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Map No. 15: Washington Heights


Bennett Park  

13. Bennett Park
W. 183rd St. at Ft. Washington Ave.
General George Washington set up camp here during the Revolutionary War. (At 265 feet above sea level, it’s the highest point of land in Manhattan.) Now it’s a playground with colorful swings and a jungle gym, and a lunch spot, thanks to ample bench space. When the weather’s nice, you might see local schoolchildren on recess and maybe a bake sale in progress.

14. Critter Outfitter
210 Pinehurst Ave., nr. W. 187th St.; 212-928-0342
“In the last five years, the neighborhood has become very doggy,” says Valerie Volinski, the owner of this pet-grooming-and-supply store. Her shop is a community center of sorts for pet lovers, who regularly stop in for conversation and dog treats. Grooming costs from $55 to $100.

15. Sava Spa
211 Pinehurst Ave., nr. W. 185th St.; 212-543-0008
Uma Thurman, Christy Turlington, and Sting and Trudie Styler (and well-heeled locals) patronize Joanna Czech’s day spa, the neighborhood’s first. The pristine minimalist interior provides a calm environment for pampering. The Sava Ultimate Facial ($350) lasts up to 120 minutes and includes a foot-and-hand massage.

16. Gideon’s
810 W. 187th St., nr. Ft. Washington Ave.; 212-927-9262
Just like Nana used to make at home. This small, 60-year-old kosher bakery pumps out fresh, fragrant challah, black-and- white cookies (60 cents for a small one; large, 90 cents), and black-and-white cake ($9.95), which is even better.

17. Pleasant Cleaners
810 W. 187th St., nr. Ft. Washington Ave.; 212-927-5663
The preferred neighborhood stop for alterations, done by Adam the tailor, who can usually be found plying his sewing machine in the window.

18. Bleu Evolution
808 W. 187th St., nr. Ft. Washington Ave.; 212-928-6006
With its rustic décor and faux Victorian grandeur, this restaurant feels like your favorite thrift store but with food. The French and Italian cuisine suits its spacious garden dining area. Try the tilapia served with saffron risotto, broccoli rabe, and its delicious orange rum sauce ($18.95).

19. Frank’s Market
807–809 W. 187th St., nr. Ft. Washington Ave.; 212-795-2929
This half-century-old market has blossomed into a fully stocked gourmet haven with prepared food; an array of cheeses, meats, breads; and fourteen varieties of olives.

20. Hilltop Pharmacy
593 Ft. Washington Ave., at W. 187th St.; 212-568-5510
The sign should really say APOTHECARY, because having a pharmacist greet you by name is a courtesy reminiscent of a bygone era.

21. Monkey Room
589 Ft. Washington Ave., nr. W. 187th St.; 212-543-9888
On weekends, the outdoor patio is usually standing-room-only at this hopping bar with its gay and straight multicultural patrons. Broken-in banquettes and a flat-screen television with sports programming bring drinkers inside.

22. United Palace
4140 Broadway, at W. 175th St.; 212-568-6700
Six months ago, the Reverend Ike’s Christ Community United Church, a 3,293-seat space, started moonlighting as an indie-rock venue. Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, and Björk have played recently, drawing a new kind of crowd. The interior is Old Hollywood grand, but nowadays the exterior is somewhat shabby.

23. Malecon
4141 Broadway, at W. 175th St.; 212-927-3812
“King of the Roast Chicken” is not an overstatement at this Caribbean-influenced restaurant that stays open from 7 A.M. to 2 A.M., welcoming livery drivers and downtown clubbers returning home late at night.

24. La Rosa Fine Foods
4161 Broadway, nr. W. 176th St.; 212-923-4100
This Spanish gourmet shop with five staff butchers sells fresh fish, meats, and produce to local gourmands.

25. No Parking
4168 Broadway, at W. 177th St.; 212-923-8700
This year-old Latino and African-American gay bar grooves on Saturday night to D.J.’s spinning Puerto Rican–inspired reggaeton, salsa, and more. Go-go boys have been known to dance atop the circular acrylic-and-glass bar.

26. Típico Dominicano Restaurant
4172 Broadway, at W. 177th St.; 212-781-3900
A 24-hour restaurant with Dominican-influenced dishes such as mofongo ($7.95) and shrimp seviche ($16.95). Its breakfast special is hard to beat: two eggs, home fries, toast, juice, and coffee or tea, for $2.25.

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