Looking For Residents
I am a history teacher at the Beacon School, a public high school in Manhattan, and I will be teaching a New York City history class to seniors this fall on the history of the West 60s and San Juan Hill. I am particularly interested in having my students interview people who lived in the neighborhood before Robert Moses’ “urban renewal” and the construction of Lincoln Center and the Fordham campus. The neighborhood included a large Irish-American population, many of whom attended St. Paul the Apostle on Columbus Avenue at West 60th, and a number of whom spent their summers in Rockaway. Some of these former residents relocated to or retired to Rockaway and live in the various neighborhoods along the peninsula still.
It is my hope that they or their children read The Wave and would be willing to get in touch with me or point me toward possible interviews or sources. My students are genuinely interested in hearing and collecting the stories of the neighborhood; they will also be writing research papers and hopefully putting together some kind of museum-styled “show” for the rest of the school and the public.
Any help that your newspaper might provide would be welcome. I know that The Wave is a much-reliedon source of local news and it seems the best way to try and put my request out to the greatest number of people. If you have further suggestions about how I might go about tracking down possible contacts, please pass them on.
You can reach me at kjacobs@bea conschool.org