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Image of brownstone steps Central Harlem’s rich history means it is home to the traditional brownstone apartment

Welcome to Central Harlem:

Perhaps no neighborhood in New York can match Harlem for its artistic and cultural output, thanks to the works of its African-American community. The Cotton Club at 142nd and Lenox made icons of bandleader/composer Duke Ellington and singer Lena Horne; activist Marcus Garvey is immortalized by the eponymous park; and famous residents have included the likes of Maya Angelou and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Central Harlem is north of Central Park, south of the Harlem River, west of 5th Avenue and Harlem River Drive, and east of Morningside Park and Edgecombe Avenue (guide to the neighboring districts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights here). Although an area of historical significance for centuries (the Continental Army successfully prevented the British from invading New York during the American Revolution), Harlem became world-famous thanks to the period known as the Harlem Renaissance. The era, linked to the 1920s, witnessed an explosion of literature and the arts from the district’s black population. Read the entire story here…»


Picture of Hamilton Heights houses in Upper Manhattan A typical row of houses in Hamilton Heights, Upper Manhattan

Is your heart set on staying in Manhattan during an upcoming visit to New York City? Upper Manhattan is a fantastic and affordable area to consider where you can stay for holidays, studies or work! Most neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan are largely residential, allowing you an extensive selection of homes to choose from.

Exactly what constitutes as Upper Manhattan is often disputed, but generally speaking its borders are 110th Street (or the northern border of Central Park) to the south, the Hudson River to the west, Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan to the north, and the Harlem River to the east. This area is easily accessed by the subway, as there are 4 different subway lines that pass through Upper Manhattan (The 1, the A/B/C/D, the 2/3, and the 4/5/6 lines). Because of this, Upper Manhattan offers easy access to Lower and Midtown Manhattan.

In this article we’ll highlight three popular neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan: Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights. We chose these three neighborhoods because they’re not as well known among tourists as some other uptown neighborhoods such as Harlem, but offer fantastic and affordable accommodation options. Furthermore, these Upper Manhattan neighborhoods are family-friendly, and have plenty to offer when it comes to shopping, restaurants, nightlife and culture. Read the entire story here…»


A picture of a crowd outside New York City’s Apollo Theater in Harlem Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater in New York City

Harlem is one of New York City’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. It has also played an extremely important part in the history of the city and the nation. During the Civil Rights Movement, Harlem hosted speakers such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, who actually lived in Harlem for some time. The neighborhood also became known for its unique culture and art. Nowadays, Harlem’s gospel choirs, Jazz music and soul food have become famous throughout the world, as has the iconic Apollo Theater.

Panoramic image of the Harlem River, Harlem, Central Park and Midtown Manhattan, New York City Panorama of the Harlem River, Harlem, Central Park and Midtown Manhattan in the background, seen from the Bronx in New York City

To find out more about the neighborhood, check out our video tour of Central and West Harlem. Every year, the neighborhood’s diversity, culture and art is celebrated during Harlem Week: a unique tribute that organizes many events during the summer.

What started in the ‘70’s as just one day of celebrating Harlem has turned into an event that stretches across several weeks. In fact, this year Harlem Week events will begin July 28th 2012 and last until August 25th, for what will be the 38th year of Harlem Week.  During this period, the neighborhood’s rich African American, Hispanic, Caribbean and European history will be celebrated with events including concerts, performances, exhibitions, sports events, family programs and, of course, Jazz.

You can check out the full program at the official Harlem Week website, and we will highlight some of the summer’s main events here. Read the entire story here…»


A baseball field in Central Park A baseball field in Central Park

Ready to enjoy the great outdoors in one of New York’s greatest assets? Head over to Central Park. Not only is Central Park one of New York’s largest parks in is centrally located in Manhattan making access from some of New York’s most popular neighborhoods including the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Harlem a breeze. Today we’ll explore some of the activities available in Central Park year round but that are best enjoyed in the pleasant New York spring.

Running and biking: Central Park is the perfect spot for training for the next marathon or bike race or to take a casually run or bike ride. There is a giant paved loop running the entire length of the park. A single trip around the loop is just over six miles. In addition you can shorten the loop by using some of the mid-park crossovers. There are easily designated 4 and 5 mile loops as well as the full loop. When using the path make sure to stay in the proper lane and pay special attention to the fast moving bikers who whiz by. Read the entire story here…»


Photo of the Streets of Harlem Photo of the Streets of Harlem

With temperatures near freezing and the streets covered in slush, New York’s best pick-me-up might be the hearty fare known as soul food. Derived from historically African-American and Southern cooking, soul food satisfies the appetite like few other cuisines, so if you visit New York during the cold-weather months, you owe it to yourself to give this world-famous food a try.

Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem is hands-down the best-known soul food restaurant in New York. Founded in 1962 by South Carolina transplant Sylvia Woods, the restaurant originally consisted of little more than a counter and a few booths, but has since expanded to become the legendary institution that played host to Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, and Magic Johnson, among countless other luminaries.

