9. The neighborhood was nicknamed Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson
The area was referred to as Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson in the years following World War II due to the high population of German and Austrian Jews. Although some of the first German immigrants to New York settled on the Lower East Side in the late 1800s, Hudson Heights had become the most populous German Jewish neighborhood in the city by the 1930s, and many of the area’s residents came from Frankfurt-am-Main. Residents of Hudson Heights created the Aufbau, which developed into a newspaper that reported on the atrocities of the Holocaust (which was very rare at the time) and included the writings of Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and Thomas Mann.
This newspaper also included the 1941 publication of the Aufbau Almanac, which served as a guide to living in the U.S. that outlined the American political system and cultural norms. The paper exists today as a monthly publication based in Berlin. By the 1960s, though, the neighborhood had become significantly less German as residents moved to other parts of the city. And with Soviet immigrants settling here in the 1970s, the neighborhood’s nickname died away as well. Families from countries like the Dominican Republic settled in the area, many from neighboring Washington Heights, further rendering the nickname obsolete.