The Greening of Inwood: The Children’s Garden of P.S. 52

Inwood farming

Inwood boomed with the thump of heavy equipment at the dawn of 1905.  The newly arrived elevated subway had ushered in unprecedented development. Apartment houses were erected at a dizzying pace. The chaotic environment grated one’s nerves. Early residents, lured  uptown with hollow promises of “Country Quiet and Pure Air,” found themselves living amid a […]

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Seal on the Spuyten Duyvil

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In the Spring of 2015 a lone seal frolicked in the waters of the Spuyten Duyvil. While the Inwood sighting was rare, seals have appeared in northern Manhattan before. In 2009 a harbor seal spent several weeks on the very same Columbia University dock before moving on. Privately, I’ve nicknamed this little critter “Pop” in […]

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57 Park Terrace West: The Houdini Connection

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On the evening of October 6, 1962, Dr. Leopold Weiss, the estranged brother of Harry Houdini, stood on the parapet of his northern Manhattan apartment building. He inhaled one last breath of cool autumn air then plunged to his death. 57 Park Terrace West sits on a tree-lined street one half block north of Isham Park […]

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Vikings in Our Midst: The Legend of the “Inwood Stone”

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“Two heads cut off and thrown high into the tree have only the winds with which to scheme.” –Old Norse Proverb In the early-1890’s Alexander Crawford Chenoweth uncovered a curious stone while excavating a high knoll near his Inwood home. Chenoweth was a respected engineer who designed the Croton Aqueduct and the base for the […]

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Inwood Snow Day 2015

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Park Terrace Gardens porter James Rigual is one of the most positive people I know. Known for whistling while he works, he often breaks into song while busily shoveling snow. Thanks Jimmy for this latest compilation of Inwood snow days. I’m sure he’s as ready for spring as the rest of us. Can’t get enough […]

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The Sea Captain of Dyckman Street: William Ladd Flitner

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There was a time when everyone in northern Manhattan was familiar with the name William Ladd Flitner.  He was after all a bona-fide sea captain who lived on Dyckman Street several blocks east of the Hudson River. Early in his career Flitner captained the slave ship Choktaw on transatlantic voyages between Gambia and slave markets […]

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Inwood Hill Park: Historical Timeline

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Inwood Hill is a 196-acre park located on the northern tip of Manhattan.  The words “wild” and “untamed” are often used to describe the meandering trails, caves, cliffs and otherworldly geological formations that together make Inwood Hill so unique. The history of Inwood Hill, like that of the surrounding city, is fascinating and can be […]

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1935 Police Beat: Babe Ruth Hits Pedestrian on Seaman Avenue

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On a summer evening in 1935 Julia Straus, a fifty-eight year old resident of 72 Seaman Avenue had a run in with the most famous athlete in baseball—Babe Ruth. As it happened Ruth was driving southbound on Seaman Avenue when Straus walked into the path of his car near the intersection of Seaman Avenue and […]

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