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City Living: East Harlem
With a vibrant and artistic culture you cant find a street in this uptown Manhattan neighborhood that doesnt speak to its loud and proud Latino community.
East Harlem, famously known as El Barrio, has a rich history of art, music and Puerto Rican culture that can be seen on a stroll around the neighborhood.
Puerto Rican flags anchor many community gardens, colorful murals decorate the tenement cityscape, and Marc Anthony Salsa tunes celebrate it in cars and bodegas.
Locals say they love the neighborhoods accessibility, its fabulous food and affordable rents.
In the 1600s, the Wecksquaesgek Natives were the first settlers in the area known today as East Harlem.
Later, according to nycparks.gov, it was settled by Dutch settlers led by Peter Stuyvesant who converted it into a farming community and named it Nieuw Haarlem, after a town in Holland.
In 1664, the British invaded, settled in the town and changed its name to Harlem. Today East Harlem has undergone a new migration of people to the neighborhood.
Though Puerto Ricans and African Americans predominantly populate it, new residential developments have attracted Asian and Europeans immigrants to the area because of its affordability and accessibility.
People are moving into East Harlem not just due to its affordable living prices, but also because of its restaurants and vibrant Latino culture, Benavides said.
El Barrio provides the culture of an outer borough with the allure of saying you live in Manhattan.