Lady Liberty first welcomes immigrants to NYC. Today their descendants - and legions of newcomers - still shape Manhattan's neighborhoods.
By Kathryn Wilson
West 55th Street to West 190th Street
For bargain waterfront views, you could live in Brooklyn—but why go JV in a varsity city? Washington Heights offers Beaux Arts, Art Deco, and Tudor-style buildings with backdrops of the Harlem and the Hudson Rivers. For under $1 million, you can buy an apartment in the Riviera (790 Riverside Drive, 212-247-2603; 790rsd.org), which once housed Stokely Carmichael, or Hudson View Gardens (RIGHT) (116 Pinehurst Avenue, 212-923-7800; hudsonviewgardens.com), which was designed to resemble suburban living when it was first constructed in 1923.
Put on your most comfortable Stubbs & Wootton loafers and take a walk from 155th Street to 190th Street. Start at the Hispanic Society of America (RIGHT) (613 West 155th Street, 212-926-2234; hispanicsociety.org). The museum is part of the collective that composed the museum complex at Audubon Terrace when it originated in the early 20th century. Then take a leisurely stroll up to the New Balance Track & Field Center (216 Fort Washington Avenue), home to the Track and Field Hall of Fame. Recharge with local fare: La Casa del Mofongo (1447 Saint Nicholas Avenue, 212-740-1200) serves up a signature dish of plantains and pork along with other Hispanic delicacies (be prepared to wait). End your tour by meandering up to 190th Street, the northern boundary of Washington Heights.
BITS & BOBS
Although British forces destroyed the area’s namesake Fort Washington, the original site can be found in Bennett Park.
In the Heights, a musical about the trials of growing up Dominican in New York City, won the 2008 Tony Award for best musical.
John James Audubon owned a waterfront estate in Washington Heights and called it “Minnie’s Land,” after his wife.
Foley Square to Canal Street
● Golden Unicorn
For another take on brunch, gather your gang for dim sum. This à la carte dining experience is best had at the Golden Unicorn, where large parties are accommodated (no waiting), a diverse menu is served, and chicken feet are considered tame. 18 East Broadway, 212-941-0911; goldenunicornrestaurant.com.
● Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
This dessert heaven is set underneath a giant flag depicting a green dragon. Bring an empty stomach, cash (no credit cards accepted), and an open mind to try flavors like Zen butter and black sesame. 65 Bayard Street, 212-608-4170; chinatownicecreamfactory.com.
Photographs by Michael Surkis/courtesy of Hudson View Gardens (GARDEN); Stephen Grande Jr./Hispanic Society of America (GALLERY); Nicholas Routzen (APOTHÉKE); Swim by the 7th Art (BROMPTON); Erin Gillis (KARAOKE); Erin Gillis (CURRY IN A HURRY); Battman Studios (SAN GENNARO); Lisa Reynolds Wolfe (BIG PUN); A. de la Cruz (TOY)