If you are a music lover and have a niche for the melting pot of American Culture, then you must pay a visit to the vibrant neighbourhood of Harlem during your stay in Newyork. Harlem, although known as the Black Mecca of the world, has been home to many races and ethnic groups all leaving behind their incredible cultural impact. This multiculturalism is what makes Harlem a centre for popular musical experiments and aspires musicians across the globe. A trip or vacation to Harlem can offer an experience of Live Jazz in Harlem, choirs experience in the churches, and much more such musical encounters.
Of late, many tour guides are offering Harlem Walking Tours for you to experience the rich culture and heritage of Harlem that has a profound influence on the American culture. It is an amazing experience to walk across the streets of Harlem and come across some historically famous places and monuments that have their own story to essay. The famous wall art of Harlem can take you back to the Harlem renaissance age and give you an insight into the inspiring lives of the struggling yet motivated African American community.
A peek into the history of Harlem
Originally settled by the Dutch in 1658, Harlem was unsettled farmland and unoccupied territory for a long period of around 200 years. However, as New York gained prominence, a huge population shifted to the north thus hyping the residential and commercial sectors of New York. With New York gaining importance and attracting the population, the development of Harlem became inexorable. Newyork and Harlem became the centre of attraction for the migrants of the south and also the first world war migrants. By the 1920s, Harlem thrived with cultural and artistic expressions and the era is remarked as the Harlem Rennaisance period.
The Rennaisance saw Harlem transforming from a farming settlement to a centre for cultural revolution. Harlem has been part of many historical American events, from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and thus has a strong impact on the glorious history of America. The great legacy and heritage of Harlem are being carried by globally acknowledged institutes like Apollo Theatre and the National Jazz Museum.
Things to do when in Harlem:
Harlem has a strong presence of the African American community and their culture, and so a trip to this historically important place can be engaging with a lot of encounters with history. From involving in various musical endeavours to visiting significant places, a trip to Harlem can bring satisfaction to your musical soul. Here are some references to the places you must see and things you must try in Harlem.
Visit The Apollo Theatre: Apollo theatre played an important role in the upliftment of African American artists, as it was the first stage to open its door for the Harlem artists to perform. The famous “Amateur Nights” by Apollo Theatre showcased artists from every background and thus set the stage for the influencing performances and music that the world followed later. Visiting Harlem and missing out on visiting Apollo theatre will make the trip incomplete.
National Jazz Museum: If you are a Jazz fan, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this one. Although, this museum is a comparatively small one but Jazz flows through it like air. From lectures, discussions, live performances and the collections of hundreds of historical recordings, this museum is a must-visit. You can have an eternal experience with those rare recordings that are available nowhere else in the world.
Take a Walking Tour: When in Harlem, don’t miss out on the chance to explore the place by every nook and corner. Book with Harlem Walking Tours and explore the city and know all about the Harlem Rennaisance and the lives of the African American artists who took the world by storm through their music and literature. A walking tour can help in understanding the cultural, historical, and political relevance of the Harlem community to American history and culture.
Enjoy the Gospel Choirs: If you are in the town during Christmas or Easter holidays, enjoying the gospel choirs can be an important activity for you. These choirs are a Sunday frequent across the calendar but during special occasions like Christmas and Easter at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, it is a sight to behold that will leave you wanting more.
Enjoy live Jazz performances: If you want to enjoy, most cafes and restaurants stage the best upcoming and established artists. Harlem is the place where many Jazz artists have lived and turned into legends, the legacy is carried on by those who are fond of the genre and thrive for perfection.
The Final Word
These are some of the things that you should not miss out on when visiting Harlem. Just as a tour of Harlem is necessary when being in New York, similarly these activities are a must when visiting Harlem. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more to do and see in Harlem. Every street and corner of Harlem sheds light on some unveiled history of the glorious past.