Inwood, in the leafy northern stretch of Manhattan, has never really lacked for natural charms. Centuries ago, Native Americans plied its waterways; later, Gilded Age tycoons built their mansions on its hills for the best views; and today, residents say one of the benefits of living here is its many parks, which are popular for running, concerts and picnics.
Walk around a bit and you can discover other you-don’t-see-that-everyday sights. On a recent afternoon, water gurgled down a rock face on Dyckman Street, as if freed from a spring. What seemed to be a gloomy dead-end on West 203rd Street revealed a tiny park with picnic tables and tulips. And along the Harlem River, the loudest sound was a coach on the river, urging on her rowing team.
But despite regularly being hailed as the city’s next-cool-neighborhood, Inwood often seems to be moving in that direction, but never quite arriving at its destination.