7 Blocks: Pelham Bay

June 14, 2011 1:59:01 PM PDT
There is the largest park in all of New York City, a movie landmark and restaurants with old-neighborhood charm.

It's all within walking distance of a subway stop in the Bronx.

Eyewitness News hopped on the 6-train and explored the seven blocks around the Pelham Bay Park station.

It is the northern terminal of the Pelham line located at the corner of Bruckner blvd and Westchester Ave.

The station opened in 1920 and although it is an elevated station, the line it serves was New York's first subway company. From a pop culture point of interest, the fictional train that gets hijacked in the novel and movies entitled The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 leaves the station at 1:23.

But it's not the fictional stories surrounding the station, but its usefulness that residents like most.

The crown jewel of Pelham Bay is Pelham Bay Park, located just about 3 blocks from the station is NYC's largest city park. By some estimates three times the size of Central Park, inside it includes Orchard Beach once referred to as the "Riviera" of NYC.

And close by is the historic Partow-Pell Mansion. The landmark and museum is on an estate that dates back to 1654. In 1936, Mayor La Guardia used the mansion as his summer home. Surrounded by acres of natural forest, the park is a point of pride with many who live in the neighborhood.

But if Pelham Bay Park is the jewel of the neighborhood, then some would argue that Sophie's is its heart. The old style diner is complete with a juke box and is located one block from the station and has been a staple in the community for 80 years.

Warm and friendly people, historic landmarks, and movie lore can all be found within 7 blocks of Pelham Bay.