Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

I’d especially like to thank Sam Goodman, Mark Caldwell, Thomas Mellins, Lloyd Ultan, Evelyn Gonzalez, Mark Naison, Jerome Charyn, Marshall Berman, Leonard Kriegel, Arthur Gelb, Avery Corman, James Crocker, Gelvin Stevenson, Deborah Dash Moore, and Robert Caro, all of whom were...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-11

One scene takes place a few years after the Second World War in a tiny candy store called Philly’s, on Sheridan Avenue near 165th Street, just east of the broad, tree-lined boulevard that cut a majestic north-south swath through the borough. It is a September afternoon, and the place is jammed. Children...

I: A PROMENADE FOR THE BRONX

read more

1. “A Drive of Extraordinary Delightfulness”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-40

In the last half of the nineteenth century, the sparsely populated acres blanketing southern Westchester County—the territory that would one day be known as the Bronx—might have struck most New Yorkers as the dullest place on earth; the action in those years occurred largely in Manhattan. But...

read more

2. “Get a New Resident for the Bronx”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-58

The name Theodore Dreiser conjures images of the windswept prairies of the Midwest or the grimmer precincts of turn-of-the-century Manhattan, the place some of his more hapless characters end up. Between 1904 and 1906, however, this writer so closely associated with the heartland lived...

read more

3. “I Was Living in ‘a Modern Building’”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 59-84

The creation myth for the style known as Art Deco has a breathtaking simplicity. It decrees that Art Deco was born during a single glorious moment at a single glorious event—the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne held in Paris in 1925. The story is compelling and...

II: THE GOLDEN GHETTO

read more

4. “Something That Everybody Had in Awe”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-123

In the mid-1950s, the artist Franz Kline used the phrase “Miss Grand Concourse” to express his disdain for Ruth Kligman, the sexpot from New Jersey who was Jackson Pollock’s lover, the sole survivor of the car crash that hurled Pollock’s body into a tree and, with what everyone who hung out at the...

read more

5. “An Acre of Seats in a Garden of Dreams”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 125-139

Of all the memory-drenched spots along the Grand Concourse, the place remembered with the greatest fondness is almost certainly Loew’s Paradise, the gorgeous picture palace just south of Fordham Road. Decades after its heyday, the mere mention of its name elicits sighs, even among...

read more

6. “By the Waters of the Grand Concourse”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-157

In November 1945, in the wake of the Holocaust, the greatest cataclysm Jews the world over had ever known, a new magazine sponsored by the American Jewish Committee burst onto the American scene. The publication’s name was Commentary, and although its official goal was to engage young...

read more

7. The Grand Concourse of the Imagination

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-174

Many memoirists and a few novelists have drawn compelling portraits of what it was like to live on and near the Grand Concourse during the years of its greatest fame, portraits ranging in tone from grim to sugarcoated. One of the most revealing depictions, however, takes the form of a long-out-of-print first...

III: TO HELL AND BACK

read more

8. “The Borough of Abandonment”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-200

Executive Towers, the last luxury apartment house on the boulevard to be built with private money, opened at 165th Street in June 1963. With its wave-shaped balconies punctuating a curvy façade of glazed white brick, the twenty-three-story building looked like a vagabond from the Upper East Side...

read more

9. Who Killed the Concourse?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 201-214

People looking for someone or something to blame for the tumultuous changes washing over the Grand Concourse didn’t have to look far. Co-op City, the cluster of brick towers on the great sweep of marshland along the Hutchinson River, emerged as so potent a symbol of the dismal fortunes...

read more

10. “Bends in the Road”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-228

One unseasonably warm evening in the autumn of 2005, a group of Bronx residents came together to talk about the place where they lived. The gathering, held at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, was the first in a series of events examining how a thoroughfare draped in memories could...

Sources

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 229-242

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 243-252

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-266

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 267

Constance Rosenblum, the longtime editor of the City section of the New York Times, is the author of Gold Digger: The Outrageous Life and Times of Peggy Hopkins Joyce and the editor of New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times, available from NYU Press. Previously...