The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s has been romanticized and immortalized in history through the resulting art and music that has left its distinctive mark on our culture. This period of cultural richness was in fact a manifestation of the poverty and crime pervading the neighborhood and the lives of its primarily African-American residents. Luckily, since the end of the 20th century, Harlem is seeing what some are calling a Second Renaissance – a gentrification of the once impoverished area. With the development of Harlem USA, a large shopping complex on 125th street, the remodeled Apollo Theater, and other wide-scale renovations, Harlem has become a community-oriented neighborhood, whose elegant row houses and brownstones are increasingly inviting to residents looking for affordable prices in Manhattan.
Harlem retains its cultural roots with a variety of venues displaying the works of writers, poets, artists and musicians, while new commercial developments and retail spaces continue to reinvigorate the area. Starting at 116th Street and extending north to the Harlem River, Harlem is also home to Columbia University and the many restaurants and bars in its vicinity.