Day 379

Today’s route — 13.9 miles

January 12th, 2013

Day 379

Tiffany Street Iron Shop

January 12th, 2013



Part of the Transit Authority's Infrastructure Division, this Hunts Point facility fabricates structural steel for the subway, and its entrance is marked with an old subway station signpost. Standing in the parking lot on the other side of that friendly-looking fence is a tiny, isolated stretch of elevated subway track, presumably used for training, with a couple of Redbirds perched atop it.

Day 379

Port Morris Tile & Marble

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

A nickle apiece

January 12th, 2013



Beverage container redemption

Day 379




Spread out across 329 acres on the eastern side of the Bronx's Hunts Point peninsula is one of the largest (some say the largest) food distribution centers in the world, home to the city's main produce, meat, and fish markets, as well as several other wholesalers, processors, and distributors. The sign above hasn't been updated in a while: the Fulton Fish Market moved up here in 2005 from its original location at the end of Manhattan's Fulton Street, where it had been operating since 1831.

Here's a great peek inside the produce market by two brothers from South Carolina who, when they were new to the city and looking to make their Lower East Side apartment feel a little more homey, set out for Hunts Point in search of raw peanuts to boil.

Day 379

At the meat market

January 12th, 2013



This is just one tiny section of the whole complex.

Day 379

Local beef

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

Krasdale

January 12th, 2013



I've always thought this was the perfect name for a generic grocery brand.

Day 379

Vernon C. Bain Center

January 12th, 2013



An 800-bed jail barge moored just off of Hunts Point

Day 379

A pool, you say?

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

A pool, you say!

January 12th, 2013



Jails, pools — you can put anything on a barge in Hunts Point. This is the Floating Pool Lady, a 100,000-gallon portable swimmin' hole that has spent the past few summers anchored at Barretto Point Park. She has been known to head out of town during the colder months, but apparently she's weathering this winter right here in the Bronx.

Day 379

Tiffany Street Pier

January 12th, 2013



Located next to Barretto Point Park, this recreational pier is made of recycled plastic, and was apparently "the first all-plastic lumber civil structure of major significance". An important advantage of plastic is its imperviousness to the wood-eating shipworms and gribbles that have returned to New York as the city's waterways have once again become clean enough for them to survive. This pier replaced its deteriorated wooden predecessor in 1995, but it caught on fire and had to be rebuilt after it was struck by lightning several times during a storm the next year.

If you zoom in, you can make out the silhouette of a couple of the abandoned buildings on North Brother Island, the small treed island out past and to the right of the pier. Now a bird sanctuary, the island was formerly home to a quarantine hospital (where Typhoid Mary spent her last two decades), college dorms for veterans, and a drug rehab center, and was also where the burning General Slocum ran aground and sank in New York's worst pre-9/11 disaster. This page has some recent photos of the ruins on North Brother, which has been uninhabited (by humans) for 50 years now.

Day 379

Radiator Woman!

January 12th, 2013



Run by Tita, Radiator Woman is said to be the only female-owned auto business in Hunts Point. It also reminds me of a scene from Futurama that takes place at the Miss Universe pageant:

LEELA: Sigh. I almost had that tiara.
BENDER: Hmm. Me too.
FRY: Well, you guys might both be losers, but I just made out with that radiator woman from the radiator planet.
LEELA: Fry, that's a radiator.
FRY: Oh. [Clears throat.] Is there a burn ward within ten feet of here?

Day 379

Junk Cars Wanted

January 12th, 2013



It's hard to picture now, but here's a long-time Bronxite's description of Hunts Point in the early years of the 20th century, told to John McNamara and published in McNamara's Old Bronx:

My three uncles liked fishing and often took their creel and went, either by foot or horse and carriage, to Hunts Point for a day of angling. They brought home flounders, flukes and crabs and I can still remember how sweet they tasted. My aunts took me to Hunts Point by a little stagecoach from the corner of Southern Blvd. and Hunts Point Rd. for a wonderful day of picnicking and bathing. The water was clear as crystal, for no sewers were built yet to befoul the river.

