Hunts Point is another poor ass neighborhood in South Bronx, this one notable for the fearful level of poverty, the lively commercial activity in the huge industrial park there and the massive, massive food markets there. I have been to other parts of New York that have maybe been as poor but the people are a jolly people, more like an ‘Oliver Twist- The Musical’ kind of poverty not the sullen, makeshift poverty of Hunts Point which manifests itself in a dearth of joy or activity- only orange food and the numbers.
I did find a Mister Softee ice cream truck distribution center and a dozen ice cream trucks waiting to be filled up with delicious goodness. It seems you can pick your own route and many of the guys do nothing more than circle the streets surrounding this Mister Softee ice cream truck distribution center plying their wares. Ha, that’s what I would do! There are so many of them, its almost a procession.
Further in, there is an old building called the Banknote Building, an old banknote building renovated for small businesses but as yet virtually empty. In spite of its emptiness, or maybe because of it, you can wander freely throughout the whole building. It’s a great place for a game of hide and seek and I got some beautiful shots of the Bruckner Expressway and beyond.
For the markets is the only reason anybody would need to go to Hunts Point, and that’s why I went there. "The World's Largest Food Distribution Center" according to the website and I tried and tried and tried to find someone with a map of the bugger. I walked and walked and talked to everybody and I came close once when a long series of ‘ask this fella’ culminated in the office of the manager of the mechanics and maintenance department, or such and the fella rifled through his filing cabinet for several minutes before admitting defeat. Damn. Thank Christ for the NYC Planning Office. If it weren’t for them boys my map of the Bronx would look like shite.
There is fantastic pizza at Fratelli’s, right there in Hunt’s Point and Joe, the owner said he would help me with a map but they never do, they never do.
Not everyone was as helpful as manager and Joe, the security guard to the fish market nearly had an aneurysm when I skirted around his checkpoint to take a picture of the prison barge near there and blew a gasket completely when I asked if he happened to have a map of the locality. He shielded his face from me and told me that he wouldn’t answer any questions at all. I must have looked a bit Talibanny that day.
I ended my tour with a visit to the new park which finally gives Southern Bronxiterish access to the water that surrounds them. Even in Autumn there was plenty going on with the fishing, taking pictures of a dancer, boozing and dog walking. When the swimming pool barge is in full swing, I bet the place is a blast. I enjoyed Hunts Point immensely and would totally gentrify the shit out that place.