Neighborhood: Washington Heights, Manhattan
Population: 155,088, with a population density of approximately 89,529 people/square mile *(Manhattan population density is 69,071/sq. mile per 2010 data)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Harlem, Inwood, Hudson Heights
Public Transit: A (168th St., 175th, 181st, 190th), C (155th St., 163rd, 168th) B/D (155th St.), 1 (181st St., 190th)
What’s Here?: Sitting on the highest point in upper Manhattan, the subject of the hit Broadway musical “In the Heights” is a vibrant world of its own. Although historically ravaged with crime, the predominantly Dominican area has cleaned up its act and now ranks as Manhattan’s 4th safest neighborhood. Spanish is typically spoken in this area where many families have resided for generations, and now attracts many young professionals with its extremely affordable rents. Between an array of fantastic eateries and mom & pop shops, you’ll find prestigious draws like the medical centers of Columbia University, the indoor New Balance Track and Field Center (home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame), and the stunning Fort Tryon Park. A number of historically significant properties can also be found here, including The Hispanic Society of America, which boasts the largest collection of works by El Greco and Goya outside of Spain; The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the breathtaking Trinity Cemetery.
Flat or Tall?: Gorgeous pre-war architecture and spacious five and six room apartments seem downright palatial for Manhattan standards. The “Heights” include a number of step streets that connect wide avenues for pedestrian navigation, and the lack of tall buildings makes for a relatively unblemished skyline.
History: Named for Fort Washington, which was constructed to fend off the British during the American Revolutionary War, the area saw an influx of Irish immigrants in the 1900′s, followed by European Jews in the 1930s-40′s, Greeks in the 1950′s, and Dominicans in the 80′s and 90′s.
Activities: Wander around Fort Tryon Park for views of the Hudson and the New Jersey Palisades while getting a history lesson at The Cloisters – The Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ medieval branch. Jog, bike, or play tennis in the Greenway or join the throngs of New Yorkers trekking to the spectacularly ornate former cathedral United Palace for concerts, literary festivals and movie nights. Soak up the local culture with a beer at Coogan’s, or treat yourself to a delicious meal at famous Dominican stalwart Malecon. For the night owls, check out the lively dance scene at La Marina, No Parking, or hotspot Apt. 78.
Check it out: Every June, celebrate uptown culture with the annual Uptown Arts Stroll. In February, take in the famed Millrose Games at The Armory, where pro athletes and eager amateurs alike can pay a small fee to train with the best.