Mendelssohn on the Hudson
Episode 9: Pencil Sharpener (Opus 38, No. 6)
Margaret Corbin Circle at the south entrance of Fort Tryon Park
We’re at Margaret Corbin Circle, where Fort Washington Avenue meets Cabrini Boulevard, at the southern entrance of Fort Tryon Park. If you sit around the Circle long enough, you might start recognizing the regulars. One particular group of locals - all part of one German Jewish extended family, would meet to catch up on their week.
Martin had been sent with other family members to Theresienstadt, a ghetto and concentration camp the Nazis once used to deceive the International Red Cross. He survived two other labor camps and arrived here with a number tattooed in blue on his arm, from Auschwitz. Another couple, Martin's friends, would walk through the park every day. In later years, they would tell this story of their 60-year marriage that began with one item bought on 181st Street.