Q: What do Seinfeld, George Gershwin and Suzanne Vega all have in common?
A: Morningside Heights!

On Saturday, May 27, The Salvation Army hosted another “Saturdays in the City” walking tour, this time trekking our way through the various landmarks in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood.

We began the tour at Tom’s Restaurant, located at 112th & Broadway. Tom’s Restaurant was first immortalized in Suzanne Vega’s 1982 earworm, “Tom’s Diner.” But the restaurant’s most enduring legacy is its recurring appearance on Seinfeld as Monk’s Diner, where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer regularly assembled to eat.

Our tour took a turn for the heavenly when we visited the astonishing Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Cathedral is the fourth-largest Christian church in the world, and has stood as an architectural landmark for over 120 years. We also visited the Peace Fountain, a relatively recent addition to the Cathedral grounds, and a powerful depiction of the struggle between good and evil.

Of course, a walk through Morningside Heights would be incomplete without a visit to Columbia University’s historic campus. Columbia is one of the oldest universities in the nation and is home to the Pulitzer Prize. It boasts an impressive roster of alumni, including three U.S. Presidents, 39 Nobel Prize winners and 10 Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Another historic landmark we visited in Morningside Heights is the General Grant National Memorial. Commemorating President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia Dent Grant, the monument has stood in Riverside Park for 120 years, and remains an extremely popular tourist destination.

Music is as ingrained into New York’s DNA as pizza or Broadway, and it’s difficult to think of Manhattan without George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” slinking its way into your ears. We stopped by the composer’s Morningside Heights house, which was home to Gershwin and his extended family just as he was on the cusp of fame and success. The stately four-story house, located on West 103rd, is still as beautiful today as it was 90 years ago.

Needless to say, it was a day full of incredible sights, and a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a city with such a rich and diverse culture. It’s because of our deep love for our local communities that we vow to work day and night to bring food, shelter and comfort to individuals who don’t have access to life’s basics — especially children. Participating walkers received information about The Salvation Army’s summer-camp scholarship campaign, which raises funds to help local, at-risk boys and girls attend The Salvation Army’s Star Lake Camp. To learn more about the campaign, visit

The next “Saturdays in the City” walking tour is scheduled for September 16, 2017. For more information, contact Sharon Smith Ibello at (212) 337-7345 or