New York Journals

The ROSE still Grows in Spanish Harlem

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to New York by Jose Kevo

Compact Quarters Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: Before the movie American Beauty, Ben E. King was crooning about a different kind of rose. Wilted after all these years? Absolutely not. Spanish Harlem's "garden" is abloom more than ever with varieties of life. Take the chance to stop and see, smell the roses...just look out for the thorns.

The ROSE still Grows in Spanish Harlem

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Compact Quarters Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Make no mistake - Spanish Harlem is a ghetto! It's far more vibrant than slummish; crude, raw and on the edge as you'd expect. But unlike notorious inner-city segregated areas from America's other large cities, NYC's are very accessible right in the thick of things allowing anyone to discover these often forbidden and forsaken areas. The area's multi-heritage composition, both passed and present, has more diversity than a patchwork quilt and can be found in a trio of local museums, but the greatest exhibits of the melting pot burst forth onto streets daily - including today's most dominant culture which has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. Why pay midtown prices? Bargain shoppers w...Read More

Comida Criolla

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Restaurant | "Comida Criolla - the Food of Choice"

Comida Criolla Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Creolle/Criolla is the term describing the blending of cultures and Puerto Rican food/comida is definitely a feast you shouldn''''t pass up. Sandy Restaurant, located on the northwest corner of 116th St./2nd Ave. is one of the few local eateries with ample space for sit-down dining. Serving huge portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the only thing deterring from this diner''''s island ambiance are city views out the windows. Daily lunch specials include a free drink and range from $4.75-$6.00. My favorite stand-bys are the Pernil Asado; marinated roasted pork for $6.50, or the Chicharron de Pollo; marinated fried chicken chunks for $7.50. The men...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

Comida Criolla
Around the neighborhood
New York, New York

Street Treats & Other Ethnic Eats

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Restaurant | "Street Treats & Other Ethnic Eats"

Street Treats & Other Ethnic Eats Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
You''''ll find the tempting opportunities to snack along East Harlem''''s streets more abundant and assaulting than perhaps even the environment. Forget fast food joints and hot dog carts -- get your taste buds ready for these. Cuchifritos (deep-fried fritter snacks) are displayed in windows of smaller Puerto Rican eateries and they cost $1.00 each. Most contain a seasoned ground beef filling. Alcapurrias are the most popular, oblong and dark brown with the shell made from ground yucca and spices. Tacos look more like deep-fried burritos and have spicier fillings. Papas de Relleno are golden yellow balls of fried mashed potatoes wrapped around the b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

Street Treats & Other Ethnic Eats
Around the neighborhood
New York, New York

East Harlem - Ethnic Legacies

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Attraction | "Ethnic Legacies of a Neighborhood"

East Harlem - Ethnic Legacies Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
When walking these concrete-canyoned streets, a trip down Tobacco Road won't likely come to mind. After Dutch settled the island's tip in the mid-1660's, this area contained country homes with fertile lands containing tobacco fields. Since that prosperous time, East Harlem is Manhattan's only neighborhood which has never experienced any type of economic success. Expanding transportation systems in the mid 1800's made the area accessible and home to German and Irish immigrant laborers. Jews from the overcrowded Lower East Side began relocating Uptown for cheap tenament apartments, and the city's largest concentration of Sandinavians to date was found. An eventual labor strike started a d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

East Harlem - Ethnic Legacies
Around the neighborhood
New York, New York

East Harlem - Remnants Of Puerto Rico

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Attraction | "Remnants of Puerto Rico"

East Harlem - Remnants Of Puerto Rico Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Fading faster than a Puerto Rican sunset, the constant changes within East Harlem are progressively erasing El Barrio's signature trademarks to make way for the latest wave of Central American and West African immigrants, as well as the affluent in general. Nowhere is this more evident than at La Marqueta, located at 111th St. and Park Ave. under the elevated subway tracks. For more than a century, this area served as the outdoor market hub, just like you'd find in any immigrant community. Great efforts to remodel the current enclosed market in the early 90s turned this into an upscale showcase. Every type of food and items from the island, as well as other daily necessities could be purc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

East Harlem - Remnants Of Puerto Rico
Around the neighborhood
New York, New York

Puerto Rican Day Parade

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Attraction | "The Puerto Rican Day Festival & Parade"

