Visiting West Harlem, New York City with a local

di Selene Scinicariello

Visiting West Harlem, New York City with a local


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Today we are going to talk with Anna Franchi, she is going to tell us about West Harlem, New York City.


Visiting West Harlem, New York City with a local


What city are you going to tell us about?

I’m gonna talk about one of my favourite neighbourhoods in New York City: Harlem.


Is it the place where you are living right now?

Unfortunately not anymore, but I’m working really hard to get permanent residency and move back there.


How would you describe West Harlem to someone who has never been there?

New York City is the capital of the world: everything’s moving, the energy is so great and you meet the most interesting people ever.

West Harlem is a great example of it, as you can find a great variety of people: from the best blues and jazz musicians in the city, to the offspring of the Afro-Americans who made this neighbourhood so lively, to Students and Professors of the Columbia University and families and young professionals.


What is your favourite thing in West Harlem, New York City?

A part from the crowd, I think one of the best things of West Harlem is its proximity to Central Park. When I lived there on 118th street, I was only 8 blocks from it. I used to go there for a walk every morning.


What is the one thing you think can’t be missed when you are visiting West Harlem?

The Gospel Masses are unique experiences, I’d totally recommend them. Also, pay a visit to the Columbia University campuses, first of all, because it feels good to be in this young and smart crowd, secondly because they’re beautiful. In the new campus, there’s also a building by Renzo Piano that you can’t miss.


La columbia University è un luogo da non perdere se vuoi visitare West Harlem a New York.

Columbia University.



What is your favourite thing to do in West Harlem when you have some time off?

I love walking around and looking at the buildings, especially the iconic red brick ones. And I love just breathing the atmosphere and the energy.


Gli edifici in mattoni rossi di West Harlem, una delle cose da non perdere se vuoi visitare West Harlem a New York.

By Paul Sableman (Great Street Corner in West Harlem) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Definitely Minton’s on 118th street and Adam Clayton: it not only serves delicious tastes from the South of the US, but it also has the best jazz live music. When I go there, it feels like going back in time.


What is your favourite cheap restaurant or bakery for a quick lunch or for a snack?

Les Ambassades: an African café with specialty from France and Senegal on Frederick Douglass and 120th Street… I love their pain au chocolat.

I’d also recommend to go to the Harlem Shake, on West 124th Street and eat theit great burgers. This place is also where all the Harlem Shake meme has started.

I also really loved the bagels of the deli on West 118th Street and Lenox Avenue.


What’s your favourite place to have a beer or a cocktail in West Harlem, New York City?

I like 67 Orange Street on Frederick Douglass Blvd. Speakeasy setting, great cocktails.


What do you recommend doing on a rainy day?

Visit the Studio Museum in Harlem, you’ll find works by artists from African descendent. It started as a little museum but it’s becoming increasingly more important in the NY art scene.


What do you recommend doing for free in West Harlem?

Of course, walk in Central Park, especially in the Conservatory Garden, on the East Side between 104th and 106th street approximately. There are 3 different little gardens each one in its own style. You feel like in a fairy tale when you’re there!



Is there one thing not many people know about West Harlem you would like to tell us?

Many people still think of Harlem as an unsafe place but I’d encourage you to visit it and judge yourself. It’s charming, safe, clean and it has a lot to offer!


Thank you Anna for letting us visit West Harlem with you.


Anna Franchi

Anna Franchi is a digital nomad and life enthusiast. Before helping people becoming digital nomads, she has worked in the major art PR agencies in New York and london. She left a promising career to follow a startup in Chile and became a digital marketing specialist for startups and small businesses.

Friends as well as her blog readers started contacting her asking for a help in making the big step to quit their job and become digital nomads. This gave her the motivation to take life coaching courses and set up Taste your dream, as she wanted to help more people changing their life.

“I want people to see that they can have a more meaningful life. It’s just a matter of knowing what they want and plan.”

To make an even bigger impact, Anna is also holding webinars, workshops and creating retreats in Bali.


This was Visiting West Harlem, New York City with a local, if you liked it you will find more interviews on #USAByALocal every last day of the month!

If you’d like to tell about your city, your neighborhood or your State, please write to me filling the form at the contacts page or writing to

I will be much than happy to have you on board!


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2 commenti

Giulia Malano 1 Novembre 2018 - 21:11

Un post molto utile, mi piacerebbe tanto andare a New York! 🙂

Selene Scinicariello 2 Novembre 2018 - 9:50

Grazie mille Giulia!
Sono contenta che l’intervista ti sia piaciuta, ne trovi molte altre sulla rubrica #USAByALocal: alcune parlano sempre di New York! 🙂