Name an American cultural breakthrough and chances are good it happened in Harlem. This neighborhood survived flappers and gangsters in the 1920s, booed almost everyone offstage at the Apollo except Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, and revolutionized America from Marcus Garvey to Malcom X. See the writing on the wall at the Graffiti Wall of Fame at 106th and Park, then head over to the Studio Museum to watch African American artists change art history. Harlem launched jazz and hip hop and taught Madonna how to vogue, so expect big nights out. Get schooled at the Jazz Museum in Harlem before jazz sets at historic art deco Lenox Lounge. Hit Shrine for slick beats and reggae, and end up at Ginny's Supper Club for soul food with a side of blues. For the morning after, Amy Ruth's serves the Reverend Al Sharpton special: chicken and waffles, gravy optional. East Harlem is largely Latino, and known as El Barrio. The pride of the neighborhood is El Museo del Barrio, a small space packed with contemporary Caribbean and Latin art and encounters with such notables as Nobel Prize winning poet Derek Walcott.
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Getting Around New York City
The best way to get around New York is by walking and using the subway. The subway and bus system generally runs 24 hours, with some exceptions. Taxis are readily available, but traffic can make it a costly and slow option.
Nearby Airports
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport-JFK
  • LaGuardia Airport-LGA
  • Newark International Airport-EWR
Airport Taxis
  • $52 from JFK
  • $26 from LGA
  • $35 from EWR
  • (All rates are exclusive of bridge and tunnel tolls, which can range from $4-$6.)
Things to Do and See Near Harlem