What to do
Parks and Recreation
It's easy to find green places to hang out, as two large parks surround both
the east and west of Spanish Harlem. It is a short walk
to The Conservatory Gardens in Central Park, as well as the Lasker Rink at 110th St – which in summertime is a pool and in the winter,
a skating rink. Marcus Garvey Park, at 122nd St and Madison Ave, houses a full recreation
center, amphitheater for live shows, exceptional rock formations
and the only remaining fire tower built in the early 1900s.
Thomas Jefferson Park,
located at 111th St and 1st
Avenue, is a friendly neighborhood park packed to the brim with things to do. On busy days, runners circle the track
while groups of friends shoot hoops, hit balls, and take advantage
of the baseball and handball courts. The small recreation center
on its grounds offers a fitness room, exercise equipment, and
classes for those looking for a good workout. Thomas Jefferson
Park is also a wonderful resource for local children and features
a substantial playground, complete with swings and slides galore,
as well as plenty of spaces for jumping, climbing, and carrying
on. Inside the recreation center, the afterschool program
provides more structured fun. And in the summer, the park takes
on a whole new character when the outdoor pool is opened and
families come out to use the barbeque grills and picnic tables.
In Spanish Harlem, you don’t have to catch the subway to have some fun.
Camarades (2241 1st Avenue at 115th St.) is home to traditional Puerto Rican and Nuevo Latino
cuisine, live music, DJ’s and great art exhibits. For
some late night jazz make sure to visit the Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Clubat
2167 Third Avenue and 118th St., where
live jazz from some of the city’s best musicians runs
till 2am. The Amor Cubano Restaurant at
2018 3rd Ave at 111th St. has a great
house band and the place is always grooving!
To experience the real culture of El Barrio, spend the afternoon at
El Museo Del Barrio (1230 Fifth Ave. and
104th St.) Right down the block is the Museum of the City of New York (1220
Fifth Avenue,) as well as numerous museums along
Museum Mile, running along Fifth Ave. from 82nd St to 105th St. Be sure to check out the
stunning exhibits at The Museum for African Art on 110th St and 5th Ave.
Boys and Girls Harbor at 1 East 104th
Street has classes in dance, music and culture, and is
home to New York’s legendary salsa musicians; performances
and rehearsals are open to the public. Taller Boricua / Puerto Rican Workshop at The Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center (1680 Lexington
Ave. and 105th St.) offers many cultural events,
exhibits, and features a fantastic music and dancing series.
the 12-year old, award-winning web site on the history
and culture of Puerto Ricans, altered the cultural landscape
of East Harlem with the founding of its new media gallery
and digital film studio called MediaNoche in 2003.
MediaNoche continues to present technology-based art on
Park Avenue and 102nd Street, providing exhibition space
and residencies for artists and filmmakers working in new