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Inwood, Manhattan, apartments and places to stay


Situated in the northern-most reaches of Manhattan, bounded by rivers on three sides and covered by the last natural forest on the island, Inwood does feel a bit isolated from all the hustle and bustle of urban Manhattan. To the east and north Inwood is encircled by the Harlem river, to the  west by the Hudson, while its southern border is Dyckman street. Just like Washington Heights that lies to the south Inwood is home to a large Dominican community which gives the neighbourhood a distinct Caribbean feel.


In the 17th and 18th centuries the area was covered by quarries for the mining of Inwood marble which was used in the construction of numerous buildings. The neighbourhood was initially an Irish enclave but in the 60s and 80s waves of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants changed the ethnic makeup of the area. Today Inwood has a strong community spirit and together with the rest of Washington Heights forms a Little Dominica in its own right complete with a vibrant dining scene, music and night life.


Cheap rents and low property prices coupled with the safety and serenity  of the neighbourhood attract people who want to live in Manhattan but away from its urban hubbub. The area that lies along Sherman Creek is occupied by tall residential apartment buildings but apart from this stretch the rest of Inwood is occupied by small residential buildings dating back to the early 20th century and even a handful of free-standing houses. The most attractive part of Inwood, however, are the vast green spaces.


Inwood Hill Park is the last natural forest on the whole island of Manhattan. The caves in the park were inhabited during the Stone Age and later the Lenope Indians used them for shelter. The riverside promenade offers scenic views over the opposite bank of the river covered by a vast stretch of natural preserved groves known as the Palisades. At weekends the park becomes crowded by visitors who flock here to enjoy the grassy areas, spread out picnic blankets and practise sports at some of the public facilities. There are several playgrounds for little visitors. The parkland is also popular with birdwatchers who can observe a variety of wild migratory species. The park’s most attractive feature to walkers are the numerous hiking trails set in lush natural terrain.  


Even though smaller nearby Isham park is just as scenic and attracts many visitors on sunny days. Parts of Fort Tryon Park extend well into the neighbourhood. One of the biggest attractions in the heights, the Cloisters, is located in Fort Tryon Park on the border between Inwood and Fort George. Don’t overlook this fantastic branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that resembles a Medieval palazzo. Some of the elements used for its construction were imported all the way from Europe, while its vast collection chronicles European Medieval history with lots of art works and artefacts. In autumn you can catch the Medieval festival, marvel at performers in period costumes and sample food.


A major historic attraction, Dyckman House is the oldest surviving farm house in New York. Built by Dutch settlers in the 17th century, the farmhouse still stands tall and beautiful on the intersection of Broadway and 204th street. The Columbia University campus located in the area provides expansive athletic fields and a 17 000-seater stadium famous as much for games held here as for fantastic vistas over the river and the bridge.


There is little in terms of cultural life or night time entertainment but local theatre, music events and festivals compensate for that, while further south the Washington Heights are dotted by Latin American and Caribbean restaurants and clubs. Inwood is very well connected to the rest of Manhattan Island via two subway lines, bus services and the Harlem River Drive which exits at Dyckman street.