NYS Tourism

So many Harlem businesses have been devastated by the virtual end of tourism over the last year. The restaurants, stores, cultural sites, lodging, and more, all have been hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the incompetence and indifference of the Trump administration.

I was pleased, however, to see that the latest from I Love New York – the state tourism board – that Harlem (as represented by the Apollo) was featured on the first page. Let’s all hope that 2021 will see a return of the tourism industry and to brighter futures for our local businesses and their employees.

As Seen on 2nd Avenue

140% Increase in Visitors to Randall’s Island

RIPA (the Randall’s Island Park Alliance) emailed yesterday that the number of pedestrians and cyclists who visited the park, increased by nearly 140% in recent months!

Randall’s Island has served as a respite for all who come to walk, run, and bike along its ten miles of safe, open non-vehicular pathways. The Island boasts 330 acres of parkland with clean green space for recreation and a safe escape from city apartments.

RIPA encourages you to visit and enjoy picnicking, exercising, playing games, and having fun. RIPA has also been able to host a number of virtual and in-person yoga classes, Island tours, walks and many small group in-person outdoor events.

To learn more: https://randallsisland.org/

Harlem Postcards

Every year the Studio Museum in Harlem celebrates our community as a beacon of African-American history and culture. The Studio Museum, along with other cultural landmarks such as the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Malcolm X Corner, at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue, serve as popular postcard images for visitors and residents.  

The Studio Museum’s Harlem Postcards, an ongoing project, invites contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds to reflect on Harlem as a site of cultural activity, political vitality, and creative production. The resulting images reflect each artist’s oeuvre with an idiosyncratic snapshot taken in, or representative of, this historic locale.  

Each photograph in Harlem Postcards: Winter 2020—21 is available as a digital postcard to be downloaded for free and shared.

This season, featured artists include María Berrío, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Robert Pruitt, and Summer Wheat. 

Covid Relief Available

Applications have reopened for NYS’s COVID-19 Rent Relief program. If you lost income from 4/1/20-7/31/20 visit hcr.ny.gov/rrp for more information. Deadline to apply is 2/1/21.

For more info, contact [email protected] or 1-833-499-0318.

See original post:


LAST CHANCE! To Catch the Holiday Market at Urban Garden Center

Dear neighbors:

It’s pretty much too late to buy anything online and have it get here on time. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: Join us for some local gift-shopping today, Saturday, December 19, from 3-6 p.m. under the tracks at Urban Garden Center.

We’ll have a curated selection of arts, crafts and treats, all made by local business owners.

Today’s line-up:


Frenchy Coffee — s’mores hot chocolate, coffee, chocolate twists, madeleines, gluten-free and vegan muffins

Cafe Ollin — tamales, churros, salted chocolate chip cookies, Mexican hot chocolate

Mountain Bird — soup, sticky toffee fig cake, hot sake lemonade, peppermint hot chocolate

GAUDIr — mulled cider, champagne, cheesecake

Maryam’s Yum Yum — waffles, chicken & waffles 

Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe — pasteles, doughnuts, regular coquito

Flaco Coquito — non-dairy coquito

Pop Pins NYC — fashion pins

Jam + Rico — handmade Caribbean-inspired jewelry

Elo Burnz & Jorge Matarrita — art prints

Slone — graffiti canvas

Harlem Hoopz — bangles & hoops

Frida Spirit — painted gardenware

DiLena’s Dolicini & La Befana and Friends — Italian cookies and storybooks

The details:
DRIVE-BY (116TH STREET): Pull up by bike or by car at the 116th Street entrance to Urban Garden Center, and we’ll serve sweets and treats directly to your vehicle. Cash and credit accepted.

WALK-UP (117TH STREET): Urban Garden Center will be selling trees and wreaths at their 117th Street entrance. Enter there, smell that evergreen air, then exit toward 116th Street into the vendor area. Lines will be marked off at 6-foot intervals. Cash and credit accepted.

