North Manhattan: This is a place tourists almost never find in New York

City trips North of Manhattan

Tourists almost never find this place in New York

New York has a new tourist attraction. The High Bridge was opened in the far north of Manhattan. If you cross it, you stand in the Bronx, the opposite of fashionable Manhattan.

Published on 07/29/2015 | Reading time: 3 minutes

The High Bridge is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists - they cross a wide brick path lined with Victorian lanterns

The High Bridge is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists – they cross a wide brick path lined with Victorian lanterns

Source: AFP

Dhe High Bridge is the oldest bridge in New York. Only nobody knows them. This is mainly due to the fact that it is very small – much smaller than the Brooklyn Bridge and downright tiny compared to the mighty George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson and connects New York with New Jersey.

The fact that the High Bridge is rather unknown is also due to its hidden location. The tourist won’t find them until they have left the attractions of Manhattan far behind – the brand new skyscraper diamonds at Ground Zero, the chic bars in Midtown, the cabs in Central Park, the museums on Fifth Avenue – and far behind North: to an area called Washington Heights. And what was the tourist doing there?

There was a time when this area north of Manhattan was called “Frankfurt on the Hudson”. Many German Jews who had been driven out by Mr. Hitler and his numerous supporters settled here. That was long ago. Those in the know can show you the synagogue where Henry Kissinger’s mother once prayed.

Today, however, mainly immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Guatemala live in this quarter. If you want to get to know the hearty – and by the way guaranteed non-kosher – cuisine of the Dominican Republic, there is actually no better address than “Elsa La Reina del Chicharrón” (1249 Saint Nicholas Avenue). As befits a shop of this type, it doesn’t look like anything; and the food is heavenly. Plantain puree called “Mangú” with all kinds of ingredients – and the house specialty: seasoned and deep-fried pork rind.

Immerse yourself in another world

Strengthened in this way, the tourist can set out to look for the High Bridge. It is located below an idyllic park next to Amsterdam Avenue at 173rd Street; in fact, you can’t miss it if you’re looking for the High Bridge Tower, a beautiful, gray, neo-Gothic style water tower.

The High Bridge was opened in 1848 - initially as an aqueduct

The High Bridge was opened in 1848 – initially as an aqueduct

Quelle: picture alliance / ZUMAPRESS

The High Bridge was closed for a long time for renovation. It was only recently reopened. It was actually once an aqueduct – and even today the footpath leads over old pipes, in which no water flows for a long time. However, there are no water pipes to be seen anywhere. You can see a wide brick path lined with Victorian lanterns and reserved for pedestrians and cyclists.

Who crosses this bridge, has the Harlem River deep below. And the Major Deegan Expressway, an expressway. And on the other hand you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the Bronx – more precisely: in a part of the Bronx that is predominantly inhabited by blacks. It’s a completely different world from fashionable Manhattan. There are chairs around in the street, and men and women sit on the chairs and have nothing more urgent to do at the weekend than to talk to each other.

Here the aficionado of African culinary art will find one of the best places to enjoy Jollof rice with fried okra: “Eye Adom African and American” (1263 Edward L. Grant Highway, Bronx). Close your eyes, lean back and enjoy with me that tourists almost never find this place.

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