HIDDEN GEM. BRONX EDITION
City island is an island located right of the coast of the Bronx. It was first owned by the Siwanoy Indians. The Indians were forced out of the island when the European settlers claimed the island for the Dutch around 1916. Thomas Pell purchased the island along with land that is now Pelham Bay Park in 1654. At this time the island was only farm land. It was known as Minefer/Mulford island and then purchased by Benjamin Palmer in 1761.His plans for the island was to convert it into a port.
In this quest, he changed the islands name to New City island to appeal more to ships. Benjamin Palmer received patents from the British crown, that covered ownership of the whole island. It was known as the Palmer Grant. Palmer vision never came true as the American Revolution had just started.
The island switched hands a few times. After 60 years, the island finally started to developed when fishermen, ship builders and Oyster men arrived in the island. In the early 1800s, most of the island belonged to Nicholas Haight but sold 42 acres to George Horton in 1819. The Horton house still exist today as the lobster box restaurants.
In the 1900s, the island began small business in the Oyster industry and then turned into boat building. During the two world wars, city island actually manufactured tug boats, minesweeper and landing craft for the government. In recent years, City Island is the maker world winning yachts. There is only one bridge that gets you into city island which was built in 1873. The bridge in recent years have been changed a few times. Now there is a temporary bridge going into the island until the original gets fixed.
Due to limited access, City Island keeps it nautical feel. There are sailing schools, yacht clubs, marina, fishing and lobster boats, marine supplies and repairs on the island. Columbia University as well as Fordham University use the island for their sailing teams. It has retained it’s small town feel and is quite charming. There is a variation of birds on the island as well. Best place in the Bronx for bird watching.
Today City Island is also known for its seafood restaurants! Main Street is literally lined with them. Seafood restaurants in City Island that have been acclaimed to be better than the seafood of Maine. No summer is complete without a trip to City Island. This seaside island will gives you views of the Long Island sound and Throgs Neck Bridge. The best part? You don’t have to leave the city to get quality seafood. We recommend for everyone, especially seafood lovers. Enjoy all the originals such as Johnny’s Reef, Sammy’s, Crab Shanty, Tony’s Pier, and City Island Lobster House. However, be aware of the ridiculous long lines into the island. The City Island Nautical Museum is also worth a visit and see a classroom that served as a set for Boardwalk Empire.It has been featured in many famous movies and series such as A Bronx tale, Law and order, the Groomsmen, city island and much more.
If you wanna take a boat out, Go fishing, get on a jet ski, learn to sail, go antique hunting, get some delicious seafood or feel the small nautical town charm then head over to City Island! You can also hike Pelham Bay Park, visit Orchard Beach, ride a horse, play golf or enjoy a historical visit to the Bartow-Pell house on Shore Rd.
Go forth, explore and discover!