Of course: No mask, no entry. More info here: http://uptowngrandcentral.org/drivebypie.  

Jordan Casteel

Run, don’t walk, to see Jordan Casteel at The New Museum before the show closes on January 3rd.


You’ll see familiar, Harlem faces, and locations on large canvases that take up an entire floor.

Harlem Jazz Clubs: 1920-40

If you’ve ever wondered where the scores of jazz clubs were during the Harlem Renaissance, this map is the best I’ve seen:

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Here is the list with more details:


• Alamo Club (1915-1925) 253 West 125th St (basement) b/t 7th and 8th (aka Alamo Cafe; Jimy Durante)
• Alhambra Ballroom (1929-1945) (aka The Harlem Alhambra) 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue) at 126th Street (built in 1903 for vaudeville. In 1929 it opened an upstairs ballroom featuring jazz performers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holliday that closed in the 1960’s.
• The Apollo Theater 253 West 125th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues
• Baby Grand Cafe (1945-1965) 319 West 125th b/t St Nick and 8th (1964 phone book) (Club Baby Grand)
• Bank’s Club (located on 133rd St. )(more info to come)
• Barbeque Club (restraunt above The Nest at 169 West 133rd (established 1923)
• Barron’s Club – Clark Monroe opened clark Monroe’s Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St (at 7th Avenue)in the basement. The building formerly held Barron WiIlken’s Exclusive Club (aka Barron’s Club, where Duke Ellington played early in the 1920s. It later beacme the Theatrical Grill, managed by Dickie Wells. Later that became the Pirates Den then the Red Pirate then finally, Clark Monroes Uptown House. At that point the entrance was moved from 2275 7th Ave to 198 west 134th.
• Basement Brownies (1930-1935) 152 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Brittwood Bar 594 Lenox at 141st, next to the Savoy Ballroom.
• Capitol Palace 575 Lenox at 139th St.
• Clark Monroe’s Uptown House 198 West 134th St.between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th) (building still there). – Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, sometimes shortened to Monroe’s Uptown House or simply Monroe’s, was a nightclub in New York City. Along with Minton’s Playhouse, it was one of the two principal clubs in the early history of bebop jazz.
Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill. Monroe moved the club to 52nd Street in 1943 (next to the Downbeat Club., says one book)., and opened a second club, The Spotlite, in December 1944. (Wikipedia)
• Club Harlem 145th and 7th (1952?)(more info to come)

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• Connie’s Inn (1923-1934) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St. (131st and 7th was “The Corner”) (1964 Connie= Conrd Immerman – Lithuanian – unlike the Cotton CLub it wasnt whites only)(connie was in the basment, above it was a bar
• Cotton Club 644 Lenox Avenue at north east corner of 142nd
• Count Basie’s Lounge (1955-1964) 2245 7th Avenue NEC 132nd St.(building still there)
• Covan’s (aka Covan’s Morocco Club) 148 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Dickie Wells Shim Sham Club (1932-1942) (in the same space as The Nest) (169 West 133rd)
• Edith’s Clam House (aka Harry Hansberry’s Clam House or just The Clam House) – 146 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Gee Haw Stables 113 West 132nd Street b/t Lexox and 7th Ave. The after hours club was so-named because there was a sculpted horse’s head at the entrance. Much of Art Tatum’s God is in the House LP was recorded here on a tape recorder in 1941.
• Golden Gate Ballroom (1939-1950) 640 Lenox Avenue at West 142nd St.
Harlem Opera House 209 West 125th St. at 7th Avenue
• (Harry Hansberry’s) Clam House 146 West 133rd (1928) b/t Lenox and 7th Ave.
• Havana San Juan 138th and Broadway (1960)(more info to come)
• Herman’s Inn (145) 2493 Seventh Avenue b/t 144th-145th Streets
• Hoofers 2235 7th Ave (basement of Lafayette Theater/Dancers Bojangles Robinson)
• Hot Cha 2280 7th Ave NWC 134th (Hot Cha Bar and Gril) (CLub Hot Cha)(Where Billie Holiday staryed)
• Lafayette Theater 2227 7th Ave. (The Rhythm Club that was under the Lafayette became the Hoofer’s CLub)

