Highlights of Harlem

From the Apollo Theater to the Hue-Man Bookstore, get to know some of the great places and landmarks in Harlem, NY.

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Photos

New York's Times Square has wall-to-wall signage for Broadway plays, commercial ads and more. Once known as Longacre Square, Times Square was created in 1904 when The New York Times moved into the neighborhood. 960 1280

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images  

A policeman directs traffic in front of the famous neon billboards of Times Square in New York City, at its intersection with Broadway. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

This is the original Manhattan street sign from Wall Street and Broad Street from late 19th- to early 20th-century. The porcelain sign stood near the New York Stock Exchange and sold to a bidder for $116,500 at a Christie's auction. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Tourists and locals alike are familiar with this sign plaster on most taxi cabs that swerve through the traffic in New York. It's also a good way to determine the cheaper route -- a taxi cab ride or a ride on the subway. 960 1280

Spencer Platt/Getty Images  

Take a peep at this! Peep-O-Rama, the last pornography store on 42nd Street in the New York's Times Square district, closed in 2002. Since the 1990's bars and porn theaters were replaced with cafés and tourist shops. 960 1280

Spencer Platt/Getty Images  

These colorful signs at Coney Island, located in Brooklyn, tout the circus-sideshow attractions at the seaside theme park. Coney Island has been a summer destination for millions of New Yorkers for generations. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

You're looking at a piece of New York's history. It's an old subway sign and lamp post located in uptown near Fort Tryon Park. 960 1280

Tom O'Dea / iStockphoto  

What a big difference! Matching the big neon billboards and signs in Times Square, this brightly-lit sign, marked with specific train lines, is located at the subway entrance on 42nd Street. 960 1280

Terraxplorer / iStockphoto  

Two American soldiers and a civilian in a fedora watch workers on a scaffold hang a billboard advertisement featuring a woman's bare legs above the Winter Garden Theater and Café Zanzibar in 1944. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

Sexy models are still part of New York's landscape. In SoHo, this provocative Calvin Klein billboard, with half-nude models, sparked a major controversy in the city. 960 1280

Chris Hondros/Getty Images  

A few years ago, some tourists and locals were lucky enough to hop aboard this antique subway train from the 1930s. The train is still equipped with ceiling fans and wicker seats. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Travelers, near and far, are familiar with the popular shirts and other merchandise that bear the "I Love New York" logo. 960 1280

Spencer Platt/Getty Images  

Locals and tourists on the subway trains in New York are familiar with these signs. These mosaic-tile signs clearly mark the stations along any give subway train route. 960 1280

oversnap / iStockphoto  

The neon glow of the Radio City Music Hall marks it as a well-renowned location in New York City. It's a hot spot for people to enjoy the Rockettes and other performances by popular celebs. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

People walk past a 3-story billboard featuring porn actress Jenna Jameson in Times Square. The ad touts Jamison's web site with text reading "Who Says They Cleaned Up Times Square?" 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Disney's The Little Mermaid comes to life at the Voyage of the Little Mermaid attraction at Hollywood Studios in Orlando. The live-action show tells an abridged version of the Disney film complete with actors, a 12-foot Ursula and, of course, water. 960 1280

Disney  

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach

On the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia, sits Mermaid Beach, famous for its "millionaire's row" of extravagant beachfront property. It's not named for other, more mythical inhabitants, though. It was named for the explorer John Oxley's HMS Mermaid which he sailed in 1823 when he discovered the nearby Tweed and Brisbane rivers. 960 1280

Henry Lawford, flickr  

International Mermaid Pageant

International Mermaid Pageant

A relatively new affair with its inaugural event in 2011, the International Mermaid Pageant at the Silverton Resort in Las Vegas consists of 2 parts: a mermaid round where contestants show off their best mermaid attire, and a regular pageant round, which is a little more familiar to most of us. 960 1280

Silverton Casino Hotel   

Dive Bar

Dive Bar

Dive Bar in Sacramento, CA, is actually the total opposite of a typical dive bar, with its chandeliers and leather, high-back chairs. Dive Bar features a (human-sized) aquarium behind the bar, where mermaids and mermen make occasional appearances. 960 1280

Juan Fernando  

MerPalooza

MerPalooza

Your go-to for all things mermaid, Vegas' MerPalooza is the biggest (only?) mermaid convention. With mermaid and pirate awards, over 70 vendors (including tail-makers) and a panel of speakers, MerPalooza is a must-see for mer-enthusiasts. 960 1280

Silverton Casino Hotel  

Silverton Casino Hotel

Silverton Casino Hotel

Home to the International Mermaid Pageant, the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas continues the mermaid appreciation year-round with its Mermaid Restaurant & Lounge and an 117,000-gallon aquarium that has been dubbed Vegas’ best free attraction, with mermaid performers and an interactive fish feeding show. 960 1280

