Is Harlem safe at night?

Posted by Diane 
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
September 19, 2012 10:09PM
I have lived on 130th and Lenox since last year and before that I lived near 140th and Convent Ave in West Harlem.
This past August a man was shot to death at 2 am in the morning at 126th Street and Lenox, which is a an area that now has trendy bars and restaurants open.
There have been shootings in housing projects nearby (last year in the on 125th near Columbia University a young teenage girl was shot in the stairwell of her building in possible retaliation from gang warfare her brother was involved with) This summer A 24 year old young black man, an innocent bystander, Matthew Shaw, was killed by a stray bullet on 128th and Lexington in East Harlem
A couple of months ago, on La Salle street near Columbia University buildings two murdered men were found in a car
About 3 years ago a Columbia University grad student living near me on Convent Ave was followed home by a stranger who cut her eyelids and raped her. He was caught. There was another rapist on the loose after that, but they caught him too. This happened close to City College. When all is said and done, it still feels safe here, I just worry about getting hit by a stray bullet in some teenager with guns crossfire, especially in the summertime. The cops have put up their police tower, which feels a bit like I live in a prison yard, which I think they do when the crime rate in a nab goes up. but I'm not sure. People are nice here and plenty of tourists walk around unafraid, but mostly in big groups and in the daytime
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
October 01, 2012 12:36PM
what about the train station 125th, we are taking a bus getting off at 125th and park ave in the evening, catching the 8;14 metro north train. We are just tourists, and not sure if this is wise or should we just get a cab from laguardia to the train station, if so how much? Thanks Sara
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
October 28, 2012 12:44AM
Thank you I really appreciated your message! I'm white, but I'm thinking about renting in Harlem since its affordable, close to Central Park one of my favorite places. I'm glad you said it has rich history, and a good sense of cummunity.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
November 14, 2012 09:14AM

Vince, I'm guessing you might be staying where my Mother and I are staying in March on 123rd. I would love to know about your experience there and whether or not you felt safe.

I've traveled to many big cities both domestically and internationally alone, and have always felt safe----so I can't imagine Harlem will be much different. Any tips for a newcomer would be welcome.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
November 24, 2012 09:28PM
I am considering taking an apartment on 126th and Broadway. I know it's right near the 1 Train. Just wanted to know if anyone was familiar with the area and could tell me a little bit about it. Good spots to eat? Safe neighborhood? Thanks.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 13, 2012 01:12PM
@J Wondering, that area is very safe. Broadway up by Columbia looks nothing like East Harlem, which is really where I think people are getting confused here.

West Harlem is super safe, but obviously, if you are drunk and looking for trouble late at night, you will find it. I live on 129th and Park, and it is fine for the most part, but having lived in Brooklyn and stayed in other areas of the city, I would say that East Harlem, above 125th, could be considered unsavory to people who aren't familiar with the area. There is a row of prostitutes most nights on 126th and Park, and dealers scattered up the street, and bums who just copped crack staggering around....but this is NOT something that is unique to this area. You're probably more likely to run into trouble on the West side of Times Square than you are up here.

If you are female, you will probably get some cat calls from people up here, but, again, that's nothing something that is unique to this area. I can imagine it doesn't feel very nice, but try not to blame it on the area or its residents, and just ignore it. I walk past drug dealers and crack heads every day who cat call my girlfriend, but I just smile and nod to them, and they get the picture. You really won't get hassled unless you get aggressive with people.

By the way, I am white, and in my mid 20s, but I've spent enough time here to know how to act, what to say, and how to avoid trouble. My advice: be confident when you walk, don't mouth off to people because they ask for change or a cigarette, and dont' respond aggressively to cat calls. People might try to intimidate you because you look like you don't belong in the neighborhood, but try to put yourself in their situation: Neighborhoods all over NYC are being gentrified at a breakneck speed, and many people who grew up here don't want to think about the prospect of their parents and grandparents getting forced out because of rising rent prices. So maybe the people of East Harlem are a little on edge because the city rezoned the area in 2008--then the wariness on their part (and my part, I don't want my rent to skyrocket either!) is entirely warranted.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 26, 2012 10:32AM
I've been in Harlem many times and I've never felt too threatened. Spanish Harlem gets a little sketch late at night on 3rd ave, but I've waited for the bus around there late at night and no one has ever bothered me. Just have to be smart like anywhere else.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
January 04, 2013 03:38PM
I am a single mom with 3 kids, we are planning on moving to East 122nd and Lexington. I wanted to know how safe it is for my daughter (19 yrs)? my son (15yrs)?
any input much appreciated.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
January 07, 2013 02:38PM
Hi Kit,
I just investigated your neighborhood. I arrived at 10:15am. I took the 4 train to 125th St
This would be your subway stop considering if your living at 122nd or you could go to 116th and walk up. The area has a little edge in the vibe. Ethnic breakdown Black and Hispanic. There's a Pathmark super market right on the corner of 125th and Lexington which has a bottle exchange veding machines with plenty of customers lining up which adds a unique aroma to that corner.
At 123rd and Lexington there's a deli and a wine liquor store. The area is not what you would call upscale but rather has a realness and earthy charm in its own simplicity. I met two very nice young ladies who when I asked if the neighborhood was safe replied;
"It's all about who you surround yourself with"
On Lex and 117th I found a great meat market called MI Barrio's. At 116th is another super market with a Dunk'n donuts, Dominos, Pizza etc...
Central Park is just a 20 min walk away to 110th St. So East Harlem in my opinion could be a safe place to live with your kids. If possible I'd suggest a visit and walk around the neighborhood yourself befotre moving to get a real feel for it.
Good luck.

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2013 04:52PM by askanewyorker.
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
January 09, 2013 01:45AM

i'm planning to move to 149 and 7 ave this week. seems like folks r negative about that block. any bad experience?
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
August 21, 2013 03:30PM
Hi, im going on holidays with my girlfriend to NYC this september, We´re going to stay ni St Nicholas Av and west 145th street, We are from Argentina, it´s a country in south america.

We are going to stay there because it has easy access to metro ABCD, but maybe we go back our harlem home, late at night a couple of days. We were wondering if it´s safe enough so we can do it

Thanks in advance!
Re: Is Harlem safe at night?
December 04, 2013 01:52PM
Hello.. Me and my husband will come to NY. We rent the apt.. But after i see that this is Harlem.. ((.. Can you tell as how safe that area would be for as?? The apt on 623 west and 145 street. near sub way #1 . We are Russian,and i am worry about dangerous area. Thank you.

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