by Kevin Walsh

I stalked around in Riverdale and Fieldston, in the northwest Bronx, on two separate hikes last year, both in early November, and I intend to go back the same time of year, weather permitting, as that’s the best time of the year for the peak of fall colors in the NYC area. There’s so much flora in the area that turns orange, yellow and red that the area is an especially ideal venue. You have to be a bit careful in Fieldston, though. No, not from muggers, but from zealous neighborhood watch folks. I was once in Fieldston with two other guys scouting an upcoming tour when we were informed (tartly I may add) that the area was private. We rerouted the tour. Nonetheless, I figured one lone shambling figure with a camera would not alarm unduly.

The theme today is the unusual street sign treatments I found up there. Now, much of Fieldston, as stated, is semiprivate and so the local officials have decided to install their own signs. Thus, we have a few signs at Grosvenor Avenue and West 250th. They may have remembered standard-issue DOT signs in the Bronx for about 20 years between 1964 and 1984, which were all blue with white letters.

As far back as 1999 I recall seeing some green and white signs inscribed in Times Roman in Riverdale instead of the standard Highway Gothic or Clearview. But I don’t think the DOT carelessly fastened them to a tree, as done here. Hammering nails into trees is detrimental to their overall health, but that fact is routinely ignored sround town, and trees are assumed to be utility poles.

I can say with certainty that these two maroon-colored signs were DOT-installed; maroon signifies a landmarked area. But the positioning is unusual because in NYC, street signs are generally not installed perpendicularly like this.

But in Fieldston, they can get wild, what can I say?

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Ty July 13, 2021 - 4:15 pm

Lived up in “poor” Riverdale on 256th and rode my bike to and from work through here each day. It’s uphill both ways. That DOT sign is inches from the private street. The streets are literally private property and don’t show in official city maps. They even own their own street sweeper which is parked by Ethical Culture.

Doug Douglass July 13, 2021 - 5:11 pm

What street is the Fieldston boundary?

Edward July 14, 2021 - 7:04 am

Similar “stacked” signage can be found in southeastern Brooklyn. Stanley Avenue at Amber Street, Loring Avenue at Amber Street. Probably a couple of other spots in the area. I’m pretty sure it was installed by a developer and not the City DOT.

Joe Brennan July 22, 2021 - 8:21 pm

The tree is an ash with signs of bark damage from ash borers (insects), so it is doomed. So far as I know, the signs don’t attract them.


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