A Day in Washington Heights

The first thing you will come to mind in Washington Heights is how steeped this New York City neighborhood is in Latin American history. The largest Dominican Republic community resides in the area. This is where baseball star Manny Ramirez grew up. Washington Heights was the setting of “In the Heights” by legendary playwright Lin-Manual Miranda. The neighborhood is a long lesson in American history. For starters, this is where the Continental Army stood, during the American Revolutionary War, defending the Heights and beyond from the British army.

Highbridge Park

You are very lucky to be in Washington Heights just in time for the revival of Highbridge Park. The park’s High Bridge, linking the Harlem River with Manhattan, reopened in 2015, after being off-limits to pedestrians for 40 years. The park features a beloved High Bridge Water Tower, one of the highest points of the city (200 feet above sea level). The stone tower, completed in 1848, is one of the most iconic structures in New York City, and was critical in conveying portable water to the city from Croton Reservoir in Westchester.


Audubon Terrace

As you uncover the many landmarks in Washington Heights, you stumble upon a true treasure: Audubon Terrace. The Beaux-Arts historical complex revolves around a central plaza that is adorned with sculptures. The landmark complex is home to a series of educational facilities like the Hispanic Society of America, Boricua College and the Academy of Arts and Letters. Another great place to visit is The Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum and The Armory, which has been converted into a massive indoor track and field facility.


Little Red Lighthouse

The most dominant part of the neighborhood is clearly noticeable from its shoreline. The majestic George Washington Bridge hangs in the background, the eternal backdrop. The best views come at Fort Washington Park. Try to visit at night when the bridge is lit up, although the views are equally impressive in daylight. The presence of the Little Red Lighthouse creates an almost unreal landscape. Under the massive bridge, the lighthouse appears like a toy. The petite-appearing landmark, in fact, was featured in a 1942 children’s book, appropriately titled ‘The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge."

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Taszo Espresso Bar

The mornings in the Heights have one standout coffee shop: Taszo Espresso Bar. The computer-friendly shop is designed for customers looking to get some work done before they head to work. The large windows and brick walls create a subtle and stylish atmosphere. Besides the array of coffee, the place serves up some great eats. This morning, may want to pick at a ham and cheese scone.


Coogan’s Restaurant

The fact that you found an authentic Irish pub and restaurant in the area is rare. And Coogan’s Restaurant has been engraved into the neighborhood since its establishment in 1985. The Irish eatery has also been critical in creating a sense of community for both Latin and Irish alike. Coogan’s is an Irish gastropub that features authentic Irish grub like shepherd’s pie and bangers. They also serve up one killer burger as well as tacos with rice and beans.


Morris-Jumel Mansion

Washington Heights played a critical role in the Revolutionary War, the fact none more evident than with the Morris-Jumel Mansion. Built in 1765, the historic building is the oldest house in Manhattan. Even more, the house was George Washington’s headquarters for about five weeks after the British invasion of 1776. With the house sitting on top of a hilltop, Washington had clear views in every direction, and directed the Battle of Harlem Heights. Today, the house – which features white pillars and resembles the White House in Washington D.C. – is a museum.

A Night in Washington Heights


Sylvan Terrace

If you continue to unearth the pleasures of the Heights, you will eventually run into Sylvan Terrace. The Terrace is part of a historic district that features a stone-paved street that was originally a private carriage drive that connected the nearby Morris-Jumel Mansion with St. Nicholas Avenue. The coolest part of the Terrace, however, are the 20 wood houses that were built around 1882 and restored in 1980. They all look the same, and – in unison – create a sense of a small cottage village.


Buddha Beer Bar

The rise and proliferation of local brewing companies has slowly reached Washington Heights. Buddha Beer Bar is the leading beer specialist in the area, with more than 26 beers on tap and another 21 beers in the bottle and yet another seven in the can. There are so many great craft brews, including those from Boulevard, Two Roads and the local favorites from L.I.C. Beer Project.

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Malecón Restaurant

You will have easy access to some of the most authentic Caribbean eats in Washington Heights. At some point, give Manolo Tapas and Marcha Cocina a try. The best of the bunch is the Malecón Restaurant. The Dominican hotspot offers the best mofongo you will ever eat. If you don’t know what mofongo is, the dish combines green unripe plantains mashed into a cake after being fried twice over and then mixed together with bits of fried pork skin. The combination is an explosion of flavor and a perfect match of tastes, given how the salt from the pork skin enhances the taste of the plantains.

Words by Arte Vincent

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Erik Serras
Erik Serras
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Residential Division
Office: 718.840.2757
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