Queen Anne Style Brick Houses, Sugar Hill

St. Nicholas Avenue, Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill Brownstones

People's Choice Kitchen - Frederick Douglass/146th

The Dance Theatre of Harlem - 152nd/Amsterdam

Sugar Hill


Neighborhood

Sugar Hill is a small neighborhood located near Hamilton Heights and Harlem, bordered by Washington Heights to the north at 155th St, to the south at 145th St., Edgecombe Ave to the east and Amsterdam Ave to the west.

Named to identify the "sweet life" in Harlem, the area got its name in the 1920’s when it became a popular place for wealthy African Americans to live during the Harlem Renaissance, including W. E. B. Du Bois and Thurgood Marshall. When Duke Ellington made ''Take the 'A' Train'' his theme song in 1942, he established forever in music what everyone already knew: Sugar Hill was the place to go, the place to be, in Harlem. He lived on Sugar Hill and so did his collaborator Billy Strayhorn, who scribbled down the tune when the homesick band was playing in Chicago. Rap group The Sugarhill Gang and rap record label Sugar Hill Records pay homage to the neighborhood in their names. Sugar Hill was made a municipal historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2000. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Another renaissance is under way as Sugar Hill addresses regain some of their old cachet, pumped up by the hot real estate market and by the neighborhood's activist tradition.

what to do

Jackie Robinson Park provides 10 blocks of resources, with its southern border at 145th street between Bradhurst and Edgecombe avenues. One of four spaces designated Historic Harlem Parks, the park is noted for its strong connection with the community.  Originally built as a neighborhood playground to encourage organized play for city children, and one of the ten original parks to receive a city pool, Jackie Robinson Park’s history is steeped with efforts to bring the neighborhood together in recreational fun. Along with its pool opening in 1936, a recreation center was created the same year, equipped with cardiovascular equipment, weight room, and gymnasium.  The recreation center also boasts a library, computer resource center, and an arts & crafts room, among other features.  Outside, the park’s amenities abound. Two baseball diamonds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and two playgrounds (one with a water play area) provide residents with spots to compete and play. Continuing in the park’s theme of “play,” a bandshell within its boundaries hosts concerts throughout the warm season, keeping Harlem’s tradition of fostering local music alive and well.

Hamilton Grange NY Public Library branch offers programs for adults, teenagers, and children; provides Lifelong Learning materials for new adult readers; and has meeting space for use by neighborhood groups.  The library recently completed a $1.2 million renovation.  Designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White in the style of an Italian palazzo, the Hamilton Grange Branch was opened in 1907 with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. The roots of its name date back to 1802 when Alexander Hamilton moved his family into a country house he called The Grange in the then-rural outskirts of New York City. Declared a landmark in 1970, the branch today houses a variety of collections that serve an ethnically diverse community.

The Dance Theatre of Harlem (466 West 152nd Street) is a ballet company and school of the allied arts founded in Harlem, New York City, USA in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook.  The Dance Theatre of Harlem School offers training to more than 1,000 young people annually with a community program open to any child who wants to study dance. Its program is called Dancing Through Barriers. It accepts pre-school children up to senior citizens. The school offers specializations in children's movement, European ballet, choreography, and musicology.

where to eat/drink

Golden Empire Chinese Restaurant (757 St Nicholas Avenue at 148th street) is thought of by many as the go-to neighborhood pick for Chinese food delivery.  Golden Empire is especially known for their chicken wings and for their great value.

People’s Choice Kitchen (2733 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard, between 145 and 146th Streets) is the authentic local stop for all your Caribbean cravings including beef patties and oxtail soup. Don’t forget to stop at the ATM – this slice of the Caribbean in Harlem is cash only.

transportation

Trains: The ABCD trains stop at 145th and Saint Nicholas. The A and D trains are express trains, and the B and C trains run local. The C train makes a local stop at 155th St.
Buses: The Bx19 runs crosstown along 145th St into the Bronx across the 145th St Bridge. The Bx6 runs crosstown along 155th St into the Bronx. The M3 bus runs along Saint Nicholas Ave., and the M100 and M101 buses run along Amsterdam Ave.