A Bronx Neighborhood revisited

Bathgate/East Tremont

Our guide was our friend and neighbor Irving Fishman. Born July 1918, he died at age 95 in March 2014. Irv grew up in the Bronx. He lived from the early 1950s on the Lower East Side in high-rise coops that he moved to after his service in the Army in World War II. We explored his childhood streets in the Bronx on a beautiful September day in 2012. My husband Steve Giles accompanied us, and I took pictures.

Bordered by the Cross-Bronx Expressway and Tremont Avenue, between Park and Third Avenues, the immediate neighborhood is part of the Bathgate section of East Tremont. It is a different area ethnically than it was when Irv grew up there in the 1920s and '30s. Then it was Jewish/Italian/Irish. Now it's Hispanic and black. But in some ways, it's the same—striving immigrants and their children in a gritty industrial/residential area.

Irv Fishman visits his old block. On the corner is a jugo (juice) stand run by Manuel de la Cruz, who lives in the building there with his wife, who was at work. He’s been here from the Dominican Republic for nine years. He was a lawyer there. Photo by Pat Arnow

Manuel de la Cruz outside of the building where he lives around the corner from his "Tropicales Batidas" stand. Photo by Pat Arnow

People were friendly and engaging. Around the corner from Irv's old apartment building (now demolished), Manuel de la Cruz runs a "jugo" stand. He lives in the building next door (above) with his wife. He’s been here from the Dominican Republic for nine years. He was a lawyer there.

Irv points out a building that is like the one where he grew up. Photo by Pat ArnowOn Washington Ave., around the corner from Irv’s old address is a four-story tenement that Irv says is like the one he grew up in. He shows us this because his building was torn down.  Photo by Pat Arnow

On Washington Ave., around the corner from Irv’s old address is a four-story tenement that Irv said is like the one he grew up in. He showed us this because his building was torn down.

This is the spot that was once the tenement building where Irv grew up, 456 175th Street. The Cross-Bronx Expressway, visible above, was built starting in 1948, long after Irv left. Photo by Pat Arnow

This is the spot that where there was once the tenement building where Irv grew up, 456 175th Street. The Cross-Bronx Expressway, visible above, was built starting in 1948, long after Irv left.

A lot that used to have houses and now is surrounded by a metal fence on 175th St. Photo by Pat Arnow

This is nearly across the street from where Irv grew up at 175th St. and Washington Ave. There were houses then. “When these were demolished, they found human bones,” he says.

A map of Bathgate neighborhood of The Bronx. The boundaries come from a website, City-Data. The neighborhood is also known as East Tremont, according to the New York City Department of Planning.

 

 

 

Bathgate is one of the poorest neighborhood in the poorest county in the state. There's a good description of the demographics and housing in the neighborhood here.

For a map that marks where Irv lived and went to school in the 1920s, click here.

For more photos, a map, and the story of Bathgate and Irv, click here.

 

 

 

Page 2 about Irv and Bathgate, Bronx, click here.