3. J. Hood Wright Park

Caption: (L-r) COREY HAWKINS as Benny and LESLIE GRACE as Nina in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “IN THE HEIGHTS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Pictures’ “IN THE HEIGHTS.” Photo by Macall Polay. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A lot of shooting takes place in and around J. Hood Wright Park, including scenes between Benny (played by Corey Hawkins) and Nina (played by Leslie Grace). From this park, which has exposed Manhattan schist, there are great views of the George Washington Bridge and the Hudson River. Just next to it, at the intersection of Haven Avenue and 176th Street (just next to the on ramps for the bridge) was where the the song “Carnaval Del Barrio” was filmed. And, Benny and Nina also stand on a fire escape at Nina’s apartment building on 176th Street and Haven Avenue. The 6.7 acre park on West 173rd Street between Haven Avenue and Fort Washington Avenue is named after a Gilded Age financier who lived in a mansion nearby. Today, Wright may be most known for a hospital, the J. Hood Wright Hospital which later became the Knickerbocker Hospital, the main inspiration for the hospital of the same name in the show The Knick.

The shooting of the scenes here sound like a real celebration, as described by Warner Bros: “Filming for the explosively joyful “Carnaval del Barrio” featured the stereotypical New York summer in all its glory. A total of 60 dancers plus cast worked through a 14-hour day of heat and humidity behind four apartment buildings blocks away from J. Hood Wright Park—making the onscreen situation (and the actual feel of the moment) all the more palpable. Once Chu called the final “Cut!”, the celebrating refused to end, with everyone continuing to sing, dance, wave flags and cheer. As Lin-Manuel Miranda observed from the fire escape overhead, the ensemble below then began to spontaneously chant his name: “Lin! Lin!”