Hidden Treasures of New York: Harlem Edition

by Kiani Ned

I would go on record to say that New York City is one of my favorite places on Earth. I’m not what you would call a well-traveled person…but when you know, you know, you know? You just can’t fake the feeling of excitement instead of fear whenever you hop off of the train in an unknown neighborhood. Or the pleasant shivers that cover your skin when it encounters its first New York City fall. Or the pure pleasure of a walk in the middle of the day. You’re never really sure what you’re going to encounter when you walk two blocks more than you did the day before. Maybe a tiny cafe or an old record shop or just a sturdy bench to read on. It’s amazing what these blocks can hold! Even more amazing are the gems that can be found just a few blocks from Morningside Heights in Harlem. I’ve done a lot of exploring downtown because it feels like a different world from the uber-college-y Morningside, but Harlem is no exception. The fact that I live near the epicenter of such history is enough to make me weep daily… but I choose to explore it instead!

My study spot is better than yours.

Here are some awesome places in Harlem for you to check out:

The Chipped Cup 
3610 Broadway (between 148th and 149th Streets), take the 1 train uptown to 145th Street Charming as heck! As well as having a main room for guests, it also has a courtyard outfitted with reclaimed furniture and lots of big, beautiful, flourishing plants. Definitely a place to get some work done or just a place to get away!

Amy Ruth’s 
113 West 116th Street, take the M4 bus downtown to Central Park North and Malcolm X Boulevard
I probably talk about or think about Amy Ruth’s every single day of my life. This Harlem gem has some of the best soul food in New York City. They’re most famous for their Chicken and Waffles–which are divine I must add. Just go. And let me know that you did so we can gush about it together!

Studio Museum of Harlem 
144 West 125th Street, take the M60 bus uptown to 125th Street and Adam C. Powell Boulevard
This museum displays and promotes the work of artists of African descent and makes it a personal mission to expand upon the definition of modern and contemporary works of art as we know them today. This museum has played a monumental role in promoting the works of those artists and giving a home to art inspired by and influenced by black culture.

Lenox Lounge 
333 Lenox Avenue (between 126th and 127th Streets), take the M60 bus uptown to 125th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard
This jazz spot was founded in 1939. Its past star performers include Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Its past patrons include Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and Langston Hughes! This spot is a historical monument in itself and is worth a visit to soak in the history and some crazy amazing jazz.

Kiani Ned is a sophomore at Barnard and Social Media Strategist for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of untapped cities.

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