Belmont is a primarily residential neighborhood geographically located in the Bronx in New York City. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise, are Fordham Road to the north, Bronx Park to the east, East 181st Street to the south, and Third Avenue to the west. These boundaries give the neighborhood a crescent-like shape. The neighborhood is noted for its "close-knit community" and "small town feel", and as a result of its cultural history and wide array of Italian businesses, is widely known as the "Little Italy of the Bronx". Arthur Avenue, a street noted for its prominent local restaurants and markets, is the primary thoroughfare through Belmont.
Arthur Avenue streetscape
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||The Bronx 6|
|• Total||0.476 sq mi (1.23 km2)|
|• Density||58,000/sq mi (22,000/km2)|
|• Median income||$26,790|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
During colonial times, the land that would become Belmont was covered in farmland, much like the rest of western Bronx, and it was the province of the Lorillard family, for whom a street is named. After moving its tobacco operations from Lower Manhattan to the central Bronx in the late-18th century, the family greatly expanded its property in the area, with its land known as the Belmont estate. After the Lorillards moved to New Jersey in 1870, the city acquired part of their land for Bronx Park; another part was divided into the streets that form Belmont today.
After the construction of the Bronx Zoo and the Jerome Park Reservoir at the turn of the 20th century, a large wave of Italian immigrants moved into the area. With a strong pattern of Italian immigration, Belmont was soon considered the Little Italy of the Bronx. This Little Italy was centered at Arthur Avenue and East 187th Street; although the historical and commercial center of "Little Italy" is Arthur Avenue itself, the area stretches across East 187th Street from Arthur Avenue to Prospect Avenue, and is similarly lined with delis, bakeries, cafés, and various Italian merchants. The neighborhood still holds an annual Ferragosto celebration on Arthur Avenue each September.
Like many other neighborhoods in New York City, Belmont became disenfranchised starting in the mid-20th century. The city dismantled the Third Ave Elevated in 1973, and the poor accessibility in comparison to other neighborhoods further accelerated the decline. Housing stock was lost to arson, some of it razed by the city in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the neighborhood experienced a construction boom, despite the majority of its buildings were built before 1939. The neighborhood has also maintained its reputation as a thriving business area due to its abundant shops, restaurants, and markets. The community retains its reputation as the Bronx's Little Italy despite its smaller Italian population (prior to the millennium, the neighborhood was made up of over 50% Italian residents), and is often cited as New York City's "real Little Italy", in opposition to the Little Italy of Manhattan. Albanians and Puerto Ricans have added to the mixture of businesses on Arthur Avenue and East 187th Street. Still, the Italian presence is felt with a number of long Italian-owned small businesses including restaurants, bakeries, delis and other merchants.
The neighborhood's residents are a diverse mix of races, ethnic groups, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, and national origins. Traditionally the Italian heart of the Bronx, the neighborhood now contains a significant population of Hispanic and Latino Americans, Albanians, long standing Italians and more recent Italian immigrants. Many Mexican families have moved into the Belmont neighborhood, which hosts the annual Bronx Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Gradually, there have been more Hispanics and Latinos moving into the neighborhood. Hispanics and Latinos make up the largest ethnic group in the neighborhood as of the 2010 census.
Like most neighborhoods in New York City the vast majority of households are occupied by renters. Almost half of the population lives below the federal poverty line and receives public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicaid). However, there is significant income diversity on a block-by-block basis. The neighborhood is also home to a large population of students at Fordham University who reside in the university's off-campus housing as well as private apartment buildings in the area.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Belmont was 27,378, an increase of 1,411 (5.4%) from the 25,967 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 313.34 acres (126.80 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 87.4 inhabitants per acre (55,900/sq mi; 21,600/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 19.7% (5,381) White, 18.5% (5,059) African American, 0.1% (38) Native American, 2.3% (620) Asian, 0.1% (18) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (84) from other races, and 0.9% (249) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 58.2% (15,929) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 6, which comprises Belmont and East Tremont, had 87,476 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 77.7 years.:2, 20 This is lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 29% are between the ages of between 0–17, 28% between 25–44, and 20% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 14% and 9% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community Districts 3 and 6, including Crotona Park East and Morrisania, was $25,972. In 2018, an estimated 31% of Belmont and East Tremont residents lived in poverty, compared to 25% in all of the Bronx and 20% in all of New York City. One in six residents (16%) were unemployed, compared to 13% in the Bronx and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 60% in Belmont and East Tremont, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 58% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Belmont and East Tremont are gentrifying.:7
Land use and terrainEdit
Belmont is dominated by 5 and 6-story elevator and walk-up apartment buildings but the residential streets are lined with a vibrant blend of housing types including rowhouses and larger Art Deco and Tudor Style apartment buildings. The majority of the architecture in the neighborhood dates before 1939, and exhibits pre-war architecture. In the last decade, construction of modern 2 and 3 unit row-houses and apartment buildings have increased the percentage of owners versus renters. The land area is roughly 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), and the terrain is relatively low laying and flat.
