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City Island- A Haven in the Bronx

My favorite part about living in New York is that there are so many different neighborhoods to visit. Compared to most New Yorkers, I think that I do a pretty good job of expanding my horizons and seeing new places. For me, the Bronx is the final frontier. Geographically the furthest borough from our home in Brooklyn, exploring the Bronx is a commitment. This summer, I have pledged to make that commitment and see what this massive borough has to offer. As the home of hip-hop, there certainly has to be more to this place than the Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo, right?

City Island bars

A short bus ride away from the end of the 6 train is City Island, a place that you would never believe is part of New York City- let alone the Bronx- until you saw the skyline in the distance. City Island is 1.5 miles long with a population of just over 4,000 people. Originally inhabited by the Siqanoy Native Americans, it was settled by the Europeans in 1654.

Houses on City Island

In 1761, New Yorker Benjamin Palmer purchased the island with a dream of turning it into a main port. Palmer envisioned City Island rivaling New York City, as its' position was favorable to ships passing through the Long Island Sound. Unfortunately for Palmer, the start of the American Revolution put the project at a standstill.

CIty Island

Today, the island still has a distinct port feel; docks filled with hundreds of boats line the perimeter. Take the BX29 bus just over the bridge and take a stroll down City Island Avenue, the main drag. The street is lined with shops, bars, and many restaurants. You can't help but wonder if you're in New England or upstate New York.

Garlic Bread at the Crab Shanty chowder at crab shanty

We were starving by the time we arrived, so we headed over to The Crab Shanty. The interior of the restaurant feels like you're stepping into a cartoon; neon lights everywhere and faux houses molded into the walls. There's something very comforting about it all- a true old school seafood joint! The restaurant is packed. Dave and I ordered two platters off the lunch menu, which came with unlimited garlic bread, soup or a salad and a side. Dave and I definitely could have split an entrée and been stuffed! The seafood was good, but the garlic bread was great. Anything with real butter is always a treat!

city island lobster

Our two seafood entrees (with enough leftovers for dinner) and our fishbowl drink ran us about $60 with tax. I was having a hard time believing I was in New York!

View form the end of city islandCombating a food coma, we walked down City Island Avenue to the tip. Johnny's Reef Restaurant, another City Island staple, was overflowing with people and cars. The restaurant's outside picnic area overlooks the city and has telescopes to take a closer look.

deck on city island

On our way back, we stopped at an Italian restaurant, Portofino, for a drink. The interior was classically Italian with large, inviting booths. We sat outside on the lovely patio overlooking the docks. The sangria was amazing! Eyeing our neighbor's food, the dishes looked fresh, but we were still too stuffed from lunch.


As the sun went down, we headed back to the bus. Cars were pouring in for the dinner rush, creating gridlock getting onto the island. I suddenly remembered that I was infact in New York City.

Read 7207 times Last modified on Monday, 08 June 2015 20:07
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