South Harlem

South Harlem - Below 125th Street

Neighborhood

South Harlem is one of the fastest growing areas of Manhattan. New stores, new developments, and a general overhaul of the neighborhood has helped 10026 become the new, niche neighborhood to call home. In fact, Curbed Magazine deemed Soha’s Frederick Douglass Boulevard “Neighborhood of the Year” in 2010.

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What to do

PARKS AND RECREATION

As if living three blocks from Central Park wasn’t enough, you’re also a stone’s throw from Morningside Park. Built on a steep incline, this park features multiple playgrounds nestled at the bottom of its cliff-like hillside. Winding paths bordered with flowers and trees lead to a cascading waterfall, across from which local teams play on baseball fields. Parents bring their children to play and learn in the park’s after-school program, and on Saturdays local farmers sell their goods in an outdoor market. Essentially, Eden.

The northern part of Central Park is arguably the most fantastic. The North Woods at the Ravine are the dense woodlands covering the northwest quadrant of Central Park from 101st to 110th Street. This reserve, with a wide variety of trees and shrubs, features a variety of bird species and is a haven and cherished retreat for naturalists. The north park also features Lasker Pool, a free public pool, which is transformed to an ice skating rink in the colder months.

Marcus Garvey Park (or Mount Morris Park) is bounded by 120th & 124th streets, just west of 5th Avenue. This oasis features a public pool, farmer’s market, and amphitheater.

GROCERIES AND SUPERMARKETS

Central Market

If you’d rather dine at home, there’s Central Market on 110th and 8th and Best Yet Market on 118th and 8th, 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 8th and 116th, where you’ll find your basic cuts and some more adventurous offerings like marrow bones, beef heart, and tongue.

SHOPPING

Nicole's Boutique

For stylish clothing and accessories at affordable prices, drop by Bebe Noir on 8th and 117th. SWING: A Concept Shop on 7th and 118th features an adeptly curated selection of apparel, home decor, beauty products, art, and music. Like to bike? You’ll definitely like ModSquad on 8th and 114th, which, in addition to bike sales, offers bike maintenance and rentals. Harlem has your floral needs covered with Franz James Floral Boutique on 8th and 114th which offers artfully crafted arrangements that make perfect gifts.

FITNESS

Harlem Wellness Center

There are two New York Sports Clubs in South Harlem one on 125th and 8th the other on 115th and 5th. For a more personalized workout, Brownstone Fitness on 118th and 7th Ave is located within a brownstone and has trainers on hand for sessions up to 7 days a week. A family-run personal training studio, they provide clients with functional fitness training to meet goals that can include fat loss, improved health, and better sports performance.

Where to eat and drink

COFFEE SHOPS, BAKERIES, & MORE

Double Dutch Espresso

South Harlem features a number of wi-fi friendly coffee shops where you can bring your laptop to read the weekend Times. Il Cafe Latte on 119th and Lenox Ave, offers a full brunch, lunch, and dinner menu. Cafe Amrita on 110th and 8th Ave becomes a cozy bar after dusk. Patisserie Des Ambassades on 119th and 8th serves up delectable fresh pastries and tasty meals with Senegalese influence. And if you’re really desperate for a decaf double mocha with a rice krispy treat, there’s a Starbucks on 8th Avenue at 117th street.

RESTAURANTS AND NIGHTLIFE

Ginny's Supper Club

Vying for the title of best soul food, South Harlem is home to the legendary Sylvia’s on 126th and Lenox and Amy Ruth’s on 116th and Lenox where you can order up the “Rev. Al Sharpton” (fried or smothered chicken and waffles) or the “Stan Hoffman & Lu Willard” (BBQ spare ribs). Red Rooster on 125th and Lenox features soul food by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit and Food Networks’ Chopped. There are plenty of bars along 8th Avenue including the always packed Bier on 113th featuring international beer and food, Moca Lounge on 119th, and 67 Orange (a speakeasy) on 113th.

Transportation

TRAINS, BUSES, AND CABS

Harlem River Park

Photo By: Jim Henderson

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.
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