Image above of the (imagined) interior of the Harlem Victoria Renaissance Hotel

Given that the Victoria project is wrapping up and about to bring a new hotel to Harlem, I thought I’d present a map of hotels in New York City.

As you can imagine, Midtown is insanely dense:

And while zooming into our neighborhood appears to indicate that we have a handful of hotels in our midst, as we all know, many of these (aside from the Aloft Hotel at 124/FDB) may be primarily used as SROs or as sites where the Department of Homeless Services contracts for people to stay.

Aloft Hotel on Frederick Douglass Blvd.

To view the full map and hotels around the 5 boroughs, see:


This brownstone’s original facade is clearly hidden under a thick coat of oil paint, but the distinctive keyhole or horseshoe arch of the window in the courtyard, next to the under-stoop door is still gorgeous.

The keyhole or horseshoe arch is uncommon in Harlem, though it exists. More typically the arch is found in Middle Eastern Islamic architecture:

The Harlem horseshoe arch is an example of how ‘Oriental’ aesthetics in architecture in particular, held the fascination of many Victorian designers in the late 19th century.

Further south of this domestic example of Oriental ornament, is a rich example of this trend in the former Congregation Shaare Zedek Of Harlem on West 118th Street which displays exuberant Orientalism:

And multiple horseshoe/keyhole arches in what is now a Baptist church.

Back, however, to the brownstone. If you look carefully at the top of the arch, you’ll see a bird taking flight with a piece of foliage in its beak – possibly to build a nest. This sublime metaphor of domesticity is a classic example of the rewards to be found in walking and observing on the streets of Harlem and discovering the aesthetic treasures, both large and small, that have often outlasted their creators.

Marcus Garvey Park Tree Lighting

December 8th, at 6:00 PM.

124th Street and 5th Avenue.

Join the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance in the lighting of the holiday tree.

Under the Stoops

Along 5th Avenue, between 129/128th Streets, there are 3 brownstones in a row that still have grills that allow light into the under-the-stoop space.

As a result, you can see 3 houses through and during the day, illumination is unnecessary.

Delilah of Harlem

The earliest novel that takes place in Harlem (that I know of) is from 1893, and was written by Richard Henry Savage.

It’s fairly forgettable Victorian melodrama, but offers a glimpse into posh society in and around Mount Morris Park, in the new and stately brownstones that were purchased by New York City’s upper class.

Ebay has a copy on sale – reading only.

CB11 – Your Chance To Speak!

If you’d like to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of East Harlem, here’s your chance.

On Tuesday, CB11 will be hosting a full board meeting. You must register for the Zoom event, and register to speak if you wish:

Full BoardTuesday • September 28th • 6:30pm
In order to attend this meeting, please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
If you wish to speak during the public session at our September Full Board Meeting, please indicate your interest in speaking and fill out the form here.
View the agenda on our meeting calendar here.