I remember when the area around Randall Ave. was filled with fruit orchards, and there were several dairy farms. The Duffy brothers used to round up the cows, cowboy-style, on the Springhurst Dairy meadows.

Day 379

I am here

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

754 Tiffany Street

January 12th, 2013



This mysterious house-in-a-wall sits on the property of the Corpus Christi Monastery, the oldest Dominican monastery in the US.

Day 379

Portal of the day

January 12th, 2013



Completed in 1911, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant produced "stock certificates, foreign currency, letters of credit, postage stamps and, of course, bank notes" for governments all over the world. The company left town for the Philadelphia suburbs in 1985, and the building has been home to many different tenants since then. It is currently being redeveloped into a higher-profile space for creative firms and nonprofit organizations.

Day 379

Female Flava

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

Know Your Rights

January 12th, 2013



Yet another in the series

Day 379

Guardian angel?

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

Brain to mouth

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

A colorful row

January 12th, 2013


Day 379

The stages of youth

January 12th, 2013



An untitled sculpture on the wall of the Hunts Point Middle School

Day 379

The title of this mural is…

January 12th, 2013



The United States of Hot Dogs, a.k.a. The World of Spooky Creepy Effects Horrorland

Day 379

Teddy Roosevelt

January 12th, 2013



I found this cut-out lying face-up on the street nearby. It's from the American Museum of Natural History's "Theodore Outdoor" photo contest. You're supposed to plan an "expedition to a local, state, or national park, an outdoor space in your community, or anywhere else you experience nature" and then take a picture of Teddy while you're out exploring. Done and done! I've submitted this photo, and I think the lush, verdant landscape of Hunts Point in the background should all but assure my victory.

Day 379




The vast majority — somewhere around 95% — of the freight coming into the Hunts Point food markets arrives by truck. Neighborhood residents have long complained about the onslaught of traffic, noise, and diesel fumes produced by the thousands of trucks that ply the streets of Hunts Point every day. Meanwhile, about two trains per day chug their way down this dinky little track that serves as the markets' only rail connection to the outside world. In a bit of good news for those who'd like to see more train traffic, the produce market recently received a $10 million federal grant to improve its rail facilities, although it's not entirely clear that the produce market is still going to be located in Hunts Point after 2014.

Day 379

Across the tracks

January 12th, 2013



Another piece by our old friend Cekis

Day 379

Hunts Point Riverside Park

January 12th, 2013



This park, a rare green (and blue — Rocking the Boat is headquartered here) space in Hunts Point, was completed in September 2006, but was subsequently kept under lock and key after the city decided it was too dangerous for people to cross both the street that runs in front of the park and the single-track rail line (traveled by two extremely slow trains per day) that runs parallel to the street.

Why hadn't they thought of this before? Understandably, the community was upset that all they could do was stare longingly through locked gates at this beautiful new park. Finally, in May 2007, after a traffic light had been installed, crosswalks had been painted, and the Parks Department had stationed extra staff on site to watch for approaching trains, Hunts Point Riverside Park opened to the public.

Meanwhile, the city still needed to install automatic gates at the railroad crossing to replace the people monitoring it. As it happens, I ended up working on this project at my old engineering firm. On our site visits, it seemed as though the Parks Department track watchers literally just sat in their truck all day until the rare occasion when a train would come ambling down the line, at which point they would spring into action and make sure no one tried to cross until the iron stallion had passed on its way.

At any rate, it's good to see that the gates have not collapsed onto any children or anything. My favorite of the four was always the hilariously short one visible above, designed to block pedestrians on the sidewalk. That'll stop 'em!

Day 379

Brain cubes

January 12th, 2013



by another couple of old friends: How and Nosm

Day 379

Nicer

January 12th, 2013



We know this guy, too!

Day 379




Check out the whole thing here.

Day 379

Gaza love

January 12th, 2013