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Harlem, known for its music scene and African American heritage, is awash with cultural institutions that have been significant in defining New York City and the US at large. From the talent-incubating Apollo Theater to the canon-redefining Studio Museum – these are the best things to do in Harlem during your next visit.
Located north of Central Park in Manhattan, Harlem has long been a creative hub. The cultural renaissance that followed the Great Migration of the 1920s brought new influences and talent to the area, which became known for the arts, music, fashion and soul food. While the neighborhood might have changed in recent times, it’s still got a real buzz about it. Below, explore 10 of the best things to do and see in New York’s Harlem.
Harlem Haberdashery is a family-run boutique that is the retail extension of 5001 Flavors, a custom clothing company that began more than 25 years ago. Its style favors colorful three-piece suits, all-white ensembles and oversized hats. Celebrities, including DJ Khaled, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z and LeBron James, have all worn pieces from 5001 Flavors. The shop, which celebrates the spirit of Harlem in the 1970s and ’80s, isn’t just for celebrities, offering ready-to-wear options in men’s and women’s styles.
Harlem Renaissance leader Langston Hughes lived in East Harlem from 1947 to 1967. His 1869-built brownstone at Fifth Avenue and 127th Street is now on the National Register of Historic Places and the home of Harlem nonprofit I, Too Arts Collective. Explore the home of a legendary artist while supporting those whom Hughes inspired at events including public readings and writing workshops.
This is an updated version of a story originally written by Ashlyn Grisetti. Michael LoRé contributed additional reporting to this article.