The cultural lines between Harlem and the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan are getting progressively blurred. While the face of Harlem is changing, the soul food and its fanatics only grow with every new restaurant. The world famous Apollo Theater, Amy Ruth’s, and Sylvia’s are all classic spots that have contributed to cultivating Harlem as we know it today. New mainstream businesses are opening alongside the mom & pop stores, while several upscale restaurants are taking up 8th Avenue in the southern part of Harlem. There’s no special way to narrow down the list of all the extremely interesting things to do and see in Harlem but here are the reasons why you want to check it out!
Have you seen the new face of West Manhattan yet? It’s all very new and exciting over there… right now! Now’s the time to tour the area to check out the new neighborhoods, art, performances, recreation, views, eateries and more all within walking distance of this brand new, sparking and welcoming neighborhood called Hudson Yards. With a small group walking tour led by one of our NYC experts, come and experience all that the New Face of West Manhattan has to offer on our West Side Story Tour. Here’s an exciting overview of what you can expect and what not to miss!
On your way to New York? You absolutely must visit Harlem with its dynamic churches and all-around richness that permeates through several domains: Music- with the blossoming of the jazz genre, its extraordinary musicians and legendary nightclubs; Architecture- with some 400 churches and fascinating streets with stretches of brightly colored residences; Street art- with large and spectacular wall murals; Soul food– an African-American culinary tradition to discover its famous fried chicken and unlimited buffet brunches…. And especially, nothing says Harlem like Gospel Music, the symbol of fight against slavery, with religious songs powerfully sung by remarkable choirs. Here are our best tips for attending a Gospel service in Harlem while discovering all the richness and beauty of a historic neighborhood, full of pride, emotion, and culture.
Welcome home to Harlem! Home- evocation of an immediate sense of peace and belonging; which is exactly the feeling you have when stepping foot here. As you likely know, Harlem is a comeback tale of the ages, which has resulted in a surge in visitors in recent years. This tale, coupled with all the exciting and meaningful adventures to be had, is the inspiration for this post. Now lets get right into What To Visit in Harlem!
In The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin described his Gospel experience in a church of Harlem:
The church was exciting. There is no music like that music, no drama like the drama of the saints rejoicing, the sinners moaning, the tambourines racing, and all those voices coming together and crying Holy unto the Lord – and their cries of “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!” and “Yes, Lord!” and “Praise his name!” and “Preach it brother!” all became equal, wringing wet, singing and dancing, in anguish and rejoicing, at the foot of the altar” (1936)
Gospel music is deeply moving, and erases all differences. We have all heard it, danced to it, sang along… Here are a few facts worth knowing about the history of Gospel in Harlem. Read more