Within the last couple of years I have been giving tours of The Bronx (not the entire borough mind you, but that is the ultimate goal). It began with giving tours to French friends and colleagues of my wife; then last October I gave tours to family from Lyon; and just two weeks ago to a couple more friends. The tours have been consisting of walking along the Grand Concourse, which still has some of the most compelling art deco apartment buildings in the city. Many of them were built from the 1920s to 1940s.

About 80 years ago, the Grand Concourse was once known as the Fifth Avenue of The Bronx; and at a time was home to some wealthy New Yorkers. (Fact: The Bronx has the most art deco apartment buildings in NYC.) Then afterwards, we would usually tour along Fordham Road, walking past Fordham University, then Arthur Avenue towards East 187th Street, Where we stop at Palumbo Bakery & Cafe for coffee and Italian pastries. What is interesting about this neighborhood, which is the Belmont section by the way, is that it is a true Italian neighborhood as opposed to the tourist trap of Little Italy in Manhattan. When you walk through Belmont, you would notice that many of its lamp posts have authentic signs which on one side has the Italian government logo, and on the other the name of a provence, like "Toscana" for example.
I am quite proud of my native borough, especially knowing that one of my favorite filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick was born there. I promised my sister in law, who lives in Argentuil, a city north of Paris, that I would take her to visit Woodlawn Cemetery, located in The Bronx, which is an historic cemetery for the rich and famous. Her being a jazz fan, she would like to see Miles Davis' grave.
Photo Credit: Delphine DG

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Comment by Isabelle Chagnon on April 28, 2010 at 11:17am
Not a Bronx native myself but a Bronx resident for the last 12 years, I like it a lot. I too take family and friends visiting NY on new trails. City Island is also on the list and Pelham Parkway at Christmas time for the decorations.
Comment by Blandine Assomou on April 18, 2010 at 9:03pm
A very nice idea for someone who lives, shows, and promotes his own neighborhood. You gave me a good idea for my next group of friends who were supposed to be here monday, but due to the volcano, their trip from Paris to New York was cancelled.
Good Job

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