Tag Archives: vacation

Aloft Hotel in Harlem wins TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Harlem’s first hotel in a half century has been recognized for its service. Aloft Harlem, located at 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd. between 123rd and 124th Street, recently announced that it was awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. This accolade is given to establishments that consistently and credibly achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, which recognizes businesses worldwide and is one of the largest travel sites on the internet.

Aloft Harlem has been open since December 2009 with the  majority of the hotel’s employees from Harlem and already its performance is reaching the top percentile in the industry. The prestigious award only rewards about 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor.

Let’s wish our Aloft Harlem a big congratulations and may many more accolades come their way in years to come! Cheers!

Harlem neighborhoods experience price jump in rental market

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According to RentJuice®, a Zillow® business and provider of lease marketing technology to thousands of real estate property managers and brokers, the uptown part of Manhattan, specifically Harlem neighborhoods, experienced a price jump in the rental sector of real estate. In a news release distributed today, it stated that “over the last quarter, the city’s average cost for space remained stable at $4.98 per square foot-exactly the same as at the close of the first quarter. The largest hike in price per square foot occurred uptown in Harlem. Neighborhoods such as Central Harlem, Harlem and Morningside all experienced 11 percent jumps in average price per square foot in the second quarter. Renters in Hamilton Heights, however, saw a five percent decrease in average price per square foot.”

To read the full news release, click here.

Let’s go canoeing at Harlem Meer

Not sure what to do today, Sunday (July 15) with your Harlem kid? How about taking them canoeing at Harlem Meer? It’s FREE and it is happening today in Central Park North! NYC Parks and Recreation is offering free canoeing from noon to 3 pm at Harlem Meer, which is located near the entrance of Central Park North, aka 110th Street, and Lenox Ave. If you’re coming from downtown, take the 2/3 subway line to the 110th Street subway stop.

I witnessed this a few years ago and blogged about it. It looked so much fun! Whatever you do today, have a wonderful Sunday, Harlem!

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Julisa’s coming to Harlem, new bar plans to open at the end of July

Reader and fellow blogger FromTheFifthFloor.com has tipped off HarlemGal Inc. about a new bar and lounge opening in Harlem, specifically on Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd Street. Julisa’s is the name of the upcoming Harlem joint and apparently it’s owned by a couple team! I guess they’re following in the footsteps of Harlem Tavern, 5 and Diamond Harlem, and Ristorante Settepani, which I understand are all owned and managed by couples.

According to our reader, Julisa’s is shaping up to be sharp-looking new bar and lounge, which will focus on live music and poetry night-type events. The place has a built-in DJ booth/loft in the back, an indicator that live music will be available. So stay tuned. As soon as we know more, we will pass along.

And a special shout out to FromTheFifthFloor.com for providing the story tip and photos! Muchas Gracias!

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Celebrate Bastille Day at Cedric French Bistro in Harlem

It’s a national holiday this coming Saturday, July 14 or its Independence Day all over again! Well, not exactly here in the U.S., but in France it is. It’s Bastille Day this coming Saturday and Cedric French Bistro and Bar, located at 185 St. Nicholas Avenue (at the corner of 119th Street) is celebrating the French holiday with a Brunch Party right here in Harlem. The festivities start at 11 am and Cedric’s is taking reservations for this soiree. See all the details below!

Senior Swim begins, age-friendly program available at two Harlem pools

NYC Parks and Recreation announced yesterday (August 9) the launch of designated Senior Swim hours at 14 public pools citywide, two of the 14 pools participating are in Harlem. The Harlem pools are Jackie Robinson Pool and Thomas Jefferson Pool.

Senior Swim hours offer adults a stress-free, quieter time to socialize, swim, stretch, and enjoy the benefits of water in NYC Parks’ outdoor pools. The program runs from July 9 through August 24, and is open to those over the age of 62. Please note: there are no fitness instruction involved in the program.

On July 9  at the Thomas Jefferson Pool, the Harlem Honey and Bears Swim Club, a synchronized swimming group for adults 50 and older, kicked off the Senior Swim Program with a synchronized performance.

To learn more about the hours dedicated to the Senior Swim Program, click here.

Il Forno Pizza and Salad in Harlem aiming to open in two weeks

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Over the Fourth of July holiday, I caught up with Henock Kejela, the owner of Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant in Harlem and the soon to be Il Forno, a new pizza and salad place, that will be located at 135 West 116th Street, between FDB and ACP Blvd. Kejela told HarlemGal Inc that he is planning on opening his second eating establishment in Harlem in about two weeks. The main product at Il Forno will be fresh pizza made in a wood burning oven.

Kejela let us come inside to take pictures of the work in progress at Il Forno in Harlem. The pizza place is going to have a clean, crisp look. The walls and floors will be predominately white with subway tile on the side walls, and black and white circle tile for the floors. The only color in the place will be on the wood burning over, which was specially made in California and shipped to Harlem.

In my view, this pizza place will be well worth checking out when it opens. The Harlem community knows Kejela can deliver. Zoma, located on the southeast corner of FDB and 113th Street, has received outstanding reviews from the media and is one of the few dining establishments in Harlem that has a Michelin rating. With those kind of credentials, I can’t wait for Il Forno in Harlem to open! Stay tuned…

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Is 111 Central Park North getting a Dunkin’ Donuts?

The commercial space at 111 Central Park North, which is at the base of Harlem, is slowly filling up. The next business that is rumored to take up shop there is a Dunkin’ Donuts. There are work permits posted in the corner space, which faces Lenox Avenue and Central Park North, aka 110th Street, but the permits do not mention the coffee-chain company. However, the other businesses already in place in the commercial space at 111 Central Park North will say-if asked-a Dunkin’ Donuts is going there. The workers at this location see whose coming and going. My bet is they are right about whose moving into this space. Of course, nothing is final until the signage goes up. Stay tuned…

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EmblemHealth and Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets Kick-Off ‘Eating for Good Health,’ cooking demonstrations available in Harlem

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EmblemHealth and Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets are offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, cooking demonstrations and health and wellness screenings to the people of NYC this summer, with two locations in Harlem, through the “Eating for Good Health” program.

A kick-off celebration for the start of the cooking demonstrations is scheduled for the week of July 10 – 14, 2012 with special activities, giveaways and health screenings. Below are the schedules of the two Harlem locations that are participating in the “Eating for Good Health” program:

Mt. Morris Park Historic District Market-Saturdays through November 17
Cooking Demonstrations begin July 14, 2012 through Oct. 27, 2012
120th Street and Lenox Avenue

West Harlem Farmer’s MarketTuesdays beginning July 10 Nov. 20, 2012
Cooking Demonstrations begin July 10-Nov. 20, 2012
137th Street and Broadway

For more information, please visit www.harvesthomefm.org.

Watch: Skateboarding in Harlem


While I am not a big fan of skateboarding, watching this video of young kids skateboarding through Harlem gave me a new-found appreciation. These skateboarders in this video are very good. Some of the moves they perform on their board are incredible. Just watch.

The only downside to this video, these youngsters are not wearing any protective gear and they are skateboarding on the seating stones at the Frederick Douglass Circle. Ouch, that monument is new and I thought that was prohibited? I guess kids will be kids.

Overall, watch this video It’s fun and the music is wonderful! Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy!

ONLY Times – Skate Days from ONLY NY on Vimeo.