The Wind in the Heights @ American Digest by Gerard Van Der Leun
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
— Christina Rossetti
10,000 FEARED DEAD
— Headline, New York Post, September 12, 2001
AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY I lived in Brooklyn Heights in, of course, Brooklyn. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24 of 1883 transformed the high bluff just to the south of the bridge into America’s first suburb. It became possible for affluent businessmen from the tip of Manhattan which lay just over the East River to commute across the bridge easily and build their stately mansions and townhouses high above the slapdash docks below. Growth and change would wash around the Heights in the 117 years that followed, but secure on their bluff, on their high ground, the Heights would remain a repository old and new money, power, and some of the finest examples of 19th and early 20th century homes found in New York City.