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6.0 out of 10

East Harlem

Ranked 31st best neighborhood in Manhattan
40.7938685787414 -73.9414199798625
Great for
  • Parking
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Tourists


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5

"Honest review: I'm South Asian (Brown)"

I read someone write only white people were complaining.
So being brown, middle class (immigrant) here is my honest 2 bit. To give you a bit about our background: we are a married, both of us have masters degrees and jobs. We reside in the early 100s. Close enough to UES. We initially lived in a very safe yuppy part of Queens and wanted to see what it felt to live in Manhattan. Being fiscally conservative, we wanted conveniences (in unit washer dryer, dishwasher) yet did not want to blow up our good saving habits. East Harlem fit the bill.

Being close to the subway, getting to and from work (in Manhattan) has always been a breeze. Uber-to Manhattan has been very convenient. We have discovered the trails in Central Park many New Yorkers wouldnt know about, and are thankful for an oasis in the backyard. Access to bodegas and convenient stores where you dont have to pay Manhattan prices is also great.

But thats where the good ends. Is the place clean? NO. Being surrounded by projects (highest concentration in NYC), you are exposed to the people elements. Drugs, loud music, loud arguments and people creating scenes in the middle of the night. Im writing this while the pandemic COVID-19 is going on, and this has given me some unique insights.

While many people have lost their jobs, the projects in East Harlem (took pictures of smoke emanating during my evening run) had the means to "burn their savings and money" by indulging in non-stop fireworks and indulge is something illegal. The projects compete with each other in terms of noise! The demographics is people of color mostly: Blacks and Latinos and many of them indulge in weekend sidewalk parties, occupying space, playing really loud music (mostly annoying) and during the pandemic... they do so without wearing masks. Each time reminding you how these could be super-spreader events. Over 50 people gather for these events and I have noticed how they come from outside driving cars. They also have the time to do drugs, while job losses, savings are a cause of concern. But I have come to realize some communities have their priorities elsewhere instead of education or hustling to move forward... or the safety of their families or neighbors

For a while my building neighbors (in a part-rent stabilized building) thought the pandemic was a political gimmick without any truth to it. I also have neighbors who invite their friends, occupy the building entryway and drink through the night playing loud music, talking trash all without masks. The person is the father of 2 very young daughters. Lets just say my Asian upbringings forbid me from condoning such behavior..we believe every generation needs to give a firm foundation for the next generation to do better. The behavior I wrote about...what example do you set for your young daughters? What does your kid learns when they are 5-6? That its okay to while away your time drinking on the sidewalk?

We've had to call 311, inform the leasing management office to get reprieve from staying awake till sometimes 4-5 am! Again, some people prefer whiling time, disturbing neighbors (maybe unknowingly) thank trying to try and hustle harder. We have noticed they are polite otherwise and its a matter of different perspectives. But a large part of me does not want to be around people who are okay with sub-standard and do nothing about trying to do better. Specially when they have families.

We now have a kid on the way. Our families have visited our apartment, and our Asian parents didn't mince their words about getting out of the locality as soon as we disclosed the news to them. Both our parents have post-doctoral degrees.

The neighborhood is tolerable if you are young, single, newly married. Its a different ballgame with families. Dont get me wrong, neither of us had it easy in life as immigrants. Our parents and us have worked very hard to stand on our two feet. Tomorrow I dont want my kid thinking siting on sidewalks, drinking away to trash talking is leading a normal or good life. IT ISNT. As asians we will always push to strive better and put int the effort. For that reason, this neighborhood doesnt stand a chance for those looking to provide a safe, clean environment for their families.
  • affordable rents
  • the new shopping mall at 125th which has the city's only Costco outlet and Manhattan's first Target
  • Great South/Central American restaurants
  • Cheaper than elsewhere in Manhattan
  • very loud
  • drug users
  • crime rates
  • Dirty
  • Still a bit dingy
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5

"All People Commenting are White"

East Harlem is a very beautiful neighborhood and I've lived here for over 10 years. Most people speaking about crime rates and uncleanliness sound very microagressionist. New York City overall is very dirty it smells strange unless you're in an uber rich neighborhood. Soho reeks of trash in the summer and has rats fighting in trashcans.

Crime rates have decreased and yes some people make you uncomfortable but have some common sense and don't go out at 2 am expecting to meet a lovely person. Also the crime rates and people go for all around the city.

I've met so many lovely people in East Harlem, they stand up and support one another.

You really get the feeling of being in a community, neighbors talk to one another. I was almost hit by a car a few months ago and a few ladies I've never spoken to rushed to help me and yelled at the man driving.

