Harlem is an ethnically diverse and culturally rich neighborhood located in Upper Manhattan, an area that also includes the neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood. Harlem is not a tourist hot spot like other, more affluent New York City neighborhoods, but it has much to offer in the way of history and culture.
One of the best things about renting in Harlem is that it?s full of ethnic heritage?every few blocks, you?ll find a distinct culture that makes Harlem a mini-world in itself.
East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem, is one of the centers of Puerto Rican culture in America. Formerly Italian Harlem, it?s now a melting pot of Latinos and West African immigrants. To the west, Manhattanville features a new Columbia University campus, while Hamilton Heights offers City College, which boasts Nobel Prize winners among its graduates.
Perhaps the best-known neighborhood in Harlem is Harlem Renaissance, recognized worldwide as a center of African-American culture. From the Apollo Theater to its many churches, the neighborhood is steeped in history.
There are several ways to commute from Harlem to jobs in Midtown or in the Financial District. Harlem residents can hop on the No. 2 or No. 3 subway lines, both of which stop at Wall Street, Chambers Street and Fulton Street in the Financial District. En route, the No. 2 and No. 3 lines also stop at 34th Street/Penn Station, making it easy to transfer to subway lines that can carry you to other parts of Manhattan.
If you need a direct line to Midtown, the No. 1 subway line (which you can catch farther west in Harlem) stops at Columbus Circle and Penn Station. That line also makes stops in Financial District at Chambers Street and Rector Street before running to the southern tip of Manhattan. At 96th Street, you can transfer from the No. 2 or No. 3 lines to the No. 1 line.
From East Harlem, the No. 4 and No. 5 lines carry commuters to 59th Street, Grand Central Station and Union Square before stopping on Wall Street.
Renting an apartment in Harlem puts you in the midst of a unique mix of the past and the present. While it has seen some bad times, young professionals and artists have been taking advantage of the low prices to renovate its historic buildings. Today, you?ll find its more run-down areas nicely tempered by stately brownstones and beautifully preserved architecture.
Renting in Harlem, NY
Although it?s got some up-and-coming areas, Harlem is still considered one of New York City?s poorer areas, and the existence of many boarded-up windows and run-down shops is reflected in its rental prices. If you?re on the hunt for apartments for rent in Harlem, and you're looking for a bargain, a rental here could be a great deal.
- Apollo Theater ? The venue that launched the careers of many artists, including Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, is still recognized as one of America?s premier spots to find emerging stars.
- Sylvia?s Restaurant ? The world-famous home of Southern soul food.
- The Cloisters ? A surprising bit of medieval architecture that harkens back to monastic France, The Cloisters includes a branch of the Metropolitan Museum.
- Marcus Garvey (Mount Morris) Park ? One of the oldest in Manhattan, this park is surrounded by gorgeous, historic brownstones and features The Acropolis, a lookout from which you can view New York City icons such as the Empire State Building and Yankee Stadium.
The Apollo Theater, one of Harlem's most famous attractions, is a performance venue that's launched the careers of many headliners. Photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr
Although in Manhattan, Harlem doesn't lack for trees and natural beauty. Photo credit: Brian Clift / Flickr