Iconic Upper Manhattan neighborhoods could be renamed to honor Dominican culture

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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — A neighborhood known by any other name would still be home.

That Shakespearean sentiment is the hope of local officials proposing to rename several iconic neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat introduced a resolution earlier this year to rename parts of Upper Manhattan to reflect the Dominican culture of the neighborhood.

Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights have become synonymous with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and “In the heights.” But these barrios in Upper Manhattan — along with the Inwood section of the borough — are probably best known for representing their vibrant Dominican culture since the 1960s.

Now, a resolution has been introduced to rebrand the area as Quisqueya Heights, meant to highlight the cultural legacy of the Dominican community.

The name means “mother of the earth.” It’s also the name the original inhabitants, Tainos, gave the island of Hispaniola, which make up the Dominican Republic and Haiti. 

Neighborhood opinion was split on the move — change is always controversial.

Right now there is no set timeline for this approval process or if it will become law, but you can find the complete resolution here.

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