As we gear up to celebrate Bronx Week, some are doing their best to distance us from the mainland.
Sotheby’s, located on — wait for it — Riverdale Avenue, has started a campaign to rename Riverdale NoMa.
The idea is that by associating Riverdale with Manhattan, brokers will be able to sell more properties. But how about showing a little pride in where we actually stand? In the Northwest corner of the beautiful Bronx.
The Press’ coverage area is a web of distinct communities, the lines of which have been the subject of fierce debate over many years.
The earliest settlers in Riverdale — part of Westchester until the west Bronx was annexed to the city in 1874 — created a Romantic-era suburban enclave they fought hard to maintain.
Among the founding families were the Delafields, who avoided having the city grid imposed on the area’s rocky hillsides by developing the land themselves, creating Fieldston’s winding street pattern to maintain the neighborhood’s distinct natural characteristics.
Some Riverdalians still engage in a quiet protest by penning their addresses as Riverdale, N.Y. on letters, a practice that began in the 1960s when the Post Office decided only the 10471 zip code could be considered Riverdale.
Just a few weeks ago, we received a letter from somebody who wanted to clarify the difference between Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil — an area that has also been a focal point of neighborhood pride.
So excuse us if we take umbrage with the idea of being lumped together only to be defined by our Southern neighbors in what many people here call “The City.”
While Riverdale would not be the first neighborhood renamed with an annoying acronym in the hopes of raising its profile; it would be the first to be defined by proximity to another borough, with a different slate of elected officials, school districts, police precincts, landmarks and collective memory.