Washington Heights is a residential neighborhood around the I-95 crossing in Upper Manhattan. It is NYC’s Little Dominican Republic. Sub-neighborhoods include Hudson Heights and Fort George.
Washington Heights Neighborhood
The neighborhood’s boundaries are generally:
The neighborhood is named after Fort Washington which defended the upper Hudson River during the U.S. Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
“The Heights” part of the name comes from the hill of Manhattan schist (bedrock) that rises on the western side of Upper Manhattan. Manhattan’s highest natural point is a rock outcropping in Bennett Park at 265 feet (81m) above sea level.
Washington Heights is the neighborhood where the “In the Heights” Broadway play and movie are set.
- Medieval Festival
- 27 de Febrero Way
- Audubon Ballroom
- Audubon Terrace
- Dyckman St
- Fort Washington Ave Armory
- George Washington Bridge
- GW Bridge Bus Terminal
- Harlem River Drive
- High Bridge
- High Bridge Water Tower
- Hispanic Society
- La Cabaña Salvadoreña
- La Casa Del Mofongo
- Little Red Lighthouse
- Met Cloisters
- Morris-Jumel Mansion
- National Track & Field Hall of Fame
- New York Presbyterian
- Polo Grounds (former)
- United Palace Theatre
- Bennett Park
- Fort Tryon Park
- Fort Washington Park
- Highbridge Park (mountain bike trails)
- Boricua College
- Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Yeshiva University
- Manhattan Borough President
- Manhattan Community Board 12
- NYC Mayor
- NY City Council District 10
- NY State Senate District 31
- NY State Assembly Districts 71 & 72
- US Congress NY District 13
Washington Heights News
Visit Washington Heights
The neighborhood is divided by the heights up on the Manhattan schist and the eastern low land. Fort Washington Ave is the main street up to the Heights. Broadway is the main street down below. Dyckman St on the northern border is also a main street. It is very Dominican.
I-95 crosses the neighborhood. The West Side Highway runs along the western border. Harlem River Drive (which becomes the FDR) is on the eastern border.
The GW Bridge Bus Terminal provides connections to New Jersey.
(A) 155th, 163rd, 168th, 175th, 181st, 190th, and Dyckman St
(1) to 157th, 168th St – Washington Heights, 181st, and Dyckman St
The (A) provides fast access to downtown because it runs express. The (1) local follows Broadway to Midtown.
In the Heights
Washington Heights is going to be famous forever as the setting for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights Broadway play and movie.
Miranda was raised in Inwood, on the north side of Dyckman St, the northern border of Washington Heights. He wrote many of the hit songs of Hamilton in Aaron Burr’s room at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
The New York City street is a culture all its own.
Hispanic Society NYC, or The Hispanic Museum & Library, is a research library and museum…
The Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s museum of…
The United Palace is a restored 1930 vaudeville theater and movie palace that serves as…
Fort Washington Park runs along the Hudson River. Highbridge Park runs along the Harlem River. Fort Tryon Park is the big park. A rock in Bennett Park is the highest natural point in Manhattan. J. Hood Wright Park has bridge and river views.
Libraries are important repositories of knowledge and places to study with internet access. Please don’t take away our libraries.
New York Public Library branches include the Washington Heights Library and the Fort Washington Library.
Private libraries include the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library (Columbia University Irving Medical Center) and Russell A Hibbs Memorial Library (Columbia University orthopedic library).
Barrio Life In Washington Heights
The neighborhood is gentrifying, but is still a barrio. Barrio life is unique. The suits are track suits. Spanish is more common than English. The air is filled with the sound of merengue, bachata, salsa and reggaeton – at all hours and often loud enough to knock you off your feet and wake the dead.
There is more street life because we live in small apartments (although Washington Heights has bigger apartments than most of Manhattan). Kids do wheelies down the street on their bicycles and motorbikes. They like to set off fireworks in the wee hours. Beauty salons and barber shops are open late and busy all night.
The markets are piled high with viandes (root vegetables) and Caribbean products. Plantains are cheaper in Washington Heights than they are in Puerto Rico. The smell of restaurants cooking Latin food brings memories of home. You can still get a nice meal without breaking the bank. In New York City, that’s important.
Early in the morning men gather on the street to gossip before work. Even the streets are a workplace. There is a lot of mobile car repairing, washing and detailing – just like in the Caribbean.
To outsiders, an open fire hydrant might suggest lawlessness, but to the community, it represents love. New York moms know that when the water is running, the kids are safe. Running water puts everyone into play.
That’s life in The Heights.