Inwood is the northernmost neighborhood on the island of Manhattan; however, it is not the northernmost neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan. Marble Hill, the true northernmost neighborhood in Manhattan, was cut off from the rest of the island during the construction of the Harlem River Ship Canal.
Largely developed in the 1930s, Inwood is a family-oriented neighborhood with an eclectic mix of residents. The majority of the stores are indie shops such as popular thrift store Scavengers that sells street finds and antiques, and older bars like Piper's Kilt, a neighborhood institution that raised money for neighborhood businesses destroyed in a fire. The sense of community is particularly evident as locals get together for a weekly game of kickball. There are also adult baseball leagues as well as a little league -- the oldest little league in New York City.
This suburban-like neighborhood feels completely removed from the rest of Manhattan, offering a small town experience that feels much farther from the city than its 45-minute commute. Locals include families who have been in the area for generations, and more recently, Dominicans residents moving out of Washington Heights. The neighborhood has a strong Irish influence, which is reflected in its pubs and in the inclusion of a Gaelic football field in Inwood Hill Park.
Inwood Hill Park was once the site of several asylums. Some locals say that the park is still haunted with the souls of the formerly institutionalized. The park features caves that were carved out by glaciers, as well as a type of marble unique to the area, called Inwood Marble. However, for locals, the main attraction at Inwood Hill Park is the baseball fields, a favorite pastime of the neighborhood's growing Dominican community. Other green spaces in the area include Isham Park, Columbia University's Baker Field Athletics Complex and Park Terrace East, which is home to the area's most recognizable feature, the famous 215 Street Stairs, at its entrance.
The community at Inwood has taken special care to remember their fallen neighbors. Landmark building Good Shepherd Church has 25 plaques honoring members of the community who were killed in 9/11. Before the plaque is a steel cross from Ground Zero. Another 9/11 memorial is the Bruce Reynold Garden in Isham Park honoring the Port Authority officer. Every weekend, neighborhood youth tend the plot of land and visit its friendly guard dog, a Cavalier King Charles named Chloe who has become the garden's mascot.
New bars and restaurants are popping up on Broadway in Inwood, transforming the street into a restaurant row. Some of the new restaurants in the growing area include the Garden Cafe and Yummy Thai. Indian Road Cafe calls itself "the last cafe on the only road," and sells craft beers and wines, liquor, and locally sourced fare. There's also the Inwood Greenmarket, which runs year-round on Saturdays and includes everything from milk and eggs to meats and produce.