03.09.16NYC Adventures | Harlem

I love sharing the fun adventures we have right here in our own city. Rob and I plan weekly dates for each other, alternating weeks for who does the planning. We aim to keep it as inexpensive as possible. It can be anything from renting a movie at home to going to a show we’ve been wanting to see. It’s a fun way to spend quality time together, serve one another by planning something for the other, and to enjoy more of the place we call home.

A few weeks ago, Rob and I had an adventure in Harlem. Most visitors to NYC probably don’t go to Harlem, but I think there is a strong case for visiting the eclectic neighborhood. It’s the neighborhood just north of where we live, yet I always travel south in Manhattan for work, school, or shows. Heading north was a fun and different date.

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We started at the Museum of the City of New York, located across Fifth Avenue from Central Park at 103rd, and one of our favorite museums. With my NYU student ID, I can get myself and a guest in for free, though it’s a definitely museum worth paying for. I loved the exhibition on the NYC Marathon – it was amazing to learn about its rich history in this city, to hear the inspiring stories, and to see the motivating images across the years. I’ll be honest – it made me want to run a marathon!

There are also fascinating exhibits on housing and urban planning, art galleries, and a collection from the gilded age of NYC’s history. Not to mention, the staircase is a stunner! I highly recommend this museum – and it’s not far from the Met or the Guggenheim if you’re already near there.

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After working up our appetite, we went even farther north to Malcolm X and 116th for dinner at Amy Ruth’s. Amy Ruth’s is a legendary soul food hot spot in Harlem, hosting many celebrities and presidents throughout the years. Known for their chicken and waffles, we we knew exactly what to order: The Reverend Al Sharpton, your basic chicken and waffle (hold the gravy). To be honest, this was more of a date for Rob, knowing how much he likes fried chicken. I’ve never liked fried chicken all that much, but I try to live by the “when in Rome” motto. My verdict? Amazing! I got past my annoyance with cutting around the bone in the chicken and devoured my chicken and waffle. I loved getting a taste of true soul food in the heart of Harlem.

It’s certainly off the beaten path, and far from what you’ll experience in, say, Times Square… but that’s a good thing ;). Harlem is definitely worth checking out. The Museum of the City of New York followed by chicken and waffles at Amy Ruth’s made the perfect date.

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