B R O N X
- Spuyten Duyvil Hill. Site of the farm owned by at least four generations of the Tippett family, from 1638 until the Revolution. Now the intersection of W. 231st Street and Arlington Avenue.
B R O O K L Y N
- King’s Highway and Flatbush Avenue. Once the plantation of Wolffaert Gerritsz Van Kouwenhoven, the first European settler on Long Island, who bought several hundred acres of Brooklyn in 1636. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also visit Gerritse Beach, where he built a mill, and Kouwenhoven Lane in Sheepshead Bay.
M A N H A T T A N
- American Jewish Historical Society. Home of Abraham Isaacks‘ prayer shawl, now the oldest tallit in America. 15 W. 16th Street.
- Bellevue Hospital, Kips Bay. The oldest public hospital in America; stretches from 26th to 28th Streets and from First Avenue to FDR Drive. In 1641, this was farmland belonging to George Baxter.
- First Shearith Israel burying ground. At Chatham Square in Chinatown, 55 St. James Place. The oldest burying ground of the oldest Jewish congregation in America, much reduced from its original size. Resting place of Abraham Isaacks. By appointment only.
- Second Shearith Israel burying ground. At W. 11th Street just east of 6th Avenue. The tiniest cemetery in New York: a triangular remnant of the original cemetery, with only 20 headstones left after the city imposed its street grid on the landscape. One grave belongs to Bilhah Polock Jacobs, A.K’s grandmother, who died in 1826; another belongs to A.K.’s great-uncle Joseph Jacobs, who died in 1831.
- Wall Street. Thomas Baxter sold the timber planks to Peter Stuyvesant to build the famous wall in 1652, ironically to keep out the British as well as Indians and other enemies. Stuyvesant then kicked him out, and Baxter returned the favor by pirating Dutch fishing ships.
- Whitehall and Pearl Streets, the Battery. Site where in 1658 Peter Stuyvesant built his grand new residence, later nicknamed Whitehall, on what was then the waterfront. He built it on top of the confiscated property of the pirate Thomas Baxter.