Despite last year being truly awful, a surprising number of exciting things to see and do—from expanded outdoor dining to beautiful park renovations—debuted uptown in 2020.
If you haven't explored them yet, now's your chance:
New bike lanes in Upper Manhattan
• Central Harlem Fifth Ave between Central Park and Marcus Garvey Park
• Washington Heights St. Nicholas Ave between W 165th and 170th Sts
The city added two more bike lanes in Upper Manhattan last year, for a total of 15 new blocks with dedicated cycling paths. One runs along St. Nicholas Avenue between W 165th and W 170th Streets, while the other on Fifth Avenue connects the ten blocks between Marcus Garvey and Central Park.
Revel electric scooters
The electric scooter sharing company expanded into Upper Manhattan during the pandemic's first wave, but shut down over the summer after three moped-related deaths. The service finally returned in late August with new and improved safety requirements.
Citi Bike expansion in Harlem and Washington Heights
The bike share company made a big push into Upper Manhattan during last year's lockdown. Bike stations—some with electric rides—now reach as high as 183rd Street in Washington Heights.
Outdoor dining in Harlem and beyond
When the city launched its Open Restaurants program in June of last year, uptown restaurants didn't waste time in expanding onto sidewalks and parking spaces. While this site's outdoor dining list has expanded and contracted with the weather, the roundup—like the program itself—is here to stay.
Jackie Robinson Park renovations
Central Harlem 145th to 155th Sts between Edgecombe and Bradhurst Aves
Part of the city's Parks Without Borders initiative, the beautiful, $4.7 million upgrades to Jackie Robinson Park—including refurbished entrances, walkways, stairways as well as new fencing and benches—were finally unveiled last spring.
Baylander Steel Beach
Manhattanville West Harlem Piers, 125th St and the Hudson
Any new attraction on Manhattan's sorely-underused waterfront is big news, and Baylander Steel Beach, a navy-ship-turned-restaurant moored at the West Harlem Piers, is no exception. Last summer's opening gave pandemic-battered uptowners reason to rejoice, offering a fun spot for cocktails with breathtaking views of the river (the Baylander is now closed for the winter).
"Uno Dos Tres" mural by Carmen Herrera
East Harlem JHS 99, 410 E 100th St between FDR Drive and First Ave
A stunning public mural of abstract artist Carmen Herrera's "Uno Dos Tres," painted by students from the arts and education nonprofit Publicolor, went up on the eastern wall of East Harlem school JHS 99 this fall.
The renamed James Baldwin Lawn
Central Harlem St. Nicholas Ave and W 135th St
Thanks to a citywide initiative to honor the Black experience, the sloping hill in St. Nicholas Park was renamed this fall after one of Harlem's beloved literary giants.
Fort Washington Park pathway reconstruction
Washington Heights Fort Washington Park between 168th and 169th Sts
Damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and closed for repairs since last fall, the pathway that runs right along the river between 168th and 169th Streets is back and better than ever.