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Located in the northwest of the Bronx, the neighborhood of Norwood is home to what feels like an ever-evolving community.Read more about Norwood
Over the centuries, it has seen the inward and outward migration of almost every nationality imaginable, all of which have left their proud cultural mark on the dynamic enclave.
Like most other neighborhoods in the Bronx, Norwood made the shift from rural to urban landscape in the late 1800’s, sparking the arrival of many New York residents looking to flee the congested, unsanitary conditions of lower Manhattan. Irish immigrants dominated the first influx of newcomers. They were followed by Latinos, Puerto Ricans, Albanians and West Africans throughout the 20th century.
Due to the political situation in Ireland, there was a second wave of Irish immigration in the 1970s and 80s. The strong Irish presence during this time led to Norwood being colloquially renamed ‘Little Belfast’. Many of the bars along Bainbridge Avenue became strongholds for supporters of Irish republicanism. One of these, The Phoenix, was even raided by the police because of its owner’s links to the IRA.
Much has changed in Norwood since this time. In recent years, the area has experienced a healthy revitalization. Drastically declining crime rates along with affordable housing and close proximity to the city has sparked an increase in young New Yorkers moving to Norwood. The area is also becoming a great option for families, and it’s not hard to see why. Situated in the center of this vibrant neighborhood is Williambridge Reservoir Oval where you’ll find a great range of recreational facilities including dog runs, playgrounds, and several sporting fields. Norwood is also home to one of New York’s best hospitals, the Montefiore Medical Center.
The best time to visit and get a taste of the neighborhoods vibrancy is definitely during summer when the locals put on an annual Summer Street Festival. For history lovers, there’s also the Valentine-Varian House which was built in 1758. This charming old manor housed the Varian family - one of the biggest property owning families in the Bronx during the 18th century. It has since been transformed into the Museum of Bronx History.