My latest jaunt included both a historic destination and a tasty treat! As a history buff, and a lover of the borough of the Bronx, I decided to visit Fort Schuyler in the Bronx. I cannot tell you how many times throughout my life, I have gone over the Throgs Neck Bridge, and yet, I had yet to visit this 19th century fortification and Maritime Industry Museum housed within.
The area is designated an Historic District, with The Fort having been a New York City Landmark since 1966 and subsequently added to the National Register of Historic Places, ten years later.
The weather was absolutely glorious during my visit, perfect for enjoying the scenic views of the Long Island Sound and Throgs Neck Bridge. Engulfed in my surroundings of the natural waterway and the imposing man-made steel structure of the bridge, captivated by the sea air smell and delicate breeze, I snapped away, oblivious to the nearly 100-year old ominous stone structure that comprised the former military fort on the grounds.
* The location of the Fort Schuyler was strategically selected and positioned to protect New York City from naval attack through Long Island Sound.
* The purpose of the fort was to guard the eastern entrance to New York Harbor.
* Situated on Throgs Neck, it lies on the southeastern tip of the Bronx, where the East River meets Long Island Sound.
* In combination with Fort Totten, which faces it on the opposite side of the river, their interlocking batteries created a bottle-neck of defenses against ships attempting to approach New York City.
The Maritime Industry Museum is within what is called St. Mary's Pentagon, and was established in 1986 and is filled with a plethora of unique artifacts ranging from the Clipper Ship era to the present. The exhibitions are well-designed with a historical layout chock full of details and facts about the maritime industry, displayed chronologically, filled with paintings, early sailing vessels, turn of the 19th and 20th Century vessels up to present day.
I found myself staring and studying every detail of the impeccably crafted ship model reproductions meticulously scattered throughout the display halls. So much care and attention to detail! Most intriguingly to me was the circular staircase leading to the "lighthouse". I attempted to climb to the very top (alone, as my daughter opted to stay below), but alas, I was disappointed (but not surprised) that the door was locked. The walk up and down the spiral steps was, in any case, worth it!
Boasting one of the largest collections of maritime industry materials in the nation, the Museum's website states, "Today, the Maritime Industry Museum has over 2,000 items on display, and thousands of other items in its archives, which will be preserved for future generations."
Of course, no day outing would be complete without a foodie pitstop and some yummy goodness! So, after stimulating our intellectual curiosities, we headed north to Little Italy in the Belmont section of the Bronx (about a 10 minute ride), where we tantalized our tastebuds with a visit to DeLillo's Pastry Shop on 187th Street.
Seated in the cozy interior, we enjoyed a delightful cappuccino each, sharing a chocolate cannoli and tiramisu. Perfect for a weekend morning trip, leaving us with plenty of time for an afternoon adventure!
SUNY Maritime College
6 Pennyfield Ave, Bronx, NY
Phone: (718) 409-7200
DeLillo Pastry Shop
610 E 187th St, Bronx, NY
Phone: (718) 367-8198