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Washington Heights is a neighborhood in the northern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. The area is named for Fort Washington, a fortification constructed at the highest point on Manhattan Island by Continental Army troops during the American Revolutionary War. Washington Heights has among the lowest reported crime rates within neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Because of their abrupt, hilly topography, pedestrian navigation, particularly in Upper Manhattan and the West Bronx, is facilitated by many step streets. The longest of these in Washington Heights, at approximately 130 stairs, connects Fort Washington Avenue and Overlook Terrace at 187th Street.
Traversal of the elevation change can also be used using the three massive elevators within the 181st Street subway station, with entrances on Overlook Terrace and Fort Washington Avenue. A similar situation exists at 190th Street.
The 190th Street station contains the subway's only entrance in the Gothic style, although when originally built, it was a plain brick building; the stone facade was added later to bring the building into harmony with the entrance to Fort Tryon Park. The station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The 190th Street station, along with the 191st Street station, has the distinction of being one of the deepest in the entire subway system by distance to ground level.
The Art Stroll is an annual festival of the arts that highlights local artists. Public places in Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill host impromptu galleries, readings, performances, and markets over several weeks each summer.
Bennett Park is the location of the highest natural point in Manhattan. It hosts the annual Harvest Festival in September and the children's Halloween Parade – with trick-or-treating afterwards – on All Hallow's Eve.
There are many small shops located on West 181st Street at the southern end of the neighborhood, and all along Broadway. In the middle of the neighborhood itself, there is a small shopping area at West 187th Street between Cabrini Boulevard and Fort Washington Avenue.
News of Upper Manhattan is published weekly in The Manhattan Times, a bilingual newspaper. Its annual restaurant guide highlights the area's burgeoning restaurant scene. Events are also listed in the Washington Heights & Inwood Online calendar
Washington Heights is well served by the New York City Subway with the A and C trains on the Eighth Avenue line and the 1 train on the Seventh Avenue line. The MTA Regional Bus system serves the area as well.
Points of Interest
- Columbia University Medical Center
- Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
- The Hispanic Society of America
- National Track & Field Hall of Fame
- Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park
- Yeshiva University
- Boricua College