North Side Natives
Posted on Friday, July 03 2015 02:44:00 AM in News by Michael Hamlett
The Bronx is the northern most borough in NYC. To quote a friend of mine "If you want to see the real New York, go to the Bronx. Manhattan is too overpriced and gentrified. Brooklyn is a mini Manhattan. Queens is becoming the new Brooklyn, and let's be honest - Staten Island doesn't count. In the Bronx, you'll find the largest concentration of Native New Yorkers." The Bronx isn't a place most U.S. transplants decide to settle on. Most people aren't interested in moving to the Bronx when they consider moving to NYC. The Bronx, however, is an immigrant community, filled with working class people that have revitalized the borough from within. My grandmother still lives in the same Mott Haven apartment she moved into in 1973 from Puerto Rico. The Bronx has always been home for my family, and if you're from the Bronx, I'm sure it's home for you as well. Generations of Bronx Natives live, stay and plant roots here. It's a place where you can know your neighbors, see the same stores year after year, and live in a diverse community.
The name "NorthSide Natives" is inspired by a couple of pieces of The Bronx's history. First, the first people to inhabit the Bronx were Algonquin Native Americans. Their the true natives of this beautiful borough, and we want to pay homage to them first. The next piece of history that inspires the "NorthSide Natives" name is the gang culture of NYC. NYC, and the Bronx especially, has always been a city filled with gangs. As immigrants came looking for a better life, they usually moved into areas where others with similar ethnic backgrounds moved. This was a way to protect themselves but also a way to navigate the grittiness of their new home.
Some formed gangs as social clubs, and others did for more illegal activities. Nevertheless, gangs have been a part of NYC life for a long time. While most gangs point out the differences between them, we're not afraid to see the unity in diversity. What makes you different makes you unique, and that means you have something to bring to the table. NorthSide Natives shows that the Bronx is one gang of people linked together by their love for this borough. NYC is a tough place to grow up in. It's even tougher if your from the Bronx, a borough that is constantly being overlooked and underfunded. But that's never stopped us. We're one tribe surviving in the toughest city in the world.
The Bronx rose from the ashes of the 70's like a Phoenix, on the backs of its NorthSide Natives. We're the NorthSide Natives. We're from the Bronx.