Staying in Harlem

With pandemic concerns abating and rules relaxing, tourism is tentatively returning. Harlem World Magazine has partnered with Stay in order to produce a curated list (mostly listings) of places where guests can find Harlem accommodation.

The options range from $100 at the Harlem Lodge on West 119th Street:

through the very stylish Northern Lights Mansion on West 122nd Street:

Up to a more corporate spot in Aloft:

There are, of course, scores of other booking sites and likely many, many more options out there. It will be interesting to see what the summer holds for COVID, tourism, and Harlem.


Image above of the (imagined) interior of the Harlem Victoria Renaissance Hotel

Given that the Victoria project is wrapping up and about to bring a new hotel to Harlem, I thought I’d present a map of hotels in New York City.

As you can imagine, Midtown is insanely dense:

And while zooming into our neighborhood appears to indicate that we have a handful of hotels in our midst, as we all know, many of these (aside from the Aloft Hotel at 124/FDB) may be primarily used as SROs or as sites where the Department of Homeless Services contracts for people to stay.

Aloft Hotel on Frederick Douglass Blvd.

To view the full map and hotels around the 5 boroughs, see:


This brownstone’s original facade is clearly hidden under a thick coat of oil paint, but the distinctive keyhole or horseshoe arch of the window in the courtyard, next to the under-stoop door is still gorgeous.

The keyhole or horseshoe arch is uncommon in Harlem, though it exists. More typically the arch is found in Middle Eastern Islamic architecture:

The Harlem horseshoe arch is an example of how ‘Oriental’ aesthetics in architecture in particular, held the fascination of many Victorian designers in the late 19th century.

Further south of this domestic example of Oriental ornament, is a rich example of this trend in the former Congregation Shaare Zedek Of Harlem on West 118th Street which displays exuberant Orientalism:

And multiple horseshoe/keyhole arches in what is now a Baptist church.

Back, however, to the brownstone. If you look carefully at the top of the arch, you’ll see a bird taking flight with a piece of foliage in its beak – possibly to build a nest. This sublime metaphor of domesticity is a classic example of the rewards to be found in walking and observing on the streets of Harlem and discovering the aesthetic treasures, both large and small, that have often outlasted their creators.