Among the neighborhood's array of Italian restaurants and markets, there are multiple landmarks. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic church located on E. 187th Street at the corner of Belmont Avenue. The church was constructed in 1906. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market, which extends the block between Arthur Avenue and Belmont Avenue, features an array of Italian meats, cheeses, and other market goods, as well as cigars, a bar, and dining area.
Parks in the area include the Ciccarone Playground, and the D'Auria Murphy Triangle located at 183rd Avenue, which features a Christopher Columbus monument. Theodore Roosevelt High School, a large public school opened in 1918, served the area.
The Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden are also located at the northeastern edge of Belmont, and attract worldwide visitors. Adjacent to the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Garden is the campus of Fordham University, whose campus runs along the northern edge of Belmont, along Fordham Road. It is a private Roman Catholic university, originally established as St. John's College in 1841. The campus features Collegiate Gothic architecture and is frequently listed among the most scenic campuses in the country. The campus has been used as a filming location for a large number of movies, including A Beautiful Mind, Center Stage, and The Exorcist.
Police and crimeEdit
Belmont and East Tremont are patrolled by the 48th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 450 Cross Bronx Expressway. The 48th Precinct ranked 56th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 152 per 100,000 people, Belmont and East Tremont's rate of violent crimes per capita is greater than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 1,015 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 48th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 71.7% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 11 murders, 29 rapes, 276 robberies, 396 felony assaults, 182 burglaries, 424 grand larcenies, and 76 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Belmont contains two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations. Engine Co. 48/Ladder Co. 56/Division 7 is located at 2417 Webster Avenue, while Engine Co. 88/Ladder Co. 38 is located at 2223 Belmont Avenue.
Preterm and teenage births are more common in Belmont and East Tremont than in other places citywide. In Belmont and East Tremont, there were 113 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 30.4 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Belmont and East Tremont has a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 12%, equal to the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Belmont and East Tremont is 0.008 milligrams per cubic metre (8.0×10−9 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Sixteen percent of Belmont and East Tremont residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Belmont and East Tremont, 36% of residents are obese, 22% are diabetic, and 32% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 20% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-one percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 69% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," lower than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Belmont and East Tremont, there are 37 bodegas.:10
Post offices and ZIP CodeEdit
Belmont is covered by the ZIP Code 10458. The United States Postal Service operates two offices nearby: the Fordham Station at 465 East 188th Street, and the Mount Carmel Station at 652 East 187th Street.
Belmont and East Tremont generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. While 19% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 36% have less than a high school education and 45% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 26% of Bronx residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Belmont and East Tremont students excelling in math rose from 19% in 2000 to 44% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 25% to 30% during the same time period.
Belmont and East Tremont's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is more than the rest of New York City. In Belmont and East Tremont, 35% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, higher than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 61% of high school students in Belmont and East Tremont graduate on time, lower than the citywide average of 75%.:6
The New York Public Library operates the Belmont Library and Enrico Fermi Cultural Center, located at 610 East 186th Street. The branch opened in 1981 and contains an extensive collection of Italian-language materials, as well as work by Italians and Italian-Americans.
- Bx9: to Riverdale or West Farms Square–East Tremont Avenue (2 and 5 trains) via Kingsbridge Road and Broadway
- Bx12 and Bx12 Select Bus Service: to Bay Plaza Shopping Center or Inwood–207th Street (A train) via Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway
- Bx17: to Port Morris via Prospect and Crotona Avenues
- Bx19: to Riverbank State Park (via Southern Blvd and 149th Street
- Bx22: to Bronx High School of Science or Castle Hill via Castle Hill Avenue
- BL60: to Fordham Plaza or White Plains via US Route 1
- BL61: to Fordham Plaza or Port Chester via US Route 1
- BL62 Express: to Fordham (Valentine Avenue) or White Plains via US Route 1
Railroad service is provided by Metro-North's Harlem Line and New Haven Line at Fordham station. The closest New York City Subway station is about a mile west of Belmont, at Fordham Road, which is served by the B and D trains.
