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The Battle of Harlem Heights
Though a relatively minor engagement, this battle showed the American troops that they could win in battle after the disastrous loss on Long Island. On Sept. 16, 1776, the Americans still controlled northern Manhattan although the British had captured the sourthern portion of the Island. American skirmishers met British troops near the intersection of 106th Street and Broadway. The Americans held their position under fire, but began to retreat northward toward the main American lines as the number of British troops involved began to rise.
The fighting ranged north to about 125th Street before Washington decided to send troops forward in two flanking maneuvers, one under a Major Leitch and the other under a Colonel Knowlton. A third force of Americans made a feint to attack the British in their front. Although the Americans attacked before the British were surrounded and Leitch and Knowlton were both mortally wounded, the British found themselves attacked on three sides and began their retreat.
The number of troops grew to nearly 5,000 on each side as the British were pushed back to what is now 106th Street. Washington called off the attack after six hours because the Americans were not ready for a general engagement with the full British army. Much of the battle took place near 120th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, just west of Columbia University.
"This little advantage has inspired our troops prodigiously," wrote Washington. "They find it only requires resolution and good officers to make an enemy give way."
Some historians see Harlem Heights as a turning point in the American efforts to create an effective army.
The battle took place on the West side of Manhattan, between 106th and 125th Streets. The plaque in the accompanying picture is at 2990 Broadway, between 117th and 118th Streets.
To get to the area of the battle, take the 1 or 9 train to 116th Street. From there walk north on Broadway to the plaque on the Math Building at Columbia University on the east side of Broadway between 117th and 118th Streets.
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If you are into hip hop this may be the venue for you.
If you are a rapper and have skills then you have 90 minutes rap, NO cursing and NO demeaning words can be used. There is a reward for the winner.
Some of the acts are decent but of course you have others that need to grow more. There are different styles for every taste so check it out if you are in town
Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem
124th & Frederick Douglass Blvd.
2nd Floor - Magic Johnson Theater
New York, NY
- Budget Travel
Fiorello La Guardia Sculpture
“Let’s drive the bums out of town.”
— Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947) urging a crackdown on organized criminals
In 1994 a bronze sculpture of New York City’s first Italian-American mayor, Fiorello La Guardia was erected on, appropriately enough, La Guardia Place in Greenwich Village. American sculptor Neil Estern, (1926- ) created this tribute to the man who led the Big Apple through the Great Depression.
Fiorello (the Little Flower) Enrico La Guardia was a Republican, an oddity in New York City mayoral politics. His three terms as mayor of New York ran from 1934 to 1945. La Guardia’s political career included several terms as the congressman of the then-Italian East Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 1916.
- Arts and Culture
Marcus Garvey Park /Mount Morris Park
Many events centered around Jazz and Swing dance in the summer. Harlem Health fair is normally held here as well.
It has a fire watchtower, Recreation Center, an amphitheater and two huge swimming pool.
(My cousins prefer this pool over Central Park)
It is handicap accessible.
They teach swimming, computer skills, kickboxing, yoga, and karate
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Contains a Bridge, water tower, recreation center, pool, volleyball, and playgrounds. There are huge cliffs and large rock formations there. Wonderful views of Harlem River. Best scene in late October early November for fall colors.
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The Gem of Harlem
Stop by the Studio Museum in Harlem next time your in NYC. You won't regret it. The Studio is a wealth of African-American culture that is often overlooked.
In the mood for dance? Check out the "Hoofer's House" featured on the occasional Friday night where the best tap dancers in NYC challenge one another on the "wood".
In the mood for music? Visit SMH in the summertime when the evening programming samples everything between Cuban and Neo Soul. This outdoor dance on the Studio's patio attracts the neighborhood's hip local artists and designers. Dress is smart, funky and chic.
Architecture? Take the Studio's walking tour that carefully revisits historic Harlem's best neighborhoods.
And of course, art: Amazing exhibitions that are innovative, thought provoking and manageable in one visit. You'll leave more enlightened then when you first arrived.
Price: Varies according to event. However, as SMH is a non-profit organization, much of the programming is inexpensive.
When? The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays as well as major holidays. Be certain to check their calender for upcoming programming.
Special Tip: Looking for rare publications that discuss either African-American artists or Harlem? The Studio is the spot. The Museum Bookstore features an astonishingly comprehensive collection and is a great resource for tasteful souvenirs.
- Museum Visits
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Harlem/Malcolm X Walking Tour
When I was in NYC the time before last I put aside an afternoon to go on a Malcolm X tour of Harlem which I'd spotted in TIme Out. When I got to the meeting place I found I was the only person so I got a very personal tour.
Unfortunatly I can't remember the guy that took me around but I did find a tour company that does a similar thing and have posted the details below.
