I'm originally from the Bronx but moved to the West Indies when I was young. I went back for a visit two years ago and I can say that there may be dangerous areas, and you should be aware of them but for me, the Bronx was delightful. I stayed in Westchester opposite the Bronx zoo.
Firstly, there is a great transport system. Buses run like clockwork, to every area of the Bronx and it's fairly easy to find your way around. It's easy to retrace your steps in shopping areas, and parks if you find your self lost - just don't panic. And you will be doing most of your getting around in these buses.
Secondly, if you're one to splurge, there are the best shopping streets. One must visit Southern Boulevard's shopping street( for cheap goodies), 3rd Avenue and Fordham Avenue. The shopping is simply amazing! The metropolitan scene is stunning. I basically was alone but didn't mind. And the parks are to die for(at least to me.)
One must visit little Italy chock full of cafes and restaurants, it is simple charming. Southern Boulevard by the Train station, and under the trains are lined with restaurants and shops. Also, River bank state pool if you like swimming or just like water.
Honestly, the Bronx is a nice mix of culture and city.
I come from the UK, I'm white and I've never been to NY before.
I stayed with a Dominican family in The Bronx and got the train to Burnside.
It looked a little scary but I walked from the train around 10 blocks to the place where I stayed even with a suitcase, rucksack and an expensive camera around my neck. Nobody bothered me and my hosts where perfect.
I went with them to Washington Heights where I was welcomed and then had a party in their backyard in the night. Everyone I met was cool.
I went out to Brooklyn with one of them and got back to Burnside at 1am. I walked the lady home and walked back to the train station alone at around 2am. There were people around but they didn't bother me. (although, I probably wouldn't walk through there with a camera around my neck at night time). When I got to the station, the lady working there was helpful and gave me help to which train I needed. When I got to the platform I got talking to some guy who had just got a tickets from the cops for jumping the subway turnstyle. He looked like your typical guy you'd see on TV from "The Hood" but was friendly and happy.
Don't judge people by what they look like or what you see on TV and in the media. These people are all human and most are everyday, nice people. Of course there are bad people everywhere, but I didn't see ANY while visiting The Bronx.
People are frightened by what they see on TV and read in the papers. I must admit, I was a little worried at first, but as long as you don't wander into the wrong neighbourhood at night time you will be totally fine in The Bronx (as with all boroughs in NY).
I am a med student living in the Bronx. It is easy to make generalizations about the Bronx, particularly considering the boroughs rough history and the state of many of its buildings. The Bronx has had a tough past, but the area continues to improve against the odds. In particular, areas like Morris Park, Gun Hill, City Island, and Parkchester (to name a few) are havens for delicious food, friendly communities, and a wealth of cultural diversity. While I appreciate that there are some unsavory areas of the Bronx, I think that the previous author`s recommendation that`"everyone not from the Bronx stay clear" is downright inappropriate and does not correctly reflect the safety of the borough.
Well me being a highschool student, walking around the bronx leaves me paranoid. 75% percent of teens in south bronx are gang affiliated. In the summer time daily hobbies for these guys are to beat up on other teens, shoot guns at people in partys, and sell/smoke weed non stop. I would never step foot in a bronx party. SAFTY OVER FUN.
Just this past weekend we attended a birthday party for my nephew Alex, he just turned 1. The event was at a small beach club located just off of Pennyfield Ave. What a nasty, nasty beach and ocean area. The beach was covered with waste that had washed up on shore from the water. All sorts of bottles, food, needles etc all over the place. I didn't let the boys venture off the deck outside out of fear they would get hurt or catch something. I can only imagine how nasty the water was if the beach was this gross.
If you are not from NY (or the Bronx for that matter), don't go to really any part of the Bronx, except attractions. Because coming from a person who was born, raised and still lives in the Bronx, parts of the Bronx have no law. You can tell the neighborhoods by the ethnic group that lives there, for example; Dominicans + Puerto Ricans- live almost everywhere in the Bronx, but for Dominicans it's most notably Kingsbridge. Blacks and West Indians (Mainly Jamaicans)- Live mostly in Wakefield, Williamsbridge, Gun Hill and Castle Hill. Albanians- Live mostly in Pelham parkway/bay, Belmont aka Little Italy, Westchester Square and Morris Park. Irish- live mostly in Woodlawn, Bedford Park, Kingsbridge and Riverdale. Italians- Little Italy and Morris Park... As for dangers, there are many in the Bronx, like i said many parts of the Bronx have no law,and don't forget the Bronx is the poorest place in America. Just watch yourself when traveling to the Bronx. I love the Bronx and will never leave, but you have to be from the Bronx to feel that.
