This week, chapter four continues with dueling letters. One is a letter from Sarah Rapalje dated 1661 where Sarah is writing to then Director General Peter Stuyvesant about the power of the great charm that has come into her possession. She is passing the charm to Stuyvesant so it can protect him from the upcoming threats from the English.
As noted a couple of installments ago, Sarah Rapalje is an actual historical resident of New Amsterdam and considered to be the first born child of European descent in New Netherland. She did take over her husband’s tobacco farm north of the New Amsterdam in an area known then as Greenwijk which literally translated into the green ward or as we know it, Greenwich or Greenwich Village. You can learn about Sarah and other fun stories about New Amsterdam on our Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam: Tracing the Castello Plan tour.
The last scene of this installment is Owen walking down the Coney Island beach at night holding the letter Velma gave him from a previous installment. Behind him is a sign noting the closure of the area for the construction of the Coney Island Houses. By 1942 Robert Moses has set his sights on replacing most of the boardwalk amusement parks with housing complexes so he started rezoning the area to be cleared for residential purposes. In 1944 when Luna Park was damaged in a fire, he used the excuse to move forward with his plans. In 1949, Moses will clear several amusement blocks and move the boardwalk back drastically changing the look and feel of Coney Island.
Join us next week for a new installment. Need more context?
Start at the beginning with the Cast of Characters.
Read last week’s installment to catch up.
Or skip through to the next installment.
Purchase the first two Wonder City books at the Untapped Cities Shop