Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bulgarians in New York City

New York has been home to a Bulgarian community since at least 1900, according to the Encyclopedia of New York City. The original immigrants settled in today's Alphabet City, around Avenues B and C at 3rd and 4th Streets.

The city was also home to the first Bulgarian association in the country, the Bulgarian American Mutual Aid Society, founded in 1906. Several other organizations aimed at the newly-arrived immigrants followed. Political emigration after World War Two saw the creation of a number of political groups in the city, such as the Bulgarian National Committee (1946-) and the Bulgarian National Front (1947-1968).


As the early immigrants moved up in society, they, like other immigrant groups, moved out of the Lower East Side. Many Bulgarians ended up the Tremont Avenue and Fordham Road sections of the Bronx, as well as in other parts of Manhattan and in the suburbs.

By the end of the 20th century, there were between 1500 and 2000 Bulgarians in New York, according to the Encyclopedia. Religious centers include Ss. Kirill and Methody Cathedral (552 West 50th Street) and St. Andrew in the Bronx. The Bulgarian community is connected through the weekly newspaper Nedelnik, and many congregate at the city's Bulgarian restaurants, such as Bulgara in Astoria, Tricolorii in Sunnyside and Mehanata in Manhattan.

In large part building on the popularity of Mehanata, the Bulgarian community has stumbled into the cultural spotight in recent years, helping to launch a local Balkan music scene, and a Gypsy music festival.

4 comments:

Nick said...

It's great being a bulgarian. I can tell you that the parties we are having in the Bulgara Restaurant are amazing. We have undertaken the initiative to unify the bulgarians in New York, so we are inviting you all to register at www.sladurana.com. Create your circle of friends and keep them posted via Bulletin Boards of any upcoming events you know of. Come join us wherever you are...

Anonymous said...

Check out this new community website for bulgarians abroad:

http://bgabroad.ning.com/

Tenants said...

Hey -- great blog. I give tours of Alphabet City and appreciate what you're doing. One note: you say about the Paderewski Tree, "The tree was dedicated on the 60th anniversary of Paderewski's death by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia." The 60th anniversary of his death would have been 2001, and Bloomberg the mayor. Could it have been the 80th anniversary of his birth? I'll go check the plaque on the tree to see if the occasion is mentioned.

Anonymous said...

You could find more about Bulgarian-American community here http://dirbg.us