1939 Madison Ave. Used As Gambling House

100 years ago the New York Times reported breathlessly on an illegal gambling house at 1939 Madison Avenue (between 124/125).

The charges leveled in court and in the newspaper allege that not only was gambling occurring, but debts were not paid, and the local police were on the take.

For the full article, see:

Claire Oliver Gallery

If you have a chance, head up Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. to 134/135 and stop in the Claire Oliver Gallery. The current exhibit of photography – a Love Letter for Harlem – is wonderful, powerful, and worth a visit.

March 9th, HNBA Meeting

Mark your calendars. On Tuesday, March 9th we’ll have 3 amazing presentations.

7:00 PM – We will have a Q+A with Kristin R. Jordan, who is a candidate for Council District 9 – [email protected]. In addition to giving us a sense of who she is and what her key platforms are, Kristin will address the burden that our part of the district bears with 2 sanitation garages, the M35 Bus, numerous homeless shelters, and the Lee Building’s infamous role as a regional methadone megacenter.

7:30 PM – Nicole from – rankthevotenyc – will help us all understand Ranked-Choice Voting that will affect us all in the voting booth this June and later in November, and beyond. If you have questions about ranked-choice voting, and how you can use this new form of voting to strategically vote for more than one candidate, Nicole will answer all. 

8:00 PM – Ray McGuire, will join us to introduce himself, and to present his plans for New York City’s post-COVID recovery. Ray was the first in his family to graduate from college and after Harvard University and a law degree, he worked on Wall Street for many years. Ray will introduce himself, his platform, and talk about his impressions of, and plans for East Harlem and New York City as a whole (he has spent significant time in our community, listening to business owners and neighbors at Ginjan Cafe, and knows many of our issues well.). Come out to learn more about RayForMayor.

Ray McGuire as a young man

Made in Harlem

Join the Maysles Cinema for free screenings of seminal documentaries on Harlem.

The films listed below are streaming (for free) from March 5-19. See the Maysles site for more details: https://www.maysles.org/madeinharlem202


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From These RootsWilliam Greaves, 1974, 28 min An exploration of the extraordinary artistic, cultural and political flowering that took place in Harlem during the “Roaring 20s.” This vivid portrait of the Harlem Renaissance is created entirely with period photographs. Narrated by the actor Brock Peters, with original music specially composed and performed by Eubie Blake, From These Roots is a winner of 22 international film festival awards.
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The Quiet OneSidney Meyers, 1948, 65 min.Considered one of the earliest docudrama films and one of the first mainstream American films to feature a Black child as its protagonist, The Quiet One follows a young boy named Donald and his transformation and adjustment after attending the Wiltwyck School for Boys. Nominated for two Oscars: Best Documentary Feature and Best Screenplay.
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The Torture of Mothers: The Case of the Harlem SixWoodie King, Jr., 1980, 52 min.In 1963 a group of young Black boys living in Harlem were involved in an incident that earned them the nickname “The Harlem Six.” Intent on protecting and clearing the names of their sons, several mothers bonded together to make their story known. This work emerges as a powerful close up of police brutality, and of power dynamics of 1960’s Harlem.
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A Dream Is What You Wake Up FromLarry Bullard and Carolyn Y. Johnson, 1978, 50 min..While using a documentary/drama hybrid style, filmmakers Larry Bullard and Carolyn Y. Johnson follow three Black families, one of which is living in Harlem, as they share their stories and strategize toward their survival. The film speculates across several time jumps and migrations to create a visual
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In The Face of What We Remember: Oral Histories of 409 and 555 Edgecombe AvenueKaren D. Taylor, 2019, 45 min.This documentary captures the story of two legendary buildings in Harlem’s Sugar Hill whose residents included W.E.B. DuBois, Elizabeth Catlett, James Weldon Johnson, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Louise Thompson Patterson, Joe Louis, Cassandra Wilson, and more.

Pre-Register for a COVID-19 Vaccine

The Manhattan Borough President’s Office is asking any Harlem residents who qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine, to fill out this form:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B8ZG9LR

The Borough President would like to prioritize Harlem residents in the queue for vaccines, and this is asking you (if you qualify) to preregister using the link, above.

Token of Hope Inc. New York is working hard to connect the Harlem community to much needed resources and help. In partnership with the Manhattan Borough President Office, Token of Hope Inc. is collecting names of residents in the Harlem community in need of the vaccine.  This information will be provided directly to the Manhattan Borough President’s staff for expedition and attention. Please complete this survey as soon as possible to ensure that you receive service as the vaccine is available.

Mount Sinai and Methadone in Our Community

With new data from a FOIL request to OASAS, we are able to contextualize the size/impact that Mount Sinai has on our community with their two major methadone hubs – West 124th Street, and East 125th Street (The Lee Building at Park Avenue).

Looking at the screenshot below, you can see how large Mount Sinai’s presence is in Harlem and East Harlem.

To see the entire city and the uneven distribution of Opioid Treatment Programs, see the map below:

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/RNUZ2/1/

Celebration of Langston Hughes

   Join AGM Theater Company for an evening of laughter, joy and lively music; as we celebrate the phenomenal work of Langston Hughes.

*Click the link below to register for the presentation*

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XESwCYdkR4CXYc8AGBf7PQ

Candidate Forums on Monday, March 1

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_natkAKbPQRWnArGJkXDQww

Roy DeCarava – Photographer

Roy DeCarava was an African American artist who received early critical acclaim for his black and white photography.

Initially engaging and imaging the lives of African Americans and jazz musicians in the communities where he lived and worked, DeCarava was a regular presence in Harlem and documented a number of local scenes and people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_DeCarava

This image of a sidewalk, a boy, a car, and a stoop, stands out because the building it is centered on, still exists.

2083 5th Avenue, today, has the same recognizable building/stoop design, and is located almost directly across from the home where the Collyer brothers once lived in their hoarding squalor.

I love that in the DeCarava image you can zoom in to the polished hubcap of the car, and actually see the streetscape on the west side of 5th Avenue between 128th and 129th Streets:

In reverse, of course (note that the rooftop extension on the white building is ‘new’, as is the gap between the white building and the larger apartment building to the north):

And while hidden by the trees in the left of the photo (above), the Collyer’s brownstone is clearly absent in the hubcap reflection. Torn down and made into a Harlem park.

Build the Bench: Why Black Representation Matters

Join Build the Bench on Thursday for a celebration of their first anniversary and to tune into a conversation about increasing Black voices in the halls of power.

To register: BuildTheBench.eventbrite.com

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:

https://twitter.com/nysenbenjamin/status/1341797718843248641?s=21

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:

Food:

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

Gifts: 
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.

https://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/jordan-casteel-within-reach

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:

HARLEM JAZZ CLUBS, RESTAURANTS, and BALLROOMS from the 20’s-40’s:

• 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:

https://popspotsnyc.com/jazz_clubs/