Las “Machinas” aka The Carnival: Memories From The Bronx


As I was walking home from the Gateway Center Mall at the Bronx Terminal Market I noticed that the carnival had gone up.

Taking up one of the Yankee Stadium parking lots along the Harlem River it is hidden from view when 30 years ago they would be prominently on display at one of the countless rubble, strewn lots in the Old South Bronx like 3rd Avenue and 149th Street where Forman Mills, Rite Aid and the soon to arrive Aldi grocery store.

As children, the arrival of Las Machinas  was one of the biggest highlights of our year or at the very least – the social season.

Overnight, a lot that was just filled with bricks, broken glass (along with broken dreams) would awaken covered in trucks bearing all the rides and concession stands.

As a child, I saw nothing but the fun a carnival would bring, the number of times I’d get on my favorite rides, the cotton candy, the hot dogs, stuffed animals as prizes for the many games.

Looking back only reminds me of the innocence we had as children during those times, oblivious to the realities of where we lived.

I still remember being hoisted all the way to the apex of the ferris wheel over and over again looking across the Bronx and seeing nothing wrong with what was.

We’d love to hear from you about your memories of Las Machinas and if you have any photos you’d like to share from those days at the carnival, let us know in the comments section below or at Welcome2TheBronx [at] and we’ll share them!

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.