By Seth Fera-Schanes
The brownstone where Langston Hughes lived from 1947 until his death in 1967 is located in central Harlem and easily accessible by the 2,3 trains. If you live in New York or are just visiting, I would suggest the following mini-walking tour for both a cultural and architectural experience.
Langston Hughes: His former residence is located at 20 East 127th St. The house is just under a 10 minute walk from the 2,3 train stop at 125th street and Lenox Avenue. The home has a National Historic Landmark designation. While you can’t go inside, it is a cool feeling to stand outside the home where the author lived.
After your brief visit to the Hughes home, walk north along 5th avenue for 5 minutes and turn left on 130th street to check out Astor Row.
Astor Row: Located on the south side of 130th street between 5th Avenue and Lenox are 28 townhouses built between 1880 and 1883. The homes standout with iron fences enclosing small front yards (not typically seen in New York) and large wood front porches (also atypical for the city.) This is one of my favorite blocks and I enjoying taking pictures here throughout the year. The Astor Row Houses were given New York City Landmark status in 1981.
Once you have had your fill of art and culture, it will be time for coffee and some food.
Astor Row Cafe: Located on the corner at the end of Astor Row on Lenox Avenue. The cafe has really good coffee and some nice menu options. The service is great and the place even has free internet (so you can do a little extra research of the places you just visited.)
Dedicating about 2 hours is more than enough time for this small New York City outing. If you want to continue the adventure you can also head up to Striver’s Row for some more New York history.