Although the youth community in our neighborhood seem to have a less than 50% compliance of wearing masks, by all accounts it turns out that Inwood Manhattan has been, and continues to be, a good place to seek refuge from the Pandemic. Yes, nearby Washington Heights has had some of the highest numbers of New Yorkers catching the Coronavirus (as compared to other parts of New York), Inwood has been spared much of that. Inwood has been a place that, even though we have had a few outdoor shootings near our apartment (leading to deaths), we avoided having to undertake the drama and abandonment that more expensive areas (like midtown) did.
Times Square Ghost Town
As I have said numerous times in other blogs, my experience of walking through the ghost town of Times Square for a series of dental appointments, was chilling. All the tourists and locals had vanished. We used to live close to Time Square and I can attest to it prior being packed with people. I used to get frustrated daily with tourists who would, on crowded walkways, literally stop walking with their backs to me, so they could look upward at the billboards and buildings. I always recognized though that these individuals with their purchases helped to keep the area afloat.
Rarely Going Out
Now in our Inwood getaway, month after month, we have remained indoors, only going for the occasional walk to the park, or things such as what I did yesterday which was to mail a letter in the nearby post office bin.
The publication you are reading right now, “Inwood Manhattan,” has for quite some time been bringing you news from areas here in this unusual New York neighborhood.
Today January 6th
Today is known as “Epiphany” in some cultures and countries including Columbia, Austria, Croatia, Columbia, Cyprus, Ethiopia and Poland.
Three Kings’ Day
January 6 is, in some countries, called Three Kings’ Day or the “Feast of the Epiphany.”
Before there was Christmas, Epiphany was celebrated and is one of the oldest Christian feasts, in existence since the end of the second century.
Did you know that as early as 1996 BCE, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice complete with a tribute to Aeon (one of the orders of spirits, or spheres of being, that came forth from the Godhead). Interestingly enough, this holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction. How will you celebrate today, January 6th?!
Why are arts in the USA floundering? Where is the USA Creativity. Where is the Inwood Manhattan creativity for that matter? It could all be so beautiful, but money and lack thereof is what stands in the way of the USA Creativity Revolution.
Birthplace of the City
Inwood of NYC is the area that is on the Northern tip of the island that allegedly is the birth place of the city. There is even a monument to this effect in Inwood Hill Park.
Are you, Well, Listening?
And yet with all the force that could be derived through this fact, the creative will is not strong. People have lost faith in creativity and ultimately don’t believe, don’t participate, lets it die. USA Creative is on its death bed doing it’s best to be heard. Are you listening?!
Even way North up here in Inwood Manhattan, “home” is not as safe as it once was. When we first lived here we focused on community. We united the 100 or so families here who had young children as we did at the time with our then toddler daughter. But this is no longer possible. At least not everyone will not come together. There are fractures in the neighborhood and it is very sad.
Most are planning how they will escape New York. We are even semi feeling that way. The hope is there to Save NYC Together like a new website we are developing. But is this really possible with the hate and unrest on the streets?
Everyone is terrified that they are next on the hit list. This is what war looks like in America. Civil war. If we look back at the lyrics in music even twenty or more years, we will see that this revolution has been being planned for a long time and when the opportunity presented itself, it was jumped on.
Now that work and meetings can be done remotely, the rich and those who can afford it, are bailing out in droves.
We’re not sure how much longer we can hold on, or even where we would go if we left. It is near impossible to figure out an alternative as compared to our “Big Apple” of old. But the new is here. And it is violent and unafraid to use this violence. We will hold on as long as we can but if violence hits us directly, we will leave with everyone else.
In many ways being in Inwood Manhattan is being isolated a bit from the city at large. It is a very different environment in many ways including its parks and community feel.
But we are not necessarily safe here. In fact there was a murder literally in front of our building a few weeks ago and there have been reports of shootings.
It seems that the protesting has lead to violent folks destroying small businesses that in turn has impacted the gangs, making them feel all the more insulated from repercussions if they shoot and kill and do other illegal activities.
What Does the Future Hold?
So really the protests, the looting and all the killings are a part of the same vicious circle, one prodding on the other. We wish we had more happy news but the series of events that are happening, even in our precious Inwood, has made us pause and reflect on what our future will be in this neighborhood?
