Harlem

The 100 Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance approaches in 2020 and FunMaps and Gayosphere.com kick off the celebration with the launch of the inaugural edition of the 2014 Harlem FunMap.

Harlem is a large neighborhood within the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan with areas including: Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, West Harlem, East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Sugarhill, Washington Heights and Inwood. Since the 1920s, Harlem has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle.

Black residents began to arrive en masse in 1905, with numbers fed by the Great Migration. In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the focus of the "Harlem Renaissance", an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American black community. However, with job losses in the time of the Great Depression and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased significantly.

SGL/LGBT community was popular in Harlem and in 1977 an imperious, elegant queen named Crystal LaBeija announced that a ball she’d helped put together was being given by the House of LaBeija, as in House of Chanel or House of Dior. It was a p.r. gimmick, something to add a little more panache and, not incidentally, to increase the luster of Crystal LaBeija. The concept caught on, and suddenly every ball was being given by a house. Some queens named their house after themselves, like Avis Pendavis’ House of Pendavis or Dorian Corey’s House of Corey. Others took the names of established designers like Chanel or St. Laurent. [...] By the early eighties younger, less experienced drag queens were declaring themselves members of this house or that house, and competing in balls under the house name. Some went to court and had their last names legally changed, to Pendavis or Corey or Chanel or St. Laurent. [...] Houses came to be ruled by their biggest stars, who were known as mothers and who exhorted their members—their children—to accumulate as many prizes as possible for the greater glory of the house.

Hotels

  • Aloft Harlem
  • 2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
    New York, NY 10027
  • Website: www.aloftharlem.com/
  • 212-749-4000 or 866-716-8143

Bars

  • 9A Kitchen & Lounge
  • 2331 12th Avenue (at 133rd Street)
    New York, NY 10027
  • Website: www.9anyc.com
  • 917-507-0000
  • Castro Bar
  • 104 Dyckman Street
    New York, NY 10040
  • Website: castrobarnyc.com/
  • 718-930-0886 or 646-388-4067
  • El Morocco
  • 3534 Broadway
    New York, NY 10031
  • 212-939-0909
  • Suite Bar
  • 992 Amsterdam Avenue
    New York, NY 10025
  • Website: suitenyc.com/
  • 212-222-4600 or 212-666-1500

Shops

  • Harlem Haberdashery
  • ​245 Lenox Avenue (between 122nd & 123rd Street)
    New York, NY 10027
  • Website: www.harlemhaberdashery.com
  • 646-707-0070​
  • Make My Cake (Saint Nicholas Avenue)
  • 121 Saint Nicholas Avenue
    New York, NY 10026
  • Website: www.makemycake.com/
  • 212-932-0833
  • Rivers At Rehoboth
  • 263 West 86th Street (between Broadway & West End Ave), Mailing Address: 557 Grand Concourse, Ste. 3-128, Bronx, NY
    New York, NY 10024
  • Website: www.rivers-at-rehoboth.org
  • 347-765-1630
  • Zenbiz Travel
  • St. Nicholas Avenue
    New York, NY 10026
  • Website: zenbiztravel.com
  • 800-381-1580

Attractions

  • Casa Frela Gallery
  • 47 West 119th Street
    New York, NY 10026
  • Website: www.casafrela.com
  • 212-722-8577
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem - Everett Center for Performing Arts
  • 466 West 152nd Street
    New York, NY 10031-1814
  • Website: www.dancetheatreofharlem.org/
  • 212-690-2800
  • Grant's Tomb (General Grant National Memorial)
  • West 122nd Street at Riverside Drive
    New York, NY 10027
  • Website: www.nps.gov/gegr/index.htm
  • http://www.grantstomb.org
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem
  • 144 West 125th Street
    New York, NY 10027
  • Website: www.studiomuseum.org/
  • 212-864-4500

Events

Harlem Pride