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Living in Inwood: Diversity, Culture, and Nature


Affordable and full of energy

By Lawrence Williams and Julia Boland

Inwood, the northernmost neighborhood of Manhattan, stands as a microcosm of New York City’s rich tapestry. As residents navigate the bustling streets and verdant parks, they find themselves immersed in a unique blend culture and nature.

In the past, Inwood has been home to basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actress Lucille Ball, sculptor Ruth Brall, actor James Cagney, and journalist Tom Wolfe. Here are the reasons the best real estate agents in NYC are looking to Inwood today.

Affordability and Choice

While the 2024 housing market may have an inventory shortage and high prices in other parts of the country, Inwood offers a respite from the housing crush. An affordable housing price point is one of Inwood’s major appeals.

The housing stock includes condos, co-op and townhouses. Many of them are in beautiful pre-war buildings with views of the Hudson River. An analysis of the 2023 market demonstrates that buyers could save over $1 million by buying a 2-bedroom co-op in an elevator building in Inwood versus buying one in Tribeca. Buying an apartment in NYC is expensive but this neighborhood offers real value.

It’s no surprise that developers have their eye on Inwood. Inwood continues to evolve and change, with new local businesses, and many new development projects underway. The neighborhood’s commitment to preserving architectural heritage ensures a harmonious blend of the old and the new. New parks are being built along the East River adding to the abundance of green spaces in the neighborhood.

Diversity

Living in Inwood is an experience shaped by its diverse community. Here you will find the echoes of different languages, and the warm smiles exchanged between neighbors. Hailing from various backgrounds and cultures, residents create a mosaic that sets the area apart from other NYC neighborhoods. In Inwood, diversity is not just celebrated; it is an integral part of the community’s identity. See for yourself at the Inwood Green Market every Saturday on Isham Street between Seman Avenue and Cooper Street.

Unique Culinary Adventures

You can eat well without breaking the bank in Northern Manhattan. The foodie website, “The Infatuation” recommends Cachapas Y Mas for Venezuelan food and La Casa del Mofongo for, of course, Mofongo. And there is so much more to taste and smell.

Inwood’s culinary scene is a journey through global flavors. From the aromatic corridors of Indian and Mexican eateries to the savory delights of Dominican cuisine, residents and tourists alike can embark on a gastronomic adventure. Every eatery is a cultural hub that reflects the rich heritage of Inwood’s inhabitants.

Cultural Vibrancy

Cultural celebrations and events punctuate the Inwood calendar, offering residents a chance to connect and celebrate their diversity. Drums along the Hudson is an annual event held in Inwood Hill Park to commemorate the Lenape People, native Americans who first populated this area. Throughout the warm weather months there are numerous Street festivals, art exhibitions, and music performances. Curious about emerging artists? Check out some of the local galleries like Inwood Art Works.

Nature’s Starring Role

Inwood Hill Park, a sprawling green oasis, has the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan. Once inside the park you might forget you are in one of the top cities in the world as the hustle and bustle melts into the background. Hiking trails, serene water bodies, and the historic Shorakkopoch Rock provide a sanctuary within the city.

It is home to 250 species of trees and flowers, many of which do not exist anywhere else in the city. Inwood residents enjoy the privilege of having a piece of untamed nature at their doorstep, offering a balance rarely found in metropolitan living.

Growth Opportunities for Local Businesses

Looking for a hospitable environment for your small business? The Inwood Merchant Association should be your first stop to learn how this non-profit is helping to create a community that contributes to the neighborhood’s economic vitality. Current community-driven initiatives focus on inclusivity, sustainability, and cultural preservation.

Inwood becomes not just a place of residence but a shared project where every resident plays a role in shaping the identity. In recent years, Inwood has embraced sustainability as a core value. Residents actively participate in recycling programs, community gardens flourish, and initiatives promoting eco-friendly practices have gained momentum. The commitment to sustainable living reflects the neighborhood’s awareness of its environmental impact and a shared responsibility to nurture the planet for future generations.

Ongoing Development and Preservation

Like any urban community, Inwood faces its share of challenges — housing affordability, infrastructure improvements, and maintaining the delicate balance between development and preservation require thoughtful consideration.

Right now, three large projects under construction offer affordable housing: The Eliza at 4790 Broadway; 407 West 206th Street; and North Cove at 375 West 207th Street. Sherman Plaza at 4650 Broadway is a new rental building with several sustainable features.

The Inwood Spirit

These days the exuberant creativity is palpable in this Manhattan neighborhood, much like it was years ago when grittiness pervaded Soho or the Meat Packing District. Inwood is more than a geographical location — it’s a living entity that thrives on collective experiences, stories, dreams, and aspirations of its residents. It is watching the sun set over the Hudson River from Inwood Hill Park, listening to authors debate ideas at a local cafe, hearing the strains of global music filter through the windows on a warm summer evening and the shared pride in being part of a community that embraces diversity and celebrates unity.

Inwood residents continue to contribute to the neighborhood’s evolving narrative, a place where living is not just an act, but a celebration of life that reflects the essence of New York City itself.