The East Side of Harlem or El Barrio or Spanish Harlem! What Do You Call It?

East Harlem, or when you from Harlem you just call it the eastside also known as El Barrio and previously as Spanish Harlem, is a neighborhood that is part Manhattan, N.Y..

New York City roughly encompassing the area north of the Upper East Side and East 96th Street up to about the 140s, east of Fifth Ave to the East and Harlem Rivers. It lies within Manhattan Community District 11. Despite its name, it is generally not considered to be a part of Harlem, that is just in some people eyes but to real Harlemites it is part of the great history of Harlem.


The neighborhood is one of the largest predominantly Latino communities in New York City, mostly made up of Puerto Ricans or some call them selves a Boricua. The name Boricua is chosen for Puerto Ricans living in the United States. This area as well has a size able numbers of Dominican, Cuban and Mexican immigrants. It includes the area formerly known as Italian Harlem, in which the remnants of a once predominantly Italian Community remain.

East Harlem has historically suffered from many social issues just like most low income or impoverish areas, such as the highest jobless rate in New York City, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, drug abuse, homelessness, and an asthma rate five times the national average. Most people don't know that It has the second highest concentration of public housing in the United States, closely following Brownsville, Brooklyn. Conversely, East Harlem is notable for its contributions to Latin Culture.

Despite these problems there has been some great talent that has come out the Eastside of Harlem or made this their home in there life time. This is a few known in pop culture.

Marc Anthony (born 1968), singer

Joe Budden (born 1980), rapper and member of hip hop group Slaughterhouse

G. Dep (born 1973), rapper

Dave East (born 1988), rapper

Jim Jones (born 1976), rapper

Al Pacino (born 1940), actor

ASAP Rocky (born 1988), rapper

Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), rapper

  • Jay-Z's "Death of Autotune" music video was shot inside Rao's Italian restaurant (2009)

  • ASAP Rocky's "Peso" music video features footage of East Harlem (2011)

However, East Harlem is now undergoing some gentrification. In February 2016, East Harlem was one of four neighborhoods featured in an article in The New York Times about "New York’s Next Hot Neighborhoods". Beginning in 2016, the New York City government was seeking to rezone East Harlem "to facilitate new residential, commercial, community facility, and manufacturing development."

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