Arthur Avenue is a street in the Belmont section of the Bronx, New York City's northernmost borough. It was once the heart of the Bronx's "Little Italy". "Little Italy" generally refers to Arthur Avenue and East 187th Street. Although the historical and commercial center of Little Italy is Arthur Avenue itself, the area stretches across East 187th Street from Arthur Avenue to Prospect Avenue, and is similarly lined with delis, bakeries, cafes and various Italian merchants. Unlike the Little Italy neighborhood in Manhattan, which has become commercialized as a major tourist destination, the Bronx's Little Italy is considered The real Little Italy due to its Italian immigrant heritage which dates back to the 1950s. Arthur Avenue and Morris Park are viewed as the Bronx's primary Italian American communities. Other Italian American communities in the Bronx are the middle and upper class neighborhoods of Schuylerville and Country Club. The avenue itself is named for former U.S. president Chester A. Arthur.
In popular culture
Robert De Niro's directing debut A Bronx Tale takes place in the vicinity of Belmont. However, it was largely filmed in Astoria, Queens. The series Third Watch was based on Arthur Avenue initially, with the first episode referring to the firehouse as "Camelot," based on its location at the intersection of King Street and Arthur Avenue. The 1973 film "The Seven-Ups" starring Roy Scheider was filmed on Arthur Avenue and Hoffman Street. In 2003, a scene from the HBO hit series The Sopranos was shot in Mario's Restaurant.
The opening scene of the 1955 film, Marty shows Arthur Avenue. The film's main character, Marty Piletti, works at a meat market on Arthur Avenue, and in the movie he considers buying it from its owner.
Early scenes in the mid-1960s film, The Incident take place on 183rd Street and Third Avenue and in the Third Avenue El station (once the primary El station for Arthur Avenue). The scenes, featuring Martin Sheen and Tony Musante, involve the mugging of a pedestrian. The Belmont station filled in for one on the Jerome Avenue El line, which is the line that forms the film's narrative.
The 1950s doo-wop music group called Dion and the Belmonts originated in this area, named after Belmont Avenue. Italian rock band Elio e le Storie Tese at the end of their song "Gargaroz" in studio album "Studentessi" featured a mock advertising of a food shop in Arthur Avenue, in Italian language with some strange Americanisms.
A reality TV show called Mama's Boys of the Bronx was about grown men living on and around Arthur Avenue in the Bronx with their mothers.
In 2016, Arthur Avenue was named one of "America's Greatest Streets" by the American Planning Association.
- East 187 St and Arthur Ave on Google Maps
- Donovan, Aaron. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Belmont; Close-Knit Bronx Area With Italian Aura", The New York Times, July 29, 2001. Accessed October 11, 2007. "When the city began to build streets in the area in the late 19th century, Catherine Lorillard, an admirer of the 21st president, Chester A. Arthur, asked that the main street in the area be named after him, Mr. Ultan said."
- On page 234 of the novel, an old, infirm character easily walks from the main character's old house to Arthur Avenue.
- Passaro, Vince (May 19, 1991). "Dangerous Don DeLillo". The New York Times. New York: NYTC. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
- Chronopoulos, Themis. ""Paddy Chayefsky's 'Marty' and Its Significance to the Social History of Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, in the 1950s." The Bronx County Historical Society Journal XLIV (Spring/Fall 2007): 50-59.". Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- Mama's Boys of the Bronx at the Internet Movie Database
- "Arthur Avenue selected as one of 'America's Greatest Streets'". The Bronx Times. October 8, 2016.
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