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Inwood-Northern tip

Today, Inwood/ Washington Heights has the strong inexplicable stench of

cheated Indians. It’s where the greatest act of “Sucker-ism” (tragically)

was perpetuated against Native Americans. In what is now known as the island of Manhattan, this, the most expensive real estate in the Western World, was sold

by the Indians for a few bottles of liquor and some glass beads to


Through the decades the “Heights” has witnessed change by waves of poor folks who could not cut the mustard (but were able to lick the jar and get on a boat) in their homeland. It has gone from Dutch pioneers and homesteaders to not so romantic immigrants.

First, the Irish and then a handful of Italians came in the early 1920’s and 1940’s, finishing up

with its perceived demise with Latino Americanos (not very stoic), until finally the penultimate change with young artists who cannot afford downtown rents. Here the immigrant story is not one of success (some opine wrongly), as value added jobs evaporated for the un-skilled and like many cities in the 21st century, migrants have a hard time making a living wage. What few jobs are available are euphemistically labeled as "unwanted jobs." Inhabitants are forced by necessity, to become bottom dwellers (especially with Covid 19), and the underground economy has ruined the quality of life of the nuclear family here. Furthermore, recent transnationals from “developing countries” (again some opine) have

dumbed down the public schools that once served as a vector to the middle class.

Open air drug markets dominated the sidewalks in the 1980’s and 90’s. Even today, small seedy merchants of cheap Chinese wares and unlicensed food vendors still plague Dyckman Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. “The Heights” has plummeted from its once luxurious movie theatres and tony fountain shops of a bygone era to an eyesore of cluttered signs above stores flashing with not-so mesmerizing tacky multi-colored LED lights. And this is where “our” story begins, in the tumultuous changing America, where stories of tropism shaped these stories.


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