“The Acapulco Divers of the Spuyten Duyvil” : An Oral History with Former Inwood Resident Mike Boland

by Cole Thompson

Former Inwood resident Mike Boland recalls cliff diving into the Spuyten Duyvil:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

patricia kane farrell June 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

Great story Mike. We Inwood kids took real dangerous stunts. I used to swing from a rope under the 207th st. bridge out into the Harlem river. Even though we could have gone to the Miramar pool we walked past it to the river because it was daring. We would hang by our legs on the top of the monkey in Payson park. Today the kids wear helmets and there are rubber pads underneath so God forbid the little darlings don’t get hurt. Sleigh riding down dead man’s hill. Opening the fire hydrant until the cops came and chased us. The white rocks on 10th ave. was another challenge until I got stuck in a hole and the fireman had to get me out. We were out all day riding bikes, skating, jumping rope and doing crazy things. Do you see kids playing like that today? Those were the days in Inwood long ago.

Jane Guerra June 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thanks for a terrific video and better story, Mike. I remember you…I lived up on PTW. Janie Pollak was my name, then; I’m 57, so we were of the ‘same ilk’.’ ha. I’m gonna share this with my ‘brood’ of six cousins and their families down in Va. Beach. Their Dad, recently deceased at 94 years of age, and a Pearl Harbor survivor (my Uncle Gene) dove off the tippy-top of The Big “C” or The C Rock, once. I only wish they had You Tube and Cole’s website back in his day!

Patricia, you ain”t kidding! I remember walking the beams a little ways down from the ceiling down at the Bus Depot on Broadway, and a lot of boys used to climb the catwalk up on the Henry Hudson Bridge (to Mike’s right, off-camera, in the video, for the interest of a reader not from the area)….not to mention ‘jumping the trains’ near the trestle. Man, oh man….and then we’d go home and when Mom asked, “What did you do out today?” We’d reply, “Oh, just played.” Best place anywhere to grow up.

tom mcelligott May 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I’m 69 and grew up in marble hill. we called it the top of the cut not the C rock. it was a right of passage to go off the top. you started at 30 feet and gradually worked up to the top. the top was 102 feet. most jumped off not dove off.

claudette icart September 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

This is unreal, I finally found you Mike. Its amazing the things we did. I could jump rooftops but couldn’t jump off the cliff when the S line went by. Looking back we had the best, beatings and all. Egg Cream solved everything for a few minutes then onto the next adventure. We all were very cool. Great memories

Robert Burns January 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Am I the only one who remembers that, for good reason, it was called Geronimo?
Where and when did this C Rock stuff come from? The one thing you can not deny is that Inwood Hill Park was the greatest back yard in the entire world and more bones were broken doing what we did every day than you could shake a stick at. May West, Dead man’s Hill and cable swings that flew you out over the paths and had you a good thirty feet above the Spuyten Duyvil by the Henry Hudson Bridge. Then came the Bars.

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