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• Lenox Lounge (Zebra Room inside) from 1939 – 288 Lenox b/t 124th and 125th
• Lincoln Theater 58 West 135th Street b/t 6th and 7th Avenues (1909-1964)
• Mexico’s 154 West 133 (basement) b/t 6th and 7th Avenues

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• Minton’s Playhouse 206 west 118th at St. Nick. south east corner of St Nicholas Avenue (building still there)(1938-1974; reopened 2006); Jazz Club and bar located on the 1st floor of the Cecil Hotel (210 West 118th St.)
• Monroe’s Uptown House see: Clark Monroe’s Uptown House – 198 West 134th Street
• The Nest (aka The Nest Club – men played in Bird outfits, sang “Where do the young bird’s go – to the Nest!”) 169 West 133rd (basement) – (opened in 1923-1932)) later the Rhythm Club (upstairs The Barbeque Club)
• The Palace Ballroom (aka The Rockland Palace Ballroom; originally the State Palace Ballroom) 280 West 155th at 8th Ave.
• The Plantation Club 80-82 West 126th Stret between 5th Ave and Lenox
• Pod’s and Jerry’s 168 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
(1925-1935)(better 1928-1948 or 9) (Officially The Patagonia; later The Log Cabin)(Greet you with “Hi Pod’ner” and Wild West Jerry)
Pod’s and Jerry’s, officially the Catagonia Club, was a cabaret and jazz club. It was one of the thriving speakeasies during the Prohibition era when the street was known as “Swing Street”. It was established in 1925 by Charles “Pod” Hollingsworth and Jeremiah (Jerry) Preston. After the end of Prohibition in 1933 the club was renamed The Log Cabin, which was one of the last clubs to close on 133rd street in 1948, long after its demise.[Wikipedia]
• Radium Club (Happy Rhone’s Radium Club 1920-1925; 654 Lenox b/t 143rd-144th)
• Reuben’s 242 West 30th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues (a small piano club; Art Tatum played here. Owned by Reuben Harris who played along with two whiskbrooms over a folded newspaper)
• Renaissance Ballroom (150 West 138th b/t 6th (Lenox) and 7th Aves (1915-1964)
• The Rythm Club (came after The Nest and before the Hoofer Club) (169 West 133rd) (later moved to 168 West 132nd 1932 then was later taken over by the Hoofer’s Club)
• St. Nick’s Jazz Pub 773 Street Nicholas Ave. – (since 1940: renamed The Pink Angel in 1950); renamed in the 60’s)
• Savoy Ballroom (1926-1958) 596 Lenox Avenue b/t West 140th and West 141

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• Showman’s Bar (Showman’s Jazz Club) 375 West 125th (It was originally located next to the Apollo Theater at 267 West 125th Street, where it was a hangout for the performers. Showman’s moved 3 times in 42 years.)
• Small’s Paradise (aka Ed Small’s Paradise) (1925-1980’s)(basement) 2294+1/2 Seventh Avenue at the south west corner of 135th Street. (This later became Big Wilt’s Small’s Paradise; Now an International House of Pancakes is in the space.)
• Snookie’s Sugar Bowl (a luncheonette in Harlem during the 1950′-60’s.(more info to come)
• Sugar Cane Club (aka Small’s Sugar Cane Club) (1917-1925) 2212 5th Ave at 135th (entrance through narrow underground passage)
• Sugar Ray’s (2074 7th Ave b/t/ 123-124 (owned by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson)
• Theatrical Grill (198 West 134th St.; Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill.
• Tilllie’s 148 West 133rd (chicken waffles and jazz)(1926)(later it was Monette’s Supper CLub where legend has it that John Hammond 1st heard 17 year old Billie Holliday (fm NYT) (Now, since, 2006, it’s Bill’s Place – a small jazz club)
• The Ubangi Club (1934-1937) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St.) The Ubangi Club was opened in 1934 by Glady’s Bently a famous lesbian singer who sang in tux and tails. Her club took over the space that had been occupied by Connie’s Inn from 1923 to1934. Both clubs were in the basement.
• The Yeah Man (1925-1960) 2350 7th Ave at 138th St.