Overall its a beautiful place to live. Lots of restaurants (not just pizza like the rest of the city) chinese, mexican, dominican, italian, and cuban food. The community is diverse and full of life. I love living here.
  • affordable rents
  • 6 line
JohnJ9 East Harlem is up and coming, but there are areas to stay away from. I've lived at Lenox Terrace for 3 years. 129th street was shut down for 3 months due to Gang violence. Over the last couple of months there have been several shootings from 116th up to 132nd street on 5th. 2 of which have happened on 132nd street and 5th, 1 of those 2 nights ago and the other 1 month ago same corner.
We moved here with high hopes but are disappointed with management and how they handle and support tenants and building issues. There are areas that are safe but in my opinion undesirable and not worth thr rent. As far as neighbors helping, that's bull in my hood. People would rather jump in front of a pregnant woman on a train or elevator. No class and no courtesy. This is my experience in E Harlem. Don't bother, move to Astoria.
TommyO Stay out of El Barrio we did find without you for many many years.
GregM1 Is this where the Beautiful singers of the 1960 s girl group the Ronnetes are from or Washington Heights? Estelle Bennet/Veronica Benneet and Nedra Talley?
StellaW1 129th Street was shut down for gang violence?!!!!! Someone's been watching too many movies from the 1980s! This is a lovely neighborhood, haven't heard about gang violence in lower Harlem since the early 90s. It's a lovely place.
But bigots like you should stay away!!
SarahS16 Why is he a bigot? Because he acknowledged there are gangs? There are gangs. Read the news.
robertc7 I live in Dallas Tx and there is violence everywhere. But I always wanted to live in NYC. Especially Spanish harlem it has a rich culture. Im a social work and anthropology magor at UTArlington a city near Dallas tx . The only problem is I am on ssdi disability and the cost of living in NYC is more expensive than down here Ican work but im limited what iI can earn. I just got my section 8 down here. But if I could transfer to NYU and be able to transfer my section 8 and make a living even though im low income I would love to be a part of the community and I would hope to have a job in social services in Spanish harlem. But I dont know if it's possible
ronf1 Listen from a east harlem and a bronx resident. East Harlem is great like anywhere else who wants to be outside late at night there's weirdos in every part of new york city. East harlem is very nice, in my opinion nicer than lower manhattan a close knit community makes life easy everyone knows everyone people pull favors for each other it's not too fast pace but not slow its a great community to raise a child so all in all its a great community with pretty good schools.
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"The Last Place I'd Live"

East Harlem is the last place you want to live. In fact, I'd probably leave the city before I lived here.

Is there culture? Absolutely. Are there good restaurants? Absolutely. Is it safe? Unfortunately, it's not.

This may not be the case forever, but for now this is a neighborhood to avoid. Tourists should not venture out here and renters should look elsewhere. It's just a bad place.

The crime and criminals that lurk and loiter in East Harlem don't necessarily live in East Harlem. Most of them come to East Harlem from the outer boroughs. I don't know why there is, but something about the area invites mischief.

Likewise, not everyone who lives in East Harlem is a criminal. However, the area continues to suffer from high crime rates. A friend of mine is an NYPD officer stationed up there and his stories are sad and horrible.

To its credit, there are some excellent Latin-infused restaurants and cultural significance to the area. Likewise, many brownstones (with some renovation) could become lovely homes. I look forward to the day where it's safe for everyone to explore the potential of this area. Until that day comes, safety concerns will outweigh East Harlem's promise.

"Wouldn't recommend moving in, but there is culture to be had for visitors"

East Harlem borders on the affluent Upper East Side, but the two neighborhoods are worlds away from each other – not just because of the differences in residents’ incomes, but in the architecture of the apartment buildings (and housing projects), and outward appearance of shops and restaurants as well.
It’s no secret that neighborhoods that have their share of poverty also have their share of crime, and though the crime rates around here have dropped incredibly in the past decade or so, this neighborhood is not as safe as its neighbor the Upper East Side.
If you are a tourist looking for the scenes of Woody Allen films, you won’t find them here. But you will find a certain charm in these worn-out streets, and you will certainly find some pretty good comida latina at places like Don Pedro’s or Camaradas El Barrio (though don’t expect too much in the way of supermarkets).

Unranked Streets in East Harlem

2 Ave

"A little scary part of Harlem."
40.7953640207367 -73.9389754675967

3 Ave

"Rents are rising, so many are moving in here"
40.7954045934879 -73.9418756721021

East 105 St

40.7903000857772 -73.9437626249886

East 108 St

"East 108th (between 1st and 2nd) an oasis.. wide, open, airy, trees and wild life."
40.7928732896818 -73.9437237564748

East 111 St

40.7942514454632 -73.9411382742682

East 118 St

"Beautiful rose hidden amongst the thorns."
40.7986083358577 -73.9375352516462

East 126 St

"1st ave in the Upper East"
40.8043955832285 -73.9353818988261

East 128 St

"Busy Street Covering a Long Stretch"
40.8061758849694 -73.935707865462

East 129 St

"Commercial In One Area and Residential in Another"
40.8075986755188 -73.9371779947055
"Nice street to live"
40.8072285002218 -73.9353340010675

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© 2014. Douglas Elliman Real Estate. All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count, number of bedrooms and the school district in property listings are deemed reliable, but should be verified by your own attorney, architect or zoning expert. Equal Housing Opportunity.