Silverton Casino Hotel  

Mermaid's Casino

Mermaid's Casino

On the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, the Mermaid's Casino is a throwback to the classic days of Vegas -- it’s one the few remaining casinos with machines that pay out in actual money (as opposed to the vouchers at newer casinos). The casino also serves deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies, so watch your mer-figure. 960 1280

Time_anchor, flickr  

Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee Springs

A Florida state park, Weeki Wachee Springs is famous for its mermaids. The daily underwater spectacle features a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, and is just one of the attractions offered at the park. 960 1280

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park  

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is an iconic statue in Copenhagen, Denmark, that was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. At only 4 feet tall, the bronze statue was unveiled in 1913. 960 1280

Bert Kaufmann, flickr   

Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Inn

The New York-based Mermaid Inn has 3 locations: the East Village, the Upper West Side and an oyster bar in Greenwich Village. All seafood, all the time, the small restaurants make it easy, and trendy, to eat like a mermaid. 960 1280

The Mermaid Inn  

20 Photos
20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

This museum has a great collection of art spanning the Middles Ages to the present day, including American, Indian, European, Inuit and Canadian works. It offers a unique, near-complete overview of Canadian art -- from early Quebec religious work, through Inuit work from the 1950s, to avant-garde contemporaries, via the well-represented Group Of Seven, whose passion in the early 20th century was to create an art that derived exclusively from Canada and its sublime landscapes. The successful fruits of their labor captured the spirit of a country, and are now displayed on these walls. 960 1280

Charlie Harding / Getty Images  

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

The Shrine of the Book's collection contains some of the most important cultural artifacts and documents in existence pertaining to the history of Christianity. Although the manuscripts are never on display in their entirety, there is always some part to see. The exhibition "A Day at Qumran" tells the story of the Essenes, the people behind the scrolls and something of their day-to-day existence 2,000 years ago. The Shrine of the Book also holds the earliest known full text of the Bible. 960 1280

Hanan Isachar / Getty Images  

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

The vast building is one of the most accomplished museum environments in the world; its inventive 20-acre plot in Chapultepec Park is full of foliage, waterfalls, pools and statues. Downstairs is an incomparable display of pre-Columbian art, upstairs an excellent collection of Mexican folk art and throughout you'll find the work of recent Mexican artists and sculptors. 960 1280

©fitopardo.com / Getty Images  

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

The Mauritshuis may not have the encyclopedic scope of many of the other museums in this list, nor are its holdings as extensive. However, what it does exceptionally well is play to its strengths -- in this case, pictures from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. Three pieces in particular have ripened in this palace on the pond. Vermeer's "View of Delft" miraculously handles real light and atmosphere in paint and conveys an overwhelming sense of rest; at a quick glance it also appears to describe the museum and its immediate environs. 960 1280

Michael Zegers / Getty Images  

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

The Tokugawa family reigned over Japan from 1600 to 1868. Under them, the country enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history. This time span is also known as the Edo period, during which the arts flowered in Japan. Artists of this period directly influenced Western masters such as Manet, Gauguin and Whistler and have since gone on to become household names. Other exhibits effectively present and contextualize, through accurately reproduced environments, aspects of Japanese life at the time. They include exquisite samurai swords and armor, pottery and clothing. 960 1280

De Agostini Picture Library / Getty Images  

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

Designed by one of the world's greatest architects -- Louis I. Kahn -- the Kimball Art Museum is one of the few buildings in the world that actually enhances your experience of the art it holds inside. The secret lies in the silver metal reflectors that relay the light from the sky outside, across the ceilings and down the walls. Such an abundance of natural light, the airy, spacious exhibition halls and the sunken Zen-like sculpture garden outside (by Japanese-American landscape architect Isamu Noguchi) make for a most relaxing visit. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

Highlights of this mueum's collection include a grand rotunda lined with Sargent's expert portraiture, an intense, fervent 4th-century Christian marble bust of St. Paul at prayer, and a sumptuous painting that questions life and our very existence, Gauguin's "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" However, the jewel in the MFA's crown is without doubt its Asian galleries. 960 1280

Education Images / UIG / Getty Images  

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

You can't blame the Prado for beaming with national pride. It contains the world's greatest collection of Spanish paintings (from the 12th to 19th centuries), though only a third of its artwork is ever on display. The masters Velasquez and Goya are especially well represented, yet the Prado's collection of foreign works is strong too, attesting to the historical strength of Spain. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

Founded by 3 wealthy women in 1929 as the first museum to ever be dedicated solely to modern art, MoMA was, from the get-go, something different. It has become the greatest and most complete collection on Earth of late 19th- and early 20th-century art, and often wows with its more recent acquisitions and temporary exhibitions. Its home, thanks to Japanese architect Yoshio Tanaguchi, is as much a work of clean, spacious art as its collection. 960 1280

