Inwood, Manhattan

The newest 'up and coming' neighborhood in NYC, the Inwood area offers a unique setting, unlike other areas of Manhattan. Nestled at the top of the "island", where rivers meet, it's the beginning of residential areas, leaving tall skyscrapers and Midtown madness behind.  A pearl of a neighborhood, families populate the day; at night, restaurants and clubs rule. Hike the Hudson River trails or Ft. Tryon mountain, then watch the sunset at La Marina or dine in style along Dyckman...

 

A few facts about Inwood from Wikipedia:

 

Coordinates: 40.867444°N 73.921509°WCoordinates: 40.867444°N 73.921509°W

CountryUnited States

StateNew York

CountyNew York

CityNew York City

ZIP codes10034

Area code212

Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on Manhattan Island in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

 

 

Geography

Inwood is physically bounded by the Harlem River to the north and east, and theHudson River to the west. It extends southward to Fort Tryon Park and alternativelyDyckman Street or Fairview Avenue farther south, depending on the source.

 

Notably, while Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on the island of Manhattan, it is not the northernmost neighborhood of the entire borough of Manhattan. That distinction is held by Marble Hill, a Manhattan neighborhood situated just north of Inwood, on what is properly the North American mainland bordering the Bronx. Marble Hill was isolated from Inwood and the rest of Manhattan in 1895 when the route of the Harlem River was altered by the construction of the Harlem River Ship Canal.

 

Because of its water boundary on three sides, the hilly geography, and the limited local street connections (only Broadway and Fort George Hill connect to the rest of the Manhattan street grid), the neighborhood can feel somewhat physically detached from the rest of the borough. The W.P.A. Guide to New York City, published in the 1930s, described Inwood with "rivers and hills insulate a suburban community that is as separate an entity as any in Manhattan."

 

Inwood marble, a soft, white, metamorphic rock found in northern Manhattan, takes its name after the neighborhood. From the mid-17th to the late 18th century, commercial quarries dotted the area as the material was used for building construction. However, due to its susceptibility to erosion, builders eventually used alternate construction materials.[4]Inwood marble was quarried for government buildings in lower Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Small pieces of marble can still be seen in the stone retaining walls around Isham Park.

 

History

On May 24, 1626, according to legend,[5] Peter Minuit, the director general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, bought the island from the LenapeIndians for 60 Dutch guilders and, the story goes, some trinkets.[6] On the southern tip of the island Minuit founded New Amsterdam. A plaque (on a rock) marking what is believed to be the spot of the sale is in Inwood Hill Park, the only natural forest left in Manhattan.

 

During the British occupation of Manhattan in the American Revolutionary War, there was an encampment containing more than sixty huts occupied by Hessian troops between 201st and 204th streets along Payson Avenue. The camp was discovered in 1914 by local archeologist and historian Reginald Bolton after a series of digs around the neighborhood.[7]

Inwood was a very rural section of Manhattan well into the early 20th century. Once the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, the modern 1 train, reached Inwood in 1906, speculative developers constructed numerous apartment buildings on the east side of Broadway. Construction continued into the 1930s, when the IND Eighth Avenue Line, the modern A train, reached Dyckman and 207th Streets along Broadway and the large estates west of Broadway (Seaman, Dyckman, Isham, etc.) were sold off and developed. Many of Inwood's impressive Art Deco apartment buildings were constructed during this period. The area around Dyckman Street and 10th Avenue formerly contained a stadium called the Dyckman Oval, with a capacity of 4,500 spectators, which hosted football games, boxing matches, and Negro League baseball games until it was replaced by public housing in the 1950s.

 

Land use

Commercial retail uses are mainly located along Broadway, Dyckman Street and West 207th Street. In recent years Dyckman Street west of Broadway has become a popular entertainment district with many restaurants and lounges. Offices are typically located on second floors over retail, or in the neighborhood's sole office building (a converted telephone building) at Broadway and West 215th Street. Inwood also contains one of Manhattan's few remaining C-8 zoning districts, which concentrates automotive uses on the northern stretches of Broadway. The resulting lowrise collection of autobody shops and used-car lots constitutes an unexpected gateway to urban Manhattan Island for southbound traffic.

