Tucked into the eastern corner of the Bronx lies the Middletown – Pelham Bay neighborhood.
Much of the community stands on land that was bought by Thomas Pell in 1654, part of an original grant to the Dutch West India Company. The neighborhood is bounded by Pelham Parkway to the north, Bruckner Expressway to the east and south, and Hutchinson River Parkway to the west.
The quiet Middletown – Pelham Bay is widely considered to be one of the best and safest neighborhoods in the Bronx. It was recently ranked as the best neighborhood for kids in the Bronx and was placed in the top 10 neighborhoods in the whole of New York City. The neighborhood is home to established Italian, Irish, Greek and German communities with a recent infusion of Hispanic culture in the past ten years.
Longtime residents attest that the character of the community has hardly changed in 35 years. The broad streets are lined with mature trees and modest, two-story brick homes, many of which feature touches of stained glass from the early half of the twentieth century.
The architectural variety of the community also includes some low-rise apartment buildings and a handful of co-ops and condos. Two- and three-family homes prevail and actually increase in number as older houses, particularly single-family detached ones, are knocked down to make way for attached and semiattached units with rental incomes.
The community notably borders Pelham Bay Park, the largest park in New York City, with more than twice as much acreage as Central Park. Pelham Bay Park features the beloved Orchard Beach, a man-made beach created for the enjoyment of the public in the 1930s, and the only public beach in the Bronx. It’s also home to The Bartow-Pell Mansion and Museum, an elegant work of 19th-century architecture. For wildlife lovers, the park shelters egrets and heron in the salt marshes of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary.
Westchester Avenue is the main thoroughfare in this part of town. Most of Pelham Bay's family-owned restaurants and bakeries are located along this strip, together with a Planet Fitness Gym, and other local shops. For heavy-duty errands, residents may find that a trip out of the neighborhood is necessary.
The residents of Middletown – Pelham Bay enjoy easy access to the subway system. The number 6 train runs right along Westchester Avenue. For even faster travel to midtown Manhattan, folks can take the BxM8 Express Bus which also travels down Westchester Avenue.
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