This was a strange tour but I really enjoyed it. We went round all Brother Malcolm's mosques and homes etc but the best thing was that my tour guide kept getting interupted by passers who knew him. Naturally enough every few steps we took we met someone he knew (usually someone of standing within the local communtiy) and talk about Harlem and Brother Malcolm. The tour took more than twice as long as it was supposed to and I met a whole load of people! Best thing came when we bumped into the manager of the Appollo who then conducted an impromptu tour of the theatre which really excited my guide. We both took the opportunity to climb onto the stage and pretend we were famous (for just a second).
I learnt loads about Brother Malcolm, Harlem, the projects, the civil right movement, soul music, the impact tourism growth has had on the area and a great deal about my guides second favourite subject after Harlem, property prices in the area!
If you're in NYC get off the bus and go on a walking tour. Make sure your money goes to the local community and not some big corporate.
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Across 110th Street: Harlem
Far too many visitors choose to see Harlem from a tour bus, feeding the perception that Harlem isn’t a place to wander around. Nothing could be further from the truth. On our first visit, we took a walking tour with a local guide: I think you really benefit from having a bit of guidance on a first visit, since so many of Harlem’s sights and traditions are unfamiliar. But after that, we returned on our own, and found Harlem was probably the friendliest part of the city, with people calling out welcoming hellos as we explored.
Lots of NY residents never bother with the trip uptown but with the express subway services, you’re only a few minutes’ ride from Midtown. As soon as you step off the subway, you feel like you’re in a different city. The buildings are low-rise, and the north-south avenues are far wider than in lower parts of Manhattan, so there are great views, and a real sense of openness.
Harlem begins at the tip-top of Central Park, at 110th St (hence the movie and song title from the 1970s, 'Across 110th St'), but it really gets going above 116th St, and especially around 125th St, also known as Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd (many streets and avenues have been renamed after prominent African-American figures). Some of the most beautiful houses in all of Manhattan are on W138th and W139th Sts, known as Striver’s Row, since the best and brightest of the black community moved in here when white residents began to leave the area in large numbers in the early twentieth century.
There are landmark buildings of significance throughout the area, whether it be the mosque where Malcolm X preached, or the Apollo Theater, where so many black performers got their start. Another major attraction is the wonderful Sunday-morning gospel services. Go along by all means, but remember that even if such enthusiastic worship is unusual to you, it’s normal Sunday devotion for other people: dress appropriately, and please, put away the video cameras during the service.
Harlem is between the 96th Street east of the park and 125th street west of the park.
It has been traditionalilyy home of the Afro-American community and contains the famous Apollo Theater.
There is another section on the SE called Spanish Harlem with a south american community.
Take a walk through Harlem
Walking through Harlem is a wonderful experience. To be safe walk around during the day and you can see the original brownstone buildings. The college, CCNY, is a beautiful campus and you can see students from all over the world in a few city blocks!
- Historical Travel
As the center of African...
As the center of African American culture, Harlem is one of New York's most intriguing neighborhoods. However, for many downtown Manhattanites, white and black, 125th Street is a physical and mental border not willingly crossed.
These neighborhoods have a bad reputation, probably well deserved because the 1970s and the crack epidemic really devastated the community here. Most tourists go on double decker tour buses, too scared to walk around; a total shame, since Harlem is the birthplace of true American culture. A stroll down the length of 125th is not to be missed.
George Washington's mansion (the first 'White House') is on 160th & Amsterdam. It's interesting to see, although most of the neighborhood around it is more run down (although totally safe during the day).
The Audobon Ballroom on 168th & Broadway was recently fully restored. It was where Malcolm X was assassinated. I would avoid most restaraunts in this area though, as they aren't very clean and can be lethal.
Walking through the park alongside the Hudson River from 137th - 200th Street (?) takes you to the George Washington Bridge and the only lighthouse in New York City. The bridge is truly huge, and one of the largest I have ever seen in my entire life. Really! It's intense just standing next to it. and the park is excellently maintained, with little rock beaches and dominican men fishing during the night (i met one guy who had caught a small baby shark)
Harlem isnt the richest...
Harlem isnt the richest neighbourhood in the world, but it is much safer & friendlier than its reputation seems to suggest. It's a vibrant, colourful neighbourhood, which although has obvious signs of urban decay, has a vibe about it that makes it a great place to uncover, & its inhabitants are rightly very proud of their patch. The jewel in its crown for me is undoubtedly the Apollo theatre, which showcases some fantastic acts, but especially try to get to amateur night, which is unmissable.
Harlem was at one time in...
was at one time in America's history, the unofficial capital of the African American community. In New York, in a lot of ways, it's representative of taboos. 125th Street is somewhat of a mental barrier for many non-African Americans, but it is a place that should not be missed. Some of the greatest American poets, writers and musicians came from Harlem. It is however, dangerous after dark, so be careful.
Visit important culturally...
Visit important culturally historical areas, like Harlem. Also, catch a basketball game at the court on W. 4th Street and 6th Avenue. Go to Chinatown and get 'real' Chinese food, for cheap prices. Be sure to grab a NY bagel at some point--they're truly unlike any others you will ever taste.
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