National Hispanic Heritage Month has just ended, but there are always plenty of places to celebrate the Latinx community and its influence year-round in NYC, with art exhibits, music, and – of course – food.
Here’s a guide to what to see and do around town.
Hispanic Culture Downtown
This major exhibit includes nearly 200 works by more than sixty Mexican and American artists and explores the impact Mexican muralists including José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros had on their counterparts in the United States.
- Advance tickets are required.
This combo club/cafe was founded by poets Miguel Algarin, Miguel Pinero and Pedro Pietri, who believed that art could reinforce social and political justice.
The term “Nuyorican” represents a blend of the cultures of New York City and Puerto Rico.
The café currently offers free, virtual writing workshops.
Hispanic Culture on the Upper East Side
El Museo del Barrio
El Museo del Barrio anchors the northern of Manhattan’s famous Museum Mile, with an extensive collection specializing in Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art,.
The current exhibit is Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York.
The museum is currently open Saturdays and Sundays, from Noon to 5pm,
- Reserved timed tickets are required.
Museum of the City of New York
Directly across the street is s located across the street from El Museo del Barrio.
Current exhibits on view include Activist New York exploring social activism in NYC and Who We Are, which marks the 2020 census.
Open Thursday through Monday from 10am- 6pm with timed tickets,
Where to eat:
- Zona de Cuba is a Cuban restaurant offering delicious and authentic food like vaca frita and ropa vieja. Try a “Bebetela con Passion” cocktail made with vodka, passion fruit juice, agave, lime juice and dash angostura bitters
Hispanic Culture in Washington Heights
This is one of the lesser-known museums in NYC, which is a shame. It features art, fabrics and more back from Spain and Spanish colonies and Spanish speaking countries in South America and the Caribbean, including a paintings by Velasquez and Goya.
The current installation is Treasures on the Terrace: Highlights from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, featuring works from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Peru.
Where to eat:
- El Floridita offers a fusion of traditional Cuban and Dominican flavors since 1995.
- El Presidente, a few blocks north on Broadway, offers a combination of Caribbean and Latin dishes and drinks.
This isn’t exactly a Latinx site, but it was the country home of Alexander Hamilton, when this part of Manhattan was still “the country”.
We are listing it here because Lin-Manuel Miranda spent some here, being inspired.
It is a National Historic Site, part of the National Park Service.
Another historic Revolutionary Era country house nearby, the house is named for the British aristocrat who built it and the American merchant who purchased it. George Washington used the house for the first Cabinet meeting, which included both Vice President Aaron Burr and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.
Jumel’s widow later married Aaron Burr, after he had shot Hamilton to death in that famous duel.
We are listing it here, also as part of Hispanic heritage, because Lin-Manuel Miranda – who grew up nearby – wrote much of the Hamilton musical here, including the hit song In the Room Where it Happens, in Burr’s own bedroom here. The Morris-Jumel Mansion website has a video intro by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Morris Jumel Mansion is part of the Historic House Trust of NYC, at 65 Jumel Terrace, at 160th Street east of Broadway.
Hispanic Culture in Queens
Around 60 percent of Jackson Heights residents were born outside the United States, bringing cuisine and culture from Latin America and beyond. The neighborhood is also home to one of New York City’s largest LGBTQ+ communities.
Things to do:
Admire architectural masterpieces including two of the most well-known and skillfully-crafted garden apartment buildings featuring European Renaissance-inspired design and an interesting history, The Chateau, 34-05 to 34-47 80th Street and The Towers, 33-15 to 33-51 80th Street.
Where to eat:
Colombians are among the most prominent South American communities living in Jackson Heights, so a befitting lunch would be Sancocho (deep beefy flavors with a rich broth made with potatoes, green plantains, yuca, beef, chicken or pork) at Los Arrieros Restaurant.
Those who just want to experience a new appetizer, can try an arepa (grilled corn cake) at Arepa Lady.