Also known as The Gateway to Harlem, Frederick Douglass Boulevard has been in the news a lot lately. Over the past several years, it is a boulevard that has most certainly been transformed. It’s a boulevard I travel every day and an area more colorful then my paintings.
Let’s start at the circle on 110th Street, where a bronze figure of Frederick Douglass proudly stands, and take a watercolor tour. Subway lines C & B are right there next to the inviting Amrita Cafe’ and the M10 bus will stop on 112th Street, right near the 5 and Diamond restaurant and the famed 67 Orange – a Harlem speakeasy inspired by Almack’s Dance Hall. Your next stop on the M10 will put you squarely in front of the famous Melba’s restaurant – a must on a Tuesday night for the special musical treat of Petawane.
You’ll pass by Zoma Ethiopian Cuisine on your way to 116th Street, where you will be caught between Lido Italian and The Harlem Tavern, which was an abandoned gas stations just a few years ago. Joggers, walkers and strollers alike can be found frequenting a huge assortment of businesses along this boulevard that include Best Yet Market, Harlem Shambles, Land Yoga, ModSquad Bike Shop, Bier Int’l and a host of other essential businesses.
A huge assortment of restaurants can be found, many with outdoor seating in the warmer weather. Or you can grab a sandwich at any corner bodega and head to Morningside Park, just 2 short blocks west. The businesses on this Boulevard often put together bar craws, restaurant crawls, shopping nights and even a flea market that’s open in milder weather on the corner of 117th Street.
As you work your way up the Boulevard toward the intersection of 122nd Street and St. Nicholas Boulevard, you will see the formidable sculpture of Harriet Tubman, which is right across the street from Harlem Flo – A Flower Boutique and connecting garden – a lovely place to get off your feet. If you need a place to stay, try our newest hotel – The Aloft Harlem. If you don’t yet have your Harlem Map, don’t worry – there’s an app for all this. SPUN, our favorite new app for local urban discovery will get you there. We’ve just scratched the surface of the bustling Frederick Douglass Boulevard.