Harlem is a place where imagination breathes and spirit is alive on every corner. From the Globetrotters to the Apollo Theater, there’s a lot of excitement waiting there for you to embrace. And finding something new to admire on every visit is a breeze. Whether you want to do a bit of shopping and see a show at the Apollo, or grab a bite and catch a game, there are plenty of options to capture your attention and keep you coming back to see what else Harlem has in store.
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Shopping is a favorite pastime for many people when they visit any new place. Finding the perfect pieces to take home from a visit to Harlem will be easy — leaving without buying it all will be the hard part. Pick up a hat that will become a treasured keepsake at the Flamekeepers Hat Club and Harlem Haberdashery. Or, find styles that are perfect to wear to the theater for the night. Take time to talk with the shop owners and let them tell the story behind their history. Each story will give insight into a unique perspective of what Harlem has to offer.
Let the locals guide the tour of Harlem. After all, who knows it better than those who live and breathe it daily. Stop in for a treat at the Franz James Floral Boutique where flowers fill the air with fragrance while the sundries allow for taking home memories of a fantastic trip.
Walk the Streets
The best way to get to know Harlem and delight in all of its marvelous treasures is to walk the streets and see firsthand what the city holds. From brownstones to street vendors and jazz music to artistic murals, there are a multitude of cultures, music, food, and atmosphere to be taken in when visiting Harlem. Whether the trip is for a day or a week, there does not have to be a quiet moment — unless one is needed.
There’s no easier way to get the feel of a city than to sample the local cuisine. Before or after the evening’s entertainment, taste the cultural delights that make up the streets of Harlem.
Taste the fresh delights at Sushi Inoue or find some comforting food that is sure to please any palette at the Red Rooster. Morning treats are available all day at any number of bakeries around Harlem. Stop into Lee Lee’s Bakery and pick up a treat and then head over to the Monkey Cup for coffee and conversation to go with it.
When in Harlem, it’s time to break out the Harlem dance moves at one of the neighborhood’s night clubs. One of the most popular moves is the Harlem Shake, which went viral a few years ago and has been popular with everyone from actors like Kyle MacLachlan to the Norwegian army. Then there’s the Lindy hop, which emerged in the late 1920s. It has since traveled all over the world and grown in popularity, so much so that it even made an appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, which further increased its global popularity.
Don’t you like dancing? That’s okay because Harlem has many other entertainment opportunities. For example, settle in and enjoy one of the shows at the Apollo. Whether watching the fantastic talent of the amateur night or laughing the night away with a comedy show, both will fill the night with energy and delight.
If the show doesn’t meet the desire for the night, enjoy the Latin American history at El Museo del Barrio. Founded by a group of Puerto Rican artists in 1969, visitors here will see the historical affect the Latin American culture has had on Harlem. It showcases artistic reminders of how Harlem came to be the neighborhood it is today.
Speaking of art and culture, a trip to Harlem would not be complete without a visit to the Studio Museum. This museum offers a must-see collection of African American art that speaks to the soul.
But these are just a few of the fantastic histories that make up Harlem; Many buildings and beyond have been lost or converted, like the Harlem Casino of 1889. So do some more research and see what interests you before you make the trip! You never know what you’ll find to learn about.