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Old 10-16-2007, 06:38 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,294 posts, read 5,797,471 times
Reputation: 1037
A HUGE contributor to the decline of the Bronx was the "white flight to the suburbs," beginning in the 1950s. Contributing to the Bronx' specific downslide was also the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which someone mentioned, destroying many intact, lively, and safe neighborhoods. A third issue which was the final nail in the coffin (so-to-speak) was the NYC 70's fiscal crisis, bad leadership, and the blackout, which lead to the riots. The late '70s and 1980s were dark times for the Bronx. The 1990s weren't much better, and now I think this decade has begun to rattle some development in a lot of 'hoods in the Bronx. I think the Bronx has a bright future. NYC is growing, and the Bronx can only go up.

 
Old 10-16-2007, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,904 posts, read 5,854,685 times
Reputation: 1819
I wish I could have seen the Bronx when it was like this...


YouTube - A Bronx Tale - Tribute to a Classic

...Instead of the hood that I teach in right now.

(that's such a great movie by the way, I recommend watching it if you've never seen it).
 
Old 10-16-2007, 06:56 PM
DAS
 
2,155 posts, read 3,413,644 times
Reputation: 806
There is book "The Beautiful Bronx 1920 - 1950" by Lloyd Ultan its mostly photos of everyday life in the Bronx during that period. The entire Bronx was really beautiful during that period no which neighborhood you were in, according to the photos.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 05:48 AM
 
Location: San Diego native.
470 posts, read 1,111,003 times
Reputation: 103
I've been waiting for "A Bronx Tale" on NetFlix for quite a while. I've also checked E-Bay and half.com. No luck so far.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
1,526 posts, read 3,771,437 times
Reputation: 272
Much of the decline of the Bronx can be traced to Robert Moses, who developed not only the expressways and made use of the eminent domain laws to dismantle stable (yet working class) areas, and his creation of huge housing projects isolated from the city proper to house all the poor.

Recommended: New York: A Documentary Film by Ken Burns, episode 7: the city and the world re: post war NYC.

Many factors led to changes that usurped NYC from its position as the greatest city in the greatest country at that time.

NYC was once a major industrial/manufacturing city until after the war, when other cities took over this role. Those working class whites, blacks, and hispanics who lived here or came here around this time found that unskilled labor jobs were disappearing, leaving them no viable employment options.

Many blacks from the soutn and Puerto Ricans flooded the area to find work, but their timing couldnt' have been worse. The combo of discrimination and lack of jobs was a disaster.

Robert Moses built vast housing projects for the poor--well isolated from city streets and neighborhoods. When the city went belly up, the pj's became even more horrible places to live than before. Whites moved out because of the economic problems in the city; those who stayed (poor blacks and hispanics) had no where left to go.

People assume that the poor minorities single handedly destroyed these hoods. But the cross bronx expressway did more to demolish the borough than almost anything else, destoying old time neighborhoods. The only choice was to move out or to move into the pjs or the most abandoned slums. BTW--slums existed way before this, and Title ONe/urban renewal was supposedly created for "slum clearance," which included non slum residential areas. No one could stop this onslaught.

The old "slums" had criminals, but people could look out for each other and fight it. The pj's were built and the poor were left pretty much on their own to rot. Thus, whites assume that they did not live like human beings. Could you in a pj where the city neglected the buildings and provided inadequate police protection? Would a working class, law abiding person of color be "responsible" for this?

The flood of heroin and crack into the city was not just one of those things. We did little to nothing to stop it because of our political interests with some of the countries involved. The 'war on drugs' was in part due to our own gov'ts negligence.

It is so easy to blame the blacks and hispanics for all the city's ills. Before them it was the "unmannered, drunken" irish, the knife wielding Italians, the clannish Jews, the dirty ******s. But the blacks came here with the same idea of a better life, but as I say, their timing was tragically bad.

"City planning" and Title one "slum clearance," combined with the decline of NYC as a major industrial center and international port city, and financial disaster (with no help from the govt) converged to start the decline after WWII. The problem became acute in the 60s, though it had begun with the almost dictatorial reign of Robert Moses. When LaGuardia was at the end of his second term, his greatest fear was that now there would be no one to stop Moses--and there wasn't.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Queens
841 posts, read 2,982,731 times
Reputation: 235
^Have you read Jane Jacobs?
 
Old 10-17-2007, 11:57 AM
 
7,337 posts, read 10,192,908 times
Reputation: 2760
I think the "Perfect Storm" analogy summed it up. Things often happen for a variety of reasons. The new homeowners/suburban culture beckoned, poor people migrated to New York for manufacturing jobs that were beginning to disapear. Housing projects and highways were built which tore up established neighborhoods- Robert Moses has already been identified as the chief villian. Am I the only one who has always found it ironic that Moses never learned how to drive?

Some good reading:

We're Still Here: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of the South Bronx by Jill Jonnes.

The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York by Vincent J. Cannato

The Power Broker by Robert Caro


A guy I knew called the Bronx, "The 50 Year Miracle" as it was built, flourished and destroyed in the span of 50 years.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
1,526 posts, read 3,771,437 times
Reputation: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by BXGEAR View Post
^Have you read Jane Jacobs?
The life and death of great American Cities? Was that the book she wrote? I've been meaning to.

I just bought the Suburbanization of America; has the world's greatest city become just another Town? A series of essays, so far well worth reading.

Mead, great suggestions too. But to get the full effect, Ken Burns' NYC documentary series (there's about 9 episodes) can't be beat for the old time images, etc to go along with the history. I am renting them one by one via Netflix, though I saw much of it when originally broadcast on PBS.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Atlantic Highlands NJ/Ponte Vedra FL/NYC
2,689 posts, read 32,112 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
I think the "Perfect Storm" analogy summed it up. Things often happen for a variety of reasons. The new homeowners/suburban culture beckoned, poor people migrated to New York for manufacturing jobs that were beginning to disapear. Housing projects and highways were built which tore up established neighborhoods- Robert Moses has already been identified as the chief villian. Am I the only one who has always found it ironic that Moses never learned how to drive?

Some good reading:

We're Still Here: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of the South Bronx by Jill Jonnes.

The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York by Vincent J. Cannato

The Power Broker by Robert Caro


A guy I knew called the Bronx, "The 50 Year Miracle" as it was built, flourished and destroyed in the span of 50 years.
the xbronx did not doom the bronx, the flight to suburbia did, most of the west bronx at that time consisted of older pre war building and tenements. They really weren't too nice and once people could afford to leave they did, leaving behind the less fortunate.

CoOP city did more to undermine what was left of the middle class than the building of the xbronx.

Caro's book is so slanted and has been outed as a one dimensional slam piece that it shouldn't even be cited.

you're about bright the bronx's heyday was from the 30's and ended in the 60's, by the 70's the last nails were being hammered into the coffin and fires finished the job.

here in 2007 some parts of the bronx are actually becoming viable to live in. but you need to be real careful there because one wrong turn can bring doom
 
Old 10-17-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
1,526 posts, read 3,771,437 times
Reputation: 272
Oh jeez, sorry Moth--I get you and Mead confused all the time.
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