The Neighborhood of Harlem
An often overlooked portion of New York City by tourists is the upper portion of Manhattan, also known as Harlem. Because it is in the upper region of Manhattan, Harlem is also known as Uptown, which is referred to in R&B artist Bruno Mars’ song “Uptown Funk.” The neighborhood of Harlem gets mixed reviews due to the idea that it is a relatively dangerous part of New York City, but as the years have passed, Harlem has shown to be quite safe as long as travelers know where they are going. Regardless, there is a rich culture within the neighborhood of Harlem that contains many exciting things to do.
The Apollo Theater, a world famous performance hall for some of the biggest name sin music, is actually located in Harlem and has been active since 1934. Notable names that have performed here are Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillepsie, and Count Basie. However, it is not only restricted to professionals. They have their famous Amateur Night where they showcase emerging singers, bands, comedians, and dancers on their world renowned stage. Michael Jackson’s career was actually launched at this Amateur Night as well!
Because Harlem is a predominantly black culture, it is no surprise that there is the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This public library has over 10 million objects, artifacts, recordings, and art pieces. The main floor has a constantly changing series of exhibitions, so it is always worth checking out their website before going.
Food is a huge part of New York culture, and Harlem is also home to some delicious restaurants, and Sylvia’s Restaurant is one of the most well known restaurants in the neighborhood. Sylvia’s is also known as the queen of soul food, and it was founded in 1962. It has a long historical culture, and the food is exceptional.
Surprisingly, there is also a Smithsonian affiliated museum in Harlem, the National Jazz Museum. It is located just a few blocks away from Sylvia’s, and despite its small size, it is more than enough to satisfy a Jazz enthusiast’s appetite. You can listen to hundreds of recordings from early Jazz musicians, and this includes rare recordings that would not be otherwise found anywhere else in the world.
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