 

Industrial uses, including subway (207th Street Yard), bus (Kingsbridge Bus Depot), and sanitation (Manhattan North) depots, exist primarily along Sherman Creek, bordered by the Harlem River, Dyckman Street to the south, Tenth Avenue to the west, and 207th Street to the north. There has been an initiative among politicians over the last few years to re-zone this area for residential and commercial use, and to create public access to the waterfront.[8] Currently, Con Ed and the City of New York own some of the property in this area.

 

The major residential land use in Inwood is multifamily five- to eight-story prewar apartment buildings. New construction is rare. Interestingly, most of the remaining detached and semi-detached houses on Manhattan Island are located in Inwood, nestled between apartment buildings. Adjacent to Sherman Creek is Inwood's public housing development, known as the Dyckman Houses and constructed in 1951.

 

Parks include the very large and old-growth Inwood Hill Park, highly regarded Fort Tryon Park, and pastoral Isham Parkalong with numerous other green spaces.

 

Demographics

The residents of Inwood were substantially of Irish descent for much of the 20th century. The neighborhood exhibited a strong Irish identity with many Irish shops, pubs, and even a Gaelic football field in Inwood Hill Park. The second largest group during this time was the Jewish population (an extension of the large Jewish population of Washington Heights).However, in the 1960s-1980s, many Irish and Jewish residents moved out of Inwood to the other boroughs and the suburbs (Riverdale) in a pattern consistent with overall trends in the city at that time. During the same period that the Irish were leaving Inwood, there was a dramatic rise in the number of immigrants from the Dominican Republic to the area.

 

Today, Inwood has a predominantly Dominican population in the areas east of Broadway.  Irish remain in the blocks near the Church of the Good Shepherd at Isham Street.  The YMHA remains, but the former synagogues have now been converted to churches and other uses.

 

Institutions and landmarks

 

The Cuxa Cloister, at The Cloisters

Most visitors get their first glimpse of the neighborhood when visiting the area's best known cultural attraction, The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is devoted to Medieval art and culture, and is located in a medieval-style building, portions of which were purchased in Europe, brought to the United States, and reassembled. Whether the museum itself is actually located in Inwood depends on one's definition of the neighborhood boundaries but its tower dominates the skyline of the area and the museum can be easily accessed via steep pathways leading up from Dyckman Street.

 

From Inwood Hill Park, one can view a 100-foot (30 m)-tall Columbia "C" painted on the face of a rock outcropping across the Harlem River on theBronx shore. This collegiate logo has been in place for approximately a half-century, though it is not clear who exactly maintains the painted letter in the present day. Looking west from Inwood Hill Park across the Hudson River, one can view the New Jersey Palisades. Looking east from Inwood, the former NYU campus in University Heights, Bronx, now Bronx Community College, towers above the east end of the University Heights Bridge.

The local hospital in Inwood is the Allen Hospital, a satellite facility of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

 

The oldest building in Inwood is the Dyckman House, the oldest farmhouse in Manhattan, on Broadway at 204th Street.

A farmers' market takes place on Isham St on Saturdays, year-round.

 

Bridges spanning Spuyten Duyvil Creek include the Henry Hudson Bridge, the longest fixed arch bridge in the world when built in 1936, and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, a railroad swing bridge reconstructed numerous times since originally opening in 1849. Road bridges are the Broadway Bridge and the University Heights Bridge, both important local structures.

 

The Seaman-Drake Arch, located on Broadway near 216th Street, is one of only two free-standing arches in New York City. It was built in 1855 of local Inwood marble.

 

Parks

 

Inwood Hill Park 

Inwood Hill Park, on the Hudson River, is a largely wooded flagship city park. It is known for its caves that were used by the Lenape before Europeans arrived, and the last salt marsh in Manhattan. Birdwatchers come to the Park to see waterbirds, raptors, and a wide variety of migratory birds. The wooded section, consisting mostly of abandoned former summer estates, features the last natural forest standing on Manhattan Island. A busy ballfield complex, tennis courts, three playgrounds, a waterfront promenade and extensive hiking trails are also prominent components of the Park.