If you live in Upper Manhattan or Harlem or nearby, all you need is to hear the word “Fireworks” and you’re likely to start ranting. What is up with all these explosions going on in our neighborhood of Washington Heights/Inwood in Manhattan, NY?
How the Quality?
The weird thing is that although kids do this kind of thing annually, the quality of their wares this time around have gone up immensely. While before it used to be a couple of sparklers and a handful of low end firecracker, in the summer of 2020 it’s been very high end product, being set off on a schedule.
The Kids are All Right?
We’ve noted that they generally start at 9:30pm and then continue at least once every hour up until 3am or so. How are the neighborhood kids getting access to these better quality pyrotechnics?
A Prelude to Danger?
Some in our hood think that the police are supplying the kids with the explosives to prove how they are needed to clean up the neighborhood. Or there are those who speculate that maybe it’s the protestors, looters and vandals bringing chaos to the neighborhood so that when real guns start going off, we’ll just think it’s the cherry bombs and so on.
It’s a Mystery
What do I think? I really have no idea. It is a mystery though how the quality of these bursts of flames in the sky as well as the noise pollution it brings can be afforded by those setting them off?! Also, why on a schedule every night? And how come many, many more than usual. What do you think? Let us know!
Inwood Manhattan is a beautiful place with several tree filled parks. We hope this never changes. But there are some things that are transforming in this “Other Manhattan.” For example a new bus travel section is being developed.
Lowering Carbon Dioxide
Although it takes an installation process that sometimes changes the look of the city, we here at Inwood Manhattan believe that more public transportation the better. Studies have shown that it lowers the consumption of harmful carbon dioxide.
Traveling by public transportation uses less energy and produces less pollution than comparable travel in private vehicles.
Inwood Manhattan is adjacent to the probably better known Washington Heights neighborhood marked by the George Washington Bridge. Although we live in Inwood, our daughter’s school location was just around the corner from the bridge. Although it has only been a matter of months, our daughter going to a school location seems like something from the distant past.
Online Education Approach
Last night parents received a very moving video from the school about the distant learning program they have been doing. Aside from fighting to not go into total waterworks mode (our close to teen daughter rolls her eyes when my wife and I cry), the video was amazing. In a very short time the school has embraced remote learning and figure out a way to do it that makes it clear that our daughter is getting a good education despite doing everything online. Also, we now better understand why our daughter took to learning on her Chromebook so well. Her school has created an extraordinary online education approach.
The school is teaching her math, science, social studies and yes, art, in a way that is vibrant with teachers and administrators who really care. The sense of community online that they have developed make my wife and me rest easy. Since the three of us are all living under one roof, we’ve heard our daughter’s end of school by listening to her voice during class coming from her room. Now we have a more complete picture and feel very grateful and blessed to be a part of this educational journey.
I am not someone who goes outside very often. I prefer being inside, behind a computer, or hanging with the fam. But even I am yearning a bit to see the sun again. It’s been over a month since I stepped outside of our apartment building.
My wife hasn’t been inside for quite as long as I have. She went out (against my recommendation) to run an errand. When she came back she described the world out of doors to be a bit of a nightmare. People weren’t wearing masks, nor were they practicing social distance.
After my wife had her final outdoors experience, she pledged to not venture outside until it was safe. It’s now been several weeks since she had her negative outside experience. The three of us sometimes get a bit idealistic about being in the park, but for now we remain in lockdown.
Yes, those of us here at the tip top of Manhattan, NY, have to wash their hands too. Outside is deathly quiet, which is odd for this urban environment. You can’t purchase groceries from any one of the 9 different grocery delivery surfaces. Everything is booked up so we’re living on our wits to some extent.
Maybe Outside is No so Bad
Lots of indoor time which as an introvert isn’t so bad, but even for those of us who prefer inside to outside getting a little Vitamin D wouldn’t be bad.
Wash those Hands
But as New Yorkers we’re, most of us, waiting it out. There are those who escaped from the city to go to their Hamptons summer house. I imagine it won’t be easy in Strong Island either, because there won’t be as much availability. Wait. What did I just say? We are now living in the city where we can’t even get groceries. If only we could wash our hands of it.