With a reputation for being tough and perhaps a bit mysterious, the Bronx is likely the most misunderstood and underrated of New York City's five boroughs.
While the 1970s and '80s were difficult eras for this northernmost borough, that's not the Bronx of today. A stroll around this 42 square mile-section of the Greatest City On Earth will quickly reveal one abundantly clear truth: The Bronx is thriving.
Home to the largest park in New York City, the World Champion New York Yankees, extraordinary wildlife, Old World architecture, art deco homes, the real Little Italy, museums, lush tree-lined streets, and the birthplace of hip hop, there's much more to the Bronx than meets the eye—and outsiders are beginning to catch on, and move in!
This culturally diverse borough didn't get the nickname "The Boogie Down Bronx" for nothing.
With an estimated 2015 population of 1,385,108, the Bronx saw a population growth of 5.1 percent throughout the preceding five years, making it the borough with the largest influx of new residents.
Doesn't sound like the Bronx is doing so bad after all, huh? In fact, it houses a wide variety of educational institutions, and a booming real estate market.
Whether you're looking to raise a family, live in a borough that still feels like New York City without it being Manhattan, or have a hankering for authentic seafood, you'll want to consider this often overlooked gem.
Here are some fun facts about the Bronx, along with several quintessential necessities that will be helpful if you're considering moving to the Boogie Down:
The Bronx is home to some of the largest parks in NYC.
Though Central Park is commonly thought of as the city's biggest park, the Bronx's Pelham Bay Park is actually three times larger than Manhattan's much more famous one.
There's also the usual suspects.
Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens are all beloved Bronx staples. Though we want to highlight facts and places you might not know, what's a list about the Bronx without them?
It's the birthplace of hip hop.
And actually, hip hop was said to be born at a birthday party in 1973, hosted by its founding father, DJ Kool Herc.
Edgar Allen Poe lived here for a time.
Poe's Bronx cottage, where he wrote some of his most enduring works, including “Annabelle Lee,” “The Bells” and “Eureka,” can still be visited today.
It has the oldest bridge in New York City.
Built in 1843, the Bronx's High Bridge is the city's oldest standing bridge. Along with those stone arches, the Bronx is actually very well connected to Manhattan. In fact, more bridges connect the Bronx to Manhattan than any other borough!
The Bronx is home to the real Little Italy.
Sorry, Mulberry Street, but you've got nothing on Arthur Avenue. If you crave authentic Italian meats, fresh breads, or succulent cheeses, you can't go anywhere else than its timeless meat and fish markets. In the mood for a sit-down meal? The neighborhood is lined with restaurants, bakeries and pastry stores guaranteed to leave you wanting to come back again and again and again. Yum!
Local Tip: Mario's, which started as a pizza window shop in 1919, is the oldest (and arguably most delicious) restaurant on Arthur Avenue.
It also has its own sea town.
If you're into the style of a nautical Cape Cod-like town, you have to check out City Island. With Victorian homes, marinas full of boats, and tons of delicious restaurants and eateries, it'll feel like you've taken a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of NYC.
It's not as expensive as other boroughs.
The median home price in the Bronx is $329,000, though the wealthier areas, such as Riverdale, can cost you upwards of a cool mill.
Check out these four tips for a successful move to the Bronx.
1. Give yourself plenty of planning time.
It’s critical you begin preparing your relocation at least six weeks prior to your moving date.
Pro Tip: The sooner you research moving truck accessibility, the better!
2. Sturdier boxes make smoother moves.
Durable moving boxes can mean the difference between your most prized personal possessions making the trek or ending up on the floor of the moving van, or worse, so only use the best.
Pro Tip: Check out your local supermarkets and liquor stores for free boxes!
3. Leave the garbage behind.
Toss away or consider donating those items you simply don't use anymore. No sense in bring them along, since they'll likely be put right back in the closet of your new apartment or home. Might as well help others out, too. Focus on securing your absolute essentials for the big journey instead.
4. Keep a record of your possessions and label.
The more records of your belongings before a move, the better. Use your smartphone to photograph it all, and label, label, label those boxes! Nothing's worse than finally getting settled into your new spot only to realize that you never labeled the moving boxes, so you have absolutely no idea where anything is, or what pile of boxes to begin unpacking. Organization is always key.
5. Research well in advance.
Conduct utility research well in advance of your move, this way your electricity and gas, cable, and water are all good to go by the time you arrive at your new home. You'll be thanking us later!