Susan L. Berger, Visual Artist

Resident at Westbeth since 1970

Other Remembrances

One of the most beloved tenants was Hugh Hurd, who would always greet everyone in his pathway. He was the voice and identity of the Westbeth community and was referred to as the “Mayor of Bethune Street.” To this day, I see and hear Hugh. The community was smaller then; we knew and said hello to everyone. How can we ever forget the origins of the Halloween parade, starting in Westbeth’s courtyard—all lined up and going along the streets as long as it would take us. We were Westbeth proud. I later had a child, and he enjoyed and was forever dedicated to his upbringing at Westbeth and his school, P.S. 3. He has been shaped by growing pains and joys of life in and around Westbeth.

Lastly, we have had our shares of unpleasant memories—the World Trade Center was thoroughly destroyed, removed from the landscape by a terror attack, and on October 29, 2012, the rising of the Hudson River destroyed my studio, submerging it in ten feet of water. We were stronger for surviving these events—and that’s what makes Westbeth stronger as a community.

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