While urban blight once made this sub-neighborhood a popular place for films that needed a shady setting, now the community known for its contributions to hip-hop is on the upswing.
Surrounded by Fairmont-Claremont Village, Morrisania and Hunts Point, this neighborhood -- also referred to as Crotona Park East -- is located in the south Bronx. In the 1670s, the land here was the estate of the Morris family in Westchester County. In the 1970s, the area was ravaged by arson, leading to urban decay that made for ideal gritty settings for a horror movie like “Wolfen” or a police drama like “Fort Apache the Bronx.” At one point, President Jimmy Carter characterized this area as America’s worst slum.
But, like much of the Bronx, this neighborhood has seen a rebuilding, which led to a major reduction in major crime from 1990 to 2007. One of the lots Carter visited is now the site of a $46 million complex with 173 moderately priced apartments.
The majority of residents here are Puerto Rican or African-American. One of the more affordable places to rent in New York, turn-of-the-century row houses and pre-war style tenements still stand here. But Charlotte Gardens, located in a once burned-out section, is a 1980s subdivision with deer lawn ornaments and covered boats in driveways.
Crotona Park, which features 28 different species of trees, features the borough’s largest swimming pool and plenty of greenery-filled walkways. Once known for its crime, an $11 million renovation of the park also added tennis courts, a pool house and a soccer field. At Indian Lake, a 500-seat amphitheater was added for summer hip-hop shows. Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo are also nearby.
An important location for the development of hip-hop, notable residents have included Grandmaster Flash and Grand Wizard Theodore -- said to have invented turntable scratching.
El Aripo Café is a popular place for Latin food, while Back Home 2 offers Jamaican cuisine. For more affordable eating, Merry Land Chinese Buffet can feed two for $20.
Transportation here is convenient, most commuters taking the 2 and transferring at 149th Street-Grand Concourse to the 4 or 5 for a 35-minute trip to Midtown. Buses included the Bx11, Bx17, Bx19, Bx21, and Bx36, East 169th Street and E. 167th Street will lead to Westchester Avenue and the Sheridan Expressway.
Local Subway Stops
- 5 2 Freeman St
- 5 2 Simpson St
- 5 2 Intervale Av
- 6 Whitlock Av
The Top No-Fee Buildings
|Building Address||No-Fee Apts|
- 82% Walk-Up
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