Category Archives: Community

Harlem organizations partner with FIT to present Harlem Holiday Windows, free tours provided

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Move over Fifth Avenue, Harlem is getting into the holiday windows game. Spanning the corridor of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 114th and the 122nd streets, eight Harlem businesses will display windows designed and executed by fifteen students from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) BFA program. The window displays will depict holiday-themed scenes from the Harlem Renaissance. The windows will be on view from November 30 to January 2. Visitors are invited to stroll through the historic neighborhood throughout the holidays and enjoy the window displays, while learning a bit of Harlem’s rich history.

To kick off the season, two free window tours on November 30 and December 3 will be provided by ArtCrawl Harlem, Inc. The tours will feature live storytellers and vignettes with actors and performers bringing the windows to life. The family friendly outing will also include free children’s activity and coloring books, highlighting historical themes of the period, and refreshments from some of the participating restaurants.

Windows will be decorated at the following businesses:

Vintage Harlem NYC Wine & Spirits, 2235 FDB
Chocolat, 2223 FDB
Vinateria, 2211 FDB
Lido, 2168 FDB
Harlem Tavern, 2153 FDB
Silvana, 300 W 116
Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic, 2119 FDB
Land Yoga, 2116 FDB

Harlem Holiday Windows free kick off event will start at the Harriet Tubman statue on 122nd Street at 5:30pm on November 30, and will feature an interactive and intergenerational music performance by special guest Shine and the Moonbeams. The second kick off, also starting on 122nd Street, will be at 3pm on December 3, ending at the Shop Harlem Live Harlem Holiday Expo at MIST. Produced by Harlem Park to Park, the program will include an art filled afternoon for kids and adults.

In addition to the free kick off tours on November 30 and December 3, a full schedule of paid tours and programming around the Holiday Windows, will be offered by ArtCrawl Harlem, Inc., throughout the holiday season, from November 30-December 21. Programming will include weekly tours on Saturdays from 3–5pm (dates include December 3,10, 17).Registration is available on the website. Rates are $10 per person or $150 for groups 15-25.

Tours are available for groups by special request. For more information on Harlem Holiday Windows, and the participating businesses visit http://www.harlemholidaywindow.com or call 212.866.7427.

Harlem, let’s make history with her

I should be doing a ton of other things right now, but I’m not. I can’t stop thinking about tomorrow and the day after. November 8 has to be the biggest day in American politics and history. And every Harlem establishment imaginable is holding viewing parties tomorrow night! Where will you be watching?

Tomorrow is the big day! Let’s get out the vote tomorrow and make history together by electing the first women to the highest office in the land, President of the United States. May Wednesday be a brand, new historical day for America!

Is Trader Joe’s eyeing retail space at Circa Central Park in Harlem?


Rumor has it that the antithesis of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, is working hard to have a presence in Harlem, specifically central Harlem so that they can compete with that Texas-based grocery chain. A real estate broker(s) has informed this blog that Trader Joe’s, the California-based food chain, is moving into the entire retail space offered at the swanky Circa Central Park building in Harlem! 

You know which building I’m talking about! It’s the space of a former gas station and the one selling an apartment for more than $8million dollars at the corner of West 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd! 

Yup, apparently the developers, which got Starbucks to move into their other building on Manhatten Avenue and 110th Street, are or close to sealing the deal with Trader Joe’s to move into Circa Central Park in Harlem. 

Hmm, there is another grocery store directly across from that new building. It’s called Central Market.

Let’s see what happens! Stay tuned! And of course, I’d love to hear what you think about Trader Joe’s moving into Harlem at this location? Digame (Talk to me)!

Citi Bike inching it’s way into Central Harlem

Walking along Central Park West in the 100s, I noticed a Citi Bike station at West 106th Street and CPW. It’s spanking brand new! Then it got me thinking, what about my area–Central Harlem? I know it’s coming, but where?

For those that do not know, or do know, the Citi Bike station is coming soon to 110th Street and Adam Clayton Powell! And that’s it for now for us Harlemites! Poohie. See map!

Citi Bike is well into East Harlem! Lucky them!

Ponty Bistro in Harlem turns two, happy birthday 

Time flies when your making delicious food in Harlem! Ponty Bistro, the Harlem restaurant, helmed by Chef Cisse—a 2009 finalist in the hit Food Network show “Chopped,” turns two this month. 

Stop by Pontry Bistro Harlem located just off Strivers’ Row at 2375 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard at 139th Street and wish them Happy Birthday! While you’re there try some of their signature dishes: Crispy Tuna, Fish Fataya, Truffle Macaroni and Cheese, Le Poulet Yassa, Niokolokoba and Poisson Braise A Le Guet Ndar. 

