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
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.
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
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.