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Woodlawn (population 7,741) is an Irish American middle class neighborhood at the very north end of the borough of the Bronx in New York City. Unlike some neighborhoods in New York, its boundaries are well-defined, as it is bounded by McLean Avenue to the north, which is approximately the New York City / Westchester County line, the Bronx River to the east, Woodlawn Cemetery to the south and Van Cortlandt Park to the west. Woodlawn is home to a large Irish American community, and is also the site of the famous Woodlawn Cemetery. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 12.
Katonah Avenue, which runs north-south through the heart of Woodlawn, is a popular destination for its many Irish pubs and restaurants, such as Eileen’s Country Kitchen, Rambling House and Mary’s Celtic Kitchen. All offer traditional Irish breakfast or brunch at reasonable prices. In addition there is The Emerald Isle Immigration Center, an Italian bakery, an Irish Butcher Shop, an Irish Barber Shop, and many other types of specialty shops. McLean Avenue, which runs east-west, is the main shopping strip for the neighborhood. Its pubs and shops are considered to be some of the neighborhood's most notable fixtures, although technically it is not part of Woodlawn at all but within the City of Yonkers, New York. McLean Ave. has many Irish pubs, a large variety of Irish and non-Irish restaurants and diners, two Irish gift shops, The Aisling Irish Community Center, an Irish Butcher Shop, an Italian pastry shop, and much more. E. 233rd St. runs east-west on the southern border of the neighborhood. E. 233rd St. is a major thoroughfare and is largely known for its gas stations, Irish pubs as well as its bus stops and Metro North train station that service the Woodlawn community.
Notable features of the neighborhood include Oneida Triangle, a memorial to residents of Woodlawn who served in World War I, and Muskrat Cove, a paved path along the Bronx River. In 2004, the City of New York announced plans to construct a new pedestrian bridge connecting Muskrat Cove and Shoelace Park as part of the Bronx Greenway. Woodlawn's youth have been known for their rivalry with the nearby Riverdale section of the Bronx directly across from Van Cortlandt Park. Rivalries with Bainbridge (now known as Norwood) in the 1980s and Yonkers have existed as well. The neighborhood is served by Judith K. Weiss School P.S. 19. The Woodlawn Heights Library Branch has an extensive collection of Irish books.
Woodlawn has a population of less than 8,000 people and is approximately 85% White, according to the 2010 Census . This formerly German neighborhood is now a mostly Irish American neighborhood, which also has a small but recognizable Italian-American community. This neighborhood remains one of the few communities to which young and newly arrived Irish immigrants regularly arrive en masse . The Emerald Isle Immigration Center on Katonah Ave. and the Aisling Irish Community Center on McLean Ave. are two sources for the newly arrived as well as established Irish immigrants to Woodlawn and the United States . The neighborhood is sometimes informally referred to as "Little Ireland"
Places of worship
The neighborhood has four old and picturesque churches. The Roman Catholic church of St. Barnabas, is the largest and it is richly decorated and painted in its interior. St. Barnabas Parish was founded in 1910 and serves as a major community center for the neighborhood, which is nearly entirely Catholic. St. Barnabas parish has a church, chapel, high school, elementary school, adjoining convent (currently occupied by the large and growing community of the Sisters of Life). The parish has weekly masses in English and Italian.
It is run by Pastor Msgr. Edward M. Barry and Parish Facility Managers Jonathan Buhs, and Kenny Cox. The principal of the high school is currently Sr. Joan Farone and the principle of the elementary school is currently Mr. Greg Viceroy. St.Barnabas serves as a center of Irish culture, offering Irish language classes and also having an Irish Outreach program to assist Irish immigrants in finding jobs and residence in the neighborhood. Aside from the church, St.Barnabas has an elementary school which opened in 1914 and an all girl High School which opened in 1928.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is on 238th Street. St Mark's Lutheran Church is on Saint Marks Place near the Van Cortlandt Park entrance. Trinity Community Full Gospel Church is on 241st Street. Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church is on Martha Ave.
- Village Voice article on Woodlawn by Rebecca Cooper
- St. Barnabas Catholic Church
- St. Barnabas Elementary School
- St. Barnabas High School
- Oneida Triangle
- Photographs of Woodlawn
- Photographs of Katonah Avenue
- Woodlawn Blog