Parkchester is a lovely planned community located in the southeast Bronx. The neighborhood is privately owned and has similar origins to the Riverton Houses in Manhattan and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. The name Parkchester applies now, not only to the apartment complex but the entire expanse of the neighborhood. The name comes from the two neighborhoods in the housing development: Westchester Heights and Park Versailles. The neighborhood was built as a home for WWII veterans and their families.
Part of this neighborhood consists of the planned community housing project area and part of it is composed of single-family homes and duplexes. There are a variety of businesses for your dog in to visit as well. Maria’s Pet Shop and Grooming have supplies as well as the ability to get your dog looking good. NYC’s Top Dog Inc. can teach your unruly hound some manners. Either way, you'll be able to keep your pup entertained.
Walking through this neighborhood is highly variable, depending on the part of the neighborhood that you are in. The planned part of the community has buildings that tend to be set back from the road so that you can enjoy walking your dog on a loose leash among the grassy areas on well-maintained paths. Lots of tall tree cover is comfortable on hot New York days.
As you leave this part of the neighborhood, you will find several businesses before moving into the part of the neighborhood that is primarily filled with duplexes. These homes have stoops or tiny gated yard areas. There is no divider between the sidewalk and road, so you will find yourself walking your dog on a very tight leash in this part of the neighborhood. Fortunately, you don’t have far to go for some diversity from neighborhood walking since the New York Botanical Garden is not far.
The beautiful New York Botanical Garden is an amazing place to explore with your dog. While your dog can’t go into the zoo, walking near the perimeter will allow your pooch to smell and hear the exotic wildlife within. The garden has a lovely planted area as well as more wild forest area around the Bronx River, so you can have highly varied exploration. Views along the river are lovely and it is a good idea to expose your dog to potentially scary things like moving water early.
You can follow the river parkway to the huge Van Cortlandt Park which has many acres of forested as well as grassy areas for you and your dog to enjoy. There is even a little pond in this park which is a lovely change from the forest.
For more water exploration, you can go to the Wave Hill Public Gardens and wander along the forested paths along the Hudson River.