Riverdale covers about three square miles in area. Riverdale has one of the highest elevations in New York City, affording it spectacular views of the Empire State Building, George Washington Bridge, Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades. It is also remarkable for the numerous parks and expanses of lush greenery and original forest that overwhelm its hilly, serene landscape. It is bordered on the north by the city of Yonkers; to the east by Van Cortlandt Park, the Kingsbridge section east of Broadway, and the Marble Hill section of Manhattan; to the west by the Hudson River; and to the south by the Harlem River, which creates a small geographic barrier between Riverdale and upper Manhattan.
The subsections of Riverdale are:
- Spuyten Duyvil / South Riverdale (The southernmost section of Riverdale, below West 232nd Street or West 239th Street by some definitions)
- Central Riverdale (The "downtown" of Riverdale – from Manhattan College Parkway to West 232nd Street and from the Henry Hudson Parkway to Riverdale Avenue and Waldo Avenue)
- Fieldston (Riverdale south and east of the Henry Hudson Parkway, north of Manhattan College Parkway and west of Tibbett Avenue)
- North Riverdale (Riverdale above West 254th Street)
(The precise boundaries of Riverdale subsections have been the subject of much debate.)
Riverdale is on the waterfront, just south of Yonkers; it constitutes just about everything west of Van Cortlandt Park and north of the Harlem River. The No. 1 train is the only subway that goes there (actually, it ends there, at Van Cortlandt Park). But you can get to Grand Central in 25 minutes by catching a train at the nearby Metro-North station — even if its savings in time is demanded in extra fare. The bike path over the Henry Hudson Bridge is closed until 2010. There’s also a path over the Broadway Bridge.
As of August 2009, ferry service to Riverdale and elsewhere in the Bronx was under consideration. The Henry Hudson Parkway runs right through the middle of the neighborhood, over the Harlem River, and down the west side of Manhattan. There are a few Manhattan-bound bus routes in Riverdale, too.