Mendelssohn on the Hudson
Episode 10: Jakob (Opus 19, No. 4)
Fort Tryon Park, near the Heather Garden, at the upper stone wall overlooking Billings Lawn
We’re in Fort Tryon Park, near the Heather Garden, at the upper stone wall overlooking Billings Lawn, the Hudson River, and the New Jersey Palisades. You can see how panoramas like this one inspired the area’s nickname, “Frankfurt on the Hudson.” John D. Rockefeller Jr. was instrumental in shaping this Park’s history by donating the old Billings Estate to the Park, as well as the new site for the Cloisters Museum.
The photogenic 67-acre park, completed in 1935, is a place for everyone in and outside the neighborhood to meet and celebrate. Many German Jewish families would enjoy walking and socializing on the park’s main thoroughfare on the Sabbath and holidays. Some of the more observant Jews would carry bread to cast into the Hudson River during the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. This Park is full of memories for the German Jews who made their home in Washington Heights. Here is one from a widower as he takes his stroll through the park.