Is Harlem safe at night?

Posted by Diane 
Is Harlem safe at night?
December 08, 2004 02:05PM
I have heard that Harlem has been gentrified. How true is this? I saw online an apt that fits my budget, it is on West 138th. Is that a good neighborhood? How about at night?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2009 11:21AM by askanewyorker.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 08, 2004 02:47PM
The gentrification is block-by-block. Take West 138th, for instance.

West 138th between Fifth and Seventh is still a hideous, dangerous slum.

West 138th between Seventh and Eighth is Striver's Row - beautiful and safe.

West 138th between Amsterdam and Riverside isn't actually in Harlem; it's Hamilton Heights, which is struggling but parts of it are beautiful.

I wouldn't recommend staying up there to someone not familiar with NYC. Upper Manhattan, and especially Harlem and Washington Heights, are the ultimate block-by-block neighborhoods - step onto the wrong block late at night and you're in trouble, stay on the right blocks and you're fine. That's fine for locals but too much of a pain for tourists to deal with.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 09, 2004 08:00AM
it's amazing how you know all this stuff, Red.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 09, 2004 01:07PM
so wat exactly happens at night when u step into a bad part of the neighborhood?
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 09, 2004 01:09PM
Usually, nothing.

Sometimes, a few of the guys standing around on the streetcorner drinking 40s of King Cobra decide to yell out vague insults at someone obviously not from the hood.

If you are female, they may decide to explain their personal fantasies to you at some length and volume.

Quite rarely, they choose to redistribute your possessions amongst themselves.

Why take the risk?
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 18, 2004 10:49PM
Red, could you shed some light on 119th St and Lenox? Do you think the risks are lessened in that area and/or how do you think race factors into this equation? I am a white female who loves the area and the apartment but am hesitant about how I will be received in the neighborhood.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 18, 2004 11:25PM
I'm, personally, not comfortable at 119th and Lenox. It's certainly not one of the worst parts of Harlem, but it's not one of the best, and I would not be comfortable staying there. I am a 30 year old white man.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 18, 2004 11:46PM
Thanks for the quick response. I appreciate your thoughts.
Kyle Betterton
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 19, 2004 08:12AM
I was in Harlem last night at the Harlem Grill at 135th and Clayton Powell Ave. I walked from 125th to 135th due to subway issues. thank you, MTA. I thought I'd take a taxi from 125th to 135th, but there were no taxis, so I walked. Actually, I asked a black man who was standing on the street, "where are all the taxis"? and he said "well, when one comes, they'll pick YOU up, no problem". I assume he meant because I am white. I thought that was interesting. Overall, I felt slightly uncomfortable because I was the only white person on the street (just being honest) and I had a feeling of caution, but overall I felt unthreatened and safe. I haven't spent much time in Harlem.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
August 04, 2008 03:54AM

I'm visiting your great city with my family in October and I've found a nice looking
apartment on 129th St, between 5th and Madison. Could you please tell me what this block is like.


Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
October 20, 2008 07:34AM
What is 145th and St. Nicholas Ave. like for a young woman who is a student at Columbia? How about the buildings near the 145th Street subway station (closer to 147th)?
Not safe.

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