To see the full list of NYC jazz clubs, and to get some great images of Harlem scroll way down the bottom, here:


National Black Theater Confirms Demolition and Redevelopment

As we say farewell to 2020, we want to update you on the seeds we have planted during a year that has been marked with tremendous transition and proactive fortification of NBT’s future. NBT has recently formulated a plan to ensure our facility is positioned for Harlem’s future, one that will anchor and recapitalize the institution for generations to come—transforming our current home into a 21st century creative laboratory for Black artists in Harlem and a world-class destination for Black culture.

As you have come to experience in our work and programming, NBT’s unique approach to self determination through art, entrepreneurship and place-making are values seeded by NBT’s Founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, further demonstrated when she secured a landmark home for NBT by purchasing the 64,000 square foot city block at 125th and 5th Avenue (named National Black Theatre Way). 

For the past three years with the enthusiasm and support of our community and New York City officials, NBT has been preparing for this historic new building project. Earlier this year on Dr. Teer’s birthday, NBT finalized our redevelopment partnership to formally begin the public facing process of redeveloping the city block Dr. Teer bought in 1986. The new building will help NBT better serve our artists, audience and community in Harlem and around the world. To begin construction on this new building, we must first gradually dismantle the existing structure at 2031-33 Fifth avenue. Beginning mid-December 2020 through April 2021, you will begin to see shifts as we move out of the building, prepare for demolition, say farewell to our current space, and prepare to transform our new home.

During our itinerant phase, NBT’s presence will still be very much felt here in Harlem through ongoing programmatic partnerships with neighboring institutions. Starting next fall 2021, we will partner with the Apollo Theater to utilize their office space and two new flexible performance spaces at the new Victoria. In addition, NBT Beyond Walls and NBT @ HOME, two new programmatic initiatives, will help deepen NBT’s impact by producing continuous and collaborative local, national, and international programming.

Though we acknowledge the emotional weight of closing this incredible chapter in our history, we are embracing a new period of growth in NBT’s life cycle. One where we will continue to have enough. One where we will have what we need to thrive. One where we will work in partnership to manifest our wildest dreams—together! 

We will have more updates to share in the months to come. If you have any specific thoughts or questions about this transition or if you would like to support NBT with a tax deductible donation, please contact [email protected] or visit our website.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and joy filled holiday season,

Sade Lythcott,
Chief Executive Officer

Property for Sale

Residing on a tree-lined block with homes converted to single family dwellings and condos. The authentic trimmings from 1900 remain intact, presenting an irreplicable charm. 536 West 150th Street connects to Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in the landmarked national historic district of Hamilton Heights. The up and coming area has tons of services and trendy restaurants. Close to Columbia University, City College, NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital Center, great parks, Yankee Stadium and just one block to the nearest subway, as well as easy access to multiple highways.

Feel free to view and share this google photos link.https://photos.app.goo.gl/fYgPx5kx7y1Yrmnx7

Block / Lot: 02081/0046
Lot Area:1,499 sq ft
Lot Depth:99.92Ft
Estimated Sqft: 3,240
Year Built: 1900
Building Class: C5 
Condition: Needs workNew gas lines all up to code
Rooms: 8Stories: 4
Zoning District: R6-A
Yearly Taxes:  $5,600 (estimated)

Stephanie Tomlin

212 996 2661

[email protected]

1 Hour Photo

Anyone who smiles at this recently exposed sign on 3rd, knows how exciting 1 hour photos were in the 80s and 90s.

