By Jon Michaud
My mother-in-law, Grecia Solano, immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, in the late nineteen-sixties. For the past forty years, she has lived in an apartment in Washington Heights, where she enjoys a view of the Hudson River and the western tower of the George Washington Bridge from her living-room window. Grecia was a cleaning lady at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (now part of New York-Presbyterian Hospital) for a quarter century, retiring just a couple of years ago. She worked nights, so she had few opportunities to go out, but sometimes she found her way to Coogan’s, an Irish bar and restaurant that opened in 1985, on Broadway at 169th Street. “There was never a problem in that bar,” she told me—a reference to the shady activities that were common in many of the other drinking establishments in the Heights during the difficult years of the late nineteen-eighties and nineties.
Related: Walking the Heights | The New Yorker