Harlem - Uptown, New York City
For the curious tourists that wonder about the "ghetto" areas in NYC, I would name several: East New York, Brooklyn (bounded by the New Lots Ave and the City Line/ Ozone Park) has changed alot because there was a time it was really bad! I am talking crackheads, serious drug dealing, high murder rates and robberies) But currently, the neighborhood is changing for the best; I have lived there for ten years now. But if you ask folks about East New York ,Brooklyn, their eyes would lit up in fear and people do feel that the neighborhood is still bad. I mean, I don't hang out in the streets so I really don't worry. But there is nothing to do around there (its just a residential area so tourists wouldn't really miss anything) Bed-stuy; you will hear many different opinions about this one. Bed-stuy is also changing for the better and has been spotted in the media (Dave Chapelle Block Party and Spike Lee filmed Crooklyn there). I have seen many housing units being rennovated and an increase of police presence) But like aside, you will hear mixed opinions about Bed-stuy. My suggestion, don't hang out at Nostrand Ave and Gates Ave, stay away. My bf lives there and we seen crazy things happen. The infamous Marcy projects (stay away, too) Fulton Ave and Nostrand Ave; I mean, there is a strong police presence here so many don't have to worry. I do recommended some great Caribbean eateries here (The Double Shop(Trini food)) and Melanie's Bar (great west Indian food) but just be alert. Alot of people lurk around there. East Flatbush; this area is filled with many west Indians and I love the cutlure (well, I am west Indian, too, hehe) but PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM FLATBUSH AVE AND NEWKIRK AVE! My brother lives around there and I don't even visit him like that because that area is crazy and not safe at all. Canarsie; I mean, its okay and its not too bad but I don't live to far from there but I did go to high school there. There are actually closing it down (South Shore high school because it became toooooo bad)
There is NO need for you to go to the Bronx if you are not FROM the Bronx! I find it interesting that tourists believe that the stereotype of the Bronx as being rough and crime-ridden is not true...be careful to get off of the subway below 96th St. and you should be fine. Also, the same goes for Brooklyn...Brooklyn doesn't have anything "touristy" so leave them alone and stay in Manhattan.
NYC is "Your town, USA," meaning that it has it's downtrodden parts, and it has its safe parts. If you go beyond 60th street, below 30th street, or beyond 8th or 4th avanues, it becomes pretty sketchy. Regardless, when the sun goes down, or beyond six or seven o'clock, its a good time to head back to your hotel, as it seems the tourist population decreases and the number of homeless people increase. NYC has VERY FEW homeless people compared to San Fran or LA as police are instructed to keep the people moving on the streets. Stay out of Harlem, Brooklyn, most of Queens, and the Bronx and you should be fine. If you avoid anything, AVIOD HARLEM. Besides that, NYC is prob. the safest city in the world...
Yes the Bronx is not a great place for us tourists, but if you want to see the NY Yankees play at the amazing Yankee Stadium, then you must hit the Bronx. The games i went to all finished after midnight, so we were thrown out into the Bronx at night. However, just hang with the crowds and you should be ok. And Central Park is lovely in the day, but a deathwish at night
while in new york city stay away from these neighborhoods the south bronx below fordham road harlem spanish harlem east new york brownsville bushwick red hook bed stuy. in queens stay away from jamaica queensboro hill hollis holliswood. these areas are not very safe during the day and not safe at all at night. if you are lost in one of these neighborhoods stay on the main streets and avoid confrontations with homless people or drug dealers. have a safe and happy trip
Just remember Harlem is in Manhattan in case you didn't know! The first district at the top of Manhattan island is Harlem. So if you want to go walking about I suggest you avoid that area. It begins with the upper half of Central Park. Mind you it didn't look as bad as when I stayed in Brooklyn.
I would also suggest that if you are not black/spanish or hanging around people of that nature, avoid Brooklyn. I was always with my friends in Brooklyn (which is a gang of blackpeople) but as soon as people would see this blond chick by herself there. I would get weird stares. Mind you the best shopping is on Jamaica Ave. and Flatbush.
A lot of people say New York is dangerous. I didn't feel insecure at all. The subway is safe, just watch your bags like in any ordinary city. The only place I didn't want to walk alone by night is Harlem and Chinatown area. But that's it.
There are two things that were invented in the Bronx however, of which I am quite ashamed. They are 1. RAP MUSIC and 2. 'CRACK' COCAINE.Two things which the world would be much better off without.
The 'hype' about the Bronx being a dangerous place is VERY uninformed now-adays. Sure, there was a time when it was dangerous and ugly- with the same dangers and ugliness that poverty brings to any part of the world. There was always an imaginary line between the 'South Bronx' and the 'North Bronx'- the 'south' being very BAD and the the 'north' being OK. Well interestingly the South Bronx seemed to march steadily northward during the 1970's and early 80's from 149th Street, to 161st Street, to Fordham Road.
I have lived here since 1968. I have seen and lived in the worst of neighborhoods imaginable. But I have also served on many community boards and not-for-profit groups involved in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Bronx- and guess what??? It happened!! The Bronx is alive and well- new construction, rehabilitated housing- frankly, most tourists could hardly afford to live here.
Bronx Supreme Court Building- 161 St. and Grand Concourse (the scene of that stupid movie 'Bonfire of the Vanities'- the book was much better).
I have been mapping out the location of New York City's Safe and unsafe areas. If you need to know where exactly they are for your own personal safety, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me where exactly you are going in the city. I will be more than happy to give some advice.
While New York is generally a safe city, it can be dangerous in certain areas. Yes, in the past decade, New York has cleaned itself up and many neighborhoods are undergoing huge gentrification, there are still many areas where you shouldn't go. If you are White or a tourist, you could be targeted. The roughest areas to stay clear of are: Most areas in the Bronx(although nice neighborhoods to exist there), Spanish Harlem in Manhattan, Bedford-Stuyvesanttown, Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville in Brooklyn, and Jamaica in Queens. Since I never go to these places, I am not sure. But I am always told by New York natives to avoid these areas. But for the most part, its safe to walk around and explore NYC!
Yes, New York City has it's neighborhoods that tourists should stay away from. Actually, grounds where gangs make eachothers life sour, are not fit to be visited by any decent human being. So, don't seek trouble and do not go to neighborhoods where it easily can be found. From newspapers-articles and internet you can no doubt become aware of where to go and where to not.
Some of the parks can be a little seedy at night. So don't hang around in one that is empty. Washington Square Park is one of the best places to relax and hang out in NYC, but there is also a big chance you'll be offered drugs by a dealer (usually in the south side of the park). Just ignore them and keep walking. They are an annoyance and really not a danger.
New York City has become much safer these last few years. Frankly I have walked all over town day and night and never felt in danger. The only exceptions would be the Bronx and some areas of Brooklyn and Queens. I would not walk there day or night. Also watch out for this beast. His name is Gizmo (my cat) and has been known to attack what he perceives as enemy. *Even me when I forget to clean his litter box*
New York has the most ghettos of all the cities i've been. Most of the ghettos are consetrated above 84th street (which is past the Central Park). It's quite dangerous to be in those areas unless you know someone to guide you through. We wanted to go to Harlem with my sister but Patrick told us we'd better not to.