City Living: Woodlawn
Wedged between 1,186-acre Van Cortlandt Park and Woodlawn Cemetery, this middle-class Bronx neighborhood seems to be lost in a time capsule.
Woodlawn, located in the north Bronx, is a village within the city; where generation after generation grow up in pastoral row houses, are members of a 103-year-old church, and start their days greeting neighbors by name.
Its a place where people live close enough to get to know each other, Community Board 12 chairman and 23-year Woodlawn resident Father Richard Gorman said. The neighborhood spirit is filled with a sense of community.
Its also easily accessible via the Metro-North, the Bronx River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Affordability, safety and a quiet environment make Woodlawn a desireable place to raise a family, residents stopped along the main commercial district on Katonah Avenue said.
In its early days, the Irish population in Woodlawn was so large that it was once nicknamed Irishtown, according to nycparks.org.
Many of the original Woodlawn residents worked as tunnel diggers and were known affectionately as sandhogs.
According to the site sandhogs147.org, they worked on the Catskill Water Tunnel System, helping to build the Croton Reservoir and Aqueducts, which opened in 1842.
They also worked on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
Nowadays, families stay in the area for three and four generations because property is cheaper here than in other parts of the city and neighboring Yonkers.
The average recent selling price of a one-family home in Woodlawn is $361,000, according to a local real estate office.
But there are also several low-rise rental buildings where studio apartments can rent for about $900 a month.