From the East to the Harlem

Welcome to East Harlem, a constantly changing neighborhood located in the northeastern part of Manhattan. It is currently called El Barrio or Spanish Harlem because of its large Spanish population but it is a dynamically and ethnically diverse area. In this walking tour, we explore the different areas in the neighborhood that show just how distinct and unique East Harlem is. But first, let’s begin with a brief introduction of the history of East Harlem

Introduction to East Harlem

Now let’s begin our tour!

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East Harlem

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Islamic Cultural Center of New York: 40.785363, -73.948621
Rao\'s Specialty Foods, Inc: 40.793910, -73.934190
Harlem Community Justice Center: 40.801477, -73.938514
Clinton, Dewitt Housing: 40.792638, -73.946153
St. Cecilia\'s Parish : 40.792279, -73.947139
El Museo de Barrio : 40.793221, -73.951418
Community Garden: 40.790950, -73.948591
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Islamic Cultural Center of New York
East Harlem Route




Podwalk Islam
Located on Third Avenue between East 96th and East 97th Streets, the Islamic Cultural Center of New York was the first mosque built in New York City. It contains both a mosque and minaret, where worshipers gather to practice their Islamic faith. The building faces the direction one would travel to reach Mecca, or the Holy City of Islam. Built in the late 1970s, the goals of the Islamic Cultural Center include providing a place of religious worship and knowledge, encouraging the American public to learn more about Islamic faith, providing Muslim American communities with guidance in faith, and promoting good relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. During the mass migration of West Africans from Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, and Mali, to New York City in the 1980s and 1990s, the mosque represented a religious sanctuary, a sense of comfort for the immigrants, many of whom were fleeing from violence in their home countries.  With its intricate and beautiful architecture, the mosque represents a sense of comfort for all Muslims. The mosque represents both the diversity and unity of the ethnic communities in East Harlem.



11


1711 3rd Ave, New York City, NY 10029
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Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc
Point A -> B


East Harlem Rao's
Located on Third Avenue between East 96th and East 97th Streets, the Islamic Cultural Center of New York was the first mosque built in New York City. It contains both a mosque and minaret, where worshipers gather to practice their Islamic faith. The building faces the direction one would travel to reach Mecca, or the Holy City of Islam. Built in the late 1970s, the goals of the Islamic Cultural Center include providing a place of religious worship and knowledge, encouraging the American public to learn more about Islamic faith, providing Muslim American communities with guidance in faith, and promoting good relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. During the mass migration of West Africans from Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, and Mali, to New York City in the 1980s and 1990s, the mosque represented a religious sanctuary, a sense of comfort for the immigrants, many of whom were fleeing from violence in their home countries.  With its intricate and beautiful architecture, the mosque represents a sense of comfort for all Muslims. The mosque represents both the diversity and unity of the ethnic communities in East Harlem.


 

Rao's Italian Restaurant


455 E 114th St, New York City, NY 10029
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Harlem Community Justice Center
B->C


Harlem Justice Center
The Harlem Community Justice Center seeks to solve neighborhood problems in East and Central Harlem. It three principal programs: resolving housing problems, youth justice, and reentry of paroles into society. The multifaceted center allows for many community problems to be addressed under one roof, strengthening the unity of the community. With a multijurisdictional civil and family court, this Justice Center encourages neighborhood renewal through community participation with the court. The wide variety of programs caters to children, adolescents, adults, and families in need of assistance or support. Thanks to the important work of the Justice Center, East Harlem has seen reduced crime rates, improved school attendance, and eviction prevention. A crucial component of East Harlem’s neighborhood, the Justice Center is a great way to learn more about the way that the East Harlem community keeps revitalizing its neighborhood and maintains the unity within its diversity.

hjc

170 East 121st Street, New York City, NY
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Clinton, Dewitt Housing
C->D


East Harlem Clinton/Dewitt Housing
The tenement building that we see here on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 107th street, were once home to the Irish and Italian immigrants that first entered New York City in the 19th and early 20th century. The immigrants of East Harlem faced many of the unsanitary conditions that the immigrants of the Lower East Side endured. The tenements housed thousands of people, far exceeding their capacity. It was not until the Great Depression that housing improvement were made to the area. As a part of FDR’s deal, the government funded housing projects and the East Harlem witnessed the construction of high rise towers. These housing projects were meant to improve the living conditions in the area however this proved not to be the case as many of the inhabitants of East Harlem were not ready to embrace this new change. Much racial conflict occurred as a result of these public housing projects. These high-rise towers are still present in as we walk the streets of East Harlem but the reception of these building by the community has still not changed.

clinton

NYC Computer Repair, 1744 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, NY
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St. Cecilia's Parish
D->E


