Atalanta (sic) Casino

An ephemeral advertisement for the “Atalanta” (sic) Casino, owned by Gerken & Hedden and located at 155th St. & 8th Ave.

The Atlanta Casino (or “Atalanta”) was a 3 story wood-framed entertainment complex that was eventually destroyed by fire in 1898. This suburban complex was served by the elevated railroad that then ran on Eighth avenue terminating immediately in front of the property.   

As Seen In Harlem

Bonus points if you noticed the double rainbow.

World AIDS Day

Your Invitation to the HNBA Holiday Party

Thursday, December 15th, 7:00 PM

Click HERE to RSVP

Here’s your chance to celebrate with the neighbors you know, meet some of the ones you don’t, and finally introduce yourself to a few who you’ve seen, but haven’t connected with yet…

All welcome.  Feel free to pass this invite on to a neighbor who you think would be interested.  

The goal here is to build community by creating the links that make us all stronger, healthier, safer, better informed, and connected. 

HNBA’s Holliday gatherings are always welcoming, filled with food and good cheer, and we’ll be thrilled to have you join us.  Just sign up below, and let us know what dish or drink you can bring and share.

The gathering will be at Studio 125 – a new event space where the Serengeti Tea House used to be on 125th between Madison and 5th Avenue – 22 East 125th Street.

We will have access to the main area in addition to the lovely covered outdoor patio area with heaters.

Please RSVP using this link:

Protect Your Family from Respiratory Virus

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that is affecting many New Yorkers. The virus often causes mild, cold-like symptoms but may result in severe illness among younger children and older adults.

You can help prevent infection with RSV by following some basic steps:

  • Limit exposure to anyone who is sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Wear a face mask

How to Care for Mild Cases

Most cases of RSV are mild and can be treated at home with these basic steps:

  • A nasal bulb suction to clear congestion
  • An air humidifier to help clear mucus
  • Frequent feeding to prevent dehydration
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen for children 6 months and older, and fevers below 100.4° F

When to Contact Your Health Care Professional

If your child develops more serious symptoms, including a persistent high fever, wheezing, more trouble breathing and dehydration, do not hesitate to contact your NYC Health + Hospitals pediatrician or talk to a doctor quickly by contacting our telehealth service.

For non-emergency cases, NYC Health + Hospitals Virtual ExpressCare can connect you to one of our health care providers in minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We speak over 200 languages.

Talk to a Doctor Now
Or Call 631-397-2273

Emergency Cases

Young children with RSV can develop severe symptoms quickly. Some of the more serious signs include severe difficulty breathing, drowsiness, inability to cry or speak, bluish or gray lips or face, and ribs that are pulling in with each breath.

If your child shows any of these symptoms, Call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.

The Heat Wave

Another Ebay photo of a Harlem nightclub’s interior from June, 1945. This one was called The Heat Wave, and was located on 145th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Heat Wave was located at 266 West 145th Street. The club was active in the 1930s and 1940s under the direction of Louis Metcalf, who also played there until 1946. Hot Lips Page, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, and Lester Young are among those who performed at the Heat Wave; Marlowe Morris was the house pianist.

Today the location is a medical office:

As Seen In Harlem

Blank Check

While the phrase ‘blank check’ may live on, increasing numbers of young people have very little experience with physical checks. When I saw this pristine blank check from the Harlem and Spuyten Duyvil Navigation Co. for sale on Ebay, I was taken by the partially prefilled-out date: “187_”

The image on the left-hand side of the check is also wonderful. It shows the High Bridge when it was exclusively a masonry structure. (A steel span now has replaced the center arches.). You can also see the bucolic Bronx, and yes, a steamship with a paddlewheel, plying the Harlem River.

As Seen In Harlem

The Worst Subway Stations

The MTA’s customers have spoken. Harlem and East Harlem have some of the dirtiest stations, with the most open drug use on the platforms, and begging in the mezzanine.

In the spring survey of MTA riders, Harlem riders expressed frustration that their departure stations looked so much worse than the ones they exited.

Get a Job

We Need You! Now Hiring Emergency Snow Laborers 2022-2023 Season

The New York City Department of Sanitation has announced that registration is now open for those interested in working as Emergency Snow Laborers for the 2022-2023 winter season. Emergency Snow Laborers are per-diem workers who remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets after heavy snowfalls. Snow Laborers earn $17 per hour to start, and $25.50 per hour after 40 hours are worked in a week.

Snow laborers must be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to work in the United States, and capable of performing heavy physical labor. Additionally, candidates must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. All applicants must bring the following items at the time of registration:

  • Two small photos (1 ½ square)
  • Original and copy of two forms of identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Those interested in becoming a Snow Laborer must register for an application appointment at Registration appointments take place at the Department’s 59 garages. Applicants should not attend the appointment if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Terrorist Bombing in Harlem

In 1914, an otherwise non-descript tenement in East Harlem looked like this:

The location is on Lexington Ave. near 103rd Street East, and remarkably, they repaired this damage – rather than tear down the building (admittedly, the building was only 4 years old at the time – it was built in 1910):

At 9:16 a.m. on July 4, 1914, a premature dynamite explosion in an anarchist bomb factory blew the roof off a tenement at 1626 Lexington Avenue, near 103rd Street, wrecking three floors, killing four people, injuring a score of others and spewing debris for blocks.

