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Features, NYC Guides, Top Stories, Washington Heights

The 18 best places to visit in Washington Heights

By Devin Gannon, Today, June 21, 2021

A hilly neighborhood with stunning public parks, incredible food, and community pride, Washington Heights is special. Not only is this area full of natural beauty (it has the highest natural point in Manhattan and boasts incredible Hudson River views) and historically important (it served as a strategic defense point during the Revolutionary War), Washington Heights has long been an immigrant enclave.

As development hit the largely rural neighborhood in the early 20th century, Irish, Jewish, African American, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican communities have all called Washington Heights home. Today, a strong Latin American and Caribbean presence remains, with Washington Heights and nearby Inwood considered the most populous Dominican neighborhoods in the U.S. With this month’s release of the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In The Heights, we’ve put together a guide of must-visit places in Washington Heights, from Manhattan’s oldest home to the city’s only underground street, with stops for roasted chicken and chicharrón along the way.

Start planning your visit

Cool Listings, West Village 

Listing photos by Yoo Jean Han for Sotheby’s International Realty

In the West Village, many of the buildings along Seventh Avenue South tend to be oddly shaped, as the avenue was cut diagonally through the neighborhood in the early 1900s to make way for the IRT Broadway subway line. This townhouse at number 54 is one such example. The rare, nearly freestanding building has a trapezoidal footprint, as well as a gated courtyard that has parking for two cars and a beautiful secret garden. The 5,820-square-foot townhouse, on the market for $11,950,000, is currently set up as a commercial space on the ground floor (occupied by the designer Markarian, who designed Jill Biden’s Inauguration Day outfit), a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor, and a three-bedroom owner’s duplex plus roof terrace on the third and fourth floors.

See inside

Architecture, Design, Hotels, Roosevelt Island

All photos courtesy of Steve Freihon Photography

Roosevelt Island’s first hotel recently opened as part of Cornell University’s new tech campus. Graduate Roosevelt Island rises 18 stories, contains 224 rooms, and boasts incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, Queensboro Bridge, and beyond. The hotel aims to offer a “scholastic retreat” for the Cornell community and New York City visitors, with playful touches like a 12-12-foot statue of artist Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy in the lobby and neon light fixtures inspired by a Cornell science project in the guest rooms. There’s also a ground-level restaurant and an indoor-outdoor rooftop bar and lounge.

Get the details

City Living, Events, Queens

US Open, Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, tennis stadiums

Photo via Wikimedia

The U.S. Open this year will allow spectators at 100 percent capacity throughout the two-week tournament in Queens, a year after fans could not attend the event because of the pandemic. The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) announced on Thursday that tickets for the general public will go on sale starting July 15, with an early access presale for select American Express card members.

Get the details

affordable housing, Bronx, Major Developments, New Developments

Photo © Julienne Schaer

The first two rentals at the five-building South Bronx complex La Central officially opened on Wednesday. The mixed-use towers, located at 556 and 600 Bergen Street in the borough’s Melrose neighborhood, contain 500 units of housing, a new YMCA, studio space for BronxNet, and a rooftop farm operated by GrowNYC.

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Cool Listings, Harlem

Listing photos by Eitan Gamliely for Sotheby’s International Realty

Considered one of the most beautiful and historic parts of Harlem, the Mount Morris Park Historic District is mainly comprised of late-19th-century townhouses, ranging in style from Romanesque Revival to Queen Anne. The most stately are along Mount Morris Park West, like this gorgeous mansion at number 12, currently on the market for $8.2 million. It has nearly 8,000 square feet of interior space, 10 bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and two half baths, and loads of preserved woodwork that harken back to the home’s construction in 1888.

See more here

Coney Island, Events

Mermaid Parade 2018; Photo Credit: © Norman Blake

Following a virtual celebration in 2020 due to the pandemic, Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade is back for an in-person event this year. Coney Island USA announced this week that the 39th annual parade will take place on September 12, ending, instead of kicking off, New York City’s summer season.

Find out more

Bay Ridge, Cool Listings

Listing photos by Allyson Lubow, courtesy of The Lesley Semmelhack Team at The Corcoran Group

Over in Manhattan, $1,250,000 would probably get you a standard one-bedroom apartment. But in Bay Ridge, that listing price is for an entire corner-lot townhouse, with three bedrooms, a detached two-car garage, a sunroom, and a backyard patio and garden–not to mention the beautiful interiors and cheerful decor.

See the whole house

affordable housing, Coney Island, housing lotteries

Rendering courtesy of Handel Architects

As part of the Coney Island Phase I development, an affordable housing lottery launched today for 400 units, available to those earning 30, 40, 50, 60, 100, and 130 percent of the area median income. Located at 2926 West 19th Street, the new development is across the street from the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park and just steps away from the Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Q train station and the historic Coney Island boardwalk and beach. Available apartments range from $367/month studios to $2,250/month three-bedrooms.

Find out if you qualify

Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn

Photos by Joe Thomas

The tallest office tower in Downtown Brooklyn officially opened its doors this week. Developed by JEMB Realty and designed by FXCollaborative, One Willoughby Square rises 34 stories and contains 500,000 square feet of office space. Abbreviated as 1WSQ, the tower is also the first new Class-A office building built in the area since the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn in 2004.

Get the details

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