On of our neighbors noted that this sign is a left-over film shoot prop, and not an authentic and revealed sign:

Which has been removed.

And, Further Uptown at 127th and 3rd Avenue

Part of his evidence of this was a second store sign that he also photographed at the time when he first noticed the film processing yellow/red sign:

This bas relief by the entry to The Beatrice Lewis Senior Center caught my eye the other day:

It is certainly of it’s time.

COVID-19 Then and Now

As we all know, New York was hit hard by COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic as this visualization shows:

However, the situation now, is incredibly different:

To see the animated version and get sucked into the mesmerizing aspect of this horrific crisis: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/jrkoze/3d_map_of_covid_cases_by_population_march_through/?utm_content=title&utm_medium=post_embed&utm_name=7832a3f34a9a46b1b4d9ba31d8fe7719&utm_source=embedly&utm_term=jrkoze

Housing Justice

New York’s Housing Crisis is More Dire Than Ever: 

  • Evictions are happening across New York state as COVID-19 cases rise. 
  • 1.4 million New Yorkers are unsure if they can pay next month’s rent. 
  • 92,000 New Yorkers are homeless in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
  • Evictions and homelessness lead to a higher rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Who are we writing to and why?

  • Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Majority Leader and Carl Heastie, Speaker of the State Assembly
  • The Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker have the power to call the legislature back into session RIGHT NOW. 
  • The New York State legislature has the power to STOP evictions, house the homeless, and clear back rent. They are choosing inaction because they are unwilling to tax the ultra wealthy. 

How to do it: 

Option 1: Make your own card and mail it to us! 

Step 1: Grab a piece of paper and fold it in half 

Step 2: Write your housing justice message inside! 

Step 3: Decorate it however you like! 

Step 4: Mail it to:
Joseph Loonam

470 Vanderbilt Avenue,
Brooklyn NY, 11238

Option 2: Make a card online, we’ll print it and deliver it for you! 

What to Write (Personalize it!) 

Dear Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Carl Heastie, 

A housing crisis is exploding in our state. There are 92,000 homeless New Yorkers and people across the state are getting evicted due to the pandemic. 

All I want for the holidays is for everyone to be safe in their own homes. You have the power to make that happen. 

Don’t let New Yorkers spend the holidays in a shelter or on the streets 

We need you to house the homeless, stop evictions, and cancel rent for all New Yorkers. 

Our state cannot survive the pandemic any other way. 



Tali Farhadian Weinstein who joined our November HNBA meeting in her run for Manhattan DA, mentioned that she has a podcast – one episode of which, is focused on a conversation with Senator Cory Booker: https://www.taliforda.com/hearing-with-tali-farhadian-weinstein/

Block Party!

With the darker, colder days, I thought we could all use a pick-me-up and revisit the 2019 HNBA Block Party.

Maskless. Able to hug and greet. Enjoying the great neighbors that make up our community.

Thanks so much to Derrick for the photos!

The Top 5 Languages (other than English) Spoken in NY


NY Times: Paying Pharmacy Companies Rebates for OxyContin Overdoses

When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses.

Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that the adviser was McKinsey & Company, the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. The 160 pages include emails and slides revealing new details about McKinsey’s advice to the Sackler family, Purdue’s billionaire owners, and the firm’s now notorious plan to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales at a time when opioid abuse had already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

In a 2017 presentation, according to the records, which were filed in court on behalf of multiple state attorneys general, McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.

The presentation estimated how many customers of companies including CVS and Anthem might overdose. It projected that in 2019, for example, 2,484 CVS customers would either have an overdose or develop an opioid use disorder. A rebate of $14,810 per “event” meant that Purdue would pay CVS $36.8 million that year.

To read the whole article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/business/mckinsey-purdue-oxycontin-opioids.html