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NYC Bucket List: Pelham Bay

The academic year is coming to a close. Some of us are packing up boxes, trying desperately to find a pink wheeling bin that can lug all of our clothes and memories out of our respective residence halls, eating our last buffalo chicken wrap, and inevitably heading towards the overstuffed George Washington Bridge that will take us home.
However, there is a small group of people who will remain at Fordham for the summer. Fordham offers summer classes and various on-campus jobs where you can make bank while retaining your room and skipping the whole packing ordeal- and you get to eat Sodexho for three more months!!!!!!!!!!!!  
For this small group of people (or anyone looking for an adventure in the next three to four days), I want you to know that I’m reading your mind. I know that your main concern is not your poor nutrition habits in the summer, or homesickness, or loneliness, or your grade in your summer class. I know a far bigger concern that plagues you as you look at the summer that stretches out ahead of you:
Am I even going to get to go on vacation?
Sure, there’s Eddie’s… the recent weather has sparked an outbreak of bikini-clad girls who sit on the field and sun themselves. You could totally go to Eddie’s and live out your vacation fantasies, complete with renegade sprinklers and the occasional lawnmower. That is until the summer orientation groups kick you out. Then where will you go?
Well, fellow Bronx-inhabitants, I have the solution for you. Grab your Metrocard or that spare $2.25 in change that you have laying around and head out to Fordham Road. Hop on the Bx12 bus, ride it until the last stop, and you’ve reached Pelham Bay.
It’s pretty much a stone’s throw away from Fordham, but this was one of the most special experiences I’ve had at Fordham. The bay is gorgeous, and an endless source of entertainment. I had to keep reminding myself that I was still in the Bronx. I’ve heard tale of a public beach somewhere nearby, but I don’t think it’s open yet. If anyone knows how to get to that beach, tell me!

The bay is nestled behind the Pelham Bay Park, a public park. Even on the cloudy and chilly day when we visited, there were numerous birthday parties and cookouts happening, replete with ice cream trucks and pick-up soccer games. If you walk through the park, you reach the bay. My friends and I kept saying that we felt like we were in Ireland, or Puerto Rico, or Africa…certainly not the Bronx. The bay is an incredible exercise in adventurous exploration, and such a unique blend of quiet nature and urban influence. We found rusted engines, sea glass, seashells, graffiti, and car parts. We saw rowdy Bronx teenagers, an egret, low-flying planes…and a swan. Not even lying. A real swan.

I don’t think I’ve had such a unique experience since coming to Fordham. I felt like it was an island of vacation in a sea of exams. I envy the people who have access to it all summer, because I know where I’ll be headed each weekend when I return to school in August. 


Claire Cumberland is a sophomore at Fordham University in the Bronx. A communications major, she doesn’t have a singular idea about what she wants to do with her life, but hopes to dabble in many different things before stumbling upon her dream job. She enjoys reading, writing, walking her dog Scout, going to thrift stores, watching television, painting her nails, getting internships, online shopping, and color coding things. Claire has interned at Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity for childhood cancer established in her hometown of Philadelphia, PA. She also interned at Sesame Workshop as a production intern for The Electric Company, a popular show on PBS. Claire is currently involved in Global Outreach at Fordham University and is an anchor for Fordham Nightly News.
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