Cool Street

Graffiti Hall of Fame

The Graffiti Hall of Fame has been one of the city’s premier street art locations for the past 30 years. Found on East 106th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, the artwork runs along Park Avenue outside the Jackie Robinson Educational Center as well as in the playground, which runs along 106th Street.

Free and open to the public, this famous landmark not only protected, but also cherished by the community and have become a destination for tour groups as well as a blank canvas for street artists several times a year. Founded in 1980 by Ray Rodriguez (aka “Sting Ray”), this is a definite must-see in East Harlem.

If you’re interested in more street art, there’s plenty more to check out in East Harlem. There’s so much public art adorning the walls of El Barrio that you could give yourself a walking tour of just that. From Hank Prussing’s “Spirit of East Harlem” mural to El Mac and Celso Gonzalez work from the  Monument Art Project, there’s more than enough to keep you engaged with what the neighborhood has to offer.

Tito Puente Way

Tito Puente left his mark on Spanish Harlem and New York City as “the Mambo King,” ”the King of Latin Jazz,” and ”El Rey del Timbal.” Growing up in Spanish Harlem in the 1930s and ’40s, he took in the vibrant Latin sounds that filled the neighborhood, emanating from its center at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue.

A pioneer in mixing various musical styles with Latin sounds, particularly with jazz, Puente left a legacy that emanated to every part of the city. When he passed away on May 31, 2000, the world mourned his loss. To celebrate the mark he left on Latin music in Spanish Harlem, 110th Street from 5th Avenue to FDR Drive was dedicated Tito Puente Way a few months after his death on August 2.

Sylvan Court Mews

Mews are former 19th century stable yards that end in typically in an alley. Today, the city has a whole slew of mews that have been landmarked and protected because of their historical significance, including the Washington Square Mews, Verandah Place Mews, and Sylvan Terrace in upper Harlem. Sylvan Court is not on that list of protected mews despite local advocacy from residents to make them so.

The Sylvan Court Mews is on 121st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, just north of the Harlem Courthouse. Gothamist and a few other outlets have described that the deteriorated state of the mews was ultimately what made Landmarks unsure of the areas historical designation. Nevertheless, mews are always a wonderful piece of old New York that deserve a visit, so make sure you add Sylvan Court to that list.