Harlem NYC – fun & history a subway ride away.


One of the great things about living in NYC are all the different neighborhoods one can explore. On any day all it takes is a quick subway ride to hit up any part of the city. Brooklyn (fuggetaboutit!), da Bronx, Queens, every part of Manhattan up down and all around, and even Jersey is easy to get to by the PATH train from NYC. I have explored many parts of the city area riding the rails. Today was no different as we headed up to one of my favorite hoods – Harlem USA – to hang out, shop, and grab a bite to eat.

What started out as an afternoon trip turned into quite a long day up in that part of town and we had a great time. The amount of shopping up there now along the Lenox Avenue (also known as Malcolm X Boulevard) and 125th Street (also known as Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) area is pretty amazing. There are a ton of6521962575_46004c59c8_z places to shop at from electronics, to clothes, to housewares, music, and pretty much everything. All types of small mom & pops to major chain stores are up there now. I loved the hustle and bustle walking along the streets there today. It’s loud, music is pumping from storefronts, boom-boxes at sidewalk peddlers are jamming with old school tunes to reggae, people are hawking their wares, and it just seems to have an energetic feel of electricity in the area. People are hustling about. The streets are ALIVE. It just feels so REAL. There is so much history up here, and you can sort of sense it as you walk the streets.




You can find so many famous establishments here such as the Apollo for entertainment,





l (1)Sylvia’s for some down-home soul cooking like chicken and waffles (YUM!),




harlem-newyork-03and the Lenox Lounge (which just recently closed because of a ridiculous rent increase, which reportedly jumped from $10,000 per month to $20,000. Hopefully they will re-open), among others.



Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion ChurchThere are also many beautiful churches that dot the area, and have that incredible gothic style look that I love so much.




brownstone-harlem-nyc-new-yorkAlso along these roads are some beautiful brownstones and wonderful examples of old architecture from a time gone by. I love these structures, as they have character and represent a time when buildings were built to have meaning and an eye pleasing design, unlike the soulless glass and steel look of today.


Along with the past, Harlem has seen a renaissance of sorts with former President Bill Clinton establishing an office up here, and the gentrification of the area with many new stores, bars, and restaurants that have set up shop and now call it home. We stopped in at a few spots this evening for a bite and some drink. I love checking out new places on a whim as sometimes you can stumble upon some hidden gems.

The Corner Social offered up a lively bar/restaurant scene with a nice beer list and some tasty food. Terrific service, cool vibrant decor, and a huge flat screen showing today’s football game. Cheeseburger Spring Rolls, Meatloaf Sandwich with house made potato chips, and Jerk Spiced Chicken Baguette with plantain chips. Perfect to fill our hunger.


We ended the day at the Astor Row Cafe which is an eclectic coffee shop/cafe for some delish cappuccino’s and dessert. Sweet potato bread!


It was a totally worthwhile way to spend a Saturday. If you ever have the chance to explore and wander around Harlem definitely do it. There is so much to see and experience here.

26 thoughts on “Harlem NYC – fun & history a subway ride away.”

  1. I was 22 the first time I went to Harlem. My sister and I volunteered for Meals On Wheels on Thanksgiving. We got off the 6 train in our fur-lined down jackets and were greeted by a group of guys shouting “Uh oh, snow bunnies!”, “The snow bunnies are here!” We had to crack up laughing.

    Of course, I eventually got to know the shopping and food in Harlem when I lived in Morningside Heights but I just love remembering my very first impression.
    Ms. PC recently posted…Improv 101My Profile

    1. HI 🙂

      Love that “the Guy” above me has pointed u2´s song….

