Always considered the heart of the African-American community of the city, Harlem in recent years has undergone a gradual transformation with the recovery of degraded areas and the arrival of residents belonging to other ethnic groups attracted among other things by low real estate costs. Particularly significant was the arrival in 2001 of Bill Clinton, who, having completed his second term as President of the United States, chose Harlem as the headquarters of his Clinton Foundation. The foundation moved almost all of its offices to the Theater District in 2011.
Today in the neighborhood there are art galleries, trendy restaurants as well as retail chains such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Whole Foods, supermarket known for its organic and quality products, Champs, Modell's, Gap and many others.
Places to Visit
The characteristic that unites the Places to Visit and Harlem is their link with the history of the neighborhood and that of the African-American community. First of all the famous Apollo Theatre, then there is the "tourist" Abyssinian Baptist Church, known for its Gospel choirs, the Strivers' Row area, with its terraced houses and Hamilton Grange National Memorial, the home of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States.
In the Upper Manhattan area there is the Morris-Jumel Mansion, a residence built in 1765 by a British military officer and used as headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution and Sylvan Terrace, a group of late 19th century townhouses.
The Schomburg Center and Studio Museum in Harlem are dedicated to black art and culture. In the Upper Manhattan area are the Hispanic Society of America and The Met Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to medieval art.
Food & shopping
The main shopping street is 125th St.
Length and Visit Time (without visits)
8 km - 1h45'-2h30'
Map created with Google Maps
The route described excludes the northernmost part of Upper Manhattan. This can be reached by metro and then you can decide whether to walk to the start of the route or reach it by public transport. The walking distance between Morris-Jumel Mansion and Hamilton Grange National Memorial is 1.8 km, while to reach the latter from The Met Cloisters you have to walk a total of 5.4 km. In this area there are Sylvan Terrace, a group of late 19th century townhouses, Audubon Terrace, which includes buildings built in the Beaux-Arts and American Renaissance styles, and the Hispanic Society Museum & Library.
, B, C, D
From the subway station get off on St Nicholas Ave. to 141st St. Here right for a short stretch until you reach Hamilton Grange National Memorial
. Now go back to St Nicholas Ave. where you turn right to reach 138th St. left to Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue). On this road, in the block between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (7th Ave.), there are the townhouses of Strivers' Row and in the next one there is the Abyssinian Baptist Church
. Right on Malcolm X Boulevard to 135th St. where the Schomburg Center
is. Continue on Malcolm X Boulevard to 129th St. where you will see the National Jazz Museum on your left. Continue on Malcolm X Boulevard to 125th St. Along this stretch there are two well-known restaurants in Harlem. Between 126th St. and 127th St. is Sylvia's
, with soul food, American cuisine developed by the African-American community and the next block Red Rooster
, owned by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Now right on 125th St. until Morningside Ave. This stretch of a 125th St. is the heart of Harlem, now decisively transformed with various retail chains, but where you can also see the historic Apollo Theater
and The Studio Museum in Harlem
. If you don't want to continue the tour to Morningside Heights, on 125th St. there are two subway stops.
, B, C, D
(125th St.); 2, 3
If you want to continue on to Morningside Heights
, turn left onto Morningside Ave. and then right onto 123rd St. until Amsterdam Ave. Here turn left and immediately right for 122nd St. to Riverside Dr. The park in front of it is Riverside Park and
in the park on the right is the General Grant National Memorial
while on the left is the entrance to the Riverside Church
. After the church on the left on 120th St. and immediately on the right on Broadway, a little further on on the left is the entrance to Columbia University
. After wandering around the university campus for a while you have to exit on Amsterdam Ave., go right down to 112th St. where on the left is the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
. This is the last place to visit, now to take the subway you have to reach 110th St., go right and walk to Broadway where there is the subway station. Alternatively you go left on 110th St. and walk to Frederick Douglass Circle where on the right there is another subway station.
(110th St.); B, C
(Cathedral Pkwy/110th St.)