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Old 07-28-2007, 08:42 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,507 times
Reputation: 11
Default Latino comming to Woodlawn Bronx New York

Hi I am a Latino of Mexican-American heritage who married an Irish American wife. She wants to live in woodlawn heights in the Bronx. We are looking to buy a house.

Just a question, how do they treat mixed race couples looking for houses in Woodlawn. My wife is having a baby so maybe what I am getting at is will I be looked at as an outsider for being with an Irish American woman.

Gracias
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 11,399,616 times
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Ha, a Mexican moving into Woodlawn. Yeah this should be entertaining. First off, nobody really calls it Woodlawn Heights, except for the government surveys. To everyone around here it is just Woodlawn. Ending a post with Gracias? Yeah you better not try speaking that Spanish stuff in this neighborhood, its not going to go over well.

Get ready for the icy-cold stares from the local Donkeys, and I mean just while you are on your own. To be honest I've only seen one or two mixed-race couples walk down Katonah. The range of emotions that you will receive will probably be from Curiosity (seeing you as an oddity) to outright hostility especially from drunken Irish guys at night. You have to realize that this place is basically Irishtown, and if you aren't Irish (or at least Italian/Albanian/Portuguese) you really aren't going to fit in. There are a couple of Mexicans that you will see in Woodlawn but they are all the chefs and dish washers at a few of the local establishments. None of them live here, you'll always see them waiting for the bus to the subway so that they can get back home, which is inevitably, not in Woodlawn.

Of course there are certain bars that you should avoid ever going into, you'll figure that out really quick. Some bars are geared towards Northern Irish (read: ex-IRA members) in Woodlawn and adjoining McLean. These places don't like Irish-Americans going in there, so I'm not exactly sure how they would react if you were to go in. Most of the Irish restaurants on McLean aren't going to appreciate your business, but you should be fine going to the local diners, pizza places, and chinese takeout joints as they cater to a more American, less Irish crowd (the diner on Katonah, the City Line Diner, just closed recently, so you'll have to wait and see what happens to that).

Does this woman actually have family connections to the area? Does she know people living here? The neighborhood is a little bit unusual and few houses are actually sold on the open market like in a normal neighborhood. Most houses in Woodlawn are generally sold thru friends and family connections.

While there are a select few apartment/co-op buildings that will let you in Wooldawn proper if you are not Irish, the majority of them will not. I am not originally from the area, but am Irish-American and in order to get my apartment I basically had to trace my genealogy back to the old country, down to the county & town, in order that the landlord would trust me enough to rent me the place. That should give you an idea of the type of place you are thinking about moving to.

Personally I'd advise you against doing this, there are plenty of places north of here in Eastern Yonkers that aren't as overwhelmingly Irish, so you're going to run into a lot fewer problems living there. Yonkers actually has a large Hispanic area, but its just not around here. Look west of the Sprainbrook, right north of Northern Riverdale. Lots of Mexicans and Dominicans living around there.

Last edited by mead; 07-29-2007 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:11 AM
 
1,536 posts, read 20,683 times
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Listen to mead he knows his ****.

You might want to try Queens.

There is another Irish neighborhood out there, Woodside (I should be that one, correct me if i'm wrong). That might be a little more lax. There is a heavy Mexican neighborhood not to far away from there, East Elmhurst. I wouldn't move to East Elmhurst though, it's a bad neighborhood. At least those people in Woodside ain't too surprised when they see a Mexican American.

NYC is just so segregated though so you know how it is. There can be a lot of tension at times.

Or you could dump the city completely and go with Yonkers. Just stay out the southwest around the PJ's.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 11,399,616 times
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Yeah Woodside is the other big Irish immigrant neighborhood in the city and that area is MUCH more mixed. You'll find a decent number of Asians and hispanics living there. A lot of Irish people have also been going to Maspeth recently. There are also those neighborhoods all the way out by Rockaway Beach where you'll find a lot of Irish people. I don't know if many Irish immigrants go to those places though (I'm really unfamiliar with the area to be honest and only know about it thru word of mouth), plus the place is really secluded from the rest of the city (hour and a half by the subway).

