By Seth Fera-Schanes
Have you been living in New York and never found your way uptown past 110th street in Manhattan? Have you visited New York a few times for business or vacation but only went to the Theater District, Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) and the West Village (all great places mind you)?
Well I have news for you, Harlem is happening. And you should go there now.
I have recently been exploring the St. Nicholas Historic District (also referred to as Striver’s Row) on 138th and 139th Streets between Adam Clayton and Frederick Douglas Boulevards. The neighborhood is about a 20 minute subway ride from Times Square and easily accessible by the 2,3 and A,B,C lines.
Striver’s Row was a planned community built in 1891. The streets are comprised of three distinct architectural styles: Georgian Revival, Colonial Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival.
I was able to sit down with an owner, Rick Patrick, of one of these grand properties. Rick, a Michigan native and artist by profession moved to New York in the 1980’s and spent his first 20 years in the Tribeca neighborhood. He moved up to Harlem in 2006 and started a Bed and Breakfast in the home two years later. Rick is also a co-creator of The Talkingstick at the Rubin Museum in Chelsea.
Rick is passionate about the neighborhood and I had a great conversation with him about New York and Harlem history. His townhouse is one of the Italian Renaissance styles designed by Stanford White (of the firm McKim, Mead and White.) Rick has decided to put his home up for sale and if you are in the market, definitely check out some more information about his property here. There is also an open house scheduled for February 8th. I was given a tour and got to see all four floors, basement and even a backyard where someone can park a car. Not in town on the 8th? You can check out some of these great homes in the Fall through the Striver’s Row Home Tours. Below are a few pictures of Rick’s home courtesy of Sotheby’s.
If you aren’t in the market for a NYC brownstone, still make an effort to visit this incredible neighborhood. I always bring my camera because there are a lot of great photo opportunities. Take some pictures of Striver’s Row and then walk about 1/2 mile northwest to see Alexander Hamilton’s The Grange and the house used in The Royal Tenenbaums (yes, I just transitioned from US history to current pop culture in the same sentence. I told you Harlem has a lot going on.)
On your trip, if you need an afternoon break then stop by Manhattanville Coffee (a very comfortable coffee house) or spend an evening at Londels for a drink and some live jazz.
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