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Getaway Upper Manhattan: Harlem

Getaway Upper Manhattan: Harlem


You can walk on the busiest and best known streets.

Go carefully to get in some other streets.

New York (United States)

Whoever visits the city of New York is obliged to take a tour of the legendary Harlem neighborhood.

It is located in northern Manhattan. It is one of the largest residences of African Americans since 1920 and has witnessed artistic creations such as jazz. Since 1960, the neighborhood was radicalized and revolutionary ideologues appeared who sought to reverse racism towards the white race. For a time, it was a dangerous neighborhood. Now, there are still areas that are better not to visit.

I go there from Manhattan by Columbus Avenue, which runs parallel to Central Park in the west. Link to Morningside Avenue until you reach Martin Luther King Boulevard. At this junction, the Harlem atmosphere can be breathed.

125th street, also called Martin Luther King Boulevard, is considered Harlem's main street. In it there is one of the most prominent and world-famous buildings: the Apollo Theater. It is a mythical performance hall. By 1940 it was a symbol of American black music; but it really becomes famous with the "Amateurs Nights". They made musicians unknown to the public take the stage. Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Michael Jackson (with the Jackson Five) made their first performances in this contest organized on Wednesday nights here. The phrase describing the Apollo is still mythical: "where dreams come true and where legends were born." It was a springboard for many. Today the "Amateurs Nights" are still celebrated on Wednesdays with the motto of "Be Good or Be Gone".

A little further on and turning on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, there is "The Greater Refugee Temple". It is a strange building. It is a large cube with colored vertical stripes. It is not pretty. I had no intention of going inside it until I saw the "Funeral in Process" sign. Something inside me pushed me inside. In the beginning, they didn't want to let us in. They explained to us that they were doing masses with Gospel for tourists on Sundays (they can be seen on streaming); but as we insisted, they let us to go inside with the only condition that we had to respect that it was a funeral and we couldn't take pictures. It is one of the most impressive experiences I have ever lived. I assure you that the internal chill was huge. Its mission is to connect people to faith. They connected me to other sensations that I will never forget.

It is a very interesting neighborhood with a lot of history behind.

I recommend to read: Lo mejor de Nueva York 5 (Guías Lo mejor de Ciudad Lonely Planet)

Better to find where to stay in Manhattan. It is near and it is safer.


You can see Harlem on a day well spent.


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