Bronx other than tourist attractions like Yankee Stadium and that’s pretty much it for the South Bronx.

The New York Times writes:

51. South Bronx, New York

An industrial neighborhood’s revival.

Since the 1970s, the South Bronx has suffered in reality and reputation. But things are turning around. (Though crime is still an issue in the area, numbers are way down from heights in the early ’90s.) Openings in 2016 included artisanal coffee shops, galleries and boutiques like To_Bridges and 9J, La Grata Neapolitan pizzoteca, and Milk Burger. This year’s arrivals will include the Bruckner Market food hall, with a rooftop beer garden and a distillery and brewery; the Bronx Post Place retail and dining complex; Latin-inspired restaurants from the chef Douglas Rodriguez; and a riverfront hotel by Somerset Partners.

Not one original Bronx business. Every single one noted is new without roots to our borough. I’m personally insulted by such an affront.

If travelers are indeed going to descend on the South Bronx, then we have a comprehensive list of truly Bronx-based establishments that should be on anyone’s list to the area.

It’s important that we capture that economic activity within our borough supporting our mom and pop shops and small businesses.

So if you are interested in visiting, read ahead.

Oh, and if you’re looking for lodging, two luxury boutique hotels are already open and a bed and breakfast off the Concourse.

Folks can stay in luxury for half the price and twice the space at The Umbrella Hotel or The Opera House Hotel, both in Melrose.

Or they can choose to stay at a local bed and breakfast, Mi Casa Tu Casa, which was the first actual lodging space in the neighborhood.

So what would one do in the South Bronx?

Art & Culture

No, The Bronx’s art scene isn’t new like many would like to say.

We’ve been creating and influencing the world for over a century if you really want to get technical.

  1. Longwood Gallery of the Arts
    450 Grand Concourse
  2. The Andrew Freedman Home
    1125 Grand Concourse
  3. Pregones Theater Puerto Rican Traveling Theater 
    571 Walton Avenue
  4. The Bronx Documentary Center
    614 Courtlandt Avenue
  5. BronxArtSpace 
    305 E 140th Street
  6. Wallworks NY
    39 Bruckner Boulevard
  7. The Bronx Museum
    1040 Grand Concourse
  8. Bronx Music Heritage Center
    1303 Louis Niñe Boulevard

Food glorious food (and drinks)

With a borough as diverse as The Bronx, it’s not surprising that you’ll find some delicious cuisine.

  1. Xochimilco (Mexican)
    653 Melrose Avenue
  2. Mexicozina Cantina (you guessed it, Mexican and 40 different types of tequila—opening very soon)
    289 E 149th Street
  3. Capri Bakery (Amazing Latin American pastries and desserts)
    306 E 149th Street
  4. Bate (West African and one of the best in The Bronx)
    860 Melrose Avenue
  5. Hungry Bird (one of the best Indian restaurants in the borough)
    980 Morris Avenue
  6. La Morada (Oaxacan Mexican restaurant)
    308 Willis Avenue
  7. Port Morris Distillery (wicked pitorro aka Puerto Rican Moonshine)
    780 E 133rd Street
  8. Gun Hill Tavern (A beautiful marriage between Gun Hill Brewery and Port Morris Distillery; great place to eat and catch some great brew)
    780 E 133rd Street
  9. La Parrilla Latina (Dominican restaurant offering the finest Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine)
    614 Melrose Avenue
  10. Isla Restaurant Cuchifritos (best spot for Puerto Rican cuchifritos aka fritters aka fried fatty stuff that’s so good but bad for you)
    276 E 149th Street
  11. Porto Salvo (We had to add this one to the list even though they opened in the summer. They have become not only one of my favorite eateries and watering hole but they have won the hearts of many local Bronxites with their amazing authentic Italian cuisine. You just gotta check them out.
    424 E 161st Street

Clearly there’s so much to do but we wouldn’t stick to just the South Bronx…check out 100 things to do in The Bronx in 2017.

You can also visit over 17 community gardens in Melrose—the most concentrated in one area in NYC.

Oh and don’t forget the Bronx River, New York City’s only freshwater river!

Facebook Comments
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.