Brunch on weekends offers Lobster Benedict, French Toast, Scrambled Bruchetta, and much more.

Happy Birthday Ponty Bistro! And continued success in Harlem!

Former Harlem mosque turning into luxury rentals 


Does anyone remember this Harlem space on Frederick Douglass Blvd between 115 and 116th Street? It used to be a place of worship, a mosque. Now there are signs up on the scaffold that says the space is being turned into luxury rentals! Great, right?

This space probably would have been more ideal for affordable housing since it’s right in the thick of where all the change is happening. Is anyone surprised? Probably not.

How many luxury this and that do we need for this area? Oh I forgot, I’m in New York! There’s no such thing as affordable housing!

Have a great weekend!

Live Periscope Tour of FLUX Art Fair in Harlem May 2

Can’t make it to one of the May art events in Harlem by FLUX Art Fair. Then log on to Periscope May 2 at 10 am! NYC Parks joins the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance for a special preview tour of the FLUX Art Fair in Marcus Garvey Park “live” on Periscope, a social app for streaming and watching live video broadcasts. Founder of FLUX Leanne Stella will join to answer questions and lead the tour.

Throughout the month of May, FLUX artists will present performances, large-scale installations, and subtle artist interventions throughout Upper Manhattan, including in Marcus Garvey Park, Eugene McCabe Field, Harlem Art Park, along Fifth and Lenox Avenues, and Harlem Grown farm on 127th Street.

Visit http://periscope.tv/nycparks or download the app and follow NYC Parks on Periscope to participate in May 2 tour! For a list of artists click here.

Harlem Harvest Festival happening today, October 10

Harlem Harvest Festival (presented by Harlem Park to Park) takes place today from 11am to 4pm at 116th Street and St. Nicholas. 

There is something for everyone at this one-day fall festival featuring food, farmer’s market, artisan products, family and kid friendly activities food/baking competitions, classes and live performances by local Harlem businesses and community members. See full schedule here:

· Activities/Stage/Live Performances – Bikram Yoga East Harlem class at 11:30am. Main stage: Whole Foods Market live cooking demonstrations 12:45 & 1:45pm, performances by Harlem Swing Dance Society at 3:15 and Majica Latina Jazz Group at 3:30 pm; DJ Stormin’ Norman & Sundae Sermon hosting. 

· Kids Corner – Chloe the Yogi Children’s Yoga at 12-12:30pm; Arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, face painting, NYPD rock climbing wall and The Bubble Man 

· A ‘Taste of Harlem’ featuring Harlem restaurants and retailers offering seasonal tasting menus for purchase such as Babbalucci, 67 Orange Street, Sexy Taco, Seasoned Vegan, New Harlem Besame, Settepani, Sol Cacao

· Cook-off (1pm)– Annual Cooking competition showcasing culinary dishes prepared by Harlem residents – categories are: 

– Healthy Soul food dish (vegetarian or meat)

– Healthy side dish using produce found at farmers markets 

· Bake-off (2pm) – Annual Baking competition showcasing baked desserts prepared by Harlem residents. Categories include: Best Pie, Best Cake, Best Cookies/Brownies, Best Cupcakes

· A Farmer’s Market & Artisanal Food Fair featuring fresh vegetables, produce (pumpkins, fruit, etc.) from New York farms as well as food from artisanal food vendors and wineries/breweries available for purchase. 

· Whole Foods Market Artisanal Vendor Review 12-3pm – local Harlem artisanal vendors will have an opportunity to present their products to Whole Foods Market foragers/buyers for the new store coming to Harlem.   

  

Kids clothing Pop-up shop August 23 at Bibi Salon in Harlem

Listen up Harlem parents! This blog just learned that on Sunday August 23, Bibi Salon at 2220 Frederick Douglass will be hosting a Pop-Up shop featuring kids clothes, shoes, & accessories from the children’s boutique, ‘Yummy Yummie Goodness’. The pop-up shop will run from 10am-4pm. See you there! 

 

Harlem getting another Starbucks, new condo on 110th will house Seattle giant

   
 Strolling along 110th St. approaching Manhattan Avenue in Harlem, what will you see? A big sign that says Starbucks coming! It will open up two or three doors down west of Cafe Amrita, a long time favorite Harlem business.

Clearly, the Seattle based company sees that the cafe/coffee business is booming in this part of Harlem, along with mid to high end restaurants. In the last few years, several cafes have open up just along Harlem’s restaurant row, aka Frederick Douglass Blvd., such as Double Dutch, Silvana, Amaretto Espresso Bar, and Cafe Frederick Harlem Parlor.

Not sure I care for another Starbucks in this area. There are plenty of good coffee options now that exist! Agree or disagree?