West Bronx


West Bronx

The West Bronx is that part of the New York City borough of the Bronx which lies west of the Bronx River; this roughly corresponds to the western half of the borough.

The West Bronx is denser than the East Bronx, and it is located closer to the borough of Manhattan. It was the first area outside Manhattan that was annexed by the City of New York. This occurred in 1874, and today's West Bronx was then known as the "Annexed District." In 1898, the city annexed the modern-day East Bronx as well as western Queens County (today's borough of Queens), all of the City of Brooklyn (today's borough of Brooklyn), and all of Richmond County (today's borough of Staten Island; upon annexation the borough's name actually was "Richmond"). However, it was not until 1914 that the modern-day Bronx was actually named "the Bronx" after the river running down the middle of the area and further up into Westchester County.

In terms of physical geography, the western parts of the Bronx are hilly and are dominated by a series of parallel ridges, running south to north. The West Bronx has older tenement buildings, low income public housing complexes, multifamily homes in its lower income areas as well as larger single family homes in more affluent areas such as Riverdale. It includes New York City's fourth largest park: Van Courtlandt Park along the Westchester-Bronx border. The Grand Concourse, a wide boulevard runs through it, north to south. Note that because the Bronx uses the same street numbering system as Manhattan, streets designated as "east" (e.g. East 161st Street) may actually be located "west" of the Bronx River. This is because the east-west divider is Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx (which is directly north of Fifth Avenue), and there is only a relatively small area in the Bronx west of Jerome Avenue.

Prior to the 1970s, New Yorkers generally saw the Bronx as being split into its eastern and western halves. However, with the urban decay that hit the southwestern Bronx starting in the 1960s, people began to see the borough as being fundamentally divided between the southwestern area ("The South Bronx") and everywhere else.

Neighborhoods include: Port Morris, Mott Haven, Melrose, Morrisania, East Morrisania, Longwood, Hunts Point, Concourse, Highbridge, West Farms, East Tremont, Tremont, Morris Heights, University Heights, Belmont, Fordham, Fordham-Bedford, Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, and Woodlawn. It is the home of the Yankee Stadium. The West Bronx encompasses the entire South Bronx, under the traditional definition of that area.

The southwestern and west-central Bronx have predominately low income Hispanic and Black populations. The Northwest Bronx has a predominantly affluent White non-Hispanic population, mostly in Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Van Cortlandt Village.


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