Puerto Rican Day Parade Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Held annually the second weekend of June, the two-day Puerto Rican festival and parade is something you either won''t want to miss...or, plan to avoid all together. Rivaling St. Patrick''s Day, and Brooklyn''s Labor Day West Indian Carnaval as NYC''s largest ethnic celebration, this notorious blow-out has grown to become the National Puerto Rican event drawing participants from all over the U.S. and island. Activities get underway around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning with the street festival which is marked out in the streets of Spanish Harlem in the form of a Latin cross - but the celebration is anything but holy. The epicenter is the intersection of 3rd Ave. and 116th St. with a mind-boggling...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

Puerto Rican Day Parade
Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10022
+1 212 484 1222; +1

El Museo del Barrio

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Attraction | "Unexplored Museums & Galleries of El Barrio"

El Museo del Barrio Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
What you encounter on East Harlem streets may be a bit overwhelming, but you might be surprised to find that "contained" local culture in museums and galleries is often overlooked. The Taller Boricua Gallery has exhibits featuring various forms of artwork created by Puerto Rican and other Latino artists. The gallery's located in the newly remodeled Julia De Burgos Cultural Center, built in the mid-1800s and once even serving as a Civil War hospital. In addition to the first floor showroom, there's a large community room and courtyard in the back that often hosts live concerts featuring traditional Latin music. The Cultural Center is on the southwest corner of 106th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Ave
New York, New York 10029
+1 212 831 7272

Street Culture

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Attraction | "Straight-Up 'Hood, YO!"

Street Culture Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Hispanic and Black will be the predominent ethnic groups you see, but it's Street Culture that shapes and defines who these people are. Spontaneous and ever-evolving, this urban genre dictates to the lives of every inhabitant no matter how much they choose to embrace or reject it. When walking the streets, don't be initimidated by vast numbers of individuals milling about at any given hour of the day or by often questionable appearances and behaviors. Styles in dress often find their way into mainstream society, and while you might overhear conversations in Spanish, English or the mangled version of "Spanglish", you'll undoubtedly come across the dialect of 'Hoodish (an Ebonics-bas...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

Street Culture
various locations
New York, New York

East Harlem - The Rose's Thorns (How To Avoid Getting P)

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Attraction | "The Rose's Thorns - How to Avoid getting pricked"

East Harlem - The Rose's Thorns (How To Avoid Getting P) Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Living in East Harlem helped me develop a sense of safety that I commonly share with friends who stop by for an afternoon or those passing extended stays. Heed these suggestions when planning your visit: Use Common Sense -- Act accordingly as when visiting any neighborhood or city. Don''''t flash cash or carry it in purses, wallets or pockets easily targeted. Don''''t wear excessive jewelry, and be aware of your surroundings, keeping your guard up to levels which help protect, but don''''t deter from the experience. Conduct Yourself With Purpose -- Pre-study my Suggested Walking Tour. Know and feel comfortable with your course of action. Indecisiveness as a clueless ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003

East Harlem - The Rose's Thorns (How To Avoid Getting P)
Around the neighborhood
New York, New York

History Captured Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This outline is designed to help you experience "The Best of" this uptown area while keeping you on the beaten path and away from potential risks. The area covered is on a grid plan with all streets heading in true N/E/S/W directions. Wandering off this suggested course won't get you lost. It's an easy, but somewhat long walk for most. Plan to do this during daylight hours when basically everything will be open, keeping in mind the local museums and galleries are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, and that weekends bring out the biggest crowds on local streets. Begin by taking the #6 uptown train and exit at 103rd St on the right/uptown side of Lexington Ave. Once aboveground, head north as str...Read More

Looking Beyond the Obvious . . .

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Questionable Boundaries Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The question was asked in about every way conceivable from people where ever I went, but basically what everyone wanted to know: "What''''s a white boy like you doing in a place like that?" In all honesty, reading this journal has probably produced the same thoughts, or why would I think anyone visiting New York City would care or dare to come to a place like this . . . East Harlem? Caged Boundaries Without Walls You won''''t find this in any guidebook, but Manhattan has an invisible apartheid line dividing east 96th St. -- the south being the Upper East Side; the wealthiest congressional district in all of NYC. And simply by crossing the street north, "things" drastica...Read More