Harlem Alive

A while back, I published a press release on Harlem tours. Recently, a friend of mine had an opportunity to take one of their tours. Here is his review:

Harlem Alive by E. Edward Hobbes

If anyone asks, Harlem is alive and thriving! I recently was privileged to take the Harlem Gospel Tour with the Harlem Spirituals Sightseeing Tours. I encourage anyone that visits New York City to do likewise. If you have never been to Harlem you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. If you have not been back in a while, I suggest you come back. I plan to take this tour again in the near future.

The whole day begins in Midtown Manhattan at about 9:30 AM where we boarded a comfortable bus that took us uptown. The trip uptown goes by Columbia University as well several beautiful churches. Saint John the Devine is particularly spectacular and is a must see if you visit Harlem.

Our first stop was at the Schomburg Center where we were treated to interesting exhibits on the formation and development of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Also on display at the Schomburg Center when we visited was an extensive display on the culture, norms, and traditions of the Senegalese people. As it turns out, because of recent immigration in the area, Harlem now boasts one of the largest Senegalese expatriate communities in the world.

After the Schomburg Center we were taken to one of the most moving scenes I have ever experienced — namely a full Baptist church choir singing their lungs out! No one was going to fall asleep at this church; even the crowd of tourists got up and started clapping their hands and stomping their feet.

The finale was brunch at Sylvia’s and it was delightful! The fried chicken was the juiciest and tastiest I have ever savored. The fried catfish was to die for and the ribs were terrific. I have actually visited Sylvia’s with a friend since because the place was just that good.

There are a lot of things to do when you are visiting New York City and there are many options available. Whether you come from Westchester or Germany, I make one guarantee: if you visit Harlem and take this tour — you won’t be able to resist not coming back!

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