Hamilton and In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda knows a thing or two about New York City, or “the greatest city in the world,” as he likes to call it. Check out his virtual tour of Manhattan—including spots with close ties to both musicals—in a new episode of Perspectives from Google Arts and Culture above.
“I always got frustrated as a kid that most tourism things boasted pictures of things south of 125th Street,” says Miranda as he takes viewers to Washington Heights with the click of a mouse. The artist actually grew up 75 blocks north of that, resulting in lyrics like “Well, you must take the A Train / Even farther than Harlem to northern Manhattan and maintain” from the title track of In The Heights.
Throughout his tour, the Broadway favorite points out some of the lesser known landmarks in NYC like Sylvan Terrace, a short street with buildings preserved from the 1800’s. Other stops include the Morris-Jumel Mansion (where Miranda actually worked on Hamilton in the room that Aaron Burr lived in for a year) and the Drama Book Shop (one of the first places Freestyle Love Supreme performed in NYC).
“One of the things I love about NYC is it’s in a constant state of metamorphosis,” says Miranda. “You could walk from the top of Manhattan to the bottom and when you walk back up, certain blocks will be different.” On top of the sights, Miranda goes into the cultural aspects of the city, including how Washington Heights became the Latin American enclave it is today and why riding the subway is such a great time for writing.
He also goes on a deep-dive of Jonathan Larson’s Rent and tick, tick...Boom!, both of which have strong connections to Miranda. The former inspired him to pursue musical theatre as a career and, more recently, he directed the Netflix adaptation of the latter (he also starred in the 2014 Encores! Off-Center production).
Google Arts & Culture allows users to explore cities, museums, and more with 360-degree views all from home. For more information, click here.