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City Living: Manhattanville
Nestled beneath the Riverside Drive Viaduct, the once-forgotten neighborhood Manhattanville is getting revamped.
Also known as West Harlem, the area is gradually gaining popularity and making a name for itself as a center for dining, nightlife, and innovation. In recent years an influx of new establishments gave the area a fresh vibrancy -- from restaurants to theater groups, and a biotech incubator, Harlem Biospace, which opened in November 2013.
A major project, the West Harlem Piers Waterfront Park -- which stretches from 125th to 132nd streets and includes a kayak launch, sculptures and a fishing pier -- transformed the Manhattanville waterfront.
Since its beginnings, Manhattanville attracted residents of various ethnicities from Quakers to Jews, and from Germans to the Irish and Puerto Ricans. This diversity still exists today, though the area is predominantly African American.
Nearby schools like Columbia University and City University of New York’s City College (CCNY) also bring international students to the area. “Most people associate the neighborhood with Columbia University’s campus and its expansion which is now underway. But the area is also home to other institutions of higher learning,” said Herve Jean-Baptiste, a blogger at HarlemCondoLife.com, noting The Manhattan School of Music, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, part of CCNY. “I refer to this [area] as ‘Harlem’s Educational Hub.’”
--By LISA FRASER
Need To Know
Manhattanville is tucked in among Morningside Heights, The Hudson River, Hamilton Heights and Central Harlem. It is a small sliver of a neighborhood extending from 122nd or 125th Street, depending on who you talk to, up to 135th Street. To its west is the Hudson River and to its east is St. Nicholas Park and Avenue. More »
Trains: 1 to 125th Street; B, C to 135th Street; A, C, B, D to 125th Street station More »
The New York Public Library Harlem branch is a short walk from Manhattanville to East Harlem at 9 W. 124th St. More »
Manhattanville Post Office, 365 W. 125th St. More »
The 26th Precinct, at 520 W. 126th St. covers the Manhattanville/West Harlem neighborhood. According to the NYPD’s CompStat statistics, there was a nearly 80 percent drop in major crimes between 1990 and 2013. As a comparison, there were 15 murders in 1990; there was only 1 in 2013. More »
This popular spot is known for its BBQ pork ribs and jumbo BBQ chicken wings with wango tango or jerk glaze sauce.
Harlem’s Original Floridita Bar & Restaurant
A long-time West Harlem haunt, this spot dishes out classic Cuban cuisine and drinks.
Jazz music and Afro beats adds a warm ambiance in addition to the French bistro dishes served up here.
Situated next to the West Harlem Park, Covo is aimed at those looking for something laid back.
Hudson River Café
This restaurant and bar offers a dimly lit, cozy ambiance that blends the indoors with the outdoors.
This trendy spot has two floors flaunting elegant decor.
In addition to your typical groceries, customers can grab prepared foods, baked goods, artisanal cheeses and olives at the olive bar in this supermarket.
Gemini II Specialty Boutique
This flower studio offers customized creations.
Harlem Stage at The Gatehouse Theater
This performance space has been dedicated to showcasing artists of color since 1983.
The Harlem Repertory Theatre
The current 2013-2014 season for this group includes “Finian's Rainbow,” “Flahooley,” and “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf,” running through February.
West Harlem Piers
Go fishing, kayaking or jog and ride a bike at the West Harlem Piers Park. The $20 million space, an extension of Riverside Park, opened in 2009 and has two acres of green space on the Hudson River Waterfront.