Carolyn Gibbs Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Spotlight
I lived most of my life in South Ozone Park, Queens before moving to Washington Heights six years ago. As a former news writer and assignment editor I’m a history buff, and love to see how people lived in earlier times. Soon after moving here I was naturally curious about the history of my new neighborhood, and visited the Museum of the City of New York. I enjoy seeing pictures of what New York looked like in the early days. They had an exhibit where you could enter in your address and see the history of the building you live in.
My fiancé and I enjoy taking little trips to visit places such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park. I love seeing the furnishings of old homes and picturing the people that lived there. The grounds and gardens are beautiful and a great place to visit this spring.
I also learned that John James Audubon lived in Washington Heights, and saw pictures of the rolling hills and farmland that predated the pre-war buildings we live in today.
Another place that I find fascinating is the Morris-Jumel Mansion (photo above), which is the oldest standing house in Manhattan. Its longest resident was Eliza Jumel who was once one of the wealthiest women in America but was not welcomed in high society because of her unconventional past. She was born and raised in a brothel and rumored to have been a prostitute in her youth before becoming an actress and marrying a French wine merchant, Stephen Jumel.
The mansion was originally their summer home, and their property ran from the East River to the Hudson River. They restored the mansion to the way it looked back in 1776, when it served as George Washington’s headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights. After Jumel died, Eliza married former Vice President Aaron Burr, and soon divorced him because he was squandering her money away to pay for his financial losses.
At the Jumel Mansion the director told us that playwright Lin-Manual Miranda spent a day hanging out in Aaron Burr’s old bedroom where he wrote Burr’s songs for the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” You never know what creative ventures are happening in our own neighborhoods.
While it’s great to know where we’ve come from, we all need a comfortable place to call home, where we can put our feet up and relax after a hard day’s work. I’d love to show you around the neighborhood and help you find your next new home.
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