Columbia University's 23-acre (93,000 m2) athletic fields have been located in Inwood since the 1920s. They are known today as the Baker Athletics Complex, though locals still use the historical name of "Baker Field". The football stadium within the complex, officially Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, can accommodate 17,000 fans and was noted by Sports Illustrated as "one of the most beautiful places in the country to watch a football game" due to the scenic views of the Henry Hudson Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades from the home stands.[10] In January 2014, a new one-acre park called Muscota Marsh opened to the public between Inwood Hill Park and Baker Field as part of an agreement with the city for the development of the Campbell Athletic Center at West 218th Street and Broadway. This waterfront park was built by Columbia and is jointly administered by the city parks department and the university.

 

Other parks in or adjoining Inwood are Isham Park, Sherman Creek Park (Swindler Cove), Fort Washington Park, Fort Tryon Park, and Highbridge Park. The Lt. William Tighe Triangle, aka the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden (RING), is the northernmost piece of Ft. Tryon Park and lies at the confluence of Riverside Drive, Dyckman Street, Broadway, and Seaman Avenue. It is Inwood's oldest community garden, having been founded in 1984. Bruce's Garden is another notable community garden, located in the northeast corner of Isham Park.

 

Transportation

 

Broadway and Dyckman Street intersection in Inwood.

Inwood's main local thoroughfare is Broadway, which is co-designated US 9 at this point. Highway access to the area is via the Henry Hudson Parkway to the west, the Harlem River Drive to the southeast (ending at Dyckman Street), theAlexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River from the Trans-Manhattan Expressway to the Cross Bronx Expressway (both expressyways of which carry I-95 and U.S. 1), the Washington Bridge at 181st Street crossing the Harlem River to the Bronx, the University Heights Bridge from 207th Street in Manhattan across the Harlem River to Fordham Road in the Bronx, and theBroadway Bridge across the Harlem River north to Marble Hill. Inwood's main commercial shopping streets are Broadway, Dyckman Street, and West 207th Street. Manhattan's first Slow Zone was installed on the side streets west of Broadway in 2012, as part of what would later become Vision Zero.

 

Bike infrastructure in Inwood is limited. Painted lanes are located on Seaman Avenue and the far eastern portion of Dyckman Street. West 218th St is marked with sharrows. The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway can be accessed from Inwood on both the Hudson and Harlem River sides; in addition, a new three-quarter mile dead-end stub along the Hudson waterfront below Dyckman Street was added in 2014. Technically, there is a ban on bicycles in Inwood Hill Park except for its western edge and the Henry Hudson Bridge. The Broadway Bridge requires cyclists to use the steel-grate roadway, making cycling connections to the Bronx difficult.

 

The majority of neighborhood residents commute via the subway using either the A train at the 207th Street or Dyckman Street stations along Broadway, the latter of which was a subway terminus since it opened in 1932 and was renovated in 1999 to be ADA accessible.[14][15] The neighborhood also is served by the 1 train at the Dyckman Street, 207th Street, or215th Street stations along Tenth Avenue. Inwood is also served by the M100, Bx12, Bx12 SBS, and Bx20 local buses and the BxM1 express bus. The Metro-North Railroad has a station just over the Broadway Bridge in Marble Hill, providing an additional commuting option (discounted on weekends using CityTicket). All New York City Bus routes except the Bx7terminate in the neighborhood.[16] The median commute time for all residents is approximately 45 minutes with 72.5% of residents working in New York County.[14]

 

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Inwood include:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born 1947), former NBA basketball star, grew up in the Dyckman Houses as Lew Alcindor.

  • Jim Carroll (1950–2009), author of The Basketball Diaries, an autobiography set in 1960s Inwood which was adapted into a film in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Wynn Handman (born 1922), Artistic Director of The American Place Theatre.

  • Bess Houdini (1876–1943), wife of magician and stunt performer Harry Houdini lived at 67 Payson Avenue and conducted seances to contact him after his death.[19]

  • Lionel Mapleson (1865–1937), violinist and librarian of the Metropolitan Opera House for nearly 50 years. Creator of theMapleson Cylinders, one of the earliest recordings of live classical music. Mapleson lived on Park Terrace East at the time of his death.

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (born 1980), actor and writer of the Broadway musical In the Heights.

  • Henry Stern (born 1935), longtime former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[22]

  • Isidor Straus (1845–1912), owner of Macy's department store, owned a country estate that was located in present-day Inwood Hill Park.

  • Will McIntosh (born 1962), Winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

  • Brian Lehrer popular radio host on WNYC.

  • Anthony Marx, current president and CEO of the New York Public Library.