Exploring Netflix Hero Luke Cage's Harlem
Get to know the neighborhood sites you may have seen in the show.
Netflix’s latest superhero saga, Luke Cage, centers on a man with indestructible skin, incredible strength, and a mission to rid his neighborhood—Harlem—of organized crime. Tackling issues of gentrification and legacy, Harlem is the series' supporting star, grounding every scene with a distinct sense of place. A television drama may have put Harlem on the map, but these important sites have long defined the vibrant, culturally-rich stretch of uptown Manhattan.
Jackie Robinson Park
Originally called Colonial Park, Jackie Robinson Park was renamed after the legendary baseball player in 1981. It’s home to ten blocks of trees, playgrounds, and sports activity areas (including baseball diamonds and volleyball courts). Located near the Sugar Hill and Hamilton Heights areas of Harlem, the park houses a huge swimming pool and a band shell for concerts during the spring and summer.
Mount Olivet Baptist Church
Featured throughout the Luke Cage series, this Neo Roman church has a long history as one of the landmark religious institutions in Harlem. Originally a synagogue, it became a church in the 1920s, though its genesis is preserved in the Stars of David crowning the exterior columns and in the stained glass windows.
Marcus Garvey Park
Named for the civil rights leader, the 20-acre park (often called Mount Morris Park) is the center of the Mount Morris Park Historic District. In Luke Cage, the area houses the fictional Crispus Attucks Center. The park casts a “suburb in the city” feel over the area, thanks to the leafy trees and handsome brownstone homes. In addition to a dog park, there is also a basketball court and a playground for children.
Featured prominently in several episodes, Barawine is a wine bar by design, with some 200 different bottles and a wine-inspired menu, with entrees like Mussels Mariniere with white wine and Roasted Duck Magret in a port wine sauce.
Located approximately 15 feet away from the fictional Pops Barbershop, Harlem Haberdashery is not just one of Harlem’s premier clothing stores, but it's also one of best places to shop in all of New York City. The family-owned business houses well known brands, up-and-coming labels, and their own custom designs. Co-owners Guy and Shay Wood have dressed such personalities as Biggie and LeBron.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The writers and producers behind Luke Cage did an excellent job of capturing the vibrancy of Lenox Avenue, which is arguably the most important street in Harlem. One of its treasures is the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: a world-renowned research library that holds thousands of materials, including manuscripts, sheet music, periodicals, books, and artifacts all chronicling the black diaspora. It also has an auditorium where contemporary artists and writers host discussions.