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Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Neighborhood Guide

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Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Overview

Historic Harlem is experiencing a second renaissance, fueled by Manhattan's booming real estate market. Harlem has been through good times and bad, but the future certainly looks bright.

Crime is down and real estate prices are up (but still much cheaper than elsewhere in Manhattan). Great restaurants and bars -- both old and new -- draw fans from all over New York.

Harlem History

In the neighborhood's golden age in the 1920s and 30s, Harlem was the heart of black culture in the United States. Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald performed at hot Harlem clubs like the Cotton Club and the Apollo. Writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes became Harlem literary legends.

But hard economic times hit Harlem during the Depression and continued through the 1980s. With rampant poverty, high unemployment and high crime rates; Harlem was a tough place to live.

Redevelopment in the 1980s revived interest in the neighborhood. As the Manhattan real estate market boomed, the abandoned buildings in Harlem were replaced with new housing and office buildings. Real estate investors snatched up beautiful old brownstones that had fallen into disrepair and began restoring them to their former glory. Soon Bill Clinton and Starbucks moved in, and Harlem’s second renaissance became official.

Harlem Boundaries

East Harlem/El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) -- First Avenue to Fifth Avenue and from East 96th Street to East 125th Street.
Central Harlem -- Central Park North to the Harlem River and from Fifth Avenue to St. Nicholas Avenue.
West Harlem -- 123rd to 155th Streets and from St. Nicholas Avenue to the Hudson River.

Getting Around

6 to 110th Street
2, 3 to 116th Street
A, B, C, D to 125th Street
Metro North to 125th Street

Harlem Real Estate -- Find An Apartment or Brownstone in Harlem
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