The Lorelei Fountain

July 26, 2010

At the corner of Grand Concourse and 161st street, directly across from the Bronx County Courthouse, stands a seven-acre patch of green known as Joyce Kilmer Park. Originally called  Concourse Plaza, in 1926 the park was renamed for Alfred Joyce Kilmer, an American poet who lived in New York City and was killed in action in France during World War I.

The highest point in the park is the setting of the Lorelei Fountain, which is dedicated to the memory of German poet Heinrich Heine and one of his most famous works, Die Lorelei. The poem tells the story of the Lorelai, a legendary siren with a magical voice who lures sailors to their deaths on the Rhine. At the foot of the white marble fountain is a large plaque which says:

The Heinrich Heine Fountain (also called the Lorelei Fountain) honors the German poet and writer (1797-1856) whose poem “Die Lorelei” immortalized the siren of romantic legend. The marble sculptural group depicts Lorelei seated on a rock in the Rhine River among mermaids, dolphins and seashells. The bas relief around the pedestal include a profile  of Heine as a result of a campaign by many German writers and scholars.

The sculptor Ernst Herter (1846 – 1917) was commissioned with the financial assistance  of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, to design the fountain in 1888 for the writer’s home city of Düsseldorf, which declined the monument on aesthetic as well as political grounds. The fountain was purchased by a committee of German-Americans in 1893 and dedicated in what was then known as Grand Concourse Plaza on July 8, 1899. It was moved to the park’s north end in 1940. In 1999 this monument was restored, relocated to its original location and placed in a newly landscaped setting in Joyce Kilmer Park.

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The view from below

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Approaching from the left

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A closer look

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The poet’s face is below the Lorelei

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From the right

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Rear view

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A mermaid reaches for Heine’s laurels

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Birds enjoying the fountain

NYC Department of Parks & Recreation: Joyce Kilmer Park
Forgotten New York
Dialog International: Heinrich Heine Takes New York

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Welcome to Little Italy on Arthur Avenue

July 29, 2006

Most tourists think that New York’s Little Italy is a few blocks in lower Manhattan filled with overpriced red-sauce spaghetti joints, tacky and vulgar t-shirts and knock-offs of designer duds. But knowledgeable New Yorkers know that the real Little Italy is in the Belmont section of the Bronx.

Arthur Avenue is the main street of Little Italy, packed with family run food shops and restaurants. Most of the places here not only sell Italian-style foods, they create it, including homemade cheese, sausage, pasta, bread, wine and pastry. The fish shops are operating-room clean, the bakeries warm and fragrant and the delis and cheese shops are brimming with pre-cut samples of their wares.

If you visit Arthur Avenue, you’ll eat a little, drink a little, taste a little, walk a little. Have a cannoli, a handful of roasted ceci, a stuffed zucchini blossom, a briny clam on the half-shell, a slice of pepperoni, a chunk of olive bread. Benvenuto! Mangia, mangia!


Little Italy in the Bronx Posted by Picasa


Scungilli Posted by Picasa


Octopus Posted by Picasa


At sidewalk clam bar Posted by Picasa


Beef tripe Posted by Picasa


Inside pork store Posted by Picasa


Outside Teitel Brothers’ store Posted by Picasa


Sidewalk display outside Teitel Brothers’ store Posted by Picasa


Inside Arthur Avenue Retail Market: Thank you Mr. Capone Posted by Picasa


Rolling cigars at La Casa Grande Tobacco Company
Posted by Picasa


Lamb heads inside Arthur Avenue Retail Market Posted by Picasa


In Arthur Avenue Market: Closed for my granddaughter Posted by Picasa


Inside Calandra Cheese Posted by Picasa


Cannoli filled while you wait Posted by Picasa


Inside Madonia’s Bakery Posted by Picasa


Chocolate covered cannoli Posted by Picasa


Rum cakes Posted by Picasa


Cream puffs Posted by Picasa


Eclairs Posted by Picasa


Arthur Avenue & E. 187th St. Posted by Picasa

  • Arthur Avenue
  • Village Voice: Arthur Avenue
  • Saveur: Arthur Avenue Guide
  • eGullet: Arthur Avenue
  • Off the Broiler: Arthur Avenue
  • Gastropoda: Arthur Avenue
  • New York Magazine: Arthur Avenue
  • Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue

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