Additional scenes are also filmed in Inwood, the neighborhood north of Washington Heights and at the northernmost tip of Manhattan. During Nina’s song, when she first returns back home from Stanford, she walks under an elevated train line along 10th Avenue to meet her father at Floridita restaurant, a real eatery. This is near the 207th Street A train subway stop.
Anthony Ramos reflects on the importance of place and for casting Latinx performers in the film: “I grew up in New York—Puerto Rican, ‘Nuyorican’—from Bushwick, Brooklyn. I didn’t grow up in Washington Heights, but in a neighborhood like it. I’ve never seen a film where somebody looks like my grandmother, like my tia, my cousins. I’ve never seen anything with 75 Latinos in the middle of the street dancing, singing with pride about where they came from. Everyone in this movie has a dream, a sueñito, a goal, and we see how each person goes after those individually. But when the obstacles present themselves, it isn’t just the one character, but all of them, the community, who persevere and find a way past them. It baffles my mind that some little Latin kid is going to see this. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen it, and I get emotional every time I think about this movie and what it means to me and the culture. That, to me, is a dream.”
Next, check out 20 must-visit locations in Washington Heights.