Diana Mayfield / Getty Images  

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

As well as gathering together some of the finest archaeological finds from all Egypt, this museum also provides a rare opportunity to simply pop in and within minutes be standing face-to-face with one of the greatest works of mankind, Tutankhamun's golden mask. A portrait of unbelievable quality, craftsmanship and beauty, the highly polished gold face -- at once a god, a king and a teenager -- glistens like water: delicate, magnetic yet untouchable all at the same time. 960 1280

Krzysztof Dydynski / Getty Images   

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

Like the Medici in Florence, the Hapsburgs of Vienna were wealthy, enthusiastic patrons and collectors of art. Their legacy is one that sits Vienna on top of the pile of the richest art cities in Europe. Today their mighty collections of royal carriages, decorative arts and sculpture, coins, a castle, books, armor, musical instruments, European paintings, as well as Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near Eastern antiquities, are spread throughout 8 buildings across the city. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

A block of New York's Upper East Side, sandwiched between the Museum Mile of Fifth Ave. and Central Park, contains works plucked from 50,000 years of human creativity, belief and power. The Met, as it's more commonly known, is a powerhouse. Its collection spans the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as the ancient, classical and Islamic worlds. The works include painting, photography, sculpture, glass, costume, interior design, musical instruments, antiquities, armor, statuary and the entire first-century Egyptian Temple of Dendur. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

This museum holds the greatest collection of ancient Greek art on Earth. It is in these remnants of a bygone age that we see the birth of the concept of the importance of man as an individual amongst all the other beings of creation. These ideas are evident in the museum's 5th-century B.C. bronze Zeus, perfectly poised to throw a lightening bolt; modeled so as to be freestanding, he is the result of close observation, the study appears to be of a god, but in truth it is the study of man. 960 1280

ARIS MESSINIS / Getty Images  

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

The pieces in the collection are the result of more than a thousand years of personal, imperial collecting. The most turbulent period of the collection's upheaval was between 1924 and 1965. Between these years the Chinese emperors, their courts and treasures were taken out of the Forbidden City (or Palace Museum) and put on the move constantly to dodge a warlord's troops, the Japanese and finally the Communist army. 960 1280

SAM YEH / Getty Images  

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

Spending just a second in front of each piece in the Hermitage's collection would take up over 3 weeks of your time. Its 2 million items are spread throughout 5 palaces built over 5 centuries. As with the Prado and Uffizi, it's best to stick with what's uniquely local (despite excellent Picassos, Matisses and Italian High Renaissance paintings). Focus on the artwork and artifacts of the 6th- to 4th-century B.C. tribes who populated this part of the world and buried their leaders and gentry deep underground. 960 1280

Getty Images  

5: Vatican City (Italy)

5: Vatican City (Italy)

It contains some of the finest works of Italian art from the Renaissance and High Renaissance, aka the finest works ever produced. The dome was designed by Michelangelo, the portico created by Bernini, and St. Peter was martyred here. Fact and legend coalesce on this spot, making it one of the most overwhelming and intoxicating places on Earth. Of the tens of thousands of works on display (spread throughout around 1,400 rooms), a few stand out from the others: The "Belvedere Torso" and marble "Laocoon" are both staple models, called upon by artists throughout art history. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

What the Prado is to Spanish art, the Uffizi is to Italian. But more so. It too has a small, but strong collection of foreign works, and some of its native creations are split between other institutions, like the National Gallery in London and the Louvre in Paris. The collection was born and cultivated by the enormously philanthropic Medici family over a number of centuries. The fruits of their generous patronage are beguiling. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

In the late 19th century, the British national collection was split 2 ways: one half became the British Museum (the museum of all mankind); the other became the Natural History Museum (the museum of all creation). Here, in the Natural History's 70 million or so specimens, lies the evidence of what man has learned of all facets of creation over the last 250 years. So important is this collection, that parts of it have been presented over the centuries as evidence used to debate and argue the age of the planet and the evolution of life. 960 1280

Johnnie Pakington / Getty Images  

2: The Louvre (Paris)

2: The Louvre (Paris)

The Louvre is France's finest cultural institution, and one that bares its history on its sleeve. You can enter via a contemporary glass pyramid, walk around its 12th-century fortress perimeter underground, follow the ornate stairways of the 16th-century kings between galleries and, thanks to the 18th-century French Revolution, walk through nearly every room in the building. After viewing the "Venus de Milo," notice the ceiling of the small room beyond; it will tell you more about the Venus' influence on art history than the sculpture's explanatory plaque. 960 1280

kwanchai_k photograph / Getty Images  

1: The British Museum (London)

1: The British Museum (London)

A quick glance at what the British Museum has lost will tell you much about the importance of what remains; its natural history and library collections alone formed separate institutions, each taking their place amongst the greatest of their kind in the world. A (free-of-charge) visit to this museum is vital if you want to learn where not only our culture, but others too have come from, and where it is we each look to be going. In the words of its current director, in the British Museum "you can locate your culture in the context of the whole world." What a rare blessing that is, indeed. 960 1280

VisitBritain / Britain on View / Getty Images  

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