A Historical and Musical Walking Tour of German Jewish Washington Heights
Mendelssohn on the Hudson is a self-guided historical and musical walking tour that follows the footsteps of the German Jews and others who ﬂed 1930s Nazi Germany to settle in Washington Heights, also referred to at the time as “Frankfurt on the Hudson.” The self-directed historical tour route – oﬀering autonomy, fresh air, and social distancing – includes West 181 Street to the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park, and points in between.
The musical stories presented at their speciﬁc locations oﬀer a rare, multi-layered connection between storyteller and listener. It’s an unusual, accessible, and free musical experience via smartphone or another internet-enabled device. During the tour, visitors will hear via podcast twelve episodes with songs based on true ﬁeld-collected stories from neighborhood residents set to Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words. Each song oﬀers and retains a snapshot of German Jewish life from the 1930s to the near-present. Mendelssohn on the Hudson is unique in combining oral history, musical theatre, classical music, and local landmarks into a compelling record of the German Jewish culture of Northern Manhattan.