Monthly Archives: September 2009

Washington Heights’ beacon


A couple of months ago I got tickets to see Sonic Youth play at an old movie theater that had, for more than 25 years, been the Washington Heights headquarters to the famous Reverend Ike.  The band chose to eat at a Dominican restaurant across the street – a good one as I understand, and it was probably the best business the place had done that whole year.  It got me to thinking about how much the neighborhood (an area where I spent a huge part of my childhood) had changed since I’d moved away.

Last Saturday, I took an impromptu, misty 16 mile bike ride from Astoria, Queens through Manhattan and back again to do some more exploring.

Off the Harlem River Drive and still pretty rough to get to, is the just opened Swindler Cove Park, one of the achievements of Bette Midler’s ambitious New York Restoration Project.

Through Washington Heights and a rally for a City Council candidate, up through Fort Tryon Park and to what was for me, the highlight of the day: a visit to the Little Red Lighthouse.  Amazing to think of how, as a child it seemed little more than an abandoned and unwanted piece of history.  When I was small enough, I could actually climb into it and walk around (the small portal has since been sealed).