The Riverside State Park starts at 72nd Street on the Upper West Side and ends at 158th Street in Washington Heights, with the Hudson River persistently alongside. But the prime section of the park is located just blocks from your newest NYC apartment. The early morning runs, or walks, will ease your mind as you start the day. The park is widely considered the most scenic park in Manhattan. It is officially designated as one of eight scenic landmarks in the city, offering gorgeous views of the river and the New Jersey shoreline. The greenery is magnificent, with more than 134 acres to explore. Some of the most known points of interest include the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. The park also offers many sporting facilities, with kayak access, and a skating rink.
As you probably know, there’s a hit Broadway musical called Hamilton that tracks the life and times of one of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. In Hamilton Heights, there’s a beautiful landmark home called Hamilton Grange National Memorial. This isn’t the home’s first location — the original was in Convent Avenue. It has been relocated three times: once to Greenwich Village, then to St. Nicholas Park in the 1960’s and finally it moved again to its current location in 2006. The two-story, white Federal-style house was completed in 1802, just two years before Hamilton’s death following a duel with Aaron Burr. The home was named “The Grange” after Hamilton’s grandfather’s estate in Scotland. Today, the house has been preserved and renovated to resemble its original condition and it is open to public for tours.
Most of the city has been taken by storm by visionary street artwork. It’s quite evident when you walk down Audubon Street that Hamilton Heights is not immune to the trend. The entire street has become a walking art exhibit. Dubbed the Audubon Mural Project and curated by the National Audubon Society, the street is filled with glitzy and elaborate artwork that spans two 4-story high buildings. The majority of the art pieces center around an environmental theme – more specifically, America’s birds. So you will see plenty of eagles, seagulls and cardinals with bright and fluorescent colors splattered about.
Up-and-coming artists have slowly transformed the neighborhood into a major destination for contemporary artwork. This is clearly reflected at the Hamilton Landmark Galleries, located at 467 West 144th Street at Amsterdam Avenue. The artist haven, run by the Harlem Arts Alliance, was established in 1997 and has carried some of the best contemporary art. The institution has presented works of more than 70 painters, sculptors, ceramists and photographers from around the globe.
As you walk past 144th Street and Convent Avenue, you take a double look at the Romanesque building that stands out on the corner. That’s likely because you’ve seen it on the big screen. The building was the major set piece for the 2001 critically acclaimed movie "The Royal Tenenbaums.” The Royal Tenenbaum House was in fact unoccupied when director Wes Anderson was scouting locations – most of them in Brooklyn. Anderson rented the building for six months and shot several exterior and interior scenes at the location. Today, the building is occupied and remains pristine.
The bars in Hamilton Heights have steadily become more and more trendy, including, for example, Hogshead Tavern. The headliner in these parts though is Harlem Public. The craft bar has some tasty cocktails, The Public Snap (Sailor Jerry rum, snap liquor, fresh ginger and lemon) being the standout. The most interesting twist with Harlem Public is the fact that they dedicate an entire section to New York-based small batch liquors. There are 10 choices on the list, including Widow Jane Bourbon, Hillrock Double Cast Rye, Hillrock Single Malt, Hillrock Solera Bourbon and Brooklyn Gin.