Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

2020/04/21 - Parkchester, The Bronx

[EPISODE] Parkchester, The Bronx

Join me this week as we visit Parkchester, in the Bronx. My guests will be historian Jeffrey Gurock, Professor of American Jewish History at Yeshiva University, and John Bonizio, Chief Operating Officer of Metro Optics Eyewear.

Segment 1

Jeff introduces the first guest of the show, Jeffrey Gurock who outlines his journey moving throughout New York City. He talks about the importance of the neighborhood to him and reflects on a view of memories growing up, giving his motivations for writing his book. Jeffrey goes back to the early history of the area back when it was owned by the Catholic Church, leading us through the story into the twentieth century and how it was constructed into what it was today.

Segment 2

Jeffrey continues the conversation, talking about the housing opportunities setup and the ethinic history of the area in the postwar era. Jeffrey also goes over a history of racism in the neighborhood in the fifties and sixties on a real estate front and the influx of African-Americans residents that came flooding into the area after the segregation in the late sixties.

Segment 3

Jeff introduces the second guest of the show, John Bonizio, who talks about growing up in the Bronx and how that’s shaped his life. John talks about the transition out of segregation in the neighborhood and shines some light on a notable resident, Claudette Colvin. He thinks back to a few memories of modern Parkchester. 

Segment 4

John talks how he got into his current line of work and his journey to where he is today and how it ties in to the history of hip-hop through innovating the style of hip-hop musicians. He then finishes the conversation by talking about Parkchester today and what he loves about the community, as well as changes he’s observed in the area over the years.