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Harlem

Overview

Harlem, an expansive neighborhood in the northern section of New York City’s borough of Manhattan, is a vibrant and historically significant area known for its rich African-American history, cultural institutions, and distinctive architectural styles. Its borders are roughly defined by the East and Hudson rivers, with 110th Street to the south and 155th Street to the north. Once known as a major African-American cultural and business hub during the “Harlem Renaissance” of the 1920s, today’s Harlem is a diverse neighborhood with a unique character and spirit.

Location

Harlem is located in Upper Manhattan, beginning north of Central Park at 110th Street (Central Park North). It extends north to the Harlem River and stretches across from the East River to the Hudson River. Neighboring areas include the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and Morningside Heights.

Website

While Harlem does not have an official website as a neighborhood, various online resources provide comprehensive information about Harlem’s events, businesses, and cultural institutions. For instance, Harlem One Stop is a community-led initiative that offers extensive information about Harlem’s history, culture, and local businesses.

Opening Hours

As a neighborhood, Harlem is accessible 24/7. However, the opening hours of individual establishments such as restaurants, shops, and cultural institutions vary. It’s best to check their individual websites for accurate information.

Things to do

– Visit the Apollo Theater: This historic theater has been a launching pad for numerous artists, particularly African-American performers. It’s famous for its “Amateur Night.”
– Explore the Harlem Heritage Tours: These tours offer an in-depth look into Harlem’s history and its contributions to culture, arts, and civil rights.
– Stroll in Morningside Park: This beautiful urban park offers walking paths, playgrounds, and stunning views of the city.
– Dine in Harlem: Harlem is known for its soul food and diverse culinary scene. Sylvia’s, Red Rooster, and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que are popular destinations.
– Visit Museums: Harlem is home to several cultural institutions, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, and the National Jazz Museum.

History

Harlem has a rich and complex history. Initially a Dutch village founded in 1658, it was named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. However, Harlem is perhaps best known for the “Harlem Renaissance,” a literary and cultural movement in the 1920s that celebrated African-American culture and identity. In the mid-20th century, Harlem faced economic decline and social issues but has since seen significant reinvestment and revitalization.

Tips For Visiting

– Research in Advance: Harlem is a large neighborhood. Plan your visit according to your interests—be it history, food, music, or architecture.
– Public Transportation: Harlem is well-served by public transportation, including the subway and buses. The A, B, C, D, 2, and 3 trains all have stops throughout Harlem.
– Walking Tours: Consider a guided walking tour to better understand Harlem’s history and cultural significance.

Harlem is a neighborhood with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a strong sense of community. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or cuisine, Harlem offers a unique and enriching experience.

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