New York City’s Arthur Market In The Bronx For The Best in Cigars

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Enter New York City’s Arthur Avenue Market in The Bronx, a place I ended up by accident after a recent visit to upstate New York to hang out with old friends.  In many ways, it is like many urban markets, complete with your pick of olives, cold cuts, meats, ice cream and other delicacies. It’s no surprise that Italian and Hispanic specialties filled up the market given the location but what I didn’t expect to see was a cigar bar, one where they’re rolling them up on-site.

All cigars are Cuban seeds from the Dominican Republic and that’s where the three cigar wrappers hailed from. They sit there all day every day preparing the best cigars with high quality wrappers, the strong ones coming from Nicaragua and apparently the milder ones are actually local, from Connecticut.  The double dark ones which are apparently the strongest of the lot, come from Brazil. Here, they also dry the cigars on a rack.

Ask any New Yorker about Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and you get either puzzlement or a flood of loving sentiment about the real Little Italy of New York, the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries,espresso machines, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The paradox is real: Many New Yorkers never heard of the place, while for others it’s home away from home … although it is often a well-kept secret.

This is the Belmont section of the Bronx. Whether you call it Belmont, Little Italy of the Bronx or Arthur Avenue, the neighborhood beats its other rivals in the sheer number of establishments offering fine Italian-American foods, dining, house wares and other goods. The quality and values are tops – a recent ranking confirmed once again by critics like the Zagat Survey whose readers repeatedly give “Best Buy” status to more Arthur Avenue shops than any other neighborhood in New York City.

Generations of Italian families have given the area a special small-town character unique for an urban setting, at the same time establishing traditions that permeate the neighborhood like the sweet smell of sausage and peppers. Among the notables born and raised here are actor Chazz Palminteri, author Don DiLillo and rock star Dion DiMucci, whose group, Dion and the Belmonts, is named after a local street (Belmont Avenue). Joe Pesci began his acting career after being discovered by Robert DeNiro at a local neighborhood restaurant, where Pesci worked as the maitre’d.

In addition to cigars, you’ll find sausage makers, bread bakers, cafe’s and florists. The variety is truly staggering – all told some nine restaurants, five pastry shops, four butchers, two pasta-makers, six bread stores, three pork stores, five gourmet delicatessens, two fish markets, three gourmet coffee shops and one gourmet Italian wind shop – to list only the food category.

A l’il video:

Top photo credit: NYCEDC

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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One Response to New York City’s Arthur Market In The Bronx For The Best in Cigars

  1. Alexandra Maruri February 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Good observation – On the bright side this is a major improvement to the previous Bronx article…

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