Eastern Yonkers is also really nice residential area and is very reasonably priced for what you're getting, and its not too far away from Woodlawn/McLean. Plus in Eastern Yonkers you'll find more of a mix among the white people, lots of Italians, some Albanians, so its not this overwhelming presence of Irish people like you'll find in Woodlawn. In Eastern Yonkers you'll also find a good number of middle class Asian people (mostly Indians, but also some Chinese/Koreans), hispanics (mostly Dominicans and Puerto Ricans from what I can tell) and a couple of Jamaicans. As a result you're not going to face as much, if any hostility in Eastern Yonkers, as compared to Woodlawn.

Woodlawn is weird. Its basically ground zero for most of the Irish immigrants coming to NYC these days. Most of them are nice enough people but they have this huge penchant for getting really liquored up and stumbling around the neighborhood at night. As a result you have all of the associated problems with heavy drinking like people throwing up, breaking stuff, and randomly relieving themselves on your property (as I found one S.O.B. doing on the house I'm living in one night) I've also seen this drinking lead to more than a couple of fights at night. The Irish are very unlikely to use knives of guns to settle their problems (unless they're with the Westies or something), but random brawling is somewhat common. Generally there is at least one cop car parked on Katonah at night on the weekends so that no fights breakout at the bars, but every once and a while they do. So you have to be careful about this.

Also lets say that you work around all of this stuff, the racism, the stares, the bad treatment from random Donkeys. I honestly don't see how anyone who isn't Irish could stand this neighborhood. Its fairly far removed from anything that you might want to do. You have to take a bus to get to the subway and then the subway takes forever to get into Manhattan, especially on the weekend. There's not much in the way of real dining outside of the bars and takeout places in the area. Out of all of the bars in the neighborhood (and there area lot) there's only a handful that really cater to Irish-Americans, instead of Irish-immigrants. Out of those bars there's only one that I know of that is perfectly ok with having non-white customers (its the nicest bar in the neighborhood though if that is somewhat of a consolation). The other 2 are fairly small and cater to a more alcoholic clientelle. But beyond that I wouldn't see what the draw is. Personally I like eating fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or a good roast, because thats what my grandmother used to make for me and my relatives at family meals. All of my non-Irish friends though think Irish food is pretty bland or bad. So frankly you might just be bored out of your mind with this place.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Location: New York City
563 posts, read 1,150,736 times
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If you want to live in the NorthWest Bronx and are discouraged from Woodlawn, I'd suggest Van Cortlandt Village which is over Van Cortlandt Park from Woodlawn's side. The Irish have a nice presence here, and Mexicans are scarce yet you do see them once in a while. Area also has Jews, other Hispanics, Blacks, and other Whites so it'll be much easier to be excepted in comparison to Woodlawn.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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How about North Riverdale? There's plenty of irish there and you see Hispanics there too. Mosholu Avenue has a lot of irish bars, it looks like katonah Avenue and the housing stock looks very much like Woodlawn
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
7,527 posts, read 12,707,134 times
Reputation: 2209
Quote:
Originally Posted by mead View Post
Ha, a Mexican moving into Woodlawn. Yeah this should be entertaining. First off, nobody really calls it Woodlawn Heights, except for the government surveys. To everyone around here it is just Woodlawn. Ending a post with Gracias? Yeah you better not try speaking that Spanish stuff in this neighborhood, its not going to go over well.

Get ready for the icy-cold stares from the local Donkeys, and I mean just while you are on your own. To be honest I've only seen one or two mixed-race couples walk down Katonah. The range of emotions that you will receive will probably be from Curiosity (seeing you as an oddity) to outright hostility especially from drunken Irish guys at night. You have to realize that this place is basically Irishtown, and if you aren't Irish (or at least Italian/Albanian/Portuguese) you really aren't going to fit in. There are a couple of Mexicans that you will see in Woodlawn but they are all the chefs and dish washers at a few of the local establishments. None of them live here, you'll always see them waiting for the bus to the subway so that they can get back home, which is inevitably, not in Woodlawn.

