OK, not much...Van Nest is the section of The Bronx where I grew up. Some people consider it part of Morris Park, but we--and now you--know better.
My first address was 1922 Hunt Ave., Bronx, NY 10462. Hunt Ave. rocks. Just so you know. That address put me a block from the number 5 train, and a block and a half up Sagamore St. away from the Bronx Park East station on the number 2 line. I was lulled to sleep nightly by the subways rolling by, which is, I think, why I can't sleep without at least a little noise.
Loosely bounded (by my definition, yours and other VN residents' may vary): From corner of 180th St., along E. Tremont Ave. to Bronxdale Ave, North on Bronxdale to Bronx Park East; south to Unionport Rd.; to Morris Park Ave., southwest on Morris Park Ave. to 180th St, southeast to Tremont Ave.
1922 Hunt Ave.
The house where I lived for 6 3/4 years. Aren't you excited? Well, get excited, damn it, because next is...
1920 Hunt Ave.
My father grew up in this house. My grandmother and grandfather lived here until they passed away.
OK, enough family stuff. On to:
Frankie and Johnnie's Pine Restaurant
AKA The Pine Tavern, this is quite possibly the greatest restaurant in the world. Get here early on the weekends or wait upwards of an hour, regardless of what they tell you at the door. If you like seafood, you cannot possibly go wrong here with the Mussels and then a Zuppa di Pesce. Just bring an extra person or two to help you with the portion sizes. I love this place.
Bring your appetites, and cash (no credit cards accepted...take that, MC, AMEX and Visa...)
1913 Bronxdale Ave., just north of Rhinelander (toward the subways--lotsa side streets for parking; no lot, park where you can). (718) 792-5956.
References: Ask almost any ballplayer. Sid Fernandez had his batchelor party here; various Mets are frequent patrons, and look for whoever's visiting the City. We've seen Tim Salmon, Chad Curtis, Mark Leiter, Tim Crabtree, Marty Janzen, Bobby Jones, Brett Butler... I love this place. And not just for the random ballplayer sightings.
OK, we're biased, but the greatest Boston Creme Pie in the world? Come here.
Enjoy the rest of the stuff in here, too. The smell is enough to get you crazy.
I think officially it's A. Conti and Son, 786 Morris Park Ave., between Holland and Wallace. (718) 829-8891.
The Five Corners of Van Nest
(Or St. Dominic Sq.)
So named because there are five corners here. OK, I'm sorry.
This is the place where Unionport Rd., White Plains Rd. and Van Nest Ave. come together. As far as I remember there's little of tremendous interest here. But right nearby are St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, a nice place to visit; also look for St. Dominic's Grammar School, whose illustrious class of 1960 included such luminaries as John Fornabaio, Francis Degano, and one Eugene Orza, now General Counsel of the MLB Players' Association.
Public Transportation access to my home neighborhood:
Subway : Take the 2 train to Bronx Park East. If you're on the East Side, take the 5 to 180th St. and transfer.
Buses: 22 runs along Fordham Rd. from the Grand Concourse (and the C and D trains), down Bronx Park East and White Plains Rd. into Parkchester and Castle Hill; 39 runs length of White Plains Rd. from Gun Hill Rd. to Sound View; 21 runs from deep in the South Bronx near 3rd Ave. Bridge, up Boston Rd. to West Farms, then along Morris Park Ave. to Eastchester and ultimately to Westchester Square (the Crossroads of the World! And also the 6 train, if you like that half of The Bronx better...)
Michael Fornabaiofirstname.lastname@example.org Click here leave Van Nest--Why?
And now, the big ol' disclaimer:
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