East Harlem St. Ceclia's Parish
This is Saint Cecilia’s Parish. Located between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue on 106th street, its red stone and Romanesque style make it stand out from the surrounding apartments and stores. The parish was established in 1873 by Reverend Hugh Flattery, but the construction of this church started in 1883 and was designed based on the plans of architect Napolean Le Brun. Over the years, this church has had a great effect on the Puerto Rican community of East Harlem by providing a variety of services. In addition to being a place of worship, it provides many children with a solid education. During the 1970s, the church took pride in knowing that 60% of their grade school students eventually went on to college. This was perhaps a great achievement in what was a dangerous environment created by crack cocaine in the 1980s. Today, this church continues to be full of activity. However, the increasing diversity of East Harlem has also brought some conflicts. In addition to Puerto Ricans, there are Mexicans, Ecuadoreans, Filipinos and others also settling in East Harlem. These various immigrant groups follow different icons and are now competing for space in the church for their icons. As the community grows, the church will have a greater impact in the area.

st

120 East 106 Street, New York City, NY
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El Museo de Barrio
E->F


East Harlem El Museo de Barrio

This museum, located on 1230 5th Avenue, is the center of Puerto Rican culture commemoration. It was formed in 1960 when the community pushed for a way to educate the youth about diversity within the neighborhood. This region has been the site of different immigrant groups for decades, including nationalities such as Irish, Jewish, Carribean and Puerto Rican. The neighborhood has had moments of disagreement amongst its residents and this museum is a way to both teach the masses about cultures and unite them. Raphael Montañez Ortiz helped create this museum which for the first few years did not have a permanent residence. Eventually it began to expand its exhibits and focus on general Latin American countries as opposed to solely Puerto Rican. It offers group trips for schools and educational opportunities in the neighborhood. It is also a site for performing arts exhibits including spoken word. It functions as a creative hub for East Harlem’s diverse community despite its isolating name.  For directions to the next point, please refer to Community Garden.


 

museo


1230 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, NY 10029
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Community Garden
F->G

East Harlem Community Garden

The community garden is part of a restoration project to provide the members of the neighborhood a green environment and a location to host gatherings and events. Its purpose is to bring everyone together and to connect the people of east harlem with themselves and the environment. The garden on 105th st called Modesto “Tin” Flores Community Garden exhibits a painted mural by Yasmiin Hernandez. The mural shows Frida Khalos, a Mexican painter, and Julia de Burgos, a Puerto Rican poet, joining hands. The flags of both nations are shown behind each woman. The joining of the hands is a statement of peace to ease tensions between the Puerto Rican and Mexican residents. These tensions began to arise around the 1990’s as a large influx of Mexican immigrants began to settle in East Harlem which was initially dominated by Puerto Ricans. They both may share similar cultures and languages, but they do not share a common bond. Hernandez hopes to catalyze possibly a new connection between the two groups.Building this bond is the purpose of the Modesto Tin Flores garden.


 

community


105 East 103rd Street, New York City, NY

Thanks for joining us!

Created by: Mohammad Adnan, Mohammad Aziz, Danielle Gordon, Michelle Gorbonosov, Shelley Jain, Medina Mishiyeva, Sudipta Suresh, Paul Sumoul

Bibliography for Further Reading

Baksh, Stokely, and Jamilah King. “Yasmin Hernandez’s Soldaderas Mural in East Harlem – COLORLINES.” RSS. Colorlines News for Action, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 May 2013..

Bell, Christopher. East Harlem Remembered: Oral Histories of Community and Diversity. Jefferson: McFarland &, 2013. Print.

Bell, Christopher. Images of America East Harlem. Arcadia Publishing, 2003. Print.

Davila, Arlene. “Dream of Place: Housing, Gentrification, and the Marketing of Space in El Barrio.” Centro Journal. 15.1 (2003): 112. Print.

“East Harlem History &mdash East Harlem.com.” East Harlem.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2013. .

Feuer, Alan. “Little but Language in Common; Mexicans and Puerto Ricans Quarrel in East Harlem.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Sept. 2003. Web. 10 May 2013..

Navarro, Mireya. “In Many Churches, Icons Compete for Space; Multiple Shrines to Patron Saints Testify to a Rivalry of the Devout” Nytimes.com. The New York Times, 29 May 2002. Web. 28 Apr. 2013
Pan, Allison. “Crossing the Border: Art and Change in East Harlem..” Journal for Cultural Research. 12.1 (2008): 39-57. Print.

Pellegrino, Frank, Nicholas Pileggi, and Stephen Hellerstein. Rao’s Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking. New York: Random House, 1998. Print.

Sharman, Russell Leigh. The Tenants of East Harlem. University of California Press, 2006. Print.
“The First One Hundred Years 1873-1973” Saint Cecilia’s Parish. N.p, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

Turgeon, Carolyn. “Working Together: How A Neighborhood Justice Center In Harlem Is Building Bridges And Improving Safety.” International Review Of Law, Computers & Technology 22.1/2 (2008): 65-76. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.

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