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Harlem, New York City - A Tour

Updated on January 31, 2017
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Exploring new places can be great fun especially when it's something a little different. When I find something interesting, I love to share

Apollo Theater Marquee
Apollo Theater Marquee | Source

Plan a great day in Harlem

Harlem, a neighborhood at the northern end of Manhattan, New York, has a rich cultural history. Throughout the years, it's undergone many changes and is currently enjoying what is known as the "Harlem Renaissance".

A little background information, for those of you not familiar with New York City. It is comprised of 5 boroughs: The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Often when people refer to "New York City" what they are really referring to is "Manhattan". Manhattan is where most of the theaters, stores and skyscrapers are and where this super interesting neighborhood is located.


A Map of the Northern End of Manhattan With Harlem Outlined - Can You Find The Apollo Theater and Sylvia's Restaurant On The Map?

Map of Harlem
Map of Harlem | Source

Harlem lies just across the Harlem River, south of The Bronx.

It extends from the Hudson River on the west side to the Harlem River on the east side.

Often, Morningside Heights is considered part of greater Harlem. To the north (just a little shows on the map) is Washington Heights.

We also toured Morningside Heights and Washington Heights and I wrote about them in separate articles Morningside Heights and Washington Heights

Our Apollo Theater Tour - Famous Autographs

Signature-Wall-Apollo-Theater
Signature-Wall-Apollo-Theater | Source

Our guide for the Apollo theater tour was Billy Mitchell (Mr. Apollo). He is a performer, an emcee and very funny. The tour came alive with his anecdotes about his up close and personal experiences with the great entertainers who played the Apollo .

The history of the Apollo is fascinating, built in 1914, it was a "Whites Only" theater when Harlem was a Dutch community.

You must go just to view the backstage autograph wall which contains signatures from hundreds of stars and notables, including: Beyonce, JayZ, Bono, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Barack Obama.

Can You Identify The Famous Faces?

Collage-of-famous-entertainers-Apollo-Theater
Collage-of-famous-entertainers-Apollo-Theater | Source

How many famous faces can you identify?

See results

A super interesting place to visit

Apollo-Theater-Lobby
Apollo-Theater-Lobby | Source

Have you ever visited Harlem?

See results

Lunchtime.............. on to famous Sylvia's Restaurant

Sylvia's Restaurant - Mouthwatering Soul Food

Sylvia's Restuarant Harlem
Sylvia's Restuarant Harlem | Source

Sylvia's Restaurant

Sylvia's Restaurant located on Lenox Avenue in Manhattan, offers a wide variety of soul food.

We were served family style as we were part of a bus tour . We had: fried chicken, fried catfish, ribs, collard greens, potato salad, rice and banana pudding cake for dessert. Everything was delicious.

There are comfortable indoor dining rooms adorned with autographed photos of the famous people who have eaten there.

Sadly the founder of Sylvia's Restaurant, Sylvia Woods, just passed away in 2012. Sylvia's Restaurant lives on and is celebrating it's 50th year of operation.

Our trip was a bus tour coordinated by New London Adult Education.

Everything was excellent.

Anyone may take one of their trips -- check the New London Adult Education website


Harlem - Our Tour by Ellen Gregory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory

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    • RBENL99 profile image

      RBENL99 4 years ago

      Harlem looks like a great place to visit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We went to NYC this year and honestly I never thought about going to Harlem. Now I would, especially to see the Apollo Theater.

    • TriciaLymeMom profile image

      TriciaLymeMom 4 years ago

      thanks...it looks like a really great place to see :)

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tour of Harlem, New York

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 4 years ago

      nice tour info about harlem

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      The Apollo Theater looks so beautiful.

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 4 years ago

      Great Lens about it, you know on my visits to NY i have never been to Harlem. As far as i have gone is to where the museum of natural history is, i have gone to he Bronx Zoo, but that is it of traveling up north.