Of course there are certain bars that you should avoid ever going into, you'll figure that out really quick. Some bars are geared towards Northern Irish (read: ex-IRA members) in Woodlawn and adjoining McLean. These places don't like Irish-Americans going in there, so I'm not exactly sure how they would react if you were to go in. Most of the Irish restaurants on McLean aren't going to appreciate your business, but you should be fine going to the local diners, pizza places, and chinese takeout joints as they cater to a more American, less Irish crowd (the diner on Katonah, the City Line Diner, just closed recently, so you'll have to wait and see what happens to that).

Does this woman actually have family connections to the area? Does she know people living here? The neighborhood is a little bit unusual and few houses are actually sold on the open market like in a normal neighborhood. Most houses in Woodlawn are generally sold thru friends and family connections.

While there are a select few apartment/co-op buildings that will let you in Wooldawn proper if you are not Irish, the majority of them will not. I am not originally from the area, but am Irish-American and in order to get my apartment I basically had to trace my genealogy back to the old country, down to the county & town, in order that the landlord would trust me enough to rent me the place. That should give you an idea of the type of place you are thinking about moving to.

Personally I'd advise you against doing this, there are plenty of places north of here in Eastern Yonkers that aren't as overwhelmingly Irish, so you're going to run into a lot fewer problems living there. Yonkers actually has a large Hispanic area, but its just not around here. Look west of the Sprainbrook, right north of Northern Riverdale. Lots of Mexicans and Dominicans living around there.
Wow that sounds like a great place.

Seriously though, Mead good post. A lot of good info. I had no idea Woodlawn was like that. I mean I knew it was mostly Irish, but I didn't know all those extra details you gave in your posts. Good stuff man.

Hernandez do you man! F*** everyone else. You can marry who you want and you can sure as hell live wherever you want here.

I just think its retarded that because your of a certain group you shouldn't live somewhere. It is such a backward way of thinking.

Talk to your wife about it. Maybe she'll want to live somewhere else once she understands your concerns.

I understand your concern because at the end of the day you want to feel comfortable and accepted where you live. Woodside sounds like a good compromise. Suerte!

Last edited by NooYowkur81; 07-29-2007 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:48 PM
 
Location: New York City
563 posts, read 1,150,736 times
Reputation: 162
I don't mean to go off topic, but how much of Woodlawn's Irish residents are actually illegal? It's a question that's been killing me for a while, now. And how likely is it that they'll get deported like the ones in Norwood did? And if a few get deported, does that mark the end of the Irish in Woodlawn? As in, will the remaining move away?
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:30 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,507 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you guys for your help. I can't believe what I am reading considering both of us ethnic groups want comprehensive immigration reform. Must be an hispanic thing. Anyway my wife's parents didn't want us to marry, I won't tell you why, I think you already know. Anyway thanks for the advice, we are looking around Riverdale or New Rochelle. If I have anymore questions I will be sure to ask.

Gracias
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 11,399,616 times
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How many are illegal? While there aren't any difinitive numbers, if I had to guess I'd say probably 40-50%. Out of that I'd say the number is much higher for the younger people and lower for the older people in the neighborhood. This is a very sensitive subject around here and people don't really talk about it openly, so it would be hard to obtain any real numbers about the ammount of illegals. The government generally doesn't come and do raids for people unless they have warrants out for their arrest or have committed some pretty horrible crime. I see this as pretty fair, since the government really doesn't crack down on the Mexican illegals at all, why should they crack down on the Irish?

The Irish immigrant community has been lobbying lately to get their own special visa program again, like they had back in the 1980s. People from Australia and Singapore already have a special visa program setup for them, so it would something along those lines. If they are successful in getting these visas (I'd say a good possibility of that happening), then there will likely be more, and not less Irish people in the area.
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