If you had one tour to choose our of this list of activities in New York: which one would it be? Hmm, not easy, right?
Well, personally, if I had to select only one during my stay in New York, it would definitely be the Harlem Tour and Gospel Service. That’s the one I strongly recommend to my friends who go to New York and have never had the experience of seeing a Gospel Service or simply don’t know much about Harlem’s history.
The Harlem Tour and Gospel Service: the complete tour!
This 4 hour tour will take you from the heart of Manhattan and through the whole Harlem neighborhood in a cosy bus showing you everything with very detailed information about the evolution of the area.
The passionate tour guide will give you all the secrets and unknown information of this very special area of the north of New York City, named after a city of Netherland: Haarlem.
During the first 2 hours, the bus will drive you in the upper side, passing by famous places such as the beautiful St John The Divine Cathedral (the biggest cathedral of the world), which is just in front of the very famous Columbia University where among others Theodore Roosvelt, Barack Obama, Jack Kerouac and Jim Jarmusch studied.
The bus will drive through one of the main avenues of Harlem: The Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, named in honor of the life of the heroic pastor, activist, humanitarian, leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement who was born, raised and who died in this area.
You will be able to get out of the bus at the Apollo Theatre to take photos of this very famous place where celebrities such as Billy holiday, James Brown, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson used to sing! It is still open and you can listen live music at the “Amateur Night Show“, it is one of New York’s most popular live entertainment experiences!
And before you arrive in one of the 230 Baptist Churches, where you will be able to experience a real Gospel service, you will travel through the beautiful and wealthy area of Sugar Hill, where people have green backyards (which is pretty rare in NYC). Amazing people such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis made this neighborhood legendary. Someone said: “If you could afford to live here, you would have a taste of the sweetest things in life” and I really beleive it!
The Gospel Service: a real experience!
The climax of the Harlem Tour and Gospel Service is to spend one hour in one of the Baptist Churches of Harlem. You will be welcomed with warmth and smiles, you will listen to some of the most beautiful voices you ever heard! Being among these people passionate singing their love for God is really something and it won’t take you long to start clapping your hands singing alleluia with them! No need to be religious, they just want you to feel good and to spend this special moment with them.
Enjoy and have a great time in Harlem!