- Anne Bancroft (1931–2005), actress, born and raised in Belmont
- Don DeLillo (born 1936), author, raised in Belmont
- Lana Del Rey (born 1985), singer, lived in Belmont while in college
- Lesandro Guzman-Feliz (2002-2018), murder victim who was killed by members of the Dominican gang Trinitario.
- Christine Jorgenson (1926–1989), actress, first known trans woman to publicly undergo sex reassignment surgery
- Carlo Mastrangelo (1938–2016), vocalist from The Belmonts
- Fred Milano (1939–2012), vocalist from The Belmonts.
- Chazz Palminteri (born 1952), actor, raised in Belmont.
In popular cultureEdit
The film A Bronx Tale (1993) starring Robert De Niro was set in the neighborhood and the main character Sonny tells Calogero that he was attending the University of Belmont Avenue. The opening scene of 1955's Marty was shot on Arthur Avenue. Other films with scenes shot on location in Belmont include The Seven-Ups and The Incident. The character of Leonard in James Frey's novel A Million Little Pieces grew up in the neighborhood.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- "Belmont neighborhood in Bronx, New York (NY), 10457, 10458, 10460 subdivision profile - real estate, apartments, condos, homes, community, population, jobs, income, streets". City-Data.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- "Center for Urban Research". Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- Donovan, Aaron (July 29, 2001). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Belmont; Close-Knit Bronx Area With Italian Aura". The New York Times. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
- Sitler, Rosemary. "Authenticity and Arthur Avenue". Brooklynrail. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Bronx Community District 6" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "NYPD – 48th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "Belmont in Forgotten NY". Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Belmont BID - History". Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Belmont Demographics". Food Communities of NYC. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "If You're Thinking of Living In/Belmont: Close-Knit Bronx Area With Italian Aura". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- Cinotto, Simone. Making Italian America: Consumer Culture and the Production of Ethnic Identities. Oxford University Press. p. 226.
- Dilorenzo, Sarah (September 11, 2011). "Arthur Avenue: New York's Real Little Italy?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "The Bigger Little Italy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- Williams, Jaime (April 27, 2014). "Belmont to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo". Bronx Times. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- Semple, Kirk (July 7, 2010). "In an Italian Enclave in the Bronx, Signs of Mexico Begin to Show". Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Belmont Demographics". Belmont Demographics. March 4, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Arthur House". Fordham University. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
- "Belmont and East Tremont (Including Bathgate, Belmont, Bronx Park South, East Tremont and West Farms)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Bronx Community District 3 & 6--Belmont, Crotona Park East & East Tremont PUMA, NY". Census Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- Remigius Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Volume 3: The Province of Baltimore and the Province of New York, Section 1: Comprising the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Buffalo and Ogdensburg Together with some Supplementary Articles on Religious Communities of Women.. (New York City: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914), p.390.
- "Attractions". The Bronx Little Italy.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Arthur Avenue | The Real Little Italy of New York". Arthuravenuebronx.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- "Pretty college campuses – Travel – Destination Travel | NBC News". NBC News. September 15, 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- "Belmont and Bathgate, East Tremont – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "48th Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Engine Company 48/Ladder Company 56/Division 7". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Engine Company 88/Ladder Company 38". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Bronx, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Tremont, New York City-Bronx, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Location Details: Fordham". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Location Details: Mount Carmel". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "Belmont and East Tremont – BX 06" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "About the Belmont Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Bronx Little Italy @ Arthur Avenue & East 187th St". Places to Go in New York. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Passaro, Vince (May 19, 1991). "Dangerous Don DeLillo". The New York Times. New York: NYTC. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
- "LANA DEL REY – "AT HOME" EXCLUSIVE COVER SHOOT & INTERVIEW". Galore. December 1, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
I would take the D train to Coney Island, take the D train back to the Bronx where I lived on Hughes Avenue.
- "Christine Jorgenson Biography". Biography.com. The Biography Channel. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- Slotnik, Daniel E. "Carlo Mastrangelo, a Doo-Wop Voice for Dion and the Belmonts, Dies at 78", The New York Times, April 6, 2016. Accessed June 17, 2016. "They formed the Belmonts in the mid-1950s, taking the band name from the avenue where Mr. Milano lived. (The neighborhood is also called Belmont.)"
- Cunningham, Jennifer H. "Actor Chazz Palminteri stages a Bronx return to benefit his charity", New York Daily News, October 3, 2013. Accessed June 17, 2016. " Bronx boy-turned-Hollywood star Chazz Palminteri is back on the block. The Belmont product has returned to the borough to perform his autobiographical one-man show, A Bronx Tale, on Oct. 17 at Lehman College."
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