      Because I thought about it when coming across your post, Phil…

      Just wanted to highlight when you describe that “old architecture from a time gone by”, when “buildings were built to have meaning and an eye pleasing design”…

      And finally the cool eclectic coffee shop “Astor Row Caf”e, which I´d love to visit one of this days…

      Great to meet you; phil; & Wishing you the best for the weekend;

      Aquileana 😉
      Aquileana recently posted…Joseph Campbell: “El Héroe de las Mil Caras”: “El Viaje del Héroe” / “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”: “The Hero’s Journey”.-My Profile

      1. Hey Aquileana!

        Yes, The Guy is cool and he has a terrific travel blog. He travels throughout Europe mostly. You should check out his posts.

        I do love the older structures. To me it seems that the modern buildings lack character and style. That is what is great about European cities. They still keep the old buildings and honor the past. Here in NYC we are only a few hundred years old but still have many older structures that have style, but many are being torn down to make high-rise buildings. Harlem is one of those spots that still has many turn of the century “brownstones” that just have such an elegant old world style charm to them.

        Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great weekend!
        filbio310 recently posted…I am peanut obsessed in NYC! Don’t judge me!My Profile

  2. I really enjoy beautiful places with the sense of beauty & history you described. It’s one of the things I loved about growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. We could catch a train into the city to explore. You just don’t find very many historically preserved & interesting places like you described in the part of Florida I’m at…of course, that may be hurricane related. 🙂
    Harlem sounded awesome. I’ll have to add it to the places to see when I finally get to New York.
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  3. I have to admit that I am a Texan. My husband is from NYC and says that I am too friendly for NYC. One small incedent and you are label forever. Okay I am a little trusting and who would of thought he just wanted my wallet, purse, and my coffee. But I was fine and the hotel did not kick me out until my brother n law drove from New Jersey to pay my bill. I will admit that I talk to everyone. And the lecture all the way back to my home in Maryland did not change my view, you should be friendly. It is in my genes. We are just friendly folks in Texas. Big hair, overly happy, and good food that is my moto. I have to get one of those Cheeseburger spring rolls. And if I could afford one of those brownstones, I would move to NYC tomorrow and learn talk less and not befriend people who want my purse.
    Cynthia recently posted…Lies that Men HateMy Profile

    1. Hi Cynthia!

      We have family in Texas so I know what you mean.

      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience when here in the past. He wanted your coffee too? I would have beat him for that one!

      I am in the same boat, be nice and friendly, but also have street smarts living here in NYC! We are a bit jaded too, but most are friendly good people. Thanks for reading!
      filbio310 recently posted…Harlem NYC – fun & history a subway ride away.My Profile

  4. Looks like a great place to go, and you did a good job selling it to me.

    You’ve just got to stop teasing me with FOOD. Fried plantain, chicken etc… yummy, but that piece of cake next to the coffee was a tad too small for me. I really liked what you called ‘brownstones’, they look really beautiful and I’d love to live in a building that looks like that. I can see myself sitting on the steps baking in the hot sun with a large ice-cream in my hand.

    I happen to live in an area where it seems glass and steel are the in things for sure. If we ever had an earthquake, the amount of shattered glass would cause the most damage and finish you off, no joke. Nice Post.

    1. Hey Rum Punch!

      Thanks for reading and liking my blog post.

      I love exploring the city I live in. So much to see and do here. So much to eat and drink too!

      The old brownstones are beautiful structures with such character.

      FYI – I’ll be teasing you all more with future food postings. Good thing I have a gym membership!
      filbio310 recently posted…Harlem NYC – fun & history a subway ride away.My Profile

  5. I am looking forward to touring NYC. It’s been on my list of “things to do” for as long as I can remember.
    I remember reading the comedian and movie director Woody Allen is a New Yorker who celebrated his home city in his work.
    Excellent blog.
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  6. You know, I have never had chicken and waffles, and I cannot have them… Well that is until the day before I die! LOL… Should I just plan on killing myself tomorrow, so I can eat them today, or are they not that worth it, LOL – JK! That was a gruesome comment I just left, LMFAO!!!!!!!! Totally NOT my style but I tend to just write the first thing that comes to mind in a comment when I read a blog post – Word Association! 😉
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