The police identified the intended target of the homemade bomb as John D. Rockefeller. Protests were staged at their homes, offices in Manhattan and at their estate in Pocantico Hills in Westchester County, where two of the alleged bomb-makers had once wound up on trial.

The police linked the deceased bombers to the Industrial Workers of the World, specifically to Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, radicals who a few years later would be deported to Russia.

The 1914 explosion killed Charles Berg, Arthur Caron and Carl Hanson, all linked to the Rockefeller assassination plot, and Marie Chavez, who rented a room in the sixth floor apartment but was not believed to have been involved in the conspiracy.

A year later, the police found another bomb hidden in the driveway of the Tarrytown home of John D. Archbold, the president of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil.

Marcus Garvey Park Tree Lighting

Lenox and 135th Street

This photo of a Harlem street scene is labeled Lenox and 135th Street, and is dated March 23, 1939:

Where exactly was the photo taken?

First of all, the metal structure on the left (note the rivets holding it together, showing that it’s a metal structure):

is clearly a subway entrance:

that has a newsstand and shoeshine chairs glommed onto it, and an adjacent business called “Subway Shoe Repairing & Hat Renovating Shop”:

Note the retracted awnings that would be extended during sunny, hot summers (no airconditioning) on the buildings:

indicating (as much as the bundled up pedestrians do) that this is a chilly day:

But, where exactly was the photo taken? The shadows suggest that this is likely a view of the north side of a street. Looking at Google Street view, it’s clear that no 1939-era buildings exist on any of the 4 corners.

However, all of the subway entrances are oriented with Lenox Avenue and are located on Lenox Avenue and not on West 135th Street. As a result, the photo must be showing either the north-east corner (where the hospital is now), or the south-west corner, where 485 Lenox now stands:

In the end, the shadows prove that the photo is showing the southwest corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue – where 485 Lenox now stands. The long shadows indicate that it’s early morning and the men getting their shoes shined are getting ready for the day, and the relatively few window awnings suggest that few people in apartments that faced east thought it worth investing in this sun-blocking feature when the intense heat mostly beat down on south and west facing windows.

Renaming Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson Houses

Assemblymember Gibbs is convening an effort to rename Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson Houses – both are currently named after unabashedly racist men (and Thomas Jefferson, of course, bought/’kept’ enslaved people).

1936 Harlem’s ‘Voodoo Macbeth’

Before Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds, leading Broadway actress Rose McClendon and producer John Houseman convince a gifted but untested 20-year-old Orson Welles to direct Shakespeare’s Macbeth with an all-Black cast in Harlem.

Reimagined in a Haitian setting, this revolutionary 1936 production, which came to be known as “Voodoo Macbeth,” was fraught with cast/director clashes – particularly between Orson and Rose – who played Lady Macbeth – over everything from scene blocking to crew hires. A larger, political storm also lingered nearby with Washington figures looking to shut down “communist propaganda.”

The movie ‘Voodoo Macbeth’ which came out a few weeks ago, is based on this amazing true story of a young Orson Welles directing the first production of “Macbeth” with an all-Black cast.

The movie “Voodoo Macbeth” somehow acquired a whopping ten directors and eight writers and controversially includes some difficult subject matter, including Orson Welles performing in blackface.

According to one of the directors, Orson Welles did indeed put on blackface and go onstage during one of his productions. The team decided to put the spotlight on the justified outrage that ensued rather than center the scene on Welles or excuse his actions.

“We wanted to show the anger that the other characters had against it,” Salnave said. “I think it was just as, you know, discriminatory and hurtful then. But they just maybe, perhaps didn’t have the voice or the ability to voice their opinions on it and put their foot down and say that they really didn’t like it. So we invoked a little bit, I think, of like a modern touch on that, but it gets the point across that, you know, it is a part of our history, and it’s not right.”

Turkish Baths

Urban Archive has a great article from Landmark East Harlem on the Mount Morris (Turkish) Baths that were located at the corner of 125th and Madison:

Continuously in use from 1893-2003, Mt. Morris was the only bathhouse in New York City that specifically catered to Black men. The Baths started serving a predominantly gay clientele, probably sometime during the Harlem Renaissance. Those frequenting the baths during that period included Countee Cullen, Harold Jackman, Carl Van Vechten, and Lincoln Kirstein. Up until the 1960s, it was the only gay bathhouse in the city to admit Black customers.


The traditional Harlem Holiday Lights celebration, a production coordinated by the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with Manhattan Community Boards 9 and 10, as well as Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association, is focusing on a call for Unity and Peace in the Community, as the theme of the 29th year of this celebration.

Originally scheduled for Nov 15th, due to inclement weather, it will now take place TODAY, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

As Seen In Harlem