Neighborhood Guide

East Harlem

An Italian neighborhood during the 1800s and early 1900s, East Harlem—now known as "El Barrio"—welcomed a wave of Puerto Rican emigrants beginning in the 1920s. You can see the influence of the “Nuyorican” community (New York plus Puerto Rican) in cultural institutions like El Museo del Barrio, which focuses on Latin American and Caribbean artists. There are also a slew of Cuban, Mexican and Spanish restaurants in the neighborhood. Vestiges of the Italian era remain, evidenced in longtime establishments like the always-booked Rao’s and the decidedly old-school Patsy’s pizzeria—a former hangout of Yankee Joe DiMaggio.

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