"Harlem is a stage. It's like its own planet, from the
way we dress to the swag in the way we walk and talk"
Harlem has become synonymous with integral movements in music, literature, dance and art. From Minton’s and the Cotton Club to the infamous Apollo Theater, Harlem is home to countless venues, some with roots that reach back to the Roaring 20s. Flanked east and west by the Hudson and Harlem Rivers, and running from 110th Street to 155th Street, Harlem is bordered by the Washington Heights and Morningside Heights (home to Columbia University) neighborhoods.
While the history of Harlem is exciting in itself, one can’t help but notice an exciting wave of change on its main streets. Harlem is rewriting history with every celebrity chef that carves out new digs and with every trendy new storefront that throws open their doors. The rich history of Harlem is reflected through a wealth of museums, walking tours and restaurants, each catering to a different background or interest.
With so much to do in Harlem, it's hard to believe you'll ever have to leave. However, should you ever want to visit Midtown, FiDi or beyond, Harlem is extremely well connected.
Harlem may be known for its jazz legacy, but its burgeoning food scene is also quickly making a name for itself. In fact, some say Harlem is undergoing a second Renaissance, except this time, it's one for the foodies.
Few places worldwide have as many bars and clubs that still hold true to their historic roots. Harlem has long been synonymous with jazz music, and whether you're transported back to the Roaring 20's in a supper club or through one of the still-remaining speakeasies, it's clear to see this culture hasn't changed.
Located in the heart of Harlem on both sides of West 138th and 139th, the St. Nicholas Historic District, or “Striver’s Row”, is a famous row of homes designed by renowned architects in the 18th century. With private alleyways and secluded courtyards, these homes boasted amenities that were a rarity for the times. Still, very few houses were able to sell and as white New Yorkers left Harlem during an economic depression, these homes sat vacant.
Eventually, leaders in the black community and high-ranking professionals, or “strivers”, moved in, thus creating the name Striver’s Row. From brain surgeons and heavyweight boxers to composers and musicians, many notable people made their residences in these homes over the years.
As any local knows, Harlem and history go hand-in-hand. Not surprising, the main streets of this neighborhood are dotted with museums and landmarks that commemorate history and educate outsiders on Harlem's rich past.