HarlemGal for HCL’s top ten reasons on why Harlem is one of the best places to live in New York City


By HarlemGal
HarlemCondoLife.com is a blog that writes about all things positive about Harlem. We tell our stories from “nuestros corazones.” Unfortunately, we don’t have data, grids or a fancy magazine to back up our stories. We only have words, life experiences and a love for all things Harlem. And what better time to use these descriptions and tools than right now-especially given the recent edition of New York Magazine.

To profess our reasons on why we believe Harlem is one of the best places to live in New York City, we created our own Top Ten List. Sorry Dave. We have to borrow a page right out of your playbook to make our point. Here we go….

HarlemCondoLife’s Top Ten Reasons on why Harlem is one of the best places to live in New York City:

10. Harlem is almost 400 years old. And guest what?….we will still be around for another 400 years! Isn’t lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn suppose to sink under water?

9. Harlem is very green. We are near several three parks: Central Park North, Jackie Robinson Park, Morningside Park, Riverside Park, Riverbank State Park and Marcus Garvey Park. Harlem also has St. Nicholas Park, which a reader told us “is one of the most historical (along with Hamilton Grange, City College, Hamilton Heights and Striver’s Row near).” Shouldn’t we count Riverside Park too? Then that would be four parks we are near.

8. We are home to the highest institution of higher learning in the State of New York, Columbia University. Park Slope kids will be living in Harlem when they get older and head to Columbia.

7. We have many different neighborhoods and some of their names are sweet, like sugar, or romantic as Spanish.

6. We are one of the happiest according to a recent survey. To tell the truth, we are very happy in life. However, we are not happy with New York Magazine right now….

5. Because you can have a date with red, not Red Butler, but red as in red velvet cake at Lee Lee’s Baked Goods on 118th Street. Delicious!

4. We have famous songs about or that mention Harlem that are as diverse as its people. Harlem River Quiver is by Duke Ellington. Angel of Harlem is by U2. Spanish Harlem Incident is by Bob Dylan and Across 110th Street is by Bob Womack.

3. We have some serious wide sidewalks where there is plenty of elbow room for you and your baby stroller. Parts of the Village are like walking through a football field.

2. We have the famous Apollo Theater. Need we say more.

1. And the number reason on why Harlem is one of the best places to live in New York City, because HCL is going to go negative for once on its blog. We don’t believe or give a flying hoot about Nate Silver and his recent findings. Politics done right does not necessarily mean neighborhoods done right!

Nate, come up and visit us any time. We will show you all the great things Harlem has to offer!

17 thoughts on “HarlemGal for HCL’s top ten reasons on why Harlem is one of the best places to live in New York City”

  1. I’m a musician renting in Harlem. I love it so much. I don’t like publicly arguing over 2 valid viewpoints; because duality is lame. I believe lady Manhattan does what she wants with her neighborhoods. People appreciate neighborliness and being friendly in my little Harlem niche. My wife and I are deliriously happy here.

  2. you forgot the song “Puttin on the Ritz” it was written about Lenox Ave and how long ago people dressed up and paraded up and down Lenox Ave aka Sixth Ave and it was “the spot” to be, almost like The Easter Parade each day… We could make it happen again!!!

  3. @sid. I like your list. Maybe we should create a new list by calling it “our endless reasons why Harlem is such a great are.” Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated!

  4. My list in no particular order:
    – Amazing public transportation options for travelling within the city and ease of getting in and out of the City by car.
    – Exceptional neighborliness & community – there are a lot of great people here.
    – Gorgeous architecture to look at as I walk around (I really do get an endless sense of satisfaction from this.)
    – Mostly low-rise neighborhood with a lot of broad avenues, so you get lots of light and sky whether in the street or in many homes and offices.
    – If you dress well, people will tell you that you look good!
    – If you’re exercising, people will encourage you!
    – A remarkable combination of energy between older and newer residents. The press enjoys tales of negative confrontation between long-term residents and incoming new (and hopefully ethnically different) residents in any neighborhood, not just Harlem. That makes interesting reading, but my every day experiences here, though not particularly interesting to read about, tell a much more positive story about the old & new dynamic.

  5. I think its the best kept secret in NYC, Harlem is cool & hot at the same time. People are so polite and friendly and actually get to know your name. Shopkeepers are the owners and actually appreciate if you stop in. Also its a great deal and for a few extra stops on the subway you don’t have to be a “bridge or tunnel” person to save money. its still Manhattan. Once we get bagels and tasti d lite, we are “the place”to live…

  6. @Anon Thanks for reading and commenting on HarlemCondoLife.com. Our list of reasons are meant to be funny and playful yet still loyal to the community we live in. The survey about whose the happiest is sourced from NY Magazine, the April 19th edition.
    Again, thank you for taking the time to comment.

  7. Sorry, but this post smacks of desperation. I’m a happy Harlem resident and think the list from New York Magazine is bogus, but please, these reasons are not really compelling. Trying to distill a neighborhood to a few bullet points is useless. New York Magazine gets it wrong and so do you.

    When you mention surveys, it would be nice to have a link to the actual data. I’d be curious to see where it says that we are one of the happiest. Are we 1st, 2nd, 20th, 50th? It’s all in the context and the real numbers.

  8. Great list, two more Harlem songs and personal favorites, Take the “A” Train by Duke Ellington and Harlem River Drive by Bobbi Humphrey.

  9. You missed a few large parks- St. Nicholas, Riverbank State Park, Jackie Robinson Park and much like the rest of the city there are lots of smaller parks as well.

    While you did mention one of these schools- it was not in this context. We have campus expansions of Columbia and City College. Both of these campuses add green space to Harlem as well.

  10. You omitted an important park on reason #9. St. Nicholas Park is one of the most historical (with the Hamilton Grange, City College, Hamilton Heights and Striver’s Row nearby) and most beautiful. It consists of one of the largest and popular dog runs in the city. And it is smack dab in the middle of Harlem.

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