Harlem

North Harlem - Above 125th Street

Neighborhood

North Harlem is boarded on the south by 125th street, on the north by 145th street, on the west by Amsterdam Ave and on the east by 5th Ave.

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What to do

PARKS AND RECREATION

Tour the grounds of City College, the oldest of the City University’s twenty-three institutions of higher learning. City College’s thirty-five acre Manhattan campus along Convent Avenue from 130th Street to 141st Streets is on a hill overlooking Harlem; its neo-Gothic campus was mostly designed by George Browne Post, and many of its buildings are landmarks. Saint Nicholas Park is 23-acre park bounded by 141st Street to the north, 128th Street to the south, St. Nicholas Terrace to the west, and St. Nicholas Avenue to the east. Much of City College’s campus, including the famous Shepard Hall, is located just across St. Nicholas Terrace. The wooded park features basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, a dog park, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation-designated barbecue areas. Other attractions include large Manhattan schist outcrops, and monarch butterflies that cover the butterfly bushes at migration time.

The park was built in 1906 and designed by Samuel Parsons Jr., a one-time Parks Commissioner and associate of Calvert Vaux (co-designer of Central Park, Prospect Park, and nearby Morningside Park.) Notable for its connection to early American history, St. Nicholas Avenue itself was originally an Indian path named Weekquaeskeek, which served travelers going north to Spuyten Duyvil at the tip of Manhattan. During the American Revolutionary War, the park’s southern edge known as the “Point of Rocks” was a military campground for the Battle of Harlem Heights. The Hamilton Grange National Memorial at West 141st Street and Hamilton Terreace was reopened in 2011 after undergoing substantial renovation. The home of founding father Alexander Hamilton is located in St Nicholas Park at West 141st Street and St Nicholas Avenue in Hamilton Heights.

GROCERIES AND SUPERMARKETS

Central Market

If you prefer to dine at home, Whole Foods on 125th and Lenox offers a wide variety of healthy foods and ready-to-serve meals. There’s also Central Market on 110th and Frederick Douglass Blvd and Best Market on 118th and FDB, which has freshly made pizza, smoothies, deli sandwiches, and sushi, and a large selection of craft brews. For grass-fed, organic meats, stop in at Harlem Shambles on FDB and 116th, where you’ll find your basic cuts and some more adventurous offerings like marrow bones, beef heart, and tongue. Westside Market on 110th and Broadway, offers an array of pre-cooked foods, salad bar, deli and home delivery.

SHOPPING

Moe's Sneaker Spot

Take a stroll down 125th between 6th and 8th Ave and see that Harlem has your fashion needs covered. There you’ll find large chains such as H&M, Gap, and American Apparel. Venture over to Saint Nicholas Ave and you’ll find a more small shops, such as Nicole's Boutique.

FITNESS

Harlem YMCA

There’s a New York Sports Clubs on 125th/8th and Planet Fitness is at Lenox/126th. For one of the most beautiful walks in Manhattan, take a stroll down tranquil Convent Avenue (150th Street — 140th Street.) In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, a close study of the buildings along the street reveals high levels of historical significance.

Where to eat and drink

COFFEE SHOPS, BAKERIES, & MORE

Make My Cake

Coffee snob? Visit Lenox Coffee on 129th and Lenox, for an uber-fresh pour over or The Chipped Cup (148th/Broadway) for their featured house brew. For pasteries with a Southern flare, try Sweet Chef Southern Style Bakery on 143rd and Hamilton Pl. For a delectable dessert, try a homemade cupcake from Make My Cake on 139th and 7th.

RESTAURANTS AND NIGHTLIFE

Ginny’s Supper Club

Vying for the title of best comfort food, North Harlem is home to the legendary Sylvia’s on 126th and Lenox. Founder Sylvia Woods, the “Queen of Soulfood,” has owned the world famous restaurant since 1962 — they also cater, and there’s even a line of products if you want to have Syvia’s in your own home. If you’re over on Lenox Ave, stop in at Corner Social at 126th and enjoy one of their cocktails on their sidewalk cafe. Shrine Bar, on 134th and 7th and owned by the propierters of Yatenga, is a multimedia arts and culture venue founded in 2007 by musicians and music lovers.

Transportation

TRAINS, BUSES, AND CABS

Photo By: Andrew Bobrowski

The ABCD Trains all stop at 125th St and Saint Nicholas Ave, and the B,C Trains run local and stop at 116th and Fredrick Douglas, and also 110th and Central Park West. The 2,3 Trains stop at 110th St and Lenox, 116th and Lenox, 125th and Lenox, and 135th and Lenox. The 3 Train continues north to 145th and Lenox, and its last stop is at 148th and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. The 2 Train then heads into the Bronx. MTA Link