East Harlem in New York City

Wednesday, 10 January 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City
Reading Time:  5 minutes

1381 Madison Avenue © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0

1381 Madison Avenue © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0

East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, is a neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City, north of the Upper East Side and bounded by 96th Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the west, and the East and Harlem Rivers to the east and north. Despite its name, it is generally not considered to be a part of Harlem proper, but it is one of the neighborhoods included in Greater Harlem.

The neighborhood has one of the largest Hispanic communities in New York City, mostly Puerto Ricans, as well as Dominicans, Cubans, and Mexicans. The community is notable for its contributions to Latin freestyle and salsa music. East Harlem also includes the remnants of a once predominant Italian community, or Italian Harlem. The Chinese population has increased dramatically in East Harlem since 2000.

East Harlem has historically suffered from many social issues, such as a high crime rate, the highest jobless rate in New York City, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, drug abuse, homelessness, and an asthma rate five times the national average. It has the second-highest concentration of public housing in the United States, behind Brownsville, Brooklyn. East Harlem is undergoing some gentrification, and in 2016 the city considered rezoning the area.

© flickr.com - spurekar/cc-by-2.0 © Mozart Diensthuber/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - liyuhanrenll/cc-by-3.0 17 East 97th Street © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 51 East 97th Street © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 1381 Madison Avenue © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 1407 - 13 Madison Avenue © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 New York Academy of Medicine © Beyond My Ken © Petri Krohn/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0
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1407 - 13 Madison Avenue © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0
By the beginning of the 21st century, East Harlem was a racially diverse neighborhood, with about a third of the population being Puerto Rican. As it has been throughout its history, it is predominantly a working-class neighborhood. Until 2006, property values in East Harlem climbed along with those in the rest of New York City, leading to gentrification and changes to area demographics. The New York Post listed one part of the neighborhood – the block of Lexington Avenue between East 123rd and 124th Streets – as one of “the most dangerous blocks in the city” because police crime statistics for 2015 showed that 19 assaults had taken place there, more than for any other city block. The Post also reported that there were, according to the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association, “22 drug-treatment programs, four homeless-services providers and four transitional-living facilities” in East Harlem.

East Harlem has begun to feel the effects of gentrification. In February 2016, an article in The New York Times about “New York’s Next Hot Neighborhoods” featured East Harlem as one of four such areas. A real-estate broker described it as “one of the few remaining areas in New York City where you can secure a good deal”. The article mentioned new luxury developments, access to transportation, the opening of new retail stores, bars and restaurants, and national-brand stores beginning to appear on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Primarily, though, it was the cost of housing in comparison to the rest of Manhattan, which the article noted as the major factor. Beginning in 2016, the New York City government was seeking to rezone East Harlem “to facilitate new residential, commercial, community facility, and manufacturing development”. The residents of the neighborhood generated a suggested zoning plan, the “East Harlem Neighborhood Plan”, which was offered to the city in February 2017, but in August 2017 residents and the Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, complained that the city had ignored their plan almost entirely.

In 2019, the oldest portion of the neighborhood, the blocks of East 111th through 120th Streets between Park and Pleasant Avenues, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the East Harlem Historic District.

Read more on NYCtourism.com – East Harlem, East Harlem Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), History of Harlem, Wikivoyage Harlem and Upper Manhattan and Wikipedia East Harlem (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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