Sunday, July 23, 2006

7/15

The Bronx's Belmont area was my destination this afternoon. It's only about 25 blocks NW of where I live, so it's not that far at all. I just hopped on the BX #6 city bus, from where I transferred to the #15 and after about 30 minute ride in total, there I was. I went there this morning for a culinary tour of Belmont's famous main street - Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue is the heart of the well-known Italian community that lives there. In Belmont, one can find some wonderful Italian restaurants and cafes as well as stores that specialize in Mediterranean cuisine and imported products and produce. My family and I have been shopping there ever since I returned from my Watson year during which time I became familiar with some Sicilian dishes and ingredients. But of course, I only knew a few places. We had explored just a few of the places on Arthur Avenue alone. A culinary tour promised to reveal more of this neighborhood, which is according to the tour guide, the only Italian neighborhood in NYC that offers such a rich variety of stores selling Italian and Mediterranean produce and goods within such a small area. There are indeed other Italian communities through the city, but you'll need to travel to different areas for the same products that you can find all within the 5 or so block radius that makes up the Bronx's Little Italy. We visited a bakery, a fish market, the main fresh product market, various shops that specialize in sausages, meats, pasta, pasteries, mozarella, and finally, we concluded it with a meal.

Off The Broiler is a blog that has some great pictures of the Arthur Avenue food markets.

I had a fine time. Below are a few of my own pictures from the tour of Arthur Avenue and the Belmont neighborhood:




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