None of this history would matter, of course, if it weren’t for the mouth-watering cuisine that consistently draws rave reviews from both native New Yorkers and tourists alike. Among the specialty dishes that made Sylvia’s famous are barbecued ribs, smothered pork chops, fried chicken with waffles, collard greens, and (last but not least) a mighty macaroni and cheese. Try to save room for dessert, too, because treats like the peach cobbler and rum cake are not to be missed either. Wash it all down with some of the house lemonade and you can truly claim to have experienced home-style cooking at its best. Read the entire story here…»


In this video we will tour another one of New York ’s neighborhoods known as East Harlem.

Continuing with our series of Harlem video tours, we will take a look at East Harlem, the easternmost Harlem neighborhood. The borders of East Harlem are the East and Harlem Rivers to the east and north, East 96th Street to the south and 5th Avenue to the west.

East Harlem, New York: Video Tour(5:47)


East Harlem has a long history as being home to immigrant groups. In the late 19th century, as Harlem grew up, East Harlem became the local home to many Italian immigrants and became known as Italian Harlem. In the early 20th century a growing population of Puerto Rican immigrants began to make their homes in the neighborhood and by the end of World War II they had become the dominate population in East Harlem. As a result Italian Harlem became known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio. Today East Harlem still has its memories of Italian Harlem on Pleasant Avenue and still has the feel of Spanish Harlem throughout, but the neighborhood has become more diverse over the past 20 years while retaining its heritage. Read the entire story here…»


Welcome to the next installation of New York Habitat’s video tours. In this video, you will get a look into yet another great neighborhood of New York City, Hamilton Heights.

Picking up on our tour of Harlem that began a few months ago, today we are going to feature Hamilton Heights. The borders of Hamilton Heights are 135th Street to the south, 155th Street to the north, the Hudson River to the west and Edgecombe Avenue to the east.

Video Tour of Hamilton Heights, New York(4:21)


Hamilton Heights is a neighborhood within the area of Harlem and it takes its name after Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who lived here in the last few years of his life. Read the entire story here…»


Celebrate Harlem Week in New York Celebrate Harlem Week in New York

Harlem, as much as anywhere in New York, has a reputation for being bigger and more vibrant than one expects. The world-famous neighborhood has a cultural tradition dating back centuries and today’s generation of Harlemites are experiencing another renaissance period, as the crime and urban neglect that defined the quarter in the 1970s and 80s has given way to urban and cultural renewal on a scale fit for Harlem.

Despite the turbulent periods in the neighborhood’s history, Harlem has maintained its architectural and cultural beauty arguably more than any other area in all of New York City. While rapid change and cultural turnover has  transformed many a NYC neighborhood, Harlem remains a home of some of the city’s most well-preserved Brownstone buildings and one of America’s most vibrant African American communities, going on over 100 years. Read the entire story here…»


Riverside Church Photo Riverside Church Photo

In the latest issue of our Top 5 New York City Churches you discovered the beautiful Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Today, we’ll stop at The Riverside Church which stands like a beacon at the northern end of Manhattan island. It is located in the neighborhood of Harlem. In a city filled with skyscraping buildings the Gothic masterpiece still manages to stand tall. In fact, the Riverside Church is the tallest church in the entire United States and is currently the 26th tallest in the world. More than just a large structure, the Riverside Church has acted as a longtime sanctuary and celebratory hall for generations of Harlemites. Indeed, the church is known as much for its activism and community involvement as it is for its towering steeple.

The Riverside Church has been a welcoming house of progressivism in New York City, protest and open ideals since it opened with the support of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1930. The church was largely built to oppose the fundamentalist views on Christianity of the time in favor of an interdenominational parish, constructed with the architectural traditions of the past. The inclusive mission of the church has been embraced by many more that just its Uptown neighbors, with past speakers at the church including Martin Luther King, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and even Fidel Castro. The church was an active member of the anti-Vietnam war effort and Civil Rights movement and continues to support an active Social Justice mission to this day. Today’s Riverside Church holds film screenings, talks and presentations relating to the pressing issues facing the world today, ranging from Nuclear disarmament to issues relating to H.I.V./Aids. The Riverside Church’s location is ideal for a day spent visiting Harlem and the shores of the Hudson River. The church sits directly across from the impressive memorial to General Grant and the green space of Riverside Park, perched just above the water of the Hudson River. The slight rise of the location offers views of the George Washington Bridge, Midtown Manhattan and the Palisades Park area across the river in New Jersey. Read the entire story here…»


In this video we continue with our series on Harlem, New York.

Harlem, a historic neighborhood in northern Manhattan, stretches from the East River west to the Hudson River between 155th Street and 110th Street, at the northern boundary of Central Park. Morningside Heights is a small area of a greater Harlem.

Click above to watch this video: Video Tour of Morningside Heights, New York. (5:47)

Harlem is so large that it contains a number of smaller areas and districts, such as Central and West Harlem, Morningside Heights, East Harlem, Hamilton Heights.  In order to make it simpler, today I will be showing you Morningside Heights, which stretches from 110th Street north to 125th Street and from Morningside Avenue all the way west to the Hudson River. Read the entire story here…»