Harlem is a village of teeming streets, labyrinthine subway stations and imperious buildings. It’s a place whose denizens are used to fighting for space in a cacophony of crowds, cabs and chaos. Needless to say, this can begin to wear on a Harlem soul. Which is why we seek places of solitude hidden within the frenetic village. Here’s a favorite spot of Ben Fractenberg, DNAinfo reporter, in case you find yourself needing a moment away from the masses.
City College at Convent Avenue from 130th Street to 141st Street
It may seem odd to describe a college campus as “hidden,” but The City College of New York founded in 1847 feels undiscovered compared to its southern neighbor, Columbia. What a shame. The grounds are incredible. Neo-Gothic-style stone buildings surround verdant lawns, making it feel more like you are in Cambridge, England, than Hamilton Heights in Harlem.
There’s lots of green space to lay out and pretend you are back in college with all the time in the world. After about a half hour your mind will start to have trouble accepting you’re still in the city.
How to get there: Take the 1 to 137th Street and head east, or the C to 135th, cross the street and walk up the stairs in St. Nicholas Park toward campus.