[EPISODE] Morningside Heights
Jeff is joined by Gregory Dietrich, who shares his expertise in historic preservation and his knowledge of Morningside Heights. Gregory traces Morningside Heights’ origins as largely country estates and a shanty town called Bloomingdale. They mention the revolutionary history of the area and the Battle of Harlem Heights. Gregory explains how the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum and its stigma led to Morningside Heights not being developed until after other neighborhoods throughout Manhattan.
Gregory describes his historic preservation business as a daily work in significance, evaluating and determining which buildings are significant. Jeff and Gregory discuss the building history of major institutions such as the Cathedral of St. John The Divine, St. Luke’s Hospital, Riverside Church, Grant’s Tomb, and Columbia University in Morningside Heights.
Jeff is joined by Abdi Adujebel, owner of Oasis Jimma Juice Bar in Morningside Heights. Abdi shares his experience as a young man living in a refugee camp in Kenya and the struggle to receive asylum. He provides his initial expectations of America and how he was treated in America. Abdi describes his experience with diabetes and how it inspired him to open an an affordable and holistic food restaurant in Morningside Heights. Abdi describes his belief that health is true wealth and how he shares this message with his customers.
Jeff and Abdi discuss the variety of juices and healthy food options his restaurant offers. Abdi shares why he enjoys the diversity of Morningside Heights and how it has become his second home. Abdi He mentions how the neighborhood has become cleaner and safer, but prices have made it somewhat difficult for small business to flourish in the area. Abdi then mentions Oasis Powerhouse, the community center he opened to help share his talents with his neighborhood.