[EPISODE] Mott Haven & Port Morris
Join me this week as we journey to Mott Haven and Port Morris, in the South Bronx.
Lloyd Ultan, a native of the Bronx, begins with his education at Hunter College, starting with the passion he formed for history as a child. He discusses where he got his start in becoming an accredited Bronx historian, speaking to how the Bronx acts like a microcosm for American history as a whole. He goes into the process of how he came to gain the title of ‘Borough Historian’ and the law-mandated duties of someone in these positions. Ultan’s knowledge shines through, starting with how the borough got its name back as well as how the area came to become a part of New York City, delving into its colonial history and adding on contributions of Bronx natives in American history.
This segment opens with Ultan discussing his work as a guide in walking tours throughout the area. He speaks to the history of the Mott Haven neighborhood back in the 19th century, where it became known as an industrial hotspot, through its radical changes during WWII with a sudden shift in demographics, the area becoming an early example of racial tolerance in this country before the Civil Rights era. Ultans finishes the segment, going into how faulty real estate practices and a growing demand for affordable housing led to the downfall of the neighborhood in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Our second guest, Amaurys Grullon, discussing his start as an entrepreneur and his motivations for creating Bronx Native, seeking to erase negative stigmas about the borough through creating apparel inspired by Bronx culture, going into the organization’s start through the present-day services it provides for the community both artistically and educationally. He speaks to how the group found its home in Mott Haven and opening its second location in Hunts Point, the Bronx Natives Market, which serves a platform for Bronx artists and entrepreneurs.
The final segment opens with Grullon discussing upcoming events being hosted by Bronx Native and future projects currently in the works. He talks about his ties to Mott Haven and the vibrant culture that gravitated him to the neighborhood, as well as what he thinks makes the area unique. Grullon segways into Bronx Native’s reach from all over the borough into attracting international attention, gaining exposure through the coverage of a number of media outlets. The segment closes with his wishes for more successes out of the neighborhood and advice for other entrepreneurs hoping to get into setting up shop in the south Bronx.