Harlem is one of New York City's most storied neighborhoods. Located in uptown Manhattan, this has traditionally been the core of the city's African American community and was the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s that gave the world cultural greats like Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and Louis Armstrong. The iconic Apollo Theater, which has featured everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to the Jackson 5, still hosts comedy and musical acts today.
The area has seen hard times with high crime since those days, but has been on a path of gentrification for many years now. While crime is still a problem in some parts, overall it has dropped significantly in the past couple decades.
For housing, there is a mix of stately brownstones, large brick apartment complexes, smaller brick walk-ups, and government-subsidized housing. New development is bringing luxury condos to the market as well.
Most of Harlem's restaurants and nightlife tends to be clustered in the southern half of the neighborhood. You'll find a wide range of dining options, with several acclaimed new restaurants opening up in recent years. There are also a number of southern food joints that have become neighborhood institutions, like Sylvia's. The northern part of Harlem is fairly devoid of options besides fast food.
If you have children, it's worth noting that the public schools in the area are not very good. There are a handful of well-regarded charter schools here, but they use a lottery system to accept students so are very hard to get into.
Harlem has several parks offering athletic fields, dog runs, playgrounds, chess tables, and picnic areas. And you're not far from the sprawling Central Park and its 840 acres of amenities.
Harlem is bordered on the north by Washington Heights, on the east by the Harlem River and East Harlem, on the south by Central Park and the Upper West Side, and on the west by Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, and Hamilton Heights.
Wall Street: 10.5 miles / 30-70 minutes by car / 45-50 minutes by transit
Rockefeller Center: 6 miles / 20-40 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit
Jersey City: 22 miles / 35-55 minutes by car / 55-60 minutes by transit
Red Rooster serves comfort food celebrating the roots of American cuisine and the diverse culinary traditions of the neighborhood. Named in honor of the legendary Harlem speakeasy, Chef Marcus Samuelsson brings his passion for food to the neighborhood he calls home.