Sitting along the edge of the Harlem River, East Harlem is a large neighborhood in Manhattan, bordering Central Park, Harlem, and Yorkville. This area is also known as “El Barrio”, and exhibits a rich array of establishments that exemplify Puerto Rican culture. With tons of restaurants, shops, and a few attractions of note such as the museums along 5th Avenue, East Harlem is full of interesting places to see and things to do. The city streets offer plenty of opportunities to walk, while the borough also offers a few small parks to find some open space to run. New York City is a busy urban area, so it makes for perfect exploration material for those with a love for the city life. There is plenty of public transportation to take on those colder winter days, but like most others who travel to NYC, you’ll likely find your own adventure as you stroll down the streets of East Harlem.
As an urban cityscape, East Harlem has almost no hills to speak of. The few hills that do exist are contained within the area’s parks, so don’t worry about wearing yourself out too much as you take your time to explore the city blocks. There are quite a few of them, after all. Be prepared to deal with plenty of road hazards, however, as traffic is heavy, tourists visit during almost every season, and navigation can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the layout of the area. There are plenty of places to stop and rest your feet or take a breather, but the borough is also home to plenty of apartment complexes and homes, so make sure you’re not stumbling into someone’s front yard! If you’re looking for more of a challenge in your walks, try going next door to Central Park, which offers plenty of walking trails of varying difficulties.
East Harlem is lucky in the sense that it’s right next door to New York’s largest greenway, Central Park. But for those looking for something smaller and low key, the neighborhood offers other options such as Marcus Garvey park which has its own dog park within. Other locations include Thomas Jefferson Park, the El Catano Community Garden, the Harlem River Park, and Triboro Plaza. There are quite a few places for those who live in the area to venture to, to get a small taste of greener grass, but ultimately East Harlem is steeped in urban environments and surroundings. Still, that shouldn’t discourage both locals and visitors to search for the little bits of natural heaven that are hidden around the borough, creating plenty of opportunities for some fresh air and the discovery of thriving plant life.