Woodlawn is a neighborhood at the very north of the Bronx. It is one of the few “sections” of New York City to have well-defined borders. When you step off that uptown 4 train, you know you have found somewhere special. This area is steeped in history. Particularly noteworthy is its high percentage of inhabitants from Italian and Irish lineages. It might be a bit of a trip, but the taste of old school New York immigrant heritage is worth it.
Start by walking down Katonah Avenue, which stretches through the neighborhood, north to south. You will find a legion of pubs (such as Beehan’s or Mary’s Celtic Kitchen) and little specialty shops. From Irish butcher shops to Italian bakeries, Woodlawn in the 21st century still offers a great taste of the Old World.
If you want to pair your pint with some more Irish history, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center is also located along this strip. Visitors can also stop by the Woodlawn Heights Library Branch and explore their renowned collection of Irish books.
As a truly historical neighborhood, nods to the past abound. Off of Oneida Avenue is the Rita Ley Triangle, a 13-foot tall stone monument honoring the residents who served in WWI.
Just south is the Woodlawn Cemetery, a National Landmark, filled with ornate mausoleums among a beautiful landscape. The 300 acre burial ground is one of the largest in New York City and serves as the final resting place of many illustrious New Yorkers. Among the headstones you will find the likes of Irving Berlin, Herman Melville, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington.