Located north of the Upper East Side and bound by East 96th Street to the south, the 140s to the north, 5th Avenue to the east, and the Harlem River to the west, East Harlem NYC is one of the largest neighborhoods in Manhattan. The area is one of the most culturally diverse areas in New York, providing a space for the fusion of different cuisines, arts, cultures, and people.
The construction of the elevated transit line to Harlem in 1880 contributed to an influx of residents to the area. The area was predominantly populated by Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants around this time.
Slightly after, the neighborhood became predominantly Jewish and was home to a Jewish population of about 90,000 in 1917. The neighborhood became even more diverse when Italian laborers moved to the area as strikebreakers in the late 19th century.
After that, an influx of Puerto Rican and Latin American residents contributed to further cultural diversification of the neighborhood, and their cultural influence can still be seen in the art and cuisine to this day.
In the last decade, East Harlem has undergone an urban renewal of sorts with several new restaurants, condo buildings, commercial properties, and community centers emerging.
PC: Urban Edge
The neighborhood has a relatively high degree of accessibility, with the Lexington Avenue line providing service to the 4, 5, and 6 trains with stops at 125th, 116th, 110th, 103rd, and 96th Streets.
PC: City Limits
East Harlem NYC is one of the most culturally rich and diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan, offering a wide array of cuisines, art, and history.
The common motif of the neighborhood is a strong sense of community, with residents taking pride in their home and going out of their way to get to know their neighbors.
While the area might lack entertainment and shopping venues compared to the rest of Manhattan, new spots are constantly emerging, and the area has exhibited tons of growth in the last decade.
PC: Bowery Boys NYC History
While many folks would not necessarily equate East Harlem NYC with restaurants and cuisine, there are several hidden gems scattered throughout the neighborhood.
The most prized is definitely Patsy’s Pizzeria, one of New York’s oldest pizza shops, having been opened since the 1930s (and home to one of the best cheese slices in all of Manhattan). The spot was a frequent hangout of Joe DiMaggio, and movie star Blake Lively has vouched for the fact that it’s absolutely delicious.
PC: Activist East Harlem
East Harlem is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. The neighborhood is mostly filled with walk-ups and brownstones, but a higher volume of luxury condos are emerging every day. The median price of a 2-bedroom condo is $829,000 and the median rent for a 2-bedroom is $2,495 a month.
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The neighborhood is great for those that want the Manhattan experience but are on a tight budget. Similarly, if you’ve heard stories about the impersonal nature of the big city, East Harlem could be a viable option for you thanks to its strong sense of community.