Inwood Hill Park; Image: Dana via Flickr.
On Wednesday the City Council approved a rezoning plan for a 59-block section of Inwood, a neighbhorhood often referred to as the “last affordable neighborhood in Manhattan,” the New York Times reports. The plan was approved last week by the city’s zoning subcommittee and the Land Use Committee. The Inwood rezoning is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to rezone neighborhoods across the city as part of the push to create and preserve 300,000 affordable housing units by his goal date of 2026. Inwood is the fifth neighborhood–including the also-controversial East New York and East Harlem–to be approved for rezoning under the plan.
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Renderings courtesy of Fogarty Finger Architecture and Andrew Berman Architect
The former site of the Inwood Library is undergoing a major upgrade, with the city announcing a shiny new development that will hold the branch, 175 units of deeply affordable apartments, and a brand new pre-k facility. The decision to tear down the old library building is the result of months of community engagement and neighborhood planning exercises through the city’s Inwood Affordable Housing and Library Planning Process.
See interior renderings
The amusement park in 1908, photo by Seidman Photo Studio
Did you know Washington Heights and Inwood used to be home to a giant amusement park? In 1895, the Fort George Amusement Park opened on Amsterdam Avenue between 190th and 192nd Streets, overlooking the Harlem River in what is now Highbridge Park. Located in the same spot as George Washington’s fight against the British, “Harlem’s Coney Island” rivaled Brooklyn’s Coney Island with roller coasters, Ferris wheels, a skating rink, fortune tellers, music halls, casinos, and hotels.
Learn more about the Fort George Amusement Park
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city would develop the gap in the Manhattan waterfront greenway that runs between 41st and 61st Streets along the East River. The city has pledged to spend $100 million on closing the largest unfinished space in the 32-mile loop, including a new esplanade, with an additional $5 million to be spent on filling smaller gaps in East Harlem and Inwood. “The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water,” said the mayor in a statement. “This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality.”
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The Times highlights the plight of the city’s iconic local bodegas, tiny grocery-slash-beer-slash-whatever-the-local-patrons-need shops that have long been a colorful cornerstone of everyday life in the city’s neighborhoods. Photographer Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata even spent nine months pounding the pavements of Manhattan in a quest to photograph every single one of its bodegas.
But many of these tiny shops have been scrambling to stay in business. The city’s roughly 12,000 bodegas are losing customers. About 75 have closed this year according to the Times, many in uptown neighborhoods like Inwood, Washington Heights and Harlem. Though that proportion is small, many shop owners are concerned.
Read more on the plight of local bodegas
Memorial Day is just a few days away, and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to take a break from the daily grind. While many have made plans that will sweep them off to far flung places like Paris, for those looking to stay local, there are plenty of incredible events going on across all of NYC’s boroughs — rain or shine. Keep reading for our top events to check out this Memorial Day weekend. It’s going to be a busy few days!
All the events this way