Washington Heights, also known as 'Little Dominican Republic', is a hilly neighborhood way up in the northern part of Manhattan island. Gentrification has just begun to reach this area so it's still an affordable place to live.
There are a number of restaurants here, as well as some bars, but you won't find a ton of variety. Shopping is fairly limited as well; besides staples like grocery stores and pharmacies, there are lots of cheap retail stores lining the streets. But there is a lot of energy here and residents describe a strong community vibe. Fort Tryon Park offers 67 acres of paths, basketball courts, playgrounds, the Cloisters medieval museum, and the largest dog run in Manhattan. It's also got a burgeoning art scene.
Wall Street: 12 miles / 30-75 minutes by car / 45-60 minutes by transit
Rockefeller Center: 7.3 miles / 25-50 minutes by car / 30-35 minutes by transit
Jersey City: 21 miles / 30-55 minutes by car / 55-60 minutes by transit