|Land Area:||42.4 sq miles|
|Listing(s):||252 (no-fee + fee)|
The second smallest of the five boroughs, the Bronx has a population of about 1.4 million (according to the 2008 population estimate by the US Census Bureau).
To say that the borough has had its share of ups and downs in recent decades would almost be an understatement. From a quiet suburban district favored by European immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, the Bronx turned into a playground for urban planning experiments and then, by the 1970s, basically a symbol of everything that was wrong with urban living. It didn't help matters that the whole city was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy at the time.
The more affluent parts sailed through the period just fine, thank you very much, but even the worst areas of the bourough started their slow but steady climb up the gentrification ladder in the early 1990s. A 1997 rezoning law which encouraged conversion of industrial spaces to residential and commercial uses spurred the process on. Today, despite the marked increase in rents in its most gentrified neighborhoods, the Bronx contains some of the best rental bargains in New York.
Generally, the North-West Bronx (Community District 8, comprising Riverdale, Marble Hill, and Kingsbridge) is more affluent than the rest of the borough. Riverdale stands out in particular: while the neighborhood boasts thousands of large-lot single-family houses surrounded by scenic parks. A sizable proportion of housing in low-income areas is in the form of high-rise housing projects, although most of the borough's housing stock consists of low-rise and mid-rise buildings.
Today, the Bronx has perhaps the best uptapped supply of affordable rental apartments - living here is considerably cheaper than living in most areas of Brooklyn, not to mention Manhattan.
Among the borough's attractions are the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, Van Cortlandt Park (the site of free summer performances by the New York City Philharmonic Orchestra), the Bronx Museum of the Arts and a host of smaller museums, galleries, historical houses and parks.