Photo courtesy of the Belmont Business Improvement District
One of New York City’s most famous foodie destinations will once again transform into an outdoor dining hot spot this spring. Starting April 30, “Piazza di Belmont” returns to the Bronx’s Little Italy neighborhood, with several restaurants setting up al fresco seating along historic Arthur Avenue. Developed by the Belmont Business Improvement District, the European-style experience first debuted last summer as part of the city’s “Open Restaurants” program.
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Photo of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market by Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Wikimedia Commons
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) last week unveiled a new brand strategy for the city’s network of six public markets, which includes a multilingual ad campaign, a dynamic new website and social media presence, direct mail campaigns and more, all of which are designed to consolidate a network of historic markets under one city-wide brand. It’s all part of the organization’s comprehensive initiative to promote NYC’s public markets–including Essex Market, the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue Market, and Williamsburg’s historic Moore Street Market–as “world class destinations for both local residents and tourists.”
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You’re probably familiar with the big attractions in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. But the borough has a lot more going on, from historic and cultural treats and treasures to new breweries and restaurants and acres of beaches, parks, trails, and gardens. Read on for a collection of destinations in the city’s northernmost, greenest, and most diverse borough that are worth the trip, wherever you’re coming from.
More to do in the Bronx, this way
Photo by Chris Goldberg/Flickr
This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.
The Bronx’s Belmont community can date its history all the way back to 1792, when French tobacconist Pierre Abraham Lorillard opened the Lorillard Snuff Mill as the first tobacco firm in the country, and possibly the world. European influences continued to proliferate in the area, and at the turn of the 19th century, flocks of Italian immigrants moved to Belmont to take jobs in the newly opened Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo. By 1913, the neighborhood was referred to as the Italian “colonies” in the Bronx.
Today, Belmont’s main artery, Arthur Avenue, still thrives as a bustling Italian center, with countless restaurants, pastry shops, butchers, and more. But there’s a lot more to Belmont than just spaghetti and cannoli. From the origins of a pasta shop’s sign that’s now featured on Broadway to a Neapolitan restaurant that was born in Cairo, Egypt, the Belmont BID shares six secrets of this saucy neighborhood.
Uncover the history ahead
Mike’s Deli in Arthur Avenue Retail Market. Photo: Bronx Borough President Office
If you’ve slurped oysters outside a seafood market, taken a bite of burrata or savored cannoli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, this distinction might not be news to you. Arthur Avenue, which some call “the real Little Italy,” will join the American Planning Association’s “Great Streets of America.”
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