The Bronx is usually thought to be the most urban of New York’s five boroughs. However, several areas in NYC’s only mainland borough belie that notion…
Title card: This view of the Hudson River is available just south of the Riverdale Metro-North Station.
The Palisades of New Jersey are visible across the Hudson. photo: Jon Halabi
LEFT: waterfall on the Bronx River in Bronx Park. It can be seen from East 180th Street west of the 180th Street IRT station, near the Bronx Zoo entrance. CENTER: Autumn view of West 252nd Street east of Independence Avenue in Riverdale. RIGHT: The view of the Jersey Palisades can be had from Wave Hill, on Independence Avenue in Riverdale. Wave Hill was started by conservationist George Walbridge Perkins, who bought the estate in the early 20th Century. Over the years the property has been rented to Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and author William Makepeace Thackeray, and conductor Arturo Toscanini. Perkins’ descendants gave Wave Hill to New York City as a gift in 1960 and since then it has served as a botanical gardens and community center.
Riverdale is described in the WPA Guide to New York, published in 1939. Most of this description still applies today:
The homes are set along rambling lanes; on the crests of hills overlooking the Hudson; atop ravines that lead to the river; amid flower gardens and picturesque rock formations. riverdale is the seat of several educational institutions, including Manhattan College, the College of Mount St. Vincent, Riverdale County School… Strict application of zoning regulations permits Riverdale to retain some of the rural character and charm which distinguished the region when it was the property of the Delafield family (the Delafields founded the comunity of Fieldston [an adjoining community] in 1824.
LEFT: View of the mansion at Wave Hill. Many of the homes along Palisade Avenue above West 254th Street have commanding views of the mighty Hudson. A private pool decorates Livingston Avenue near W 246th Street.