Sunday, May 11, 2008

City Walk #20 - Harlem 2: Haute Harlem, Historic Harlem

Card no. 42 - photos
This walk combines a slice of New York history with a visit to one of Manhattan's least-known residential neighborhoods.

Begin at Edgecombe and 160th Street (M2 bus to Edgecombe and 160th Streets or C train to 163rd Street).
The oldest private house in New York, the Morris-Jumel Mansion, sits on the hill overlooking the Harlem River, a position that recommended it as temporary headquarters for George Washington in 1776. Handsomely restored, with grounds that are especially pretty in spring and summer, the house is well worth the trek uptown. The entrance is on cobblestoned Jumel Terrace, between West 160th and 152nd Streets, just east of St. Nicholas Avenue. Directly opposite is Sylvan Terrace, a charming row of painted wooden houses built in the early 20th century along the mansion's former carriageway. Turn right out of Sylvan Terrace to West 162nd Street, then right to the far side of Edgecombe Avenue for a glimpse of Yankee Stadium, just across the Harlem River. Walk south on Edgecombe to West 160th, turn right and walk to Broadway to visit the Hispanic Society, between West 155th and 156th Streets, a treasure house of Spanish and Portuguese art, and its neighbor, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (633 W. 155th). Continue south to Trinity Church's graveyard, the last cemetery in Manhattan to still accept tenants. Proceed farther south on Broadway to West 145h and turn left to Convent Avenue, then right into Hamilton Heights, a charming neighborhood of single-family houses that seem frozen in an earlier time. Return to Broadway along West 141st and pick up the 1 or 9 train to West 137th or 145th Street.

From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay

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