Hopefully you’ve already checked out our East Harlem guide of things to do and now you’re here checking out the West side of Harlem! Or if you just happen to be in the West Harlem Neighborhood, we’ve got you informed on the top 5 spots to go to.
1- Bill’s Place
148 West 133rd Street
The infamous Jazz Club of West Harlem, the authentic speakeasy referred to as Bill’s Place, has literally been around since Prohibition. You haven’t experienced the real jazzy wild vibe and craze until you’ve visited Bill’s place. Just make sure you reserve because the interior is exceptionally small but its confined space guarantees the real in your face jazz experience that is so highly sought out in Manhattan.
The lowly-lit and cosy Honeywell bar is as inviting as its name suggests. Small bar bites and craft cocktails are guaranteed to be a great mix in the midst of a Broadway walk. The low-key basement entrance will cover a good break from the bustle and high energy of the West Harlem Neighborhood and is always a good spot to munch on some quick bar bites. Be sure to ask for the ‘Funkadelic’ drink, it’s off Menu and it’ll definitely be worth it!
429 West 127th Street
Temporarily rehoused at 429 West 127th Street while their original location — 144 West 125th Street — is under renovation. The Studio Museum in Harlem prides itself on a being a center for cultivating and promoting forward thinking critical thought towards art and society, often through the prism of African culture locally and overseas. You’ll also find some of the most coveted works of Art from the Harlem-era, such as the works of James Van Der Zee, the famous Harlem photographer.
253 West 125th Street
Before you go ahead and checkout the Apollo Theatre, make sure you check what’s on in their calendar section. Since the opening of the Apollo Theater in 1914, it’s reputation has succeeded as being known as the birth place of many renown Jazz, Soul & Funk artists as well as an iconic landmark of the Harlem neighborhood. You’ll be sure not to miss it with it’s recognizable red neon signs on the front, make sure to snap as many photos as you can because the crowd surrounding this landmark is always a cool one.
Marginal Street & West 132nd St
Have a peaceful and serene break from the bustling energy of Manhattan and Harlem by simply walking to the edge of West 130-132nd street and entering the West Harlem Pier walkway. The casual benches and seating areas allow for a great afternoon hangout with friends or alone to soak up the sights of the coast of New Jersey. Make sure to keep an eye out for the iconic memorial pieces that refer to the old use of the West Harlem Piers, which used to be known as the West Harlem Parking Lot.