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Discovering the Bronx's City Island

by Blake Christy, Jasmine Breeland
A A
pier on City Island in the Bronx

Doug Kerr, Flickr

Are you a mussel sucker or a clam digger?

When you think of the Bronx you may imagine a concrete jungle. But, residents of City Island view the Bronx differently.

Mike Piparo owns Consolidated Yacht of City Island.  He says he sometimes has a hard time explaining where he’s from.

“I live on an island in the middle of the Bronx, which people find that hard to believe.”  

You have to cross a 950 ft. bridge to get to City Island from the mainland.  The island itself is only a mile long, and about 4 to 5 blocks wide.  It’s main strip is dotted with antique shops and seafood restaurants.

Spiro Chagares owns Artie’s Seafood and Steak. He bought the eatery in 1996. Chagares lives in Westchester County, but spends most of his time on City Island, and has come to know the locals very well.

“There are a special type of people that really enjoy the location, the restaurants, the city, the water.  Just the beauty of the island.”  

If you were to frequent Artie’s, Chagares says you’ll find two types of people.

"There's a lot of generations that say on the island.  And of those of course are called clam diggers, people who are born on the island.  And you see a lot of yuppies coming out and different types of people now, and the locals regard them as mussel suckers."

Those thinking of becoming a muscle sucker should visit a few places, according to Chagares

“Take a nice walk on the boardwalk at Orchard Beach, maybe take a dip in the sound, maybe jump on a party boat or a fish boat, enjoy the antique shops, and of course end your day by dining at Artie’s Steak and Seafood.”


 

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