From the Harlem Renaissance period of the 20th Century, there has been thriving in Literature, Poetry, Music, and art in Harlem, all synonymous with the black community. Located in Upper Manhattan and continuously referred to as the uptown by locals, Harlem is made up of several neighborhoods that stretch to the Hudson River, the East River, 155th, and 96th street. Harlem is divided into three sections; Central Harlem, East Harlem, and West Harlem. Central Harlem encompasses neighborhoods such as Astor Row and Strivers Row. West Harlem has Hamilton Heights, Manhattan Ville, and Sugar Hill in Manhattan. El Bario or Spanish Harlem is in East Harlem. Typically known as the Black Mecca of the world, Harle has historically been home to many communities and races.
If you take a walk through the community, you are bound to come across construction workers developing Harlem properties. From an observer's point of view, this can is seen as a rebirth of Harlem, a path to economic development and cultural preservation. Harlem is not only a Heaven for the Black community; it is home to racially different communities such as Africans, Italians, and Puerto Ricans. With its extreme ethnic and racial diversity, Harlem's culture is in constant transition and development. The continuous interaction of its people better defines the diversity of Harlem and its people. From a completely unbiased point of view, Harlem should be seen as a whole entity rather than a roundup of different races and ethnic groups. Diverse cultures from around the world have come together and established Harlem as their home.
Historically. Harlem is known for its intimate connection to the arts, music, and literature; it is home to some of the best Jazz clubs in the city. Harlem hosts an Intimate Restaurant Raw on the 8th avenue that has outstanding restaurants that serve meals inspired by Harlem's African-American heritage; you can never lack access to a delightful yet affordable meal. The Cecil in s new restaurant in town that serves an Afro-Asian Menu, which is in tandem with Harlem's State of cultural transition and diversity. Each meal prepared and served at The Cecil is a result of purposeful thought, consideration, and creativity of the Head chef and the staff. Harlem is home to the best soul food in the city.
Historically known for being a black community city, stereotypes could easily interpret Harlem as unsafe if you take a look at the statistical analysis of the crime rates in Harlem, it doesn't wholly show Harlem as a safe neighborhood. Still, it also doesn't show it as unsafe. Comparing with the crime rates of other surrounding communities, Harlem has either equal or lower crime rates (NYPD, 2019). However, for you to feel safe in the neighborhood, you need to always be on high alert, especially if you are one to walk late at night. Safety in Harlem, just like in any other city, can be a personal prerogative; you have to consider your proximity to the Subway, to avoid long walks in the dark, which is highly risky. Ensure you walk in areas that are well lit and consider using routes that have many pedestrians. Harlem is as safe and as unsafe as any other neighborhood or city can be.
For many people, living in Harlem is not an option; however, Harlem is one of the last few affordable places in the city. There are beautiful apartments with all the necessary amenities in Central Harlem at an affordable cost compared to other surrounding neighborhoods like Queens and Brooklyn. Considering its location, Harlem is one of the most accessible communities in the city. Midtown being the central destination for almost all New York residents, commuting to town tends to be a nightmare for nearly everybody and, living in midtown is no option given the expense. Harlem, on the other hand, has affordable housing and is more accessible to midtown compared to the different neighborhoods. There is always a subway line option for someone commuting to midtown.
Harlem is a neighborhood that has been in constant transition, and as time goes, the district keeps changing. As a result of the influx of younger and wealthier non-Harlem natives, the city is looking at drastic changes in both the housing, restaurant scene, and a decline in culture. Gentrification has crossed from other neighborhoods into Harlem, and as a result, it is breeding displacement of the natives. Most natives are against the gentrification idea that is turning Harlem into an extension of New York's Upper eastside. The gentrification process is leading to continual cultural erosion and displacement in Harlem (UC Berkeley,2019). The redevelopment that is supposed to be a way of cultural preservation is steadily turning Harlem from a low-rise multi-cultural neighborhood into a business hub. Bosting it into a business hub might be a commercial success, but it will significantly hurt the culture and heritage that has been for a very long time part of Harlem.
Compared to the more affluent parts of New York, Harlem has had a lower quality of public education standards. The Harlem neighborhood for decades has been home to mainly African Americans of lower-income and hence, poor access to quality education. Most students in Harlem get their knowledge in public schools since they do not have to pay tuition money. There are charter schools in Harlem that are authorized by the State University of New York, New York City Department of Education or Education Department's Board of Reagents. Typically, charter schools in Harlem are known to perform better than non-charter schools. About 20% of children who qualify by age enroll in Charters. There are several private schools in Harlem where well-earning families can register their children. Under the individual institutions, some are under religious management, while religious institutions do not operate others. For Early Childhood Education, the children can enroll in one of the many nursery schools found in Harlem, such as the Columbia-Greenhouse Nursery school for children aged 2-5 years old.
Known as the Black Mecca of the world, Harlem is transforming from being a neighborhood for the black community to accommodating people of various ethnic communities and now being reinvented into a new area. For decades, Harlem has been a culturally safe space for people from different racial backgrounds through interactions among multiple communities. Harlem is not only a neighborhood in the Northern Section of New York City, but it is also a dynamic global space made of ideas and ways of people from other parts of the world.
Public Affairs, UC Berkeley (2019) New York City gentrification Program Creating Urban 'islands of exclusion' Study finds. Retrieved from: https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/04/10/new-york-city-gentrification-creating-urban-islans-of-exclusion-study-find/
New York Police Department: (2019) Borough and Precinct Crime Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/crime-statistics/borough-and-precinct-crime
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