Harlem has long been a heart of the city’s, and the country’s
While Harlem has long been a heart of the city’s, and the country’s, African-American population, East Harlem has played a similar role for the Latino, and specifically Puerto Rican, community. Sitting north of 110th Street and east of Fifth Avenue, “El Barrio” fills the northeast corner of Manhattan. The area was known as Italian Harlem before demographic changes around the time of World War I led to it becoming a center of Puerto Rican life and receiving the somewhat-misleading nickname Spanish Harlem. Puerto Rican culture still dominates much of life in East Harlem, with El Museo del Barrio being one of the city’s leading institutions focused on Hispanic art and culture. Alongside its Puerto Rican roots, however, the neighborhood has become increasingly diverse, attracting new residents drawn by affordable apartments in a quiet area that sits conveniently near the cultural and culinary riches of the Upper East Side.