Although this warning may sound silly or ridiculous, there are people who fish on the Hudson river. Please don't eat any of your catch including any fish and crabs from these waters...they may contain chemicals hazardous to your health.
During my time in New York I remember reading Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, who doesn't paint a very enticing picture of the Bronx. I'm not sure if his portrayal of the Bronx is accurate and I can't offer any first hand warnings as we visited in a large work-group and only saw the area around Yankee stadium. The Bronx used to have a reputation as an unsafe area to explore but these things are often exaggerated.
I read a lot about the BX being OK outside of the south bx...NOT TRUE. A mjority of the BX is dangerous...for example, 241 and White Plains Rd is one of the worst in the borough. The only places that are OK are Throggs Neck, Morris Park (east of Bronxdale) Riverdale, and Pelham Bay. There is nothing of major interest in these areas. Try a better part of NY..Take it from a BX native!
If you are going to visit Fordham, best not to avoid the area between the Metro North Station at Fordham & the 4 train station on Jermone ave. There are many people trying to offer you fake metro cards and many people asking to money. Making the area unsafe.
I am not by any means a safety natzi, but I did see some serious things for parents to look out for when letting their children play on the playgrounds here. One thing I saw lots of was broken glass, on one occassion a 1 year got a hold of some and cut his mouth open pretty badly. I also found on a few playgrounds drug paraphenalia like crack pipes and viles and even a couple needles. Supposedly there are cleaning crews that clean the playgrounds, but I've yet to see one. My advice would be to check the area carefully before letting your child run about.
I was mugged across the street from the Bronx Museum. Had to walk the block from the subway station and was waiting on the curb for the traffic light to turn green. Two homeboys came from behind me caught me by surprise. I was had my cellphone in my hand. They slapped the hand from behind, grabbed the phone, and ran away. Broad daylight.
The BX is a very large area and an interesting part of NYC. Often overlooked becuase of its infamous reputation, there are good and bad parts of this borough. You need to rememeber this is the poorest of NYC's boroughs and contains some of the poorest neighborhoods in the USA (poorest congressional district in the USA, District 16, the south BX). This area is similar to the lower income parts of Newark and Philly.
Boundaries: The south BX is technically south of Fordham Road, between the BX River Parkway and the Harlem River. It is made of tenements, housing projects, apartment buildings, and rowhouses.
-Throughout the south BX you will notice large complexes of old uniform brown or grey buildings. These are low income housing projects (The PJ's, Projects). The buildings look the same so it is very easy to get lost or confused. They often have higher crime rates then the surrounding area so I would not recomend you walking into these complex unless you have to.
-Although many buildings have been renovated and many vacant lots have been developed on, some things are still the same. ther're some areas with brand new rowhouses, then ther're blocks of tenements borded up or vacant lots. Be aware of where you walk and take extra caution on blocks made up of tenements and housing projects.
-I do not recomend wandering the streets at night. During the day even the south BX is usually safe, however at night things change quickly. A different kind of people hang out on the streets at night, which is why even on weeknights you will see corners and stoops occupied.
-Be aware of scams and be street smart, it isn't smart to flash expensive jewelry and money in one of the poorest parts of the nation. Muggings are most common in large northeastern cities, especially denser ones, use your head.
Just the name scares most people from even going to the Bronx. Most of the "scary" Bronx comments refer to the South Bronx. My tips are for the areas north of that and the area is safer. If you go in the day as most tourists do you will be fine. When going to Arthur Avenue, the Bronx Zoo or the Botanical gardens walk like you know where you are going. If you are a woman and not with a man dont be suprised if you get whistled at, especially if you have light hair. If you are not of African American or Latin American descent you may feel a little out of place but you won´t be the ONLY one. The area is worth a visit. Just don´t carry a lot of cash with you and use your street smarts. There is a lot of activity and noise on Fordham Road, be aware of your surroundings. Thousands of people live in this neighborhood and walk these streets every day and they aren't out to get you. So check it out!
Many people think of the Bronx as a crime-infested slum. This is not true. But there are certain areas that do require more vigilance than others, such as the South Bronx.
Common sense reigns supreme though. Treat the Bronx as you would any other part of New York City. Stay in familiar areas, don't go to places you don't feel comfortable in, especially at night, and get a feel for the city through the locals.