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

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

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

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.

Holiday Saturdays in East Harlem

The Harlem Night Market is back this holiday season! So mark your calendar for three weekends of fun, food & winter shopping at the historic La Marqueta.

Come through to support local entrepreneurs and go home with some of the best eats, drinks & gifts in the neighborhood.

D.J.s Stormin’ Norman
 and Ted Smooth will be bringing us back to the dance floor, with special guests to be announced.

There’ll be plenty of family fun 
— including visits with Santa, a bounce house and 360-degree photo booth. On December 10, take a trolley from the market to El Museo del Barrio for their new exhibits and Coqui Club kids parranda. On December 17, hop the trolley to our pop-up ice skating rink at Uptown Grand Central’s community plaza at 125th Street.

Check back here for our vendor list:

Dates: Saturdays, December 3, 10 & 17, 4-8 p.m. daily

The Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta is brought to by Uptown Grand CentralTBo Harlem & the NYC Economic Development Corporation, with support from Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the NYC Department of TransportationUnion Settlement & El Museo del Barrio.

Young People On The Move

The census has a great site, Migration Patterns – – that looks at where young people moving to New York and moving out of New York, are coming/going from/to.

First of all, where are young people who leave NYC going?

While 79% of young people stayed in NYC, the rest headed to the counties shown on the map above.

As for the young people who came to NYC, the map below shows where they came from, and the map is strikingly similar, with young people moving to/from a limited set of places – typically ones with large urban centers. Note (below) how young people from the Washington to Boston corridor (plus Detroit, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles in particular) moved to NYC:

There are also interesting racial differences in the data. While young Black and Hispanic New Yorkers are overwhelmingly from New York City (born and raised):

White and Asian young people in NYC are more likely to have grown up elsewhere, and moved here:

In the end, young New Yorkers have come here from more than 200 miles on average:

Artimus’s Project on E. 127/Park Rises

If you’ve been by Park/127, you will likely notice that this project is now a number of floors taller than when this photo was taken!

Free Music on Monday

Music Monday featuring the Sing Harlem! Choir
Usher in the holiday season to the sounds of the Sing Harlem! choir. The choral ensemble—which is affiliated with the Mama Foundation for the Arts—will host a concert as part of The Forum’s Music Monday series. The event is free and open to the public. Monday, Nov. 21, 6:00 pm

Harlem Garlic Pepper

Enhance all your recipes from pasta, rice and veggies to meat, poultry and fish with Badia Harlem Garlic Pepper, a zesty blend of black pepper and granulated garlic with just a touch of salt for added flavor.

How to Give Back (for free)

HarlemWorld has a great article on how to give back to the community without giving money:

7th Avenue

Ephemeral New York highlighted a postcard recently that featured a broad, earthen boulevard, stately apartment buildings, and horses and carriages.

The postcard clearly states it was taken on 7th Avenue, but where? Ephemeral New York suggested that the regularity of buildings on view would suggest it’s uptown, in Harlem.

Taking a careful look at the colored image, you can see a commercial space on a corner, with a neighboring building that has a distinctive ground floor with segmented masonry details (note the onlookers, observing the horses and carriages):

Further on, into the distance, you can see a red bricked building with a limestone 1st floor and protruding cornices at the top. Note the two windows from the corner, then an open courtyard, then 4 windows, then another courtyard.

Using Google Streetview, the location becomes clear. The commercial building in the postcard that seems to spell out …65LOW… ? Is on the corner of ACP and West 112 Street, and now houses the New Ebony Motel:

Note how a former entrance has been blocked.

And the distinctive red brick and limestone buildings north of the New Ebony Hotel are clearly still around:

As Seen In Harlem

Lions’ Den

It is so good to see the long-running gym in Marcus Garvey Park able to use a shipping container to store gear.

The logo on the container looks great, and it’s always good to see people working out in the park.

Russwurm School Mural

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting on Wednesday

From Kioka Jackson:

Welcome to the month of GIVING THANKS! Well we should be thankful daily, but you know what I mean.  LOL!  It is my hope that everyone is doing amazing!  Just wanted to remind you that our monthly council meeting will be taking place on Wednesday, November 16th at 6:15PM.  We are back at the Precinct this month in the Muster Room.  We will have a presentation by the Manhattan DA’s office to discuss and answer some of the concerns that you guys had in previous meetings.  My folks in Riverbend — I’m trying to keep my word.  LOL! I’m not done yet.  This is just one of the few meetings that we are planning to ensure that your questions are answered by the right parties.  

I hope to see you all there.  I might even be nice and bring some good eats for you all.  At the very least I will bring desserts that you can take home and have with your dinner. 

Pray for me as I have been dealing with an issue with my back – but God Willing I will be there as chipper as always, bouncing around.  

See you all on Wednesday!! 

As Seen In East Harlem