Once home to a plethora of all types of immigrants, East Harlem actually used to have so many immigrants from Italy that one area was called Italian Harlem.
Now, East Harlem is home to the biggest concentrated Latino demographic in New York City, largely due to the influx of Puerto Rican immigrants post WWII. It’s no wonder that the alternate names for East Harlem are Spanish Harlem and El Barrio. The bar and restaurant scene is heavily influenced by the Latino demographic, and some of the gems of Spanish cuisine can be found here. Try El Paso Taqueria or Amor Cubano for some top-notch spicy margaritas.
Music also thrives in El Barrio, home to salsa galore. Entertainment venue Camaradas del Barrio (which literally translates to neighborhood companions) features live music every night--just make sure to bring your dancing shoes. The neighborhood is also home to the National Jazz Museum, which a fascinating exploration of all things jazz for the aficionado and novice alike.
East Harlem is at the top of what New Yorkers refer to as “Museum Mile,” which is a mile of museums that run up the East Side. East Harlem features The Museum of the City of New York, which focuses exhibits around select pieces of NYC’s rich and varied histories, neighborhoods, and cultures. There’s also El Museo del Barrio, the only museum in the city that focuses on Latino, Caribbean, and Puerto Rican art.
On the westernmost side of East Harlem is Central Park. This area of the park contains what’s known as “The Harlem Meer” (meer is the Dutch word for lake). The meer’s embankments host Fort Clinton and Nutter’s Battery, gun emplacements intended for use in the War of 1812 that never ended up seeing battle.
During the summers on the waters’ banks, musicians perform as part of the Harlem Meer performance festival, which showcases a different jazz, gospel, blues, or Latino music artist every Sunday.
The Dana Discovery Center, which lies at the top of the Meer to orient visitors and educate them on their surroundings, provides budding fishing poles to budding fishermen for catch and release fishing.
Also located at the top of the park, the Lasker pool doubles as a swimming pool in the summers and an ice skating rink in the winters.
|Building Address||# no-fee apts|
|420 East 102 Street||61|
|333 East 102 Street||43|
|1982 Lexington Avenue||42|
|1940 1 Avenue||33|
|326 East 100 Street||27|
|314 East 106 Street||23|