The Bronx Riviera: Authenticity

Summer in NYC inevitably means a beach escape – Hamptons and Montauk on one side of the scale, Jersey Shore perhaps stereotypically on the other. Then, there’s Orchard Beach, the “Bronx Riviera.”

Says Charles le Brigand:

Back in the late 1930’s, infamous urban planner Robert Moses created this mile long artificial beach, originally named the “Bronx Riviera.” Although widely known as the latter, locals call it “Horse Shit Beach” or the “Puerto Rican Riviera.” Latinos affectionately refer to it as “Playa Chocha”, while New-Yorkers simply know it as “Ghetto Beach.” Orchard Beach is like nothing I’ve experienced before. While the beach may certainly lack proper facilities and the glamour of a “traditional Riviera” (whatever that means), the atmosphere, energy and people clearly compensate… particularly on Sundays or during long holiday weekends.

His collection of photos from last year, linked above, speak to a grittiness, authenticity and lack of pretension.

Wayne Lawrence, a St. Kitts-based photog, posted another gallery from Orchard Beach this year. Not much has changed, which is, in many ways, refreshing.